Mimicry or Understanding?

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Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Zwzn » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:31 am

Do you feel Ranma more mimics the behaviors so as to not stand out, or do you feel Ranma understands local culture, and why do ypou think that?
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:55 am

It'd depend on what kind of behaviors you're talking about. If it's how he acts in general, I don't see anything that would inspire such a question (such as it is). When it comes to the times when he's actually pretending (for one reason or another), I think he understands enough, but mostly the stereotypical behavior (as an observer) and little of the nuance (which is better developed through personal experience). It probably doesn't help that he's likely trying too hard, and ends up exaggerating rather than doing any sort of mimicking.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Drawde » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Takahashi's original intent was for Ranma to simply be a normal boy who liked fighting, who has wierd things happen to him. That lasted until Shampoo's introduction where he started falling apart around girls.

But there's no indication after that that Ranma is a social incompetent. He knows how to act around others, as shown when he disguises himself or he wants something from someone, but he just doesn't care normally and has a large ego. Although he likely missed some school Genma isn't shown to have actively kept him from it, unlike fanon.
Unless I say otherwise, if I'm discussing Ranma canon, I'm talking about the MANGA.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby mondu_the_fat » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:08 pm

Why does it have to be a binary choice? Like everyone else, likely it is a little of column A and a little of column B.
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-- Minato Arisato, My Life is a Goddamn Mess
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Zwzn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:50 am

Crescent Pulsar R wrote: It'd depend on what kind of behaviors you're talking about. If it's how he acts in general, I don't see anything that would inspire such a question (such as it is). When it comes to the times when he's actually pretending (for one reason or another), I think he understands enough, but mostly the stereotypical behavior (as an observer) and little of the nuance (which is better developed through personal experience). It probably doesn't help that he's likely trying too hard, and ends up exaggerating rather than doing any sort of mimicking.

Ranma's general behavior would not be out of place in most modern cultures as far as I can tell.

It's the little things that seem to catch my eye like:
"And this engagement thing doesn't really mean anything at all..."
Things like that make me think Ranma may not understand the culture very well. Ranma just said that he didn't care if he dishonored his family, himself, Akane, the Tendo family, or anyone he is engaged to and their families, and he can't figure out why Akane might be angry, and it was in the frame he said this that she started to get angry

Then you have the people on the street ignoring Ranma being kidnapped in the Martial arts Tea Ceremony arc. because it's not their business, but Ranma gets involved all the time with things simply because someone needs help, or is out of line while everyone else ignores it.

People in and out of universe assume Ranma had a standard upbringing as far as learning the culture goes, but Genma's training trip would have made that difficult if not impossible since it greatly limited contact with anyone other then Genma, and the fact Ranma would have been exposed to several conflicting cultures.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Zwzn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:52 am

Drawde wrote: Takahashi's original intent was for Ranma to simply be a normal boy who liked fighting, who has wierd things happen to him. That lasted until Shampoo's introduction where he started falling apart around girls.
Shampoo firsts appears in the fifth story line, and it was really the first time Ranma was forced into a sexual/romantic situation. The story lines prior to that take up something like a few weeks time.

Given Ranma had very limited contact with girls prior to coming to the Tendo Dojo it is amazing that he is as good at talking to them as he is. Ranma went to an all boys school, and seems to spend most of his time more or less by himself

Drawde wrote: But there's no indication after that that Ranma is a social incompetent. He knows how to act around others, as shown when he disguises himself or he wants something from someone, but he just doesn't care normally and has a large ego. Although he likely missed some school Genma isn't shown to have actively kept him from it, unlike fanon.
"And this engagement thing doesn't really mean anything at all..." would indicate a lack of understanding about certain things at the very least.

I can see an argument being made that Ranma is a little vain, but Ranma doesn't expect special treatment, and in fact seems to think he deserves the substandard treatment he gets. The same evidence could also be used to argue he doesn't think he is attractive.

The school we see Ranma going before coming to the Tendo home had daily brawls at lunch time, not a good place to learn manners and it at least appears Ranma does not socialize much.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Zwzn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:53 am

mondu_the_fat wrote: Why does it have to be a binary choice?

