Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dan Doh!! The Super Shot

Dan Doh!! is an anime about a fifth grader named Tadamichi Aoba; nicknamed Dandoh by his friends. The anime starts with Dandoh and his two friends playing baseball. Dandoh hits the baseball destroying the principals Bonsai tree. This leads to the principal introducing them to the world of golf. Dandoh and his friends are taught by a former professional golfer named Shinjō Mikiyasu, who believes that they can surpass even him. Dandoh begins to play in tournaments, then caddies for a professional player.

This anime is about golf. I'm not much of a sports person. I was and am of the opinion that it is better to play than to watch. I know the rules of most of the common sports. I'm not familiar with the people who play. If I was going to watch a sports game, my choice would not be golf. Watching golf is not very exciting. Having said all that, why did I take out an anime on golf? Simple there was nothing better on the shelves to watch. If you enjoy golf you might like this anime otherwise don't bother. I didn't even finish watching the anime because it was boring.

Some anime/movies with a sports motif, have enough of a secondary plot, humor, or good characters to be worth watching even if you are not interested in the sport. This is not one of them. The characters were boring, the animation was not that good, and it has very little story other than a golf game. I have watched things with a sports motifs that I was not interested in before and ended up liking them. Happy Gilmore staring Adam Sandler is also a movie about golf but it had an ok secondary plot, better characters, and was funny.

The anime starts off like many of the shows/movies with sports in them and is fairly formulaic. Basically someone is discovered to have a talent at the sport while doing something else. That person usually assumes they are in trouble when they are spotted and called out for it. The underdog wins. The good team/person has very good sportsmanship whereas the opponents have terrible sportsmanship, cheat a lot, or are downright evil.

The anime takes golf far to seriously in my opinion. Of course people take things to seriously a lot. Me with Ranma on this blog is one example, many sports fans take their sport too seriously, look at the soccer war of 1969, it may not be the sole cause of it but it kick started it.

I dislike the extant people are often willing to go to win a sport in both the show and real life. This kid had very little experience and yet the other characters were willing to go to great lengths to cheat. One of the characters did not do anything to stop the cheating when he noticed it at first. He did feel guilty and was compelled to eventually do something about it. Other people, in the show and real life, do not feel guilty for their actions. An example in the show is, two boys sexually harassed and bullied a girl to the point that she began to cry just to make her play badly. They showed no guilt for their actions. I don't really know how people can cause others to suffer and not feel guilt. I feel guilt or sympathy for people even when I have nothing to do with it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cleanliness in Japan

The Japanese are somewhat obsessed with cleanliness. There are some very good reasons for this. Main reason most likely being that it is the primary tenant of Shintoism. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism primary tenants are based on morality and there being only one god. Shintoism doesn't deal with morality. A practical not-religious reason for cleanliness is to stop and prevent the spread of disease.

The traditional Japanese house is set up to represent four levels of decreasing contamination between public and private places. First there is the street which is a public area and therefore most dirty. Then comes the genkan, paved area at same level as garden with a raised wooden floor, which is where people sit and remove their outside shoes and don house slippers. Visitors to a Japanese house many times do not go any further into a house than the genken, this helps prevent the intrusion of dirt into private areas of the house and allows it to be swept into the garden or street. The next level is the wooden corridors between rooms where you walk with your house slippers on. The final level and most clean part is the tatami-matted rooms (tatami - Rectangular mats used as floor coverings in a traditional Japanese room. They are made of tightly woven rice-straw covered with woven rush grass with the edges hemmed with cloth. Standard size is 180 by 90 centimeters and 5 centimeters thick). Slippers or shoes should not be worn in these rooms. These rooms are used for eating and sleeping.

Lavatories and bathing areas are separate in Japanese houses. Since bathing and cleanliness are important to the Japanese toilets are kept in their own room away from the bathing area. The toilet room is positioned so as to reduce smells and social embarrassment. When entering a Japanese lavatory in a house you take off your house slippers and don slippers used only for that room. Lavatories in houses are always well ventilated and often contain a flower arrangement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Noren are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They are also used at shops to indicate that the business is open and as room dividers. They usually have one or more vertical slits cut from the bottom to nearly the top of the fabric, allowing for easier passage or viewing. Noren are rectangular and come in many different materials, sizes, colors, and patterns. Noren most commonly come down to neck or chest height but some go down all the way to the ground.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Online Quizzes

I was bored earlier today, so I went online and did some stupid quizzes. A surprising number of them had multiple choice questions that I could not really answer since all the choices did not apply to me. Here are a few examples:

What is your favorite store to shop for clothes? Unable to answer since, as far as I can recall, I have never bought stuff from the listed stores or am actively boycotting them for one reason or another.

What type of music do you like? I don't particularly care for music and one type is pretty much as good as another to me. I don't generally listen to music unless someone else turned it on, am at a place that is already playing music, or it is background music like that in movies and video games.

What's your drink? It then proceeded to list alcoholic beverages. I don't drink alcohol. I dislike the taste of alcohol and it is in general not good for you (I do realize a cup of wine or two a day can have beneficial effects and that lightly alcoholic drinks are good if you live in an area with poor water quality since the alcohol would kill off bacteria). I've also seen too many violent drunks (really one is too many).

According to the Cadaver Calculator, my dead body is worth only $5125. I wonder how they came up with that figure. I could sell a body for significantly more than that. For a rib and a kidney alone I could get at least $6000 on the black market and depending on whether I can find a buyer directly I could get around $25,000 for just one kidney. Here is a link to a New York Times article on illegal organ trade: THE ORGAN TRADE: A Global Black Market; Tracking the Sale of a Kidney On a Path of Poverty and Hope.

It is somewhat interesting that to find out that I can name more of the countries of the world than I can name colors. I don't even remember hearing some of the colors like Zinnwaldite. I looked it up it is a mineral and a type of brown slightly darker than beige. I also did not think to add dark, Persian, or old before regular colors. I had attempted to list some colors not listed like brick red , which I believe to be a color since I have a crayon labeled brick red. As for the countries I did not think of putting territories like Hong Kong and Puerto Rico because I do not view them as separate countries. They are territories ruled over by other countries (China and USA in the case of those two). I also was incapable of and or misspelled countries names (misspelled Israel several times) and did not know how to spell Lithuania (spell check does know it though).

Would you eat your buddies in a blizzard quiz, asks at one point do you enjoy eating sushi? (Or any other raw meat). Main problem I had with this quiz, besides thinking about cannibalism, is that sushi is not raw fish. Sushi is vinegared rice, usually topped with other ingredients, including fish, various meats, and vegetables. Raw fish is sashimi.

It appears that I don't have all that much chance of surviving a zombie invasion. This is most likely because I live in a heavily urban area (my street alone has well over a 1000 people living on it), have no guns, and no experience using a gun. I do have sharp objects though including a real sword and am stocked up on food.

Geek quiz was difficult. How am I supposed to choose which is better the golden ratio or pi? I chose pi simply because there is a scene in the live action version of Cutey Honey (Japanese Television show) that I really liked in which Cutey Honey stood on her desk and started reciting pi and then they switch to another character (Miki Saotome/Sister Miki) who is also doing so and they do it for many decimal points. By the way that show would crossover with Ranma really, really well. A person with the name Saotome, both Ranma and Cutey Honey like to dress up (Maid, Biker, Waitress, Nurse, Doctor, etc. for Cutey Honey and Ranma has Miko, Nurse, Cheerleader, school girl, Waitress, Hot Spring attendant, etc.), both get into a lot of fights, etc.

One of the questions on the Geek Quiz was: Did you read comic books after age 15? I didn't really start reading them until that age. I read mostly novels and non-fiction prior to that age.

Inbox dollars redux

I made mention of inbox dollars back in October of last year. I gave it an ok review. In the intervening time, I have changed my opinion. The amount of money given per survey has decreased and I fail to qualify for the majority of them so trying to find a survey, I do qualify for takes too much time. The paid emails have lately been expiring before I can hit them. In the past I would go through them quickly when I had several of them, lately they expire even if it's the same day I get them. So basically I'm saying don't bother with this service. While it does pay some small amount of money it is not worth it anymore.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I have read quite a bit of fan fiction. While I do read a lot of Ranma ½ fan fiction the majority of it is from other series. While I often point out things I see in the Ranma fandom (mostly fanon), I generally don't feel like writing about or reviewing the other fandom's I monitor. I've actually paid for fan fiction fairly often. Star Trek books, Conan the Barbarian books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer books, etc. Unless they were written by the original writers they are just people writing fan fiction who are lucky enough to get paid for it.

The online fan fiction I regularly read is: Slayers, Kim Possible, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, Teen Titans, Star Trek crossovers, and of course Ranma ½. While there are others I occasionally read those are the ones I read the most often. I'd like to read other series fan fiction but most of the ones that I would like to have too little fan fiction for me to actually follow. Of the free fan fiction, I tend to find the Ranma ½ ones to be written the best, even though they are riddled with fanon and have characters be out of character (the most common OOC probably being that Ranma divulges information on himself and others when he meets new people with the second most common likely being Nabiki's characterization). Lately I've been more interested in crossovers than in universe stories.

