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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

School Rumble 2nd Term ep.12-13


School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot
School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot

Yay! I finally manage to catch up with this series. Okay, there is still episode 14 to go but that just came out yesterday so I am not that far behind. This is the first time I've attempted to cross-summarised/reviewed two episodes of School Rumble and found the job to be rather difficult. Each story is usually packed with many little details so trying to summarise each episode into no more than 3 paragraphs turned out to be a challange. But I prefer to do this than spending another 4 hours writing summary for episodes that most people have already seen. Anyway, the episodes themselves are pretty funny although I am not sure anymore if they are actually fillers or taken from the manga. On a glance they feel like filler but there are bits of romantic development in the episodes that feel as if they came from the manga.

Episode 12

Tenma goes to the library to study but after 5 or 10 seconds, ends up sleeping on the table. She then dreams that her height, IQ, etc suddenly grows into 165. Everyone like Eri, Mikoto, and Akira suddenly come to her for help in their homework and study. She even has her own adoring fanclub and appear on television! Despite this, she tells the boys that she already has someone that she likes. One day, however, Harima comes to the classroom to tell Tenma that the one that he really like is actually her and not Yakumo. Tenma then wakes up from her dream and wonders why she had a dream like that. She then becomes nervous when Harima enters the library. She tells Harima that she feels strangely different about him this time around. Tenma then tries to say the words that Harima has been waiting to hear all of these times but the scene then reveals that the entire thing was just a dream belonging to Harima, who is now sleeping in a table behind Tenma.

School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot
School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot

In the main story, Tenma complains when her friends can't attend her birthday. Harima, who overhears the conversation imagines what could transpire if he's the one who takes Tenma out for her birthday. In order to facilitate his plan, Harima decides to sneak into Itoko's room, MGS-style, so he can obtain her dating magazine. After being cruelly abused by various devices and Itoko's off-key singing of Onna no Ko rabu Otoko no Ko, he finally gets what he wants. While browsing the magazine, however, his brother comes over and reminds him that today is his birthday so it's Harima's responsibility to treat him. Because of this Harima has no choice but to take his brother to go out with him, Tenma, and Akira. Unfortunately for Harima, his plan to go to temple goes bust. In order to redeem himself in Tenma's eyes, he decides to take everyone to an expensive-looking restaurant. Upon entering the place, however, he realises that he can't even afford to pay for one dish.

Harima wants to leave the place but after seeing Tenma looking happy with the place, he has no choice but to stay put. He eventually decides to order Kimagure course for 4 people but Akira is not impressed by this. Tenma and his brother, however, are more than happy with the meal and much to Harima's horror, end up ordering additional plates to see who can eat the most. Eventually Harima has no choice but to tell the waiter that he can't pay for the meal. Before he has the chance to do so, however, Eri appears and tells the waiter that she'll pay for Harima's expenses. She then tells Harima to go back to Tenma's table but Tenma appears and notices Eri so she joins Tenma instead. Later on, Harima tells Tenma that tomorrow is actually his birthday but Tenma completely misses the point and thinks that it's nice of Harima to take his brother out for his birthday. Eri who realises what Harima intended to do can only look in sadness and calls him "idiot". The episode then ends with Harima spending his birthday alone with a zoo giraffe.

School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot
School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot

Episode 13

During exam time there are whispers that several students have seen Ryuunen sensei (a teacher who is responsible to teach students who fail their class). Harima does not believe this until he too saw the scary old man appearing from behind an electric pole and later on, next to him in the toilet. After studying for one night, Harima thinks he will be safe but he's horrified when he plays basketball the next day and sees Imadori's face and later on, his classmates' faces, turn into Ryuunen sensei's face. In his attempt to get away from the old man, Harima asks Itoko to help him. Itoko comes up with the idea of writing the answer on his body. True enough, the old man no longer appear. However, Harima is not allowed to sit on the test until he wipes the notes off his body. Harima is sure he's going to fail but he realises that he remembers the answer because he wrote it on his body. The story ends with Tenma comes home to discover Yakumo looking like Ryuunen sensei.

In the second story, Tenma panics because unless she can pass the test, she will have to repeat her class. In order to help her, Eri, Mikoto, and Akira decide to form study group at Tenma's house. Unfortunately they find out that Tenma has a weird way of remembering the lesson, for example, she uses the word "Ii niku tsukurou" (to make a nice meat) to remember the year 1129. Tenma eventually manages to learn all the physics she can handle but there is history left to study. Because of this Mikoto tells them that they should use people, things, and places that she loves to help her memorise the lesson. During the exam, Tenma manages to guess the answer correctly but she uses Karasuma's name with every answer that she puts in her test. Jirou thinks that Tenma is right and decides to copy her answer. It's not until he gets the test back that he knows that Tenma was wrong. Tenma, however, realised her mistakes before handing out her test so she passed the test.

School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot
School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot

In the third story, one of the students told everyone how one night he saw a dinosaur-like creature coming out of the school's swimming pool. The students decide to check it out and end up seeing the monster first hand. Later on, the 'monster' is revealed as none other than a giraffe who is keen to see Yakumo so the story returns to Tenma and the gang. The girls are in the middle of forcing Mikoto to tell the story of her date with Asou. Mikoto tells them that she and Asou had dinner together, went to a bookshop and visited a Karaoke bar. However, in each situation, Mikoto lied to Asou about the kind of thing that she usually do. For example, she told Asou that she reads romance novels although she actually likes a fighting book. Eventually the two went to an arcade and Asou revealed to Mikoto that he has other things that he likes apart from baseball and the two had a discussion about their future. Mikoto also managed to defeat Asou in racing game.

Impression:

Seeing Harima squirming as he tried to bite more than he can chew when he ordered those expensive meals turned out to be quite entertaining. I also couldn't help but laughing when Harima's brother proclaimed that the meat was the best that he's ever tasted because I've had that kind of experience before. The same thing can be said about Akira's complain that the meal was "ordinary" even though each set costs Harima 34,000 Yen (around $340). On a more serious matter, this seems to be the episode where Eri finally suspects that Harima has a romantic interest in Tenma. Despite this, she was willing to pay for the meal that Harima foolishly purchased even though he didn't have the money to pay for it. I'm not even an Eri fan but I thought it was rather cruel of Harima to use Eri's kindness to score a date with Tenma. In the end, he deserved that karma of spending his birthday all alone, or rather together with only a giraffe.

School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot
School Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshotSchool Rumble: Ni Gakki screenshot

I don't think episode 13 was that funny although that 'Ryuunen sensei' was rather creepy. Having said that, I like the fact that the entire episode reminds me of Jigoku Shoujo, complete with students gossiping about this mysterious teacher. I also noticed that the artwork has been drawn in similar manner to a typical horror manga such as Junji Ito's Uzumaki. It's unfortunate that they can't come up with another idea to fill the entire episode with horror-related stories because the part where the girls gossip about Mikoto and Asou felt out of place. That story, however, confirms that Asou has an interest in Mikoto and vice versa. In fact, Mikoto went all the way to hide the kind of things that she usually do, probably because she's afraid Asou won't like her if he finds out her real hobbies. It's kind of realistic in a way and true enough, when Mikoto showed her prowess in racing game, Asou seems a bit annoyed about it.

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