The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

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The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Pata Hikari » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:12 am

A lot of fanfics treat Ranma like a Martial Arts god with unique, amazingly superhuman powers. (Heck, I've done it, before rereading the manga and actually thinking about things.)

This is due to a lot of reasons. The usual Mary Sue Author Insert Power Creep that infests literally every fandom ever is part of it. But there's other problems. Even writers that don't try and wank Ranma make a lot of mistakes about the setting and the "power levels" of the characters.

The Supernatrual in the Ranma 1/2 universe is fairly common

This, is, perhaps, the biggest thing. So many fanfic writers take the Ranma 1/2 cast, and transplant them into a world that's more realistic, more like our own. They do this with their abilities intact, and suddenly they're basically superheroes thrust into a normal world.

In the Ranma 1/2 universe magic is not something that anybody is particularly shocked about. Jusenkyo curses are treated as a mildly embarrassing problem. The Tendo's reactions to them going there is "Why did you go to a dangerous place" like cursed training grounds are just a thing they're aware of and know to stay away from.

Power Armor that give you super strength and speed (that then explode) are sold in mail order catalogues. Cursed paintings are shown off at festivals, you can buy magic fishing rods that make people fall in love with you for cheap in gift shops.

The Supernatural isn't anything special in Ranma 1/2. And since the supernatrual isn't anything special, that means that the supernatural feats the Ranma 1/2 cast performs aren't that special.

The Martial Artists in Ranma 1/2 aren't superhuman.


"But wait!" You may say, "They punch through walls, jump through ceilings, shoot out energy blasts" And yes, that's all true. But that doesn't make them superhuman.

Do you think Olympic athletes are superhuman? No, they're not. They're still human. They're athletes. Through talent and practice they can perform feats better then your average person. This is also the cast for the bulk of the Ranma 1/2 cast. Through talent and practice punch harder and move faster then other people. But this is just because they worked for it. They're impressive, yes, but everybody in the Ranma 1/2 universe seems to have durability and endurance beyond real world humans, even taking into account Slapstick Comedy Filter.

We do meet some characters that explictly are superhuman in Ranma 1/2. The Musk and Saffron.

In both of these cases they're shown to be absolutely stronger then anything the regular cast can pull off. Mint is faster then anybody can match, Lime has more strength then Ryoga or anybody else. And Herb? He was able to shoot insane amounts of Ki blasts like nothing. His entire fighting style was basically Go Full DBZ, something nobody else is able to even do.

The Shi Shi Hokoudan is basically a pale imitation of that strength. It's also not a fighting technique, but used by miners and is explicitly said to be really easy to learn. It's not that good.

Same with Saffron. He's explictly a magical being and it shows. Hurling insane power and fire everywhere. Ranma only survived thanks to having a magic item that just happened to counter him. Which leads to the final point

Ranma is not a Martial Arts God.

Commonly Ranma is treated like the Ubermench Martial Arts genius. He can learn anything and do anything.

Now, frankly, this is a load of bull. First off, a good half of Ranma's "innovations" which people point to to say he's a super genius are thanks to other people.

Ranma was perfectly content to continue to slam his head against the figurative brick wall to learn the Chestnuts Roasting over An Open Fire speed technique until Akane dragged him to a festival to take a break and he saw the fish tank. Same thing happened with the Moko Takashiba. Ranma was forcing himself to be miserable in an attempt to learn the technique. It wasn't until Genma pointed out that he could adapt it to a different emotion that he figured it out. (And then the Moko Takashiba turned out to be useless. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

This isn't to say Ranma isn't good. He is. He's obviously a talented martial artist, one of the best of his age group. But he's not going to be fighting at Cologne or Happosai's level any time soon.

The fact is, that Ranma's victors over opponents stronger and more skilled than him makes him a more interesting character then a Martial Arts God who instantly figures out how use Every Technique Ever.

So yeah, remember this. The Ranma 1/2 cast aren't super unique or superhuman, magic is a regular thing, and Ranma is good but not That Good when writing fanfics.
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Re: The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Spica75 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:54 pm

Ranma is not a Martial Arts God.

Commonly Ranma is treated like the Ubermench Martial Arts genius. He can learn anything and do anything.

Now, frankly, this is a load of bull. First off, a good half of Ranma's "innovations" which people point to to say he's a super genius are thanks to other people.


Entirely agree.

The Martial Artists in Ranma 1/2 aren't superhuman.


