School Rumble (スクールランブル Sukūru Ranburu) is a Japanese Shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Jin Kobayashi. First serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from October 22, 2002 to July 23, 2008, all 345 chapters were later collected in 22 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. Shōnen Magazine Special published a sequel, School Rumble Z, monthly from August 20, 2008 to May 20, 2009. A romance comedy centering on relationships between Japanese high school students, School Rumble focuses on a love triangle involving the series' two protagonists, Kenji Harima and Tenma Tsukamoto, and one of their classmates, Oji Karasuma. The series often discards realism in favor of comedic effect.
School Rumble's popularity has resulted in its adaption into multiple forms of media. TV Tokyo broadcast a 26-episode anime program between October 2004 and April 2005. Three video games have been produced—two for the PlayStation 2 in July 2005 and July 2006, and one for the PlayStation Portable in 2005. Two light novels written by Hiroko Tokita and illustrated by Jin Kobayashi were published in April 2004 and December 2007; four official guidebooks written and illustrated by Jin Kobayashi have also been released. The manga was well received by Japanese-language readers; several volumes have appeared in the top manga sales charts. The North American English translations were less popular, but still ranked several times in the top 100 as well as ranking 145th for overall manga series sales in 2008. Critics of the English-language translation have been positive overall, praising Kobayashi for his art style and overall use of humor. However, the manga has received some criticism, mostly centered around some of the jokes and repetitive plot. (more...)