I have very little interest in the most popular fan fiction; Naruto and Harry Potter. There are tons of fics for those series but I don't really like the original stories, or more precisely I view them as over hyped, and the vast majority is terrible. The vast majority of all fan fics are bad though (science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeons law “Ninety percent of everything is crap” applies) or much too short. That is the major advantage paid for fan fiction has. The story is generally self contained and complete, though still has rampant with OOC and fanon.

I have read that the majority of fan fiction writers are female (80% according to Wikipedia which was quoting other sources). I wonder why that is? Even series that were intended for males tend to have more female writers than male writers. That said, I have heard that male writers are more likely to write epics (i.e. really long stories) than females are and that the majority of published fiction is also written by males.

Unpopular names and bullying

I was recently browsing the news on the net and came across a study correlating names to criminal activities. It is not really a surprise that regardless of race, the more unique, rare and unpopular the name is, the more likely it is going to show up in youth crime files. Think about it children are mean. They will tease and ridicule you for very little reason. When teased your likely to resent it and retaliate by bullying. Which often leads to more crimes. It's kind of sad really. Supposedly in the USA people regard individuality as a virtue but anyone who expresses individuality is ridiculed and put down.

I don't have a child but am starting to wonder what your supposed to do if your child is being bullied. I've heard teach child self-control, turn the other way, ignore the abuse, and the other person will get tired of trying to annoy him. Which may or may not work. Personally I think this would just lead the bullies to going to greater lengths possibly seriously hurting the child in an attempt to get a reaction.

Report to an adult. Which will cause even more teasing (like being called a tattle-tale). Will likely be used against the child, children aren't stupid, they will use it to further bullying. For example, they will make some lie up and go to the teacher/principal so that your child gets in trouble. A lot of times the adults will be powerless to do anything except detention or something. Which would just anger the bully so that they do something worse the next time. Your child may start relying on others too much and going to them for small insignificant things. Also if you went to adults for help, that would be viewed as being weak that the child can't defend himself.

Tell the child to fight back and your child may eventually become a bully himself. Get in trouble from others like suspensions. Is really only spreading the pain. The child does have to learn to stand up for himself though, cause if he doesn't than will be looked at as weak and an easy target. The only thing that really works is for your child to befriend several other children forming a small pack for protection and companionship. Problem is not every child can and even when they do they may still be bullied by their friends or their friends are bullying other children.

Statcounter and my blog

I've got a statcounter counter on this blog. I occasionally check it to see who came here from where and the like. I do not get all that many hits but 80% of keyword searches that find my blog, according to statcounter, are from people looking for Ranma hentai. I barely mention Ranma hentai since that is not why I'm interested in Ranma. A lot of hentai disturbs me. I mainly like Ranma for the characters. I do not want to see things like Ranma with a guy, or rape, or anything like that. I do like webcomics and dōjinshi; I don't really like hentai ones. Sadly the majority of Ranma dōjinshi seem to be hentai. Non-hentai dōjinshi are much harder to find, at least for Ranma. I have found that it is much easier to find non-hentai for some other series such as Slayers (I've read more than 20 non-hentai Slayers dōjinshis).

I do not believe that statcounter is the best counter available but it is adequate for my usage. I know it doesn't count every person who looks at this blog since it is fairly easy to prevent statcounter from detecting you. You can prevent its cookies or block it via ad blocking software such as the adblockplus add-on to Firefox and some anti-spyware programs delete its cookie or prevent it from detecting you. Statcounter offers both a free and a pay version; I use the free version that is limited to giving detailed information on only the last five hundred pageloads. It is also possible that people are viewing my blog via an RSS feed and since I do not have the statcounter on the feed I can not tell how many people are reading it through that means (I am aware that it is possible to add the statcounter script to the RSS feed but do not care enough to add it on).

The best thing about a counter is not the counting of the number of people that come to the blog but what search terms are used to find the blog. Quite often the term indicates a question, the answer of which is often times on this blog. The thing is the search engine often directs the person to the wrong posts. I am going to answer, in this post, some of the questions that directed people to this blog, but to the wrong posts. I will start with the Ranma ½ questions and then the one not related to Ranma ½.

Which city does Ranma live in?
He lives in Tokyo, Japan. In the ward of Nerima to be more specific. Nerima lies at the northwestern edge of the 23 special wards of Tokyo.

Does Jusenkyo exist?
Jusenkyo is a group of fictional pools in Ranma ½. It does not exist in real life.

Where is Jusenkyo located?
Nowhere since it doesn't exist but in the manga it is located in the Bayankala (Bayan Har Shan) mountain range, south of Mount Kensei, in Qinghai Province, China.

What order should I watch Ranma anime episodes?
Any order you want. If you want to watch them in the original Japanese order here is the order:

Ranma ½ Episodes 1-16
Ranma ½ Nettohen Episodes 7-9
Ranma ½ Episodes 17-18
Ranma ½ Nettohen Episodes 1-6
Ranma ½ Nettohen Episodes 10-100
Ranma ½ Movie 1
Ranma ½ Nettohen Episodes 101-135
Ranma ½ Movie 2
Ranma ½ Nettohen Episodes 136-143
Ranma ½ OAVs 1-8 (first 8 OAVS)
Ranma ½ Movie 3 (which is the last OAV in the US release)
Ranma ½ Super OAVs 1-3 (OAVS 9-11)

Here is the OAV's by US title in Japanese released order:
OVA 1: "The Curse of the Contrary Jewel".
OVA 2: " "Tendö Family Christmas Scramble"
OVA 3: "I'll be the One to Inherit Mother's Recipes".
OVA 4:"Stormy Weather Comes to School! Growing up with Miss Hinako".
OVA 5-6: "The One to Carry On" parts 1 and 2.
OVA Special 1-2: "Reawakening memories" parts 1 and 2.
Movie 3: "One Flew Over the Kunö's Nest"
Super OVA 1:" Cursed Love Destroying Cave".
Super OVA 2: "The Wicked Demon".
Super OVA 3: "The Revenge Doll".

If you want to look at more of the changes made when Viz adapted the anime for release in America see: Ranma ½ Editing Report

Nabiki one of the biggest expenses for the Tendo's example?
Volume 34 page 10: Tadaimaa, kore zenbu uchino tsukede kacchattaa! (Hi I'm home, and I brought all this on our family's credit!).

NON-Ranma - find these to actually be more interesting then the Ranma ones though this time there weren't very many.

What is the confidential nature of confessions?
Confessions in the catholic church are very confidential. A priest is bound not to break the sacramental seal by thought, sign, word, or deed; to do so he would incur the highest clerical penalty. More can be found at

All the other keywords were actually directed directly to posts that gave the answer. In the past I have gotten some really interesting keyword searches to my blog and fairly strange ones completely unrelated to anything I have discussed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

As yet unnamed

I started a fic a few months ago. Even though I started it so long ago it still is just in the planning stages but here is a summary on the fic. I don't want to give too much away, in case I do post some of it. Though the other posts I wrote today give away more of the fic.

Basic story idea: Ranma goes to the United States to assist a US monster hunter who needs help dealing with a Japanese monster who somehow ended up in the USA. The monster hunter has no idea how to fight a Hebi-onna (Japanese snake woman). Was able to determine with the help of a mythology expert at a university that it is a Hebi-onna. Based on methods monster uses in a book. Starts out like a mother for lost children (protective of and feeds them) and then becomes becomes predatory and carnivorous.

Ranma is a monster hunter in the manga (the Tendo's get phone calls to deal with monsters for example during the Orachi arc they get a phone call about monsters in the area). While in the USA, Ranma learns a bit about the supernatural beings that live in the USA and the different methods used by the US hunter of monsters.

Things happen eventually leading to Ranma getting involved in an ongoing battle between a Voodoo Bokor (sorcerer) and a master vampire. With both sides trying to use him to further their own ends. Story does not resolve Ranma's problems instead is a stand alone story similar in nature to Cinderella favor story line in the manga but explores Ranma's character more. A story that features Ranma but doesn't really effect the overall situation he is in much at all.

Setting USA

I'm thinking of writing a Ranma fan fic that is set in the USA instead of Japan for the following reasons:

1. While usually considered a cheap dodge, having Ranma be in a new locale is an easy and quick way to limit complexity and character interaction for the duration of the fic. If he is in Nerima, or anywhere in Japan, how do I keep other cast members from interfering? The fic would deal with Ranma dealing with the situation alone. If still in Japan, why wouldn't he go to Cologne for assistance or trick Happosai into helping him? How would I prevent the other members like his fiancees from trying to help him/ or in the case of rivals trying to sabotage him or be used against him? By sending Ranma to another country like the USA, I can keep most of the rest of the cast out of the story and force Ranma to deal with things himself. This makes it easier to focus on Ranma. Of course this assumes that the story doesn't take too much time, if it does they would start showing up within about a month. He still would be able to call and ask for advice if need be, so he is not completely cut off from those resources, but they will be unable to help him quickly or interfere.