Well, no they're not, but their abilities effectively are, kinda. Regular people simply do not reach the same kind of levels, so in that sense they are, but any "regular" person who starts pushing enough, might be able to get there, so in this sense they're not.
Your comparison with olympic athletes is a bit flawed, as the "super" level of martial artists is to them what they are to regular people.

The Supernatrual in the Ranma 1/2 universe is fairly common


If that was true then people outside the "core cast" in the setting wouldn't constantly be so surprised by weird shit happening.
My take is that it's basically the real world, but with most of the myths and legends turned more or less real and that used for setting the new "normal" level for the world.

If it was truly common, then aquiring for example magical items would be a matter of time and effort, not "OMG THERE's ONLY ONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD EVER AND IT BROKE AND WE ARE SO SCREWED!". Even if it was just uncommon, that still doesn't go well with how the cast and story is shown to have issues with it or finding information or items when needed.
They don't expect ghosts until after they have happened for example and so on.

In short, no, i definitely do not agree that it's "fairly common", even if it's very clearly a "more supernatural" world than ours.
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Re: The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Pata Hikari » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:16 pm

Spica75 wrote:Your comparison with olympic athletes is a bit flawed, as the "super" level of martial artists is to them what they are to regular people.


Not in the Ranma 1/2 universe.

You're missing the point. An Oylmpic Athlete in the Ranma 1/2 universe would be something insane, not just an IRL Olympic athlete who would be less physically capable then Ranma, a high school student who spends most of his time not practicing and training.

Spica75 wrote:If that was true then people outside the "core cast" in the setting wouldn't constantly be so surprised by weird shit happening.
My take is that it's basically the real world, but with most of the myths and legends turned more or less real and that used for setting the new "normal" level for the world.


And your take is wrong. People aren't surprised at the fact that there's supernatural events happening. They're staring at something is making a fuss. You'd be surprised of a bunch of shouting people barreled down the street fighting, that doesn't mean you thought fighting people didn't exist.

The supernatural is disrupting order, which is Bad. They stare at a Ghost Cat trying to loudly find a bride not because they're shocked that there are ghost cats, but because he's being loud and annoying.

Spica75 wrote:If it was truly common, then aquiring for example magical items would be a matter of time and effort, not "OMG THERE's ONLY ONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD EVER AND IT BROKE AND WE ARE SO SCREWED!". Even if it was just uncommon, that still doesn't go well with how the cast and story is shown to have issues with it or finding information or items when needed.
They don't expect ghosts until after they have happened for example and so on.


Gift shops and mail order catalogs barely count as effort. Seriously, it's easy to get supernatural stuff in the Ranma 1/2 universe. You can buy it, for cheap.

There's harder to get stuff, but just because there's unique and rare things that happen to be magic doesn't mean that magic itself is rare and unique. There are rare and unique things in the real world that is hard to get too.
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Re: The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:04 pm

ACME corporation probably has a branch operation in Nerima.
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Re: The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Drawde » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:29 am

One thing that's always getting missed is that there are HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL groups devoted to R1/2 types of martial arts. Flinging around heavy objects with a gymnastics ribbon is common enough to have a multi-school competition devoted to it, along with cheerleaders doing the same sort of thing. And the tea ceremony martial arts has enough members to publish a calendar.

I keep seeing fics where Ranma and friends are beyond the capabilities of the police, when there's enough fantasy martial artists out there that you'd expect entire police forces composed of them. Not to mention military units.
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Re: The Overpowering of Ranma and Fanon missing Context

Postby Pata Hikari » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:40 am

Drawde wrote:One thing that's always getting missed is that there are HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL groups devoted to R1/2 types of martial arts. Flinging around heavy objects with a gymnastics ribbon is common enough to have a multi-school competition devoted to it, along with cheerleaders doing the same sort of thing. And the tea ceremony martial arts has enough members to publish a calendar.

I keep seeing fics where Ranma and friends are beyond the capabilities of the police, when there's enough fantasy martial artists out there that you'd expect entire police forces composed of them. Not to mention military units.

Reminds me about all those fanfics that tries to have realpolitik involving the PRC and Joketsuzoku.

Honestly I think trying to use real geopolotical situations in Ranma 1/2 fanfic is silly. China especially isn't actually Real World China in Ranma 1/2. It's Magical China. A land of mystery, wonder, and mysterious wonderous tribes.
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