(Animated martial arts comedy series based on the long-running manga by Rumiko Takahashi)
Guest Reviewer of the Week DEBBIE says:
James made me watch Ranma one night when I was too tired to argue with him. I had my reservations as I fail to see how drawings of people are as satisfying to watch as real ones. What's more I don't think it's fair on real actors that drawings get air time (although people like Johhny Vegas and Leslie Ash prove that this may be no bad thing!) I tried to put this prejudice aside and with an open, albeit irritated and tired mind I began to watch. We decided to watch it with dubbing rather than subtitles so that I could concentrate on the animation.
My first impressions were not great - the drawings are incredibly crude and the eighties pop soundtrack a little cringe making. I don't like violent animation apart from Tom and Jerry but they are talking animals so it is comfortably unbelievable anyway, so when the episode opened with a small girl with red(?) pigtails being chased by a large panda and then engaging in martial arts fisticuffs, I wasn't terribly impressed. It seemed a bit far fetched for the panda to be there at all but he was quite cute so it didn't bother me that much. As the story panned out, the presence of the panda and the fact that the red pigtailed girl kept turning in to a black pigtailed boy were fully explained. I must say that the story (surprisingly a love story) was well plotted left me wanting to see the next episode.
I suppose the real advantage to animation over proper television is that the artist has scope to create the fantastical. The realism loving audience however have to retrain their minds to appreciate this kind of entertainment. Personally I still prefer realism as I find it easier to relate to a nice bit of Chekhov than a cartoon (oops, sorry "Animation")but I think I am now in a better position to enjoy it. I can honestly say that although I entered into this as a sceptic and have no interest in martial arts, I found Rannma really rather charming. Would I watch another episode? Yes - I already have done and although it isn't really my cup of tea, like the occasional cup of coffee, it can make a nice change.