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Ranma 1/2 30th anniversary anime retrospective, all 7 seasons, 3 movies, 11 OVA, and 161 episodes (ongoing).

CKOHLER

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,333
Just to clarify, there are 12 OVAs. The most recent aired in 2008 (after a 12 year gap) to celebrate 50th anniversary of Shōnen Sunday.

Nightmare! Incense of Spring Sleep

It's actually pretty good and animated in HD using modern animation methods. I really like the look of it.
 

NeonZ

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,746
Too bad Ukyo becomes just as bad as Shampoo in the manga
It's weird. The anime staff went out of their way to make Ukyo a more friendly character. The anime actually gets to the point where Ukyo pretty much becomes another Shampoo in the manga (like when Nabiki becomes Ranma's fiancée and Ukyo attacks her) but they specifically change or eliminate those scenes to make Ukyo more friendly.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
6,898
There probably only will be any kind of reboot of Rumiko Takahashi's past works when she retires. She always pushes adaptations of her current series rather than older ones. Ranma does have the issue though that any reboot likely would just adapt the manga closely, but the first two seasons of the anime are already pretty close to the manga with only a few additions (like the first season for example adds some scenes to connect one story to the next one, while they were episodic from the start in the manga).

They'd really need a fairly lengthy series to go past the original anime's stories.
I don't think there's much need for a complete reboot, just give me more ovas. Please.

One of the series I bought many many times. The original Viz dubs on VHS (which were super expensive compared to now), the clamshell VHS Viz subs, the DVDs, and now the Blu rays. That's not even getting into the manga, where I started with the tankoubans, got the individual Viz issues (the first few in color as an experiment), then the volumes. And I never got the last translated volume which is like impossible to find. I'd buy it digitally too, if they had it (not sure what's up with their digital Takahashi license, I was never able to buy the rest of Inuyasha digitally though it was avaiable at some point)
 
Season 1, part 2.
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
Time to drop off the latter half of season 1 (as per Hulu). Again, as Hulu has the episodes listed in production order instead of airing order, there won't be that weird continuity error where Shampoo is shown first, which had a flashback to the ice skating arc, which hadn't even aired yet which is a smart move for anyone jumping into this series very very late and being very confused.



The Abduction of P-chan: Due to the way the episodes were reordered, this is our first introduction to the second opening. My least favorite growing up but watching it now I kind of enjoy it's nearly melancholic tone even if it's not a great setup for a martial arts comedy, it'd almost do better as an ending theme. That said, the actual ending theme is very catchy if very simplistic. Maybe I'll rate the openings/endings of the series at some point.

Azusa is a kleptomaniac who likes to steal cute things, then give them french names. She also likes to beat people up who take their things back. She steals P-chan and of course this leads to an anything goes style challenge on the ice rink. Ryoga shows up, demanding to be paired with Akane, neither Ranma or Ryoga can actually skate, comedy ensues.

Sanzenin (Azusa's partner) takes advantage of female Ranma's inability to skate to sneak in a kiss and then proceeds to turn back into a guy and threaten him with a beat down.

I want to take a moment to go into this kiss scene because the dub and sub take this in slightly different ways. In the original Japanese sub Akane says the equivalent of "I'd cry too if I was kissed by a guy like you (Sanzenin)", in the dub it was definitely more derogatory "You'd (Sanzenin) cry too if you realized who you kissed." The dub definitely tried to play up more to the 'it's funny because it was secretly a little gay!" The whole situation is definitely a little problematic, but the dub handled it worse for what it's worth.

Close Call! The Dance of Death... On Ice!: Continuing straight from where the last episode left off, Ranma and Sanzenin get into a brawl on the ice. Ranma is clearly losing... or is he? Nah, secretly wins, Sanzenin becomes a men's bathroom stall (lots of graffiti). Back at the Tendo house, Ranma is told by Kasumi and Nabiki that his personal space being violated and the kiss against his will didn't count because "You were both boys." Classy. Ranma then proves to Akane she'd have fallen for it too by pulling the same Sanzenin sleezeball move, sans the actual kiss part of course. Classy. We get a brief cute moment afterwards where Akane and Ranma nearly kiss, but then the family starts popcorning them and kills the mood.

The match begins, Ranma still can't skate for crap, but gets a lucky hit off with a promise of the match to start in earnest.


P-Chan Explodes! The Icy Fountain of Love!: The fight continues and immediately Ranma gets his butt handed to him saving Akane from any series injuries. Ryoga shows up, tries to switch out with Ranma to finish the match with Akane, but screws up by tossing Akane out of the ring and turning Ranma into a girl. Now best Boy Ryoga must team with female Ranma to finish the match. Everyone is fine with the illegal substituion, but their outfits suck, so the match is paused to put Ranma in a more skin revealing outfit. You know, as you do.

Ryoga destroys the ice rink, Azusa defeats her partner and tries to steal a blanket, and Ranma and Ryoga take their own personal fight outside. They fall into a pool, Akane can't swim, and is also still too dumb to realize that Ryoga is P-chan.

Azusa is the best part of this arc, but it's hard to talk about her without ruining the joke, so there's that.

Pelvic Fortune-Telling? Ranma is the No. One Bride in Japan: This episode is bad. I can't remember if this was Anime only, or if it was also Manga filler. Either way, it's bad bad bad. Best girl Nabiki tries to save it, but there is no joy in her extorting Dr. Tofu who is one of 2-3 characters in this entire series who's straight up not a morally bankrupt person.

