I continue my mad rant of School Rumble. Another two chapters today. Pity the Wannabeforums are down, there are a lot of people there who write thesis-like dissections of the mental state of every character. That’s you Swampstorm.

The problem with discussion manga is that everyone is at different points. There are those who follow each chapter as it’s released, and those who buy the Japanese tankoubou. Then there are people like me who wait a bit for the translated tankoubou. And finally, we have non-readers who follow the anime. It’s thus difficult to discuss manga outside a forum.

#144 - Calendar Girl

This chapter is all about Imadori and Karen.

Karen and her brother, Kousuke, are at home. Kousuke tells his sister that there’s a Dojibiron gathering at their place and the guy called Blue Dojibiron, who they’ve chatted with online, is coming over. Karen says she isn’t too interested and she’s tired from her exams. Since they share the same bedroom, Karen goes to sleep behind a curtain and tells Kousuke to have fun on his own.

Karen dreams that Imadori chooses her and they kiss. She wakes up and smiles to herself, musing that it was such a good dream.

She opens her curtain, complaining about the noise waking her up, only to find Imadori playing Dojibiron card games with her brother. In her state of shock, she rushes up and punches him in the gut, knocking him out. She says the house is in a mess and they have to clean up.

She tries her best to clean up, folding up and tidying all the clothes lying around. Imadori, holding a large bra, asks her where that goes to. She replies the bottom drawer, before going into a cute frenzy. Imadori says, "I didn’t know you wore such a large bra." Karen screams, "That’s my mum’s!"

Imadori proceeds to tour the room, examining her nightgown, dumbells (and remarking that they are so heavy), and he checks out her diet graph too. Karen is uber cute as she doesn’t know what to do.

Kousuke tells her sister to join them, playing Dojibiron as usual. Karen starts tearing up but Imadori in his most bishy face tells her to just be herself. Aww.

She gives up and joins them for some Dojibiron roleplay. And she’s really good at it.

At the end of the day, Imadori bids farewell to the siblings. Karen sees how nice and sincerely he treats her brother and is very touched by that. Kousuke jokes that he wouldn’t mind Karen having Imadori as a boyfriend and expects to get beaten but Karen just gazes at Imadori as he cycles away.

But she notices a bit of a bra sticking out from the back of his pants. She chases him and breaks his neck.

The first page of the next chapter is about this story too. The next day, Imadori at school says hi to Karen and apologises for his sudden intrusion. He adds that he didn’t realise Karen’s mum was so busty. Karen says good morning in return but walks away. Imadori stares open-mouthed.

Sagano and Yuki discuss how Karen and Imadori seem to be improving their relationship.

Analysis

I’m very impressed by this chapter. These short, sweet stories are what make School Rumble one of THE best romantic comedies. Karen shows a totally bashful and cute side here. Imadori shows how he can get along with others sincerely and not just be a playboy. Kousuke doesn’t realise he has done some really great things.

Thanks to this chapter, I officially proclaim her my fourth favourite SR girl.

Karen obviously likes Imadori a lot. She got to see a few of his good points. As for Imadori, I don’t think he likes her romantically now but it seems he’s starting to see her good points and common interests.

I don’t really get the final scene when Karen just keeps a bit of distance from Imadori. Was it because of the bra? She’s not the sort who keeps a grudge so it’s probably not that. I would think, the scene shows how Imadori is finally finding Karen to be beautiful.

#145 - As Good as It Gets

Harima realises that his manga was published in place of Karasuma’s and he happily texts Yakumo and meets her on the rooftop. Her classmates misunderstand as usual.

The girls in the class are reading his manga without knowing who the author is. Mikoto says, "The art is poorly down but the story is quite sweet."

Eri says, "This is obviously done by someone who has no experience of real relationships."

Mikoto says, "I like it for its simplicity."

Eri says the unrealism pisses her off. Harima thinks to himself, "I’m no longer angry, I feel only pity for you, you cold emotionally-withered woman."