It doesn't, and wasn't intended to be a yes or No question

mondu_the_fat wrote: Like everyone else, likely it is a little of column A and a little of column B.
That is why I was kind of expecting a paragraph at least explaining the point of view.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Zwzn wrote:It's the little things that seem to catch my eye like:
"And this engagement thing doesn't really mean anything at all..."
Things like that make me think Ranma may not understand the culture very well. Ranma just said that he didn't care if he dishonored his family, himself, Akane, the Tendo family, or anyone he is engaged to and their families, and he can't figure out why Akane might be angry, and it was in the frame he said this that she started to get angry

You're not reading that right. Within the context, using that interpretation wouldn't fit. As you can see, Akane goes, "erk," which is not a sound made when one is mad but when one is caught doing something they didn't want someone else to know/figure out or admit to themselves. Ranma's saying that the change in engagement is really just a part of the two sister's squabble, which is making him a victim in the whole affair. Akane doesn't begin to sound angry until the following part of what he says, wherein he calls Akane the "violent one."

Then you have the people on the street ignoring Ranma being kidnapped in the Martial arts Tea Ceremony arc. because it's not their business, but Ranma gets involved all the time with things simply because someone needs help, or is out of line while everyone else ignores it.

Akane has also been known to get involved in others' affairs (usually Ranma's). Genma, Soun, Nabiki and even Kasumi are guilty of eavesdropping and/or peeping at some point, or otherwise getting themselves involved, some more often than others.

And normal people don't get involved for obvious reasons. First off, what could they hope to do unless they were martial artists themselves? Then there's the fact that they're unimportant to the current plot except to react in certain ways in response to what the actual characters are doing or have done, for comedic purposes. Their defined role does not depiction of culture make.

People in and out of universe assume Ranma had a standard upbringing as far as learning the culture goes, but Genma's training trip would have made that difficult if not impossible since it greatly limited contact with anyone other then Genma, and the fact Ranma would have been exposed to several conflicting cultures.

There is no clear evidence regarding any of that.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Zwzn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:18 pm

Crescent Pulsar R wrote: You're not reading that right. Within the context, using that interpretation wouldn't fit. As you can see, Akane goes, "erk," which is not a sound made when one is mad but when one is caught doing something they didn't want someone else to know/figure out or admit to themselves. Ranma's saying that the change in engagement is really just a part of the two sister's squabble, which is making him a victim in the whole affair. Akane doesn't begin to sound angry until the following part of what he says, wherein he calls Akane the "violent one."

Top Frame has surprise and embarrassment on Akane's face.
Akane: .....
Ranma: Man, it's great to hear you admitting it! feh(a clear sigh of relief) I mean, that I'm an innocent victim of your sibling squabble....

Next frame Akane has her hands up like she really wants to kill Ranma, and a look of insane rage on her face.
Ranma: And this engagement thing doesn't mean anything at all...
Akane RRK(clear a growl or rage to go with the look on her face.)

Next frame Akane takes an odd pose, and a look of shock and embarrassment on her face.
Ranma: And it's even worse getting stuck with the greedy sister than with the violent one! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!(a release of stress)

Next frame Akane pushes Ranma into the canall/river/water.

Next frame Akane is angry, and forgets that Ranma actually owes her nothing, and it's all her fault. Ranma is surprised at Akane's actions even though he should not be. Even if he was talking to a normal person rather then an out of control monster Akane who considers murder a way to deal with things that are annoying should likely be annoyed.

A couple frames later we see that Akane's intent was to drown Ranma, and not to walk away.

Any way you cut it Ranma doesn't understand why Akane is angry so the example stands implying he does not understand the culture.

Crescent Pulsar R wrote: Akane has also been known to get involved in others' affairs (usually Ranma's). Genma, Soun, Nabiki and even Kasumi are guilty of eavesdropping and/or peeping at some point, or otherwise getting themselves involved, some more often than others.
You honestly have no idea what I'm talking about?
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2691&p=192669&hilit=bike+crash#p192669

Use "ctrl-f" to search for "Cold Japanese".
http://florestica.com/nallohki/oneshot/esj/index.htm

http://sotokyo.wordpress.com/2011/02/05 ... -of-japan/

Trying to gather juicy gossip is not the same as trying to help strangers in need. Ranma tries to help others, and most just ignore the person in need.

Ranma helps strangers just because they need help.

Crescent Pulsar R wrote: And normal people don't get involved for obvious reasons. First off, what could they hope to do unless they were martial artists themselves? Then there's the fact that they're unimportant to the current plot except to react in certain ways in response to what the actual characters are doing or have done, for comedic purposes. Their defined role does not depiction of culture make.
You are assuming something like everyone just ignoring what is happening, or just standing by when it happens is not realistic. You don't need superpowers to call for help, check if a person is okay, or speak out when you see someone really out of line.