2. Ranma acts slightly different when not around the rest of the cast, hides less of himself. Just look at the storylines without other cast members like the one in which he helps the perverted kid in the hospital or on the hotspring island. Ranma's actions are somewhat dependent on who is around him. When Ranma first meets people he is fairly respectful and polite until they do something to insult him. He shows the same amount of respect to people as they do him. That is why he uses honorifics while speaking to Kasumi and is insultive to people like Happosai (though even with Happosai when not upset will use Ojiisan, basically grandfather).

3. The fic will have Zombies and Vampires. Having the undead and set in Japan doesn't work that well. Japan is not a place undead are likely to be. More than 99% of the population is cremated, cemeteries don't have mausoleums/graves instead a plot would be filled with many urns full of ashes, basements/subterranean living places are not very common, etc. The Japanese have many spirits/demons/gods but really don't have very many zombie/vampire myths. In Japan the first literature to mention vampires was in the 1930's . They do have some undead creatures but they don't fit the fic I'm thinking of. Example of a Japanese undead is Nuribotoke which is an animated corpse that has dangling eyeballs, oozing black skin, and an extremely bloated stomach. It likes to dance and pretend to be a messenger of Buddha giving false prophecies. I could use a Chinese myth like the Jiang Shi which are undead but I don't really think those types would work for the fic. BTW Jiang Shi are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence from their victims they're created when a persons soul doesn't leave the body at death.

4. Part of the fic is to show how different from normal people Ranma is. With that in mind having it set in the USA allows further alienation. Japanese culture differs from US culture. Having it set in the USA allows for cultural misunderstanding for example Japanese nodding their head up and down does not necessarily mean YES, flicking middle finger up does not mean what it does in the USA, a guy in Japan would not hold a door for a girl that is not his because it is seen as asking for a favor in return, showing the soles of your feet to people is a very large insult in Japan, etc. In the USA your expected to maintain eye contact with people who are talking, in Japan they are unaccustomed to that and view it as being rude and aggressive. Ranma uses nonverbal communication i.e body language more than every other character in the manga combined, used hand gestures 355 times in the manga according to a 1996 issue of Shonen Sunday, so likely to be some misunderstandings.

5. Religious differentials will have some importance -Ranma will be using Shinto wards and purification rituals since that is what he is likely to know. Possibly may have someone try to change Ranma's religion. Ranma is likely Buddhist and Shinto (many Japanese are more than one religion and being both Shinto and Buddhist is common). His religion is polytheistic, not monotheistic like most of western civilization. Ranma is shown to go to both Shinto and Buddhist shrines and is seen praying several times in the manga. From a Christian view point particularly the type that fear witches he'd be considered one. He worships the Kami (gods and spirits not all of which are good there are kami of evil, destruction, death, etc.). Ranma belief is not based solely on faith. He has seen the power of the Kami, he has touched the Kami (Oni and the ugly divine horse are kami for example), he has seen the Buddhist river that divides the land of the dead and the land of the living, he has glimpsed Nirvana (Buddhist version of heaven when one of the ghosts went there), Ranma is nearly a kami himself (in Shinto people can, are -the emperor is a kami- and do become kami and he is more powerful than a great number of them - there are something like 8 million kami and many are even weaker than regular humans).

6. Part of it would be set in a rural area. Allows more options and less holding back. A city would constrain Ranma because of potential loss of life. If you haven't noticed in his biggest battles the collateral damage was entire mountains Herb (mountain go bye bye) and Saffron battle (mountain go bye bye, weather patterns changed, flooding, and water ways were rerouted Phoenix mountain gets water again after years without it).

Nature of monsters

Since the fic will involve the undead/monsters it is best to establish them before hand.

First off like in the manga there are very few monsters left in the world. Humans being the worst monsters of all wiped almost all of them out (most horrifying books are history books). In the manga, we are told there are few monsters left, a weapon for fighting monsters (bean gun plant) is nearly unknown and little more than a myth because the number of monsters is so low. Supernatural things that still are around keep a low profile for the most part for fear of being exterminated a few don't though but they made friends with the locals or are in obscure places (like the giant jellyfish in the manga). Keeping a low profile makes a lot of sense, if I was a super natural thing I'd keep a low profile just look at real life. During the 16th and 17 century some where between 30,000 and a couple million people were killed for the crime of witch craft, no one knows the exact numbers. People talk about the Salem witch trials but that was far from the worst of it. In Toulouse, four hundred men, women, and children, accused of being witches were slain in a single execution. One judge, Nicholas Remy, who wrote a book on identifying witches boasted to have killed over 800 suspected witches while he served as judge for 16 years. In the Ranmaverse humans have nearly wiped every monster there is but humans. That being the case there is very few monster hunters left in the world, which Ranma is one.

In the manga, Ranma encounters supernatural things fairly often but he also seeks them out (or on occasion they seek him out -the cherry tree spirit for example) and has people call him to deal with them. If you look at the manga it is quite clear that there are very few monsters left. The Musk are 1400 years old but there are very few of them left so few that Cologne thought them extinct. The Phoenix people are a dying race that live in seclusion. Jusenkyo has so few people go there that Taro was able to hunt every person who was listed on the registry in a matter of weeks. The only oni we saw had been trapped for a thousand years.

Supernatural (non human) beings that will be used in fic.
1. Memory ghosts: No will/self thought basically a replay of past events in continuous loop caused by strong emotions/traumatic events imprinting on the area. - fairly common in places that have lots of history.
2. Conscious ghosts: Ghosts that still have their souls and are bound to Earth for some reason or another. Example of this type of ghost is the ghost that wanted her panties stolen in the Manga and the astral form of the old man that went on a date with Ranma. - less common than above type but still most common type of supernatural thing on planet.
3. Other non corporeal beings: Things that never were human and do not have physical bodies. Wide variety of types. Some examples: Beings who generally live in other planes of existence such as the oni (kami, loa), Nature spirits such as the cherry tree that possessed Kuno, etc. Rarely bother with humans and do what ever they damn well want.
4. Zombies: For the purpose of this fic are dead people raised through ritual blood sacrifice. No self will/mindless but obey the being who created it in all things, basically using the life force from the animal/human killed to animate the dead.
5. Vampires: There are a lot of vampire myths I could use. Depending on the myth vampires have different weakness's/strengths/appearances. For the purpose of this fic:
- Vampires are created by other vampires but drinking blood is not enough (if it was there would be too many). To become a vampire, a vampire has to drink from you repeatedly, want you to become a vampire, and share it's blood with you as well. Not always successful sometimes just end up dead, sometimes end up insane.
-All vampires need blood to live but older vampires can go without for longer. Do not have to kill blood donor could take blood from willing people who want to become vampires or obtain blood in other ways. Animal blood works but not as filling as human blood. Favorite food of vampires is black pudding (British English term for sausage made by cooking blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled) but do like other foods like frog sashimi (Japanese dish which is the still beating heart of a frog). Can eat other foods other than blood but get no substance from them.
-Do have reflections and are vain (like many of the older myths have) and look human.
-More than normal human physical abilities (i.e. better senses, stronger, faster)
-Holy objects don't do swat unless it is something like a gris-gris or ofudo which are powered by the Loa/Kami and would work on humans as well.
-Vampires are not evil, but they also are not human. They kill and eat humans but from their point of view it is no worse than humans killing and eating animals. Most of them do not kill humans though because they do not want to be killed.
-Young Vampires can not with stand sunlight at all and sleep in the day. Older vampires can tolerate indirect sunlight and some can withstand being in full sun light for short periods of time.
-Young Vampires can be killed by a wooden or silver stake through the heart, beheading, and being burnt. As they age they grow in power and lose some of the weaknesses/become harder to kill.
-Vampires are enslaved to the vampires that created them unless they gain enough power to free themselves
-All Vampires are regenerative. Drinking blood speeds it up and older vampires heal faster than younger.
-Vampires have mind tricks but get better at them with age. Can enter dreams or hypnotize people and limited telepathy (can project as well as hear loud thoughts but can not alter memories or take thoughts).
-Develop the power to shapeshift as they get older.
-can control some animals (like Kima was capable of controlling crows or how Cologne controlled a shark).

In the fic. Vampires have been hunted to near extinction and are in hiding. Though there are some vampire cults in which people protect, worship, or befriend vampires.

There are other monsters as well but won't be in the fic enough to matter. Monsters are not everywhere and there are also territorial monsters. Vampires for example, are not in Japan. For various reasons but the main reason is that Japan is the domain of the Kami and they do not allow vampires onto their land. They are also limited by their nature, can't live on islands of the equator for a variety of reasons (mainly to sunny). The super natural beings also have to deal with other supernatural beings some of which are territorial. The main reason for territorial monsters is simply so Ranma will not be familiar with native monsters only Asian ones who do not act like the other monsters. Monster hunters that do exist are generally specialists going after monsters that exist in their particular part of the world. Which leads to calling in a monster hunter from another part of the world for help if a monster from another part of the world happens to show up but only if it is doing something bad (most monster hunters only hunt monsters that are doing bad stuff like killing).

