Sawachika Eri is one of the main characters. While initially slated for a supporting role in the story, Sawachika Eri's unpredictable relationship with Harima Kenji has drawn the two of them into the spotlight as the primary protagonists in School Rumble.
Eri makes her debut appearance in chapter #7 of the manga (Episode #1 in the anime). Her picture appears on the cover of Volume 3 (Harima appears in SD form on the rear cover), and the cover of Volume 16 (in SD form next to Harima). She is also the featured character of the third image album.
Eri was born in Kyoto, Japan, as heiress to a wealthy family. She was raised in England, before returning to Japan for high school. Her mother is Japanese (Eri herself confirms at Vol 15 of Manga), and her father is an Japanese/British businessman whose work frequently takes him away from home. While all her needs are provided for by her butler, Nakamura, Eri feels isolated and wishes that she could see her father more often.
Talents and WeaknessesEdit
A fast learner, Eri picks up most skills and ideas very quickly. This shows in her studies, earning her high marks in most of her subjects. While not as athletic as her close friend, Suou Mikoto, Eri is strong at a number of sports. She is an extremely fast runner, winning races at the school's athletics festival. Due to a leg injury suffered in a previous event, however, she is unable to finish in the school's relay race.
Eri's ability to learn new skills with ease carries over into sports as well. Despite her inexperience at playing softball, she becomes an effective pitcher in a short period of time, after listening to the advice of her peers. Eri is very competent with a rifle, showing proficiency at skeet shooting. She is also an expert skier and practitioner.
Outside of Sports, Eri shows her talents in acting. She plays the lead role for both the Cultural Festival Play and the Class Movie, and she has a reputation for never forgetting her lines. She is also skilled at hairstyling and fashion, which she considers as careers that she may enter into in the future.
Despite her many talents, Eri is consistantly weak in a number of areas, leading to a sense of inadequacy that she hides behind her pride in her many accomplishments. As a foreigner to Japan, she is weak in her use of Kanji. This causes her to occasionally misread or misuse words, often resulting in a comedic effect. She is a terrible cook, being only marginally better than her classmate and friend, Tsukamoto Tenma. She prefers making curry to nikujaga, based on her father's preference. Eri's other weaknesses include sewing and swimming, although she does learn to swim a distance of 2 meters under Harima's "guidance."
While idolized by most of the male population of her class, Eri frequently spurns their attention. Most of this attention comes from the image that she presents in public. On the surface, she appears to be graceful, calm, and under control. On the inside however, she is a turmoil of emotions - proud, jealous, and insecure. Only her closest friends understand both facets of her character.
Eri feels isolated on two fronts. The girls resent her for being attractive, and the guys see only her external beauty - most of them have no interest in her as a person. As a result, Eri is constantly forced to listen to insincere confessions. At the same time, she is an idealist, dreaming of finding someone who sees her for who she is.
Throughout the series, Eri recieves a number of confessions from her classmates. In this regard, Eri is very direct, responding to the confessions based on their sincerity. While she is normally very polite in her responses, she has little tolerance for insincerity or arrogance. Out of all of the confessions that Eri recieves, Harima's confession to her stands out, possessing a genuineness and a passion that none of the other confessions had. Eri later shows tsundere traits in her love life, Eri easily get jealous.
Eri is a very sensitive person who shows the utmost care and respect for her friends. While she lives a very comfortable life, it is also a very lonely one - and she values her friends that much more for it. On the surface, she acts calm and unaffected by the people around her - but that's part of a guise to hide her fear of rejection and her desire for the approval of the people around her.
However, she always manages to do the right thing when it counts. Eri frequently stands up for her friends, often choosing to do good deeds for them in secret. This is shown in a number of situations throughout the series, where she helps out Tenma, Akira, and Harima on a number of separate occasions.
At home, Eri has parents who are able to provide her with the comforts of material success, but not the closeness of a normal parent-child relationship. As a result, despite having all the material comforts in the world, one of Eri's deepest wishes is simply to cook Nikujaga and spend an evening with her father like a normal girl. She yearns for a normal, open relationship - one which her position in life does not afford her.
