Based on the original and enormously successful comics by
Rumiko Takahashi (creator of the Urusei Yatsura series),
Ranma Movie 1 & 2 Box Set concerns the comedic adventures
of the eponymous hero and his friends...
Christmas 2006 is coming; you can tell this by the plethora
of box sets hitting the shelves - or in the case of my local
HMV piled on the floor to create a death trap. So the two
Ranma ½ films have been re-released as a box set, which
to honest if you want to get these DVD's is a much more economical
way of adding them to your collection. Odd thing is that,
as far as I know there were three films made, so why not include
all three in this box set?
Ranma ½: Big trouble in Nekonron, China we first meet
Ranma who is a teenager adept in the martial arts, but due
to an ancient Chinese curse he changes into a girl every time
he gets wet. When a magic scroll is accidentally given to
Ranma's friend Akane, she is kidnapped by Prince Kirin of
the Seven Lucky Gods Martial Artists to be his bride. Now
Ranma and assorted misfits must travel to China to rescue
on the successful manga comic by Rumiko Takahashi (creator
of the popular Urusei Yatsura series), the book spawned two
television series, the first Ranma ½ ran for eighteen
episodes but was quickly followed by Ranma ½ Nettohen
which ran for a further one hundred and forty-three episodes
between 1989 and 1992. This film represents the first of three
films which were produced as an offshoot of the program, so
fans of the show will realise that the character design follows
closely that found in the television series.
any story that starts with an octogenarian panty stealer being
chased by a boy that keeps changing into a girl has got weird
written all over it. It doesn't get any better when Ranma
is joined on his mission by a very large elephant and his
romance obsessed owner. The comedy elements start straight
away and are of the broad type, though there are not as many
jokes about Ranma's sexual confusion as you might think. The
supporting characters are okay if a little one dimensional,
but then the film is just one example of a much wider body
animation is a little dated, which is to be expected given
the age of the film, but doesn't detract from the overall
enjoyment of the movie. With little character development,
it's difficult to care about the participants, though this
may be different for those more familiar with the long running
television series or manga comic. On the plus side both films
are brash and bright using a varied pallet of colours to add
nuance to scenes.
box set looks to be pretty much a reissue of the stand alone
discs, so if you have already bought these there is nothing
here to warrant you shelling out your hard earned cash again.
Audio tracks are English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0, with English
subtitles, though the tacks are clear and clean. The extras
include fifteen character profiles and four conceptual drawings
and a trailer section.
close on its heels is the second shorter Ranma film,
Nihao My Concubine, which was produced in 1994. Following
a rather foolish choice to take a yacht out on its maiden
voyage, the gang is stranded on a desert island. Things seem
to be going well until Kusumi disappears. Soon a number of
the other girls are also gone, each leaving behind only a
peach (really, don't ask. Just go with it), each of which
looks a little more like buttocks than you'd like. It seems
that the girls have been kidnapped by a prince looking for
his perfect bride. After an encounter with the prince, Ranma,
in his female form, heads off to the rescue. But not all goes
narrative is both peculiar and amusing. The final half of
the film, showing the brides competing to be the next princess,
includes combat flower arranging. Of course, Ranma has his
own agenda; it seems that the prince possesses a gourd full
of water that will let Ranma remain a male for good. But will
he be able to bring him/herself to destroy the spring, from
which the water originates, for the love of Akane, the object
of his hearts desire. Far be it for me to say that you could
have seen the ending coming a light year away.
the down side the fight scenes are not only overly reminiscent
of console games, but quickly become repetitive. The film
itself is less than an hour long, so if you're buying it as
a fan of the show then you're not going to be really bothered.
Audio options are the same as the first disc and the extras
remain slight with only seventeen character profiles and fifteen
pieces of conceptual artwork.
if you have decided to explore the world of Ranma this
box set makes for more sound financial sense than buying the
stand alone discs. It's still lightweight, and not the best
anime produced, but at this price it makes a lot more sense.