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YMMV: Ranma ½

  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • A minor example. Because the 33 chapters that originally contained color were converted to gray scale in the Japanese tankobon and the English release of the manga was only in black and white (VIZ did do one volume in color), Ranma's female form became established in the majority of fans' minds as being a redhead. Any fanfic or fanart that portrays Ranma's female form as having black hair is more likely to receive a barrage of questions asking why the author changed the hair color than compliments from hardcore fans thanking them for going with the original depiction.
    • Particularly annoying when people complain about the fanart since Takahashi has had Ranma with a multitude of colors such as purple, pink, green, blond, and blue in noncanonical art such as on the covers and the art book.
    • Less obviously; the name of the martial arts style that Happosai, the Saotomes and the Tendos translates directly (more or less) as "School of Indiscriminate Grappling", and this is what the manga used to refer to it. In the anime, it was translated as the somewhat looser, but arguably catchier, "Anything Goes Martial Arts", and this is how it is most commonly referred to.
      "The Saotome School of Indiscriminate Grappling... I like to call it Anything Goes."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Every single character gets one, and the deliberate alternate depictions (for some subtle, for others blatant) in the anime only add fuel to the fire. For example: Is Kasumi truly sweet and naive, or does she merely act that way because it's expected of her and she subtly enjoys stirring up trouble through such methods as giving Akane a mallet and planting the idea that Ranma may attempt to rape Akane while she's weak from the flu?
    • Nabiki, a self-serving and greedy manipulator who only cares about money, or a young woman so broken over her mother's death she became what she is now?
  • Base Breaker:
  • Cult Classic: During The Nineties, Ranma was one of the few anime/manga series to reach an audience outside the existing (and quite small, compared to today) fan community, acting as a Gateway Series for many.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Akane has moments where she could be seen this way, all the way to the end of the manga. On the other hand, she typically reacts by trying to escape on her own, and in many cases does manage to at least initially break free of them. But typically, unless her captor either isn't serious about it at all (Cologne) or too weak to hold her (Principal Kuno), her kidnapper outclasses her so badly she still needs Ranma to save her in the end.
  • Die for Our Ship: Pick a pairing, any pairing.
  • Draco in Leather Pants / Ron the Death Eater: The entire cast really — it doesn't matter which one you choose, someone somewhere in the fandom will be fashioning some nice leather pants for them, and likewise someone else will be portraying them as Satan's Little Helper.
  • Ear Worm: Yapapa... Yapapa... All the various opening themes can be pretty catchy, but season 1's "Yapapa" is arguably the most well-known.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Ryoga Hibiki, to the extent that Rumiko Takahashi actually ended up creating a girl from scratch solely so that Ryoga could break out of All Love Is Unrequited and be free of the Love Dodecahedron and find some measure of happiness. Nabiki also qualifies.
    • Tsubasa Kurenai is a fairly common character in older fanfiction, despite only getting one mutual anime/manga story, a bit-part in an anime filler episode and a cameo in the first movie.
  • Epileptic Trees: When Tofu comments he hasn't seen the Xi Fang Gao shiatsu technique "in a hundred years", a theory broke out that he's actually Really 700 Years Old.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Nabiki is arguably easily the most genuinely evil female character in the manga series, yet tends to easily get the biggest share of this among the readers, due to the mischievous sarcastic wit and worldwise hedonistic sex appeal. Shampoo is also one of the most villainous girls in the original manga, isn't exactly innocent in the anime (although much nicer than in the manga), and is typically regarded (in series and out) as being pretty hot-looking.
  • Fanon: So, so much of it, mostly stemming from the rather uncoordinated release of English dubbed material and a huge Fan Fic base with more crossovers than is sane. See the main article for more.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As the only canonically requited matches in the Love Dodecahedron are between Ranma/Akane, Genma/Nodoka and Ryoga/Akari, every other pairing, including Shampoo/Mousse and Tofu/Kasumi, belongs in this category. Just the same, almost every single matchup inside the dodechedron (and numerous ones outside it) has fans. Ranma in particular is the Launcher of a Thousand Ships, although Ranma/Ukyo, Ranma/Ryoga, Ranma/Kasumi etc. are all individually less popular than Ranma/Akane.
