With the success of seafarer Moon Crystal, we offer our suggestion for another Viz location reboot, the lovely Ranma 1/2.

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1. Keep the Quirk

Takahashi’s best strength is in producing unique premises featuring remarkably idiosyncratic characters. Because that instance, you have Urusei Yatsura, i beg your pardon is ostensibly a romantic comedy around a pervy teenage boy and also the hot, adoring alien chick that electrocutes the whenever he actions out the line…and every the other crazy alien shit that comes to Earth in she wake. Then there’s Maison Ikkoku, a rom-com of a much more down to earth nature that concentrates on a high school graduate who still hasn’t made it into college and also lives in a boarding home with human being who make his life a living hell. Simply when he’s had enough and is on his way out the door, the new super move in, and she’s the girl of his dreams. Both these mirrors are lived in with personalities that have actually all kinds of super-specific quirks.


Ranma ½ is no various in that regard. We have the titular hero who is tough, brash, macho, and also terrified to death of cats. No, seriously. And also sure, as a fellow ailurophobe, I have the right to appreciate that, yet all the characters have their very own cuckoo shit. Nabiki, among female lead Akane’s larger sisters, is an opportunist who will make use of anyone and also anything to make a quick buck. Seems basic, and also it is, yet it additionally makes because that a most character-specific comedy.

Ryouga, Ranma’s chef rival, is a formidable fighter through incredible physical strength…and certain no sense of direction. The dude acquired lost for three days trying to find a vacant lot behind his house. And that’s what I’m talk about. Sure, we all know people who will jump at an possibility to make a rapid buck or obtain lost constantly and also certainly there have actually been characters who have showed those traits to some degree, yet how many personalities do you understand where that’s, like, their thing? Ranma ½ has a fairly large ensemble turn off odd and distinctive characters, and I’m not even getting into the reality that fifty percent of lock transform right into other creatures as soon as they obtain wet.

Similarly, the premise is fresh. Two old friends desire to marry turn off their youngsters to for sure the future of their dojo. The only problem is that their kids kind of dislike each various other while each attracting nearly every member of the opposite sex castle come across. This is made double dubious through the reality that anytime the lead man becomes a girl, i beg your pardon is nice often, the tables turn and half his rivals become besotted with him while fifty percent the ladies suddenly want to death him. Genius.


And if the term “martial arts sex comedy” is rather misleading (no one actually has any sex in the show; the word refers simply to sex together a characteristic and also the comedic potential that fan organization boobies), we do acquire a range of both real and also fictitious martial arts, which by the author’s style are associated to every day aspects of life. Because that instance, over there is an entire martial arts style based on ramen take-out delivery. Ns serious. And also while it sound a tiny silly, that all part of the show’s charm. You can’t have Ranma there is no outlandish martial arts, the same way you can’t have it there is no the quirky characters. It just won’t occupational if girlfriend don’t keep the quirk.

2. But not every the Quirk

Look, ns love Ranma ½, and also I’m a substantial fan of reflects that no afraid to be a tiny silly, even an ext than a little, however there’s a balance, and I simply don’t think Takahashi fairly struck it. I mean, that one point to have actually a martial art style based upon take-out delivery. They discovered a way to rationalize the to some level (it goes earlier to early days of food shipment when the human delivering claimed food would acquire ambushed and jacked for your wares), and I accept this explanation. But bizarre, the is base in some sort of logic.

But martial arts styles that are based upon Japanese tea ceremony? Cheerleading? formal French Dining? Come on. Offer a bitch a break, Rumiko. While the collection is supposed to be a comedy, and also thus feeling is the priority, there is a fair amount that shark-jumping (your mileage, the course, may vary) in a martial arts format that is strictly a type of competitive eating. That’s not also a martial art. I’m no saying over there isn’t any type of skill involved. I certainly can’t eat a three-course enjoy the meal in under 2 minutes, so, friend know…respect. But tell me that’s no reaching just a little bit.


Now, it deserve to be argued that all these various styles noted new, colorful challenges as a way of maintaining the story fresh and also interesting transparent it’s insanely lengthy run. And also that’s true, yet it likewise brings united state to our third point. The display was too damn long.


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3. Quality, no Quantity

Ranma ½ spans over 2 anime collection (one straight following the other), 3 movies, thirteen OVA episodes, and nine specials. Yes a most Ranma ½ the end there. I would argue too lot of it. And this is unfortunately a hallmark that Takahashi’s work.

Ream mine beloved Sailor Moon as much as I perform on the topic of filler, it has NOTHING top top the Takahashi ouvre. As lot of a genius together Takahashi is at developing interesting characters and premises, she pacing is…less 보다 good. Every single one the her mirrors is roughly about twice as long as it needs to be, and even then, they usually omit points from the manga! i emphatically anxiety that this no a question of size in and also of itself, quite a issue of how that episode count is placed to use.

At its best, Ranma ½ is colorful, strange, and funny. At its worst, that is painfully repetitive. Below is practically every story arc in a nutshell: Some new challenger or love interest shows up, someone gets royally pissed off, a new martial arts layout is introduced, it’s either mastered or bested, and there room a few jokes around Ranma’s tits. That’s all, folks. That’s the totality show. And also it’s mainly because of the author’s virtually fundamentalist aversion to personality development.

