Cromartie High School (魁!!クロマティ高校 Sakigake!! Kuromati Kōkō?, fully titled "Charge!! Cromartie High School") by Eiji Nonaka, is a Japanese comedy manga, which was subsequently adapted into an anime and a 2005 live-action movie titled Cromartie High - The Movie directed by Yūdai Yamaguchi. It follows the everyday life of Takashi Kamiyama and his odd classmates at Cromartie High School, an infamous school for delinquents. Both the manga and anime have been released in North America by ADV Manga and ADV Films respectively. However, the manga is not yet completely published in North America due to restructuring issues at ADV. The manga won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen.
The series is a parody of Japanese "yankii" (juvenile delinquent) manga of the 70s and 80s. The style of art resembles Ryoichi Ikegami's works such as Crying Freeman or Sanctuary. There are also many pop culture (especially music) parodies in the characters, chapter names, episode names, CD covers, and DVD covers of this series.
- Takashi Kamiyama (神山 高志 Kamiyama Takashi?)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Ben Pronsky (English)
- Japanese live-action movie actor: Takamasa Suga
- The main character of the series, originally just another above-average student until he decided to enroll at Cromartie. Everyone else at Cromartie assumes that he's the toughest kid in school, since a rabbit would never go into a den of lions. He has ambitions to change the school for the sake of bettering its student body. In secret, he is an amateur comedian who writes and sends jokes to be heard on special radio stations under the penname of "Honey Boy" (ハチミツ Hachimitsu?). In later episodes, he becomes the number one boss in Japan after winning the National Boss Championship, only winning after being the only one to answer the first question correctly. He later defeats the legendary biker Sadaharu in a race.
- Shinjiro Hayashida (林田 慎二郎 Hayashida Shinjirō?)
- Kamiyama's first friend at Cromartie, noted for his fake purple mohawk. Hayashida is the one delinquent that helps Kamiyama blend in to the bewildering environment of Cromartie High. Although streetwise, he is dumber than the gorilla and doesn't even understand basic math. His signature purple mohawk was revealed to be fake in episode 17, but in episode 8 you can see him take it off for a brief second.
- Akira Maeda (前田 彰 Maeda Akira?)
- A delinquent who claims he was always getting into fights and never lost a single one (he claims to have won a 5-against-1 fight), he is ignored and disrespected because he lacks a nickname. (In the manga, he chooses the nickname "Dragon of Razors" with the help of Hokuto's lackey, who himself decides on "The American Dream", though no one else seems to acknowledge those names.) Often the most conservative of Kamiyama's friends (and really, quite possibly the only one who actually possesses common sense), he is also frequently abducted by delinquents from Bass High School and is often the unwilling host of Cromartie High gatherings at his house. He bears a great resemblance to his mother, whose appearance normally horrifies everyone else. His name is a parody of a famous Japanese wrestler.
- Shinichi Mechazawa (メカ沢 新一 Mekazawa Shin'ichi?)
- Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), Jay Hickman (English)
- Japanese movie actor: Shinji Takeda (voice)
- One of the most notorious delinquents of Cromartie. Though it is suspected that he is actually a robot, no one but the main characters (Kamiyama, Hayashida, Maeda, etc.) seems to notice, including himself. At one point he ends up in a motorcycle accident and is repaired, only to end up combined with his motorcycle into an even stronger motorcycle, complete with missiles and rocket boosters. He has a little brother, identical but one-fifth his size, named Beta, also known as Mini Mechazawa.
- Beta Mechazawa (メカ沢 β Mekazawa Bēta?)
- Also known as Mini Mechazawa or just "Beta," he is the little yet older brother of Shinichi Mechazawa. Mechazawa Beta, who can only say "Meka-ratta" despite being "more advanced", is also a cellphone. Meka-ratta is a parody of the lead character from Obake no Q-tarō, a ghost who is unable to speak human language and hence can only say "bake-ratta." Like Mechazawa, he is often mistaken for something else, such as a tea canister. He is also stepped on a lot.
- Freddie (フレディ Furedi?)