    • The popularity of the Ryoga x Ukyo pairing was due a Relationship Writing Fumble. They had a fair amount of Ship Tease, especially in the anime, where they often team up in their attempts to split Ranma and Akane. At other times, they pair up due to circumstances; such as Ryoga unintentionally inviting Ukyo to join him for the three-legged race. Even the "Tunnel of Lost Love" story, which was intended to sink the pairing, seemed to promote it instead. As did the second serial movie, which has Ryoga come to Ukyo's rescue. So the fans can hardly be blamed for seeing something there, that wasn't.
  • Fan Wank: Ki Attacks get a lot of this. Everything which isn't explained in-universe, and which is really explainable by the Rule of Cool, Rule of Funny, and Supernatural Martial Arts, tends to be attributed to Ki manipulation. Mousse having a Hyperspace Arsenal up his sleeves? He's using Ki to compress space. The Happo Fire Burst explosives? Conjured from Ki. Akane's "signature" Hyperspace Mallet (which she doesn't even use that often)? Obviously a Ki construct. Kuno's implausible use of his Bokken? Clearly, it's reinforced with his Ki! Ryoga's razor-sharp belt and bandannas, as well as Kodachi's ribbon? A Ki-based ability called Iron Cloth (this also partially solves the Plot Hole of why Ryoga knows the feminine "sport" of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics - he wanted the Iron Cloth technique).
  • Faux Symbolism: Given the cultural backdrop of Japan, when asked if Ranma was an effort to enlighten a strongly male-dominated society, Takahashi replied that she doesn't think in terms of grand social themes, but strictly in stories that are fun and "märchenhaft". Of course that doesn't stop her from poking fun at the conventions every now and then.
  • Foe Yay:
    • The fans tend to give Ryoga/Ranma a lot of this, regardless which gender Ranma is in at the time. Possibly based upon the fact that Ranma resorted to the "dress as a cute girl and flirt with Ryoga mercilessly" tactic whenever he needed a strategic advantage. Not to mention that, with the series reliance of Belligerent Sexual Tension, well...
    • Note that, canonically, Takahashi decisively punctured and made fun of this interpretation with the "Fishing Rod of Love" story. Ranma turns into a murderously obsessive stalker, and eventually pushes Ryoga into considering killing him/her in extreme disgust. Ditto for Ranma's reaction at the end, free of the influence, when Ryoga tries to hug Akane and proclaim his love... but got the wrong target. They're both completely heterosexual.
  • Gateway Series: Possibly the gateway anime, along with Sailor Moon, in the 1990s.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Akane Tendo is one of the most popular characters in France and she is rarely a victim of hate.
  • God-Mode Sue:
    • Ranma is often portrayed as one in fanfic. Most evident in stories where he obtains an extreme powerup or ability that almost instantly makes everyone else he knows concede that he's the best and the only hope for the universe. Though, to be honest, the canonical version of Ranma in the manga (at least) can be seen as heavily leaning this way, for reasons outlined below, but his powers are balanced somewhat by his tendency to attract luck associated with the Butt Monkey or The Chew Toy.
    • With the comedic exception of ice skating he's pretty much instantly good at any skill he needs to use (tea ceremony, sewing, cooking) and prone to pulling the fact that he is good at them out of thin air when he turns out to need them.
    • He has superhuman abilities (Super Speed, Super Strength, Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, Made of Iron, Healing Factor, Ki Attacks) and comes off as superhuman even compared to the other superhuman fighters in the series (The only characters who can actually go toe to toe with Ranma in straight up serious battle are Ryoga Hibiki the Old Masters Cologne and Happosai, Pantyhose Taro's One-Winged Angel form, Ryu Kumon (who happens to wield a whole school of Dangerous Forbidden Techniques), the dragon-blooded Herb and the... well, however you'd describe Saffron).
