In this Christmas episode, Harima’s quest for Tenma’s heart, the central theme of the majority of the School Rumble series, continues on. He starts off the holidays with his own personal style, dressed as Santa in a jail cell lying among a pile of manga pages he just finished.
The manga he just wrote, like everything else, revolves around Tenma. Harima means to bring it to her first and foremost in an attempt to confess his love, despite the strict time constraint he was given by the publication planning to run it.
Even with the editor’s time restraint and the anger he knew he would face with Tenma, he decides he wants to show the comic to her before doing anything else. Due to a misunderstanding, Tenma is very angry because she believes Harima is messing with her sister, Yakumo, when her sister is actually helping him with the manga. Despite knowing what he will face, he still goes.
“If I’m not careful there will be another misunderstanding, but so what? Why should I be afraid of that? Compared to the crap I lived through before this comic and before I met her, this is nothing.”
He confronts her, faces her anger, explains the misunderstanding, and lets her read his comic. After that, he rides off to the publisher across the snow on a giant curry dish using a giant wooden spoon and dodging flying frozen fish.
After he leaves Tenma, she sits in the house feeling bad about being mistakenly mad at Harima. Yakumo helps her to understand, with aid from the narrator, why she feels so bad and reveals why that makes Harima so drawn to her.
“Most people are very unforgiving. Any slight disturbance in the relationship and it’s over, no questions asked; however, Tenma is not most people. She may not understand much, let’s face it, she is pretty clueless, but she understands friendship and forgiveness.”
“Sis, I think that’s what it is about you that Harima likes so much”
Yakumo had a lot of time to observe Harima and learn his reasons for writing this manga for Tenma. She came to the conclusion that Tenma’s forgiving nature was what inexplicably drew Harima to her.
And she may be right. Before his crush on Tenma, Harima really was not going anywhere. He was a delinquent and most people treated him as such expecting nothing but negative from him. After the publisher talks about his possible future as a manga artist, he muses over the time he has spent since having a crush on Tenma and starting to draw manga.
“I was such a loser. There were those smart guys who everyone knew would get into a good college. Guys who studied art and music. And then there was me, who no one gave a damn about. The kid who was sure to waste away. I have a future?”
There was a reason Yakumo honed in on forgiveness. Forgiveness is something Harima had never received and would never expect. It was the something he saw in Tenma that gave him hope, that made him go to school, that made him face his fears, that made him start to draw manga, that made him try at all.
This is one of the reasons forgiveness is so important. Forgiveness presents an opportunity for hope when there is no reason for or expectation of hope. When, naturally, nothing is left but judgement. It’s the possibility of a future when things have been so damaged and become so hopeless.
So, despite itself, I think this episode really got to the real meaning of Christmas.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Through Jesus, God gave everyone hope. He gave everyone an opportunity to be forgiven and start anew. The prospect of life and a future.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”