Establishing a magic system

If writing a fic involving magic, it is best to have a clear and established magic system set up. Still working on it but I do have this:

1. Shinto magic: Ranma will know how to create some o-fuda (Shinto wards), know Purification rites (just about every Japanese person knows some), and commune with spirits/kami. Ranma is familiar with Shintoism. He hunts monsters occasionally, deals with spirits, and has gone to shrines. Wards have been used repeatedly in the manga (on panda ghost, oni, to trap Happosai in cave). Ranma has met and touched Kami (the ugly divine horse for instance). Ranma has to have picked up some of this. He has communed directly with Kami (fickle animal Kami are fairly common) , dealt with dangerous demons (oni which are kami), spoke with/dealt with spirits, etc. For fic purposes Ranma can ask the Kami for help/power but he isn't going to do it often since he would prefer to use his own power (it's also far more reliable). Kami do what they want to, may want something in return, and may want to bother you for entertainment purposes. While many Kami are good they rarely are perfect and there are Kami that would do more harm than good Kami of evil, tricks, sickness, and destruction for example.

2. Buddhist magic: Unsure if I will have this do anything since the magic in anime/movies is usually obtained from saying the Surtas. Ranma may know them but don't have anything planned for them. He likely is both Shinto and Buddhist since many Japanese people are both Buddhist and Shinto. Ranma has seen the river between the land of the living and the land of the dead which is Buddhist.
-Side note - Religion is not a big part of most Japanese peoples lives. Average Japanese person only does religious rituals at ceremonies at Births, Wedding, and Funerals and occasionally going to festivals or Shrines/Temples on days like New Years. There is a saying that goes Japanese people are Shinto at birth, Christian at marriage (they like western weddings) and Buddhist at death (Shinto doesn't really cover death so most people turn to Buddhism for death).

3. Voodoo: There will be a character who does voodoo but it will mostly be made up. Ranma will know at least a little about Ushi no koku mairi which is Japanese curses similar to Voodoo (often called Japanese voodoo) since Gosunkugi attempts to use it on Ranma repeatedly (though really he should be doing it between 1 and 3 am during the time of the ox if he wants it to work and at a shrine with the doll looking towards the north-east), but will have next to no knowledge on the type used in this fic. He will attempt to combat it with Shinto. There are parallels the loa and the kami are similar type beings and gris gris bags and such are similar to shinto charms like ofuda though there are many differences as well. I'm thinking of having the fics antagonist using Voodoo simply because it is the western religion most similar to Shinto and it is already associated with possession (the Loa possessing and giving power) and zombies.

4. Magical items. In the Manga though not so much in fanfiction Ranma frequently uses magical items. In the fic Ranma will have some he has obtained from Cologne, stolen from Happosai, and purchased/obtained through other means (he came to Nerima with magical items in his possession girl repellent, dragon whisker, and may have had more that just didn't have a practical reason to use). The antagonist will have magic items as well. Every magical item will have limitations.

5. Jusenkyo - Ranma will have his curse and may make use of some instant spring waters but unsure how much use it will have in fic.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ben Dunn Ranma Connection

Ben Dunn creator of Ninja High School, a pretty good comic book (though I've only seen a few issues), based his comic partially on Takahashi's work. He mostly did it on Urusei Yatsura but there are references on Ranma. The picture above is taken from his book How to Draw Manga. The character looks a lot like Ranma's girl form. It mentions on the page that he recommends that you emulate your favorite manga character. In his works he does have cameo's from shows or manga so if you decide to read one of his comic books (manga style though) be on a look out for them.

I had gotten the book with the intention of drawing my own webcomic of sorts but I can't draw that well. Art was always my worst subject. I could, I suppose, draw a stick figure comic or a cut and paste type but I don't like them as much as actual drawings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local Recycling

My neighborhood has curb side recycling. Sadly it does not appear to be working. I go down my street and only around 1 in 20 houses (if that) will have put anything out for recycling. I think part of the reason is because my neighborhood has blue bag recycling and it is difficult to find blue plastic bags. The city claims they are easy to find, but they are not of the stores I shop at only one store sells them. That store sells them for twice the price of regular garbage bags.

I heard that blue bag recycling has failed in other cities like Chicago because the same truck would pick the blue bags up as the garbage. My city has a separate truck come later in the day so I don't think the reason is people thinking the bags will just end up in the dump or that the bags would break which was reasons sited for others cities to fail. I don't think it is lack of knowledge the city does send out fliers a few times a year and has been running commercials on television asking people to recycle (not to mention most recyclable things say please recycle right on them). It could be because curbside pickup is only for type 1 and 2 plastics, glass, metal containers, and newspapers. For 3,4,5,6, and 7 type plastics you have to take it to the actual recycling center. For loose paper you can take it to Abitibi paper recycling boxes which have become fairly common in this area. To recycle phone books it has to be the correct part of the year and at a designated drop off area.

While they can do a number of things to get people to recycle and make it easier for people to recycle. It probably won't matter much unless they start giving some type of incentive to people. For instance a deposit on glass or plastic bottles like some states do (mine does not). Another method I heard which worked for other cities raising the recycling amount from around 10% to %90 percent. Was/is to offer credit for the recycled stuff by weight. I heard some places have started weighing the recyclable trash and offering points that are redeemable in local stores.

Confidential Confessions

Confidential Confessions is a 6 volume manga by Reiko Momochi. While fictional it deals with some very real issues that most people would rather not think about. The manga dealt with getting aids, becoming addicted to drugs, rape, bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, prostitution, and more. It tells these in a very realistic way showing the real negatives, though it does more often than not end each story on a positive note.

The manga is well written and well drawn but the very nature of the subject matter makes it a very depressing manga. While reading this manga series I tended to put myself in the character's position (which is something I have a tendency to do when I read anything) and wondering what I would do in the situation. Some of the situations are extremely unlikely but quite a few of them are possible (or a variation on them). I could talk about some of these types of things that did happen to me or people I know in some form but I will not. I'd rather not spend much time dwelling on those types of things (part of the reason I read so much is likely escapism -real life is far to depressing).

The thing that bothered me the most was not the act/thing itself, terrible as they maybe. Rather what bothered me the most was how the people not experiencing it would lay the blame on the person who was the victim. In the story about rape for example some of the classmates others would say things like it's not big deal it's not like she was a virgin, look at the way she was dress she was probably asking for it, she probable enjoyed it why else didn't she fight back, etc. In addition to that it bothered me how the victims would receive additional hardships for example in the story with the stalker the stalker had altered her website to make her look promiscuous and put digitally altered pictures of her up. Since that was done the school blamed her for that and basically said she was an embarrassment and that it would be best if she were to take the rest of the year off. In another story the one about sexual harassment the school blamed one of the girls for it and transferred the girl to another school instead of blaming the person who was doing the sexual harassment. In an earlier post, I talked a bit about the casual cruelty people have. I really do not understand it. Why do so many people have so little empathy and compassion? Why do people blame the innocent victims instead of laying blame where it is deserved? Why do they rationalize it to make the victim (of others or just circumstance) look at fault? I think in part it is because people really do not believe that these things could happen to anyone even them. As a means of not accepting that it could happen to anyone, they rationalize that the victim must have done something to bring it upon themselves.

Another thing that saddens me is that in the manga as well as in real life, the people who have these things happen to them quite often do not go to others for help. There are a lot of reasons for this. A lot of times the person knows the person who is doing the stalking or what not and protects them since they try to rationalize that the person isn't really bad or what they did must not be so bad (in the case of stalking for example rationalizes that stalker loves them and is doing it out of love). Other times they fear other peoples reaction like in rape they fear how other people like boyfriend/friends/associates will react to finding out, or the rapist may take pictures and threaten to post them somewhere if they tell, or that if they tell they will kill them, or next time it will be your younger sister, etc. Peer pressure; for example in the manga story about sexual harassment thing no one would join her against the guy and actively told her not to make a big deal about it and told her it's not a big deal. They feared consequences to themselves. Pride - they don't go to others for help because they are to proud to ask for help or don't want to admit they need help.

It also saddens me that even when they do go to people for help. They don't always get it. The people they go to are unable to help them. Occasionally unwilling to help them or blaming them (see two paragraphs up). Don't believe them. In attempting to help makes things worse or gives the wrong type of help. Become over protective which can be just as bad.

Of course sometimes there are only victims. In the case of a sexually transmitted disease or something there are only victims if neither knew they had the disease. Other times say a stalker for instance could in their own way be as much of a victim as the person they are stalking. They let obsession over run their life and they are in need of help as much as the person they are victimizing.

Here is a link to Tokyopo's website on this series that has summaries: Tokyopop Confidential Confessions

Monday, June 16, 2008


Rape is a serious and emotionally traumatic experience, when it happens to anyone regardless of sex. The majority of people who are raped, know the rapist prior to being raped. I recently read a story that dealt with how a girl who was raped and the people around her dealt with it (boyfriend, classmates, and parents). In this particular story the girl's parents decided to move away and tried to start a new life in a new place but it haunted her. She had nightmares, washed herself raw trying to get the feeling of uncleanliness off of her. Was scared to go near males. Was scared that people would find out. Even went to the point where she attempted to commit suicide over it. The story ended positively with her getting on with her life but it is implied that it would haunt her for her entire life.

