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SaitoHajime101's Ranma 1/2 Tv,manga Review

Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2 tv,manga Review

Ranma Saotome is a 16-year-old student and heir to the "Anything Goes" style of martial arts. However, Ranma is not your average student: since a "fateful" day at a Chinese training ground called Jusenkyo, he turns into a cute girl when he comes in contact with cold water. Only a dose of hot water can reverse the effects...temporarily.

Yet the craziness of Ranma's life does not end here; due to an agreement between Soun Tendo and Ranma's father, Genma (who himself is cursed with transforming into a panda), the gender-wise unusual boy is now engaged to Akane Tendo, a rather violent and tomboyish girl. Sure enough, romance unwillingly blossoms and time brings about problems including cute pig-boys, ego-inflated Sempais and countless new fiancées...

Synopsis: Caya

Story & Playability

Before I begin, I would like to place a note saying that this review is mostly of the anime since I've only read the last 3 volumes of the manga. However I will make some comments toward the ending of the manga. Now to begin:

RAGE! Thats a good word to describe how I'm feeling right now. There's so much to dislike about this series, but I will give some credit that I did enjoy it at parts. With that being said, I'm going to start off with the good points about the story.

This story (originally started in 1989) is an extremely unique one. Its also one of those stories, that just by reading the summary for the premise of the story on the back of volume 1 of the manga or VHS, you would think this had plenty of potential. It really did have alot of potential to be one of the greats, yet Rumiko Takahashi rears her writing once again and proves why I should stay away from anything she comes up with.

Ranma 1/2 is about a boy named Saotome Ranma (pssh, who didn't see that one coming), and his curse that enables him to change into a girl when getting cold water poured on him. Now thats the main story but this entire series, by season 4, rarely does anything involving the actual story. Now to coincide with the curse story, you also get a sub-plot involving Ranma getting into an arranged engagement to Tendo Akane. Just a bit of side information, the Tendo and Saotome Families both use "Anything Goes" Martial Arts. However unlike the Saotomes, who are traveling martial artists, the Tendos have set up a dojo in Tokyo. Ranma being engaged to Akane set him up to be the heir to the Tendo Dojo which practices the same martial arts that he does. Sounds like a sweet deal don't you think? Well, personalities don't really mesh well together with these characters, especially at the start.

Obviously you get introduced first to Ranma and Genma Saotome (Genma being Ranma's father). Ranma is the main character thats a real prick to women and an arrogant bastard when it comes to fighting other people. Now rolls in Akane who is a tomboyish female who loves martial arts, but has a quick temper. I bet you can see where this is going, hm? Now let the crazy antics begin with Ranma being sent flying after every insult spouted from his insensitive mouth. Sounds funny, for sure, up until halfway into the series when it just becomes the same ol' crap. Fortunately enough, the writers for the anime got smart and showed Ranma warming up to Akane as the series went on, so it wasn't so bad (can't say if its because of how Takahashi did it in the manga or not). Now there's a slew of characters beyond just Akane and Ranma, but it would take to long to talk about those who appear the most so I will go onto my thoughts as a whole.

As much as some of the side stories and characters in this series were funny and enjoyable, I can say for certain I've never seen a character list full of this many dense and retard nutjobs in any anime or manga I've seen or read in my lifetime. I understand its a good character trait to add for some humor, but come on, you don't give 'em to every character in the story!. Again fortunately, there were some brains in the writing staff of Ranma by the 6th season that laid off the dense, idiotic fools and supplied some smarter stories but come on. What really drove me up the wall was the fact that Akane couldn't piece together that P-chan and Ryoga were the same freakin' person/animal! What's even worse than that is Rumiko Takahashi (as far as I know) used that as a plot device for half of her manga which in turn made the writers for the anime use it for a large amount of episodes in the series as a subplot (keep in mind the manga is 38 volumes long). Probably the most ridiculous character I found watching this series was the episode that introduced the demon that was just a doodle of a girl panda (literally a doodle if you watch the episode). That entire episode made my believe that everyone involved with the series was on crack (wouldn't be surprised considering this series did come out in the late 80s, early 90s hah!).

Now comes the ending. Keep in mind I try to do well in not sharing any real spoilers but the problem with this series is there's literally nothing to spoil. This series is so freakin' predictable that it makes other predictable series seem unpredictable. I won't talk specifically of any details regarding the manga ending or anime final episode but I can safely say I physically raged at em. Luckily for me I didn't break anything, but I wanted to punch something. I will go into more about the execution and such in the final section (which will also finish the train of thought I had on this subject of raging).

All in all, the points that saved the series from getting a bottom-of-the-barrel rating is the enjoyability/humor of some character interactions and originality of the story.

