FUNimation has confirmed the acquisition of seasons one and two of the School Rumble anime as well as the School Rumble: First Term Extra OVA.  The 26-episode School Rumble anime, which was produced at Studio Comet and directed by Shinji Takamatsu, debuted on Japanese TV in October of 2004.  The two-episode OVA appeared in December of 2005 and the second 26-episode series, School Rumble: Second Term, began its Japanese TV run last April.


The School Rumble anime series is based on the on-going 12-volume (so far) manga by Jin Kobayashi.  Del Rey publishes the School Rumble manga in the U.S., so don't be surprised if FUNimation and Del Rey engage in some cross-promotion, which is becoming increasingly popular with American manga and anime companies.


FUNimation plans to release the first School Rumble DVD in early 2007.  Media Factory, the Japanese rights holder for the property, was one of the first Japanese companies to crack down on fansubbing, declaring its titles off-limits way back in 2004.  School Rumble is one of the titles cited by partisans of the fansub community as a series that would have been licensed for the U.S. much quicker if it had been allowed to build up a following among hardcore anime fans via the usual fansub route.  It should be interesting to see how the property fares without the benefit of 'free, unlicensed' marketing that fansubbing provides, though without some sort of 'control' (like a very similar series that did get fansubbed and released here on DVD at the same time) it will be impossible to know precisely whether fansub exposure helps or hurts (by providing free versions of the property to the hardcore fan base).