Rape in fiction though is not always considered bad. In fiction there is occasionally the idea that people enjoy being raped and will fall in love with their rapist. Another way it displayed is that it is not rape but instead the guy was overwhelmed by her beauty or something and had sex with her and the girl was ok with it. This is seen in James Bond movies where he forced himself on the girls and they instantly fell in love with him.

Then in fiction and sadly in real life females raping males is not always considered rape. Often it's not even considered possible. Too many people don't seem to realize that erections are involuntary not voluntary. That even though men are generally stronger than women they can be date raped (drugged), tied down, or coerced into unwanted sex (female boss threatening to fire male employee or something). Inserting unwanted things into a male orifice does count as rape. There is also massive social, political, and legal double standards involved in females raping males. Guys supposedly want sex always. Males have a much tougher time finding support from rape crisis centers and the like. More info here: (there are quite a few other sites as well)

Of course there is also males raping males and females raping females. Prison movies/shows use this fairly often. It generally like most rape is about power more than sex.

In Ranma fan fiction Ranma being raped shows up a few times. While it never actually happens the topic does show up in the Ranma manga a few times (usually played for laughs). It is shown to be a valid fear for both Akane and Ranma. Here are some examples from the manga: Akane during the time Ranma tried hugging her because of a magic compulsion was scared Ranma was going to rape her. Akane accused Ranma of trying to rape Miss Hinako. Ranma had nightmares of Kuno taking advantage of her/him and having Kuno's children. Akane feared Kuno would take advantage of a drugged Ranma-chan. Densuke took Ranma-chan after drugging her to a love hotel with the intention of having his way with Ranma. Kodachi temporarily paralyzed Ranma and was going to have her way with him. Shampoo had restrained Ranma and told him to have sex with her or she was going to kill Akane. Etc.

Some of the Ranma fan fics that deal with rape are actually pretty well written. Some deal with how even a super powered individual can still be raped (usually magic or drugs though at least one was Nabiki using blackmail of some type -don't remember the details). Others dealt with how there aren't support groups for males (have Ranma go as a female but reveal that he is actually male). Some don't really deal with rape itself but instead make a comparison about how Ranma's curse (other character curses could be compared but haven't seen it) is in some ways like being raped; In that Ranma has no control of his change, feels himself to be worthless because of it (or less of a person/man), can instill the same feelings as rape does anger, degradation, fear (for Ranma fear of being splashed/changing at inopportune time), confusion, shame and/or embarrassment and is constantly reminded about it. Ranma is told that it's not so bad and to accept it. There are probably fics somewhere that deal with Ranma being raped as a male (probably by Shampoo or Kodachi) but I don't recall any except one where Nabiki does it. Of course most are just bad fics. I've seen one in which Ranma raped Akane and everything turned out fine. I've seen one where Ryoga raped Ranma and Ranma started to like it, etc. Don't ask for links because I don't have them since I dislike fics involving rape even if they are well written and are otherwise good fics (will usually stop reading the fic unless particularly good).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More US and Japanese school differences

I have written a couple of posts that tell of some of the differences between schooling in the United States and in Japan (can be found here and here if you haven't read them). Schooling is a major thing so it is relatively easy to find more to talk about.

The Japanese schools are all standardized by the government. Everyone in every school (baring taking a vocational) gets the same education, same or extremely similar books, same teaching methods, and same resources (though some schools will have extra). In the United States this is not true. A underfunded public school in the middle of a major city will give, in general, a much worse education than a sufficiently (or even over funded) private school in the the suburbs. Beyond that in the United States what is taught differs between states. Each state has its own curriculum, meaning that people from different states may learn different things. The US does have standardized testing in the form of the ACT and SAT but the opportunities and education varies a lot for the individual where as everyone in Japan has pretty much the same.

The Japanese go to school an average of 60 days more a year than US students (though some of that time is spent on cultural days, field trips, and sports days). Which means the Japanese receive about a year more of schooling than their US counterparts even though they spend the same number of years in school. Since the Japanese do not have as long summer breaks less information is lost during the breaks. There are several papers/studies that show information is lost between school years. Here is a link to one(technically 39): The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review.

The way the Japanese and the US spend money on education is different. In the United States most public schools are free (paid for by tax dollars) and 40% or more of the money that goes to the school is not spent on education. Instead it is spent on secondary things like transportation for students to school, DARE programs, lunch, and sports. In Japan, public high school is not free, parents have to pay. Japanese schools rarely pay for student transportation most students walk or ride their bikes to school. Japanese schools cut costs by having students clean the schools, i.e. don't have to hire janitors. A lot of the high schools in Japan do not even have lunch rooms and if they do you will have to pay. The Japanese also have fund raising to support the after school activities and school activities, such as cultural festivals when the schools open themselves to the neighborhood and try to sell things (drinks, or charge for a haunted house, or sell home made knickknacks) to help fund the school.

The Japanese curriculum and teaching methods differ from the US teaching methods. Japan has the highest literacy rate in the world with around 99% of adults being able to read. In arithmetic the Japanese high school student is around 2-3 years ahead of their United States counterpart (of course this does matter on state, raw ability, and financial status). I was considering writing about the Japanese teaching method for math and the mathematical curriculum but there is no point someone already wrote a very good article on that, here's a link: Mathematic Education in Japan and the United States Curriculum. For some things like English and History the Japanese aren't that great. The history books are edited somewhat (for example: they deny Japanese actions in China and Korea during World War 2. Of course the US history books often aren't very good as well many being out of date and they are also edited/changed for political reasons). There is a lot of controversy on Japanese History books that many sites talk about, here is a link to a wikipedia article on it: Japanese History textbook controversy wikipedia. While the Japanese do teach English it more concerned with the form than the actual spoken language, which means if a Japanese student came to the US and tried to speak English most Americans wouldn't have a clue as to what they are saying. Here is one article on how English is taught in Japan: How English is Taught in Japan. The Japanese also rely too much on rote memorization of facts. Which is fine for some things (multiplication tables, periodic table of elements) but it is an ineffective tool in mastering a complex subject like the English language.

Honor and Sacrifice of Isaac

I often see people confusing honor for morals, in part I think this is because one definition for honor is honest, another definition of honor is respect (i.e. honor your parents). The definition I use though is a complex system of standards of what is due to one's self and to others (others being society, family, or religion).

In the Bible, Genesis chapter 22, God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac. This is a test of faith and a test of honor. God was testing how strong Abraham's honor was. Abraham passed God's test. It was not a moral thing. What God asked Abraham was not moral. Morals require a father to love his son, not kill him. Abraham was put into a position where he had to chose honor (duty to God) or morals. He made the choice that honor is more important than his morals or his love for his child.

Abraham's choice was easier than many people's when it comes to honor vs morals or honor vs love. Abraham had absolute faith in God. God being God could raise the dead or do anything he wants anyways. Death is not absolute when God is involved. Abraham also trusted that God would not make him do anything evil, that even though Abraham may not see why God would ask this, it is for the greater good. This did not make his decision easy though.

Why would God ask Abraham to kill his only son when God is against child sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31, Isaiah 57:4-5)? It was a test and God had no intention of making Abraham actually go through with it. God being God would already know that Abraham has faith and would obey Gods commands right. So the test most probably was not for Abraham but instead to show future generations that Abraham would obey God above all else.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Alien VS Predators

I recently watched Aliens versus Predator (the first one). This was not the first time I watched it. It is not that good a movie, I knew that prior to watching it the first time. For some strange reason though I sometimes feel like watching movies that I know are bad. There is a lot I can say about this movie. I could mention continuity errors, stupid stuff in the movie, or the poor acting but I don't really feel like writing about that. The basic premise for the movie wasn't that bad though. Predators using Earth as a staging ground to hunt aliens for sport. That made lots of sense Predators like hunting dangerous prey. Aliens are dangerous prey. It's too bad they didn't do a better job making the movie. I'm probably going to see it's sequel eventually but I'm not expecting much from it.

A few thoughts brought on by the movie:

1. Pyramid buried under Antarctica ice why mix of Egyptian, Aztec, and (not sure but) pre-Cambodian. This didn't make sense to me the Aztec people even if you include the migration period are simply not old enough - started moving into the area that is now Mexico in 600 AD. If it was me I would have used Egyptian, Mayan (region inhabited by them had people as early as 10000 BC but they didn't start building pyramid like structures until around 1000 BC) and Asian (probably Chinese since there were Pyramid like structures there for example the first emperor of China's tomb is a Pyramid Though Japanese would work as well since there have been pyramid structures found underwater off the coast of Japan that date around 8000 BC,

2. I do like that Antarctica was the chosen place for the pyramid since there is some small amount of data that shows that it maybe possible that a pre-historic civilization may possibly have been there (not much though and mostly hypotheses).

3. I don't know if many others noticed it but at one point in the movie it mentions that the Aztec calender was metric (based on 10), in real life it is vigesimal (based on 20) with twenty days in 18 "months". In addition to that the guy figured that the pyramid would reconfigure itself every 10 minutes because the Aztecs supposedly used base 10. Yet did not take into account that our 60 seconds in a minute is not base 10.

