When we finally figure out what this show’s all about, we’ll tell ya! But for now, here’s what you need to know…Sophomore cutie Tenma is completely crushed out on classmate Karasuma. Meanwhile, tough guy Harima still hasn’t … see full wiki
I'm always reluctant to review properties like School Rumble mainly because anime comedy really isn't my bag. Chalk it up to my natural tendency to be miserable, but it really takes some spectacular animated effort to get me to laugh. As such my scores are usually lower than the fan boys (and girls) would like. However, don't let my crabbiness get you down. If you happen to appreciate the School Rumble franchise, the 2nd Semester will surely delight. But before we get ahead of ourselves here, let's take a look at the cold hard facts, shall we?
Funimation has recently decided to re-release the Region 1 sets of the show to the North American market. This, the 2nd Semester set coming in at a total runtime of 610 minutes, spans 4 discs and comes packaged as a pair of thin packs within a cardboard slipcase. All 26 episodes are contained in this, the Complete Collection.
The show wears a fairly conservative TV MA rating (oddly enough, up from the TV PG rating it had in the last release), which more than compensates for the over-the-top (clothed) fan service, and slapstick.
Language options are typical sub & dub meaning the option of original Japanese dialog track or an English dub (either in stereo) and English subtitles available under either language choice.
Extras include an interview with the show's creator, interview with the Japanese voice actress who played Tenma, textless songs and a host of Funimation trailers.
Boy it's tough to accurately present the story here. I guess the best way to describe it for someone who has no prior experience with the show is to imagine a blend of comedy and drama, set in the high school scenario, with a few teenage kids making up the main cast. More specifically, summer, fall, and winter pass by as Tsukamoto Tenma continues to try and win the heart of her potential boy-toy Karasuma Ooji. Harima Kenji meanwhile tries to confess his own love for Tenma who, as we just established, has eyes only for Ooji. Yakumo and Eri are busy working on establishing a relationship with a guy of their own.
Equally difficult is setting up the tone of the show. The pacing is a bit, um erratic, as in some episodes are devoted almost completely to the cause of comedic relief (with little overall plot advancement) while others take a turn for the dramatic. Now this is a widely acknowledged flaw in the first set that has been toned down slightly for this one. While it still could hardly be called "linear", the themes don't swing quite so wildly here (episode six is the cutoff point between two major arcs).
The show stars off aggressively as in with more romantic twists and turns that most series can hope to accomplish in their entirety. The humor, which actually comes in many shapes and sizes here (from all out spoof sequences to good old fashioned slap stick) serves as the motivator while established characters such as Harima, Eri and Hanai keep things interesting in the Cultural Festival episodes. The pacing here is fast and furious and the show maintains a very energetic rhythm despite the fact that nothing significant is ever really happening.
The voice tracks on this one come with the usual hesitancy associated with determining which is superior. The English dub holds up really well with most of the jokes retained and equally charming but I fear the nod actually goes to the Japanese dialog track here for its bubbly emotion and slightly more effortless delivery.
The in-show soundtrack, like the fist season of the show, remains poppy, upbeat with just enough goofy charm to integrate with the bright visuals flawlessly.
In all it's difficult to argue with the fact that this show is a whole lot of fun as indicated by the first paragraph of the summary on the back of the box: We still have no idea what's really going on with this show, beyond the fact that the weirdness is really piling up.
Fans of the first season will likely become a bit frustrated with the fact that the love triangle with Harima goes on quite unresolved here as well. In fact almost nothing in the way of character story threads gets resolved until the final two episodes.
School Rumble 2nd Semester is a lot like the first season in that it's a pretty enjoyable anime property with a few rough spots scattered about (obvious filler, overacted drama, Tenma's aggravating antics, etc.) but at the end of the day, it comes together well. So maybe I'm still a bit too grumpy to fully clinch the School Rumble approach, I can confess that there are definitely laughs to be had here.
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