- Japanese movie actor: Hiroyuki Watanabe
- A mute with a nearly uncanny resemblance to Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen. Hayashida claimed that as long as he attended, Cromartie would be the "Olympics for delinquents". Although he never speaks and people assume he is a mute, Freddie actually has a good singing voice and the only occasion people can hear his voice is when he sings, (as seen in manga episode of Mechazawa's birthday.) The bottom of the microphone stand is broken, referring to Freddie Mercury's gimmick. He also rides to school on an incredibly large, incredibly powerful, possibly wild horse named Black Dragon (Kokuryu in Japan, a reference to Raoh's horse Kokuoh in Fist of the North Star), which waits outside the bathroom while he's "doing his business".
- Gorilla (ゴリラ Gorira?, Hiromi Go (豪 ヒロミ Gō Hiromi?))
- A gorilla who appears often at Cromartie High. He sometimes wears a watch and is considered smarter than most of the main characters. It has been revealed that his superior is a monkey. He is also an extremely talented sushi chef. His real name is a parody of a famous Japanese singer. He has also a sister who looks just like him but has prettier eyes and red/pink flower on her left ear.
- Yutaka Takenouchi (竹之内 豊 Takenouchi Yutaka?)
- The leader of Cromartie High's first-year students. Known to be an incredible fighter and a reliable person. His weakness (unknown to everyone else) is motion sickness. Though he loves field trips and excursions in general, he hates having to travel, because he gets sick very easily, and struggles with all of his might not to vomit. His name is a parody of a famous Japanese actor.
- Takeshi Hokuto (北斗 武士 Hokuto Takeshi?)
- Voiced by: Norihisa Mori (Japanese), Jason Douglas (English)
- Japanese movie actor: Noboru Kaneko
- A son of a chairman for a major zaibatsu, who is also the chairman of the board for several high schools throughout Japan. He used his father's influence to rule every school he goes to, until he came to Cromartie, not knowing that the school is municipal. He also arrives wearing the wrong uniform (white, instead of the standard black). Despite his setbacks, he continues to plot how to rule this school, if not all of Japan or even the world. As a result of his luxurious, extravagant life, he thinks all people below him are pigs.
- Hokuto's lackey (北斗の子分 Hokuto no kobun?)
- Nameless in the series. While he does have a name, no one seems to be interested in knowing it (including Hokuto himself), and they simply refer to him as "you", "other guy", or just "Hokuto's lackey". There was actually a controversy among the students, when he said he did not want to be called "Hokuto's lackey". Every time he tries to say his name though, something generally absurd happens and cuts the event short. In the manga, he helps Maeda come up with the nickname "Dragon of Razors", and Maeda suggests for Hokuto's lackey the nickname "The American Dream". They are both satisfied with their new nicknames, but no one else acknowledges them.
- Masked Takenouchi (マスクド竹之内 Masukudo Takenouchi?)
- Before coming to Cromartie, he was a hijacker who tried to commandeer the plane that students of Cromartie High School were taking to go on a field trip to Kyushu. Being agoraphobic, he feels quite uneasy among strangers. When talking with Takenouchi about this problem, he ends up in a situation where he succeeds in the hijacking, but ends up staying in Japan. In the meantime, Takenouchi ends up in the Nevada desert in America. To maintain anonymity, he constantly wears a white wrestling mask, with the kanji character for bamboo, 竹 ( The first character in "Takenouchi"), which leaves everyone in Cromartie High with the impression that he is Takenouchi, although no one questions his presence even after being seen alongside the real Takenouchi. He frequently imparts elderly knowledge (being presumedly in his 30s) to the other students when they face contentious issues. In the manga, he becomes the successor of pillow-jutsu, the fictional technique of softening pillows with a sharp blow with a long stick, but this is given only very brief mention in the opening animation of the anime.
- Noboru Yamaguchi (山口 ノボル Yamaguchi Noboru?)
