GRAPHIC NOVEL
School Rumble
Volume 2

Author: Jin Kobayashi
Artist: Jin Kobayashi
Tanoshima
RRP: 5.99, US $10.95
ISBN-13: 978 0 099 50627 0
ISBN-10: 0 09 950627 0
Ages: 13+
Available 04 January 2007


Harima Kenji has never lost a fight, but his love for the clueless Tsukamoto Tenma is proving to be his greatest challenge. After catching his cherished Tenma-chan and an unexpected rival in a lunchtime tryst, Kenji spirals into the deepest pit of high school Hades - plummeting so low that there's only one thing left to do: draw a manga. When Kenji hits bottom, whom will he find there? Meanwhile, Tenma is determined to learn how to cook - this time preferably without setting the house on fire...

Volume 2 in the series of School Rumble mangas sees the plot take a slightly different slant. Instead of being obsessed with Oji, Tenma's story plays second fiddle to Kenji's side of the events that unfold.

This volume explains why Kenji has such a crush on Tenma - it goes back quite some years - and why he can not tell her how he feels. It also examines possibly his greatest talent - as a potential future manga artist.

Tenma finally manages to pluck up the courage to talk to Oji, but it's a carefully laid plan that she's cooked up (quite literally). And surely this way he'll at least notice that she exists.

This is another well constructed collection and will appeal to anyone who has ever been in love - there's a few to many elements that will hit home and make you smile. And don't worry if you are a boy who can't relate to Tenma's tale, you'll certainly be able to relate to Kenji's side of events.

As with Volume 1, there is a handy collection of translation notes at the end of this manga. These really do help to explain some of the panels that most western readers won't fully understand. The reason for this is that the majority are native to Japanese culture - but once they are explained you can appreciate the story a little better.

Another interesting collection that builds on the plot threads that have already been explored.

Amber Leigh

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