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I love this fanfic and it's beautifully written. Fans in general are always giving this fic grief for Akane and Ukyo's supposed out of character actions. I do agree that Ukyo is way to selfless and supportive to be taken seriously and I doubt Akane would ever get as crazy as she does toward the end. However, I think the author does a fantastic job of pointing out why Ranma and Akane make a bad couple. It's a more realistic approach to Ranma and Akane's (or more Akane's) problems instead of playing it of as the usual comedic slapstick.
People, especially Akane fans, forget that she's always had deep rooted trust issues regarding Ranma and they last right up to the failed wedding (She was paranoid enough to think that Ranma was going to rape her in a few arcs) Akane also has the authority to say and do whatever she wants to Ranma, knowing that she wont receive any consequences for her actions; unlike Ranma who would have hell rain down upon him if he so much as touched a hair on her head.
Anyway, despite the OCC insanity toward the end and most of the NWC being conveniently absent, I found it's depiction of Akane's escalating rage behavior pretty accurate and it's just a great read overall.
I skimmed the fic the first time around, having no idea what I was getting into. I found out about it on TV Tropes and decided to see the story. I was shocked that it was an 80k one shot and that meant I was going to have to read the story more carefully after the first skimming. I had initially just started around the point where Ranma joins the support group and was horrified at how callous they were and how it reflected real life cases, as indicated in the notes. I'm not sure if that is still true or not, but the Double Standard still exists.
Anyways, I spoiled much of the story because the suspense was killing me and decided after a time to read it again.
And with each re-read, I am picking up on more details and hints throughout the story. The writing is impressive and visual without going into Purple Prose for the most part. The characters aren't charicatures and the detail into Akane's mental health and Ranma's steady decline towards depression was well-done to the point of tragedy, reflecting what I suspect are many real-life cases of this.
People are obsessed over the fact that this encouraged the Ron the Death Eater portrayal of Akane, but to me, that means bashing the character just because you don't like them. Here, it shows a mix of terror and even sympathy for Miss Tendo as her marriage falls apart. And by the end, it becomes clear that much of the tragedy and horror could have been very well avoided had other parties intervened sooner. The fact that the author puts in a great deal of effort into trying to understand why she has such anger issues despite everything she and Ranma have been through together makes it even more impressive. This is not bashing, but a tragic character study for both Akane and Ranma.
The Bitter End has become a warning tale for relationships everywhere, proving Akane's famous "It's different when a woman does it" line from her debut wrong. It is NOT different when a woman hits a man. It is the same thing. And sometimes, the best thing to do is to get out of the relationship, even if it is the hardest thing to do.
Initial scoring was 8/10, due to some odd descriptions, but my grade is now a 9/10. Rest in peace, Jason Bateman, for writing this. Thank you...
The Bitter End is perhaps the worst Ranma ½ fanfic written.
This is because it, ultimately, has nothing to actually do with Ranma ½.
Zen clearly had no idea how the characters in Ranma ½ actually act. And it's arguable he didn't realize that since the story is Slapstick that in a more serious story the characters should not act as violent.
The Ranma that exists in Ranma ½ in no way shape or form would just tolerate actual abuse. He'd get mad, he'd fight back. If Akane started just seriously beating him for no reason he would most likely just straight up leave once it got bad enough.
Not to mention Akane's portrayal. Taking her temper and slapstick violence, a trait the entire cast shares, and making it not only uniquely hers but also giving her a mental illness to "justify" it removes any semblance of the actual Akane Tendo.
His fantasy Ukyo is nothing like how Ukyo actually acts in canon. She's basically a Purity Sue who dies protecting Ranma. It's clear that Zen didn't actually ship Ranma/Ukyo, but Ranma/Zen's OC Named Ukyo.
As a story it's not badly written, if this wasn't a Ranma ½ fanfic it would actually be good. But, alas, it uses the names of cartoon characters so we have to judge it based off how it portrays those characters. And it does it badly.
Though, I think that the worst part of this story is how it can be said to be one of the most major sources of the Psychotic Rage Monster Akane that to this very day you can see in bad fanfiction. If it hadn't been infulencal and merely acknowledged as the Out of Character Dark Fic that it is then it would not be worth reviewing today, however it is. It's toxic influence must be fought.
Ditto to the above. Well-written, but that turned into a problem, as this may be the most influential story for the mostly horribly OOC later interpretations regarding both of them.
Basically, Akane is greatly exaggerated, while Ukyo is greatly toned down. The most glaring example being that manga Ukyo needs less reason than Akane to go ballistic and start battering someone. Akane needs insults or very compromising apparent betrayal. Ukyo only needs to be flustered or impatient. As was stated outright in Ukyo's "Secret Sauce" arc, if Ranma treated her like he does Akane, Ukyo would hate him. Also, as seen in the Hinako arc, Ukyo is both even more paranoid than Akane, as well as willing to ambush people and get really underhanded, whereas Akane isn't. She's probably a much nicer character than Shampoo or Kodachi though.
Naturally, some of the readers of the story took it in a different direction than the author intended, as he didn't see Akane as evil, but as mentally ill, whereas some of them went overboard with the sadistic complete Moral Dissonance torture-orgy power-trips, and Zen himself never remotely sunk that low.
I also recommend it, despite the fact I strongly disagree with the Character interpretation, the story and writing are both amazing and deserves to be read.
Seconded. The Bitter End is generally regarded as the ultimate Ranma Dark Fic, ruthlessly and relentlessly extrapolating the causes and results of comedic slapstick behavior into and through a far more realistic world than the anime depicts. It is a monumental presence in Ranma fic, and has spawned a number of both sequels and parodies. It's also singlehandedly responsible for the widespread awareness of rage disorder — the story's explanation for Akane's tsundere behavior — among anime fandom.
Praised for both its portrayal of spousal abuse (and the stigma attached when it's wife-on-husband) and for its tragic ending. (This isn't much of a spoiler, since the story opens with Akane in a mental hospital.)
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