- Voiced by: Yuuto Kazama (Japanese), James Reed Faulkner (English)
- Japanese movie actor: Shoichiro Matsumoto
- The leader of Destrade High School's first-year students. He has the nickname of "The Unsinkable Battleship", which is coincidentally the nickname of professional wrestler Stan Hansen who is extremely popular in Japan, and is mentioned to be a member of a bike gang called "Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water" in his spare time. ("Ash, Wind, Fire" in Japan; both are parodies of an American Funk band Earth, Wind & Fire.) His cronies believe that he hates jokes, since he's always so serious. In truth, he is a connoisseur of sophisticated humor, despising the sophomoric jokes that his friends prefer. He is also a postcard comedian (someone who sends jokes in the mail to be heard on the radio). His pen name is "Ajishio Taro" (roughly, "Salt Boy"), and he is rivalled only by Kamiyama, who he initially knows only as "Honey Boy." He is easily recognized by his large afro hairstyle and his ever-constant sunglasses.
- Jun Ishikawa (石川 淳 Ishikawa Jun?)
- Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Jacob A. Gragard (English)
- Yamaguchi's right-hand man, often beaten by Yamaguchi for telling crude or banal jokes, which Yamaguchi hates.
- Pootan (プータン Pūtan?)
- One half of a comedy duo and the main character of a variety show, which is very popular among delinquents and others, but is scorned by Yamaguchi for being (in his eyes) painfully stupid. The duo wears fuzzy animal suits.
- Friend of Pootan (プータンの相棒 Pūtan no Aibō?)
- Glasses-wearing partner of Pootan. He is employed in the show, but he isn't allowed to talk about it.
- Maeda's Mom (前田母 Maeda Haha?)
- Mother of Maeda. Never speaks in the English dub, grunting only in the Japanese version (voiced by Megumi Hayashibara). Her face is identical to Maeda's. She apparently uses the net often, going by the name of "Killer Queen."
- Jackson Setouchi (瀬戸内 ジャクソン Setouchi Jakuson?)
- The leader of Bass High School's first-year students.
- Akio Takejo (竹城 秋夫 Takejō Akio?)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (Japanese), Ty Mahany (English)
- Setouchi's right-hand man.
- Voiced by: Hideyuki Umezu
- An expert ventriloquist whose puppet named Mick is newly promoted as the right-hand man by Yamaguchi.
- Kiyoshi Fujimoto (藤本 貴一 Fujimoto Kiyoshi?)
- Voiced by: Tomoyuki Shimura
- The leader of Manuel High School's first-year students. At school, he is a ruthless brawler who likes to use aggressive ways to solve problems. But at home, he is a very generous Internet user with a deep concern for netiquette. He also runs a web page/blog/forum that he frequently posts in. His polite behavior on the net, and his answering to "The Troll" (Cromartie High student Tanaka), eventually leads to the humiliating branding of Fujimoto as a shut-in (hikkikomori in Japanese).
- Makio Tanaka (田中 牧男 Tanaka Makio?, aka The Troll)
- Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura
- A student from Cromartie High who trolls Fujimoto's website, calling him to be a hikkikomori. He is also known as the errand boy.
Ken Hirai (平井 健 Ken Hirai?)
- Voiced by: Masami Kikuchi
- A delinquent that got left back. He is 17 years old and older that the regular students at Cromartie High. He is often referred to as "Mr." (Parody of popular Japanese artist Ken Hirai)
- Osamu Kido (城戸 治 Kido Osamu?, shares a name with another Japanese wrestler)
- Voiced by: Miyu Irino
- A big fan of Pootan. He is 10 years old and probably the youngest character.
- Sadaharu (貞治?)
- A legendary biker. He soon retires after being defeated in a race on the highway by Kamiyama and Mechazawa.
- Jeeves (じいや Jiiya?)
- Hokuto's butler. He seems to bear a striking resemblance to Hayashida. They might be related, though neither of them realize it.
- Yo-Chan (ヨッチャン Yocchan?)
- A friend of Shinichi Mechazawa (when they were in 6th Garde). He goes to Bass High School.
- Mr. Imai
- A man that Freddie switches places with.
- An associate of Yutaka Takenouchi while he was a leader of the Mafia in New York. He has an uncanny resemblance to Freddie, and his name is another reference to Freddie Mercury of Queen. Unlike Freddie, however, he speaks. He also knows about Takenouchi's motion sickness. He also knows a lot of Japanese sayings despite claiming to never have been to Japan. He appears once in the manga, and does not make any appearance in the anime.
