a.k.a. Ranma Nibunnoichi
Ranma is your normal 16-year-old martial artist. He and his father Genma traveled to Jusenkyo, China, as part of their training. Little did they know that this was also the Land of the Cursed Springs. Needless to say a mishap occurs, and now Ranma changes into a girl when splashed with cold water! To add insult to injury, Ranma finds out that he is betrothed to Akane Tendo, a girl he can’t stand. Good thing she hates boys, because Ranma’s half-girl!
summary by Kain
Highs: Quirky characters; fantastically outlandish premise; very humorous; the 1st season is classic
Lows: About one season too long; after we meet everybody, becomes formulaic and predictable
How can I review anime without mentioning Ranma ½? Probably the most popular anime of all time, and with good reason: there’s no other anime out there that is as ridiculously strange or outright hilarious. And with such dynamic and divergent characters like Akane, Kunou, Shampoo and Happosai, there’s someone that’ll appeal to each fan.
You want a three-hundred-year-old pervert who filches women’s underwear? How about a boy with no sense of direction who changes into a pig? Or better yet, a self-absorbed, clueless fool who recites Shakespeare? They’re all there, and that’s what makes Ranma ½ so entertaining. Eccentric characters abound, which is a Takahashi Rumiko trademark.
It’s not without its faults, however. The animation ranges from poor (the occasional episode) to outstanding. After all the main characters are introduced in the third season, the series becomes somewhat predictable and loses a bit of its punch. The repeated jokes and gags, which were immensely hilarious the first half-dozen times, eventually lose their punch. Even the unique characters grow stale after repeated exposure.
Ranma ½ makes a great initiation for those looking to get their friends into anime. Most people get hooked after the first few episodes alone. And for those already into anime, you’ll find something to like here, too.
Ranma ½ can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.