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Cromartie High School Volume 1: v. 1 [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Eiji Nonaka
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2005
Japan's runaway hit comedy has finally arrived! Takashi Kamiyama is an average high school student who wouldn't hurt a fly. But as fate would have it, he's ended up at the notorious reform school, Cromartie High. After becoming friends with a motley crew of thugs, a gorilla, and a trashcan-shaped robot, Takashi won't just learn his ABCs - he'll learn everything there is to know about being a juvenile delinquent. And so will you!

Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: ADV Manga (1 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141390257X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413902570
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 737,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absurd and hilarious delinquent hijinks 17 May 2005
By A Customer
Cromartie is a very odd manga. The art style looks just like a lot of cliched shounen manga, and you could be forgiven for mistaking it for one at first glance. But upon reading the text, you realise it's actually a masterfully surreal parody of the high-school delinquent stereotype.
Kamiyama is a perfectly normal schoolboy who just wants to fit in, but he ends up at the infamous Cromartie High, renowned for its dumb but tough "badass" students. Their conversations are spoofs of the stereotype, so you see them boasting of their exploits so far and the nicknames they acquired like the "Hospitalizer"... and if someone's beaten up thousands of students but doesn't have a nickname, well, he can't be very intimidating. Then there's the tales of the school's resident gorilla (he's literally a gorilla), robot (nobody seems to have the courage to tell him he's a robot) and Freddy Mercury lookalike...
The stories are told in short chapters, mostly independent of each other, rather like Azumanga Daioh. In fact the book is rather like a shounen Azumanga Daioh. A lot of the jokes are the same as in the Cromartie anime, but if anything they're easier to understand in printed form with the helpful translators' notes at the back.
Certain of the comments probably won't make sense to those who know nothing about Japanese culture. But if you're at least vaguely familiar with some anime or manga stereotypes, and in the mood for a surreal parody manga, Cromartie comes recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Comic book. 1 Mar 2009
As funny as the cartoons, hard for a book to make me laugh but this one worked, definitely going to get the whole collection. Rated for older teens, also would recommend to young adults. A good laugh, quirky and clever even if it is quite daft. buy it :) A+
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, funny and very very different! 23 April 2008
By grr
This manga series is like no other, and one of my comedy favourites.

You will be laughing out loud at the antics of Kamiyama and his classmates at Cromartie High.....a school for delinquents and badasses! Through a series of errors and a minor act of sabotage Kamiyama ends up at Cromartie High. But he is alas, no badass, just a regular student who is quite well behaved! So follows his attempts to fit in....

Who is the toughest, is it the gorilla? (yes- a gorilla!!) or is it Freddie Mercury?? Or is it Mechazawa the robot?? Can Kamiyama last in this school of pencil-eating, mean-talking, face-punching badasses? This is a side splittingly funny mickey take of macho types in school. Recommended for aspiring badasses anywhere! As long as you don't suffer from motion sickness that is......read the manga to find out!

The characters are great, and the humour is often surreal but it all goes together very well. The art looks just like all those tough guy seinen mangas out there, and it parodies those themes brilliantly!

The anime is available too, as is a live action movie! Read and Watch!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The male analogue of Azumanga Daioh, Cromartie! 5 Jun 2005
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
OK, if Azumanga Daioh was about the hilarious adventures of a group of girl high schoolers, Cromartie High School is about a group of male students who are juvenile delinquents. Cromartie has a reputation for tough guys, as proven immediately when Takashi Kamiyama, the most normal-looking student, drops a pencil. One of Cromartie's thugs picks it up, then eats the pencil! Kamiyama tests the lug by dropping a whole bunch of pencils, which the guy then gathers up and munches down on!

Other funny things include the revolutionary way of fitting in with a bunch of delinquents, a handbook read by Kamiyama so he doesn't stick out. However, things work out, because as Shinjirou Hayashida says, "say there was a rabbit, and it was living with a bunch of lions, and getting along just fine. That'd have to be one bad*ss rabbit." To which another student says, "I get it! Da*n, that rabbit rocks!" And even if you get into and win a lot of fights, it doesn't count unless you have a nickname, like "The Fireball of 2nd [class]" or "The Hospitalizer of 3rd [class]." Maeda is a good fighter, but as he didn't have a nickname, he's looked down on by his peers. However, he does have a mean-looking mom that scares his classmates.

Cromartie's surreal and bizarre appeal is based on three other characters introduced in the first volume. The first is a tall bemuscled guy with a thick bushy mustache, slicked back dark hair, who suspiciously looks like the guy who sings "We Will Rock You." He never speaks and nobody knows his name, so Kamiyama names him Freddie. I wonder why-ha ha. Then there's a gorilla, an actual gorilla, who proves to be more intelligent than many of the actual students, and who is seen wearing a wristwatch and making a call on a cellphone!