- Restaurant Owner
- The owner of a small sushi restaurant where the gorilla works. His shop's business is going down so his son is trying to get him to sell the shop. The two of them fight until "Gori" shows them how stubborn they are with "banana sushi".
- Restaurant Owner's Son
- Voiced by: Vic Mignogna
- The son of the owner of the small sushi restaurant. He wants his dad to sell the shop until "Gori" shows how stuborn they are with "banana sushi".
- Suda! Cromartie Girls High School
These are basically "female" versions of the lead characters, but still retaining the same feature the lead characters have.
- Takako Kamiyama
- Shinjirobee Hayashida
- Akiko Maeda
- Shinichihime Mechazawa
- Toyoko Takenouchi
- Bushiko Hokuto
- Hokuto's Lackey
- Four Kings of Cromartie (Four Great Ones in the manga)
- A group of second-year students and self-proclaimed leaders of all Cromartie's students, who happen to have five members. All five wear face paints, with four of them resembling members of the rock band KISS. (The final member styles his face paint after professional wrestler The Great Muta.) This group appears often in manga version, but in only one episode of the anime version.
- Fireball of Junior No. 2
- A delinquent who was said to be so bad that no one could control him.
- Hospitalizer of Junior No. 3
- A delinquent who was said to be so bad that whenever he lost his cool he would beat his opponents until they were a bloody mess.
- Masa (Victory by default)
- The delinquent who ate all of Kamiyama's pencils on the first day. He is said to be so bad that he never had to fight anyone.This is because he looked so tough that anyone he might have fought got scared and tried to get on his good side.
- The main character of a surreal show that comes on when Pootan doesn't come on. He is known to throw up easily.
- The English title of volume 1 DVD release, "Cromartian Rhapsody", is a parody of the 1975 Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody". The cover is also a parody of Queen's 1974 album Queen II.
- The English title of volume 2 DVD release, "Hey Dude", is a parody of the 1968 Beatles song "Hey Jude". (Hey Dude is also a parody song on a Beatallica album.) The cover is a parody of The Beatles album Please Please Me.
- The English title and cover of the volume 3 DVD release, "Sailin' Fools", is a parody of the 1972 Little Feat album Sailin' Shoes.
- The English cover of the volume 4 DVD release, "Mount Rockmore", is a parody of the 1970 Deep Purple album In Rock.
- The Japanese original soundtrack album's CD cover is a parody of the 1991 Nirvana album Nevermind.
- A reference to a Warren Cromartie Secondary School appears in the cover art for Rush's album Signals.
- Dejiko, Puchiko and Piyoko from the anime Di Gi Charat make several cameos in the anime. They are voiced by their original voice actors, Asami Sanada, Miyuki Sawashiro and Megumi Hayashibara, respectively.
- The series began running in the United States on the cable network G4 on its Barbed Wire Biscuit late-night block and on the UK satellite channel Rockworld TV.
- Each high school in the district is named for a notable Gaijin (non-Japanese) player who became famous in Japanese professional baseball: Randy Bass, Charlie Manuel, Orestes Destrade, Tony Bernazard (manga only), and, of course, Warren Cromartie.
- The mystery song being hummed in episode 3 is "Ningen Nante" by Takuro Yoshida, who also performed the opening theme.
- The last episode of the show is a parody of Maria-sama ga Miteru. This is due to the opening title of the show, the type of uniforms worn by the students and the look of the campus itself. Kamiyama and Hayashida's hairstyle look like Yoshino Shimazu and Yumi Fukuzawa from said show respectively. Despite the look of the parody, Hokuto once again wears the wrong uniform; a standard blue and white sailor-school uniform, where he wears a white skirt instead.
- In the manga, each chapter title is usually a song title, a song lyric, or even a parody of a title or lyric.
- Takashi Kamiyama (at the opening of every show, English version): "The guys that appear in this anime are delinquents. Please do not under any circumstances imitate anything they do. Don't do it, man! I'm serious, it's a bad idea!"
- Official Cromartie Site
- TV Tokyo Cromartie Site
- Production I.G Cromartie Site
- Sakigake!! Kuromati Kôkô at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Cromartie High School at TV.com