By Julie Gray
January 22, 2007 - 15:10
|School Rumble Volume 3 Cover|
School Rumble Volume 3 (in fact, the entire manga series to date) is the kind of manga you would read if you like manga with a lot of words. What I mean by this is there is so much dialogue going on, it’s hard to keep track of who is doing what most of the time. It can be an exercise in frustration.
That aside, School Rumble seems to be a story about several different characters, and doesn’t seem to focus on one main character, so this may explain why there is so much dialogue between the characters.
And the manga cover doesn’t really do it any justice. For every manga cover in the series so far the author has drawn a different girl in school uniform. For School Rumble Volume 3 it’s the picture of Sawachiki Eri, one of the minor characters. And whilst she does feature in this volume, she is by no means the main focus. It all makes for a rather interesting if not a little confusing manga.
If we were to choose a ‘main’ character from this manga, it would probably be Tsukamoto Tenma. And next to Tsukamoto would be the boy that is obsessively in love with her, Harima Kenji. The problem is both Tsukamoto and Harima face the same dilemma; they are both in love and can’t convey their feelings. And of course, just to keep everyone one on their toes, Tsukamoto Tenma happens to be in love with someone that isn’t Harima! So ultimately, we have a situation that just seems to go round and round in circles every time these characters interact.
The rest of the story centres around the friends of these two characters who also seem to make matters worse, not better and as the manga progresses, we begin to see changes in the characters as they slowly develop into even more neurotic teenagers!
School Rumble Volume 3 is definitely a funny manga to read. With the plot intricacies aside, the story (once stripped down), is really about ill requited love and the pains and aches of enduring teenage crushes. We think the author has captured the very essence of this emotion extremely well and has managed to mix it up with a sense of innocent humour that really helps to move the story along.
The characters in this manga are well written but with so many different characters taking the limelight, it was difficult to really get a feel for any one character in the story. We will have to see how the rest of the manga develops. The strongest character in this manga would probably be Tsukamoto Tenma but she doesn’t necessarily stand out.
We thought that the art in the book, whilst of a high standard, seems to be a little scattered on the page. As we mentioned earlier, there is just so much dialogue going on, you really need to pay attention to what is happening. As well as this, there are plot related statements on every page (written sideways next to the panels) that can prove to be a little frustrating to read when you're trying to get into the flow of the story. Every now and then you have to flip the manga sideways to read the entries.
School Rumble Volume 3 would definitely suit manga lovers who enjoy teenage love stories with a lot of humour and interaction between multiple characters. The manga is fairly fast moving as well which means there isn’t much time to take a breather between chapters.
School Rumble Volume 3 includes extensive translation notes, a page about the author and a preview of School Rumble Volume 4 in original Japanese. If you would like a look at this manga, you can visit Del Rey's preview website here or you can view all books in the series here.
Art Work: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
Contact the author: Julie@thecomicbookbin.com