Akira pops the magic question, "Tenma, what do you think?"

Tenma feels the dreaminess of the manga is quite inspiring.

At the manga editor’s office, Harima and Yakumo discuss the manga with the editor. A really large man appears and scares the hell out of Harima but Yakumo steps forth and asks him if his job is to scare newcomers. The large editor is impressed by Yakumo.
He tells Harima to submit a 120 page story by next week. Harima spends one page being shell-shocked.

On the way home, Harima and Yakumo talk about their plan of action. He’s thinking of staying over at Itoko’s place and rushing out the manga. But upon reaching her house, there’s a note on it saying the two teachers have left on a week-long ski trip. There’s also 500 yen pocket money taped onto the door. She didn’t leave any key, so Harima’s homeless for the week.

Yakumo brings Harima back home and Tenma is shocked. Very shocked. Seems like Harima will be staying for the week.

Analysis

This chapter marks the start of the Harima stayover arc. Eri’s words foreshadow Harima’s entrance into the Tsukamoto household.

Tenma completely misunderstands, thinking that Yakumo and Harima’s relationship has progressed even further.

It’s completely in-character for Yakumo to have invited Harima home, as it was just an unfortunate series of events. Well done, Itoko!

What was of note was Yakumo’s boldness at the editor’s office. She has always been timid at everything besides Tenma. Only when it comes to people close to her will she start being tough. When Harima gets all frightened, she takes it upon herself to step forth and defend him. This shows how close she feels Harima is to her, almost to the extent of being family. She also constantly takes care of Harima much like how she does for her sister.

Eri at this stage, is at the trough of the Flag faction. This may just be the lowest point of the Eri x Harima relationship and he expresses explicit dislike for her, especially for her criticism of his precious efforts and style of romance.


Ichijou!!

5 Responses to “MangaAnalysis: School Rumble #144-145: Karen Karen Karen Karen”  

  1. 1 AsouKai

    Oooh… sisterly love ftw. A pity everyone misunderstands the relationship between Harima and Yakumo. It’s ok Harima, I’d prefer you go with Yakumo instead. Lol.

    Ichijou Karen pwns Imadori. =3

  2. 2 T_T|||

    I love the part: “NOW IT’S A HORROR MOVIE”

    I totally ROFL-ed on the bus and people thought I was nuts.

  3. 3 Lupus

    Um… I really want to buy this volume, but it’s so expensive here in Australia… *cries*

    I don’t really care that much about Karen and Imadori. I don’t find them to be the most interesting of characters, but maybe my mind will change after I get to read this chapter.

    Co-incidentally, I was reading vol 10 of SR yesterday, and the very last story in the tankouban has Iori (the cat) turning into human form and giving Yakumo Tenma’s umbrella. Meanwhile Iori has Harima’s jacket on. That prompted me to think that “Harima and Tenma are the two most important people to Yakumo, even though she doesn’t get along well with people generally.”

    I think Yakumo’s feeling towards Harima are more of a romantic one than a familial one. Yakumo x Harima x Eri is the reason why I read SR.

    P.S. If you keep going like this SR vol 12 will get 18 hard-ons :P

  4. 4 tj_han

    Yes I thought they were so so at first but my mind changed after this chapter

  5. 5 Swampstorm

    Eri’s criticism was spot on. Harima’s main problem is that he tends to constantly ‘plan’ out how to ‘win’ Tenma’s feelings through his romantic fantasies, rather than being grounded in reality and building a relationship with her. By constantly thinking for Tenma and second guessing her intentions, he loses sight of the fact that, as an individual with desires of her own, Tenma wants to be with Karasuma.

    Eri almost always tends to show up at moments whenever Harima needs to be dragged back down into reality. If Eri can manage to give Harima perceptive and direction in the same way that Harima inspires Eri to achieve her dreams, they’ll make a solid couple for the long haul. She’s the key to his growth as a character.

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