Ranma 1/2: Anything Goes Martial Arts Box Set (Mania.com)
By:Brian T. Burke
Review Date: Friday, April 26, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2002
The second season of the Ranma 1/2 series comes quite similar to the first. In more ways than one...
I listenened to both English and Japanese versions. In the Japanese version, I noticed no difficulties in the sound. It's pretty good with directionality as needed. However, the English is a bit lower in volume. Further, some are a bit lower, compared to the others.
Overall, this is a pretty good. However, like any series, it has its good times and bad. I saw no problems in my viewing of the show, but sometimes the animation becomes a little flat. Standard, I guess, for a series. The only difficulty was the logo that Viz made up. It shimmers wildly as it zooms out. (If they just blew it up to begin with this, they wouldn't have this problem.)
The format for the boxset is identical to the Digital Dojo. The box has Akane in a cute pose with orange shaded manga images in the background. All the disc cases have the same style of background, with different panels. Each case also has the image of the character that is the focus. The Golden Pair, Cologne, Mousse, Happosai, and Kodachi. Although, Kodachi seems to be just a chosen character, considering the last disc is mostly fillers. As with the style of the first box, the inserts all have the shadow of the cover image. And, to note, the paragraphs on the back of the box are cut-and-paste.
This is where this boxset is different. In the first BS, the menu images were of a disc and a 'cursed form' on each side of the disc. This time, the character from the disc case takes up a good portion of the menu screen. The series logo takes up a third of the top while the character is overlayed to the side. Selections are quick and without issue.
People are gonna like this... The standard textless opening/ending credits are here as well as VA-character chart. However, this BS sports a work-history of each voice. It's VERY nice to see these people get credit, especially since a lot of those shows aren't as generous.
This would have been a solid 'A' if for one thing; There's artifacting on the Opening credits when various characters are flashed on and off the screen. This doesn't show up on the episodes themselves, though.
Content: (may contain spoilers)
First: A note. Viz reordered the episodes for some bizarre reason. This simple chart should explain: (Japanese # on the left, Viz # on the right) This chart was made from the facts on Animeprime's Ranma Report.
The first thing to mention is that you cannot skip directly to the menu. I understand this, but perhaps they could lay off for the last four discs?
To be honest, some of the time I spent watching this, I was mentally comparing it to the first season. In some ways, things didn't change. In some, they just got better.
For the most part, it's a continuation of the first season. The jokes got better, and things got more developed. And, of course, the opening and ending credits are different and a bit better in my opinion.
Shampoo returns from China, her heart set on Ranma. However, the WAY she returned was pure genius. Following close behind is Cologne, her Great-Grandmother and head of the Tribe. She insists on Ranma marrying Shampoo and preserving 3000 years of Amazon history. Along the way, she teaches both Ranma and Ryouga new tricks and ultimately brings them together to fight.
Mousse also followed Shampoo to Japan. He plans to kill Ranma and marry Shampoo himself. He takes the stage for two non-consecutive arcs. Can he not see that Shampoo isn't interested? Can he not see at all?
A rather remarkable arc was with the Golden Pair of skaters. Azusa is a bit of a ditz, which only adds tons to the comedy. Meanwhile, Mikado is cool and collect. I'll keep quiet about the rest, lest I give anything away.
Then there's Happosai, the master of lechery. Talk about using martial arts for personal gain...
The one thing that I did notice was that Ranma seems to be growing accustomed to his girl-half, despite his efforts to cure himself. In this box, he seems to find a few good uses for her. (One event was more of a disaster, though...)
In conclusion, I'm still waiting for the remaining boxes to be made and released....
Quote of the box:
"Did you really have to hit him 518 times?"-Akane
"...one punch wasn't enough!!"-Ranma
Sanyo 27" TV (No PiP), Phillips Magnavox Home Cinema, PS2
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Viz Media
Running time: 572
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ranma 1/2