As of this post, Season 4 is already well under way! Have you been keeping up?
In addition to having so many other cool episodes, Season 3 had an exciting conclusion with Alejandro Saab delivering an installment dedicated to the one and only One-Punch Man! While Season 4 has already given us great episodes—including the love letter to Philip K. Dick (and other classic SF) Psycho-Pass courtesy of singer and anime-enthusiast Sapphire, and a titillating look at the original Mobile Suit Gundam via ‘Gundam Guru’ August Ragone—the latest installment has afforded an opportunity to spotlight an underrated gem of the early ’00s: Jin Kobayashi’s School Rumble.
My friends and I spent a good deal of time explaining our personal reasons for being drawn to this refreshingly atypical Rom-Com in a recent podcast installment, so there’s no need to rehash that here: but if you’re looking for interesting trivia about the animated series (with some spoilers, as per usual), then let our pal Tony a.k.a. the “Black Critic Guy” be your guide!
Tony’s enthusiasm for the subject matter was a real treat (if you’re familiar with him at all, you’ll already know it’s Tony’s all-time favorite series), and of course Michael did a fantastic job with editing everything together in a presentable package. As for my contribution, writing the script was an absolute joy. I first saw School Rumble circa 2012 on Netflix: the dub is high-quality and thoroughly enjoyable, and the whole series itself is guaranteed to leave your sides aching from laughter.
But perhaps the greatest thrill of all for me personally was watching School Rumble while I was enrolled in film school! As chance would have it, around this time I was introduced to the hauntingly beautiful anthology Kwaidan (1964), directed by the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi (coincidentally, the same family name as the author of the School Rumble manga). Though the film is, in many ways, an apropos example of the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese cinema, it actually draws from stories written by one Lafcadio Hearn—a Greek-born writer whose love of Japanese culture led him to becoming a naturalized citizen of Japan in the late 1800s. In turn, Hearn himself drew from Japanese legends such as The Tale of the Heike for creating many of his written collections about Japan.
When Hearn became a Japanese citizen, he took his wife’s family name (or, more precisely, her father’s family name) of Koizumi in order to better assimilate into the culture, and henceforth had the given name of Yakumo. (Recognize that name, School Rumble fans?)
But what does all of this have to do with my contribution to School Rumble other than a few humorous coincidences? You’ll have to watch the Did You Know Anime? episode to find out! (Hint: You may want to cover your ears!)
Thanks once again to our Patreon supporters, and to all of our fans and friends for their support. Keep your ears peeled for more awesome anime-related content in the future!
– J. G. Lobo
© 2016 (text)
Update: Due to copyright issues with this episode’s YouTube upload, this post has been updated using the Vidme version.