Anime Meta-Review


Ranma 1/2: Farewell my Concubine


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: flawed
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

A better title would have been `Ranma 1/2 : Swimsuit edition' as the female characters (of which there is no shortage in Ranma) spend the entire time in revealing outfits (I wonder what Rumiko Takahashi thought when she first saw this) to the extent that it got an M rating in Australia. The story is a largely cut and paste affair, with the entire cast shipwrecked on a desert island (urg) before the females start getting kidnapped (ug) by a young prince with magical powers (ouch) looking for his bride (gak). Of course he determines this through a `martial arts marital contest', but he should have known that anyone who gets between Ranma and Akane (not to mention the rest of the cast) is going to get hurt.

There's quite a lot of spoilers in this review, but that's fine because the biggest spoiler is that it is a complete waste of time. The english dub gets my teeth up immediately, the story is trite and the characters are not respected. Ukyo is amongst the most restrained females in the Ranma-verse, I can't see her cooking on the beach in nothing but an apron, and similar character simplification or ignorance is the order of the day. In addition there is the astounding plot flaw of the Ranma girls putting up with this. Anyone who reads RT manga (especially Ranma 1/2) knows the girls are quite capable in their own rights. Akane is strong-willed and a master level martial artist, Ukyo is probably better and Shampoo has only ever been beaten by Ranma himself...these three are going to passively wait to be `rescued'? I don't think so.

The martial arts action is certainly not going to save the day, with most of the action (save perhaps the final battle) being so abstracted as to be uninteresting. The character work is at the travesty level (although that english dub probably makes it feel worse), the story is poor, the animation average and the dialog fairly corny. The attempt to get a romantic conclusion is obvious and trite. Strangely enough some of the lesser characters do okay out of it, with Nabiki getting some good lines and she, Genma, Soun and perhaps Kuno having good voices. However the leads such as Akane, but especially Ranma and Shampoo, are execrable. Before I finally bury this I must admit that I am a fan of Rumiko Takahashi and her manga and thus might have less tolerance than most for something so divergent from that source. Still, I recommend you try before you buy this title.

There were some very average reviews in the vein of `more Ranma craziness', but the review from THEM rings true to me. I don't know where they got the opinion on Takahashi's response, but I believe it.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009