School Rumble San Gakki – 26 (END)
Episode at a Glance:
While Yakumo figures that Harima dragged Tenma off to the airport so that she can go to America and see Karasuma, Eri and the others (correctly) suspect that Harima hasn’t thought this through at all, so they send Harry and Tougou out to help. Harima however still questions why he’s doing this, realizing that his former self would call him an idiot, but proclaims that it’s because he likes Tenma, who doesn’t appear to hear it. With Eri taking care of the flight arrangements, Tenma makes it to the airport in time for the departure, only to realize that she doesn’t have her passport. Forced to wait around for the next flight while Itoko and Youko bring Tenma’s things, Harima finds himself describing a “slightly stupid, yet loud girl” as the type of girl he likes. Being clueless as always, Tenma doesn’t realize that he’s describing her, so she asks him why he wants her to see Karasuma so badly. Alluding to himself, Harima explains that Tenma will someday meet a guy that loves her, but is pitiable because of his manly disposition. However, he explains that this guy won’t ever take the Karasuma she loves away from her.
Seeing that Harima has taken off his sunglasses, Tenma figures that she’s been hiding his face from her and starts suspected that they’ve met long before. Harima frantically denies this though and manages to dodge that bullet when Itoko gives him a call. After receiving her passport and belongings, Tenma is taken to the departure gate by Harima, who bids her a genuine farewell in his heart, but is grateful to have been in the same class as her. At the gate, Tenma expresses the same gratefulness and says they’ll meet again, before leaving on her flight. Onboard the plane, Tenma reveals that she heard what Harima screamed out on the bike earlier and that she probably realized his feelings long before, so she quietly thanks him. At home, Yakumo finds it a bit lonely with Tenma gone, but everyone soon comes over for a meal, cheering her up. Harima on the other hand is at a bar and gets into a fight after punching a guy for smoking in his face.
Out on a walk sometime later, Eri discovers Harima bruised and battered at the shrine, so she accuses him of picking a fight with others because he was rejected by a girl. After being insulted further, Harima lashes back at Eri, suspecting that she likes rich guys and proclaiming that he’d never want to be involved with a girl like her because it makes him want to puke. Hearing this, Eri smacks a bandage on Harima’s face, before slowly breaking down in tears. Shocked to see this, Harima questions why she’s crying, prompting Eri to slap him repeatedly saying that she’s not.
Claiming that Harima has no right to tell her that, Eri tearfully explains that finding the one right person is enough, but admits it’s difficult to do. Depressed about being told that she’s cute all the time yet never having a person that actually likes her, Eri eventually lets up on the abuse, stating that she hates all guys. Unconcerned about what Harima thinks, Eri reveals that she’s never really gone out with anyone yet and that she’s tired of falling for people who never return her feelings. Embarrassed, she punches Harima one more time before telling him to forget everything she just said. Amused, Harima thanks her for opening his eyes, after which he discards his cellphone and disappears from everyone’s sight.
In America, Tenma finds out that Karasuma left her due to a degrading mental illness that affects his ability to think properly. Telling Mikoto about this, Eri suspects that Karasuma left because he’d soon be unable to reciprocate Tenma’s feelings and figured she would be better off if he didn’t convey his feelings for her. Despite this, Tenma doesn’t give up hope and stays by Karasuma’s side even while his memories continue to fade. Some time later, Yakumo receives a letter from Tenma, informing her that Karasuma was able to slightly recall some of his memories. Word of this reaches Hanai, who puts together a class reunion in hopes of helping Karasuma recover further.
With everyone gathered, Hanai suggests singing a song together, but a cream pie fight ensues, where Karasuma instinctively protects Tenma. When one pie manages to slip by, Harima suddenly appears to save Tenma from it, questioning why he wasn’t informed about this school reunion when he’s a classmate as well. With everyone shocked to see him again, Karasuma looks like he recognizes Harima for a second, but mistakes him for Hanai, much to his disbelief. Harima then apologizes to Tenma for showing up after all, but she’s so happy to see him that she breaks down in tears. Seeing this, Mikoto blames Harima for making Tenma cry right after showing his face again, so everyone pies him mercilessly. Tenma however quietly welcomes Harima back.
(A video collage of various scenes from the anime series with a Tsukamoto sisters version of “School Rumble Forever”)
ED2: “School Rumble Forever” by Tsukamoto Tenma (Koshimizu Ami 小清水 亜美), Tsukamoto Yakumo (Noto Mamiko 能登 麻美子)
featuring Suou Mikoto (Nabatame Hitomi 生天目 仁美), Sawachika Eri (Horie Yui 堀江 由衣), Takano Akira (Shimizu Kaori 清水 香里)
So about two months later, we have the second OVA episode of School Rumble San Gakki. If you haven’t read my post on the first episode, you may be wondering why this is titled episode 26. The reason for this is because the two OVA episodes are meant to represent the last two episodes of the never-going-to-be-produced third season, which concludes the series as a whole in accordance with the manga.
With that said, I heard that a lot of people were disappointed with the manga’s ending, (probably) because it left things pretty inconclusive regarding the love triangle between Tenma, Harima, and Karasuma. If that’s the case, I can see that being farily unsettling, but I actually found this conclusion nice in its own way. For one, the series finally reached the point where Tenma realized Harima’s feelings for her. In addition, it finally allowed Harima and Eri to see eye-to-eye (in a way), even though it didn’t lead to the two of them getting together. The Harima x Eri pairing was actually my favorite thing to watch in the previous two anime adaptations, so seeing them reach a tearful, heartfelt talk here was nice to see (along with all the Harima abuse), given the alternative of leaving things really open-ended from Ni Gakki. And last but not least, there was the actual issue with Karasuma, who’s illness seemed to come from out of nowhere, but gave us that sentimental aspect that’s been missing from Tenma’s feelings for him all this time. So with that said, I’m content with how things ended; however, here’s probably the reason why.
I haven’t read the manga.
Given how things ended in Ni Gakki (i.e. not at all), this is much better than leaving things wide open, even though the story was really disjointed at first. But on the flip side, if I were following the manga and reading 22 volumes of the Tenma, Harima, Karasuma love triangle beating around the bush to no end, spread over a six year publishing run, hell yeah I’d be disappointed with this kind of ending. If anything they should’ve reached this point halfway through the series so that there can be an actual relationship to progress the story forward from. They can hook up, break up, hook up with something else (and whatnot), but some development along these lines should happen at some point.
While I understand that School Rumble is a comedy first and foremost, the relationships do play a fundamental role in things, so ended a long running manga with a cop out ending such as this is going to aggrevate more than a handful of loyal longtime fans. What’s worse, this is only regarding the main plot of the series, meaning that there are various sub-plots that I’m not aware of which may still be unresolved. So for those of you manga readers out there, I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Hopefully the School Rumble Z manga sequel will tie things over though. On that note, didd they really have to pick the letter Z out of all things and make it like Dragon Ball Z?
On the plus side, the quality in these OVAs isn’t actually as bad as I thought it was. Despite not being in widescreen, the screenshots here look A LOT better than the ones I took for episode 25. Because of this, I actually went back and recapped the screenshots for that post, so both look equally as good for anybody checking out that post now. In any case, this concludes my mini coverage of the School Rumble San Gakki OVAs. As always, I encourage you to comment, question, and complain (?) to your heart’s content. =)