Cromartie High Vol. 1: Cromartian Rhapsody
Released By: ADV
Release Date: 3/15/05
Um… wow. Yeah, this was certainly a new experience for me.
Released last year, this is a series that received quite a bit press when it was first released and now that I’ve watched it… let’s just move on. This is an anime about a kid who enters high school but unfortunately because of an incident that took place during jr. high (which is never brought up during the anime, instead we are told to read the manga which can be bought with the box set but I do not have that version), he goes to a school that is full of delinquents and thugs.
Quickly gaining a reputation as being tough because he’s the only one in the school that doesn’t look like a thug (makes perfect sense right?), he continues to try to survive a school that is filled with hoodlums, a student that’s a robot, a gorilla and a student that bears a very odd resemblance to Freddie Mercury.
The Good And The Bad
When I first put in this volume the first thing that struck me as surprising was that there are eight episodes on this volume but then I realized that the reason why there are eight episodes on this volume is because each episode is only 10 minutes long. None of the plot lines are carried over from one episode to the next, they’re all just very short one shot deals that deal with the issue of the day such as the latest rival school that wants to pound Cromartie High into the ground or the leader of the first year students trying to hide that he has terrible motion sickness.
The writing in this series isn’t terrible but I have to admit that the comedy in this series really missed more than it hit. With it’s constant over the top and outlandish humor, it really misses the mark on many occasions and instead of laughing at something that could’ve been hilarious, I find myself chuckling at something that is only slightly amusing instead.
The animation in this series is quite unique I find in that it uses a very manga style of animation with very little movement from the characters. Most of the time the characters are quite motionless but there are plenty of moments of lots of fast paced action as well. It was certainly unexpected and innovative, I’ll give them that much.
There wasn’t really that much background music that I could hear while I listened to the episodes but I really gotta say that I didn’t care for the opening and ending themes either. They were really subdued rock tracks and they just didn’t do the best job of capturing the anime within them.
Dub vs. Sub
Both the dub and sub tracks were well done with no real complaints about either one. They were both really strong with doing their best to get the comedy across but again, I found that the comedy was being served so strongly it really didn’t need to be served that much by the actors.
Big thumbs up goes to Jay Hickman who played the deadpan part of Mechazawa perfectly.
Besides the clean opening and closing animations and original Japanese warnings, the best feature on this DVD are the cultural notes that were included explaining some of the jokes from the anime. I love reading these as I find them to be quite informative and always make for a more enjoyable viewing experience.
With eight, 10 minute episodes this volume goes by very quickly with one episode ending before you’ve even had a chance to really settle in and figure out what’s going on this time.
I can’t say that I really enjoyed it though. I’m not going to be against seeing future episodes of this series but I’m really not in any rush to catch up on the volumes that have been released thus far. If you’re really into comedy I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to at least check it out to see if this is your kind of thing but I do love comedy and I found this to be pretty cheap entertainment and I can find much better elsewhere.
Final Grade: 69% – D