Friday, June 03, 2005
Educating Ranma: More Stories From The World Of Japanese Animation
Ok, take a father and son who study martial arts. Watch them train in China and each fall in Jusenkyo's cursed pools. Whenever the father (Gendo) gets hit by cold water, he turns into a giant panda. When the son (Ranma) gets hit by cold water, he becomes that redhead girl in the photo. Yes, hot water will turn them back. Complicate this story with a promise Gendo Saotome made to his longtime friend Soun Tendo that his son will marry one of his 3 daughters. Forever emasculated by this curse, Ranma is forced into an engagement with tomboy Akane even though they can't stand each other. Now living with the Tendo family, the Saotome's only wish is to become normal again. Can they or will Akane kill Ranma first?
This is the basis for Rumiko Takahashi's classic animated series Ranma 1/2. All 161 episodes of this series ran in Japan from 1989 to 1992 including films, straight to video episodes and specials. The series is highly rewarding even though it takes some time to deal with seeing female Ranma's chest (but then again it's a guy... or a girl... or well, deep down it's a guy.) Only someone like female manga writer Rumiko Takahashi (responsible for the popular Inuyasha series now running on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim) can take a crazy idea like gender confusion and create a love story.