Jan 8, 2023
Despite this being a comedy manga about really dumb badasses partaking in nonsensical jokes, written by someone whose music tastes would probably make him friends with Araki, I couldn't help but being occasionally reminded of Blue Spring while reading it.
It starts off really well with a lot of unexplained hilarious incidents, things like the school having a mute Freddie (Mercury) character, but that sentiment wears off along the way as, at 17 volumes, Cromartie just missed its chance to end. Over-repetition of jokes, more and more additions to the cast, plot points that are completely forgotten (whatever happened to the sumo club guys?), there was
even an entire volume dedicated to a planet of the apes rip-off!
I really commend the author for managing to make 17 fucking volumes of gags in a setting with absolutely no plot and no sense of GETTING ANYWHERE. That shit's hard. But at the same time, there was a lot of boring stuff (lol) along the way.
When I was in the first half of this series I wrote "The wide cast of characters in tandem with the nonsensical nature of this manga allows for some good joke variety. I mean, I can read almost a full volume of this in a row and not get tired, unlike other comedy series which, no matter how good they are, keep repeating the same jokes with only a handful of different characters." I suppose I was thinking of The Way Of The Househusband as a comparison. In truth I generally am not a big fan of comedy.
But the thing is, while that was true at the beginning, I'm not so sure it held up towards the end. It did start to feel like the same jokes were repeating over and over again, especially when it came to Fujimoto. Somehow the mascot trick still worked even at that point and Banchou-san was a delight, but it didn't save the series.
Overall, I quite enjoyed the uniqueness of Cromartie High School. The occasional jokes that left you wondering "hold up, is this meant to be a comment at the series itself?", and other meta moments were great (loved the story about the second masked guy showing up!). The decision to completely ditch the main plot in the first handful of chapters was very powerful. And the chapters about the author himself always brought a fun change of setting.
I'd say it's worth checking out!
Reviewer’s Rating: 6
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