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Ranma - - Character Spotlight - - AV MOD MATERIAL

Our mods examine one of anime's classic characters.

HalberdierV2 and Takashichea explore notable anime and manga characters from the 90's & 2000's. Since Taka has never seen Ranma 1/2, Hal and Taka invited SamJaz to take Taka's place as an expert for this character spotlight segment.

SamJaz

Thanks Hal and Taka for inviting me! It was around 2008 when I started watching Anime. I was, what, sixteen? Maybe seventeen, I don’t know. I’d just read my first manga series, Rurouni Kenshin, and was looking around for more. I’d heard some good things about Ranma 1/2, so I thought I’d watch it. I was too new to know about the Dubbed/Subbed war, so I opted for the English Version.

And boy, was it funny.

I was too inexperienced to recognize the over-repeated tropes that every mangaka who ever read Love Hina or Dragonball Z or even this show, have since decided to be mandatory and inherently funny, regardless of delivery. For me, Ranma 1/2 laid the foundations, and the expectations, for the rest of my anime experiences.

It wasn’t until I read the manga, later on, that I noticed its flaws. I didn’t notice the filler because everything was so entertaining. I didn’t notice how back-and-forth everyone’s character development was because, honestly, I enjoyed watching everyone freak out and overreact to what, by experience, any rational person might have worked out was a misunderstanding, or Happosai up to his old tricks.

But, even with all that, Ranma 1/2 is still one of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever experienced. The laws of reality here are slightly tighter than in, say, Looney Toons, but the fact that we can have an episode where a guy tries explaining to his unwilling fiance that her new pet pig is actually a teenage boy whose sole aim in life is to ruin said guy’s life- While the school jock gallantly battles said guy to force him to free the love of his life from slavery- and actually care about these characters while laughing into our fists because we don’t want to wake up the rest of the family at Three in the morning, shows to me at least that this is one of the better shows to come out of Anime.

Oh, and the love of his life is the same guy he’s fighting. This guy turns into a girl when splashed with cold water. I probably should have pointed that out first.

HalberdierV2

Whoa, where can I start with this show? I only learned of it back in 2010 when my brother introduced me to it. Since he was a big Inuyasha fan at the time, he found out that Ranma 1/2 was written by the same mangaka, Rumiko Takahashi. This show has been a sleeper hit to me, and I never thought something like this would so enthrall me. It's pretty much half romance, half martial arts, and a splash of genderbending shenanigans by the main character. The show mainly focuses on Ranma and his love-hate relationship with Akane, his forcibly-chosen fiancée, while having to fight off advances from other women, rivals, all while dealing with the tiny problem of Him becoming a Her when splashed by cold water. Not to mention, dealing with another set of male suitors while being a girl. This show takes the cake for the anime to make me laugh the most, and with over 150 episodes, its easy to see why.

Ranma and Akane showing off their feelings for each other.
Ranma and Akane showing off their feelings for each other.

Just like SamJaz says, Ranma 1/2's strength remains in its ability to constantly entertain us with great characters each with their own distinctive quirks and personalities. The plot's light-hearted nature even allows for many of Ranma's sworn enemies to act like friends every once in a while, even join forces with him, but still be a threat to Ranma's relationship, or even his life. Also, it is one of the few Animes to tackle genderbending from the humorous angle, much to the show's benefit.

Ranma 1/2 does suffer a bit in the later seasons with maintaining a consistent storyline, particularly in the later seasons where the story part of the show doesn't hold up as much, but still manages to keep the action and humor going. Also it has great voice acting both in Japanese and English (a rarity in the 90s as well) which do a good job of engaging the viewers.

If you haven't seen it, give it a try. The Manga and Anime have different stories, so you can choose whichever you want. if you choose to watch the anime, either language is fine, and even though I originally watched it in Japanese, I'd recommend going for the English version.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Takashichea

Sounds like Hal and SamJaz had an awesome time with Ranma 1/2. It's my first time watching Ranma 1/2. I watched a few episodes and somehow lost my place. When I grew up, I used to watch Inuyasha on Adult Swim when I was in middle school. I recognized Rumiko Takahashi's art style right away. I was blown away by how many nudity shots were in the first few episodes. Though, it was mostly Ranma who did the blowing away. I don't know whether to say I was lucky or freaked out due to the gender bender element. Like Hal and SamJaz pointed out, Ranma's gender changes based on the temperature of water he gets exposed to. Ranma is my first gender bender show, and it's a blast to watch. The show revolves around Ranma's relationship with Akane. The two often fight each other. Ranma would called Akane a tomboy, while Akane has a violent temper. Ranma has no tact when it comes to women, but he loves Akane deep inside. He cannot admit his feelings, and it's the same for Akane. She gets along with Ranma's female version better than the male version. I'll admit both genders of Ranma are beautiful. Ranma is a likeable character. I can see how he and the rest of cast can make this show fun and endless for everyone. Despite that I watched only a few episodes, Ranma does change a bit, but he remains the same old guy throughout the series.

Ranma 1/2 is a great way to start on anime if you're new to anime.

Follow us on Twitter: @HalberdierV2, @SamJaz, and @Takashichea.

takashichea moderator is online on July 27, 2013 at 8:46 p.m.

Hey guys and gals, feel free to recommend characters from the 90's.

RealJpoeon Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.

I remember seeing an ad for one of the Ranma movies at the end of a Pokemon vhs (Which was my first anime before finding Toonami) when I was a kid & immediately begged my mom to buy me it. I was so shocked by the "mature" nature compared to other cartoons I had seen that I ended up hiding it deep in my closet so my parents wouldn't accidentally watch it for some reason, haha. That movie has been my only experience with the show but I will give it a try once I find the time.

Also love the format of this article. Seeing the viewpoints of multiple writers is a nice change of pace.

takashichea moderator is online on Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:31 p.m.

@RealJpoe:

Thanks! I was quite surprised at the nudity. Feel free to recommend. I know this was an old article. My teammates and I are quite busy. I hoped to do another character spotlight when we all have free time.

RealJpoeon Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:55 p.m.

I'd love to see a take on Tenchi for the next article seeing as how weird that series can get. That was my favorite anime from the 90's growing up & a show that I've been scared to rewatch since harem tropes don't hold the luster they once had when the show first aired over here.

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