School Rumble Volume 22 Manga Review (Finale)

School Rumble Volume 22 Manga Review

–> Click the link to buy School Rumble Volume 22 from Amazon.com!

Summary/Synopsis (Main Story):

School Rumble Volume 22With Tenma gone, Yakumo is adjusting to living alone. Sarah comes by with food and drinks for a party. Eventually Tenma’s and Yakumo’s closet friends show up. Itoko finds Harima and gives him a talk before going to the party. Since Harima isn’t coming, the girls pressure Eri into reaching out to him.

Meanwhile, Harima goes to a bar and gets into a major fight. The injured Harima stops at a shrine where Eri finds him. He insults her, so she leaves. Later, she returns with a first aid kit. Harima rails against her, assuming she dates lots of guys. She gets angry and repeatedly slaps him. At the same time, she opens up about her true self. Harima now understands Eri and she treats his wounds.

In America, Karasuma opens up about his feelings for Tenma to an apparent, imagined Tenma. Meanwhile, the real Tenma pays a visit to Karasuma in the hospital and is crushed that he doesn’t remember her. As such, she decides to transfer to an American school and become a medical doctor.

Back in Japan, the female ghost visits Yakumo, who forces Yakumo to face herself. Akira recalls visiting her half-sister in the hospital and discussing love. Itoko lets Harima know that Eri is leaving Japan. Eri ignores Harima’s text on the subject. Max begs Harima to save Eri from throwing her life away. As such, Harima goes to Eri’s home and ends up agreeing to be her pretend fiance.

When Yakumo’s friends hear that Harima is engaged to Eri, they arrange things so that after Itoko kicks him out of her house, he ends up living with Yakumo.

Sometime much later, Tenma invites her Class 2C as well as Yakumo and Sarah to come to America. Karasuma is starting to remember again and Harima actually shows up late.

Thoughts/Review:

I’ve said similar things before, but man, it really does suck that School Rumble Volume 22 will never get a print edition, even there’s a spot on my bookcase for them. Although I’d want a print version that doesn’t “cola” what the translators/adapters/editors at Kodansha find as problematic drinking references.

Harima x Eri

School Rumble Volume 22In School Rumble Z, we are shown that in the future, Eri finally lands Harima and the two have a child. So how did they get there? While we don’t have all the answers, School Rumble Volume 22 does pave the way for this to happen later.

Eri’s attraction to Harima always stemmed from the fact that he didn’t fawn over her. Other guys did and she didn’t know how to deal with it. But she did get a reputation of dating a lot of guys. As such, she didn’t put on airs for Harima. Other than not being completely open about her feelings for him (and being oblivious to his feelings for Tenma for a long time), she spoke her mind to him.

As for Harima, he did hate a lot about Eri. But over time, he saw other aspects of her that made her less offensive to him. So when Harima is trying to get over his heartache at losing Tenma, his argument with Eri (and her subsequent slapping him and injuring him further) opened his eyes on how wrong he’d been about Eri.

Thus when the time came, I had no problem believing Harima would help Eri by becoming her “official” fiance after Eri stopped him from going down a dark path. I was going to say, “It is just a shame we’ll never get to see how Eri finally landed Harima since Kobayashi-sensei has moved on to whatever.” But Kodansha didn’t license some additional School Rumble stuff Sensei did. I’ll have to look into that.

Cola Nonsense

I’d been noticing in the digital-only publications that instances of characters drinking adult beverages was switched to “cola”. So for School Rumble Volume 22, I decided to check into this. You see, when Del Rey was publishing the print volumes of School Rumble, it was pretty clear that indeed, high school kids were imbibing. But once Kodansha took over the property and decided to only publish the series digitally, things changed.

I guess Kodansha farmed out the translation work to some third party vendor. And those third party translators/adapters and/or Kodansha had a problem with all of the drinking being portrayed. As such, the localization rewrote things so that everyone is drinking “cola”. Not sure how folks get drunk on cola, but that’s what I hate about localization. Accurate but readable text is what I want, along with my honorifics.

Side Stories

As with volume 21, I don’t have the tankoubon for School Rumble Volume 22, so I don’t know if Kodansha continued to have a “I don’t give a crap” moment or not. Once again, the side stories were at the front of the volume instead of the rear, like normal. I suspect they were at the back in the tankoubon release. But Kodansha treated the digital-only releases of School Rumble in a fairly crappy way (other than the color page inserts).

That aside, the first side story has Hanai tail Sarah to the Tea Club room. In light of what happened between him and Suou, he wants to speak to Yakumo, who’s not there. Akira is hard on Hanai, so after he leaves, the girls in the club scold her about it. She seeks Hanai out and apparently ends up giving him a kiss and greeting of another year together.

The second side story has Yakumo’s friends in the Tea Club room while Yakumo takes a nap. Yakumo senses they are talking about her and her intuition. As such, Yakumo comes to the club room and reveals her telepathic power to read men’s thoughts. The girls accept her, even if they aren’t sure her powers are real.

As normal, the side stories provide some nice character moments or additional fleshing out of stories in the main story. Therefor, I liked seeing Yakumo further grow as a character. And I got a chuckle out of Akira doing the unexpected with Hanai. Poor Miki though. Another unrequited crush will get crushed since Hanai will end up with Suou.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Let me wrap up with some final thoughts.

  • Kodansha farming out the translation work really makes the official adaptation more in line with an “okay” scanlation group, only worse due to things like the cola changes I mentioned before.
  • I did get a kick out of Yakumo’s friends arranging for Harima to live with Yakumo (and Sarah). And Eri was apparently okay with it.
  • I plan to do a full series review. However with all of the unresolved aspects of the story, I can see why folks were so frustrated that Kobayashi-sensei just ended the manga.

In the end, School Rumble Volume 22 was not as somber as the previous volume. In fact, it did give me one good laugh. But the manga ends the series without resolving a lot of things. That is frustrating.

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