Crescent Pulsar R wrote: There is no clear evidence regarding any of that.
Clear evidence? What do you want the characters to do, say I assume Ranma mean X because that is normal for someone who has lived nearly all of their life in the Japanese culture?

We have it implied such as:
Kasumi arranging the bath for both Ranma and Akane. Perfectly normal for Japanese, but Kasumi just assumed Ranma was raised to be okay with it, and Ranma clearly was not expecting Akane to come to take a bath while he was still in the bath.

Akane often takes offense at things Ranma says or does. She is assuming that Ranma means to hurt her because that is the likely intent if anyone else talked to her that way.

Ranma's classmates know next to nothing about him, but make lots of assumptions about him.
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Re: Mimicry or Understanding?

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:51 pm

Man, that first section certainly had a fair amount of Zwzn-vision(TM). But more to the point, the last of it:

Zwzn wrote:Any way you cut it Ranma doesn't understand why Akane is angry so the example stands implying he does not understand the culture.
It has nothing to do with culture. Nada. Simple as that. Moving on...

You honestly have no idea what I'm talking about?
You are assuming something like everyone just ignoring what is happening, or just standing by when it happens is not realistic. You don't need superpowers to call for help, check if a person is okay, or speak out when you see someone really out of line.

I know perfectly. Know what? I've seen non-Japanese act that way, too. More importantly, however, is that manga doesn't have to reflect on culture. Sometimes a group of people giving someone strange looks is a group of people giving someone strange looks. In other words, an author who treats background/scenery/extra characters as such, in that they're unlikely to take an active role in what's going on, are just that, and has nothing to do with culture. I've come across many manga and anime series that work this way, and I don't see Ranma 1/2 as being any different. Some random character without a name or story, who are there to serve some particular visual purpose, need the right context before anyone can assume that it has anything to do with culture. Which is more common in serious works, as opposed to comedies like Ranma 1/2.

But, whatever. Nothing's stopped you from seeing what you want to see before.

Clear evidence? What do you want the characters to do, say I assume Ranma mean X because that is normal for someone who has lived nearly all of their life in the Japanese culture?

We have it implied such as:
Kasumi arranging the bath for both Ranma and Akane. Perfectly normal for Japanese, but Kasumi just assumed Ranma was raised to be okay with it, and Ranma clearly was not expecting Akane to come to take a bath while he was still in the bath.

Um... What? Okay, one, the bath is supposed to last the whole day for everybody. Two, it's different with family (depending on age and sex) and friends of the same sex, as it is in most cultures that aren't particularly prudent. Ranma isn't a part of Akane's family, neither he nor Akane are ready to be that intimate, and that is understandable in many cultures. It has nothing to do with Ranma failing culturally.

Akane often takes offense at things Ranma says or does. She is assuming that Ranma means to hurt her because that is the likely intent if anyone else talked to her that way.

Ranma's classmates know next to nothing about him, but make lots of assumptions about him.
And these things have anything to do with culture... how?

Nevermind. But speaking of assumptions, let's back back to some of yours:

People in and out of universe assume Ranma had a standard upbringing as far as learning the culture goes, but Genma's training trip would have made that difficult if not impossible since it greatly limited contact with anyone other then Genma, and the fact Ranma would have been exposed to several conflicting cultures.

Why did I say that there was no evidence of that? Because it's completely baseless. Right off the bat, you're being a person "out of universe" that is making an assumption, only it's in the other direction from what you mentioned. Why that's worse is because anyone who's read or watched enough Ranma 1/2 would know that your assumptions are completely wrong.

Just to start, we've seen Ranma in school, and that's a good place as any to learn about culture. That guarantees that half of his waking day is spent away from his father, where he would learn about various things in very standard ways. And if spending years in a school environment (and making it into high school, which is optional) isn't enough to clue you in that Ranma is just about as culturally knowledgeable as anyone else his age, you're a lost cause.

And that conflicting culture thing? Another assumption. As far as anyone knows, Ranma spent his life in Japan until that trip to China. And to say that that would have been enough to cause conflict (whatever that entails) is grasping for invisible straws.

That's it from me regarding this. I don't even know why I bother...
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