What School Rumble taught me about my tastes in anime
One of the things I've found is that I learn more about my tastes from the anime that I strongly dislike than from the anime that I like. It can be hard to figure out why I like something, whereas with stuff that I dislike there's often something in specific that I can point at and say 'that, I can't stand it'.
Which brings me to School Rumble, a well regarded 2004 comedy series, which I watched two episodes of once upon a time. The first episode was cute and decently funny (and had an Initial D parody that I found hysterical). Then I watched the second episode and bounced off it very, very hard because it was full of the lead characters humiliating themselves in various ways.
What School Rumble taught me is that I can't stand this. Not only do I not find it funny to see decent people doing embarrassing things and humiliating themselves, it's an active turnoff. It makes me cringe in sympathy for them and just no. I don't watch anything to cringe like that. Somewhere there is a dividing line between poking gentle fun at people and humiliating them and the second episode of School Rumble was well over it for me.
(I'm not even really interested in seeing characters that I dislike get humiliated.)
There are probably some situations where this sort of humour can work for me (I'm pretty sure I've seen and enjoyed classic black and white era film comedies in which this was a part). But as presented in School Rumble or other typical anime shows it doesn't work at all. Very few things will get me to turn off a show faster than the show asking me to laugh at someone because they are doing stupid, foolish things.
PS: I don't know if School Rumble continued with this sort of humour because I never watched any more of it. I doubt I could get the bad taste out of my mouth even today. Yes, I know, it's a pity, I'm probably missing out on a good show. That's how things go.
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Written on 06 January 2014.