Anime: Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran
Meow and RanKazemakase: Tsukikage Ran
(Carried by the wind: Tsukikage Ran
) is an anime series produced by Akitaro Daichi (who also produced Jubei-chan
and Fruits Basket
), that aired for 13 episodes in 2000. It follows a basic adventure formula, with different settings, villains and people to help in every episode. The series derives most of its strength from the often humorous and dynamic interaction between Ran and Meow, who could be seen as lovely angels
with a twist.
Ran is a young female ronin
with an unmatched degree of swordsmanship. She wanders through Japan, looking for thrills and a steady supply of good sakenote
. One day she runs into Meow, a somewhat younger Chinese girl who has tremendous skill in Chinese martial arts and a lust for strife matching her own. Together they wind up in all kinds of adventures, ranging from skirmishes with the yakuza
to helping clueless parents to duking it out with an overgrown European woman.
- Action Girl: Both Ran and Meow, especially when the fighting starts. Whether or not they make Lovely Angels is questionable since they usually tend to split up in a fight.
- The Adventure Continues: The last episode ends like all the others; the pair walking into the sunset.
- Aesop: Mei gives one in universe but the episode itself gives a counter one.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Ran fits all the qualifications, especially aloof. Usually given away by her voice but edging close to Bifauxnen, considering an old woman is reminded of her son after meeting her.
- Anime Accent Absence: Meow, Stephanie and Mei.
- Ascended Fangirl: Stephanie wants to be a samurai because she's read about them.
- Badass: Ran is the number one samurai in this show.
- Badass and Baby: It happened once with Meow.
- Badass in Distress: Meow is a skilled fighter but she's handed the Distress Ball on occasion, which offers Ran a chance to kick butt. As soon as Meow gets free, she joins Ran in beating up the bad guys.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Ran and Meow never appear dirty or unkempt after fighting or walking through the countryside for days. Even if it rains a lot and they lack food. The closest they get to battle injuries is Ran getting her hair ribbon cut, which only makes her long hair sprawl in a fetching manner.
- Bi the Way: Meow, probably. She shows attraction to handsome men, but she's also seen ogling pretty girls from time to time.
- Bloodless Carnage: When Ran hacks up bad guys there is no blood (or even clothing damage), yet when Mei is stabbed in the side a huge bloodstain appears on her dress.
- Braids of Action: Meow always wears her hair in braids and is a martial artist whose competence is only surpassed by Ran.
- Broke Episode: Ran frequently runs out of cash. One episode begins with her sprawled out on the road, weak with hunger after not having eaten for several days.
- Catch Phrase
- "I am just a beautiful traveler." Ran sure is modest.
- Ran also proclaims: "Utterly inexcusable."
- "I'M SO PISSED OFF!" and "Wait up!" for Meow.
- Cat Girl: Despite lacking the ears, Meow tends to make a cat-like impression, especially when fighting. Plus, ya know, her name is MEOW.
- Casual Danger Dialog: Overlaps with Excuse Me While I Multi Task; Ran throws thugs around while hitting up Meow for lodging cash. Meow has been imprisoned in a dungeon and Ran's breaking in.
- Chinese Girl: Meow and her childhood friend Mei. In Japan, they are the only ones wearing Qipao and using martial arts.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Stephanie is as spaced out as she is big. She thinks everyone in Japan is either a geisha, a samurai or a ninja and when she finds people who don't fit these roles, she tries to reconcile them as combinations like Geisha-Ninja or Samura-Ninja.
- The Comically Serious: Ran when she's indignantly muttering, "Utterly inexcusable."
- Color-Coded Characters: Ran, one of the two heroes, wears a white hakama. Many of her opponents, including her Evil Twin, wear black. Meow wears pink and is much girlier than her partner.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Any battle Ran takes part in.
- Deadpan Snarker: You don't get much more deadpan than Ran.
- Distaff Counterpart: Ran is considered similar to Kenshin Himura but there's one big difference; she is not a Technical Pacifist, though she does know non-lethal techniques like when she slapped a woman with the flat of her blade.
- Doorstop Baby: Meow is stuck with one in one episode.
- The Drifter: Both of them wander from town to town.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Ran is pretty popular with the ladies.
