Jul 042012

Ranma sucks and I’m going to give you valid reasons why it does.

Ranma ½ is one of the main reasons I’m writing this blog.  I remember first getting into anime.  I was in the Akira wave.  Going into Block-buster video and I see this movie Akira.  My first impression was amazement.

Looking at the box-art I was immediately hooked, I rented this movie and my anime journey began.  You might think Akira blew me away, but it didn’t.  I though Akira was pretty good, not great.  However Akira did open my eyes to the great potential anime had.  I went through other series mostly OVA, but one day I watched Ranma and my anime journey began.  I saw maybe the first 11 episodes they had at Block-buster and I was never the same again.

Then after months of waiting Block-buster never had any more episodes and I had no idea where to find more, (This was before Internet).  So I asked a fellow  high-school student and he recommended this hobby store.  I was finally able to finish the magnificent season 1 and decent season 2 of Ranma.  The problem was Season 3-7 got steadily worse.

I absolutely loved it. I was completely hooked, this series was great.

I think Ranma ½ is a perfect anime to explain why I was such a big fan of anime back then and now I don’t watch anymore anime.

Ranma sucks because:

1) Ryoga Hibiki I wanted more from him.

Similar reason for liking Lee in Naruto, I absolutely loved Ryoga and I hated the result of him later.   Ryoga comes into Ranma at episode 7 Enter Ryoga! The Eternal “Lost Boy”.  I just loved him, he was so funny and his conversation with Ranma was great.

Ranma: I waited for you at the agreed place for three days.

Akane: Three days?

Ryoga: Oh sure, you waited three days, but when i got there on the fourth day, you already turned tail and ran.

Akane: Fourth day?

I could always identify with Ryoga; I’m actually kind of similar to him.  I have no sense of direction at all.  I can’t tell if I’m going north or south, or if I’m on the right street.  Thank god for the invention of the GPS.

Later on in the series, Ryoga became more of a pitiful character and we had to laugh at his misery, Like Moe in the Simpsons, this type of humor isn’t funny.  Ryoga entering the show made a great rival to Ranma.  Of course not once did Ryoga really beat Ranma as well (except very late in Season 7).

Later episodes I probably didn’t watch unless Ryoga was in it.

Ranma Sucks because:

2) Viz Video was the distributor of the Ranma series.

Let me set the record straight here.  The dubbing in Ranma ½ was probably the best dubbing in anime period, it felt so natural and I didn’t flinch at all with the voice acting.

I had four problems with Viz Video.

1)  Their work was so expensive.  I remember it was around $40 for a Ranma VHS tape.

2) Every 2 months would be a new Ranma tape.  Since there were around 161 episodes in the anime, (In Japan it took two years for Ranma to air) here it took those around 13 years to release the whole series.  Fuck you Viz.

3) Viz released the OAV’s very early in the Ranma series, basically they gave us an OAV with characters we didn’t know, situation we didn’t understand and pretty much spoiled all the story of the TV series.

4) They couldn’t properly number their VHS tapes.  They had a dumb system of VRM-001 or some crap like that.  How about the Season number and episode number you dumb fucks.

At this time of writing, they don’t have a complete box-set of the series, unless you get some crappy boot-leg.

Season 1-7 is around $40 per season, it’s more reasonable. Back then when people would buy the VHS tapes.  80 cassettes X $40 = $3200 for Ranma ½ at that time.

Viz Video honestly I really hated them because of their fucking brutal schedule.  I was really interested in Ranma at the time, but 13 years is fucked up.  I’m a very different person when I was interested in Ranma when I was 16 years old.  At 29 I didn’t care at all.   They did the same shit with Mason Ikkoku as well, drove me crazy.  In the end I feel Viz video destroyed Ranma for me as well.

Ranma sucks because:

3) It became another boring Harem anime.

The jokes or a situation in Ranma was that all the characters pretty much revolved around Ranma and Akane.  I’ll admit that is kind of normal in all anime (one of the reasons I gave up on anime).  I feel Ranma ½ missed opportunities for supporting characters to interact.  Ranma ½ supporting characters was one of the strongest reason why this anime started out great.

I’ll give an example (Ranma ½ Season 2 Episode 11, Ranma Trains on Mt. Terror):  I remember when Ryoga was defeated badly by Ranma because Ranma gained incredible strength fighting Shampoo’s Great-Grandmother Cologne.  So Ryoga and Cologne talk at their restaurant about Training.  This is probably the first time Ryoga and Shampoo where together.  I wanted a really funny situation with these two and more dialogue then a few words.

The funny scene here was Ryoga was lost in Shampoo and Colonge’s restaurant, this scene was very short, if they fleshed it out more it would have been great.  I can’t even recall if Ryoga and Shampoo said more than 50 words to each other in the whole series.  I didn’t want romance between the two, but I wanted a really funny interaction between them. After Cologne trained Ryoga in the Rock-breaking technique, I never saw them interact much after the episode Breaking Point!? Ryoga’s Great Revenge.

I’m getting off topic above, in it being a simple Harem anime.  The issue I’m trying to raise is without Ranma or Akane, there is absolutely nothing going on at all.  The problem with Harem anime is the universe literally revolves around these two people and it’s fucking boring.

More of the boring Harem stuff is when Ukyo entered the picture in Season 3, in the end of the episode he is engaged to another woman.  I was rolling my eyes here.  He’s engaged to Akane, Shampoo and Ukyo and let’s not forget Kodachi (not too sure if Kuno counts) who likes him too.   The situations because quickly boring.  One of the women would chase Ranma, Akane gets mad and hilarity ensues.   Ranma was also kind an asshole too,  go ahead and watch the Ranma OAV Desperately seeking Shampoo.

Ranma sucks because:

4) It quickly slumped towards mediocrity.

The first season was great and second season was good, however it slumped to crap pretty quickly from third season onward.   Here is a quote from a site I found when doing this review.

It seems as if both Ms. Takahashi and anime creators did not know the basic designs of anime as recognized today. They played chess without knowing standard debutes. So, they touched upon many things which could be interesting, then failed to develop them. And of course, the milking and extensions were just horrendous. If the story, from the first meeting after the rain and up to the marriage, were told in 26 episodes, the anime would be much better (and more affordable).

That paragraph is the most perfect written piece ever.

Basically every episode has some new quirky character, there wasn’t much character development, the battles were very unmemorable and there honestly was no evolution at all (it became a real boring sitcom).

It got old real fucking quickly.

Ranma sucks because:

5) Kasumi Tendo and Dr. Tofu relationship never got resolved.

I can understand not marrying Ranma and Akane too quickly, but there was no reason why Kasumi and Dr Tofu couldn’t get married (or actually have some kind of romantic relationship).  This also made no sense and it touches on the subject I was talking about in reason 4.

In the first season they did a great job of us caring about these two.  Dr Tofu pretty much disappeared off the map pretty quickly, stuff like this really pissed me off.  If you wanted to know what happens in their relationship, read some fan-fiction.  There is so much Ranma fan-fiction because Takahashi didn’t resolve anything.

Ranma sucks because:

6) There was no ending to the anime.

Because of the manga anime relationship bullshit, Ranma TV was essentially an unfinished story.  The end episode was just a regular ending to the show.  The manga ending and anime ending are completely different.

It’s kind of sad to see my anime journey crash and burn like this.  When I was in college I loved anime like crazy and did my best to get other people hooked on it.  I know it made me incredible nerdy, but I loved it so much I didn’t care.  It actually inspired me to finish college, I would see Goku fight these incredible difficult battles and I said if he can keep fighting so will I.

So I do have a love of some of the old stuff, but even those anime I can pick it apart these days.