Akane: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

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Postby ChasTaro » Sun May 28, 2006 1:35 am

I liked seeing a list based on the manga, as I've only read graphic novel #5. All other first hand knowlegde I have is from the TV show seasons 1-5. There is a lot of differce between the manga and TV show.
Thanks alot Acey!
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Postby AyanamiRei » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:53 pm

Personally I think the most realistic continuation of the failed wedding with keeping Akane's charecter more cannon...was the one in which she and Ranma become married. Unfortunately her jealousy grows and begins to physically abuse Ranma worse then ever, even when he stops insulting her, and going to Shampoo's place and stuff. In the end she kills Ranma and his only friend Ukyo which he refuses to give up...and ends up going insane afterwards.
Yes, this DOES sounds extremely biased...but let's think about the kind of person that Akane REALLY is. She breaks her promise to Kasumi about non-violence so many times that it's quickly forgotten within the very graphic novel volume it's written. Countless times she REFUSES to see Truth, even when it's right there in front of her! She REFUSES more times then not to NOT belief Ranma, and is even reluctant to hear the Truth from anyone else for that matter. Akane has no real control over her negative emotions and I think that story was VERY well written.
Unlike most of the pro-Akane dribble I find where Akane miraculously becomes a better person with no real effort, or some minor change like her life being saved or being rescued. Hell Ranma brings her back from the dead, she hears him confess his love even though he later denies it...and STILL she abuses him!! Now in Heart's of Ice Ranma and Akane make for an EXCELLENT couple, but ONLY because the author spends serious time slowly, carefully, and logically changing Akane's viewpoints.
So PLEASE! If you're going to do an Akane-Ranma matchup, at least put the effort that story deserves to make it RATIONAL to make Akane more mature, instead of magically or using some lazy plot device to make her better. I mean is this really so much to ask?
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Postby claymade » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:25 pm

AyanamiRei wrote:Akane has no real control over her negative emotions and I think that story was VERY well written.

No control? I think that's quite a bit of an overstatement. She loses control of her temper and jealousy a lot; but there are other times when she keeps control of both. Just off the top of my head--think about the time she's ready to let Nabiki keep Ranma as her fiancee because she thinks she's really in love with him. Then, she manages to hold onto her temper, even in the face of deliberate and repeated attempts to bait her on Nabiki's part.
Yes, she does have character flaws that are utterly exaggerated if looked at through the lenses of the "real world." So do the rest of the cast. Pretty much any of the main characters would be monsters if they did what they did in a realistic setting.
AyanamiRei wrote:Hell Ranma brings her back from the dead, she hears him confess his love even though he later denies it...and STILL she abuses him!!

Not that I myself think Akane will ever completely stop "abusing" him (since this is a slapstick comedy wherein almost everybody "abuses" somebody) but on what evidence do you make this assertion? I glanced through to check, and I couldn't find any instance of Akane hitting Ranma in any way after the Saffron incident.
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Postby FOG3 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:52 pm

I think the real problem is once you do your character dissection, with the others you can find samples to grow characters you want from while with Akane you're left with basically nothing you can salvage. Hence people are kind of forced to just sew her back together and send her out to play, or do a almost complete switch to what they need/want. The fact I've yet to see even her "fans" actually do a successful Salvage Op (Note that's rip stuff from original character and rebuild into a semi-recognizable form. Not slowly transmogrify her into what they want with their author powers.) on her, like has been done with the others, as opposed to simply reworking her to their own ends seems to tell me I'm not missing something that actually is usable.
Zen's old work hits home with many people, and Anime Addiction wouldn't be popular if most people disagreed with his views on Akane as they're tied into almost all his work.
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Postby claymade » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:27 pm

FOG3 wrote:I think the real problem is once you do your character dissection, with the others you can find samples to grow characters you want from while with Akane you're left with basically nothing you can salvage.

Quite the contrary. I think there's all kinds of things to be "salvaged" about Akane's character, especially when compared to the other main characters--certainly compared to the other fiancees. For example: as far as I can remember, she's the only fiancee who never tries to actually murder any of her rivals, the only one who was willing to help rescue a rival for no personal gain, the only one who was ever willing to give up on Ranma in favor of someone else's happiness.
That kind of selflessness is a rare quality in the Ranmaverse. Even outside the fiancees, there's few characters in the series that would be willing to do the kind of things she does--Ranma does, and Ryouga eventually reaches that point. Mousse gets partway to her level, by the very end. But Ukyo, Shampoo, Kodachi... well, look at the wedding for just one example.
So, far from her being the most unsalvageable, I think she's by far one of the more easily salvageable.
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Postby P.H. Wise » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:41 pm

