Kenji Harima (播磨 拳児 Harima Kenji ) is a fictional character in the anime/manga series School Rumble and its male protagonist. His surname is a reference to the former Japanese province of Harima, now mostly part of Hyōgo Prefecture.
Fictional character biographyEdit
Harima is an ex-delinquent who loves Tenma. However he still retains aspects of his delinquent persona such as riding his motorcycle to school and getting into fights with other delinquents. He has a little brother, Shuuji, who likes Tenma's younger sister, Yakumo, although they do not live together. Harima is a fan of the jidaigeki TV show called "The Three that were Slashed", which Tenma is also a fan of.
Harima's name is once mistaken for the name of another person in class 2-D, Harry Mackenzie, because of the similarities in pronunciation.
Harima begins the series wearing sunglasses with a mustache and goatee. He originally adopted this look to avoid being recognized as the boy who saved Tenma from a thug the previous year, but was subsequently accused by her of being a pervert. Tenma apparently no longer remembers that incident, and Harima also tries to change the subject when she is on the verge of remembering. His hair is pulled back with a headband, leaving an ahoge. He also undergoes several changes in appearance throughout the series. The style he sports most often in the anime is sunglasses without a mustache and goatee, which lasts from the last few episodes of the first season and throughout the entire second season. In the manga, Harima grows back his mustache and goatee and returns to his old look, making it the style he sports for the longest time.
Later in the story, Harima decides to choose Tenma's happiness over his own and starts to help her and Karasuma be together. He even drives Tenma to the airport so she can find Karasuma in America. He sadly tosses away his trademark sunglasses after Tenma's departure, having no more need to disguise his face. Tenma's absence turns Harima back to his old delinquent self, until Eri knocks some sense into him.
During the final chapters of the story, Eri asks Harima to pretend to be her fiance in order to fool her family into letting her stay in Japan. However, he is expelled from his cousin's apartment and ends up living at the Tsukamoto household with Yakumo and Sara, while simultaneously posing as Eri's fiance. The arc is never explored further, as there is a sudden several year jump in the story, and it is revealed that one day Harima disappeared without leaving a trace. He is seen in the United States, roaming through the country playing a guitar and drawing for a living, in what he deems as a purification journey to improve his skills. It is implied that he still has feelings for Tenma, as he adds her trademark pigtails on the portraits of the people he draws, claiming they signify good fortune.
The School Rumble manga ends with Harima never confessing his feelings for Tenma or ending up with any of the female characters with whom he had close relationships with. However, it is strongly implied in one of the later chapters that Tenma noticed Harima's feelings for her - Harima was talking to himself out loud about his love for Tenma while driving her to the airport and she heard him despite the din of his motorcycle's engine. Also, when Tenma was about to board her plane, Harima tells her that someday he will try to win her away from Karasuma in the future.
According to the last Japanese poll performed by the publishers of the manga, Harima is currently the third most popular character in the series.
Harima is most definitely a "bad boy" at heart and is too stupid to go beyond the honorifics and complexities of love which he is quite frequently faced with. He often struggles to confess to Tenma, though he knows she has absolutely no feelings for him and may even dislike him. Every time he finds the courage to tell her his true feelings, something happens which prevents him from succeeding, and often Harima's own indecision and inability to take immediate action when opportunities present themselves make him miss them. He gets extremely jealous seeing Karasuma and Tenma together, but his attempts to put a stop to that usually end up bringing them closer. To date, Tenma has yet to hear his confession properly, although she does overhear Harima talk to himself about his love for her in the later chapters of the manga.
Harima has a habit of trying to escape his problems by avoiding them, which has resulted in him briefly following various pursuits and skipping school for periods of time. This first manifests itself when he discovers Tenma's interest in Karasuma, leading him to ditch school and turn to drawing manga as a means of escape. In his works, Harima is the hero, Tenma is the heroine in love with him, and Karasuma is the arch-villain/love rival who ultimately loses to Harima. He initially idolises the mangaka Nijo jo and imitated his drawing style, but after a brief depression after discovering that Nijo jo was none other than Karasuma himself, he adopts an original style and pursues his dream for reasons other than self-gratification or escaping from reality, although he continues to use himself, Tenma, and Karasuma in his works. Harima's pen name is Hario Harima (ハリマ☆ハリオ, Harima Hario ) probably a reference to Fujiko Fujio, creator of Doraemon.
In addition, Harima briefly masqueraded as a fortune teller by using his animals as the means of determining people's fortunes, but his disguise did not fool his classmates, save for Tenma. He later tried to leave Japan by signing on as a sailor aboard the Kikokumaru, a fishing boat. The ship's captain, Goto Genkai, himself a former mangaka, convinced and inspired Harima to face his problems and follow his dream, giving him his own drawing pen crafted from a tuna skeleton that Harima now uses.