    • Despite his canonical childhood, he is actually nowhere near as poorly off for social skills as you may think, being quite capable of being polite, charming, sincere and even seductive when he wants to be.
    • He can read, decipher and reverse engineer the attacks and skills of his opponents in lengths of time that can take anywhere from days to minutes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Akane Tendo, in the first volume/episode, is effortlessly tagged out by female Ranma in their first sparring match. She then states that she's just glad that she lost to another girl, because she'd hate to be beaten by a boy...
    • Meta example in episode 101:
    Crepe King: A match, huh? And while we're at it, let's make it "loser leaves town", you game?
    Ranma: Mister, I am the game!
    Akane: What is this, pro wrestling?
    • That nickname was coined for him in January 2000.
  • Ho Yay: There's enough of this (mostly between Ryoga and Ranma — not aided by Ranma's Gender Bender deal) that the series has its own page on the trope. Taken to epicness in the Love Rod mini-arc. It gets so convoluted that Akane honestly thinks Ryoga is gay, much to his dismay.
    • Quite a lot considering the implications of Tatewaki's crush on Ranma.
    • During he Koi Rod, manga-exclusive arc, Ryoga accidentally "catches" Ranma with a magical rod that forces the victim to fall in love with the user (While trying to get Akane). While Ranma spends most of the arc transformed into a woman in an attempt to appeal to Ryoga, there are some instances in which male Ranma publicly admits his love for Ryoga. Due to a confusion by the end of the arc, Akane and her sisters believe that Ryoga used the rod on Ranma purposefully and are mystified as to why he has chosen Ranma as his special one.
    • Both cases double as Foe Yay.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire is a training technique, not an actual attack. It is basically composed of removing several chestnuts from on open fire by hand without getting burned, success means that the trainee is now not only very fast, but accurate. The anime usually has Ranma shouting this when he uses his Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, however.
    • For some reason, a lot of the fandom refers to Shampoo's signature weapons as "bonbori" (in reality paper lanterns); this probably caused some confusion when listening to Akane's Baka Song, as she mentions bonbori. The round-headed maces are "chui".
    • Also there has been some minor confusion as to what constitutes Pantyhose Taro's first name. For the record, it's not "Pantyhose" —this is just a prefix to the "taro" component, so that in Japanese his name should be read as the single word "Pantsutotaro" (like, for instance, Kentaro, Yotaro, Kotaro, et al.) It is difficult to render it as a single word in English, however, making "Pantyhose Taro" acceptable.
  • Iron Woobie: Ryu Kumon, also a Stoic Woobie.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Most if not all of the teen characters who are sympathetic. Some think that Ryoga fits best during his initial appearances, before his Heel-Face Turn.
    • Mousse is initially a clearly morally reprehensible character, yet even Ranma and random strangers think he deserves some pity for his futile efforts at wooing Shampoo and his devotion to doing so.
  • Jerk Sue:
    • Nabiki is portrayed this way in fanon... However, the root material more portrays her as a comedic spoof of a Villain Sue.
    • Akane is also sometimes portrayed this way in fanfiction, usually by simultaneously overplaying her actual temper and willingness to use violence and portraying every single thing she does as being reasonable, no matter how unreasonably extreme she may be portrayed.
  • Jumping the Shark: Fans who disapprove of the series' Genre Shift agree that this happened, but opinions seem to differ drastically on exactly when, with the most popular allegations being against the introduction of Happosai, but other opinions placing the series' jump as late as the introduction of Hinako.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ranma Saotome's two forms, thanks to his canonical Love Dodecahedron, implied general attractiveness, and the fan-overstated tendency of his father to abuse Arranged Marriages that his son has no knowledge of.
