School Rumble Z Volume 1 Manga Review (finale)

School Rumble Z Volume 1

–> Purchase “School Rumble Z” from Yes Asia!

School Rumble ZI’ve not read School Rumble beyond what Del Rey has currently published. However, for some reason, I felt compelled to give the sequel manga School Rumble Z a try. I’m not exactly sure what Kobayashi-sensei was trying to accomplish with this one-volume manga, but I’m not sure he really succeeded in his initial plan and after the apparent abrupt end to School Rumble, I’m not sure he really appeased fans with School Rumble Z.

The manga is composed of one-shot stories. All are parodies of one kind or another. Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 7 are what I’d call “fantasy stories.” The first two chapters have the School Rumble characters in the Edo period in Japan and then in a setting where monsters are real. Chapter three shows Harima having some brief success as a baseball player. Chapter seven has Karasuma battling a giant monster in a tokusatsu parody. These stories were rather tedious to me because I didn’t care to see the School Rumble characters in parody situations.

I suppose that the other chapters (sans chapter 4, which explores a bit about Tenma, Yakumo, and Harima before high school) could be labeled “what might be” since they all take place after the manga’s end, mostly after everyone has become adults. These are the good chapters with Eri attempting to force Harima’s hand and accept her love through marriage after high school (chapter 6); the resolution to Karen and Imadori’s strange relationship while still in high school (chapter 8); the graduation from high school (chapter 10); Yakumo’s visit to Tenma and Karasuma in the U.S. after she’s graduated (chapter 9); and finally, Hanai and Mikoto’s life as husband and wife while Eri searches the globe for a missing Harima (chapter 5).

As I said, these are the good stories and while they are supposed to be parodies as well, School Rumble fans aren’t really going to care about that. Why? Because the parodies aren’t interesting but seeing our favorite characters as adults is. I like this whole notion that Eri attempted to nail down Harima into acknowledging her and giving her a straight answer (after Tenma left for the U.S.). I liked the notion that after high school. Harima lived with Yakumo and Sara for a while, I imagine as a struggling manga-ka. Then the notion that for whatever reason, he decided to vanish and cause Eri to become an airline stewardess in order to find him interests me greatly.

Frankly, I would have enjoyed an entire series of the manga that featured Yakumo, Eri, and Harima after high school with the other characters appearing from time to time and having stories. Alas, that is not what we got but we did get a taste of how such a series might have gone should Kobayashi-sensei have gone that route.

Still, I suppose one could say that Kobayashi-sensei used School Rumble Z to put closure on the characters and to let people know whom Harima ultimately ended up with.

In the end, I’m not sure if Kobayashi-sensei thought he could do a parody-only manga and have it be a success, especially when that’s not what fans wanted. Regardless, School Rumble Z stumbled out of the starting gate and I don’t think Japanese fans forgave Kobayashi-sensei for that, especially when he had abruptly ended School Rumble. As far as this American fan is concerned, the manga is a wasted opportunity, but not a wasted purchase since there are six good stories and only four mediocre ones. Hopefully, Del Rey will license this and publish it after they complete School Rumble.

In the meantime, Amazon Japan has the manga for sale as does YesAsia! Unfortunately, the manga is not on Sasuga’s website (now defunct) as of this writing, but I’ve provided the two ISBN numbers for those wishing to request Sasuga (or other bookstore) to order this Japanese tankoubon.

  • ISBN-10: 4063841553
  • ISBN-13: 978-4063841558
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One Response to “School Rumble Z Volume 1 Manga Review (finale)”

  1. […] the series.  When School Rumble Z came out and was released as a tankoubon in Japan, I did buy it (review here).  At the same time, I tried to learn what was going on with Del Rey and/or Kodansha Comics […]

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