Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ranma 1/2 Series Set 5 Review: Why Aren't Anime Comedies This Good Anymore

Ranma 1/2 Series TV Series Set 5

The anime where the dude turns into a red-haired chick and people fight for no good reason continues to make you squeal with laughter more than any other anime. Listen, there's still fan service, if you're interested in a guy who turns into a hot chick; lots of conflicting feelings, maybe? In the latest volume we have Ranma and the rest of those who stay at the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts get into weird and wacky situations that can only be solved with violence. Ramna 1/2 is best described as a martial arts movie from the 80's lacking little plot and packing two-tons of punch, the best kind.

The latest volume has Ranma trying to beat others at nonsensical martial arts like competitive calligraphy, children's games, tea ceremony handling and eating. Yes, competitive eating is tackled, punched and hit upside the head in some of the most downright silly episodes of Ranma, who gets his head engulfed more than once. Oh, and the lady with a cooked chicken haircut made me want to give some award for anime hairstyles.

Ranma or his best gal pal, that his totally afraid of telling his feelings to and is betrothed, Akane get into trouble per usual as random strange people fall in love with them or want to fight with them. Akane gets swooped up into marrying a terrible tea ceremony master  and fighting a young girl whose skills are all based on little kid games you play outside. Making me almost poop my pants was how little kids and the Ranma cast say those little kids should just be playing Pokemon. That's no coincidence as Viz is the US distributor of the series for DVD and Blu-ray here in the US. The best episode on the disc starting with Akane being shoved in is on girl's gymnastics. The whole episode makes fun of the sport and tells young ladies to give up on  it, just find a nice boyfriend. Not me, that's episode.

"Hot Springs Battle Royale!" has all of Ranma's love triangle freneimes in a fight that one whishes went on longer. All those egos and misplaced feelings don't go well on the battlefield and it's great to see Shampoo, Mousse, Ryoga and Ukyo duke it out.

We have the utterly stupid family of Tatewaki Kuno taking up two episodes over finding out that the Hawaiian principal at Ranma and Akane's school is none other than.... When you find out the relation he has to Kuno it'll be as funny to you as it painful to Kuno.

We're introduced to the recurring character of Gosunkugi, a supernatural nerd whose anything but lucky. He, as do many, falls for Akane and tries to take out Ranma.

Get in line, Gosunkugi. Ranma is knee-deep in strange battles and new enemies and problems. One being set up with Akane's sister Hibiki as his fiancee. There's no love their after everything Hibiki does to get under Ranma's skin. It's nothing to Ranma pushing himself in a food battle. Competitive martial arts anyone? In his girl form he learns the tricks of the trade and nearly starves himself to death trying to master eating food so fast you don't even see it go in. The trick, for some, involves your mouth expanding to a size that accommodate more food. These episodes had me spitting out whatever I was drinking as faces morphed around watermelons and whole chickens. Kisses were more like watching someone gettting eaten.

Chow down on the latest episode of the series, more to come in June.

Contains episodes 93-115.

Special Features: "We love Ranma" Part 5 - We Love Collecting, Next Episode Previews, Clean Openings and Endings.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

The special edition includes a full-color art card and a 32-page booklet with episode summaries, all housed in a premium chipboard artbox!

Reviewer was given copy by publisher for review purposes