(✿◠‿◠) Anime!!! – Ranma ½

List Item:  Watch the 100 Anime to See Before You Die
Progress: 36/100Title: Ranma ½
Episodes Aired: 161
Year(s): 1989-1992

It’s taken a long time before I got to a point in the Ranma ½ series where I felt like I could write this up properly. Unlike Trigun where there wasn’t enough time to fully explore the mythos of the manga, Ranma ½ had a bucket-load of episodes and it just kept circling the same tropes again and again.

Before I get into that, I just wanted to say the quick qualifier that for this I watched what we in the West call the Ranma ½ canon – i.e. the first and second attempts to adapt the manga put together as one narrative without any repeats from the source material.

In a nutshell, Ranma ½ is a comedy fighting manga centred around a boy who has been cursed to turn into a girl whenever he is doused with cold water (warm water being how he can return to being a guy). His father has a similar curse… except that he turns into a giant panda. The bulk of the comedy in the show comes from unexpected gender swaps, as well as a increasing number of suitors for Ranma’s hand in marriage (both male form and female form).

Like many people I’ve seen online, I found that the first season of Ranma ½ to be the best of the lot. It’s far more creative with the storylines, even if it has to hit a lot of the same beats time and again. Weird how this got cancelled in Japan, whereas the more formulaic one went on for six seasons.

This is what has prompted me to stop now rather than carry on. After a while, seeing the characters acting the same way and facing the same situations over and over again gets a but tiring. If this didn’t have such a long run, then maybe they could have actually allowed some character development (for example, the relationship between Ranma and Akane could have gotten past the stalling and actually started) and I would have continued on to the end. However, it’s time to move on and I’ll be watching Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai before getting to the next series on my anime list.

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