Rating: 4

Graphics

Whats there really to say coming from a 1989 release? I will freely admit I don't have large pool of knowledge when it comes to anime pre-dating or same time release as Ranma (my list regarding that is maybe about 5 animes or so). I can't say for any certainty that the animation was top notch for its time. I can say the animation did improve over the span of the 7 seasons so thats a plus and I've always had a fondness for older-style anime. At least I can say the art didn't hurt the anime in any which way but it didn't improve it in any way either. The art did however fit the series so I can't really complain. Not much else to talk about.

The manga style was typical, I think, for that time period. Same as the anime, can't really say much about it. Its average.

Rating: 5

Sound

Well there's so much to talk about here in regards to VAs (english dub, didn't watch the japanese), but I'll start with the music.

I don't know when insert songs became a big thing in anime but it definitely wasn't in this one so I didn't have to worry so much about downloading soundtracks to get em. However the OP and EDs needed some work. I enjoyed the very first opening song "Jaja Uma ni Sasenai de", I even went out of my way to get it onto my mp3 player. It was an enjoyable song and now that I think about it, it was played later in the series during an episode where karaoke was involved. This song felt like it encompassed what Ranma 1/2 was about both in energy and in the love story. Now beyond that I had a hard time getting to much of the other music. Its not that its late 80s/early 90s music (hell I grew up on that stuff), its just didn't hook me. Just don't be surprised when you hear the music, its what you would expect from that time period (no matter if you lived in Japan or in a western country like the U.S.).

Now the english dub. This series was officially dubbed and distributed on VHS/DVD back in 2001 (approximately 10 years after its original airing in Japan), so there was quite a number of familiar voices that actually didn't do half bad at the start. Some trivia is that several voices were changed as the series went on. The one worth mentioning is Ranma's male voice was initially voiced by Sarah Strange (took some time to get used to), but then they brought in Richard Cox (yes the same who played Inuyasha) to do the part. Now you will also recognize alot of other voices in the english dub including several who voiced in the Inuyasha dub, but also in Gundam Seed and other series. There was also several unknowns who, aside from Ranma 1/2, never go on to do much else in the anime industry as VAs. It's quite disappointing actually because I enjoyed, for the most part, the english cast list and felt like this is one of those series that is a positive spotlight on the english dub section of the industry (considering dubs usually get bad raps, I'm neither for or against dubs or subs, I'm equal).

It was odd however when Richard Cox started playing the boy-type Ranma. He comes in on the second episode of season 4. We've already spent 3 seasons (approx 60 or so episodes) with Sarah Strange doing the voice so I didn't see the reason for the switch. It took about 10 or so episodes to get used to Strange playing the role, but I felt comfortable with it as the series went on. To pull her out like that made me have to get used to Boy Ranma all over again which isn't good. I thought that was a bad moved pulled. Another interesting fact, courtesy of Anime News Network, is that Brigitta Dau was fired from playing the voice of girl-type Ranma after the negative backlash of her voice from the first six episodes of the series. Didn't seem all that bad to me, guess people were having that itchy trigger finger for the gun labeled "dubs suck" again. Guess its more of a personal opinion in that matter.

Anyhow, past all the trivia and such, I reiterate to say the dubs were fairly good, surprisingly. However there's always going to be haters and those who just trash dubs because they can. I say go find out for yourself if the dub version of Ranma 1/2 suits you or the Japanese version does. Points off for the screwing around with casting, midway through the series.

Rating: 6

Fun

Sigh, I think I finally got through most of my raging about this series, but who knows, it might come back when I speak what I have to say here.

First off being 7 seasons long, one would expect constant episodes in every series that bring us back to the main story so we don't forget but alas this series stops doing that by season 5. Its just the first part of all my raging. A very episodic series that teeters on the line between ridiculous and stupid. I'm one to always watch every episode no matter what happens, but I will freely admit here, this series, for the first time in my anime watching career, I broke that tradition of mine. I ended up skipping a couple episodes here and there after the 3rd season because the previews for them were total crap. I mean in season 7 you get an episode about cursed musical instruments. Really?! Takahashi, cut the bullcrap stories and just stick to the main that way when your works get adopted into anime form, they don't have to dink around for most of the series just on filler. I mean I know you love to milk your popular works for all their worth (I don't understand how her stuff even gets popular in the first place), but come on, enough is enough. I can't even blame the fillers additions on the anime writers/director for the series, because from what I read of the manga, its filled with majority of filler anyway that I doubt they could fill a full season. This is the problem when you create an anime based on a manga that's not finished yet. You start to get anime like Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, Naruto, or Bleach that start having the same amount of filler episodes as there are main story episodes.

