Friday, October 17, 2008

Few comments inspired by Ranma Fanfiction

I was reading some Ranma fanfiction, which is something I haven't done a lot of lately, and now feel like making some comments inspired by recently read Ranma fanfics.

-In one fic I read, I saw mention of Ranma being unable to get somewhere because of a mountain range in his way forcing him to spend weeks going around it. I don't get why Ranma would have trouble climbing or even going directly through the mountain if he wanted to. Even had the mountain been virtually vertical it would only cause him little trouble seeing how he has the same ability as Spiderman to cling to impossible surfaces and he could, had he wanted to, just gouge his fingers into the stone (can casually do this as seen in the arc in which he gets strength back). How he could go through the mountain is the very same way Ryoga does tunnel through the earth via breaking point and ki blasts.

-I find it extremely unlikely that Ranma doesn't know the breaking point since he has seen it repeatedly, witnessed the training for it, and he has learned other techniques with less exposure. If Ranma knows it why doesn't he use it? Simple from a combat point of view, against his normal opponents, it has very few offensive abilities. Ryoga doesn't even try to use it on Ranma, in the manga, after it's intro arc since it can't hurt Ranma. There is only one time in the manga in which Ranma would have had a reason to use it, when he (technically she at the time) made a hole in Ryoga's house's wall, but Ranma chose to instead make a perfect circular cut barehanded to the wall. There are times where it would be useful though, for example against armor, though the shrapnel from the armor may kill the person so Ranma would not use the technique in that way lightly.

-In another fic I saw Nabiki swear to pay a debt she owes. This is extremely out of character for her. In the manga, she has no qualms about leaving her debts to others or running instead of doing what she was paid to do (like when the principal hired her and she took the money and ran).

-Comments of this nature: "Ranma is sexist so the pools made him female to learn that males and females are equal"; are untrue and do not make sense. Ranma is no more sexist than anyone else in his society. There are only two things, that I remember, him saying that can be construed as being sexist. One that guys tend to go easy on girls - which isn't really a sexist statement so much an observation, guys do tend to go easy on girls in fights. The second being that he doesn't like to fight girls (not that he won't, just that he doesn't like doing so). There are many reasons as to why he would dislike fighting girls beyond seeing them as being inferior (for instance how society would view him for hitting a girl -this is sort of implied to be at least part of the reason since he did have a daydream once in the manga about hitting Akane after she pissed him off and the shown reaction of the bystanders when he defeated Shampoo during the Reversal Jewel arc). He does treat females as serious opponents, he does not mind taking females like Shampoo or Ukyo with him on his training trips, he has fought with females, and he has asked females (such as Cologne and Akane) for help. Ranma is less, sexist than Akane is (she does have a valid excuse in that boys were attempting to defeat her for the privilege of dating her because of Tatewaki's proclamation) who thinks it's perfectly acceptable for a girl to see a guy nude but not for a guy to see a girl nude (or that it is fine for girls to hit guys but not for guys to hit girls). If anything cursing him to be a girl would make him more sexist, not less, since his female form is physically weaker than his male form and people expect him to act differently (like a girl) while female (mostly people who don't know his true form but still happens).

The main reason people probably view Ranma as being chauvinistic has nothing to do with any of his words or actions. The reason people view him as chauvinistic or misogynous is simply because he turns into a girl and doesn't want to. People construe not wanting to be a girl as him viewing girls as being inferior to guys. That is not the reason Ranma doesn't want to be a girl, he doesn't want to be a girl because it is a curse, not his natural state of being, and has caused him all kinds of problems (up to and including nearly getting him killed).

-I've seen fics in which Ranma knows every technique in the manga/anime. It is true that Ranma has a very high learning curve, if he sees the technique, particularly if he has seen it repeatedly, he probably knows how to duplicate it. He can't do so instantly though, even he needs some time to perfect the technique. Ranma can reasonably be expected to know the breaking point, Happosai's firework technique, Mousse's hidden weapons, and Kuno's sword techniques. He seen them enough that based on his learning other techniques (for example the Umisenken and tea ceremony) he should know them. He should not know some techniques like Shampoo's remote control acupuncture, because he hadn't seen it, and should not know Miss Hinako's ki draining techniques since they required her to be physically altered to do (though given time and motivation he could probably develop his own version).

-Ranma in all likelihood knows some and could duplicate other techniques which can kill. Ranma is not a killer, I do not like fics that have him be one. That is not to say Ranma won't kill, he would but only as a last resort or if killing would save peoples lives. Having Ranma go to someone to learn them is really not needed, existing techniques can, and have been, altered to kill.

-I've seen fics in which Ranma finds it abhorrent or criticizes people for using magic. Ranma in all canons (manga, games, and anime) has used magic. He came to Nerima carrying the girl repellent, he has borrowed magic items from the amazons, he bought magic items, etc. Even in the anime he uses magic, for example he bought magic that brought his shadow to life to practice with (then proceeded to train for three days straight wearing out the magic). I would not be in the least bit surprised to find out he was actually attempting to learn magic - to cure his curse and to counter other people using magic on him (I'd be more surprised if he wasn't).