4. The end of the movie had a few things that really made no sense what so ever. First the girl running outside in just a tee-shirt in Antarctica the coldest place on the planet and not shivering. The predators used their technology to see the alien spawns inside humans during the movie but do not think to check the dead predator they bring on the ship with them for alien spawns. Did the girl even have a way to get back to civilization without freezing to death? The people who built the whaling station (which I'm not sure but don't think there were any in Antarctica as far back as October 1904) built the whaling station on ice that close to the edge and it didn't melt and fall in.

5. It is mentioned a few times that it is October during the movie and yet it was dark all the time. In the southern hemisphere that would make it summer time so there would be day light.

6. The Alien blood is highly acidic. The Alien at the end of the movie was injured meaning blood would flow. The Alien was dragged underwater. Strong acids when immersed in water have a tendency to heat up since there is a acid-base reaction. So it is likely that the Alien at the end of the movie would be boiling away because the blood would react with the water.

7. What would happen if an injured Alien was in an environment surrounded by base chemicals or if someone threw a base chemical onto the wounded alien?

8. The alien species sort of reminds me of Phragmites which are a reed like plant that excludes gallic acid from its roots. The acid destroys tubulin (a structural protein) of neighboring plants.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I watched volume one of Animaniacs recently. I remember watching these many years ago and liked some of them. Turns out I still do. The best thing about the show in my opinion was the singing. The songs were often educational and funny. The songs are mostly on YouTube so if you want to watch them you can (worth watching).

I liked the skits with the Animaniacs (though I did find them to be jerks at times), with Pinky and the Brain (though the ones on this volume of Animaniacs really were not as good as later ones or the ones on the Pinky and the Brain show), and Rita and Runt story-lines. Slappy Squirrel, Chicken Boo, Flavio and Marita (The Hip Hippos), and The Goodfeathers were not as good stories. Personally I really, really disliked Buttons and Mindy. I remembered disliking them and I dislike them more now than I did then.

A lot of the humor was aimed at adults and I don't know if it is a good thing or not but I recognized, I think, all the parodies done. One episode I feel like commenting extra on is Guardin' the Garden, featuring Slappy Squirrel (an old cartoon character who often teaches her young nephew how to be a cartoon character). The episode was about the garden of Eden from the bible. I know it is not a serious cartoon but I couldn't help but wonder why the snake didn't have legs and arms. God in the bible didn't make the snake legless until after the snake convinced Eve and Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. There are other things in that and other episodes, I wondered why they decided to go the way they did but that particular one kept me wondering the entire episode since most people should know the story of Adam and Eve and that the snake had feet. The episode was also spreading some more bible fanon (of which there is a lot of way more than say Ranma fanon), the particular one I'm writing about being that the forbidden fruit is an apple. The bible doesn't actually say what fruit it is. For several centuries it was thought to be a pomegranate. A lot of people though think that the forbidden fruit was a fig since it is mentioned that Adam and Eve wore fig leaves. Not that it really matters what the fruit is, since it really is just a metaphor describing an object of desire whose appeal is a direct result of the knowledge that cannot or should not be obtained or is something that someone may want but cannot have.

The wiki for Animaniacs is pretty good and there are quite a few fan sites that give way better info than I did (this is a commentary more so than a review or giving info on it).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Easter eggs and hidden frames in Ranma ½

There are a few easter eggs (hidden extra features which are not advertised on the packaging) in the Ranma ½ anime. I'm too lazy and don't really like the anime enough to watch it in search of them (have to pay very close attention). I also don't really like easter eggs. Chances are I'm not going to spend time looking for them or go online to one of the various sites that list them. Some people might like searching for them, but I'm not one of them people.

Here are some that someone else posted on various other websites. Truthfully I do not recall what sites these came from, I had saved these in a text format in case I ever felt like looking for them. If they came from your website or you know what site these came from feel free to comment with a link to the site and please do not take offense that I am posting them without asking. Also if you know of some more hidden frames/easter eggs please post them in the comments.

In Ranma ½: Nihao My Concubine, US version DVD 1 VIZ version, Load up the VIZ Video Information menu and look to the left of the options wheel for a peach you can highlight. Click on the peach to access a scene where Ukyo is replaced by a giant peach, followed by Genma and Ryoga's overreaction.

TV Episodes:

Any episode of the first TV season: During the second little animation
sequence, before the start showing the credits, Ranma is juggling the cursed
animals. When she gets to Genma (panda), he falls on her hard

"I'm a Man! Ranma's Going Back to China!": There's a scene where Ranma is
ranting and raving at Genma. But, to Ranma's disgust, he finds that Genma
has fallen asleep. "You're not even listening to me!!" he screams and
punches Genma's head

"Close Call! The Dance of Death on Ice!": Ranma and Akane make their
entrance on the skating rink. They slip and Akane falls ass-first on
Ranma's head. There's some Japanese onomotopoeia that appears.

"Clash of the Delivery Girls": Genma is describing the story where he
traded Ranma for food. Genma says, "he also threw in some rice and TWO
pickles". Ranma then hits him. Hidden frames and some more Japanese

"This Ol' Gal's The Leader of the Amazon Tribe!: Ranma is chasing
Great-Grandma around. She hits him and some more Japanese onomotpoeia
appears. "Don't teach granny to suck eggs, sonny boy!"

"Enter Mousse! Fist of the White Swan": Just before the fight, Mousse
mistakes some guy for Ranma and Great-Grandma bops him on the head

"Cool Runnings! The Race of the Snowmen!" Ranma-girl is having a showdown
with Great-Grandma and defeats her by using the Neko-ken to destroy
Great-Grandma's ice bear. It's during the third explosion.

"The Abduction of Akane": Mousse is hanging upside down from a tree and
scares Akane. Akane slaps him. More Japanese onomotopoeia but it's also
just funny watching Mousse's face slapped in slow-motion.

"I Love You! My Dear, Dear Ukyou!": Akane and Tsubasa is having a
discussion at a restaurant and Kunou shows up. They both punch him into the
sky. Also, in this episode, Ranma tries to "come on" to Tsubasa and Akane
elbows him in the head.

"Transform! Akane. The Super-Duper Girl": It's not really a hidden scene
but you hve to have a quick eye to catch it. Ranma (girl) throws a giant
ping-pong ball at Akane and chains explode out of it. Akane karate-chops
them to pieces. As they fall, the background moves vertically really fast.
If you slow it down, you can see a cameos of Cherry, Sakura, Ataru, and
Megane from Urusei Yatsura.


"Curse of the Contrary Jewel": At the beginning of the episode, Ranma and
Akane are heading to school. Akane is questioning Ranma about Shampoo when
suddenly, Shampoo pops up on her bike and smashed Ranma's head with it.

"Team Ranma vs. The Legendary Phoenix" (Third Movie): Kunou strikes Ranma
on the head with his bokken at the park. Pause here. If you move along a
little more with the frame advance, you can also see their skeletons. Also,
the next morning after Kunou wakes up and Akane is imprinted on the Phoenix,
Ranma decides to take his revenge on Kunou. Lots of stars and planets.

"Oh Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever!": Akane socks
Ranma after claiming he didn't see any ghosts. The hidden frame shows up
when he lands on the ground. There's another one when Ukyou is beating up
Kodachi and wraps her arm around her neck. Just after that, Mousse is
proclaiming himself to be the father of Shampoo's children and Shampoo socks
him. Finally, there's the part where Ukyou sees Ryouga after the bath and
she smacks him over the head with her spatula. Just onomotopoeia but its in

"Hell Hath No Fury Like Kasumi Scorned!": Ranma punches Genma to get rid of
the oni. There's also the part where everyone jumps on the priest after he
explains that the oni will leave on its own.

"The Two Akanes - Ranma, Look At Me!": At the well, when Ukyou and Shampoo
confront Akane, they bonk Ranma unconscious. Also, there's the scene where
Ryouga suddenly has a nosebleed after Ranma and Akane walk by.

The Movies:

"Big Trouble in Nekonron, China": At the beginning of the movie, Happosai
gets hit by a car. Then there's the part where Happosai stomps on Ryouga's
head during the big chase scene, followed by Ranma also stomping on Ryouga's
head. Then there's also the part where Akane splashes Ranma and Shampoo
with cold water. There's a shot of Kunou's face as he's punched away by
Ranma. Finally, there's the part where Ranma tells Kirin that Akane's
cooking will kill him and Akane hit Ranma over the head with a mallet.

Some websites that list easter eggs are: which is primarily about them in DVD's and which is more varied including other mediums.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Talking to an Akane fanboy

First I'd like to point out that I do not hate Akane. In fact I can sympathize with her fairly often and have defended her on several occasions. Having said that, I recently have gotten into an argument with an Akane fan boy. They were of the Saint Akane stance. I don't mind defending Akane but you should not demonize the other characters while doing so. While Akane is not a bad person and probably one of the nicest people in the manga she is far from a saint.