The only even slightly redeeming element is the big hip blues. We never hear the real song, but we hear Ranma and Akane both sing a couple lines from it, and it's truly special. Oh, and the final scene where Ranma is in a dress, as a boy, arguing with Akane about which of the two of them is cuter. The camera then pans over to Genma wordlessly staring at his son crying. Technically a joke based on toxic masculinity, it still kind of works on a purely absurdist level.

Enter Shampoo, the Gung-Ho Girl! I Put My Life in Your Hands: Unpopular opinion time, Shampoo is second worst girl. She's a more competent Kodachi, and she doesn't laugh like a maniac... but otherwise they are the same character. They both use dirty tricks to try and harm the other women in Ranma's life, and they also aren't above using dirty tricks to make him love them and only them. In fact, in some ways Kodachi is the better written one, since at least her single minded obsession seems to have started in a genuine place and not simply a strict adherence to amazon law. Grandma Cologne is a better girl than Shampoo, but we'll be getting to her soon enough.

Now that I've thrown away my Ranma Street-cred, we open with girl type Ranma being chased by Shampoo because Amazon law (ugh) decrees that if a women ever loses to an outside women, she must give them the kiss of death and chase them down and murder them in cold blood. Ranma escapes by turning into a boy, and then accidentally beating her again. Now she has to marry male Ranma because Amazong law (uuugggghhh) decrees that if a women loses to an outside man, she has to bring him into the bloodline to make it stronger. Nabiki continues being best girl, scamming Ranma with hot water for the low price of 5000 Yen (about $50 in 1990's money so roughly $100ish by today's valuation) every time he turns into a girl around her. Hijinks ensue. Some pretty great animation this episode.


Shampoo's Revenge! The Shiatsu Technique That Steals Heart and Soul: First half of the episode is all hijinks, but really nice quality art direction. Everyone is more on-model than usual, probably to show off more of Shampoo who was always a fan favorite and Kitty Studio was pretty desperate for early ratings to keep the show going. The second act is just one giant comedy skit about Akane not remembering Ranma due to Shampoo using memory erase Shampoo (get it, cause of the name!). It's okay.

The highlight is the dub doing an phenomenal job making the Japanese word play work in English.


I Love You, Ranma! Please Don't Say Goodbye: I just can't for the life of me figure out why people like Shampoo so much... oh...


Ranma is a jerk, Akane remembers him, Akane beats him up, and they reveal the 'truth' to Shampoo that Ranma is actually a girl pretending to be a boy and thus she runs back to China in defeat, never to return.

"I Am a Man! Ranma's Going Back to China!?: Studio Dean, already running out of budget from the first season resorts to a clip show with some new (but badly animated) scenes. The characters are all on model at least.

Clash of the Delivery Girls! The Martial Arts Takeout Race: The first fully original anime episode (I believe, the pelvic one may have been, but I feel like I read that in the manga) and it's.... okay. I'm going to spoil all types of ranma anime original filler and just refer to that for all future ones.

Type A: Ranma has another secret fiance! He/Akane will be challenged to a competition/fight which will be overcame and the status quo will be restored and these new fiancees will never appear again.
Type B: On off-shoot of Type A, (INSERT FIANCEE HERE) will be challenged by a rival, Ranma will be the prize, Ranma will somehow get involve and win whatever the challenge is. Status quo will be restored.
Type C: There is a cure for the Jusenkyo curse! Only there isn't, but we'll spend 25 minutes either getting to the cure, or finding out the 'cure' has even worse consequences than the curse. This one is tricky because there are actual plot relevant stories that also fall into this.
Type D: There is a competition to get a free trip to China, China will not be literal China, or Ryouga will win and end up in not-China.
Type E: Ranma will be suckered into helping random pervert escape their own problems (usually forced fiancee of their own, who'll they'll end up with regardless). These episodes will require Ranma to be girl type for 95% of the episode and will require Ranma be naked, in a swim suit, or other compromising outfits that he'll insist he won't wear, but will because anime.

I may need to revise this list, but I think that covers the vast majority of filler. This episode is Type A, the competition is martial arts take out. Akane wins, fiancee never appears again, status quo restored.

You Really Do Hate Cats!: Ranma and Akane sitting under a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes Tsun, then comes Dere, then comes Ranma acting like a cat because his father subjected him to straight torture when he was 6 years old. Fuck-in Genma.


So yeah, the second half of season 1 is overall pretty good. Filler and recap aside (all 3 of those easily skippable) there is a LOT to love about these episodes. The comedy hits hard and fast, and the action scenes are all very well animated. I think I typed more for this batch then the last batch even though there were fewer episodes, just a lot I felt like I had to talk about in these ones.

What's coming next: Ranma stops taking hot baths and gets a day job hosting at a chinese restaurant, Mousse is introduced, we end up in an alternate reality where anime remove beach episodes from manga instead of inserting new ones, Ryoga gets a power up, and finally ducks.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,290
I had a hard time with the seeming hard reset of Season 2 after the way Season 1 ended. I feel like the show that existed in Season 1 could have been a really satisfying show that ended in like three seasons in a satisfying way.

But I know that's not what the show is, ultimately. I enjoy parts of it, but man do I hate Ryoga/P-Chan and Happosai. Ranma isn't a good person but he doesn't deserve half the shit he gets.

Unlike someone like say Ataru, who deserves all the shit he gets and more.
 

Choppasmith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,245
Beaumont, CA
Ranma's got a good heart, but jeez, the life of unending bullshit his dad has dragged him through is gonna make you a bit prickly.

