Monday, January 5, 2015

Ranma 1/2: TV Series Set 4 Review: Waiter, There's A Panda In My Soup

Ranma 1/2: TV Series Set 4

Viz is re-releasing a re-mastered version of Ranma 1/2, the story about a boy who turns into a girl whenever he's splashed with cold water. Ranma's Dad becomes a Panda when splashed with water as well. There is a never ending amount of love triangles and strange occurrences around Ranma and the Tendo dojo. Coming from Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of InuYasha, get ready for some martial arts action with romantic hi-jinks with people laughing like no one you know. Bwa- Hahahahahahahahahha!

Ni Hao! Set 4 adds on to the collection of strange stories that only could happen to Ranma the boy/girl and the strange people he draws in. Some of the stores bring back the regular cast of weirdos and some new ones. "My Fiance, The Cat" introduces us to a giant white ghost cat, that of course, wants Akane as his bride. This ghost cat comes back later-speaking with Meows added to every word- and takes over Ryoga's body for another episode in this collection. The dumb, change-into-a-tiny-pig, rival of Ranma, Ryoga returns more than once in this set. In probably my favorite Ryoga episode in the set, Ryoga finally has more power than Ranma and defeats him, but at a cost of looking like a complete idiot in the two-parter; "Ryoga the Strong...Too Strong" and "Close Call! P-Chan's Secret." The lovable, purple-haired cutie, Shampoo has a new evil plot to entangle Ramna-she was also behind the ghost cat coming-this time it's a magical red thread in "Shampoo's Red Thread of Dread!" This was my favorite episode due to all of the cast coming together trying to stop or help a magically hypnotized Ranma marry Shampoo. The wedding day is an all out brawl for those after Akane and Ranma's hand.

One of the best/worst episodes introduces a new enemy to Ranma in the form of the Sean Connery speaking "Gambling King." This foul villain looks like he just came out of a card game, literally. Why the old dub crew decided Sean Connery would be a good voice to mimic for him is unknown, but it makes his introduction all the better. Therefor his voice gave the episode it's so bad, it's good feel. Gambling King is out to take the Tendo dojo away from Ramna and the Tendos over a bet made by Ranma when he was just a little kid. He's a crook and to be even creepier only seems to battle with children.

Can't forget or forgive Kuno. Kuno, my man Kuno, keeps up his egotistical high perversion of wanting both Ranma (in female form) and Akane by having huge picture blown up of them and sleeping with them, the pictures that is. He almost breaks down when he believes he might also have room in his heart for another Tendo sister. 

More stories fill up the set with varying degrees of silliness mixed with obscure Chinese and Japanese folklore and customs. Battles over ancient items that cure baldness and stories of helping children by being Pandas will fill you with emotions of never trusting anyone in your family.  

The latest release in the series comes in a great gold embossed Blu-ray holder, a small picture of Shampoo to swoon over and a nice booklet. Even the Blu-rays look nice with the Chinese style art over them. My problem with the booklet is how much of it is a waste. For it's quality, it got embossed in gold too, all it features are short synopses of the episodes include in this set with one picture from the episode. What a waste of a good booklet. I'm sure a fan group or a writer could have filled those pages with something a little bit more worth it. Why not have the book give facts about the episode or characters or something?

The audio and remastered video does looks nice, but still has the 4:3 format.

For fans or those who just enjoy classic comedy anime with characters you can laugh at as their butts are kicked into the air for being perverts, there is no better a series to look into.

Reviewer was given copy by publisher for review purposes