Takahashi is queen of the condition quo. Her personalities don’t really prosper and change as a product as of their experiences and interactions. Yeah, they learn some fancy brand-new moves here and there, but they’re essentially the exact same exact human being at the start of the collection that they are at the end. Takahashi’s ide of character breakthrough isn’t progressing and also enriching the characters she has; it’s simply introducing more characters, which leaves us through an ensemble that is much too big to store track of and also pay fist to. The fucking ridiculous.

Takahashi has all this great story just sitting there, waiting to it is in mined because that comedy and action and romance, and also she just keeps spinning she wheels ~ above the exact same bullshit, story arc after ~ story arc. She keeps putting her personalities through these crucibles the test them and teach them, and also then once it’s end they’re simply right ago to being that were before. Yes, fine, actual human expansion is rarely a straight line. World make the very same mistakes over and also over, castle backslide and also lash out and fuck up. And also we all fuck up. Perfect human being are not just boring, castle unrealistic, but someone have the right to only make the exact same mistake so numerous times before you start limiting your exposure to them.


You understand that girlfriend you only see every when in a when because, in spite of the reality that there room things friend genuinely love around them, your bullshit is just too much to take care of on a continual basis? that is the trouble with the characters in Ranma ½. After ~ a while, see them go in behavior circles just gets also damn frustrating come watch. How countless times can you yes, really watch Ranma speak something insensitive and/or type of mean, only to have actually Akane fly turn off the handle and also have a raging shit attack around it? ns mean, the an initial dozen or for this reason times, sure. However after a while, i will not ~ they know each various other well sufficient to adapt just a little? even if it hardly ever works, the doomed attempt to restrain themselves would be one more stage in your relationship and also whole different kind that comedy.

But this is the flaw of Takahashi’s work, Ranma ½ in particular. It’s ultimately pretty shallow in its expedition of its very own themes and conflicts. Scenarios are hardly ever played out to their complete narrative potential, and also fascinating possibilities are simply blithely glossed end if acknowledged at all. Speaking of which…

4. It demands to walk There

How go Ranma’s experience of living as both a boy and a girl from minute to moment affect his late of gender, gender roles, exactly how he see his own sex identity and sexuality? So, would certainly Akane ever find herself attractive to Ranma in his girl form? If not, would certainly that be an issue in between them? would Ranma ever want to suffer sex together a woman, whether with female or masculine partners? and also the period old question… what would take place if Ranma-chan acquired pregnant? Rumiko Takahashi’s share answer come questions like these?

“I don’t think about these things, and neither need to you.”

Uhh…no. Ns don’t think so. Due to the fact that I do think around those things, and I should. Takahashi’s policy is past nonsensical. A really good story does do you think, and she had actually lightning in a bottle through Ranma ½.

Takahashi has actually said it s her in more than one interview that as soon as she developed Ranma ½, she involved it without any kind of society or political agenda and that her sole intent to be to compose a great story that was funny and entertaining. You recognize what? I can respect those priorities. Too numerous writers acquire so bogged down in the message that lock trying come get throughout that the story acting together a vehicle for that article suffers. Putting the narrative first is those important, yet there space two things that bust up she defense.


One, she clearly wasn’t also concerned about the strength of the narrative. Ns mean, she basically wrote the exact same storyline over and also over again, like, fifty times. Would actually break the program for a few episodes here and there really have actually been such a detriment?

Two, a typical solution come the squandering of one idea is because that someone else to tackle that very same idea in their own distinctive way, however the premise the Ranma ½ is so specific and therefore unique, it’s kind of difficult to approach a different execution that the exact same premise without totally ripping the initial off. Forget the an innovative implications, native an intellectual property edge alone, it would be a complete clusterfuck. That not favor The mr of the Rings vs. A track of Ice and Fire or Deep an are Nine vs. Babylon 5. You can’t make any type of variations top top this theme. Over there is no freaking method to replicate the basics of Ranma ½ without it gift Ranma ½, and also thus any kind of potential to develop ideas and also stories rooted in that premise, the story of a thoughtless, sexist, homophobic douchebag who all of sudden spends fifty percent his time together a girl, are the single purview of Takahashi.

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This display had come potential to not just be laugh the end loud funny, but to ask the large questions of sexual politics, gender, and sexuality. How does gift a girl and also subject to all the shit they endure change Ranma’s perspective? If he have the right to justify doing traditionally girly things like eating an ice cream parfait (seriously, Japan?), would that prolong to justifying sexual feelings for guys as lengthy as he is in his woman form? and how long prior to he start blurring the lines? and also what would happen if Ranma got pregnant and also how would certainly it further alter his perspective?

All this questions can be answered, and also it need not be heavy handed or didactic. There room a hundred methods to couch those thought-provoking story in side-splitting comedy, to bust the conversation that sex and gender large open if entertaining the crap out of us through stories of wacky martial arts and a bizarre harem that suitors, both male and also female.