I don't know who's a worse dad. Genma Saotome, or Gendo Ikari.
I've noticed this too. Seriously, Genma's a real villain. He and Soun are made all the worse with their Happosai grovelling.

I think the other occurring trait of the show I've noticed is that back and forth where Ranma tries to be nice and Akane is just too stuck up and mad to be grateful and then it's reversed and it's the same thing.
 

bwahhhhh

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
871
I still love Ranma

Always had an odd fondness for movie #2

(I do prefer Urusei Yatsura though)
 

lunarworks

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,867
Toronto
I think the other occurring trait of the show I've noticed is that back and forth where Ranma tries to be nice and Akane is just too stuck up and mad to be grateful and then it's reversed and it's the same thing.
That one's annoying, and a well-known Rumiko specialty. Also, the world of shojo leaking into shonen.

(Girls' comics are more about emotional conflict, boys' comics are more about physical conflict.)

His over-inflated pride and lack of tact is also what gets him into trouble.
Ya, that's his dad again. Removing him from a mother's guidance paired with the overriding pressure to "be a man".

♬ A Piece Of Love ♬
I haven't heard that song in nearly 25 years, and seeing that immediately brought it into my head.
 

NeonZ

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,746
I had a hard time with the seeming hard reset of Season 2 after the way Season 1 ended. I feel like the show that existed in Season 1 could have been a really satisfying show that ended in like three seasons in a satisfying way.
Something really interesting to me in the first half of season 1 is that they add scenes to make one story transition into another that weren't in the manga, rather than just ending one episodic tale to start another. It feels a little more like a drama compared to everything starting from season 2 where there's a clear break between each episode/arc. I wonder if it would be even possible carry on like that for longer after the main cast introductions were all done.
 

RedVejigante

Member
Aug 18, 2018
1,134
So is anyone else a fan of Mousse? I always loved his look, and the fact that a so-called master of the dark arts is in reality a love-struck idiot who transforms into a duck.
 

lexible

Member
Oct 25, 2017
662
Australia
I was literally just humming some DoCo songs to myself, and I see this thread. This series holds an extremely special place in my heart, I found an odd solace in the show growing up, living with a really shitty family situation and running the gamut of the typical trans identity issues.

I started re-watching the show recently and I don't remember hating Happosai so much but god fucking dammit he starts to be a huge focal point and it's extremely annoying.
 
Apr 24, 2018
994
I still have the OVAs on DVD somewhere back at my parent's house. One of the first anime dvds I ever bought. Also one of the few English dubs I prefer to the Japanese dub.
 
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
I'd say Ranma 1/2 was a much better shounen manga than all of it's contemporaries (except maybe Jojo), and up untill at least the mid 00's. For all of the will-they-won't-they parts that are obviously shoujo-esque, the actual combat is top tier. While there are certainly a relative 'power level' to the characters, the fights are never really decided by them and there are never any ass grab power ups.

An example: Ranma doesn't defeat Happosai because he got physically stronger (in fact, the arc is when Ranma is at his physical weakest) but rather by training for multiple chapters to learn a new technique. Something we see the step by step process of. Then when it doesn't work, we see Ranma revise the technique on the fly... Just a tweak to all of the hard work he already put in to give the attack his own spin against a specific opponent.


I was literally just humming some DoCo songs to myself, and I see this thread. This series holds an extremely special place in my heart, I found an odd solace in the show growing up, living with a really shitty family situation and running the gamut of the typical trans identity issues.

I started re-watching the show recently and I don't remember hating Happosai so much but god fucking dammit he starts to be a huge focal point and it's extremely annoying.
Having all of the Japanese VA doing the music was a brilliant move. There are a couple songs I didn't enjoy, but for the most part they were amazing.

I'm not looking forward to the Happosai stuff, I've got another half season or so before he's introduced so I'm relishing that while I can.

Something really interesting to me in the first half of season 1 is that they add scenes to make one story transition into another that weren't in the manga, rather than just ending one episodic tale to start another. It feels a little more like a drama compared to everything starting from season 2 where there's a clear break between each episode/arc. I wonder if it would be even possible carry on like that for longer after the main cast introductions were all done.
The first half of season 1 was weaker for it, IMO. It's clear it was made as a soft-filler but it absolutely kills the pacing. The Akane-Tofu arc is paiiiinful to watch. There are a couple good character moments, but for comedy with martial arts action, they are so the antithesis of the main conceit that it hurts.
 
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
So is anyone else a fan of Mousse? I always loved his look, and the fact that a so-called master of the dark arts is in reality a love-struck idiot who transforms into a duck.
He has my favorite set of jokes of the entire series, when he first returns from China and captures 'Akane'... yeah those episodes/chapters in the manga were always gold to me.
 

CursedOctopus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
362
I still love Ranma

Always had an odd fondness for movie #2
Yeah, I like that movie too for some weird reason. At the end of the day it's just a rescue-Akane-again story, but it's got bits that has stuck with me, like the scene with Ryoga turning his fight around after getting super-depressed and releasing his hokodan.

Like others have said, I am a 99% sub fan, but the dub was really good. I used to hunt the vhs tapes at rental places around town since I was a poor student back then and couldn't afford to buy them. I swear I had OVA OP "Koi da! Panikku" stuck in my heads for months.
 

