Before I start, let me commerate the passing of June with the unveiling of a new page of my School Rumble calendar. I tore off the old page, May/June and stuck it on my wall as a poster.


Damn I was trembling with Yakumo-induced euphoria and it came out blur.


Eri is large. Yakumo’s in an unsightly pose.

And on to the summaries!

#150 – Legal Eagles

Mikoto, walking past the bath, hears Eri talking to someone. Wondering why she’s talking to herself, Mikoto peeks into the bath only to see Harima staring straight at her.

Eri engages in girl bath talk with “Mikoto”, asking her what’s up with Asou. Harima is getting desperate with panic, and replies, “Who’s that?” in a womanly voice.

Eri’s surprised and says, “That’s the guy who you’re really close to nowadays!”

“Mikoto” replies, “I have no interest in guys at all and I’m not close to him.” Eri is shocked.

The real Mikoto throws a can at Harima. But after seeing him plead for help, she agrees to help him do the vocal responses. Eri’s puzzled why “Mikoto”’s body is more muscular than usual so she explains that her muscles are swollen from exercise.

Mikoto asks Eri, “Didn’t you confess to Harima recently?” to which both Harima and Eri get all embarrassed. Actually only Eri is, Harima’s just mad. Eri denies, stating that she just saw him yesterday and he looked really poor and useless. She looks up sadly and mentions that Christmas is all about couples, quoting a few examples frm their class.

Mikoto asks about her. Eri drops the bombshell, saying, “I may have to get married.” She explains that it is an arranged one, forced by her family. 

Eri decides it’s time for some close girl talk and proceeds to enter the bath. Both Mikoto and Harima panic. But suddenly, bubbles start emerging from “Mikoto”’s rear end. Eri is disgusted and politely walks off.

It turns out that it was a fake fart, created by trapping air inside a towel and releasing it slowly. Clever Harima. But Mikoto does not forgive him for the image destruction and thumps him.

They get down to serious discussion. Mikoto comments that Eri’s wedding was so unexpected, but she knew something was wrong when Eri came over. Harima replies that he doesn’t get the ways of the rich, but it’s not his problem and he has too many of his own issues to solve.

Asou rings the doorbell and mistakes Harima for Mikoto’s family member. He slams the door shut on him.

The doorbell rings again, it is Nakamura the Butler and he asks for Eri. Meanwhile, Eri is preparing for bed with a noseclip.
   
Analysis
It’s the typical girl and guy in bathhouse situation. I wonder why they don’t have locks? But Eri is hawt. And Harima was this close to getting a eyeful of heaven. We all know how decent and honorable he is though.

Mikoto’s reaction was pretty rational. Tenma’s would’ve been to accuse Harima of being a pervert. So in the end, thanks to Mikoto and Harima’s genius, the crisis was solved without any harmful side-effects besides the loss of image. Poor Mikoto will always be associated with farts now.

Harima’s lack of concern for Eri does show his total lack of romantic interest for her. He’s always been frank about everything so when he says he doesn’t care about her in particular, he doesn’t. Harima’s inherent sense of chivalry and kindness will always prevail though and he will end up helping her thanks to that.

But more seriously, Eri’s going to get married. An arranged marriage in this day and age? Weird. It’s probably for business or whatever. This plot device does seem pretty cliché and over-used though. But I can’t help but worry for Eri. She’s the sort that’ll get all angry and upset when she has to do something she doesn’t like, but if she feels it’s inevitable, Eri’ll just give up and follow the flow. Her escape from home seems to be her final struggle against the marriage and now that Nakamura is here, she gives up and decides to accept her fate.


I wonder what’s with the popular pull-swimsuit-out-of-ass gesture?

#151 – The Associate
Yoshidayama is in the public bath. He fantasises about thrashing Harima in front of Eri. When he leaves the bath with his tied up in twin tails, he’s stopped by the Sawachika giant maid who mistakes him for Eri. Realising he isn’t her, the maid ties him up.

Mikoto grabs Harima by the collar and tells him that Eri is acting strange. He says he doesn’t have the right to interfere. She replies “What the hell are you saying?”

Eri appears and thanks Mikoto for her hospitality. She says she has to go already. Mikoto tries to say something but Eri cuts her off, saying that she already knows what she wants to say and she has decided to reject the marriage. Mikoto sees through her act and slams the table.

