Ranma 1/2 was extremely popular among American anime fans in the 1990s, and also helped to popularize what are considered to be many of anime's most common visual gags. In 2006, the New York Comic Con hosted the first-ever American Anime Awards, and they gave anime fans the chance to nominate their favorites for various categories; the top five vote-getters for each category would be the nominees. Anime fans ended up nominating Ranma 1/2 for the Best Comedy Anime category, while the Ranma 1/2 OVA series was nominated for the Best Short Series category.
Ranma 1/2 features Ranma Saotome and his father, Genma. As part of their "Anything-Goes" martial arts training, they went to the Bayankala Mountain Range in the Qinghaii Province of China, specifically to the cursed springs at Jusenkyo.
In the process of their training, they each fall into one of the cursed springs. Genma fell into the Spring of the Drowned Panda, while Ranma fell into the Spring of Drowned Girl. When this happened, they took on the physical form of whatever drowned in that spring hundreds or thousands of years ago, and they take on this form whenever they come into contact with cold water. The curse reverses when they are exposed to hot water.
When Ranma and Genma return to Japan, they settle into the dojo of Genma's old friend, Soun Tendo. They reside there with Soun's three teenage daughters: Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane. Years earlier, Genma and Soun had agreed that their children would marry and carry on the Tendo dojo. Since Akane is Ranma's age, her sisters decide to appoint her to be the one to be betrothed to Ranma.
However, hot-tempered Akane doesn’t like this idea, because she doesn't like boys. At the beginning, both Akane and Ranma refuse the engagement; however, their families tend to treat them as betrothed. Ranma and Akane also find themselves saving each other on a number of occasions. They can often be found in each other's company and they argue in an awkward love-hate manner.
Ranma and Akane both attend Furinkan High, where Ranma meets Tatewaki Kuno (the captain of the kendo team who is aggressively pursuing Akane). Ranma and Kuno become recurring opponents. However, Kuno also falls in love with Ranma's female form, without discovering anything about Ranma's curse. During the series, Ranma tries his hardest to keep the curse a secret from the other kids at school. Over the course of the series, other rivals come into play for both Ranma and Akane's affection.
With some of the content of the series, I would personally recommend Ranma 1/2 to anime viewers who are 15 or 16 years of age and older.
|Ranma 1/2||18||1989||Tomomi Mochizuki/Tsutomu Shibayama||Kitty Films/Studio Deen||Viz Media|
|Ranma 1/2 Nettohen||143||1989-1992||Koji Sawai/Junji Nishimura||Kitty Films/Studio Deen||Viz Media|
|Ranma 1/2: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China||N/A||1991||Shuji Inai||Kitty Films/Shogakukan Productions||Viz Media|
|Ranma 1/2: Nihao My Concubine||N/A||1992||Akira Suzuki||Kitty Films/Shogakukan Productions||Viz Media|
|Shampoo’s Sudden Switch – The Curse of the Contrary Jewel||1||1993||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Tendo Family Christmas Scramble||1||1993||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Ranma 1/2: Super Indiscriminate Decisive Battle! Team Ranma vs. the Legendary Phoenix||N/A||1994||Junji Nishimura||?||Viz Media|
|Akane vs. Ranma! I’ll Be the One to Inherit Mother’s Recipes!||1||1994||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Stormy Weather Comes to School! Growing Up With Miss Hinako||1||1994||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|The One to Carry On||2||1994||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Reawakening Memories||2||1994-1995||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Oh, Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever||1||1996||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|The Evil Ogre! Hell Hath No Fury Like Kasumi Scorned||1||1996||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|The Two Akanes! “Ranma, Look at Me!”||1||1996||?||Kitty Films||Viz Media|
|Nightmare! Incense of Deep Sleep||1||2010||?||?||N/A|