Generally I try to avoid these arguments since I find them to be pointless. I can show as much evidence/ logical thinking as I want and it generally does not change the persons opinion. Generally these type of arguments turn into flame wars or one side just stops arguing. Which is why I'm surprised this particular one went as long as it did and did not turn into a "I'm right and your wrong and nothing you can say will change that" type thing. I do not believe I changed the persons stance much if at all though (this is not a direct copy of the talk it is a cleaned up version, sticks to only on topic stuff, and points have been separated more - in original talk were more clumped together - talk is very one-sided because original was one-sided, the fanboy was not very good at bringing up counter points, fanboy should have dropped the comparison to Ranma and instead have listed Akane's good points or compared her to someone else - or have brought up Ranma's more negative traits such as his occasional Machiavellian tendencies).

Fanboy claims that Akane is a very independent girl.
Me - Is not independent at all, constantly relies on others for most things. She can't cook, clean, sew, or really take care of herself in any way, goes to Ranma whenever she has a problem, etc.

Fanboy claims Akane always has a valid reason to hit Ranma and he deserves it.
Me - Even supposing physical violence is okay to retaliate with it still is a false statement. Akane has hit Ranma for no or very poor reasons several times in the manga. She knocked him out of a window because she didn't want him hearing a conversation during the Valentines day story arc. She hit him when he tried to cheer her up when it looked like she was crying. She has hit him for other peoples actions such as Shampoo's/Nabiki's. She has hit him because he might do something, Cologne explained how to stop the smiling three year death and she hit him not because he did it but because he might do it. I can go on for quite some time.

Fanboy claims Ranma always insults Akane.
Me - Nope. Ranma does not insult her every time he has an opportunity to do so. He has even on occasion attempted to not insult her. Such as when she first made a meal for him and instead of insulting it he attempted to continue training (Akane herself tasted it and considered it bad - she did still hit him for not eating it).

Fanboy claims Akane never insults Ranma.
Me - Yes she does. Depending on what you count as an insult there are a few volumes where Akane insulted Ranma more than he did her.

Fanboy claims Ranma uses much worse insults than Akane does.
Me - Matter of opinion but I disagree. She has used pretty bad insults like calling him sick and twisted, accusing him of being a rapist, freak, pervert, told him to "Be a woman for the rest of your life and find a real man to marry" after splashing him, etc.

Fanboy - Ranma doesn't do much for Akane.
Me - Ranma has done a lot for Akane. He started fights with several people because of her Mikado (Akane came running to him about P-chan being stolen), Herb (Herb threw Akane) , Mariko (made Akane cry), etc. He took her place in battle versus Kodachi. He showed up to help her with the dojo destroyer even though he had something he considered very important to do (get a cure for his curse). He rescued her when she was kidnapped. He saved her when she was drowning. He tries to cheer her up when she is sad. He killed Saffron to get her to the water in time.He was willing to marry her when he thought she was turned into a duck to make her happy. And so on...

Fanboy - Akane always helps Ranma when he needs help.
Me - While Akane does help Ranma more than anyone else in the manga she also has stood idly by when she had the ability to help him. Examples: Volume 34 stood idly by while Ranma's mom tried to kill the pervert in her room, Volume 33 allowed all the blame for the disorder in the household to be shoved onto Ranma. During Mirror clone arc allowed everyone to tie up Ranma, etc.

Fanboy - Akane is sensitive to other peoples feelings and Ranma's just an insensitive jerk.
Me - Not going to argue that Ranma can be insensitive to others and occasionally is a jerk but he has also been shown to be sensitive to other peoples feelings multiple times and dislikes hurting people. It is the primary reason he apologizes to people. Akane maybe sensitive to other peoples feeling but she is usually just as insensitive to other people as Ranma if not more so on several occasions. She has shown to be consistently insensitive to Ranma's feelings on his curse, his fear of cats -even using it against him, takes the side of someone who was an accessory to kidnapping her, nearly killed her, and has publicly stated would kill Ranma over Ranma's (Ryoga), is insensitive to the other fiancee's feelings, is insensitive to Ryoga's feelings (going on a date with Ryoga to make Ranma jealous is pretty insensitive thing to do to Ryoga), etc.

Fanboy - Ranma must be much worse since he's made Akane cry so often.
Me - First logic is wrong. All that would really show is that she is more thin skinned than Ranma i.e. easier to make cry. Second Ranma has not made Akane cry very often. Mariko made her cry, she cried about Dr Tofu not loving her, etc.

Fanboy - Ranma doesn't cry because of Akane's actions so he must be worse than her.
Me - First most people don't consider crying to be manly so Ranma is unlikely to cry where people can see. Second Ranma can take being insulted with out crying. Thirdly Ranma actually is shown crying or at least with tears in the corner of his eyes (generally her because guys don't cry) more often than Akane has. He cried when Akane poked his wound, he cried when Happosai used a pressure point to make him cry, he (technically she) cried when the ice skating guy took his first kiss, he cried when he thought Akane dead, he (technically she) had tears in her eyes when his curse was locked, etc.

Fanboy - If Ranma was a nice guy like Ryoga she wouldn't hit/insult him.
Me - First I doubt that if Ranma was a nice guy it would matter much since several of the times she does so is because of other people's actions and his curse (you know things Ranma has absolutely no control over). Second Ryoga is in not a nicer guy than Ranma. He holds grudges, actually tried to kill someone (Ranma), tried to read her diary during the mushrooms of aging storyline, tried to bathe with her in the same storyline, tried to date both Akari and Akane at the same time, uses his cursed form to cuddle up with Akane, tried to use magic to force Akane to love him -koi rod, etc.

Fanboy - Akane has a good reason she just got engaged out of the blue to someone she doesn't know and has unwanted male attention.
Me - That is not a good enough reason to excuse her actions. Even if it was, it is only a good reason for a short time. Ranma also has the same excuse in that he was engaged out of the blue to someone he didn't know or want to be engaged to. In fact Ranma at that point of time in the manga did not even want to be in that country, he wanted to go back to China and look for a cure to his curse. Ranma had to be physically knocked out and carried just to show up.

Fanboy - Akane has more reason to be insensitive than Ranma does.
Me - I have absolutely no idea how that conclusion could be reached. In fact it is sort of strange that Ranma is as sensitive as he is. Think about it Ranma was raised by Genma and did not spend his time in one locale. Of Ranma's past that we know about Ranma pre-getting his curse he had very little contact with females. Training journey in which he likely stopped at training grounds and dojo's which would primarily be males. He did not even know his mother (left his mom as a baby). He didn't know Ukyo was a girl. The school that we know about prior to Nerima was an all boys school. If anything Akane doesn't have a reason to be as insensitive as she is, she went to a co-ed school, has many friends, and had sisters to guide her upbringing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Double Standards

There are many, many double standards in our (and other) societies. A double standard is a standard applied more leniently to one group than to another. The most common being the double standards between males and females. If I were going to write about every double standard I can think about this post would easily be longer than any other post I've written; there are a lot of double standards. This particular post is about hitting and the double standard that is involved.

I dislike double standards. In my opinion there should be one standard that everyone attempts to follow regardless of race, sex, financial status, creed, etc., but the world we live in is absolutely full of double standards. One that pisses me off especially is the one that states that it is okay for a girl to hit a guy. Everyone knows it's not okay for a guy to hit a girl but for some reason people find it acceptable for a girl to hit a guy. The standard should be don't hit anyone.

While there are quite a few double standards in the Ranma manga (the manga even pokes fun at several of them) that particular one about a girl hitting a guy is the one I find to be the most annoying. In the case of the Ranma manga, it is acceptable to everyone (and a large percentage of the fandom) for Akane to escalate the arguments between her and Ranma to her using physical violence. Ranma ½ is a comedy that uses violence in the form slapstick on occasion which makes this somewhat more acceptable. The main reason I don't like that this particular slapstick is used is because the violence is one way (i.e. Ranma doesn't hit her back) and she has caused more damage to him than he ever has gotten in a fight. This double standard is not limited to comedy. Take Star Trek Voyager for instance Torres, the chief engineer, had broken the arm of her male subordinates without facing consequences or take Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy alternated between sleeping with Spike and beating him up for being an unclean thing; had the roles been reversed (Spike doing the beating) it would have been viewed differently.

I'd like to say that this double standard is limited to fiction but it is not. This happens in real life a lot. A large part of this is because girls are physically weaker than guys. A guy hitting a girl is likely to cause more damage or kill. It is often the case that a guy will be called a wimp or sissy if he complained about the girl hitting him. I have encountered people who say that guys are more violent and aggressive than girls. This is untrue. There are many books and websites that show this belief to be untrue. For example the site titled REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY lists many studies that show that this belief is untrue. I hate when people say stuff like the world would be a better place if run by women because it is blatantly untrue, the world would be just as bad.

Here are some statistics that too few people seem to realize:
*Eighty two percent of all people have their first experience of violence at the hands of a women.
*Women are 3 times more likely than men to use weapons in domestic violence.
*About 60% of the women acknowledged they had more often been the first to strike a blow.
*Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely then they hit their female children.
*Woman kill more children then guys do.
--source of statistics is three separate studies done by The Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, under grants from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hachimaki - Headband

Hachimaki are Japanese headbands made of cloth (usually cotton), usually red or white, and often with a slogan like try hard or a picture of the rising sun. They are worn as a symbol of great exertion. These can be seen often since they are used for a wide variety of reasons mothers giving birth wear them, students studying for difficult exams, carpenters building temples, etc. Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi wore one while at a hotdog eating contest.

