Class 2-C is still trying to come up with something to do for the culture festival. The two main ideas floating around are a play and a maid-cafe. Akira convinces Harima to vote for the play by suggesting that he would star opposite Tenma, but she also convinces Hanai to vote for the maid-cafe idea by suggesting that she’d get the Tea Ceremony club to help, which includes Yakumo. With Hanai and Harima reenergized and now at each other’s throats, Akira suggests that they play a survival game.
That night, the entire class shows up and takes their spots – the cafe team is in classroom 3-F (fourth floor) and the theater team is in classroom 1-A. (second floor). The objective is simple: capture the enemy’s flag. While Hanai is explaining the cafe team’s strategy (which involves the girls on the defense and the guys on the offense), one of the girls, Madoka, sneaks out to talk with her boyfriend Shigeo, who happens to be on the other side. Madoka vows to attack him if they meet again.
At exactly 7PM, the bell rings to start the game. One of the cafe’s offensive groups gets ambushed by Harima, but they get out alive because Asou quickly returns fire. Somewhere else in the school, Jirou, Nara, and Nishimoto have decided to form their own team in favor of Jirou’s Swimsuit Sumo-Wrestling idea for the culture festival. Unfortunately, they get taken out immediately by Eri. Meanwhile, Asou’s group tries to get Harima, but Harima uses a flash-bang-type weapon to blind them. Hanai, wearing sunglasses, is able to deter Harima. Hanai has figured out that the theater group is trying to fake them out by using only Harima as a distraction and pressing an attack on Mikoto and the girls. He sends Asou’s group back to reinforce the girls.
On the third floor, the theater group’s Shigeo is wandering around alone when he hears a noise coming from a classroom – it’s his girlfriend Madoka. He doesn’t want to shoot her, so she shoots him instead. However, Madoka then gets shot by Mai, the class representative. The lovers’ bodies lie next to each other in the moonlight. In the music room, Ichijou and her band are still holding practice. But they soon learn that they won’t be able to participate in the culture festival, unless, as Yuuki proposes, they win the survival game.
Itoko is watching the battle from the announcement room and decides to join the fight to even things out. At that time, Asou and the rest of the cafe defenders on the second floor are getting flanked by Eri, so four of the boys rush off to confront her. Eri takes out two of them, leaving only Asou and Suga. They corner her in a room and try to fake her out with a dummy, but she doesn’t appear to be in the room. A figure resembling Eri appears in the window pointing a gun at them. This person, though dressed like Eri, is actually a male – Eri’s butler Nakamura.
Yay! I’ve been waiting for this episode for a long time. Actually I’m even happier that they decided not to try to cram it all into one episode. They’re covering pretty much everything that was in the manga. This arc is a lot of fun because it takes everything in School Rumble and mixes it up splitting the class and adding gunfights. And aside from the cafe and theater groups, there’s also the outside forces helping them (Nakamura and Itoko), along with the entry of a third group in the form of the band team (fourth if you count the Swimsuit Sumo-Wrestling team lol).
The episode started with the normal 4:3 aspect ratio, but switched to the 16:9 ratio for the survival game. It gives it a bit more of a movie feel, but the animation quality also seemed to go down a bit. I did, however, enjoy the insert songs sung by Ichijou, which actually had decent english (not engrish). I assumed Ichijou’s new seiyuu, Mako, was the singer, but the credits listed 「一条かれん Special Feat. Lia」 (Ichijou Karen Special Feat. Lia). I assume they mean the same Lia that sang the AIR OP/ED.
Next week, the thrilling finale! 🙂