What’s not to love about Ranma ½? A teenage boy who transforms into a girl when doused with cold water, is already the setup for comedic gold, but when you add an awkward love story, you get a full-balanced meal.
Ranma and Akane are an iconic anime couple.
They obviously love each other, despite the fact that they are always fighting. Ranma is said to be perfect for Akane simply because he can turn into a girl. You see, Akane hates boys. And it’s easy to see why.
On their first day of school together, Ranma learns that nearly every boy in the school wants to date Akane. And because of the school’s biggest bully/idiot, Kuno, in order to date Akane you have to defeat her in battle.
Luckily, Akane is a martial-arts badass and somehow makes it past dozens of battling boys every day. Ranma’s obviously impressed, but he refuses to admit it.
The Great Curse
Ranma hails from the School of Anything Goes Martial Arts, and while training with his father in China, the two were cursed at a hot spring.
He’s determined to be one of the greatest martial-arts masters of all time, but first he has to remove the curse that transforms him into a girl. Unfortunately, there’s always some obstacle preventing him from meeting his goal.
You see, whenever Ranma is doused with cold water he turns into a girl but turns back into a boy when he gets hit with hot. His father, Genma is cursed to turn into a panda under the same unique circumstances.
The father and son duo are constantly bickering and pulling pranks on each other and it’s absolutely hilarious.
Then there’s another element to the story – Ranma’s father promised that his son would marry one of the Tendo sisters. You see, Akane is one of three sisters, and since Akane and Ranma are the closest in age, the two become betrothed.
Of the other two sisters, Kasumi is the oldest and then Nabiki. Since Kasumi is the mother figure – she does all the cooking and cleaning and is often the voice of reason.
Nabiki, on the other hand, is a schemer and is constantly looking for ways to earn money. In one episode, she sells private photos of Akane and girl Ranma to their stalker Kuno.
It’s the romance between the two that makes me love this anime so much.
The arguing romance was one of the first of its kind and can be seen in various anime since – including Inuyasha, Maid-sama, Sailor Moon – basically any comedy-romance.
Genma is always promising someone that their daughter can marry Ranma, which leads to him having many more fiancés than just Akane.
But Akane isn’t the only one with competition. We can’t forget Kuno who is love with both Akane and girl Ranma, despite seeing unfaltering evidence that girl Ranma and boy Ranma are in fact the same person.
Ryoga, Ranma’s childhood friend, is in love with Akane as well, and Ranma is constantly having to make sure that his plots to steal Akane don’t work out.
On top of all the dating drama, Ranma is always battling some competing martial arts school, and they get increasingly ridiculous as the series progresses. We see everything from the School of Martial Arts Figure Skating, Competitive Eating, Ramen Noodle Delivery, and so many more.
This anime and this couple will always hold a special place in my heart. I highly recommend leaving room in yours for this one-of-a-kind program.