Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle is a DVD box set of the third season of Ranma 1/2. This set contains a total of 24 episodes. The first four discs contain five episodes, while the fifth disc contains four episodes and the special features.
It should be noted that on the original DVD pressing of this box set, there is a problem with the second and third episodes on disc five. When you have the Japanese audio and English subtitles selected, these episodes show the subtitles, but play the English audio for both the English setting and the Japanese setting. However, this problem was corrected with the 2007 re-release of the box set.
The menus for the first four discs let you play the episodes, setup your language and subtitle preferences, or select where you want to begin watching an episode. The menu on the fifth disc contains these features, as well as an option to view the special features. In the setup menu, you can choose to watch the episodes with either the Japanese language track or the English language track, and you can also choose whether to have the subtitles on or off.
The special features menu contains five options: "Line Art Gallery," "Textless Opening," "Textless Ending," "Cast List," and "Actor Profiles." As expected, the textless opening and ending are just the opening and ending credits without the text.
The line art gallery has roughly 15 pages of model sketches of characters and locations. The cast list is a list of the English and Japanese voice actors for each character. The actor profiles are filmographies for the English voice actors.
Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle is a rather "low frills" DVD set, and the extras are rather similar to the ones on the Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts set. While these features are better than what appeared as the extras on the first Ranma 1/2 box set, I still wish an effort had been made to track down some of the English voice actors and interview them to include as extras on the sets.
This season of Ranma 1/2 definitely has more of a focus on the supernatural in comparison to the first two seasons (including a cursed bra and magic mirror). While these stories are an enjoyable viewing, the episodes are definitely a little "stranger" than the episodes in the previous two seasons.
Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle tends to run between $40 and $50 at retail. While this could be considered a little high-priced for what you get, the episodes are still worth the cost (even with some of the "stranger" stories being told this season). The series is very enjoyable for an older audience (16 and up), and really should be in an anime fan's DVD collection.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD set that my husband and I purchased.
|Ranma Gains Yet Another Suitor|
Ryoga & Akane: 2-Gether, 4-Ever
Sneeze Me, Squeeze Me, Please Me! Shampoo's Recipe for Disaster
Rub-a-Dub-Dub! There's a Pervert in the Tub
I Love You! My Dear Ukyo
|The Witch Who Loved Me: A Japanese Ghost Story|
Transform! Akane the Super-Duper Girl
The Killer From Jusenkyo
Am I Pretty...? Ranma's Declaration of Womanhood
Final Facedown! Happosai vs. The Invisible Man
|Les Miserables of the Kuno Estate|
Ghost Story! Ranma and the Magic Sword
All It Takes Is One! The Kiss of Love Is the Kiss of Death
Ultimate Team-Up!? The Ryoga/Mousse Alliance
Back to the Happosai!
|Kodachi the Black Rose! The Beeline to True Love|
The Last Days of Happosai
Two, Too Violent Girls: Ling-Ling & Lung-Lung
Ranma and the Evil Within
Enter Ken and His Copycat Kerchief
|Ryoga's Miracle Cure! Hand Over That Soap!|
Fight! The Anything-Goes Obstacle Race
Ukyo's Skirt! The Girly-Girl Gambit
Ranma Goes to Jusenkyo at Last