  • Les Yay:
    • Fanon is all over the place, but Shampoo certainly doesn't hesitate to Glomp Ranma in either form, and many of Ranma and Akane's most comfortable and relaxed moments have occurred while Ranma was female.
      • It should be noted that when Cologne locked Ranma as a girl during the Phoenix Pill story, Shampoo did everything in her power to help get it reversed. When Akane accused her of being up to something, she in turn accused Akane of being a lesbian.
    • Akane's impassioned rants about how she hates boys certainly don't help matters — or possibly do help depending on the ship you prefer. Admittedly, that's usually blown completely out of proportion and completely ignores the massive crush she had on Dr. Tofu. Her complaints that she hated boys pretty much happened only right at the start, and were only about the ones that kept attacking/stalking her every morning. After they stopped she was usually shown being friendly and helpful towards boys as well as girls. She really doesn't like Kuno or Happosai though, but still always helps them out when they seem to need it.
    • Though not directed at anyone really noticeable, Nabiki has some really weird habits for a presumably boy-crazy girl. Like fondling female Ranma to determine that her breasts have grown. Or all the pictures of female Ranma in various states of undress she keeps around her room, but then again she does sell the prints to an awful lot of people.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Nabiki when she is motivated to make a genuine effort, as in the Kinnosuke Kasha-Oh story.
  • Mary Sue: Akari is regarded by some as this, on the basis that she is an official character created by Rumiko Takahashi and she displays traits of the Relationship Sue.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Many characters are given this treatment, but the most common are the Tendo sisters and Shampoo.
  • Memetic Sex God: Ranma's two forms — likely causes are his apparent attractiveness to the opposite sex and the Power Perversion Potential of being a Gender Bender with Supernatural Martial Arts-based ultra-flexibility, stamina and recuperation.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Nabiki is easily one of the most distinctive and compelling characters in the series. However, in at least the manga, she is also the one who is most uniformly shown as genuinely amoral and malicious, whereas even Taro, Shampoo, and Happosai are given a few Pet the Dog moments. Among several other things, she let Ranma and her family take the fall for her debts during a "let's make the opponent pay for everything" duel and took no responsibility herself even as the accrued debts ruined them, blackmailed male Ranma for a staged apparent rape for the fun of it, and repeatedly swindled kindergarten kids. Yet, she is recurrently greatly favoured and farfetched rationalised in simultaneous contrast with ones that are generally nice, with the bad moments as an exception, and much stronger contrasts, whether due to Evil Is Sexy, Opposites Attract, lack of other cerebral or relatively sane characters, sense of style, strict familiarity with the anime and fanon, or the writer identifying very strongly with her sociopath nature. Takahashi herself continuously drew Nabiki as a devil.
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked by the author regarding the technicalities of Ranma's shapeshifting.
  • My Real Daddy: Ranma made Rumiko Takahashi a household word amongst American Otaku, and she's still the undeniable heart and soul of the whole franchise, but when most people picture the characters or try to draw them, it's the character designs of Atsuko Nakajima (specifically those featured in the OAVs and second movie) that they're imagining. See the main page's image for a prime example.
  • Nightmare Fuel: For a zany comedy it has some pretty potent Fridge Horror, especially regarding the various curses. Speaking of which, let's not even bring up the infamous "Pregnant Ranma question"...
  • One-Episode Wonder: Natsume and her kid sister, Kurumi, only appeared in "The Ones to Carry On" 2-part OVA episode, yet they gained a fair amount of fans who wished they'd stuck around (as seen in the comments section of the link). You can even find fanfiction about them.
  • Periphery Demographic: For a series aimed at teenage boys it was surprisingly popular amongst girls (particularly in Japan where Rumiko Takahashi had stated her surprise about it being so popular to young girls).