- Evil Counterpart: Ran and Meow encounter two female bandits who happened to be a ronin and a martial artist. While the ronin certainly qualified as Ran's counterpart, Meow was shocked and then irritated to learn that the martial artist was a dumpy middleaged woman.
- For Great Justice: Meow will fight anyone for this reason. She even calls herself 'The Beauty of Justice'
- Genius Ditz: Meow acts very ditzy, except when she's fighting.
- Genki Girl: Meow has a great deal of energy and is cheerful to contrast the deadpan Ran.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Ran would rather spend her last coin on sake than on food. It's arguable whether she's a Hard-Drinking Party Girl or a full-on alcoholic. Meow is a straighter example because she only drinks during a feast or other such 'party' occasion.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Meow is Nami. Dub!Meow is Rukia.
- Jidai Geki: Possibly but there are other time frames.
- Given Stephanie, it must be after Europeans established contact (1543), but before Japan was closed off (1641), assuming a minimal level of realism.
- Hiraga Gennai (1729-1779), also known as the electric guy from Read or Die, shows up in one episode.
- Mei wears a tight-fitting Qipao, a style of clothing that was only invented in the 1920s.
- Large Ham: Meow can be....enthusiastic when she introduces herself and other occasions. This involves a louder voice and practiced posing.
- Limited Wardrobe: They have one outfit and you never see them wash it. Ew. They are apparently immune to all kinds of dirt and grime but Meow's outfit does show signs of wear and tear around the edges.
- Libation for the Dead: We don't see it, but Ran tells a dead sake brewer's apprentice that his dead master is the one that deserves his first batch, not her.
- Lovely Angels: As mentioned under action girl this is a Downplayed Trope. They travel together but rarely fight in unison.
- Meaningful Name: Meow's fighting style involves the heavy use of cat-like moves. Appropriately, it's known as Nekotekken, literally "Iron Cat Fist".
- Motive Rant: Once's Mei's business is exposed, she goes on one about why she partook in it.
- Mooks: Almost all their enemies are either this or Elite Mooks.
- Ninja: Meow at times is mistaken for one. Some of the opponents are real ones.
- No True Scotsman: The samurai in the 11th episode; the only 'true' samurai in their opinion are samurai that think like them. For instance, they show honor in one scene where they refuse to sneak attack and instead decide on a time and place of neutral favor. Then they attack three to one, even when their opponent reveals himself to be (basically) unarmed. Everyone who doesn't act like this is a 'coward' or a 'maggot'.
- Once an Episode: Meow running after Ran.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Stephanie is a blonde and blue-eyed European.
- Pretty Freeloaders: Ran mooches off Meow all the time.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni : Ran is the blue oni (stoic, deadpan) and Meow is the red oni (cheerful and energetic).
- Ronin: Ran is a wandering samurai because she doesn't want to work for anyone. The opening theme is about the simply joy of the masterless samurai. "I have my freedom and sake."
- Serious Business: Ran almost caused a fight over watered down sake. "Sake is like blood! You will shed a tear for each drop spilled."
- Shrines and Temples: The pair come across them from time to time. Meow prayed at one for food and instead robbed the collection box.
- Status Quo Is God: Nothing ever changes, but this is justified as the pair are constantly traveling and Ran drinks all their money as fast as she can.
- The Stoic: Ran, when she's in battle mode.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Ran's previous lover was the person who taught her kendo, and sake drinking.
- Title Drop: "Where should we go next?" "Wherever the wind blows us".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Taken liberally. The two leads fit, with Ran as the Girly Girl (graceful and concerned about appearances) and Meow as the Tomboy (energetic and impulsive).
- Tsurime Eyes / Tareme Eyes: In one episode this is was the visual cue that distinguished the Yamato Nadeshiko from the Evil Matriarch. The first had the eyes downward while the second pointed up.
- Vagabond Buddies: This is Ran & Meow's relationship.
- Walking the Earth: "Traveling is great."
- Wrongly Accused: Poor Meow.
- Yakuza: They're everywhere. One episode had them controlling the local production of sake.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: The mistress of one of the lords fits the bill: elegant, kind, devoted to family and tough as iron, as well as the physical traits like hair style and clothing.