School Rumble (I read till chapter 202) has finally begun gearing up for the end it seems. There’s much talk of future aspirations, class reshufflings for the final year, and many of the relationships have been made concrete or obvious. Here’s a list of all the relationships that are plausible, meaning not lame fantasy ones like Eri x Yakumo. The following relationships have all been developed to different degrees by Kobayashi. I shall comment on each of these, and apply the theories we learnt in the previous articles.
- Harima and Eri
- Harima and Yakumo
- Harima and Tenma
- Karasuma and Tenma
- Asou and Mikoto
- Hanai and Mikoto
- Hanai and Yakumo
- Hanai and Akira
- Hanai and Yuuki
- Imadori and Ichijou
- Tanaka and Nagayama
- Madoka and Shigeo
- Shuji and Mio
Harima and Eri (Flag)
Easily the main conflict in the whole story, the Harima and Eri connection is hands-down the most popular SR pairing. As of chapter 202, Eri is now very aware of her feelings for the mustache man. She starts imagining romantic scenes of them together, engineering opportunities to be alone with him and other pro-active behaviour. Eri has many fans, including me, and we’re glad that there is much progress.
There are real people in life, who are like Eri. She’s rich, rather independent, confident, demanding and is used to being treated like a princess, by both her servants and the many guys who attempt to woo her. Why would she like Harima, who treats her rather badly, compared to most other guys? But this is exactly it. She likes Harima BECAUSE he is the only one who doesn’t make any attempt to treat her well at all or even be pretentious about any gesture. Everytime he complains about her or ignores her, Eri feels like he is different, special and a challenge. A guy with a spine, so to speak.
Right from the start, Harima’s relationship with Eri was different from all the other girls’. The girls, especially Tenma, classify Harima as a Friend material. Eri has never considered Harima a friend at all. This is always a great foundation for romantic feelings to develop. Harima does 5 annoying things to Eri and then 1 really small nice gesture and the latter just adds so many attraction points exactly because of its perceived scarcity.
Eri, like most other popular and good-looking girls, are used to people showering them with attention, gifts and praises. They are quite numb to it. One differentiates himself from the crowd of other guys by doing the exact opposite, like what Harima unintentionally does. Once in a while, Harima does something which makes her think he likes her, and this makes her even more interested as she sees opportunity. Being a rather reserved and passive girl at first, she had to wage an internal war between the part of her who wants to take the initiative and the passive "lady" part who wants to wait, as it’s "the right way".
Harima, on the other hand, is fucking stupid but has hit the jackpot. Sometimes you, as guys, really like a girl. But that girl somehow doesn’t ever like you. But other girls like you but you don’t care about them. Have you wondered why this happens? No, it’s not a cruel joke of fate, it’s the same situation as with Harima and there’s a proper explanation.
Btw, a girl like Eri in real life, is extremely hard to maintain a relationship with. Creating one is not that difficult but maintenance is a killer. She will never want to eat at cheap places, she expects you to not talk to female friends, she will drag you shopping and expect you to carry the bags, she will be jealous often and throw lots of tantrums. She won’t tell you what she’s thinking but expects you to know it. When she feels emo or lonely, she’ll expect you to drop everything and meet her straightaway. She won’t help you much with anything that you’re busy with. She won’t like your hobbies. She will have male friends who you cannot get jealous of. That is why my Eri is a body pillow.
Such girls are really attractive before the relationship begins. They are a challenge which confers a strong sense of achievement when overcome. They are never boring or dull and your friends will envy you immensely.
Liking girls in anime is totally different from liking girls in real life.
Harima and Tenma (Oudou)
Why does Tenma find Harima such an easy person to talk to? That’s because she considers him friend material. Harima showered her with praises, agreed with everything she said, did many nice things for her, even to further her relationship with Karasuma. Realistically, Tenma will now never like Harima. All the concern she shows for him is merely out of friendship. For most inexperienced males, this situation will sound familiar. It happens when you try too hard to be nice. The two will share a cake, a drink or even go out together but the catch is, it’s all in the name of friendship.
Harima got Eri because he wasn’t too concerned. He lost Tenma because he put in too much effort. Too bad Eri doesn’t realise this and gets mindblowingly jealous of the two.
Harima and Yakumo (Onigiri)
People say girls love men who are like their fathers, especially if they were close to their dads. Yakumo is shown to have a liking for Harima, but she, being always so selfless and thoughtful, would always back out of any competition. Harima obviously treats her like his own younger sister and she quite enjoys that too. There’s a special type of bond which appears when the friend and boyfriend material categories get a bit muddled up. Yakumo’s is quite similar to this. In such cases, the girl does lots of friend-like stuff with the guy and still has romantic feelings for him. Such girls almost always are in their first crush or have yet to have any relationships. But these romances are always the sweetest and pure. Man, I think back at my own first love, it was something like that.
Karasuma and Tenma (True Oudou)
Karsuma is just weird. For normal guys, if a girl professes her love for you and you’re single, chances are, you’ll give her a chance and see how it goes. Karasuma isn’t a typical guy obviously.
Asou and Mikoto (Basketball)
Now this is a complex one. There’ll be spoilers in this. Asou and Mikoto were officially attached but have since broken up. I’m at volume 16 and while not everything has been revealed, such as how they broke up, it’s possible to infer the reasons. Asou is reserved and shy, tending to keep to himself. He isn’t comfortable in large social groups. Mikoto behaves like a guy, grew up with guys and loves to be in a large rowdy group. Asou may be good at most stuff, but Mikoto is better at almost everything. People say opposites attract, but I disagree.