DVCY201

Member
Oct 25, 2017
965
I'm still waiting for the OVAs/Movies Box Set to go on sale. Ranma 1/2 is great, and I'm more of a recent fan with the new Blu-Rays. I've been thinking about why some of the problematic content doesn't bother me as much, and I think it's because it never glorifies it. It's a comedy where everyone is a bit dysfunctional and a bit of an asshole, but I never get the sense these are ideals you're supposed to look up to. I laugh at them, not with them. It's the same formula with Urusei Yatsura. There's still elements that don't hold up that others have touched up on though.

What's the consensus for the best "seasons"? I've heard 4-5 is where it dips hard, and that 6-7 are better. 1-2/3 seems to be commonly held as the high mark though.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
6,898
I'm still waiting for the OVAs/Movies Box Set to go on sale. Ranma 1/2 is great, and I'm more of a recent fan with the new Blu-Rays. I've been thinking about why some of the problematic content doesn't bother me as much, and I think it's because it never glorifies it. It's a comedy where everyone is a bit dysfunctional and a bit of an asshole, but I never get the sense these are ideals you're supposed to look up to. I laugh at them, not with them. It's the same formula with Urusei Yatsura. There's still elements that don't hold up that others have touched up on though.

What's the consensus for the best "seasons"? I've heard 4-5 is where it dips hard, and that 6-7 are better. 1-2/3 seems to be commonly held as the high mark though.
They've been on sale pretty regularly, though, at least in the US. Unless you're waiting for like super steep discounts or something.
 

DVCY201

Member
Oct 25, 2017
965
They've been on sale pretty regularly, though, at least in the US. Unless you're waiting for like super steep discounts or something.
Should've specified, I'm in Canada. I can only wait for amazon to discount them, because we don't have many options and import fees usually eat up any discounts from the States.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,290
I'm still waiting for the OVAs/Movies Box Set to go on sale. Ranma 1/2 is great, and I'm more of a recent fan with the new Blu-Rays. I've been thinking about why some of the problematic content doesn't bother me as much, and I think it's because it never glorifies it. It's a comedy where everyone is a bit dysfunctional and a bit of an asshole, but I never get the sense these are ideals you're supposed to look up to. I laugh at them, not with them. It's the same formula with Urusei Yatsura. There's still elements that don't hold up that others have touched up on though.

What's the consensus for the best "seasons"? I've heard 4-5 is where it dips hard, and that 6-7 are better. 1-2/3 seems to be commonly held as the high mark though.
I think Urusei Yatsura works better because it's like a 24/7 asshole festival (though some are obviously worse than others). I think the thing about Ranma 1/2 is sometimes characters get punished in a comedic sense even when they're trying to be better and it has more clear "villains" who get away with a lot more stuff in a frustrating way.

Ataru has obviously aged way worse as a character than most others, excepting maybe Happosai or Ryoga.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
6,898
I think Urusei Yatsura works better because it's like a 24/7 asshole festival (though some are obviously worse than others). I think the thing about Ranma 1/2 is sometimes characters get punished in a comedic sense even when they're trying to be better and it has more clear "villains" who get away with a lot more stuff in a frustrating way.

Ataru has obviously aged way worse as a character than most others, excepting maybe Happosai or Ryoga.
Yeah, having a letch as your main character doesn't work as well for me even if he gets his comeuppance. Part of what makes Ranma better, to me, at least, is that he's got his harem but he's not overtly lecherous (yet he's not completely clueless like he would be if he were a Shonen Jump character of that era)
 

Alienhated

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,039
Ranma will always have a special place in my heart.

I mean, it's pure end of Showa era anime comfyness. The late 80s/early 90s character designs and art, the tastful color palette, that amazing, traditional Japanese mixed with chinese influences ost played with sinth instruments, it's just so cozy and nostalgic to me.
It also reminds me a lot of Shenmue.




 

bwahhhhh

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
871
Yeah, I like that movie too for some weird reason. At the end of the day it's just a rescue-Akane-again story, but it's got bits that has stuck with me, like the scene with Ryoga turning his fight around after getting super-depressed and releasing his hokodan.
that was literally the scene that stuck with me most, always felt low-key epic. I was also a Ryoga fan though.

Funny thing, my first experience with Ranma was going to Tokyo as a kid and picking up the Super Famicom game (the first one, that got totally reskinned when it came to the US) so I already had certain favorites before I even watched the series
 
Season 2, part 1.
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
I also remember that scene the most. It was unusual to see Uyko and Ryoga interacting so having them paired together was unique.
Not really, the anime HEAVILY pushed those two as a couple, versus the manga's tactic of giving both characters an obvious ship.



Onto season 2!

This Ol' Gal's the Leader of the Amazon Tribe!: Shampoo turns out to have gone to Jusenkyo and now turns into a cat. Hijinks ensue. Also Shampoo's Great Grandma shows up and makes it so Ranma can't touch even tepidly warm water without feeling like it's on fire, thus trapping him in his girl form.



Behold! The 'Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire' Technique: Ranma takes up a job at the ramen shop that Shampoo and her Great Grandmother run and learns of the technique listed in the title. Ranma quickly figures out the key to punching really fast, is to... well... punch very fast. Also there are pirahnas involved.

Enter Mousse! The Fist of the White Swan:
What to say about Mousse? His fighting technique is interesting relying on hidden weapons instead of pure strength, but god is he both a bad and boring character. Of all the one-note reoccuring characters, he is the most one-note.

This episode has more evidence of why it was dumb to make Ranma's transformation a secret in the anime versus being well known in the manga. Male ranma gets into a fight, 'transforms' into a girl during his fight with mousse, and all of the students and residents of Nerima are still too dumb to figure it out.