  • Relationship Sue: The blatant purpose behind Akari's creation was to give Ryoga a girlfriend and thus a happy ending, as well as a reason to stop chasing Akane. It worked in-series, but many fans preferred the pairing that seemed to be shaping up between Ryoga and Ukyo. Specifically, Akari comes out of nowhere, with no previous ties to the characters, immediately falls head over heels for Ryoga, has no real character flaws, is absolutely perfect for Ryoga (sweet, demure, patient, understanding, kindly, loves pigs so much that she finds Ryoga's curse enchanting), Ryoga falls head over heels in love with her back, and she doesn't really do anything but stand around and talk a little. She only shows up in four individual stories.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The anime-only character Sasuke replaced Gosenkugi in many of the manga storylines, and is looked down on by some, particularly manga purists. However, others feel that Sasuke fit many of those roles just as well, if not better, and he really comes into his own when allowed his own stories. Even some diehard "manga-only" fanfic authors are only glad to use him (it helps that he fills a unique role: an actual servant for the Kunos to boss around).
  • The Scrappy: Happosai, to the point where episodes where he has a prominent role are skipped by some fans. He is just as hated In-Universe, so this may be invoked.
  • Seasonal Rot: The first three seasons of the anime are generally considered the best, with the subsequent seasons getting progressively worse. This is typically because the first three seasons are almost solely manga adaptations, and even their filler stories were directly derived from Takahashi-penned characterization; meanwhile, the latter seasons were more loaded with original stories where non-Takahashi filler Flanderized or exaggerated the characters' traits. The anime getting cancelled before some of the biggest, most famous manga storylines were written doesn't help the frequent perception of the anime as inferior to the manga.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: One of earliest shipping wars to break out on the Internet, mostly among die-hard partisans of the three "official" fiancées.
  • The Ship Yard: Most, if not all, varieties of Shipping described here have shown up in both canon and Fan Fic — most notably the Ghost Ship, when in the anime Gosunkugi acquires a girlfriend who is an actual ghost.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • The various romances attract a lot of tension and complaints. These typically boil down to the following.
    • Ranma/Akane: The two are way too hostile towards each other to work out as a couple, Belligerent Sexual Tension be damned, and they never seem to gain any trust for each other, to the point their last words spoken on-panel in the manga are blaming each other yet again.
    • Shampoo/Mousse: Shampoo has outright stated she hates Mousse from the moment he officially joined the cast, and Mousse seems oblivious to all her faults.
    • Ryoga/Akari: Akari is a Relationship Sue.
    • Ukyo/Konatsu: Konatsu is a doormat who appears out of nowhere, far too soon before the series end, and Ukyo finds him annoying but pitiful more then anything.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Azusa Shiratori, who takes Kawaiiko to teeth-knotting extremes, from her outfit to her voice to her attitude.
    • Rouge's ultra-sweet human form's manner of speaking and generally acting.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Ranma's curse may be considered this. There is no (canon) exploration of the possible Mind Screw of being able to switch sexes so easily; Ranma is unquestionably assumed to be a straight male, yet he has apparently never considered actively using his Power Perversion Potential, and yet he has also gotten so used to seeing the female body from his cursed form that he can Ignore the Fanservice (at least, while the girl's not touching him). The primary plot-related purposes for Ranma's curse consist of subjecting him to Mode Lock (and thus sending him scrambling to undo it), dangling a cure in front of him, arranging for Kuno/random male villain of the week to hit on him, and give Ranma an excuse to take Akane's place in various feminine Martial Arts and Crafts challenges.
      • Some claim that, after a while in the anime, the convenient buckets of water even stopped appearing, and Ranma typically spent the whole episode either male or female (and usually only the latter when it was a plot point). So they also wasted plenty of perfectly good gags and Fanservice. It got to the point in the anime where the general rule was that the hottest shot we get of female Ranma is the episode title screen, where she wears a tight but otherwise demure one-piece swimsuit. On the other hand, the manga version (which covered 38 volumes, whereas the animated version stopped at volume 21) continued to draw upon Ranma's curse for endless gags, characterization, and the odd moment of drama involving Ranma's mother. And yes, for Fanservice as well.