The number one reason that Akane is almost always seen in a negative light is fanon. Every story you read where Akane is portrayed as an evil, sadistic violent maniac who enjoys such passtimes as torturing puppies and stapling kittens to walls reinforces the impression of her as such, until you get to the point that people aren't even really able to imagine her as a human being anymore. Zen at least had the decency to attribute it to a psychological condition that she had. Most people don't even do that much.
My take on "what's wrong with Akane Tendo?" She's incredibly stubborn (just like every other character in the series), is a very proud person, and has a bad temper.
Like every human being, she has her faults. Like every human being, she tells lies, breaks promises, and doesn't live up to the standards that we all expect each other to live up to but never hold ourselves to. Also like every other human being, she has her good moments, when she keeps her word, when she shows compassion, when she does something noble.
That's it.
Last edited by P.H. Wise on Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby lwf58 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:48 pm

claymade wrote:For example: as far as I can remember, she's the only fiancee who never tries to actually murder any of her rivals, the only one who was willing to help rescue a rival for no personal gain, the only one who was ever willing to give up on Ranma in favor of someone else's happiness.

True, but not quite the whole story. Shampoo threatened to kill her rivals, but never actually attempted to do so. Ukyou never tried to do physically harm to her rivals, with the possible exception of the bomb-throwing in the wedding attempt. Kodachi never threatened to kill, although she wasn't above physical harm. I could see her scarring another girl's face to take her out of the running, for example, because of the tactics she used to eliminate Rythmic Gymnastics competitors.
The other girls also joined in on some of the adventures where rescuing Akane was the goal.
That kind of selflessness is a rare quality in the Ranmaverse. Even outside the fiancees, there's few characters in the series that would be willing to do the kind of things she does--Ranma does, and Ryouga eventually reaches that point. Mousse gets partway to her level, by the very end. But Ukyo, Shampoo, Kodachi... well, look at the wedding for just one example.

Ranma isn't a good example of "selflessness" when it comes to his love interests. In the reversal jewel arc, he had a perfect opportunity to lose Shampoo as a fiancee, and went out of his way to keep her interested. It was pure ego in his part. To paraphrase something Shampoo once said about Mousse, "I don't care about Shampoo, but she's mine to not care about." He's the same with Ukyou; he only loves her as a friend, but you can bet he'd get hot under the collar if someone else tried to take her away.
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Postby Drawde » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:35 pm

lwf58 wrote:Shampoo threatened to kill her rivals, but never actually attempted to do so.

During Taro's introductary arc, when they were rescuing Akane. Shampoo found Akane, and decided it was a perfect chance to get rid of her, and blame it on Taro. She ran into one of the water traps just as she reached Akane though, so we don't know if she'd actually have gone though with it.
Unless I say otherwise, if I'm discussing Ranma canon, I'm talking about the MANGA.
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Postby claymade » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:43 pm

lwf58 wrote:Shampoo threatened to kill her rivals, but never actually attempted to do so. Ukyou never tried to do physically harm to her rivals, with the possible exception of the bomb-throwing in the wedding attempt. Kodachi never threatened to kill, although she wasn't above physical harm. I could see her scarring another girl's face to take her out of the running, for example, because of the tactics she used to eliminate Rythmic Gymnastics competitors.

Drawde wrote:During Taro's introductary arc, when they were rescuing Akane. Shampoo found Akane, and decided it was a perfect chance to get rid of her, and blame it on Taro. She ran into one of the water traps just as she reached Akane though, so we don't know if she'd actually have gone though with it.

Right, that's one of the instances I was thinking of. Also the explosive foodstuffs attack at the wedding for Shampoo and Ukyo, and all three of them trying to kill Nabiki when she was the Tendo fiancee--particularly unsettling since she wasn't even a combatant.
I tend to view Shampoo's death threats as genuine, since she's never really shown any indication otherwise--as opposed to Ranma and (eventually & intermittently) Ryouga and Mousee, who do pass up perfect chances to do what they claim they want to do. She's certainly made plenty of lethal-looking attacks that were thwarted at the last second.
lwf58 wrote:The other girls also joined in on some of the adventures where rescuing Akane was the goal.

I tried to think of an example of this, but couldn't remember one offhand (I didn't count the Taro one for Shampoo due to obvious reasons, and I don't think Ukyo went on that one). I suppose Saffron could count for Shampoo at the very end, except it seemed more like she was interested in revenge on Kiima than saving Akane. Which ones were you thinking of?
lwf58 wrote:Ranma isn't a good example of "selflessness" when it comes to his love interests. In the reversal jewel arc, he had a perfect opportunity to lose Shampoo as a fiancee, and went out of his way to keep her interested. It was pure ego in his part. To paraphrase something Shampoo once said about Mousse, "I don't care about Shampoo, but she's mine to not care about." He's the same with Ukyou; he only loves her as a friend, but you can bet he'd get hot under the collar if someone else tried to take her away.