Cool Runnings! The Race of the Snowmen: One of the universal truths of any shonen or comedy anime, and that is that there will be a beach episode. Ranma is no exception... but where it IS weird is that the first beach episode set up by the manga is mysteriously turned into a snowy mountain episode. The plot remains the same (race while trying to destroy an object all the other racers are holding, last person standing wins a date with shampoo/the phoenix pill to fix Ranma) but the setting is completely different. The only thing I can think of was the anime was trying to right a continuity error (Ranma and crew going on summer vacation in the middle of the school year) but since the rest of the show doesn't seem to care about that, this is particularly weird.

That said, it was an okay episode.

Ranma Trains on Mt. Terror: The first episode we learn that Akane can't cook. Later episodes Akane goes from not being able to cook, to essentially creating toxic waste whenever she tries. Not a lot happens as it's a setup for the next episode...

The Breaking Point!? Ryoga's Great Revenge: Up until this point, Ranma has been clearly the best at simply everything (well, besides Shampoo's Great Grandmother). Here Ryoga starts to differentiate himself by being physically stronger and more able to tank punches, but much slower and less adaptive than Ranma. Something that holds true pretty much for the entire rest of the series. The fight between them was great fun, and we see more of Ranma's ability to adapt moves on the fly.

We also get our first appearance to the Saotome Final Attack...


Danger at the Tendo Dojo!: The first of the "we have a cure, but not really" episodes. This is technically NOT filler, but it lays the ground work for a lot of future filler, and for that it's still pretty bad.

The Abduction of Akane!: This episode has the single greatest running gag of the entire series. No joke. Everyone pretending Akane is her stuffed pig after Mousse captures it (thinking it was Akane) has me laughing every time I get here, anime or manga.

Also Mousse is a duck now, no one cares.

Ranma vs. Mousse! To Lose Is To Win: Ranma wins. Pretty boring end to the two parter.

Enter Happosai, the Lustful Lecher!: I thought about waiting to do this episode and the next arc because of Happosai, but I figured I'd just rip off the bandaid... and you know what? It's not that bad. Yes, Happosai is a shitty character that does shitty things... but as far as anime characters go, he's really not that bad. And why? Because he's a bad person, and we're not supposed to be rooting for him.

I'd rather have a Happosai versus the protagonists in a lot of series from the last 20 years. We all know the ones... Either the main character, or the best friend who we're SUPPOSED to like and root for, but wants to peek at girls in the hotspring, etc etc.

But back to the episode at hand, it's actually pretty good at setting up Happosai to be a main antagonist. In a lot of ways, this is the biggest misstep with the character as he never ACTUALLY becomes one. He gets a small arc or two, but he quickly becomes just part of the regular cast and even gets demoted a bit in terms of overall strength (he's played as strong or stronger than Cologne)

Assault on the Girls' Locker Room: Type C filler, though it's not completely anime original (though it is more drawn out). We also get our first instance of Ranma using his girl form to trick Ryoga into thinking a girl likes him. First by pretending to be Akane, then by inventing a new persona. This will be Ranma's primary way to trick and/or get under Ryoga's skin. It often goes poorly.

That said, if you've ever wondered about the original for the Ran-Ryo pairings, this episode probably got that ball rolling.

Kuno's House of Gadgets! Guests Check In, But They Don't Check Out: This isn't the first episode with anime original character Sasuke (mispronounced as Sah-sue-keh in the dub) but it is yet another reminder of how absolutely pointless he is. Nothing particularly good about this episode.

Goodbye Girl-Type: Turns out the magic cure doesn't work. Wah wahhhh. Nabiki continues to be best girl.


"But maybe you should reconsider. I mean think about how much more interesting your honeymoon will be. At least you'll never be bored eh Akane?"

That is a girl who gets it.



I'm still feeling pretty good half way through the second season. It's only as a long term fan of both the anime and the manga that I can notice the cracks starting to form. We're seeing the ground work being laid for future filler garbage episodes, but as of right now all of these were in the original manga and there first appearance in the anime so they aren't too tired and worn out.... yet. Happosai is still a garbage character of course, but he's a character we're supposed to hate so I'll reiterate, I'd still prefer him over protagonists we're supposed to root for who does scummy things.
 

Cruxist

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
681
This show has always existed on the periphery for me. I remember finding the manga in a store back when I was a teenager and thinking it was something I shouldn’t look at because of the nudity lol.

Anyways, I needed a new thing to watch while on the treadmill at the gym, and I saw this topic and said what the hell. So Ranma is my new gym show. Only about 5 episodes in and it’s basically what I anticipated, but I know there’s more transforming characters that get introduced.

Really glad something like this is on Hulu.
 

Saoshyant

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,237
Portugal
Oh man, I haven't thought about Ranma in... like, 18 years? Well, a longass time at least. It was the longest running anime show on this south american channel called Locomotion that for some odd reason also broadcasted here (Portugal). I remember loving watching the hijinks, bonker plot, and even the fighting scenes, and I'm happy to hear that it mostly aged well, other than all the Happosai bullshit. I'd love to rewatch at least season 1 at some point.
 

NeonZ

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,746
i thought consensus was the movies were kinda bad. i could roll with the first one but loads of nostalgia handicap there
I actually thought the first movie was the weakest one. It's a comedy movie that oddly wastes too much time on relationship drama once the antagonist appears. I wouldn't even describe it as an actual adventure movie since when they get to China it instantly changes to a "get through the 12 houses" structure but almost all battles in the 2nd part of the movie turn out to be comedic.