    • Additionally, unlike in the manga, anime Ranma's curse isn't revealed to the school early on. This could have been used for tension or humour, but very seldom is past the first season, and ultimately results in a very unclimatic reveal. Admittedly, it isn't too dramatically revealed in the manga either, but it's still quite a let down.
    • Compared to his male form, Ranma's female form has no serious suitors that become reoccurring characters that she/he doesn't also share with one of his fiancees already. Ranma being constantly harassed by a lovestruck major character is never touched upon and most if not all the romantic comedy aspects revolving around Ranma focus on him being a straight male.
    • A number of the anime's filler episodes ultimately wasted things they could have done in an interesting fashion, usually because fully pursuing them would mean diverting heavily from the manga storyline.
      • Mousse Goes Home To The Country: We never see Mousse leave Nerima or interact with his family, as the episode promises. Instead, Mousse hangs around Nerima pulling a passive-aggressive "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy" routine until Shampoo & Cologne convince him he can stay.
      • Ryoga Run Into The Sunset: Ryoga finds a girl who really does love him and offers him an excuse to stop being P-chan or fighting with Ranma for Akane's "love". Instead he abandons her and goes right back to pretending to be Akane's pet.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • For a series in which characters of both sexes frequently go topless or nude, gender-bending antics abound, and a major character is an underwear fetishist, Ranma's approach to sexuality is surprisingly innocent. As hormone-crazed as they are, characters rarely think about or attempt any kind of sexual act beyond dating, kissing, and PG-level intimacy. Actual sex is never directly discussed even euphemistically, and is rather at most subtly suggested.
    • Nodoka Saotome's Honor Before Reason contract may fall under either here or Deliberate Values Dissonance, depending on whether one believes she merely comes off as insane to non-Japanese or if she was supposed to be so over-the-top as to make Japanese readers feel uncomfortable with their perception of Seppuku.
    • While not particularly egregious for their time, let's just say some of the series' portrayals of Chinese characters and attitudes toward LGBT sexuality might not go down so well in the 21st century.
  • Wangst: Ryoga Hibiki. This, Deus Angst Machina, or neither?
  • What an Idiot: Has its own page.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Despite all the fanservice and sex jokes, the series is very much considered shonen.
  • The Woobie:
    • Most prominently Ryoga, Konatsu, Sasuke and Kumon Ryu, but depending on the version, any of the main cast can come off as this. The curses, Ranma's rotten family and love life, Ryoga's lonely existence and poor direction sense, the sheer onesideness of many of the character's romantic interests, Soun being a well-intentioned loyal nervous wreck, Nodoka being abandoned without her family desperately pining for her only child, the Kuno children basically being insane either raised without parents or occasionally an even crazier and completely irresponsible father.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The English manga and dub script go to great lengths to adapt painfully-obtuse wordplay and remain faithful to the source. Similarly, they took great care to replace Kuno's quotations of classical Japanese poetry with equivalent passages from Shakespeare.
    • Some chapters/episodes even add in jokes and cultural references (many episode/chapter titles allude to films, literature, etc.) that weren't in the original script, in some cases making it even funnier. For instance, when Ryoga discovers that he is suddenly resistant to his curse during the waterproof soap episode, the Japanese script has him proclaiming (paraphrased) "Now we're equal... no, I'm superior!!" Ryoga's English voice actor, Michael Donovan, says this: "We're equals now, he and I... no, I'm even MORE EQUAL than he is!!"
    • Ukyo's translated pet name for Ranma could be considered this. With the limitations of the script system the translators were using, "Ranma-honey" was one of the better options for translating "Ran-chan".
    • The Mexican Spanish dub avoided giving Shampoo a Chinese accent and using Hulk Speak, and her (tragically late) voice actress used a more cheerful and childish way to speak instead, albeit she used some Chinese words sometimes, but without going overboard with it.

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