Oh, certainly, he has displayed utter selfishness in romantic interests--the reversal jewel being a blinding example of that (and one that most people who write angsty-Ranma-hates-the-fiancee-mess fics usually seem to forget about).
But there is also some selflessness mixed in there. More so, I contend than in most other characters. I mentioned him where I did because he's another example of the three characteristics I'd been highlighting. He doesn't try to off his rivals, he's saved his rivals (e.g. Ryouga), and he's even been willing to end his pursuit of Akane when he thinks she really loves Shinnosuke.
He's had some very definite bad spots, but all in all, of all the main characters if you had to pick one for a "most selfless" title, I think it'd basically be between him and Akane.
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Postby FOG3 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:30 pm

claymade wrote:Quite the contrary. I think there's all kinds of things to be "salvaged" about Akane's character, especially when compared to the other main characters--certainly compared to the other fiancees. For example: as far as I can remember, she's the only fiancee who never tries to actually murder any of her rivals,
She is willing to brandish a knife in a threatening manner with clear intent to murder or cause great bodily harm at the mere potential of the slightest possibility that Ranma and Genma might think about contemplating on commenting that her cooking is not par excellance (Breaking Point Arc).
I don't even see how that incident works as slapstick personally. If the knife just happened to be there, and she was doing something like sharpening it while doing something like ask them about the cooking is one thing. Litterally brandishing it in somebody's face, and basically making death threats is quite another.
I'll reference another incident to make it clear this isn't exactly a fluke. In the arc surrounding the suggestion mushrooms, Kasumi manipulates her so she among other things has a bow drawn on him (deadly weapon here) because of the theoretical possibility he might take advantage of her.
If someone had her training a 1911 on him with safety off, finger on trigger most of the fic on stupid stuff he might theoretically do, it'd be in character. Her detractors not having a solid canon basis is nonsense.
You're utterly missing the point though. You cannot write her as written, and I'd just love to see you actually try that "selfless" gambit and get anything that resembled Akane. The others you can distill down and rebuild from the distilled form, thus allowing for a rather smooth transition. Once I boil off the borderline sociopath, delusional qualities all you've got is that they may or may not have been as pronounced in her as in the others? Even if granted it's besides the point as her character just like all the others cannot directly transition from source material version to a more serious fic atmosphere without at least some retooling.
So allow me to attempt to make the question more clear. Once I remove the sociopathic, etc tendencies that are the trappings of the slapstick system used, what do I have left that's recognizeable as Aka-ne? Not how does she compare in canon with the others, what is distinctly Akane that one can salvage to rebuild the character into a _recognizeable_ form in both nature and interaction with the other characters, in an atmosphere the canon character cannot really exist in as opposed to either just sewing her back up with her insanity still at least partially intact or creating a drone with your choice of standardized character filler and slapping a name tag on? That's the question you must answer.
Perhaps more fundamentally, with the other females one can divorce their fundamental characters from their insanity and create useable stabilized forms, but is it too integral to Akane's fundamental character to allow for her to truly be divorced from her's?
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Postby claymade » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:53 pm

FOG3 wrote:She is willing to brandish a knife in a threatening manner with clear intent to murder or cause great bodily harm at the mere potential of the slightest possibility that Ranma and Genma might think about contemplating on commenting that her cooking is not par excellance (Breaking Point Arc).
I don't even see how that incident works as slapstick personally.

Really? I don't see how that incident can possibly work as anything but. I can buy someone killing someone else over a man. It's happened before. But if you really think she'd have murdered them over a minor slight to her cooking then you're taking this so far into the Twilight Zone it boggles the imagination.
Not to mention that he, you know, constantly does insult it from that point on in the series, and she never actually tries to knife him. (This also falls under what I said in my previous post about gauging the seriousness--or lack thereof--of death threats.)
FOG3 wrote:I'll reference another incident to make it clear this isn't exactly a fluke. In the arc surrounding the suggestion mushrooms, Kasumi manipulates her so she among other things has a bow drawn on him (deadly weapon here) because of the theoretical possibility he might take advantage of her.

Theoretical? He did glomp her twice against her will before she even brought out the bow.
FOG3 wrote:So allow me to attempt to make the question more clear. Once I remove the sociopathic, etc tendencies that are the trappings of the slapstick system used, what do I have left that's recognizeable as Aka-ne? Not how does she compare in canon with the others, what is distinctly Akane that one can salvage to rebuild the character into a _recognizeable_ form in both nature and interaction with the other characters, in an atmosphere the canon character cannot really exist in as opposed to either just sewing her back up with her insanity still at least partially intact or creating a drone with your choice of standardized character filler and slapping a name tag on? That's the question you must answer.