The second movie at least has noticeably good animation, including for the battles near the ending even though it's basically the usual kidnapping plot (but with all girls rather than just Akane which at least results in scenes featuring more characters).
 
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Season 2, part 2.
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058

It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain: The Kunos continue to be the least interesting antagonists, in this kinda boring but mostly harmless episode. Also Akane can't cook.

S.O.S.! The Wrath of Happosai: I completely forgot that Soun Tendo had any character, so it was nice to see he had some ambitions in the form of local politics. Happosai's schtick is already wearing a bit thin however. At least his revenge in the form of calling in tons of delivery orders and drawing all over the walls was interesting.


Kissing is Such Sweet Sorrow! The Taking of Akane's Lips: This episode has a lot of great still shots, but the animation quality is pretty bad. A shame because as a whole this is a pretty good episode. It's weird to see teenagers on screen drinking alcohol (definitely a different time in Japanese TV airing standards) even if it's definitely pointed out as being a bad thing by one of the teachers, he gets shut down pretty fast.

Bathhouse Battle! We're in Some Hot Water Now: Nabiki remains best girl. Also Happosai is still a gross character, but his greater sin is that he's just a boring character. Even as a plot device he's pretty weak 95% of the time when anything else could cover his role. This is a very fan servicey episode for anyone following along at home and wants to skip what is mostly filler and an excuse for lots of naked girls.

Ranma Gains Yet Another Suitor: Second best girl Ukyo finally shows up, and the only other person who has a 'legitimate' claim to Ranma. Unfortunately her first episode is pretty bog standard for the series. Not bad... but the follow up is much better.

As a side note, this is when the third season starts in the original Japanese airing, and thus there is a new OP and ED. Likely my favorite for both!


"I could do this for hours!"
Ryoga & Akane: 2-Gether, 4-Ever: This episode is not the best episode in the series by a long shot, but what this episode is, is the encapsulation of every major concept to the series. If you had a friend that's never heard of Ranma, and they wanted to see a single episode to know if this series was for them this is it. It's got weird martial arts action, scheming fiancees, classic misunderstandings, Ranma using his girl form to trick Ryoga, and it all ends with a return to the status quo (sans Ukyo learning that Ranma can transform). Not only does it cover all of the bases, it's a pretty funny episode in general!

Sneeze Me, Squeeze Me, Please Me! Shampoo's Recipe For Disaster: Another classic episode, and would be great to watch back to back with the previous episode to show what Ranma is all about to anyone on the fence. While not as dynamic as the previous episode, it does cover the last couple remaining conceits of the show, namely Ranma and Akane's romance as well as some of the other fantastical elements of the show (as well as Shampoo).

Rub-a-Dub-Dub! There's a Pervert in the Tub: Standard Happosai episode. Entirely skippable without missing anything. Not especially funny or interesting.

I Love You! My Dear, Dear Ukyo: Ryoga & Akane, and Sneeze Me were great episodes that show some of the best that Ranma has to offer... This episode shows some of the worst. This episode hasn't just aged, it's congealed. There is a LOT to unpack here, and none of it is good.

Let's start with the main character outside of the primary cast... A trans woman named Tsubasa who's in love with Ukyo. She knows that Ukyo is a girl, and the rest of the cast does not know that she's trans assuming she's AFAB. I'm sure everyone is looking at that last sentence couple sentences and can already realize just how badly this could go, and it does go there and maybe even worse than how you're imagining.

3/4ths of the episode is spent trying to convince Tsubasa that, as a girl, she shouldn't be trying to get together with Ukyo because she's also a girl. It's very gross. The last bit of the episode is them finding out Tsubasa was born male (Ukyo knew because they had gone to an all boys school together), and implying how wrong that is... and then Tsubasa (rightfully) calls out Ranma for essentially doing the same thing (remembering at this point that Ranma has been no stranger to dressing up as Juliet, as Ryoga's fiancee, etc) but the last line is Ranma saying "It's different" and cutting out, implying we're supposed to be siding with Ranma that it is somehow different because he physically changes sex.

There are a lot of one-off jokes in this series that have aged poorly, but this entire episode is a DUMPSTER FIRE. Do not waste your time, skip it, pretend it doesn't exist. The anime mostly does after it's over (as far as I remember, the manga however has Tsubasa as a recurring character and it doesn't get much better)

The Witch Who Loved Me: A Japanese Ghost Story: Another totally forgettable Happosai episode, and kind of a bummer to end this season on. We again hear about Soun's local political ambitions, so it's nice to see that wasn't simply a one-off though I'm pretty sure it never really does end up going anywhere. There was a bit of really nice animation, but otherwise an easy pass if you don't want to waste your time.



So, the second half of season 2... I will say it was a far more enjoyable ride than the first half, but it is a roller coaster of quality. Happosai is the biggest drag, and it's no surprise that my two favorite episodes in this part don't have him in it at all.

I'm thinking going forward that at the end of each season, I'll take a short break from watching the episodes and do something else Ranma related. Either reviewing the music, a game, or one of the movies (the OVA I plan on doing last simply because I have the fondest memories of them and their animation quality was bar none, and thus I want to go out on that high note). I doubt I'll be able to play all of the games, especially more obscure ones like on the MSX, but I remember the puzzle game being a sort of favorite of mine and the fighting games being decent enough.
 
