School Rumble Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: MMV
  • MSRP: �5800
  • Running time: 69
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: School Rumble

School Rumble Vol. #3

    August 02, 2005
Release Date: March 25, 2005


School Rumble Vol. #3
© MMV


What They Say
Tenma Tsukamoto is a second year high school student, and like other girls her age, she falls in love. The object of her affection is classmate Ooji Karasuma, but unfortunately she hasn't confessed her feelings to him. Unbeknownst to Tenma, delinquent Kenji Harima also has feelings for her and is having troubles of his own in making his feelings known. This is a story of high school life and love in all of its difficulty and unpredictability.

The Review!
Audio:
The only audio track available is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Japanese track encoded at 448 kbps, used for this viewing session out of necessity. Dialogue is relatively clear, and the music doesn't overpower things like on the last volume. The mix is well done, with good directionality, clear sound effects, and some nifty surround bits.

Video:
The aspect ratio is the original full frame one, and the video looks merely okay this time around. There's a tad more compression, and artifacts and blocking can be seen around the edges on objects (check the ending sequence for some instances). There's also a noticeable amount of noise in areas of solid dark color, and the transfer seems a bit softer than on previous volumes.

Packaging:
The front cover features a nice group shot of Mikoto, Yakumo, Eri, and Sara in nurse outfits. The same art is also used on the picture-labeled disc. The back has the usual standard screenshots and episode summaries in a dynamic and eye-catching layout. First edition bonuses include two postcards, two small posters, and a nice sturdy cardboard slipcover with a glossy embossed illustration of Eri by School Rumble mangaka Jin Kobayashi.

Menu:
The main menu is very simple, featuring the illustration from the cover as the background and no animation or music. You can just hit "Play All" or access the chapter stop and extras menus, which are just as simple. The menus are clean and easily identifiable, and access times are nice and quick.

Extras:
The extras continue to be very nice, and lead off with an interview segment with Yui Horie (Eri's seiyuu). There's also an extended promotional spot for the show, two production art galleries, and a small promotional art gallery.

Content: (may contain spoilers)
With the cast and situation set, School Rumble continues giving us more depth on the characters and the episode segments start flowing into each other instead of being disjointed like previous installments. The overall feeling is that the show is settling into its groove and starting to tell more of a story, but fortunately the crazy antics are still present in full force.

Going about a normal school day, everyone's finishing up gym class and Tenma gets locked in the equipment room through some bad luck. She makes the most of her experience but is shocked into leaving in an abrupt and hilarious manner by Ooji Karasuma, who was somehow in there the whole time. As Tenma's friends clean the classroom and wonder where she disappeared to, Kenji is disappointed Tenma didn't show but has plans for later on.

True to form, Kenji's plans involve a fight with Tennouji, the musclehead from the first disc that read his sappy unsigned love letter to Tenma. After handily beating him, Kenji learns that Tenma already has feelings for someone. Suspiciously eyeing male classmates the rest of the day, he comes to the conclusion that he must be the one. Deciding to confess his love, he heads off to see Tenma, but in a great sequence, gets creamed by a truck just as he's about to say it. Visiting him in the hospital, Tenma is her usual friendly self and the two get to know each other a little better, despite Kenji being a nervous wreck. Fortunately, Itoko is there to give him pointers on what to say through an earpiece and surprisingly, he manages to say that he likes Tenma, but it goes right over her head. Killing off his chance, Tenma leaves while he's lost in thought. Poor Kenji.

Things then shift to a more group-oriented setup with an episode revolving around cleaning the pool. Hanai Haruki, the loud martial-arts guy introduced in the previous volume, is still in love with Tenma's sister Yakumo and tries hard to get her attention. A spontaneous pool hockey game breaks out while everyone's cleaning, and from there on it's a lot of fun watching it play out over the remainder of the episode.

Tenma's friend Eri is pretty popular with the boys at school, and as the final episode on the disc opens she's rejecting yet another one. Kenji sees this and is a little miffed at how easily she casts aside the feelings of other guys when it took them a lot of courage to confess. Eri has business to take care of however, and heads off to the grocery store to buy ingredients to make a home-cooked meal for her father. Sadly, he leaves the country on business and cancels dinner, which crushes Eri. If things couldn't get worse, it also starts to rain, but in a nice moment Kenji appears and holds an umbrella over her head.

Continuing along with the food idea, Tenma decides the way to get to Ooji's heart is through his stomach, and has Yakumo prepare two servings of curry. Seeing Tenma and Ooji eating together upsets Kenji, and he loses his fighting spirit and vigor, getting the tar beat out of him by Tennouji, his constant opponent. As he lies in a pile of rubbish with rain pouring down, Kenji seems to come to grips with reality and the passing of his dream.

In Summary:
Tenma's cluelessness that was mildly annoying in previous installments reveals itself as more of a cloying clumsiness in these episodes, making everything more enjoyable. It's nice that the other characters aside from Tenma were given more screen time on their own, and the show is more filling as a result. The thickheadedness of Tenma and Kenji played for laughs along with over-the-top physical humor, hints of actual plot progression, and character development topped off with good animation makes for pleasant viewing sessions and lots of rewinding to make sure nothing was missed.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,Interview with Yui Horie,Promotional spot,Production art galleries,Promotional art gallery

Review Equipment
Sony KLV-23M1 23" LCD HDTV, Toshiba SD-4900 progressive region-free player via Acoustic Research component cables, Sony STR-DE897/S receiver, Sony SA-VE367T 7.1 channel speaker system.

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