Simple. Boil off the extreme, unrealistic manifestations of violence, have her core character traits manifest themselves through more plausible means, and you get a girl with a large amount of temper, stubbornness and pride, who because of her experiences is predisposed to distrust boys, who is insecure about her abilities as a woman and tries continuously to prove them (even when that might not be wise), who is skilled in the martial arts and wants Ranma to take her seriously.
You get a girl who is put off by her fiance's attitude, and bickers and quarrels with him constantly, but who is at the same time begining to fall for his more noble characteristics--though she certainly can't bring herself to admit it. She doesn't trust him around other girls (due in large part to her afformentioned insecurities about her own femininity, exacerbated by the fact that it's that exact area that Ranma chooses to constantly insult).
You get a girl who, when push come to shove, is willing to work to help save the humanity of a rival who once tried to take hers away. You get a girl who is willing to to jump into a hail of bandanas, a wall of fire, the mouth of a monster, etc. for a chance at saving/helping the man she loves, even if she won't admit she does.
That is Akane. And none of that is dependent on comedic ultra-violence.
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Postby Lightspire » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:59 am

If anyone's interested, I've crunched the numbers, and tallied the total of good, bad, and ugly situations Acey has so kindly compiled for us all. I do have the tally per chapter, though I am really tired right now, and just don't feel like giving the tallies per volume. While the total of numbers may be considered irrelevent, I thought I'd at least tally it all up, if nothing else, for my own curiosity.
Total Good: 476
Total Bad: 388
Total Excusable: 262
Total Ugly: 47
Basically, these numbers show that even the bad and ugly don't outweigh the good. Though, at a later point, I'm going to be analyzing Acey's list for all Ranma-centric G,B and U situations, and see if I can streamline the list (at least numbers-wise) for situations involving only Akane and Ranma. For the record, all accounts of G/B and G/U were each counted. I did not cancel them out as a tally.
If you want to check my numbers, please do so, as staring at pages and counting letters can be a wee bit tedious, and I caught some mistakes of my own, hopefully all of them...
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his fiancee's cooking always made him hurl.
Instead of eating one day, he tried to throw it away, and now he has a bird's eye view of the world.
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Postby bissek » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:16 pm

Lightspire, you're counting the ugly as being of equal severity as the bad, which by definition they're not. When you have a weighed value for the ugly points, the results are different. We could easily have an endless debate over what weight should be assigned to an ugly, but let's put it this way: If one ugly equals 1.87 bads, then Akane has a totally balanced character. Any weight above that gets her into negative territory.
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Postby P.H. Wise » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:48 pm

bissek wrote:Lightspire, you're counting the ugly as being of equal severity as the bad, which by definition they're not. When you have a weighed value for the ugly points, the results are different. We could easily have an endless debate over what weight should be assigned to an ugly, but let's put it this way: If one ugly equals 1.87 bads, then Akane has a totally balanced character. Any weight above that gets her into negative territory.

I've said it once, I'll say it again. Like every human being, Akane has her faults. Like every human being, she tells lies, and she breaks promises. Like every human being, she doesn't live up to the standards that we all expect each other to live up to but always have a ready excuse for why we haven't been able to do so ourselves. Also like every other human being, she has her good moments, when she keeps her word, when she shows compassion, when she does something noble. She does good, she does evil; she listens to her better nature, and she listens to her darker nature.
There's really not any more to it than that.
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Postby claymade » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:28 pm

bissek wrote:Lightspire, you're counting the ugly as being of equal severity as the bad, which by definition they're not. When you have a weighed value for the ugly points, the results are different. We could easily have an endless debate over what weight should be assigned to an ugly, but let's put it this way: If one ugly equals 1.87 bads, then Akane has a totally balanced character. Any weight above that gets her into negative territory.

Indeed. And even that's a very abstract generalization--the assumption that all actions within the categories of "Good", "Bad", and "Ugly" each have equal weight with the others in that category. At the very least, if you're going to allow for things being "extra-bad" you ought to have another corresponding category of "extra-good" to provide balance, like you suggested earlier.
But more fundamentally, P.H. Wise's point is exactly right. You just can't reduce human beings to math. Everyone is going to have their own take on any given character given their perception of their motivations, their perspective on what is or isn't justified in a given situation, and the degree of sympathy/empathy they feel with the character. (And thus, for everyone, the "weights" we assign to the various actions will fluctuate wildly.)
In fact, in cases like these, in discussions like these, it's almost more accurate to talk about our relationship with the character rather than our analysis of the character. That's the level at which they interface with us.
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