It's finals time for our beloved Class 2-C idiots!
Writer/Artist: Jin Kobayashi
Translation: William Flanagan
Adaptation: William Flanagan
What They Say
HAUNTED BY FINALS
A teacher's ghost, infamous for preventing students from graduating to the next grade, is haunting Harima. If he's held back, he'll never again be in the same class with his beloved Tenma. Does this mean that Harima will actually have to study?! Oh, the horror!
No sooner has the high school girls basketball team made its debut than it's time to buckle down and study -- finals are on the way! So Class 2-C hits the books -- well, not really. With sweets, imonikai parties, deadly curry eating contests, and Tenma's birthday all taking place in rapid succession, who's going to worry about tests? But fun has its price, and slackers (i.e., Tenma and Harima) ultimately find themselves facing the dreaded specter of the hold-back sensei!
The brief creator profile mentions that Kobayashi's hobby is basketball, and indeed, the mangaka seems to have a lot of fun with the girls basketball team's match against the "Outlaws." School Rumble may not be a sports manga, but there are several nice basketball action illustrations in this installment. The relational conflict within this arc concludes much less decisively than the basketball game however. Then again, not knowing exactly where one character stands in relationship to another is nothing new in this manga.
The remainder of this volume is a series of chapters which, though they all take place in the shadow of finals, are essentially stand-alone stories. While there's not a whole lot of continuity to these stories, there's something for everyone, ranging from the visual humor of the hold-back sensei to the never-ending rivalry between Classes 2-D and 2-C to Tenma's own brand of stupidity. Several characters from our sizable cast make a showing, even the really minor ones like Tanaka and Nagayama. But while Karasuma is, as always, very much on Tenma's mind, he shows up nowhere in Volume 11 except in Tenma's imagination.
Included in the extras are a two-page not-quite mini-manga about Lala and Satsuki and six pages of translation notes. The text/translation grade remains low because of mislabeling on the basketball team lineup on page 8 and sloppy bubble text formatting on page 46. The packaging grade also got dropped because the miniature chapter 32 "A Better Tomorrow" was left out of the table of contents.