School Rumble: Extra Class – Review
School Rumble: Extra Class:
Original Release Date: December 22nd, 2005
Synopsis: Harima Kenji is a young delinquent, struggling to adjust to the life of an average high school student. The reason he’s even bothering with school? His heart has been captured by the beautiful Tenma Tsukamoto. Due to his infatuation with her, Kenji’s begun attending school again, taking his classes, at least sort of, seriously. It’s all in an effort to work up the courage to confess his love for Tenma. Meanwhile Tenma herself, with a dim light bulb for a brain, is instead obsessed with a quiet and mysterious classmate named Karasuma. Can Harima confess his love for Tenma? And even if he does will it get him anywhere?
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Extra Class retains the format of the main series, but unlike School Rumble proper, Extra Class is much more hit or miss. While some of these side stories are indeed entertaining, particularly when focusing on characters we know and love, efforts to center on side cast members who were barely featured in the main series are where Extra Class stumbles. In some ways these OVA episodes set up characters who will be featured more prominently in School Rumble’s second season, although their inclusion here feels forced and perhaps even unnecessary. There’s even some humor within these episodes that seem to reference stories that never appeared in the anime, leaving me to believe the OVA acts more as a companion piece to the manga than it does the anime.
Linny: The focus on side characters was definitely a risky move. Even though it was sweet to see friendships and bonds growing between side characters and our main cast, there’s not enough follow up in the main series for these efforts to really matter in the long run. It’s going to be especially frustrating for those who picked up the OVAs in the hopes of getting more time with the main cast. That’s not to say that these episodes are a complete waste, as some of the content can be extremely amusing while also helping to add a humorous spin/back story to events of the main series. Just like 1st Semester, the OVA is at its best when it is being weird, crazy and completely illogical. However, there was one thing I found that stuck out like a sore thumb in the OVA and really made it feel un-School Rumble like. It was a very serious supernatural story which just didn’t jive with the general playful vibe and style of School Rumble. It felt out of place and unnecessary.
Tom: Principals like Harima, Tenma and their close pals are all back. However the supporting cast featured here leaves a lot to be desired. The OVA takes the time to expand these side characters, giving them full-fledged staring roles. I was often left wondering “why?” as none of these characters felt compelling enough to be the focal point. While more hardcore School Rumble fans may enjoy seeing these background characters fleshed out, less passionate viewers might find themselves left feeling bored and unengaged.
Linny: Of the side characters who get the spotlight in the OVAs, my favourite is definitely Sarah. Seeing the start of her friendship with Yakumo was sweet without becoming overly dramatic. However, like Tom already mentioned, almost all of the other characters in the spotlight ultimately felt pointless as they all pale in comparison to the main cast. They feel like cheap replacements or stand ins for the true stars of the show. Again, it’s not that they were especially boring, but if you are watching the OVA after having grown fond of the main cast, it feels rather lackluster to have so much focus on everyone else.
Tom: The animation is a mixed bag here. At times feeling competent, but in other sequences it takes terrible dips in quality. But these moments are fleeting and ultimately School Rumble manages to retain much of the quality of the main series.
Linny: Given that the show is an older anime, and a purely comedic one at that, I never expected mind blowing levels of animation at any point. It did enough to help tell the story and sell the jokes but there were hardly any instances that merit mention as exceptionally bad or good.
Tom: To be honest, School Rumble: Extra Class is only for the die-hard fans. The focus on background characters feels like a mistake, the side stories, while enjoyable, add little to the main plot, and there’s little reason for this content to exist outside of ‘pleasing the fans.’ That’s not a bad thing, but it also means this has a much more limited audience.
Linny: If you struggled to finish all of School Rumble, the OVAs do nothing special. In fact, unless you absolutely loved the show and all its characters, there’s not much point in watching them. The OVAs do reveal a character that has some importance in the second season so maybe it’s a good idea to watch as prep for the second season. There are some good skits too, my personal favourite being the one set in a pre-historic period. If you’re struggling with the thought of more School Rumble, it’s no big loss for you if you decide to give them a miss.
School Rumble: Extra Class is available for streaming via Funimation.com.