Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alternative Interpretations

People have different interpretations for things. That people interpret things differently than I do makes perfect sense; after-all people have different perspectives and information than I do. Sometimes I can see as to why other people interpret things the way they do, other times it makes no sense to me at all.

Something's are very easy to interpret differently for example:

What is your opinion about Akane's knowledge of Ryoga liking her.
1. Akane truly is clueless about Ryoga liking her.
2. She is aware that he likes her but is deliberately ignoring the fact that he likes her.
3. Some other reason.

-My opinion is that Akane is fully aware that Ryoga likes her but she does not like him (in that way) so acts like she is clueless about his liking her (that and she is a bit scared of him because of his lack of control when he tried to give her a hug).

What is your opinion on male form Ranma and Ryoga's physical strength?
1. Ryoga is physically stronger.
2. Male form Ranma is physically stronger.
3. Their physical strength is close enough to being the same that the difference is so minor as to not matter.
4. It is more complex since there exists more than one type of physical strength and Ryoga maybe stronger in one type and Ranma stronger in another (absolute strength, dynamic strength, elastic strength, explosive strength, one-repetition maximum, relative strength, specific strength, starting strength, strength deficit, strength endurance, static strength, etc.)

-I'm going with their physical strength is close enough to each others so as to not matter. It does not really bother me when people have Ryoga be stronger than male Ranma, even massively stronger, in fan fiction but it does bother me on forums, wiki's and character descriptions on websites. The reason it bothers me is because the source material is rather inconclusive as to which character is physically stronger (it is also did not really care about being all that consistent about strength and toughness though both characters are shown consistently to be physically stronger and tougher than real humans and the majority of humans in series judging by bystanders reactions and comments). Ryoga really does not have any physical feats of strength not duplicated or exceeded by Ranma (even in female form). The original set up in which Ryoga's strength is showcased also showed that Ranma was extremely strong as well (after-all female form Ranma also had no trouble lifting the umbrella, Akane, and jumping an inhuman distance carrying them). That Ryoga can not control his strength was never an indicator of him being stronger than Ranma in my opinion just a further example that Ryoga is not as skilled as Ranma (who generally can control his strength).

Now for some that make no sense to me:
I was chatting with someone last week who said that Ranma was a real bastard for picking on the weak by sneaking up on and breaking a balloon near Gosunkugi's head. They forgot entirely that Gosunkugi had been stalking Akane and secretly taking photos of the school girls (Akane only really but from Ranma's point of view he just sees a guy crouching next to a window with a camera secretly taking pictures of school girls). They then went on to say that all the stuff Gosunkugi did (stalking Ranma, trying to find out Ranma's weakness to use it against him, joining up with someone who annoyed him -Tatewaki, stalking his fiancee, etc.) was Ranma's fault for picking on Gosunkugi (when said picking on him was surprising him while he was secretly taking photos of girls). How the hell did they get that interpretation from the manga?

It annoys me when I see people claim Ranma is a bully. Ranma is not picking on them for no reason, he usually has a legitimate reason for his actions (not doing so to be mean), and the characters he does it to have done things at least as bad (and usually much worse) to Ranma. Personally I found pretty much (though not) everything Ranma did to others to be justifiable considering what the other characters were either doing (like Ryoga trying to date Akane and Akari at the same time) or because of the things that the characters did to him that were much worse.

The fanfic version of Ranma that is trusting, open, doesn't read, is sexist, doesn't use weapons, lets people push him around, is uncultured, is a braggart, doesn't apologize, and is not manipulative; is a very different interpretation for Ranma than I got reading the manga. My view is that Ranma is very manipulative, secretive, doesn't brag often, is not sexist, uses weapons often, is shown reading often, is probably the most cultured person in the manga, does apologize, and only lets people push him around when he has a reason to (the whole arc in which he got kicked out of the Tendo's house was because he would not let Happosai push him around).


Anonymous said...

Well post water proof soap Akane has to know how Ryoga feels about her.

I don't think Akane is afraid of Ryoga. She seems to have no fear of being alone with him. Just think about the time Ryoga had both Akane and Miss Unryu at his house.

Akane also seems to think very highly of Ryoga.

SO, Akane seems to have no trouble putting herself in positions where a bit of naughty fun could easily happen between she and Ryoga, she knows how he feels about, and gets angry when Ranma gets in the way. Akane either likes Ryoga back, or is messed up in the head to the point she lives in a fantasy that has little basis in reality IMO.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't brag often? I'm sorry, but in my opinion, he seems to brag way too often!

I don't know if your translation is different (or perhaps if you even work with the Japanese original), but in my German version there are loads of examples to support my evidence:

- Volume 38 ch. 399
It's that Jusendo Arc whose plot is very difficult to describe in just a few words. Ranma is about to perform a very dangerous stunt. However, when the Jusenkyo Guide remarks that Ranma's hands have been glued together, Ranma replies something like:

"I still gotta do it. I am the strongest, most intelligent, most experienced, nicest..." blabla while Ryouga and Mousse watch him incredulously.

Volume 34 ch 364
Mousse is afraid that Shampoo might intend to kill him, so Cologne offers to show Ranma, Mousse and Akane a very dangerous technique that will relieve Shampoo of her anger. According to Cologne, however, only Ranma is suitable to perform it, much to Mouuses' dismay. Ranma condifently replies:

"No trouble for me. I got experience, strength, personality, courage, modesty and discipline" Well, apart from the modesty-bit, he might be all right.

Vol. 14 ch 134
After having gained his powers back (Happosai had previously pressed a pressure point on his back which made him weak), the first thing he does with his reestablished energy is demolish the Tendo Mansion and pick up fights (at least one with his father). He is in very good spirit and proud of his full vigour.

Vol. 25 ch 256
After defeating Herb Ryoga and Mousse approach him. Instead of simply thanking them for their support, he adds:

"Your stupidity may have caused me a lot of trouble..." before he is interrupted (and eventuelly hit) by Ryouga. When Ryouga reminds him that he and Mousse have saved his life, Ranma indignantly responds: "Wha? But that's what I'm thanking you for..."

That is all I can think of for now, but even without the mention of any more concrete examples: It is no secret that Ranma has big confidence in his abilities (and sometimes isn't above being arrogant about it).

While it is true that he can be modest about jokes or pranks being played on him, does not abuse his power to hurt weaker ones (or people he considers weaker at least) and may show an amlost altruistic side when people are involved (sometimes people he isn't even all too familiar with), he is still proud.

You can tell he is proud and you can tell he takes an astonishing amount of pride in his (most times superior) capabilities. Hence this is also why every kind of defeat is like a personal humilation to him.
His self-esteem, however, is not only derived from physical power, but also from his attractiveness, his appeal and the often resulting popularity (especially with girls) he gets from it. I do not need to remind you in what kind of self-doubting state his mind was in when it appeared that Shampoo did not love him anymore.

It is true that he is casual most times, easy-going and all in all a very likeable guy. He doesn't only 'act' that way; he really most times is! But there is no way that he is somehow unaware of the superiority that distinguishes him from other characters or that this superiority does not matter to him. Which it does; very much even. Especially when his "alpha-"position is dangered or likes to remind his opponents (like Ryouga and Mousse in the cited above) that they still do not surpass him.

So he does brag. Though not often. Not as often as he probably could. But he is still full of himself and that's saying enough.