What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

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What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby SpaceKnight of Chaos » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:35 am

Ranma 1/2 has always inspired fanfic writers - this could be attributed to it, much like Sailor Moon, being part of the "perfect storm" of hitting the English speaking world in an era when anime was new & exciting and the internet was beginning to fully take off. But I like to think that a significant portion of this reaction stems from the fact that Ranma 1/2's setting and characters are full of potential that the canon story doesn't quite exploit, for whatever reason.

A perfect example of this is something relating to Ukyo: in fanfiction, it's a common scene for Ranma to come to Ukyo as a kind of confidante - he grabs some food and vents about his troubles, or uses her as a sounding board for ideas, or otherwise just hangs out with her and talks, with Ukyo encouraging this as a way to showcase herself as a superior fiancee choice. Now, this kind of scene makes a lot of sense; it's a common use for Ukyo's character archetype of "the childhood friend turned would-be lover" in other romantic manga, it showcases what makes her unique compared to the other fiancees, and it encourages the reader to think that "maybe Ukyo is a good match up" and/or "maybe Ukyo has a chance". But this scene is completely fanonical; it never happens in canon, and it can't, not just because of how private and reserved Ranma is depicted as being, but also because it would go against the manga's intent, which is to portray Ranma & Akane as the only "real" couple, with everybody else just being an obstacle to their final love.

So, in your opinion, what are other little or major things that Ranma 1/2 could have included, and which could have been interesting, but it didn't for whatever reason?
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby DianaBialaska » Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:39 pm

The show had an immense potential to explore gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. I guess it was really 20 years too early for it to be considered relevant to the society we live in and not just a gimmick. Fortunately there are some fanfics out there that delves into this (some of them written by Sunshine Temple)

It does include some of it, but it could have gone so much further.

Let us just say that when I first time read Ranma I always read Ranma as a transgender girl still in denial, overcompensating masculinity, no signs of dysphoria and most fun activities in girl form. Genma's insults against masculinity and Nodoka's obsession with manliness and the contract about being a Man amongst Men all were signs of Ranma probably had a feminine streak in childhood, which Genma did his best to beat out of his child. Of course the writer could also just have found it hilarious to use that wording because Ranma turned into a girl.

Akane, Ukyo and Shampoo all got quite strong masculine traits. Akane is a tomboy with no feminine talents. Ukyo was raised a boy. And Shampoo is from a female dominated culture. Their competetiveness and physical clashes are also traditional masculine behaviors. To be with Ranma they probably need to be bisexual too.

Anyway, guess that's what I had to say for now. :)
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:33 am

There are several ways to read/view Ranma. One is martial arts adventure, with occasional slapstick. Another is romance, with overtones of the Three Stooges. And one is gender orientation, with or without parental abuse - of authority always, violent at times. I've only written one Ranma-fic, Different Colors; it was a mix of gender and romance, with adventure to keep things moving and humor to make it fun.

Ranma didn't miss many opportunities in the adventure part, and did as well as he/she could have in a really tough harem situation. Gender? I suspect Takahashi-sensei was thinking more about humorous possibilities than she was about serious questions of gender identity. Whether or not that's a missed opportunity depends ypon what you think she was doing.

When I'm reading Ranma, I like all three types, with preference for humor and gender definite parts of the deal. It takes a strong recommendation for me to read anything with angst listed as an attribute.
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby PCHeintz72 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:06 pm

Ranma 1/2, as a manga and anime, was both good and bad. But one thing that can be considered the heart of both was the sheer deliberate vagueness of it. The ability to both tell story arc after story arc and yet deliberately remain scant on details and depth, plus the fact of no real ending, left it not only leaving fans yearning for more and / or better closure, but more depth to the characters. Opening it up to fan fiction writers imagination in a way many other series did not.

That very vagueness made it able to take particularly Ranma, and to a lesser extent others from the series, and throw them in to all kinds of situations, both to fill out their depth, and to see them succeed in completely random directions, or even crossovers.

Only a handful of characters among all the anime I've seen over the years really lend themselves well to that form of tinkering. Another IMHO is Shirou Emiya from Fate Stay Night.

EDIT: As a FYI, this took a very long time to post and I received a gateway timeout on hitting submit instead of it returning me to the thread.... I thought the post failed entirely but saw it there when went back. Been a long time since seen that happen here.
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby Té Rowan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:10 pm

Hmm… Well, it's easy to think that a show has 'missed opportunities' when one is thirty years in the future and in a very very different world from that the show was written in. R. Takahashi begam penning it in the last years of the Shōwa Emperor's reign, around the time Suzanne Vega was singing "My name is Luka. I live on the second floor." for a hit. In the end, I can't really think of any.

Aside: Kinda glad to know I'm not the only one hit by that lack of response after clicking "Submit". I was beginning to wonder if the posting script was trying to tell me I was posting too much.
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby Cheb » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:24 am

I doubt adding anything would have made it better.

It took me too long to finally get it: Ranma is deliberately NOT serious (muddled by the anime trying for more dramatism) and is better staying that way.

Many a fanfiction treat Ranma like this:
https://posmotre.li/images/1/18/Poor%2B ... 503121.jpg
and I am now disgusted by such.

Everything that could be added, fanfiction did.

P.S. Ukyou is a closet yandere, that's a canon fact. Just don't go poking her button.
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:40 am

All I can say is - Mario didn't kill himself. Beyond that ...
TomJerry.jpg
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Re: What do you feel are Ranma 1/2's "missed opportunities"?

Postby Cheb » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:27 pm

Mario didn't kill himself.

I'm sure he is just training his jumping to stay in shape. The camera just captured him mid-jump.

The Tom & Jerry one was my favorite but I forgot the link. Thanks.
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