Personal priority of OVA articles: The Two Akanes! "Ranma, Look at Me!" (OVA 12) and Oh, Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever (OVA 10).
publication notes: Shonen Sunday 1996 Vol. 10 - February 21st, 1995 Vol. 14 - April 12th, 1994, Vol. 47 - December 21st.
- Chapter 255 published in: issue 1993, Vol. 1/2, Chapter 276: 1993, Vol. 25, Chapter 210: 1992, Vol. 6, Chapter 225: 1991 Vol. 21/22, Chapter 179: 1991 Vol. 35/36.
Ranma ½ cleanup
|Genre||Martial arts, Romantic comedy, Urban fantasy|
|Created by||Rumiko Takahashi|
|Original run||September 1987 – March 1996|
|Volumes||38 (list of chapters)|
|Directed by||Tomomi Mochizuki|
|Episodes||18 (list of episodes)|
|Ranma ½ Nettōhen|
|Directed by||Koji Sawai|
|Episodes||143 (list of episodes)|
|Extra||Big Trouble in Nekonron, China|
Nihao, My Concubine
Ranma ½ (らんま½ Ranma Nibun-no-Ichi?, pronounced Ranma One-Half) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It was originally serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday from September 1987 to March 1996, and later collected into 38 tankōbon volumes. The story revolves around a 16-year old boy named Ranma Saotome who was trained from early childhood in martial arts. As a result of an accident during a training journey, he is cursed to become a girl when splashed with cold water, while hot water changes him back into a boy.
Following the conclusion of her previous work, Urusei Yatsura, Takahashi began serializing Ranma ½ in Shogakukan's Shōnen Sunday where it ran from September 1987 to March 1996. Takahashi drew inspiration from a variety of real-world objects, with places frequently seen in the series being modelled on actual locations in Nerima, Tokyo Japan. In addition, links have been shown between the manga and people, paintings and films.
During an interview with Animerica in 2000, Takahashi stated that she intended that the series to be popular with women and children, but added that she does not think in terms of societal agendas and that she created the Ranma ½ concept because she wanted one that may be "a simple, fun idea." She added that she, as a woman and while recalling what manga she liked to read as a child, felt that "humans turning into animals might also be fun and märchenhaft...you know, like a fairy tale."
Viz Media published the English version of the Ranma ½ manga. Viz started publishing the series in 1993 in a monthly chapter comic book format. However, the series was "flipped" to read left-to-right, causing the art to be mirrored, e.g. a right-handed character is now left-handed. Because of the time needed to accumulate material, collected graphic novel volumes were relatively slow to come. On March 18, 2004, after releasing 21 volumes of Ranma, Viz announced that it would reprint a number of its graphic novels. The content remained the same, but the novels moved to a smaller format with different covers and a price drop. In the case of Ranma ½, the covers shifted from a variegated style to a more uniform cover. However, the series still retained its left-to-right format, like the first edition. Each volume covers roughly the same amount of material as a Japanese tankōbon, but Viz incorporated minor differences in grouping so that the English-language version spans 36 volumes rather than the original number of 38. Volume 36, the final volume, was released in stores on November 14, 2006, thus making it Viz's longest running manga, spanning over 13 years. At Anime Expo on July 7, 2013, Viz Media announced they will began re-releasing the manga in a format that combines two individual volumes into a single large one. With the first volume scheduled for March 11, 2014, it will also mark the first time the series has been released in North America in its original right-to-left format.
In addition to the regular storylines, Ranma ½ has had several special releases. First, The Ranma ½ Memorial Book was published just as the manga ended in 1996. Acting as an end-cap to the series, it collects various illustrations from the series, features an interview with Rumiko Takahashi, and includes tidbits about Ranma: summaries of his battles, his daily schedule, trivia, and a few exclusive illustrations. Second, a Movie + OVA Visual Comic was released to illustrate the theatrical movie Team Ranma vs. the Legendary Phoenix and the OVA episodes "The One to Carry On" (both parts). It also included information on the voice actors, character designs, and a layout of the Tendo dojo. Finally, guidebooks were released for three of the Ranma ½ video games; these included not only strategies, but also interviews.
Ranma ½ was extremely popular among American anime fans in the 1990s and popularized many of anime's most common visual gags. The infamous 'cursed springs' plot device has even come up in anime-themed custom role playing games as a quick transgender device.