The two of them obviously love each other even after the breakup and both have explicitly said so. But why the breakup then? And what of the aftermath?
The problem lies in their inability to properly communicate. Asou doesn’t even say much in the first place, yet he does have quite a bit of manly pride. Mikoto beating him at everything is quite sapping to his confidence and he won’t like it. But he surely won’t complain about it to Mikoto, who’s so dense and insensitive that she won’t notice in the first place. Mikoto thinks Asou would be happy if she introduced him and made him join her large extended dojo family, but obviously that is not the case. Such forced situations make him unhappy and leads him to think that they aren’t suitable for each other.
Mikoto is also the type of girl who always hangs around guys. Back in school, my clique of guy friends had two girls. Yeah one was extremely similar to Mikoto. Hell my own older sister is practically a Mikoto clone. While these type of girls hang around guys and are very comfortable around them, a guy like Asou who doesn’t understand, easily mistakes all her platonic relationships as romantic ones. Furthermore, he’ll feel that he’s restricting her and it’s his fault. Asou then cooks up some excuse about him wanting the best for her and wanting her to be happy, and thus initiates the breakup, "for her sake". The sad part is, Mikoto never even saw it coming and thought everything was alright, and was even making resolutions to be the best couple ever.
The problem with dating classmates is that if anything happens, you’ll still have to face them every single day in school and even maybe work with them for projects. They thus face this awkward situation now, where both Mikoto and Asou still love each other but don’t really know they both do and still have to meet up every single day.
While both parties are at fault, I feel Asou has to take a bigger share of the blame. They may have their differences, but it wasn’t something which couldn’t be overcome with effort. In any case, perhaps this relationship isn’t dead yet and could be explored further in future volumes.
I think Sara is better though.
Hanai and Mikoto (Flute)
Purely platonic and nothing more. Both of them are like siblings, very close both emotionally and physically. Yet because they aren’t, most people around them do not realise how platonic they are and this hurts their other relationships. But I strongly feel it isn’t Mikoto and Hanai’s fault and they should always strive to maintain their best friends status. It’s much easier to find a new lover than to find a new best friend who you grew up together with.
Hanai and Yakumo (Dream Come True)
This is a great example of why overly showy declarations of love scare the girl. From the girl’s POV, you’re a stalker and thus you are creepy and will not even be placed under friend material, but in the secret 3rd category of "junk". Yakumo is just too nice though.
Hanai and Akira (Kite)
Hanai, despite his power and pro-activeness, is more an uke than a seme. Akira is an ultra-manipulative seme. This is why they work well as a couple. Akira decides everything and controls everything, while Hanai has no clue. Akira loves being in charge and a man like Hanai fulfills this desire easily, which is why she tends to place lots of attention on him. Hanai is so idiotic that he needs someone to put a leash on him. Akira did give her Valentines’ day chocolate to Hanai though.
Hanai and Yuuki (Glasses)
It is said that a man is most attractive when he is seriously doing something. Such was what attracted Yuuki to Hanai in the first place. Pity the guy is an idiot. I don’t think they are very compatible though, despite both wearing glasses. Yuuki needs someone who understands her and can look out for her. Hanai does not understand anything or anyone. The best guy for her is obviously Fuyuki.
Imadori and Ichijou (Apple Juice)
Despite all girls knowing that playboys are bad for them, they still love playboys. It’s not the sluts who love the playboys, it’s the nice girls, particularly the inexperienced ones. They always think, "Oh I can change them". Too bad, they never will. Imadori isn’t that bad a person however, and he does get along great with Karen and her brother. In most cases, when you’re close to your own siblings and your crush gets along very well with them as well, you’ll obviously add 1000 points of attraction. In SR, it looks like Imadori is starting to shed his playboy persona for Ichijou’s sake too. I kinda like this couple actually.
Tanaka and Nagayama
They are the 2nd official couple in SR. The two of them got together during the Battle Royale arc, according to the Suspension Bridge theory. How it goes is such, when two people are in a situation which makes their hearts palpitate faster, such as on a moving bridge or in a dangerous situation, they tend to fall in love with each other due to them mistaking the same heart thumping for lovebeats. Both Tanaka and Nagayama are quite sweet though and have many things in common. You know how in school, you see the conscientious and good students suddenly pairing up for romance? It feels like such and these normally are quite strong.
Madoka and Shigeo
These two are interesting. Madoka is a popular, confident and self-driven girl. Shigeo is a pessimistic guy who tends to overthink. This is a recipe for disaster. Madoka appears to be too good for Shigeo, it’s like Bart and gang trying to defeat Id in Xenogears. Shigeo will live in constant fear of losing Madoka. She does not care much about him and her main priorities are on her studies, university admission and track. She’s the type who’ll probably wave a happy farewell to him if she has to go overseas for further study.
Shuji and Mio
Fast forward 5 years and we’ll have a harem school comedy series. Typical Osananajimi.
One thing I love about School Rumble are the wide variety of relationships. These have much grounds in reality and are quite believable, perhaps even more than self-proclaimed realistic romance manga like Suzuka. And the girls are hot obviously.