Even though Eri was asked out by many guys, and she refused, only one manages to capture her attention and her heart.Almost all character she interact or close with, encourages Eri's feeling for Harima. Some even encourages her to confess her feelings. Like Yamato's friend mentioned Eri's feelings for Harima is known througout school. Some feels that Eri and Harima to be a perfect couple since they are being natural together.
Harima and Eri's love/hate relationship forms the basis for the ever popular Flag pairing. Initiated accidentally by a mistaken confession made by Harima, Eri's relationship with Harima has become the central focus of School Rumble. The interactions between the two play an important role in their growth as characters, and also serves as a basis for many of the series's most memorable jokes. Eri then realizes Yakumo is helping Harima edit his manga (mainly intended to distract himself from his love for Tenma) and thinks that Yakumo is starting to fall in love with Harima (which was proven true) and then tries to get rid of Yakumo and have Harima for herself though Harima loves Tenma. Eri was the one who snipped off Harima's beard and then apologized. But, Eri then asks Mikoto and Tenma if they like high school boys with or without a beard. Mikoto and Tenma say "Without, duh." This causes Harima to shave off the rest of his whiskers, and makes Mikoto and Tenma realize how handsome he really is. Eri then goes psycho (according to Mikoto) and shaves off the top of of his head. She then playfully gives him the nickname Chromedome. Harima isn't mad at Eri for shaving off his head, but when she brings it up, Harima bursts into rage. Eri, Yakumo, and occasionally Tenma have love interests in Harima. It seems there was a time while she was still in school (3rd year) where she wanted to force marriage on Harima. He comes asking her for money to buy some ink for his manga promising to pay her back, she refuses and come up with a deal that she would grant his request if he beats her in shouji (japanese chess). But if she won she would do whatever she wanted with him. She supposedly beats him and then says that she'll give him far more than he originally requested one the condition he pays her back immediately he spends it. Then she says but if they were tied by marriage he wouldn't have to worry about paying her back. Harima then finds another move to play in the game but she still corners him in the end. Then he tries to escape from the toilet window only to find out that a lot of things had been in place to prevent him from escaping. He later calls Yakumo to the Sawachika home for something manga-based and she points out in the chess game that Eri made a move with her pawn that was against the rules. So Eri lost (through disqualification probably) and Harima won. Eri refers to Harima by the nickname "Hige," which means "Beard". Harima refers to Eri by the nickname "Ojou," which means "Princess", in reference to her being rich.
Eri comes from a very wealthy family. So far, we have been introduced to Eri's parents, and two members of her family's housekeeping staff.
- Eri's Father: Eri admires her father, who is often away on business trips. She prefers to make curry over nikujaga, based on her father's preference.
- Eri's Mother: Eri has a strong relationship with her mother. She is quite perceptive of her daughter's feelings.
- Nakamura: Nakamura is Eri's personal butler. He is very perceptive, attending carefully to Eri's needs as they come up. During the Battle of Yagami High, he masquerades as Eri in order to protect her.
- Suzuki Masaru: Eri's family's maid. He uses Eri's twin tails to identify her, and occasionally confuses Eri with other characters, such as Tenma and Yoshidayama. An excellent cook.
Eri is best friends with Mikoto, Tenma, and Akira. Her friendship with Mikoto is especially notable. She often meets up with her friends after class in the Cafe Mercado, where Tenma's sister, Yakumo works.
- Suou Mikoto: Mikoto is the first friend that Eri makes when she moves back to Japan. Out of all of Eri's friends, Mikoto understands Eri the best, seeing through the facade that she puts up in front of her classmates. The two have a misunderstanding when Tenma suggests that Harima has a crush on Mikoto. However, the two make up afterwards. Mikoto plays an important role in helping to bring Harima and Eri closer together.
