(Instead of reviewing each series and the OVA separately, I decided to do it in a blog post since it will be mostly incoherent anyways.)
I hated School Rumble. It was extremely boring, the characters sucked, and there was no real story besides he likes her, she likes him, and everyone else likes someone else. I got so bored that I didn't even bother watching it in Japanese and just switched over to the American dub so I could do something else while it played. But even that didn't help me get through it. I stopped after six or seven episodes, put it away, and started watching something else.
That was more then a year ago, and since money is tight now I went back to it hoping to at least get something out of it and if not kill some time since it was long enough. I didn't even bother with starting over as I figured I'd end up stopping again. In the end that was probably the best thing I could have done. In fact I probably should have just picked it up somewhere past the midway point of the first series as it still didn't hook me. Then something happened and I don't know what it is. Maybe I finally "got it", maybe my expectations just got so low that it started to get good, or maybe I went brain dead. I'm not completely sure, but I started laughing and enjoying what was going on.
I started to finally enjoy the characters, the set-up was over with and it just went silly, and I finally found the character that made me pull for them (it's Yakumo if your wondering). But that was just through the OVA and I wasn't prepared for what came next: It got even sillier. The second or third episode of Second Semester sealed what I feared would happen and that was that I went from hating School Rumble to absolutely loving it. The dirty jokes, the banter between characters, the beatings that Imadori would get from Lara (or Lala), and just how awesome Yakumo was. It just hit the point where I didn't care how stupid or pointless the "story" was, it was just funny.
But speaking of the story the whole love octagon or whatever didn't seem to matter much to where the animated series was going to end. There was the point that it seemed like it was going to have a good serious ending and things were finally coming together, but then I realized that this was happening during the second to last and final episode and my fear for poor anime endings came rushing in. And I was pretty much right. It set up for a big pay off where the whole story of Harima and Tenma would come to a head, Yakumo's rather out of place story (which is saying a lot for School Rumble) hit it's peak, and things could actually end. But for the most part none of that played out. Nope, you get the typical ending of everything turns out right and things can keep on going as they were, with very little closure. Although, the story of Tenma and Yakumo is spelled out and while the bigger story of Yakumo isn't answered what you find out about Tenma's and Yakumo's relationship is rather nice.
I don't think I would have expected the turn around that I had from when I first started watching the series to when I finished up. It was a love and hate relationship, but I'm willing to admit that I actually liked School Rumble. I don't know if I could recommend it to anyone, but then again I can't highly recommend it enough. It's exactly what I heard about before I ever bought the series, some people love it while other people hate it. I just so happened to be both.