Welcome to Cromartie High—a melting pot of underachievers and overzealous bullies, where the fist rules and the student body has the combined I.Q. of a rusty nail. After a whole lot of bad judgment and a little bad luck, Takashi Kamiyama is now attending this academy of dunces. Here, his only homework will be defending himself against the foul-mouthed robots, semi-intelligent apes and masked villains that roam the halls of Cromartie High School!
Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou won the 26th Kodansha Manga Award in a tie alongside Beck for Best Shounen Manga in 2002.
Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou had twelve volumes released in English as Cromartie High School by ADV Manga from March 1, 2005 to November 6, 2007 before the license was dropped and the publisher went defunct.
Like any slice of life/school oriented manga there is not exactly a continuous story. Each short "arc" introduces new characters and scenarios that keep the manga new and exciting. Overall every new chapter is funny and gripping and will make you want to keep reading.
Art - 10
In any gag manga the artwork of the characters and their expressions is one of the biggest factors. Cromartie is not exception. The unique way in which Eiji draws faces is a huge contribution to the hilarity of the series.
Enjoyment - 10
A gag manga as hilarious as this that always has something new in every chapter
is very enjoyable. From running jokes to new ones this gag manga is one of the best around.
Overall - 9.5
Not much to say besides this manga is hilarious and definitely worth reading.
Cromartie Koukou is a high-school in Tokyo with loose entrance requirements. How loose? A gorilla (an actual simian primate) and a middle aged man (that resembles a certain deceased rock-star) are students there. Not even the worst students mind you; Cromartie has a collection of the dumbest and most hardcore delinquents in all of Tokyo.
A good premise for a gag manga, but where is the straight guy? Enter Kamiyama, a painfully mainstream character that makes the dubious choice to attend Cromartie. The mangaka, Eiji Nonaka, has created a good setting and takes advantage of both his premise and
his inspired drawing, to deliver the comedy.
Cromartie students try to further cement their school's status as the most badass, gorillas keep filling the classrooms, aliens invade, and no one knows where the teachers are. Amidst all this chaos, Kamiyama approaches each situation with a cool head and tries to set his fellow classmates in order.
If you are into comedy you are going to laugh hard, and if you are into absurd comedy you are going to love it. I always looked forward for the last page of the chapter for the mangaka to deliver the punchline along with some excellently drawn reactions.
It's all fun and laughter for the first chapters, but after a while the humor's quality and the number of laughs decreases. When the number of chapters reach triple digits, the quality has reached a low level and for the next 100+ chapters the manga is just running of fumes, delivering a single dry chuckle every few chapters.
My suggestion is to start reading the manga, but whenever you enter a 10-chapter dry spell, just drop it. It is not going to pick up the pace for you ever again. If I had dropped it at around chapter 110 I would have given it an 8. I persevered until chapter 223, so 6.0/10.