- Takano Akira: Out of her three friends, Eri is closest to Akira. If Eri is keeping her troubles to herself, Akira is usually the first to notice. Although seemingly mercenary, Akira watches out for Eri from the background, often using her skills of perception to mediate problems involving Eri and Harima. However, Eri's feelings for Harima are also often the subject of many of Akira's practical jokes. The two girls understand that each other's outward aloofness is a mask for an inner warmth, and Eri uses her understanding of this to give Akira encouragement to write a play for the Cultural Festival. The two sit next to each other in class.
- Tsukamoto Tenma: Tenma shares Eri's ineptitude for cooking and Kanji. As such, the two end up studying their Kanji lessons together. On a couple of occasions the two practice cooking together, often with disastrous results.
Eri encounters a number of rivals for Harima's affection as the series progresses. Most of these rivalries arise out of misunderstandings. Yakumo was Eri's most recent rival in the series. Eri's two earlier rivals, Tae and Mikoto currently are active supporters of Eri's budding relationship with Harima, by providing Eri with encouragement and support.
- Anegasaki Tae: Tae is the first rival that Eri encounters for Harima's affection. When Harima confesses to Eri, Tae arrives to bring him home, causing Eri to misunderstand their relationship. During the Sports Festival Arc, Tae clarifies her relationship and gives Eri encouragement to pursue her interest in Harima.
- Suou Mikoto: After the trip to the beach, Tenma mistakenly believes that Harima has a crush on Mikoto. When she communicates this to Eri, Mikoto and Eri have a confrontation. However, the conflict is resolved when it turns out that Mikoto was actually harboring a long-term crush on her tutor instead.
- Tsukamoto Yakumo: Later on in the series, Yakumo's involvement in Harima's manga creates a misunderstanding, causing Eri to think that the two are dating. The misunderstanding is eventually clarified at the end of the Cultural Festival Arc, when Yakumo admits that she isn't dating Harima.
Eri is currently aware that Harima is in love with another girl, but she does not know that the girl is Tenma yet in the first two seasons of the Anime Series.
Later in the manga series, Eri is having a party with the girls on her mansion and she finds Harima and Tenma talking on the balcony. She gets very upset and jealous with Tenma and from that point, Eri starts to see Tenma as a love rival too.
- Tsukamoto Tenma: In the Manga series, Eri finds out that Harima, actually, likes Tenma's kind of girl (dumb and distracted kind of girls), when she was having her birthday party on her house, and found them talking and sharing a piece of cake on the balcony. Eri refuses to give up, and she starts to ignore Tenma's friendship until the snow storm incident and the slap from Yakumo when she found her sister freezing outside Eri's Mansion, makes her to think about it and stops ignoring Tenma's affection and friendship.
Current Love StatusEdit
Finally in the manga series, Eri's love status is complicated. First, Tsukamoto Yakumo is confirmed as her most dangerous rival in love, and both are still searching some information about the same man to finally confront their feelings: Harima Kenji.
Second: After school graduation and some years later, Harima is still traveling around the world and none of his classmates have any clue of his whereabouts.
On the parallel world story, School Rumble Z Manga Series (Ch. 5), Eri is working as a stewardress to be able to travel around the world and gather information about Harima and finally confront her feelings about him. Eri already have some information about Harima: Another stewardess saw a bearded man resembling Harima at Heathrow Airport (England).
Both Eri and Yakumo had their own "lonely fight" for Harima's love and Happiness. However, in Chapter 10 (the final chapter) of School Rumble Z, the reader sees 3 panels which depicts the future for Harima and Eri- the two are shown standing in the doorway to Karasuma Ooji's hospital bedroom. Harima, whose hair has grown past his shoulders, looks sheepish with a red blush on his face standing next to Eri, who is beaming and holding what is presumably an infant wrapped in a blanket in her hands. Both Yakumo and Tenma look delighted for their friends. Yet it was not disclosed (They say it was just to please the Top Ranking Couple on the Popularity list)