She grabs Eri and dresses her up in the same work clothes. She tosses her at Harima and passes them the keys to the family scooter, telling him to take her far away to cool off.

At the same time, the giant maid is eyeing Tenma from behind. He/she kidnaps her and bundles her into a limo.

On the highway, Eri asks where they are going. Harima replies that he doesn’t know as well. He asks if this is alright and wasn’t she going for a match-making session. Eri admits that if she went, she may well have been forced to sign a marriage agreement, as that’s how her parents are.

Harima gets serious, thinking “Wasn’t she going to reject it?”

Eri gazes at the back of Harima (she doesn’t know its him) and thinks to herself, “Why am I doing this? Haven’t I already given up? But am I wrong? Was I being too cowardly? I don’t know, but here in front of my eyes is…”

They speed past a limousine and notice its passengers, giant maid and Tenma. Eri texts Tenma asking her why she’s there and she replies that the giant maid is very kind, treating her like a mistress and calling her ojousama.

Eri realises that giant maid has made a mistake. Harima tells her to hop on and that they are going to DESTROY the matchmaking session. Eri just stares at him silently, deeply impressed by his passion and willingness to help. Harima’s only thinking of Tenma of course.

Analysis
This is confirmation that Eri is resigned to her fate of an arranged marriage. To make Mikoto feel at ease, she lies that she’s going to put off the marriage but Mikoto sees through her act and makes Harima take away her.

Eri is very passive. Her spoon-fed upbringing makes her always used to receiving and she’s not used to reaching out and fighting for something. That’s why she doesn’t struggle much against her overbearing parents. Harima on the other hand, is an action before thought kind of person, so Mikoto knows she can rely on him to provide the impetus Eri so needs.

Harima is quite insensitive though. He was under the impression that Eri was going to reject the wedding and there’s no big deal. After the confession by Eri, he realises the seriousness of the situation. But yet, he’s still not too concerned. Until he sees Tenma being abducted.

Eri is aware of her inability to fight for what she wants. That’s why she is so intrigued by the employee (Harima), who seems to know what he wants and does it. She is very impressed by someone who has the quality she lacks. In short, she has forgotten about Harima and fallen in love with this new guy (Harima). I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Tenma is plain stupid.

And here is my new rating system. So unoriginal. Concept courtesy of Kobayashi Jin. It’s not too complete yet, needs a bit of tweaking.


6 Responses to “MangaAnalysis: School Rumble #150-151 - Eri’s in LOVE!!!”  

  1. 1 Tsubaki

    I prefer the tripod mango for an unintelligent form of rating.

    Oh and the poster with Yakumo and the girls- Yakumo shouldnt be adjust her bikini bottom, it totally breaks that pure image that she carries. What happened to her MOE-ness?

  2. 2 helspectre

    she’s adjusting it for harima san!

  3. 3 Swampstorm

    Eri’s ‘passiveness’ isn’t due to the fact that she’s used to getting what she wants. The lie to Mikoto is the trick here - in front of Mikoto, Eri pretends that the situation is taken care of, and that she’ll simply reject the marriage - because she doesn’t want Mikoto to take action to resolve the situation. In front of Employee A, however, Eri reveals the truth - her real intention is to sacrifice her desires in order to fulfill her sense of duty to her parents.

    Had Eri expected to be spoon fed, she would simply have used Mikoto as a resource to solve her problem for her. The key to Eri’s character development here is Harima’s individualism - he can give Eri the inspiration to pursue her own dreams without worrying so much about what others think.

  4. 4 tj_han

    True enough, it seems I was mistaken. Ah she’s so complex :) . In contrast, Akira is actually easier to read.

    I find the last para “Had Eri expected to be spoon fed, she would simply have used Mikoto as a resource to solve her problem for her. The key to Eri’s character development here is Harima’s individualism - he can give Eri the inspiration to pursue her own dreams without worrying so much about what others think.” to be an excellent piece of writing.

    I need to think deeper the next time I attempt to analyse Eri’s feelings and psyche.

  5. 5 Swampstorm

    Well, there isn’t really a right answer to any of this. If anything, being “right” hinders any further thought on the issue. I love the fact that you’ve taken the time to think up and write a detailed analysis of SR - it makes your readers look at the series from a fresh angle. In reading and responding to several of your recent manga entries, I’ve gained lots of new insights into several characters, Eri included. :D

  6. 6 yuribou

    Lol, I have that calendar too

    Win

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