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[[caption-width-right:300: "Is that cute redhead the pigtailed [[ArrogantKungFuGuy kung-fu guy]]'s [[HalfIdenticalTwins twin sister]]? [[note]]Answer: Nope. [[GenderBender They're one and the same.]][[/note]]]]

''Ranma ½'' is Creator/RumikoTakahashi's long-running GenderBender martial arts/romantic comedy manga series published from 1987-1996. It received multiple {{Animated Adaptation}}s, including two television series, three films and various {{OAV}}s, and a [[LiveActionAdaptation live-action movie]] in 2012. It's arguably one of the most popular, well-known and influential manga properties of the [[TheNineties 1990s]].

Akane Tendō is a talented and [[{{Tomboy}} tomboyish]] martial artist who discovers one day that her father has promised/sold her hand in marriage to Ranma Saotome, the son of a family friend and a martial arts prodigy in his own right. Akane bristles at the thought of being forced to marry someone she doesn't even know, and Ranma has his own problems to deal with. On a ridiculously ill-advised training journey with his father, Ranma accidentally fell into the cursed "Spring of Drowned Girl" and now his body [[GenderBender transforms into that of a busty young woman]] when splashed with cold water. Hot water will reverse the transformation, but not before a case of mistaken identity gets Ranma and Akane's relationship off to the worst possible start.

Now Akane and Ranma have to put up with each other while [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters an increasingly large snarl of characters]] try to [[LoveDodecahedron woo, marry and/or defeat one or both of them]], sometimes simultaneously, often with [[MartialArtsAndCrafts world-class ability in bizarre or eclectic martial arts styles]], and often bearing their ''own'' shapeshifting curses. HilarityEnsues.

This series brought the "{{harem|Genre}}" trope to its ridiculous extreme; there's a reason that the LoveDodecahedron trope exists, and this series ''is'' that reason. The core cast numbered more than a dozen persons caught up in a complex web of love, hate, duty, honor, and rivalry -- and Takahashi played all of it for laughs. More characters joined the madness every year, which eventually gave ''Ranma'' one of the largest ensemble casts in all of anime and manga. The manga ran in ''Shounen Sunday'' from 1987 to 1996, which were later published as thirty-eight ''tankoban'' and ''shinsoban'' volumes (which ended up condensed into thirty-six volumes for the American release).

''Ranma ½''[='s=] TV series adaptation lasted seven seasons; it also spawned eleven {{OVA}}s, one theatrical short (released as the twelfth OVA outside Japan), and two motion pictures. Production ended when Kitty Studios folded in 1996. A belated thirteenth OVA was released in 2008 (along with special episodes of ''Anime/InuYasha'' and ''Anime/UruseiYatsura'') as part of the ''Rumic World'' art exhibition that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Takahashi's publisher, Shogakukan.

While fans and critics alike consider the anime a "classic", it suffers from several problems. It rapidly {{overtook the manga}} and [[CutShort was canceled before it could complete the full storyline, ending three years before the manga itself concluded]]. The dearth of new material caused the show to become [[MonsterOfTheWeek somewhat repetitious]] as the production team resorted to cookie-cutter {{filler}} episodes that had no relation to the manga's plot. (Of the final season's twenty-five episodes, only ten had storylines based on the manga). This reflected a change in the manga itself, which had also abandoned an overarching plot in favor of smaller arcs and episodic comedy. The artistic quality of the show began to suffer noticeably early in its run -- there is a visible decline in quality of animation, music, and writing starting in the second season -- but around the fourth or fifth season, this tendency had begun to reverse itself to the point where the final seasons showed considerable improvement in the animation department. (The {{OVA}}s and movies had far better animation than the TV series, natch.)

Even with these problems, the ''Ranma ½'' anime became a popular show in its day -- even in North America. ''Ranma'' became one of the first major crossover hits that helped usher in the explosion of anime importation in the early-to-mid-1990s, and was the ''very'' first anime TV series to ever be released in English with a straight uncut dub. Many fans think of the dub by Creator/VizMedia and [[Creator/TheOceanGroup Ocean Studios]], which premiered in 1993, as one of the first decent efforts in the history of English anime adaptation. Viz did its best to minimize the usual culprits of cultural translation, Bowdlerization, and localization -- which contrasts heavily with the show's near-contemporary ''Anime/SailorMoon'' (Viz released ''Ranma'' directly to video rather, whereas ''Sailor Moon'' arrived via television syndication, though ''Ranma'' also aired for a short time in some markets). It was even briefly optioned for a live action Hollywood film in the late 1990s, although nothing ever came of it. ''Ranma'' had the fortunate luck to arrive in the the English language market at about the same time that the World Wide Web emerged into public life, which led to the show acquiring one of the first major online fan communities, the FanFiction Mailing List, or FFML, which primarily centered around ''Ranma'' despite the generic name, and the first known online scanlation effort, the [=RanmaScan=] project.

Despite its age, ''Ranma ½'' still has a remarkably large and vigorous North American fan community -- and it's still responsible for a significant fraction of the anime {{fanfic}}tion on the web, including a wide variety of [[IntercontinuityCrossover crossovers]]. ''Ranma ½'' is probably one of the most crossed-over series on the Internet -- on fanfiction.net alone, it has over 1,100 listed crossovers and hundreds (if not thousands) listed elsewhere. (That doesn't count ''un''listed crossovers, either there or elsewhere.) To put that into perspective: while ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has around eight times the number of crossovers listed, ''Naruto'' also has over ''twenty-four times'' as many stories listed as ''Ranma'' does total. One sub-type of ''Ranma'' crossovers -- the FukuFic -- became common enough that it has its own trope entry. The series' length and fanbase has predictably resulted in copious amounts of {{Fanon}}; it also inspired the comic series ''ComicBook/NinjaHighSchool'', among many other creations.

On the 9th of December 2011, a two-hour live-action TV movie version aired on the Japanese network NTV. Based on an original story by Yoshihiro Izumi, it starred Kenta Kaku and Natsuna Watanabe as male and female Ranma, respectively, and Yui Aragaki as Akane, along with an [[http://yaraon.blog109.fc2.com/blog-entry-4755.html impressive supporting cast]]. The official NTV site for this live-action special is [[http://www.ntv.co.jp/ranma/ here]].

!!''Ranma ½'' provides examples of:
* RanmaOneHalf/TropesAToF
* RanmaOneHalf/TropesGToL
* RanmaOneHalf/TropesMToR
* RanmaOneHalf/TropesSToZ

->''"Oh-No, Honored Customer, you fall in spring of Drowned Troper, is too, too, tragic tale of [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife person too busy editing articles to look where going]], now you turn into person unable to turn off computer..."''