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Cromartie High School: Volume 1

Cromartie High School: Volume 1
Review Date:
Reviewed By: Spike

Released By: ADV Films

Age Rating: TV14

Region: 1 - North America
Volume: 1 of 4
Length: 100 minutes
Subtitles: English
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Takashi Kamiyama has applied to Chromartie High School, and unfortunately for him, he's been accepted! Now he has to deal with strange pencil-eating thugs, primates, robots, familliar looking brutes with their own theme music, and a host of the badest badasses this side of Osaka! Will this tame fish-out-of-water survive or be dragged under in a sea of stupidity?!
The animation in Cromartie High School works at a strange pace, either panning across a still image slowly or moving at break-neck speed, depending on the scene, focusing the viewers attention on whatever aspect of the show the animators are intending the viewer to linger on.

Cromartie High School: Volume 1

The sound in the series is excellent with metallic sounding guitar sounds accompanying most of the action while the title music will have you nodding your head along with it, although the ending theme may leave you painfully confused, sounding like someone had pushed the performing artists down a particularly long flight of stairs.

Cromartie High School: Volume 1

Kamiyama, the lead character, is an idealist. He seems to think that through his good intentions, he can change the high school for the better, although even though he has a hopeless belief in his fellow classmates and always seems to be dictating letters to his 'dearest mother'. Cromartie High School is inhabited by an array of bizarre characters, including Freddie, who bares a marked resemblance to the lead singer of a certain rock group (Queen), and a gorilla, not someone who just looks like a gorilla, an actual gorilla. And then there's Mechazawa, the cool leader type of year one, class 5, who is always looking out for the other students in his class, keeping them on the straight and narrow. Shinichi Mechazawa is a model delinquent in every way apart from one thing, he's a robot, and not exactly a good robot, more like an oil drum with arms and legs. Mechazawa even has a tendency to flip open his flat head and apply oil to himself or make minor adjustments to his innards with a screwdriver, though no one seems to notice, making the rest of the school either unobservant, having too much respect for him to say anything, or just incredibly dense. All in all, none of the characters have much in the way of intelligence, which only goes to heighten the humour of the series. For a bunch of so-called 'badasses' the characters never actually seem to do that much fighting, instead they seem to stand around talking about who is the toughest, or other irrelevant topics, such as trying to work out a hummed song, or evaluating each other nicknames.

Cromartie High School: Volume 1

In the end, Chromartie High School is a bizarre disjointed comedy in the same vein as Azumanga Daioh both from its setting and the fact that it seems to be more of a set of individual stories about the main characters, rather than being heavily serialised and having a coherent plot spanning the entire series. Cromarite is extremely silly and enjoyable, and those who like silly comedies in the style of Excel Saga and Azumanga Daioh will surely find a place in their hearts for this series. On the other hand, viewers that dislike silly comedy will probably find this series, along with the others mentioned, slightly annoying. If you're a comedy fan, give this series a go, you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 7/10
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