-This has bugged me for awhile now, fics in which Ranma sleeps in school. If you read the manga that is not a common occurrence for him (eating in class yes, sleeping no). Akane has slept in class more often than Ranma, yet he is the one who is said to sleep in class not her in fanon. Actually the whole Akane being better than Ranma when it comes to schooling bothers me. Akane has been shown to cut class, does so with Ukyo in one arc but there are other times as well (though this is something Ranma does as well). Akane has disrupted class, a few times. Akane has incited riots, while Ranma doesn't he instead tries to manipulate the people doing things that bothers him to get his way (Akane solution get students up in arms to cut Kuno's hair, though she did eventually see it as being wrong, Ranma's solution use female form and attempt to manipulate Kuno into cutting his own hair). Et cetera. Yet in fan fiction Ranma is said to be the worse student. Ranma is not shown to be a worse student than Akane is in any way. Though this maybe different in the anime.

As far as grades are concerned, Ranma's grades are pretty much unknown (based on the evidence you can interpret them any way you want though it is implied that he is at least maintaining a passing grade). As for Akane, like Ranma her grades are mostly unknown and it is implied that she too is passing but there is some evidence that she is doing poorly in at least one class (and likely more). She is shown to be in a home economics class and she is also shown to be absolutely terrible at every single thing that class teaches. Since she can't cook she likely would do bad in related classes such as chemistry and since she can't swim she is probably not getting a great grade in that class (swimming is shown to be part of the curriculum).


Anonymous said...

Depending on when the fan fic is set Ranma knowing every technique seen in the series isn't that hard to believe given time. In the case of pressure points for example it's just a matter of reading fairly common books or scrolls.

The real question is why would Ranma want to use certain techniques.

Anonymous said...

Making Nabiki having a bit more heart is out of character, but required for fanfictions to have a realistic edge to the story. Really, it's not that out of character to be nice once in a while.

I don't think Ranma knows the breaking point. Part of the training Ryoga went through was also to be able to find a rocks weak point. It took a long time of being slammed into rocks, further increasing his incentive to hurry up and master it. Ryoga was also shown how to do the technique before hand. Ranma has little incentive to learn the technique considering he already beat it, not to mention it only provides a distraction or an explosion of flying rocks.

Ranma does seem slightly sexist (sometimes quite sexist), with statements or actions that say "But so and so is just a girl!". It's not often, but it still occurs. Of course, I also agree that Akane is far more sexist than Ranma. Even Nodoka was more sexist than Ranma. It also makes you wonder how Ranma acted before Jusenkyo, when all he had was his fathers word (however idiotic) that girls were weak. It's possible that the curse really adjusted his view on girls too.

It's likely that Ranma does have SOME paranoid tendencies about magic. After all, his encounters with magic were practically only bad experiences. Koi Rod, Jusenkyo, Dragon String, Kinjakan (staff that removed water from Akane), Love Pills, possible cures, Phoenix Eggs, and a few more. Not to say that he won't go blindly running off the moment somebody says 'cure', but it's unlikely that he'll choose research magic to solve his problems.

antimatterenergy said...

I don't recall Ranma having statements or actions that really say:

--"But so and so is just a girl!". It's not often, but it still occurs.--

in the manga other than the already mentioned ones (this blog is primarily manga not anime based). Also going by the manga Genma does not say girls are weak, if he did so it was only like once not a common occurrence.

I don't mind Nabiki being nice on occasion just pointing out when it comes to money she in particularly is not and too many fics have her display morals that directly counter the manga usually implying that she always had those morals.

My argument about magic is that Ranma seems to view it as just another tool in which he would use, he doesn't find all magic to be abhorrent or will not use it at all like some fics I've seen have had him do. Some fics have Ranma treat all magic like it was an infectious disease when that is not his view at all in the manga where we see that he will use it.

The reason I think he'd research magic is the same reason he'd learn a martial arts technique so as to counter when it is used against him but that is just an opinion; that he is against magic use in all forms is just fanon. Ranma has purposely used magic on numerous occasions with little hesitation and was shown seeking it out (such as asking Cologne for some to use on Ryoga).

IMO Ranma likely knows the breaking point but that is as I said my opinion and doesn't really matter the technique isn't very useful and Ranma has used other techniques that have similar results when used.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most. However, I just wanted to add that in Japan you basically cannot really "fail" class as even with bad grades you will always get through. The principle of needing to repeat one year of school (providing that the marks are not good enough) does not apply to the Japanese educational system. Every student gets dragged along. So basicially: proclaiming that Ranma (and, in that case, Akane also)must receive at least to a certain extent some decent marks as he is passing is not really valid anymore. He could even be bad enough to fail did he attend school in a western country.

Personally, I think his grades are low down. Which doesn't mean that he couldn't do it any better, I just believe that he simply isn't trying to. Ranma does not aspire any form of educational degree or academic recognition as long as he can do what interests him most: Martial Arts.

But that's just my opinion.