Synopsis: Ranma is a regular guy with a not-so-regular problem. See, when he was training in China, he accidentally fell in a cursed spring. As a result, whenever he comes in contact with cold water, he turns into a she. Not to worry, a splash of hot water to turns Ranma back to his male self just as quickly. It doesn't help that Ranma's future marriage has already been arranged by his father... and that several girls and guys are after both boy-type and girl-type Ranma!
Review: Anybody who goes through Animetric with a fine-toothed comb (quite an amusing pastime I assure you) will be aware that yours truly has hitherto reviewed Ranma 1/2 on two previous occasions -- first the manga series, and then the TV series. Indeed I spend an inordinate amount of time reading and watching Ranma manga and anime. Sometimes even I fear to take a cold shower, in case I turn into a pig-tailed girl, a panda, or something less savory. Anyway, before the men in white coats come and take me away, let me tell you about the excellent Ranma 1/2 OAV Series (I got the 12 episode DVD set). Overall, this is an excellent package with many moments of hilarity. It only falls short of a 5-star rating due to the inclusion of some odd clunkers. Here are the episodes therein:
Episode 1 - Curse of the Contrary Jewel
Grandma Cologne gives Shampoo a necklace that turns her love for Ranma into hate in a highly devious scheme to entrap Ranma into marrying her granddaughter. Confused? You just have to find out what it all means by watching this hilarious episode. (5 stars)
Episode 2 - Tendo Family Christmas Scramble
A rather dull episode about a Christmas party at the Tendo residence. I wonder if this one is based on a Rumiko story because I don't recall reading anything so boring in the Ranma manga... (2 stars)
Episode 3 - Akane vs. Ranma! I'll Be the One to Inherit Mother's Recipes!
Mediocre episode about Akane and girl-type Ranma competing in the kitchen... I guess it's worth the odd giggles (3 stars).
Episode 4 - Stormy Weather Comes to School! Growing Up with Miss Hinako
Now this is more I like it! Possibly my favorite Ranma episode ever! Enter the new school teacher, cute little Miss Hinako who looks like a 9-year old girlie... that is, until she absorbs the energy from other people (leaving them limp as a wet rag) and transforms into a voluptuous Vogue cover girl type of babe. Happosai is no match for her, so how will Ranma fare? Unmissable! Had me in stitches, in fact, I think I'll go watch it again right now! ^^ (infinite numbers of stars)
Episode 5 and 6 - The One to Carry On, Part 1 and 2
Lengthy arc about two girls who show up wanting to take over the Tendo dojo. Good fighting sequences. Reasonably entertaining. Can't compare to the Miss Hinako ep, of course! (3.5 stars)
Episode 7 and 8 - Reawakening Memories, Part 1 and 2
A mysterious call beckons Akane to a monster island (that is an island chock-a-block with monsters, even more than your average government). Watch out for a rare romantic ending. Good fun! (4 stars)
Episode 9 - Team Ranma vs. the Legendary Phoenix
BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Just thinking about that "Legendary Phoenix" makes me laugh. The funniest looking bird you'll ever see has made a home for itself on Kuno's head. Why and wherefore you'd better find out for yourself. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! (5 stars)
Episode 10 - Oh Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever
An amusing ep about Ukyou's scheme to break up and Ranma and Akane's relationship by suggesting that they go to a haunted tunnel of love... (4 stars)
Episode 11 - Hell Hath No Fury Like Kasumi Scorned
Heehee! A favorite of both Ro and myself. Sweet and kindly Kasumi gets possessed by a demon that makes her carry out evil acts. Still, she does them in that unique characteristically nice Kasumi-esque way. The scene where she irons the Panda's arm is priceless! (5 stars)
Episode 12 - The Two Akanes, "Ranma, Look At Me!" -
More possession! A great ghostly ep! Ranma accidentally knocks a "goddess" doll down from its perch and breaks it to pieces. It doesn't help that he does a very poor job of reassembling it. The doll is not at all pleased and plans her revenge, starting with switching souls with Akane... (5 stars)
The artwork in the OAV series is of a very high standard, but for some reason I prefer the less polished Ranma TV art better. I just find that it more closely resembles Miss Takahashi's original character designs. This is not a serious problem though, and does not detract from the fun in the least. So there you have it, possibly my last Ranma review! No Ranma fan should be without this DVD set.
Miscellanies: I think Ms. Hinako should have a series of her own!