Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #8 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • 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:
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #8

By Chris Beveridge     April 02, 2002
Release Date: March 26, 2002

Ranma 1/2: Random Rhapsody Vol. #8
© Viz Media

What They Say
Gosunkugi, the new kid at school, is desperate for Akane’s attention and resorts to magical paper dolls that will make her do what he desires. How will he use his magic to get her to follow his command?

Then, fed up with Ranma’s insolence, Happosai finds a mystical pill that will make any disciple subservient, only to find out that it’s a spell that makes them physically attached to each other

The Review!
This volume marks the end of the Random Rhapsody segment or what was a somewhat jumbled up season 6 of Ranma ½. There’s some good stuff in here, but nothing that really sets the season apart from previous ones.

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.

The transfer here is pretty decent with accurate colors and hardly any cross coloration throughout it. There's some jaggies during camera panning sequences but otherwise a decent transfer. The source material and the way the show was made doesn't really give it a striking look to begin with, so things tend to look a little dull and slightly washed out and soft, but that's by design. If there's any kind of annoying problem it's with the old hard subtitles that just look fuzzy and incomplete at times. They do however show just how good DVD subtitles are.

The cover this time around is pure Akane fanservice, with her in those little red short shorts… jogging and bouncing and… er, scuse me. The cover pretty much just deals with the first episode and looks decent for the most part but not terribly eye-catching overall. The back cover features a lot of text with a series overview and then individual episode summaries. Production information and meager discs features are also listed here, which is a bit hard to read since they use a softened up piece of artwork underneath the text. The insert uses the back cover artwork and screenshots along with the chapter episodes listings.

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.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this bringing season six to a close, things go out with something a bit above a whimper but nowhere near a bang. Which is unfortunate as you watch these episodes and hope for something better for the Ranma series but see it confined to doing the same gag over and over and nowhere near as varied as Urusei Yatsura managed to do it.

Each of the episodes here is self contained and unrelated to each other, so it’s easy to just pop the disc in and check out an episode. Unfortunately, only one of the episodes was really worth the time to watch, but we’ll cover that one last. The disc started off with a grimace once I saw that Gosunkugi was going to be the main “threat” of the episode. With as many things that go on in the lives of Ranma and Akane, particularly at school, a boy must be deranged to even look at Akane without wondering what evil will befall him. Gosunkugi doesn’t even look apparently, and finds himself doing the strangest things to get her attention.

This time he ends up acquiring from a mysterious benefactor some paper dolls, where you write what you want the person to do on it and then slap it on their back. He ends up with a number of these and doesn’t even believe they really work through the first four, but some level of intelligence dawns on him eventually. He then starts using them to either get Ranma out of the way or trying to get Akane to date him. The show rapidly falls under the usual problems you get in the “three wishes” kind of storyline without anything innovative. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t try to break any new ground whereas something like Bible Black can take the concept of the paper dolls and have someone use them to their advantage.

The middle episode deals with some foolishness about Ryoga sending a boy who can read minds to the Tendo house so he can prove that Ranma doesn’t really love Akane. The only redeeming moment to this episode is when he looks in Nabiki’s mind and is overwhelmed with images of her lording over massive piles of gold.

The episode that did work pretty well is the last one that deals with the Happosai. He’s decided to make Ranma a proper student and has used some ancient arts to create a pill that once taken by Ranma, will cause him to be the attentive and proper student he should be, never able to leave his masters side. This of course goes all wrong and the two find themselves acting like magnets, with Happosai crawling all over Ranma’s body or just hanging there on his stomach. This creates the usual array of situations, but there’s some amusing segments such as Ukyo dreaming of her marriage to Ranma and what life would be like only to have Happosai ending up in them now.

The final volume really ends up feeling like the rest of season six in that there’s some good and some poor yet you feel like things are just coasting along. Hopefully things get a bit better with the seventh and final season.

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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