While Karasuma is Harima's romantic rival, his actual chief rival is Haruki Hanai, the class representative of 2-C. This is shown visually by the colours of their glasses: Hanai's glasses are depicted as white (due to light reflection) while Harima's glasses are black. Their antagonism is fueled by Harima's lack of respect for Hanai's authority as class representative and the many misunderstanding situations involving Harima and Yakumo, who is Hanai's love interest.
Like the Tsukamotos, it is implied that Harima is largely independent. Although he now lives with his older cousin Itoko Osakabe, he previously lived on his own a year ago, when he first encountered Tenma. Itoko is actually surprised that someone she thought of as being fiercely independent is so humbled by Tenma's influence.
He also has a fear of eating shrimps and prawns, because he feels that they look like worms and bugs.
Although he does not practice any specific martial arts style, few people are able to match Harima in hand-to-hand combat. On more than one occasion, he has single-handedly defeated numerous opponents, emerging from these fights unscathed. His physical abilities also make him one of the best athletes in Class 2-C although he is not in any of the sports clubs. When he is not fighting, he can often be seen emitting (be it intentional or not) a murderous aura, often depicted as purple waves coming out from him. Tenma Tsukamoto seems to be pretty much the only person to be unaffected (or at least, unable to detect) this aura.
Harima has the ability to communicate with animals, and possesses a wide variety of strange and exotic pets which he named after European royalty, although how he adopted them has not been revealed. The animals are as devoted to Harima as he is to them, assisting him when he was pursuing his stint as a fortune teller, and on their own turning themselves into performing animals when their presence at the Yagami Shrine was discovered by the press to help Harima out and prevent themselves from being harmed. This ability enabled him to communicate with Yakumo's cat Iori and extract a thorn from its paw, which caught Yakumo's attention.
As mentioned above, Harima is an aspiring mangaka, and his work caught the attention of Nijo jo/Karasuma's publisher. He later submitted a sample of his work to a manga contest, which he wins.
Harima's attempts to become closer to Tenma become complicated because of the relationships he develops with some of the other female characters. These have resulted in Tenma thinking that he is interested in girls other than her, as she is unable to tell from his reactions to her that he is in love with her. For example, Tenma briefly thought that Harima was interested in Mikoto Suo because of his behavior during the beach trip.
Whenever Harima has problems with his manga, he secretly consults Yakumo Tsukamoto, the only person he trusts with reviewing and assisting him with it. As a result, Yakumo becomes his first "friend" (Harima himself has admitted in a monologue that he has no friends because of his "bad boy" image), and the both of them start spending more time together (though not on a mutually romantic basis). Because of this, people often see Harima and Yakumo together and those who know them believe that they are actually dating. This perception further inflamed his rivalry with Hanai, who is in love with Yakumo. The two also get into misunderstandings, because whenever one becomes involved with one of the Tsukamoto sisters, the other assumes that the Tsukamoto in question is the object of his affections, arousing intense jealousy and combativeness. Harima constantly tries to explain that he and Yakumo are not in love with each other, which only ended up in further misunderstanding to the slow and dense Tenma. This is only partially true however since Yakumo secretly has feelings for him. It is also interesting to note that out of all the girls he is somehow involved with, Yakumo is the only one he's never insulted or thought ill of. Harima has called even Tenma an idiot often enough. Also interesting is that Harima regrew his moustache/beard after Yakumo drew it on his face in chapter 161 of the manga.
Harima also must deal with situations involving his classmate Eri, unaware of the fact she has developed a crush on him. While Eri wanted to be closer to him, he avoids and detests her for being snobby and making him feel inferior due to her immense wealth. Later on, through various incidents throwing the two of them together, he decides that Eri is not in fact a bad person. Following this, he is informed by Yakumo and later Togou that Eri has feelings for him, and tries to reject her, only to have her completely deny any feelings for him.
The older Tae Anegasaki also has affections for Harima, as he was the same situation as she was after she found him in despair after he realised that Karasuma was the one Tenma liked and was himself Nijo jo. Anegasaki sympathised with him and sheltered him a few days in her apartment. Although Harima rejected her advances, Anegasaki still likes him and later becomes the school nurse, which leads to a few unfortunate situations for Harima.
As a result, the various mishaps with several female characters in the series has gained a reputation of Harima among his classmates as a "monkey". In a recent chapter, he ends up surprisingly behaving like one, after being utterly rejected by Tenma due to another misunderstanding involving Yakumo.
Eri calls Harima "Hige" (鬚 ?, Beard), but in the English dub, it is translated as "Whiskers", and continues to do so after he adopts a clean-shaven look although in the third season trailer he appears to have regrown it. Tae Anegasaki calls him by his pen name, Hario, only calling him Harima in front of his school peers, and she only does this very rarely.