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Ranma ½: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China

a.k.a. Ranma Nibunnoichi: Nekonron Dai-Kessen! Okite-Yaburi no Gekito Hen!

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Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: Shogakukan
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 11/2/1991

Things are never quiet for long at the Tendo residence, and true to form Ranma and the gang are swept into yet another action-packed adventure. One day a Chinese girl named Lai-chi appears with her elephant. She has come to Japan to find her husband and has a scroll that proves that she is to be his bride. As luck would have it, Lai-chi’s intended prince appears just when Akane was holding the scroll… and thus Akane is mistaken as his love eternal! Of course, it’s now up to Ranma to straighten matters.

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 02/02/2005 by
Grade: 72% av-Kain

Highs: A nice mix of action and comedy, just like Ranma ½

Lows: Too flat and doesn’t want to break from the mold; just a longer, weak episode

If there’s one thing you can count on with this franchise it is that you will be entertained. Ranma ½ and its subsequent sequels are too original and insane (but in a good way) not to keep people thoroughly amused. With the entertainment factor out of the way, I have free reign to pick apart the rest of this anime. And boy is there a lot to pick apart.

I don’t want to rip into an anime without first pointing out what makes it click. The animation is a step ahead of that displayed in the television series, but this is to be expected. The color scheme, on the other hand, was given the muted treatment; this doesn’t prove to be a huge detriment, however. The usual suspects are adequately humorous, which is a good thing because the new characters Lai-chi and Prince Kirin are horridly bland.

Akane rivals Princess Mushroom as the most oft-kidnapped damsel-in-distress in known history. There’s only so many times a theme can be repeated until it becomes so ridiculously redundant; unfortunately, Big Trouble in Nekonron, China crosses that threshold of tolerance. Thus, this movie spearheads a shocking trend in cinema: play it safe, and don’t rock the boat too much when profit is on the line. Playing it safe may the be most economical way of doing business, but it sure doesn’t make for outstanding art.

Not shooting higher might be OK for most anime, but Ranma ½ built for itself the foundation for some spectacularly wacky spin-offs. Despite being based off of Takahashi Rumiko’s wonderfully eccentric manga, Big Trouble in Nekonron, China finishes just a touch short of the finish line.

 

Big Trouble in Nekonron, China can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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