Title: Ranma 1/2 OVA Series Box Set
N/A (US release reviewed)
BBFC Certificate: N/A
Suggested Retail Price (SRP): $119.98
Running Time: 300mins (approx.)
Audio Options: English 2.0, Japanese 2.0
Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)
If you have never read or seen Ranma ½ before, then this is
anime not a great place to start as the majority of episodes are just mad and
deal with the established relationships and rivalries that fans know and love. There’s no doubt newcomers will still find a lot to laugh about, but they will
be left a bit bewildered at times. Fans will be find plenty to love about this
though as the animation is excellent and the DVD lets you watch the superior
original Japanese dub, the English dub is not recommended as the voices just
don’t match the character’s personalities. The soundtrack is the usual anime
80’s style cheese, so in other words it’s great! The DVD contains loads of
original Japanese opening sequences, so more songs then you could hope for.
The first four episodes are pure, brilliant anime comedy and it’s finest. The
first episode (Curse of the Contrary Jewel) has the excellent Shampoo coming
across the ‘reversal jewel’. An heirloom which Cologne uses to turn Shampoo’s
feelings for Ranma to hatred, in an attempt to make Ranma’s pride get the better
of him so he will tell Shampoo that he loves her. All this is going on while Akane and Mousse work together to try and stop Cologne in her scheme. This
episode reminds you what made you get into Ranma in the first place, no not
cross-dressing, the fast-paced anything goes laugh-a-minute genius of Takahashi.
Second episode (Tendo Family Christmas Scramble) is one of the best Christmas
specials you’ll ever see. The Tendos wish to celebrate Christmas by inviting
literally everyone in the history of Ranma round their place and partying (how
does Tendo afford this?) and fans will no doubt recognise the karaoke half way
through being from the first series. This episode not only as the insane comedy
but also the warm-hearted innocence of Ranma ½ shines through.
Third episode (Akane Vs Ranma! I’ll Be the One to Inherit Mother’s Recipes!)
sees Kasumi coming across the late Mrs Tendo’s recipe book and Akane trying hard
to fulfil her dream of being able to cook something. As usual Ranma does his
best to interfere by wanting to out cook Akane. This may sound well boring but
remember that anything that sounds dull is great when Ranma ½ does it as the
madness once again make this great.
Fourth episode (Stormy weather comes to school! Growing up with Miss Hinako) has
Ranma up against the new teacher - Miss Hinako – which is an adult trapped in a
girl’s body but takes her adult form when she absorbs battle auras with a five
yen piece. Confused? Of course I was, but the laughing more then made up for
trying to work out what the hell was going on. My favourite episode.
Then it all goes downhill as two two-parters grace the series with their
presence. The One to Carry On and Reawakening Memories.
The one to carry on involves two girls claiming Tendo is their father and then
beating Akane and Ranma for ownership of dojo. And so Ranma and Akane have to
win back the dojo. And that’s basically it. God knows why this was stretched out
into two parts as it just drags on and although it has the odd moment, it isn’t
that great. Disappointing.
The second two parter – Reawakening Memories – is even more dull. Akane comes
across an absent-minded loner who lives with his Grandfather (ok, not
technically a loner but you know what I mean) in a forest populated by giant
animals. It turns out he helped out Akane when she injured herself as a little
girl. And that’s it. No madness, no humour, and drags on far too much. Avoid.
Things pick up greatly with the ninth episode – Team Ranma Vs the Legendary
Phoenix – however which sees the fantastic Upperclassman Kuno with a phoenix
hatching on his head making him invincible. Tonnes of fighting and great running
through water coupled with Kuno’s general ignorance make this one of the best.
Episode ten – Oh Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever – shows all
the characters going into the tunnel of lost love, in which couples will always
split up at the end. As you can guess they change couples constantly (there’s a
lot of water in the tunnel) to try and reach their goal. Plenty of humour in
this one but it doesn’t really focus on the characters much and as everyone is
in it you feel a little overwhelmed.
Episode eleven – Hell Hath No Fury Like Kasumi Scorned! – is a great episode
inspired by The Thing in which an Oni is released by Ranma and Genma (they burst
through a wall fighting) and enters peoples heads making them do it’s bidding. It ends up in Kasumi and of course, Kasumi can’t act evil she just does evil
things like ordering expensive ramen to the house. The monk in this episode is
great and there is plenty of action.
The final episode – The Two Akanes, “Ranma Look At Me! – sees Akane changing
places with an evil wooden doll who has her eyes on Ranma. Akane must stop her
without the power of speech and P-chan’s help before tragedy strikes. A
questionable episode as Akane seems a little too eager then normal to help then
she usually does (she seems more concerned about Ranma kissing her possessed
self then changing back), but still good fun.
If you’re a fan no doubt you’ve already bought this and have been enjoying it’s
great humour. If you haven’t bought it then it’s worth checking out but you have
been warned about those two-parters.