School Rumble Z Chapter 01

School Rumble Z Volume 1 Chapter 01
スクールランブルZ Chapter ♮1 Cat Chaser

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: It is the Feudal Times in Japan and Detective Harima is responding to an alert that the treasury is being robbed. Three female thieves (Tenma, Akira, and Yakumo) are there but as they flee, one’s headscarf comes off revealing Tenma’s face. Harima allows her to escape (Yakumo helping her “neesan”) because he’s fallen in love with her. However, this causes his boss, Hanai, to chastise him severely.

Harima heads to a teach shop and inside he finds Tenma and Yakumo. Realizing that Harima is a detective, she blathers on and on about the thief group Indigo and wondering whom they are when Harima already knows Tenma is a member. Harima cannot arrest Tenma even after Tenma brings out one of the stolen treasure chests and Mikoto thanks Yakumo for getting money back from the thieves so that she could get medicine for her mother. Mikoto tells of the evils the Sawachika family are doing by lending out money for high interest rates to the poor who can’t pay it back. Tenma decides this family needs to be taught a lesson and Harima leaves.

Harima pays Eri a visit but doesn’t tell her why. He figures that there’s no way that Tenma would come to rob Eri’s family but she does and bumbles everything. Harima is unable to help himself as he attempts to help Tenma (along with Yakumo and Akira) while pretending to fumble around himself, though Tenma’s gang doesn’t know Harima is helping them. When Tenma can’t find the money box, Harima has Eri show him and then he accidentally sends the box through the paper door where Tenma’s gang get it and escape.

Eri is angry by what she’s seen and beats Harima up as Hanai arrives on the scene. Harima is bound up and a sign placed next to him labeling him as a thief. Tenma throws stuff at Harima, who says he did it for love as the shogun Karasuma notes from his castle how lively things have gotten.

Thoughts/Review: I knew that School Rumble was published in Weekly Shounen Magazine (the chapters denoted with the musical “sharp” symbol ♯). What I didn’t know was that Kobayashi-sensei published the side-stories (denoted with the musical flat symbol ♭) in the monthly Magazine Special. I also didn’t know he did a chapter for the seasonal publication Shounen Magazine Wonder (denoted with the musical “natural” symbol ♮). So when I read the first chapter of School Rumble Z and wondered why this appeared to be a side story rather than pick up anything from after School Rumble (who’s end has apparently annoyed many fans), I discovers that School Rumble Z is published in Magazine Special. So that was a bit of a disappointment to me.

Now that I know this will be a monthly release and that it will be nothing but fluff (not that School Rumble was anything serious, but there were storylines), that will change how I approach the manga. I suppose Kobayashi-sensei could pick up some things from School Rumble and carry on from there, but somehow I doubt it.

As to this story specifically, I enjoyed the parody period piece for what it was, but I’m not sure if these kinds of stories will interest me that much. That’s because little stand-alone chapters with no bearing on other stories or events and done purely for parody don’t seem to me as if they’d have legs to stand on for long. As side-stories to the main story, they are fine. As the sole means to carry a manga, I’m not so sure. However, I’ll reserve final judgment until I’ve read more chapters.

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