Finally, there is Mechazawa, a robot, basically a drum can with two headlight eyes dressed in school uniform, who's the brains of his homeroom class, constantly lifts the top panel of his head and oils himself with an oilcan, a satire of the 50's with the greasers. Kamiyama and his crony, Hayashida, who sports a Mohawk, aren't sure he's a robot and there's a running gag wondering if some of the other students will come out and say he's a robot. Or are their eyes playing tricks on them, is Mechazawa actually a normal high school student?

Other weirdness involves Takeshi Hokuto, the son of a rich financier who wants to control Cromartie High School, but is freaked out at seeing Freddie and the gorilla. As he mistakenly enrolls in Cromartie, which is a municipal as opposed to an elite school, he quickly makes up lies to get him out of this mess, such as that he's fighting his own father, the shadow prime minister and evil archfiend. The delinquents at Cromartie, however, have the intelligence of a pretzel and believe him, which deepens Hokuto's dilemma!

And Yutaka Takenouchi, the tough, bald, burly kingpin of Class 1, loves field trips and going to historic temples and such, but he gets motion sickness from vehicles and is prone to puking or fainting. So when Kamiyama accidentally sits down on him during the field trip, Takenouchi dares not lay a hand on him lest he barfs and lets everyone in the bus knows he's not infallible. He also mistakenly thinks Kamiyama is out to get him, as being boss of Class 1 has gained him a lot of enemies.

Note, there are two references to this manga in the anime series, based on how Kamiyama ended up in Cromartie, plus his one act of delinquency. So getting this and the first DVD is essential, and you don't need to have a tough nickname, have a lazy swagger, and menacing glare to enjoy this manga.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THIS HIGH SCHOOL IS CRAZY! 9 Jun 2005
By Sesho - Published on Amazon.com
16 year-old Takashi Kamiyama decides to enroll in Cromartie High School, one of the roughest and toughest schools in Tokyo. Kamiyama has brains and could go where he wants but his best friend is a moron. So Kamiyama decides to stand by his friend and attend Cromartie with him. The problem is that his best friend is so stupid that he can't even get into the worst school in the city! So Kamiyama must face up to the reality that he's the only good guy in attendance. He starts to understand what he's up against when he drops his pencil on the floor, and a delinquent picks it up and eats it! It's not long before he becomes accquainted with some of the most bizarre characters in his life. These include a Freddie Mercury look-alike and a gorilla who seems to be smarter than some of the students, including Kamiyama's ally, the mohawk-sporting Hayashida. There is even a robot shaped like a garbage can with arms who wears a school uniform shirt over his metal body without attracting the least attention. The undisputed leader of the misfits suffers from motion sickness so when they're driving to a gangfight, he's ready to throw up. And you have Yokuto, whose father has great political pull in the education system, which has allowed his son to control 18 different schools, who plans to make Cromartie his 19th, that is, if he can defeat stupidity.

This first volume of Cromartie was a good laugh. The situations verge on the absurd most of the time, such as when some of the students argue over whether the gorilla is considered human or not and someone says "he's wearing a watch" so that makes him human! The manga was very inventive, and reminded me of Azumanga Daioh but with a male sensibility. It does seem like the concept could become tired after a few volumes, so hopefully Volume 2 will go in some different direction. I would stay away from the anime version because it is so poorly animated that it seems no improvement over the manga.

I would also recommend the manga and anime versions of Azumanga Daioh. Also, The Breakfast Club dvd movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable 17 Jun 2012
By MrPineapple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this because i had heard about it from a friend and it was cheap, so i thought, what do i have to lose? It turns out that I loved the manga, it's very funny and My next stop after this review is to buy the next one in the series.
The style of humour is slightly like Azumanga Daoih, but in a rough boy's highschool, so if you liked that, defintely give this a look, and even if you haven't, i'd still recommend it
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Series. 30 Jun 2011
By Dojo Master - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cromartie High is arguably the funniest manga you willl ever read. Though i say that, the humor is what will alienate many readers because it's humor of the oddest kind. The humor is similar the wackiness of monty python the difference being that Cromartie lacks a plot. Lacking a plot,however, is not a bad thing in comedy manga and in fact is a staple of these mangas.The art might be a little off putting but easy to overlook. Cromartie is worth buying because the humor is likely to be your kind as it is not to.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic SF Reader 3 Sep 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
This is an oddball comedy. It is played completely flat, and deadpant. Otherwise, you could consider it somewhere between To Sir With Love and Welcome Back Kotter with a bit of They Call Me Bruce.

Tough guy delinquents that never fight, and their class at the delinquent high school now includes a gorilla, Freddie Mercury, and a robot.
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