a.k.a.Charge!! Cromartie High
a.k.a. Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou
Kamiyama has enrolled in Cromartie High School and looks forward to a healthy academic life during his first year. Unfortunately, his fellow students are more concerned with deciding who is the toughest delinquent and defending their reputation than studying. Going on the assumption that a normal guy like him must be unusually tough to be surrounded by juvenile delinquents of their caliber, Kamiyama finds himself the de facto leader of a group of very unusual troublemakers.
summary by Liegenschonheit
Highs: Random hilarity; consistently good art; likable characters
Lows: Some hit-and-miss comedy; total randomness won’t appeal to everyone
For those who have never heard of Cromartie High School, try to think of it like this: kind of like Azumanga Daioh at an all-boys school. And instead of lovable schoolgirls, there are delinquents. Add robots, gorillas and a hijacker or two. Oh, and Freddie Mercury. Now imagine that it makes absolutely no sense. Cromartie High School is kind of like that.
This is one anime that knows exactly what it is and sticks to it. It focuses on keeping the comedy coming, playing out running jokes to their fullest and making sure the randomness stays fresh and funny without being tiring. For the most part, it succeeds in all of these things. Sometimes a joke falls flat, or occasionally an episode seems a little lackluster, but the action is so fast-paced and each episode is so short that things keep moving regardless. Though the art style is nothing fancy nor flashy, it works very well with the tone of the anime and maintains consistent detail throughout the entire show. Added to this are the seiyuu themselves, brilliantly delivering the nasally tones and sober voices of the various characters.
Cromartie High School also knows very well what it isn’t. The characters have almost no back story, and there isn’t much character development. The plot is nearly nonexistent; instead, the show operates on the premise of a delinquent school and adds events relating to it in nearly random order. This anime doesn’t concern itself with answering any lingering questions, instead turning them into running jokes. Also, though there is a clear beginning to the show, there is no real ending, just a place where the show stops. Although these things are deliberate and do not detract at all from this anime, there are some viewers that will be turned off by them. It is an anime that for some will seem hilarious, clever and fun, and for others seem stupid or completely silly.
For those that appreciate such things, Cromartie High School is a great way to spend an afternoon and have a good time. Even with all of its flaws, the good far outweighs the bad, and it may give you a few ideas to try out at your school.
Cromartie High School can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.