Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summary of what Ranma ½ is

It occurs to me that not everyone might know what Ranma ½ is. Ranma is a Japanese Manga/Anime. It was created by Rumiko Takahashi. The manga ran from 1987-1996 in Japan. It is 38 volumes long (Viz version 36 volumes). Television had 161 episodes, 11 Oav's (now 12), and 3 movies, several video games, Cds, Music Videos, and a card game (also figurines, posters, shirts, action figures, blankets, phone cards, etc.) More than 49 million copies of the manga were sold in Japan according to a press release made by VIZ on November 6, 2006. Has been/is being officially translated in 19 languages (according to the Japanese Wikipedia) and even more languages unofficially.

The series starts with Ranma (a teenage superhuman martial artist) coming back to Japan from a training journey in China. While in China Ranma fell into Jusenkyo. Jusenkyo is a place where many cursed springs exist, anyone who falls into one takes on a curse. Ranma's curse is to turn in to a girl (picture is of Ranma in both male and female form). So now every time Ranma gets hit with cold water he turns into a girl and hot water turns him back to his natural form.

That is not all of Ranma's problems. His father had arranged him to marry a Tendo and never bothered to inform Ranma of that. Ranma eventually finds out that he has another fiancee and a lot of relationship problems. (Guys wanting his girl form, an Amazon "wife", etc.). While this is a romantic comedy there is also a lot of action as well as an underlining darkness to the entire manga.

Ok I admit it that wasn't the greatest of summaries and I probably could write one that is better than that. The reason I don't is that there are plenty of pretty good summaries elsewhere on the internet, Furinkan.com, for example has a pretty good summary. Though really I think everyone should just read the manga and read it at least twice. It is not difficult to get and can be purchased from here. It can be downloaded using bittorrent (just use one of the torrent searches). It can even be read on-line in various places.

2 comments:

Velvel said...

U forget to add that Ranma is full of really eccentric characters with really weird stuff going on between them. The English Wikipedia has a pretty good entry and describes all the characters (though that spoils the early Manga and a few late intros). However, there is no way that "Ranma" is dark. Dark is "Elfen Lied," sadness, seriousness, stuff happens, people die. Ranma is static romantic comedy! Sure there's a lot of black martial arts but thats not a "dark theme" its a farce!

antimatterenergy said...

Actually I don't like the English Wikipedia article on them. I prefer http://www.furinkan.com/.

As for darkness, the manga is pretty dark when viewed from a first person perspective. It's full of tragedy, abuse, loneliness, mind control, a place where an object can totally control your mind, body, or emotions, just about everyone has lost their mother. While there is only one death in the manga (Ranma kills Saffron) people nearly die repeatedly Cursed swimsuit nearly pulled Ranma to his death, Akane nearly died, Shinokuski was dying, etc... Ryu's dad was killed by the Yamasenken, Shampoo attempted to murder Akane and frame it on Pantyhose Taro.

Beyond nearly being killed there was also attempted rape Densuke put sleeping powder in Ranma's drink and was planning on raping Ranma-chan. Mousse set fire to Ryoga while Ryoga was a child while practicing a technique. Then there is the mind control(multiple items) and torture (neko-ken training).