SNES/SFC Fighting Games
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
I plan on taking on as many of the Ranma games as I can get a hold of, but for the sake of getting things done relatively fast so I can go back to watching, I'll give the Ranma RPG it's own space and time since I'll have to spend a lot of time on it...

In the mean time, we have ourselves a Ranma 1/2 Fighting game special!!

First is the only Ranma game that survived the localization process intact. Ranma Hard Battle!



Released in 1993 in the US, it predates the dub but not surprisingly Viz's licensing. It contains a lot of weird localization oddity because of it. Panda-Genma uses his original Japanese voice acting, everyone else uses random English speakers, but they still say the moves in Japanese (also the English VA recording is really REALLY low quality, both in terms of the acting and the bitrate).



Releasing in 1992 in Japan, it has a decent array of characters, and some also really weird editions. I'm not sure why King is here, and Gosunkugi is also a pretty terrible choice as well.



This game is not pretty, and not especially on model. It also plays surprisingly slow but uses some unique mechanics for it's special moves. You perform them by holding either Y (weak) or B (strong) as well as a direction. You release the attack button and a move will be performed, with the longer you holding the attack button, the stronger the attack being (you don't have to hold the direction the entire time, only the last moment before you release the attack button).

That said, there is some baffling decisions, like assigning jump to X. Luckily you can remap it in-game.



The story mode is pretty simple, and each character gets their own 5-6 lines but it all comes down to "Fight 8 guys, win some prize."



I'm apparently really bad at this game.



I also hate how this game uses 1's for lower case L's. The font in general is pretty bad. Also the localization is very very bland, lacking the verbal ticks that Viz added to the dub.

Also the music is pretty bad...

Ranma ½: Neighborhood Combat Chapter



This game is baaaaaad. Single player only allows you to choose boy or girl Ranma. The characters are all off model, the colors are really bad, and it's about as basic of a fighting game as you can get. You have 4 combat buttons, and they all do 1 thing as far as I can tell.



I will say this, the combat is at least fast. Both the combat speed itself and the fact that there are no real slow downs to speak of... but it doesn't save it.

Ranma ½: Super-Skill Wild Dance Chapter





Straight up, this is the only Ranma fighting game for Super Famicom to bother with, though it is 95% a straight up Street Fighter 2 clone. That said, it's actually fun. Big roster, beautiful sprites, decent (still a little slow) gameplay.



Every single fighter in this game is actually a fighter, which makes it better than Hard Battle. Mariko is a bit of an odd one out, but her fighting style is very unique and adds some nice diversity.



Sprites are much more on model, and the backgrounds are beautifully detailed (but only some are animated beyond some nice parallax). The game also is a world trotting adventure, so each level is based on a different country (again, like Street Fighter 2) giving a lot of nice variety.



Though admittedly, sometimes there are some weird combinations like fighting Hinako in the African Savannah. The music and sound effects are the best the series has had so far.



Though checking my screen shots, there appears to be more levels set in the US than any other, but at least they are wildly different locals. The only thing that kind of stands out as a unique mechanic is that if your opponent gets too defensive, you can charge up your next attack by holding R and L. This makes your health bar flash and allows your next attack to do double damage, though you lose it on a missed special or if you get hit.



I have no idea why Ranma is fighting in that outfit besides the fact that they weirdly wanted to give her breast jiggle for a couple of moves.



If it wasn't clear enough already, this game is actually quite fun. The moves all fit the characters, and if you've ever played Street Fighter, you'll adjust very quickly. The game is the only one fun enough of the fighting games that I actually beat it. It is pretty easy on the default setting however.

(edit) And apparently the best game got a rom translation last year that I wasn't aware of.
 
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058
KojiKnight might be worth mentioning that the third ranma fighting game on the SFC got a localization patch very recently.
Actually was not aware of this, very cool. I'll find a link and add it to that post.

(edit) Would not have been my first choice for a font for their in-battle names though. 16x8 looks awful for English characters, they should have used 8x8. Still, very cool that someone took the time to make it.
 

cj_iwakura

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,055
Coral Springs, FL
Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle was a surreal experience for me, since I had no idea who half those characters were, since it came out long before those episodes/issues were ever localized.

That said, it was the reason I saw the show, and was basically my anime gateway drug.
(I still own my cartridge to this day.)
 
Season 3, part 1
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KojiKnight

KojiKnight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,058


Transform! Akane the Super-Duper Girl: A solid one off episode. Not much more to say.

The Killer From Jusenkyo: This episode is anime original and it's stupid, bad, and plot-holey as shit. There is apparently a secret anti-Jusenkyo cult that want to kill anyone who abuses their curses. But by the end they try to get Ranma and Co to defeat their curse by will power alone, essentially torturing them by dumping them into a river, pouring hot water on them, and repeating. But obviously this method doesn't work since one of their enforcers is cursed and hasn't beaten it this way and it's just... it's just dumb. It's also got some of the worst animation in the series so far with way too few in-between frames and all of the characters being very off model.


Am I... Pretty? Ranma's Declaration of Womanhood: Before I get too deeply into the meat of this episode (we might be here a little while) let me just say, the first 5 minutes of this episode are animated beautifully. Where the last episode had some of the worst animation so far, this episode has had the best animation ESPECIALLY the first 5 minutes but even outside of that there is not a single off-model frame and there is some amazing in-between work.

Some ground work: Ranma bonks his head and is convinced that he's actually a woman and has always been a woman trapped in his male body. This isn't a case of amnesia, she remembers everything up to this point but her personality is completely different. There are many... MANY layers of bad and awful and the worst part is... This is a really good episode. Even with it's troublesome elements it's amazingly animated, has genuinely funny moments... but I'd be super remiss if I didn't talk about them a bit.

