From Virtual Japan
Cromartie High School (Sakigake!! Kuromati Kōkō) is a Japanese manga. Manga is the term used to refer to Japanese comic books. Cromartie High School was created by Eiji Nonaka. It is considered to be a comedy manga and is about a school full of delinquent teenagers. Like many mangas, Cromartie High School was turned into an anime. It went one step further, however, and was also turned into a live-action movie. It has won numerous awards including the Kodansha Manga Award, a very prestigious award, in 2002. Cromartie High School is considered to be a parody, or a play on, the mangas that were very popular in the 70’s and 80’s about high school delinquents. It also picks on the culture of the time, from the hair styles to the music.
- Takashi Kamiyama – Kamiyama is the main character in this series, which features a lot of characters. Kamiyama starts the series as a normal, every day high school student. He chooses to enroll in Cromartie High School, one of the toughest schools in the area, and the other students automatically assume that he is a tough teen. After all, they figure, why would someone choose voluntarily to enter into Cromartie? But Kamiyama wants to change the school and make it a better place. He is also a comedian, and shows his talent by sending in jokes to different radio stations. He does not use his regular name, but instead goes boy Honey Boy.
- Shinjiro Hayashida – Hayashida is the first person to befriend the intriguing Kamiyama. He is not very intelligent and is easily recognizable by his purple Mohawk. Readers later learn that it is fake! He does his best to help Kamiyama fit in to Cromartie, and becomes his best friend.
- Akira Maeda – Maeda is a fighter, yet he is ignored by all the other students because he does not have a nick name. He is much shyer than he lets on, and is one of Kamiyama’s more “normal” friends.
- Shinichi Machazawa – Mechazawa is a strange student. For decades, readers have suspected that he is an android, but there has been no proof. He is one of the most well-known bad guys in Cromartie. His younger brother, Mechazawa Beta, looks exactly like he does but is actually one fifth of Mechazawa’s size.
- Freddie – Readers believe Freddie to be a parody of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the popular 70’s rock band, Queen. He does bear a strong resemblance to Freddie Mercury and actually has a good singing voice, even though he does not sing often. Freddie rides to school on a huge horse, unlike all of the other students who have cars or motorcycles.
- Gorilla – Gorilla is actually a gorilla! He attends school fairly regularly and is often wearing a watch. He is generally the smartest “being” in the school and is also a sushi chef.
- Yutaka Takenouchi – Takenouchi is the head of the freshmen of Cromartie. He is an amazing fighter but also gets motion sick very easily. Because of this, he avoids going on field trips whenever he can.