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Oji Karasuma (烏丸 大路, Karasuma Ōji) is Tenma's love interest, depicted as an eccentric enigmatic but distant character. Although it seems Tenma's feelings for him are unrequited, he shows true concern for her in the story on a more subtle level. His parents live in the United States; in the beginning of the story, Karasuma was supposed to move there, which caused Tenma, in a fit of despair, to write him a love scroll (it was initially meant to be a love letter, but Tenma had written what she felt, so in the end, it came out in the form of a scroll.)
Pokerfaced and taciturn, Karasuma Ooji is one of School Rumble's biggest mysteries. Living in his own ‘special world’, the school weirdo Karasuma, seems oblivious to the rest of the world around him. Always silent, the only thing he ever seems to do is looking out the classroom window. His blank, expressionless face never gives away the slightest sign of emotions, just like his flat, robot –like voice.
Karasuma's parents are currently residing in America, where he was supposed to go only 2 days after class started; although he decides to stay after reading Tsukamoto Tenma’s anonymous plea (in the form of a long scroll), asking him to stay. He has plans to transfer there at the end of the current school year. Karasuma’s origins are a real mystery, and even though many believe him to be a Kappa in disguise, it has also been speculated that he is actually an alien.
Karasuma sports short black hair in the anime, as well as the manga, Karasuma also has black eyes. His trademark hair is short and cropped. Since he is the main love interest, he is usually seen in his school uniform, but when outside of school he is seen in normal clothing.
Karasuma gets the nickname Torimaru in episode 6 of Season One. Here is the explanation of the relevant joke from MusashiKen's translation notes:
- Chicken and Crow
- Yup, another classic SR Kanji joke.
- In case you didn't know, Karasuma(烏丸) and Torimaru(鳥丸) may look similar, BUT they are in fact different! The Karasu(烏) in Karasuma means Crow but the Tori(鳥) in Torimaru means Chicken. They are just one stroke different. (Strokes are the lines that make up Kanji and Chinese characters)."
During the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second semester of School Rumble, it is shown that Karasuma particpated within a band organization created by him, Takeichi Fuyuki, Megumi Sagano, Karen Ichijou, and Tsumugi Yuuki. He is the guitarist of the band while Megumi Sagano played as their bassist.
Apart from being really good at confusing and freaking people out, Karasuma is really good at many other things. The first of them being bicycle racing, as shown in episode #2, where he outruns both Tsukamoto Tenma and Harima Kenji, and a train, and a racing car (an Initial D spoof), riding a single-gear bicycle.
Number 2 on his list of talents is being unbeatable at playing cards; as his expressionless poker-face is impossible to read.
The next amazing talent he possesses is drawing manga. Unsuspected by anyone, Karasuma Ooji is actually the legendary mangaka known as “Nijou”, whose work is the inspiration of many aspiring artists, including classmate and rival Harima Kenji. It appears that Karasuma was a good fighter as well, being able to surprise Harima with his fighting ability in Chapter 264. He also possesses amazing physical abilities, as he easily avoids Harima Kenji’s staple move, The Hari-Ken Kick (hurricane kick), by jumping up in the air in an awesome back-flip in episode #10.
Other talents include being good at Kanji, playing the guitar in his class’ band, and being an accomplished snowboarder and skiier as seen in the 2nd semester episode #23.
Despite appearances, Karasuma is not the shy and unapproachable guy he seems to be, and never hesitates to speak his mind on those rare occasions when he has something to say; this makes him the more puzzling and hard to read.
Always kind and considerate, he always seems to care for the well-being of others (namely Tsukamoto Tenma), and his usual thoughtfulness can only be disrupted by his love for curry, which is Karasuma’s favorite food and the true love of his life. Even though he gives the impression of being an anti-social loner, he enjoys participating in every event of his class, be it as coach, referee, DJ, or playing with the band. Strangely enough, for some reason he never seems to take part in sports events as a competitor, and usually takes on a behind-the-scenes role, despite his little-known-of physical prowess.
Warning! If you read below, it contains manga spoilers.
The only time Karasuma ever showed any emotions was when he was fighting against Harima in Class 2-C during the last story arc of San Gakki (The Third Semster). He admits that he is in love with Tenma on the verge of being beat up.
In the anime, Karasuma is shown to be one of the most non- outgoing students inside his school (next being Nara Kentarou). He is shown to be very quiet or just saying one phrase answers as shown in Episode 8 of the first season of School Rumble. When Kenji Harima asked him if he skipped lunch, Karasuma just nodded istead of saying a yes or a no answer. Also in the same episode, Kenji Harima asked him if he perferred meat & potatoes over curry, Karasuma just quietly answered that he perferred curry.
Despite curry being the true love of Karasuma's life, he does seem to be fond of Tenma. However it is fact that he is in love with her due to chapter 264/School Rumble San Gakki OVA Karasuma yells that he is in love with Tenma Tsukamoto in a very expressive way during his fight with with Harima and in chapter 273 he is seen admitting his love to an imaginary Tenma believing it was the real one. Other than that Karasuma does care for her as in episode 14 of the second semester Harima told him about Tenma's party as a result he ran out with his coat over his head (making his editor believe he was Harima) just so he could be with her.
Even though it isn’t really clear whether he does have any close friends or not, Karasuma is well liked by Nara Kentarou and Fuyuki Takeichi, who often spend time with him. He plays in the Band with Fuyuki, Sagano Megumi, Ichijou Karen, and Yuuki Tsumugi.
On the first episode of School Rumble First Semester, it shows that Nara was talking to Karasuma about seeing a ball game on the night before. Also, it also shows Nara talking to Karasuma in the second episode of School Rumble First Semester when Tenma was struggling to leave the girls' bathroom just because Tenma was too embarrased to leave the bathroom when Karasuma is just across the doorway leading to the girls' bathroom.
Even though Kenji Harima is certainly jealous of Karasuma’s growing relationship with Tenma Tsukamoto, and most likely despises him, Karasuma doesn’t seem to hold any bad feelings towards Harima, even though he seems to know of Harima’s feelings for Tenma; and when Harima tried to fight him, he simply avoided the fight.