Hachimaki are thought to help the wearer gather their spirits and show determination/resolve. It is thought by some that the slight pressure around the forehead helps improve speed of thought and concentration. Several theories as to their origins. One theory is that they were used to ward off evil another theory is that they were just worn to keep sweat out of the eyes of Samurai.

Akane can be seen putting one on a few times in the Ranma manga in preparation for a challenge for example before her first date with Ryoga which she had originally thought as a challenge from Ukyo. The picture is taken from volume 14 of Dr Slump (very good manga by the creator of Dragonball but better in my opinion).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Conveniences in modern society

I was browsing a forum, I occasionally check, and one of the topics was on conveniences. It occurs to me that what the people on that site considered conveniences, I don't really see as conveniences.

It didn't mention important things like running water, cars, electricity, proper plumbing, access to medicine, proper housing, etc. I suppose that is because the people on the site don't consider them conveniences. I assume that they see them as essentials, even though a fairly large percentage of the human population have to make do with out them or if they do have them they are insufficient.

Things mentioned were things that aren't essential, purely convenient, could easily do without. Some of the things mentioned as being convenient are in my opinion not convenient when you really think about them. Sure some are convenient though frivolous like the clapper (sound activated electrical switch), automatic doors, motorized windows in cars, etc. Other things only appear to be convenient or are both convenient and nuisances.

One of the things mentioned is automated registers at grocery stores. I don't know about you but I hate them. Beyond the fact that they are taking away some jobs when you live in an area with a rising unemployment rate (9-20% depending on your race where I live). I find them to be very annoying since they frequently get prices wrong and break. Since none of the employees seems to know how to fix them, it seems to me that it makes some of the lines longer. A couple of the stores I've gone to had them for a short while but because of continuous problems with them they ended up removing them. I'm also assuming that they were removed because some people have found ways to cheat them (depending on the particular machine they can occasionally be tricked ex. scan one coupon multiple times or changing labels on item with a cheaper similar item).

Another convenience that is as much a nuisance as it is a convenience is cell phones. Yes it's nice to be able to call anyone anywhere but I find them damn annoying. Some peoples cell phones are really small and occasionally you'll think they are talking to you when they are really talking to someone else. A lot people are extremely rude on the phones and will ignore you when you want to talk to them. I hate when I go to the movies,library, or church and someones phone goes off and they just start talking. I hate that while your talking to the person their phone rings, so they pick it up and start talking in mid conversation with you. A side effect of cell phones is that there are less phone booths which, even though I never really used them much, I find annoying because I did use them occasionally and don't have a cell phone. Plus they are expensive 50 dollars a month or so.

Credit, debit, and gift cards were mentioned as a convenience and it's true debit and credit cards can be convenient when used properly. The problem is a fairly large percentage of the population do not use them properly. More people are in debt than not. Credit cards can have expensive fees/interest rates and people will use debit cards to purchase things that they don't have the money for in the account incurring over draft fees. Gift cards though are just stupid. Give the person cash. Some gift cards expire or decrease in value if not used within a certain amount of time. People are more likely to lose gift cards than cash. All your really doing is giving the business cash which they invest to make more cash. If you do purchase gift cards make sure you get something free with it or that the card is worth more than you pay e.g. occasionally can get a 25 dollar gift card for 20 dollars. Then use the card quickly.

Many conveniences are also environmentally unfriendly. Some can be done easily by hand and just waste electricity like auto-opening doors. Some stuff that is supposedly packaged conveniently is really over packaged waste of packaging material.

I can probably continue listing inconvenient conveniences but I think you get my point. Some "conveniences" aren't really conveniences.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Superman Doomsday

I recently watched the Superman Doomsday animated movie. Having read the book The Death and Life of Superman by Roger Stern. I was disappointed in this movie. I had not read the actual comic books this was based on, at the time of it's publishing I had very little interest in comic books. Personally I would have preferred it to stick with the source material.

Doomsday is supposedly a weapon of Doomsday. As a Doomsday weapon he sucks. Would make a great front line soldier but as an apocalyptic weapon, not so great. Goes around killing things one at a time. Let's see over 6 billion people on Earth. If Doomsday were to kill 1000 people a day it would take him around 16,500 years to kill every human. That's not taking into account that people reproduce, that he'd also spend time hunting down the countless animals, and that people would actively go out of their way to stay as far from him as they could.

Lex Luther is supposed to be a super genius. In this movie, he came off as an idiot to me. Sure he created a cure for aids and bird flu. His purposely making the cure a life long series of treatments makes sense from a capitalistic point of view. If your goal is to make money curing the diseases is not the way to go. Other than that, just about everything he said and did was stupid.

His logic is flawed. When his people find Doomsday buried and an alien holograpically projects itself and says stuff in an alien language. Luther say that it is a warning and that the only reason an alien race would trap a being and dump it on the planet Earth is becuase they couldn't kill it. Not true. For starters it might not of been a warning at all. It could have been a threat or the alien could have been saying something like "let the games begin". Secondly just becuase you decide to trap and dump something on a planet doesn't mean that you do not have the ability to kill it. There are a lot of other possible reasons to do so. Logically thinking though if you did have the ability to trap something but not the ability to kill it, there are a lot of better ways and places to dump it. They sent it to Earth, when they could have just as easily sent it somewhere else like into a sun, into a black hole, or onto and then into the void between galaxies.

I also found Luther's hitting on Lois to be very stupid. Judging by Lois's past actions he really should have expected Lois to knock him out. I also found it stupid that he kept the Superman clones in the same building as he was in so that it could be easily traced to him. This is particularly stupid since he killed a girl earlier in the story to cover up that he and his people were the ones to find and release Doomsday. One thing he went to quite a bit effort to hide, up to killing the person most loyal to him, and yet the other thing he didn't try to hide/cover up at all. Kept the records of it in his office and did the stuff in the building he was in.

Considering that in the battle versus Doomsday, Superman was going to die. The battle was pretty crappy and Superman's tactics were beyond dumb. The smartest thing he did was to grab Doomsday and take him into space. That should have been one of the first things he should have done since Doomsday can't fly. Slamming Doomsday into the planet is an ok tactic, could have just left him in space though, but considering how much of the Earth's surface is unpopulated his landing spot was very dumb - middle of one of the most populated cities on the planet.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ranma Out of Character

It is nearly impossible to write a Ranma story without someone thinking it is out of character or really any story in which you are not the original creator (and even then the reader may see it as OOC). You may try but it'll be your interpretation of the characters which everyone might not agree on. For some stories like Batman that has had multiple writers, multiple incarnation, and even rewritten parts of the story or changed the characters (early batman comics had Batman actually kill some of his opponents for example) it's difficult to say what is OOC or not because you don't know what version the person reading/writing will have as their source material (70's tv batman, 90's Batman, early batman, movie Batman, etc.)

Ranma is easier in someways in that it had one writer for all 38 volumes. Of course memory is fallible and people will forget parts. Not every reader of the fic or even every writer of fan fiction will have read the manga. Instead they may have seen the anime which was written by different people with their own views of Ranma. I wrote a few posts on the differences earlier; differences specific to the character Ranma and general differences. Even if the reader and the writer are using the manga they may have read different translations (online scan, VIZ, Russian version, etc.), which are different from one another. People who have seen the anime and read the manga may attempt to mesh the two together. Beyond that people will likely have read other fan fiction which will have also influenced them on the characters. Fanon is very rampant, in a earlier posting I listed many things seen in Ranma fanfiction that are countered by the manga; see here. That list is far from being a complete list I could add a lot more.

Then there are things like matter of perspective. From a first person perspective the manga is pretty dark and basically a tragedy. I have a post on that as well see here. From third person it's a comedy but not from first. So if you switch to a first person perspective the feeling of the story will change.

Then beyond that there are things like character decay (some characters become more 2 dimensional), PIS, and CIS. I went into some detail but no where near enough in this post here. My personal opinion on this for fic usage is that CIS (character induced stupidity) should be in full effect. Example of CIS, Ranma allowing himself to become distracted while fighting. PIS (Plot induced stupidity) and character decay though should be forgotten examples of these are Ranma's actions during the Gambling King Arc that was almost entirely PIS and directly counters the rest of the manga (none of the other arcs support it). An example of character decay is Kasumi becoming a mindless housewife even though in earlier arcs she would make comments, do things, and go on trips.

Beyond even that is that Ranma is set in Japan with a different culture than what most of the readers/writers of English fan fiction would be familiar with. The writer of the fic may have a better understanding of Japanese culture which would give them a different point of view than the reader does.

Basically the point of this post is, while I think it's good to attempt to keep the characters in character, no matter what you do someone will likely not see it as in character. So just write the story and don't worry too much about it being out of character. People will still read and like a story as long as it is good regardless of the characters staying in character. Of course if it's too out of character, you should probably just make it an original character.