Ranma 1/2 in the 90s became a gateway drug of sorts to fans in America since it was one of the first popular VHS titles that you could get with three episodes each since anime was still in its infancy. The show was also quite popular in all of Latin America and Europe where anime was already in the boom period pretty much everywhere else. Was it a great show or just a product of its time?
I loved it as a kid and most of my waifus came from this show as it came at the right time for me to be able to appreciate what was being shown as well as fully appreciate the humor. After watching it all I can say it is just as good as I remember if not better.
The show is not short and is rather long with 143 episodes. But even one third through I hadn’t felt tired of the characters yet. The relationship between each character is so bizarre that the show is a riot and fun to watch, everyone is so selfish in the show, you really can’t root for anyone.
I’m surprised by how fresh it kept as I only started to get tired of the show around episode 90 or so, and even then there are still good episodes between the bad ones. Some are not really that bad they’re just a bit generic and which in such an outlandish show they seem below average.
As I mentioned what makes the show so memorable is that each character has a complex relationship with each other and in a wacky way. Nothing is serious in the show and most things are played for laughs and it works awesome. There are many missed opportunities but even then they throw so much out there that you have to be impressed.
Most “filler” episodes are quite fun since the secondary characters and even anime exclusive stories are great. To mention all the characters and more of the premise of the show would be a bit long and you can get a generic synopsis in most other reviews so I’m mostly skipping it besides that most of these characters transform into other things when hit with cold water, this leads to tons of odd yet hilarious situations.
The show has two full length movies which have rather generic plots but hey at least you get a more “epic” story in them and a change of pace even if they’r enot the strongest. The show later had some OVAs or OAVs made which continue some of the Ranma stories. These are much better animated though I have to say while they’re often praised they have as many hits and misses as the show does.
Sadly the show doesn’t really have a real ending, we did get a special a few years ago and got to see Ranma in full HD. That episode is also great since this one episode it is able to use most of the anime’s tropes without feeling forced. I’d love to see the show continue since it’s so bizarre even if it’s likely a bit difficult by now.
The show gets a reputation of getting old later in the series but I disagree, if you really like the characters most of the episodes feature strong interactions between then since it’s a character focused cartoon and not a plot-driven one even if it does include some nice story arcs along the way.