Ranma 1/2 TV Season 1 Collection (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, June 22, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2006
What They Say
Meet the Tendo's - your average, run-of-the-mill Japanese family. Along with his three lovely young daughters - Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane - father Soun Tendo is the proud owner of the "Tendo Anything-Goes Martial Arts Training Hall," a downtown Tokyo dojo where literally anything can happen and will.
When old friend Genma Saotome comes for a visit with young Ranma in tow, it seems the wedding which will secure the future of the Tendo dojo will finally take place.
What no one expected was that due to an unfortunate accident at the cursed Chinese training ground Jusenkyo, when Ranma and his father get splashed with cold water, papa turns into a giant panda and male Ranma becomes a buxom young woman! Hot water reverses the effect, but only until the next time! Constantly chased by battle-happy martial artists and lovesick suitors of both sexes, what's a half-boy, half-girl martial artist to do?
Now, the youngest Tendo daughter, Akane (who's always claimed to "hate boys" anyway), has been nominated for bridal duty by her older sisters, while an unruly Ranma (who never wants to do anything his dad says on general principle) must come to grips with the mixed blessing of his/her own appeal... to both boys and girls!
This box set contains the entire original first season of the series and the first of 7 DVD box sets!
Cursed springs that make life difficult for all involved and Anything Goes Martial Arts finally come to Australia for the first season of the fan favourite Ranma ½
I watched the show in the original Japanese language and everything sounded fine with no hiss or dropouts that may come from an old soundtrack. The dub version sounds just a little bit louder but that is possibly due to that fact that it is newer. The Japanese cast has some rather well known voice actors and they all sound great it's a shame they are not listed. The dub while sometimes grating wasn't too bad, some people hate ocean dubs but I could watch either version without too much of a problem.
Presented in its original full frame aspect ratio and the show being as old as it is I wasn't expecting anything spectacular but things look pretty good. Similar to the region 1 release there is interlacing and edge enhancement with some instances more noticeable then others such as the opening and ending animations. Some people may have a problem with the songs in the opening and ending being hard subbed as well as all the signs and episode titles. For a show this old this probably the best we are going to get and while a little soft it does the job satisfactorily. I did notice sometimes that certain subtitles did not appear when they were suppose to or at all but this did not happen very often.
Madman has put this release in a clear brick type case similar to their Kaleido Star release. All the discs are separated and easy to remove from the packaging. The cover has Ranma (Girl type) in the foreground with Akane, P-Chan, Ranma (Boy type) and Genma behind on a yellow background. The OFLC while still ugly actually goes okay with all the yellow for a change. The back cover has a few nice action shots from the show as well as a large synopsis of what the story is about. All of the disc details are listed in Madman's standard technical grid. Every thing looks great and there is also an insert with all the chapter listings as well as some nice artwork inside the cover of Kodachi, Kuno and Ryoga
The menu's for each disc is done in a similar style to the cover with the yellow background and the squiggles. A piece of music from the show plays in the background and a picture of one of the characters is shown alongside the menu options. Nothing amazing but it does the job and everything was easy to access without any trouble.
The only real extra on this set is the textless opening and closing songs, while its nice to have a non hard subbed version of these, some more extra's would be nice. The transfer for these look slightly better but that may just be me as well the fact that there are no hard subs to annoy. There is also trailers for other Madman releases spread out over each of the discs
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Australia's first introduction to Ranma ½ was with a few OVA's and 2 Movies released back in the 90's on VHS. While some people were familiar with the whole storyline, they weren't a good starting point for many as all the characters were already introduced and if you didn't know who was who and what their characters were like some jokes and references would be lost on you. Thankfully Madman have decided to release the first season of the TV series that starts at the beginning.
Ranma Saotome and his father Genma Saotome go on a pilgrimage of sorts to become better martial artist and travel throughout China and Japan. In China they come across the cursed Junsenkyo springs and while not actually listening to why it is called a cursed spring they jump right into training atop bamboo polls sticking out of small pools of water. Of course it only takes a few minutes for the two to fall into springs and be forever cursed. Genma now turns into a giant panda when he comes into contact with cold water and Ranma becomes a red haired girl. The effect is quickly reversed by hot water but it isn't permanent so the next time they touch cold water it's back to where they started.
Genma not wanting to go home with the shame of his son being a freak and he no better they go to the Tendo dojo. The Tendo dojo is run by Genma's old friend and fellow student of Anything Goes Martial Arts Soun Tendo, Soun tends to get teary eyed at the drop of a hat and has 3 beautiful daughters Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane. Kasumi is the oldest of the three and is basically the mother figure of the house, she cooks and cleans and looks after the others. Nabiki is the middle child and is rather scheming and into money but not in a bad way. Akane is the youngest of the three and she is very much a tomboy who likes martial arts and doesn't seem to like boys. When Ranma and his father appear as a giant panda and a red haired she is thrust into becoming Ranma's fiance thanks to her other two siblings.
Of course later on Ranma goes for a bath, Akane comes in a little later and seeing as they are both girls has no problem joining him, of course hot water is involved and this commences the beginning of one of the most frustrating relationships in anime history. Akane calls Ranma a pervert a lot of the time simply because of what has happened to him even though it isnt his fault and as far as women go he really is not that girl crazy. Basicaslly she makes out that everything is always Ranma s fault and she is never in the wrong when most of the time she misunderstands a situation and flys off the handle. She protests a little too much if you know what I mean. Ranma is no better, sometimes he shows genuine affection for Akane but most of the time he acts like a jerk and just seems to want to aggravate Akane.
Ranma ½ has a very large cast of characters and not all of them are introduced in this first season. The characters that do appear are Ryoga Hibiki; the poor martial artist with the worst sense of direction ever, Tatewaki and Kodachi Kuno: two siblings who scheme there way into getting either Ranma or Akane for themselves and Shampoo; a Chinese Amazon who hates Ranma (Girl type) and is in love with Ranma (Boy type). These characters and their introductions are the main focus of season one and with them they bring lots of fighting and laughs.
Ranma ½ Season one is probably the best season of the show, light entertainment with plenty of fun moments as well as some hilarious fights, the gymnastic tournament between Ranma (girl type) and Kodachi among them. While the show does follow a rather predictable formula it doesn't suffer from this as much as it does later on. With a dash of romance thrown into the mix this is something that is accessible to everyone, for guys there are the fights and fan service, for girls there is the comedy and the relationships. Madman has started from the beginning and this is probably the best set you could hope for.
Japanese 2.0 Language ,English 2.0 Language ,English Subtitles ,Textless Opening and Closings
LG 32LX2D 32" HD LCD TV, Sony DVP-NS50P Progressive scan region free DVD player, Monster component cable, Yamaha TSS-15 Home Theatre Sound System
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: C-
Age Rating: All
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
Running time: 450
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ranma 1/2