Ranma ½ had a comedic formula and a gender-swapping main character, who often willfully changes into a girl to advance his goals. Ranma ½ also contains many other characters, whose intricate relationships with each other, unusual characteristics and eccentric personalities drive most of the stories. Although the characters and their relationships are complicated, they rarely change once the characters are firmly introduced and settled into the series.
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Ryoga Article Cleanup
It is very unclear as to what extent Akane is aware of Ryoga's highly visible infatuation with her. He regularly brings her gifts from the widespread locations he visits during his travels. He becomes extremely flustered at even talking to her, outright affirming that he's overjoyed from even innocent "dates" between them. Even more significantly, he becomes furious and comes to her defense at the very notion of anyone, especially Ranma disrespecting or hurting her, and has helped to save her life on multiple occasions. Ryoga has also made a few embarrassed, and highly transparent, attempts to confess his love to her. Perhaps the most transparent of these attempts was during the "Miraculous Soap" short story, in which Ryoga finds the courage to confess his feelings after using a soap (which ended up in his hands after Shampoo lost it) which would nullify his Jusenkyo curse (as a matter of fact, the soap itself was a product from Jusenkyo). However, Ryoga only managed to scare Akane off with his lack of control, as he kept on destroying everything before him while chasing after her.
His attempts at expressing his love often times fail either due to him losing courage at the last moment or Akane missing any hints and implications provided to her, if there are any signs that are apparent enough (such as Ryoga's love letters) they are usually destroyed or made illegible at the last moment.
Despite all the evidence, Akane seems almost completely oblivious to his affection. During Ukyo's prolonged introduction story, she witnessed Ryoga's very emotional reaction when Ranma made him think she was holding his hand, but drew no conclusions. She adamantly protested out of genuine confusion when Nabiki suggested that the latter was actively pursuing her, in the "Fishing-Rod of Love" arc, stating that he was simply a good friend. However, she has mentioned that she considers him as kind, pure and gentle, in the "Sakura-Mochi" arc, and as more honest, sincere, and reliable than Ranma, in the "Tunnel of Lost Love" arc, where she also wanted him to hold her hand in order to comfort and protect her from the ghosts in the cave. Given the above she generally seems to view him as a younger brother.
There have, however, been a few exceptions. Early in the manga, even Akane clearly noticed his feelings when Shampoo's "remote-control acupressure" made her charm Ryoga, making him overjoyed and relentlessly persistent. This ultimately terrified her when she realized that his overwhelming casual power might kill her through a simple hug. She afterwards stated that whoever became his girlfriend had to be a lot sturdier than herself. During the "Sakura Mochi" story she also, for once, actively considered him as a potential boyfriend upon noticing several "petal marks" on Ryoga's face after he ate a "true love predicting" cookie. Even then, Akane was visibly relieved when Ranma's face showed more of them, though the "petal marks" she saw were actually P-chan's hoofprints. She has also consistently been very happy for Ryoga whenever she thinks that he has managed to find a girlfriend, admitting that she has been worried about him due to his overwhelming loneliness.
In the episode Ryoga, Run Into the Sunset, he fell in love with girl named Anna who loved him as well. During this episode, Ryoga was questioning weither or not he should stay and be with Anna or return to Akane. While he thinks about this, he and Anna drift closer to each other and he saves her life when she was kidnapped. When he saved her Anna runs up to him and they hug. But, soon he realizes that he still loves Akane and returns to her.
Late in the manga Ryoga meets a girl named Akari Unryu whose family runs a dojo dedicated to training massive "sumo pigs". By accidentally defeating her strongest pig, Katsunishiki, Ryoga became Akari's betrothed by the decree of her grandfather.
Akari is a sweet girl who loves Ryoga, although she is initially unaware of his curse, and when she tries to compliment him through comparisons with pigs (which she cherishes above everything), he takes it as a grave insult. Ryoga despises his curse and thinks it makes him pathetic and inferior, which is one of the main reasons he has trouble sharing his feelings with Akane. In the end, Akari finds out about his condition, which only makes her adore him even more. This further complicates Ryoga's life, since he is initially indecisive about her and Akane and once tried to court both of them at the same time. Towards the end of the series he seems mostly focused on dating Akari, but during the Saffron arc, he adds Akane's photo (purchased from Nabiki) into a holder, which also has Akari's picture. After Ryoga accidentally loses them during one of their initial skirmishes with Saffron, he is desperate to reclaim them, to the point of falling into a deep fissure. At the end of the manga, Ryoga appears content to let Akane wed Ranma without interrupting, until he gets lost and accidentally winds up at the reception anyway.