I say this, its been about 20 years since Ranma 1/2 came out, the manga has been long over, I think they could safely remake the anime to properly follow the main story of Ranma without digressing into much filler, plus Takahashi could come back and add a bit more to the ending. This leads me to my problem with the ending that I alluded to earlier in the story section. I will say here, slight SPOILER ALERT because I do hint at what gets talked about and explained by the end of the manga, so if you don't want that, skip to the next paragraph. They only solved the main love story which didn't need to be solved because we knew how it was going to go anyhow. It was the most predictable love story ever written which didn't need to be explained. What did need to get solved which never really did was everyone's problem with the changing of forms. Sigh! The anime ending was even worse because it felt like I was getting my emotions toyed with. Its like getting a nice bowl of ice cream getting waved in front of you but when you go to grab it, it gets pulled out of reach.

END OF SPOILER ALERT

I will say for sure here, I raged like I never raged before after watching the ending to the anime.

Story as a whole was a complete mess, characters dense beyond belief and the only character I thought was half way decent ended up being the naive girl from hell (refering to Kasumi Tendo). The execution of this story was piss poor; way to drawn out for something that didn't need to be this long.

Individual stories were fun and humorous and a few characters were interesting but it does nothing to save this series from the low rating its going to get. To make matters worse I went out of my way to watch/read the series because I heard good things about it only to be greatly disappointed. There was a book talking about Psychology and Anime (can't remember the exact title) and I remember while reading it, it discussed alot of the implications Ranma 1/2 had with gender identity issues and such. I can say 100% that there was at most 3 episodes which Ranma had any small inkling with a gender identity crisis. The rest of this series was Ranma being a complete arrogant douchebag (he even admits several times that he turns into a girl on purpose to get ice cream he otherwise wouldn't eat and at other times uses his girl side to get the upper hand in a fight against Happosai).

I can keep going on and on about how crappy this series really is when put into the spotlight. On the surface of every episode, its fun and enjoyable at times, but when you get down to it and scratch just a centimeter deeper than that, the ugliness of this series rears its head. So instead of continuing my rant I shall stop here. Ranma 1/2, avoid it like the plague unless you are desperate for small humor here and there to pass the time, then I warn you, pick and choose episodes by title names. Don't just go and watch every episode, because its really not worth it. As for the manga, pretty much the same thing as the anime, however its slightly better than the anime as its the full story and series with nothing missing so you might get some better enjoyment out of it. However in my opinion I think you should still avoid it.

Rating: 3

Final Verdict

4.17 (below average)

Reviewed by SaitoHajime101, Mar 02, 2010

Comments

  1. AyaCastro Mar 02, 2010

    Yeah, I have to agree with you on most of what you said, but for me, it starting in season one. I was only able to get through season one of this show. And I have to say the best part of this show was the main opening song, and that was about it for me. But then again, my dislike for this show could be the fact that there was no Mecha, I'm a massive Mecha girl. Give me Mecha and I love it! The whole idea of the show just seemed done far too much (the boy being married off to a girl he doesn't like, but ends up liking in the end... done how many times?) I think your rating was very fair (a bit too fair for me XD ) and I agree with pretty much everything you said!

  2. Warpten29 Mar 19, 2010

    This great!

    merged: 03-19-2010 ~ 01:33pm
    i think this review is fine. its just simple

    merged: 03-25-2010 ~ 05:06am
    Well you did your best.
    So i guess its fine

  3. SchRita May 01, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  4. emina07 Mute Member May 28, 2010

    it's funny

  5. archangel12345 May 31, 2010

    this anima failed in plot construction, but the characterization is fairly good.

  6. SchRita Aug 27, 2010

    Well, I have to agree with you on everything although I still feel that this anime is made for the people of that era, not this. XD And the episodes were just too much. I'm sure the manga is way better than the anime.

  7. Kyuukyuu111 Feb 07, 2011

    I agree that Ranma can be a massively dense, arrogant idiot, but I think calling him a douchebag is pushing the envelope. If you had to deal with a father like that for 16 years, you'd probably be in no better mood.
    I can see where you're coming from on most points. But you have to keep in mind that back in the 80's, this type of story wasn't exactly a cliche yet. It was a relatively new theme, and people loved it.

  8. SaitoHajime101 Feb 07, 2011

    Of course, but at the same time, it was just the start of "never-ending" Takahashi animes. While it may not have been exactly "cliched", at the same time it still wasn't a good anime by any right. Points for originality considering the original release date, but it doesn't give it a free pass from getting a poor rating like it deserves.

    I'm all for old anime. I love old anime (just recently watched The Samurai OVA and it was great), however Ranma 1/2 didn't live up to any decent standard. It's like running a 200 meter dash. You start out great for the first minute or so, but then slow down to a halt for the last 10 minutes and on purposely let everyone else win.

  9. hitsu-chan Jul 20, 2011

    hahaha! love the fun! xD but their ignorance just pisses me off... ^^"
    thx for the review

  10. back07 Sep 24, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

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