Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     June 26, 2001
Release Date: June 26, 2001


Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #1
© Viz Media


What They Say
Interfere with a girl and the idealized image she holds of her papa at your own peril! Kuno's ready to give his delinquent dad the boot, but Kodachi seems to need him now more than ever. Can the cranky upperclassman put up with the indignities for his sister's sake? AND THEN: There's a new kid in town! A really creepy kid! Who puts nails into stuff. And carries voodoo dolls. And also has a crush on Akane

The Review!
Ranma kicks off with a regular release of the TV series here, but not with season one, but rather with season six to keep the existing fans interested in picking up the show. With luck, the rumor/speculation that earlier seasons will arrive in box sets will be true, but one thing definitely was realized when we watched these episodes: Ranma season six is essentially the same as the earlier stuff.

Audio:
For our primary reviewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show is mostly dialogue driven with a lot of sound effects, so the majority of it's very center channel based. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout with no noticeable dropouts or other issues. I didn't notice any phase inversion, such as what plagued the OVA release, so that's a definite plus.

Video:
For the most part, this is a decent looking transfer. Though the show isn't all that old, dating from the early 90's I believe for this season, there's a fair amount of minor print damage throughout the episodes in the form of a few nicks and some dirt. It's not terribly distracting unless you're the type who really sees this stuff in a lot of films. The colors throughout are pretty much on target, though allowing for the softness of the image that's part of the shows style at times. There's a few edge rainbows here and there, mostly in the hair and a few other areas. The other area that proved to be somewhat bothersome is the hard subtitles, which often looked a bit fuzzier and had rainbows on them. They're using sparingly, but they're in both the opening and ending credits as well as a few sign translations

Packaging:
The front cover is the focus of one particular episode, with the new student who tries to eliminate Ranma. The cover's a bit dark for a first volume, with a bit too much in the bug-eyed department, but maybe that helps sell the comedies like this. The back cover has a nice rundown of the show itself as well as the three episodes contained within, along with a few screenshots of the animation. The technical information is all nicely laid out as well. On the downside is the absolute lack of episode numbers (expected) and volume numbering (again, expected). The only way to really tell the order is from the DRRR01 line on the spine or on the lower back.

Is it really so much to put a small "vol. 1" tucked away in the corner for, you know, the fans who don't keep up with volume names?

Menus:
The main menu is a variant of the front cover that's static with the opening song playing along in the background. Selections are quickly accessed, and everything's laid out in a straightforward way. Language selection is easy and plainly visible for what you have selected. There's little to really say since there's not much to these menus, but they're quite functional.

Extras:
Not this time.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's probably been about 3-4 years since I've seen any Ranma outside of the released OVA set or the two movies. Both my wife and I are fans of it from the first season, but that's about as far as either of us ever saw, as that's when I stopped buying VHS for the most part. But we kept up with the manga, and pined for the day of watching more of the actual TV series.

In starting off again with season six, we both quickly realized that we didn't lose a lot in not seeing the intervening seasons. This is both good and bad of course. It makes it easy to just jump in anywhere and start watching and laughing. It makes it bad in that the show is essentially pretty repetitive.

The three episodes here are pretty self contained, with hardly any building upon one to the next. Hardly? Well, none. You could toss them up in the air, rearrange them, and then wouldn't know the difference. What we did notice is that we laughed through a good number of them.

Some of the old standards are here though. We have an episode that focuses on a new student whose intent on making friends, only to be screwed over inadvertently by Ranma and his usual martial antics. The new student, Gosunkugi, does his best to get even with Ranma, but ends up taking down Kuno each and every time.

And I have to admit it, I laughed every time Kuno got his butt handed to him.

The repetitive shtick for the episode though focuses on Akane and her cooking. Six seasons in and they're still harping on this? Yikes...

Another episode deals with the relationship between Kuno, Kodachi and the Furinkan high school principal, which was one of the few characters we didn't know the back-story of, so it was a pretty good episode in that it cleared up just who he was and why he's got a Hawaiian shirt and that funky topknot.

Ranma's still a fun little show for us, one that brings back good memories of a show that made us laugh 10 years ago and can still bring both smiles and laughter to our faces. It's not going to change the world or anything, but it's nice to have a good comedy release coming out on a regular schedule.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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