I second this recommendation, and would like to add that it actually helped me realize why I didn't like Genma's Daughter
so much — because it wasn't Ranma
. This is. This has comedy, and even though it doesn't neglect the drama, it never slips into melodrama. I was almost disappointed that it didn't have a scene in which Ranma (a tomboy
, by the way) scoffed at the idea of playing a girly instrument like the violin. The biggest problem I saw aside from that is that the author has a bad case of Neal Stephenson syndrome — i.e., no denouement whatsoever.
Edit: Ah, yeah, forgot about Soun. No argument here, that's a major stumbling point. Thankfully, it improves once it gets away from that point.