Ranma 1/2: Nihao My Concubine (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Friday, October 16, 1998
When Ranma, Akane and the gang get shipwrecked on a deserted isle, it seems like a good opportunity to kick back and relax (until the boat's fixed). Of course nothing stays quiet for too long, as one by one, all of the shipwrecked women start to disappear. The kidnappers are revealed (after Ranma uses her/him-self as bait) to be the Prince Toma and his beast-like henchman. After they spirit away Akane, Ranma decides to try and rescue the girls by sneaking in Toma's palace and entering his martial arts bridal competition. There also happens to be this spring that could turn Ranma and his pals back into normal men again, so the hunt is on. The results are...well...wacky.
Acting: Japanese: 4
Once again I have bitten off more than I could chew, and I like it. I'd never seen a single Ranma show, OAV or movie before I popped this into my player. I had done a little research before about this show so I knew about the hot/cold water problems that Ranma and his father have. It sounded like a nice fun series, and I figured hell I need a good laugh. It worked.
The animation is light, fun, and fluid. My only problem (mostly because I'm a Ranma virgin) was that after a while I was having trouble separating all the female characters--they started to all look alike. I knew they all had different personalities, but I kept losing track of who was who. The sound effects worked quite well and fit the film nicely. The defiantly added to the whole experience. The acting by both parties was well done and fun, laughed out loud in both versions. I also loved the music.
The sound on the disc was average. Nothing too flashy. The picture was very clear and sharp, but he master did have a few scratches on it (check out some of the dark scenes), that's the only reason it didn't get a 5. The menu was great, lots of music and fun moving images. The keepcase is colorful (a bit busy) and will catch your attention. It has an insert with chapter-stops and the disc itself has some art on it. The keepcase tells you mostly what you need to know, except it doesn't say what kind of sound the show is in, or if it's in its original aspect ratio. The goodies were actually very helpful for us Ranma virgins out there. The character intros tell just what you need to know, with English vocal clips. You've got the Love Battles menu that shows everyone's relationship to everyone else (with clips from the film as examples). It's got a trailer from Viz and some cool concept drawings. You've got a nice package here.
All in all this is a fun movie, even if you haven't seen Ranma before. It's light and fun, and won't tax your brain. You get some neat extras with it. Just should warn you in advance, there is a lot of fan service in this flick. To quote my girlfriend's friend "this anime is all about boobs". Well maybe that's going a bit too far, but I'd have to say that boobs play a pretty big part in this film. I'll probably buy the first movie now too :-)
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Viz Media
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ranma 1/2