Firstly, how everyone treats Ranma is pretty gross. It's the usual toxic masculinity stuff, but if this story was stand alone and tweaked as "Ranma comes out as a trans woman." (which she sort of does, but we'll get to that point later) we have her close friends and family telling her this isn't who she's supposed to be to the point that Akane chases her with a weapon in an attempt to force her to be someone she's not.

Secondly, the depiction of "true woman" Ranma is kind of gross. Kind of like Kasumi turned up to 11 being 100% subservient, who's goals are to be a good wife and cook for her future husband.

Third is a little bit more out there... There was an episode of Star Trek Voyager where two crew members (Tuvok and Neelix) got fused and became an entirely new person. This new person rightfully did not want to be sacrificed to bring back the two people he was made of. He was a conscious person and he made a decision that he wanted to live his life as who he was now, and Janeway overruled him, essentially killing Tuvix to get her two crew members back and that was kind of shitty as hell.

I bring that up, because that's how this episode ends. This version of Ranma made it clear that she was always a part of Ranma, and that she had zero interest in returning to her normal personality. She had her own wants, needs, and ambitions and Akane symbolically removed her from existence because she wanted the 'old' Ranma back.

I understand why they had to go back to the status quo, and it was of course the right decision for the series... it just feels morally pretty gross to set her up as her own entity and then forcing her back to normal against her will. In a series with tons of magical mcguffins, they could have figured something out... or just characterized her differently from the start.

That all said... Even with all of it's problematic elements, it's still a really good episode.

Final Facedown! Happosai vs. The Invisible Man: Back to bad animation, and back to truly garbage filler. Then again, it focuses on Happosai so I guess that's not too surprising. Totally skippable episode.

Les Misérables of the Kuno Estate: Kuno siblings fight, Sasuke pees the bed. Totally serviceable episode.

Ghost Story! Ranma and the Magic Sword: Ukyo continues her second-best girl showing in this otherwise harmless but not exactly exciting episode.



All It Takes is One! The Kiss of Love is the Kiss of Death: This is an adaptation of one of my favorite manga chapters and it holds up really well. Though it taking place in summer on the beach shows what I mentioned way back in the beginning of season 2... They tried to fix the continuity error by having it on the mountain in winter in the anime, but they gave up quickly on that.

These are my favorite kind of Ranma/Akane episodes because while there are outside forces at play, they still act like the OTP they are on their own without too much prodding.

Though the episode gets a major demerit for me having to imagine an octopus making love to Happosai.

The Ultimate Team-up!? The Ryoga/Mousse Alliance: Best boy Ryoga gets tricked by worst boy Mousse. Ryoga's delusions of being Ranma and Akane's pet pig after they get married and have kids, and the running jokes from that make this another bright spot in this season. Easily top 10 episodes so far.

Back to the Happosai!: Oh look... a Happosai episode. *yawwwwwwn*. The 'twist' of the episode is time travel, but it's the same ol stuff.

Kodachi the Black Rose! The Beeline to True Love: We're really getting into the filler parts of the series and it shows. Filler that tries to pretend it has big stakes, but has to essentially mean nothing to get back to the status quo. The Tendou and Saotomes are broke despite Soun being on the city counsil, Genma working at Dr. Tofu's and Nabiki being best girl and thus always able to scam Kuno. Kodachi offers to bankroll everyone's lifestyle if she gets to marry Ranma and man... this was a boring episode.


The Last Days of Happosai...?: Another Happosai episode though he's mostly incidental. I really dislike Miyo as a one off character. Her design clashes with the rest of the series and is straight up UGLY, and her all knowing eye thing is a weak schtick. Her role could have been handled by any number of existing characters. It's also really frustrating seeing characters that hate Happosai suddenly feel bad when he feels sick and want to help no matter what the consequences.



Watching this part of season 3, I was actually thinking this was an improvement over season 2... but going through all of the episodes again to write something about them and my opinion has definitely shifted. Only 4 episodes out of this batch are what I'd call good, and one of those I'm still pretty conflicted about. Maybe it's just the fact that there is no real absolute stinkers this batch so it weighs on the better end despite all of that. The animation bump in a lot of these episodes also helps... but if I remember right, by about season 4 animation quality takes a pretty awful dive so I have to enjoy this while I can.
 

Choppasmith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,245
Beaumont, CA
but if I remember right, by about season 4 animation quality takes a pretty awful dive so I have to enjoy this while I can.
Season 4 is when Hawaiian Principal shows up, right? That's where I'm at and yeah it's NOTICEABLE. I mean it's still okay on its own but compared to the first season it's a downgrade.

Speaking of Season 4, I feel like I missed and episode and I'm confused and hopefully someone can help. When my HS friend got me into Ranma, one of the VHS tapes I borrowed from him was an episode where Akane gets lost in the mountains and meets an isolated young man who takes care of her. He lives near some kind of special water spring and when Akane cooks with it, it magically makes her food delicious. When Ranma finds her and tries her cooking he goes "This is..! THIS IS...! (then flatly) Wow it's actually tasty. Pretty good, even." The thing is, Season 4 is when Ranma changes VAs to Richard Cox and I KNOW this episode had his original VA in it. This was a good 20 years ago, so sorry for the lack of details. Was this an OVA that isn't on Hulu or something? Or is it a future episode that has the original VA?