Ryoga's love triangle seems to be the only one that Rumiko Takahashi attempted to amend, some fans have speculated that this is due to sympathising with him, since he loved Akane in a comparatively innocent, non-lecherous way.
In the German translation of the "Memorial Book", Ryoga and Akari are described as feeling reciprocal "great attraction" towards one another, while he only felt "lingering affection" for Akane. In this respect Ryoga seems to have received a more conclusive ending than most of the main characters, since the others were still caught up in the usual romantic entanglements and complications. His rivalry for Akane is gone and he has met his seemingly perfect match, but his direction sense and remaining curse naturally still complicate matters.
Ryoga and Ukyo as a couple are joked about in both continuities, but somewhat more so in the anime (likely due to the fact Akari was never introduced in this continuity). However, this pairing seems unlikely at best. She has bluntly and abrasively reiterated her derision towards his lack of judgement, direction sense and shyness/"cowardice", followed by hard whacks of her battle spatula. Ryoga also tends to be infatuated with girls who are consistently gentle with his feelings. They seemed even more antipathetic towards one another after being forcefully separated by the ghosts in the "Tunnel of Lost Love", possibly due to the previously referred "break-up curse", alternately simply due to blaming one another.
Regardless, they never cooperate, or speak, again in the manga. In their one real interaction in the anime after the Tunnel of Love story (the "Nihao My Concubine" movie) they were both quite hostile towards each other. Ryoga was initially uninterested in helping Ukyo to vanquish her unwanted paramour Sarutoru, the monkey man, who was courting her at a dinner table, turning to leave until she pointed out that his lack of direction-sense meant that he needed her help to find Akane. It was only then that he was willing to fight Sarutoru, and defeats the latters with a Shi Shi Hokodan blast, whereupon Ukyo seems thankful and leads him away.
A surprising number of (female?) fans consider Ryoga as the character who "deserves" Ranma most/is the best romantic prospect. This is due to Ryoga being the most noble and chivalrous of all the rivals, sharing a similar heroic "Warrior Code" and interests, having complementing strengths, and recurrently coming to Ranma's aid, such as during the "Weakness Moxibustion"/"Hiryu Shoten Ha" storyarc when all of Ranma's other rivals took full advantage of his weakened state, whereas Ryoga not only couldn't bring himself to attack the weakened opponent, but felt heartbroken for losing his worthy rival, protected him from the cowardly assault, and helped Ranma to regain his strength. However, the major problem here is that both of them are very straight, and were stated outright to find the idea of a relationship with the heated (antagonistic brotherly) rival particularly distasteful. For example when a mirror copy of Ranma's female form kisses Ryoga on the cheek, he freezes up and feels "soiled"; and in another instance Ryoga attempts to confess his love for Akane, but accidentally embraces female Ranma instead, causing Ryoga to get paralyzed from the shock, while a ballistic Ranma repeatedly stomps on him at the ground, and Ranma later grumpily states that if Ryoga ever says that again he would hurt him even worse. Hence, it would be extremely out of character, but if someone wants to insert a fully female sister or mirror-clone with very similar personality then it actually does make sense that they should get along quite well.
- Furinkan.com - inspirations
- "Rumiko Takahashi Interview". Viz Media. March 2, 2000. p. 3
- "Rumiko Takahashi Interview". Viz Media. March 2, 2000. p. 4
- Viz Media 2004 Press Releases
- Viz Media Product page for volume 36
- Anime News Network - Viz Media Adds Deadman Wonderland, Gangsta. Manga
- Ranma ½ FAQ - Interview with Rumiko Takahashi from the Memorial Book
- Ranma ½ Perfect Edition - Manga Summaries
- Enter Ryoga! The Eternal 'Lost Boy'
- Shonen Sunday interview - 1996
- School is a Battlefield! Ranma vs. Ryoga
- To the Mushroom Forest!
- From the Spring, Springs a Message
- 'Akari's introduction story'; Volume 30, chapter 1-3. ISBN 9789171342539
- 'The Akane & Akari double-date'; Volume 31, chapter 4-5. ISBN 9789171342546
- Two Ranmas; Volume 35, chapter 1. ISBN 9789171343253
- Ryoga's and Akari's date; Volume 36, chapter 2. ISBN 9789171343260
- Ranma and Akane; Volume 38, chapter 9. ISBN 9789171343284