The 11 OVAs (6 OVAs, 2 Special OVAs, and 3 Super OVAs which are absolutely no different from each other other than the word "super" and "special") are considered to be the finest animated Ranma ½ stories by most fans. OVA stands for "Original Video Animation" and were released directly to video, and had a larger budget and less time constraints than a regular television episode. With the exception of "The One to Carry On," all of the stories were based on original manga stories by Takahashi herself. However, Takahashi did provide character designs for Natsume and Karumi, the two new female characters from "The One to Carry On".
The OVA animation is superb, the stories are taken from late in the manga when the majority of the characters had been introduced, and the relationships had progressed (somewhat). Junji Nishimura continued as director as he had done for the final two seasons of the television show, and Atsuko Nakajima stayed on as character designer. The biggest change was most likely the addition of Akihisa Matsuura who scored the first 6 OVAs. The music was decidedly different from the television show and showed no Chinese influences. Kenji Kawai returned for the final 5 OVAs and the music remained in the vein of what Matsuura had done.
Shockingly twelve years after the final OVA a new piece of Ranma ½ animation was made for the "It's a Rumic World" exhibition of Rumiko Takahashi's artwork. The new 30 minute special is based on the "Nightmare! Insense of Spring Sleep" manga story from volume 34.
Love Panic (1-6), Us From Now On (7), In The Middle of Elementary School (8), The Sparkling Sky & Your Voice (9), So Many Memories (10), Mutual Love is Complex Live (11)
The Ballad of Ranma & Akane (1-6), A Pure and Honest Christmas (7), Red Shoe Sunday (8) A Slightly Hilly Road (9), Love Vanished Once, Regrettably (10), Boyfriend (11)
Director: Junji Nishimura
Music: Akihisa Matsuura (1-6) Kenji Kawai (7-11, DoCo and The Ballad of Ranma & Akane)
Character Design: Atsuko Nakajima
Art Director: Satoshi Miura
Color Coordinator: Takeshi Mochida
Executive Animation Director: Atsuko Nakajima (7-11)
Animation Director: Atsuko Nakajima (1-6)
Animation Directors: Takuji Abe and Fumie Muroi (7-11)
Animators: Gainax (1-6)
Recording Studio: Tokyo Television Center
Click here to purchase OVA + Third Movie
October 21, 1993
The Curse of the Contrary Jewel
(Shampoo Hyouhen! Hanten Houju no Wazawai)
The story, originally published in Ranma ½ volume 22, features a brooch that makes Shampoo feel the opposite of her true feelings for Ranma. Ranma begins to panic at the thought of losing one of his fiancees, and plans to tell Shampoo that he loves her. Forseeing this, Cologne invites all his friends, so once he confesses, he'll be unable to back out of their engagement. This benefits Ryoga and Kuno as well, as they plan to sweep Akane away once Ranma makes his supposed feelings for Shampoo public.
December 17, 1993
Tendo Family Christmas Scramble
(Tendo-ke Scramble Christmas)
Kasumi has a dream that Santa Claus asks her to hold a Christmas party at the Tendo Dojo. Practically everyone from the series is invited and chaos ensues. Ranma's fiancees become jealous of one another, Akane thinks Ranma hates her handmade present, and Ranma doesn't feel like singing kareoke with the other girls. In the end Ranma and Akane get a few moments alone, and everyone appreciates the beautiful show of shooting stars which was Kasumi's present from Santa for throwing the party.
February 18, 1994
Ranma vs. Akane! I'll Be the One to Inherit Mother's Recipes!
(Ranma vs Akane Okaasanno Aji ha Watashi ga Mamoru!)
Kasumi falls ill, and leaves the Tendo home without a chef. It's a blessing when Nodoka Saotome, Ranma's mother, pays a visit and offers her assistance during Kasumi's illness. The family isn't too happy though when she offers to help teach Akane how to cook. Akane's desire to learn to cook is even more intense, because she recently discovered her mother's old cookbook. Ranma (disguised as the Tendo's cousin Ranko) decides he should help in the kitchen in order to insure Akane doesn't accidently kill his mother with her notoriously bad cooking.
April 21, 1994
Stormy Weather Comes to School!
Growing Up with Miss Hinako
(Gakuen ni Fuku Arashi Adult Change! Hinako-sensei)
Hinako Ninomiya, Furinkan High's new homeroom teacher, is able to absorb battle aura from delinquent students like Kuno and Ranma and grow into a twenty-something version of herself. Of course, Ranma wants to learn her secret, but when Happosai reveals that Ranma would never be able to execute it, Ranma takes it upon himself to strike Hinako's pressure points (some of which happen to be very near her breasts) and stop her from draining the students. Hinako winds up draining almost the entire school in her battle with Ranma before he manages to strike her pressure points. Of course Happosai never told him he would have to repeat this almost every day for a month to permanently stop her. This story was originally featured in volume 25 of the manga.
June 17, 1994
The One to Carry On (Part 1)
(Michi wo Tsugu Mono Part 1)
The Nerima district has been suffering from food thefts. Once it's revealed that Natsume and Karumi have been stealing the food because they're starving, the Tendo's take them in. It comes as a shock that Natsume and Karumi begin to say that they are searching for their father, Soun Tendo.
August 19, 1994
The One to Carry On (Part 2)
(Michi wo Tsugu Mono Part 2)
Soun becomes quite upset when Natsume and Karumi defeat Akane and Ranma for ownership of the dojo, and then after a few harsh comments from Ranma, Akane runs away. Akane refuses to give up and begins to train with Ryoga, a fact that Ranma isn't too thrilled about.
December 16, 1994
Reawakening Memories (Part 1)
(Yomigaeru Kioku Part 1)
The story was originally serialized in volume 25 and 26 and was voted in Japan as the storyline fans wanted to see animated the most. "Reawakening Memories" deals with Akane suddenly remembering a trip to Ryugenzawa when she was a small child. While there she was saved from a giant platypus by Shinnosuke. Akane travels back to Ryogenzawa and once again meets Shinnosuke, who falls in love with her. Akane blames herself for Shinnosuke's life-threatening injuries, and decides to stay and help out.
February 17, 1994
Reawakening Memories (Part 2)
(Yomigaeru Kioku Part 2)
Once Ranma finds out where Akane has gone, he becomes distraught at the possibility of losing Akane (which appears to be a possibility). Ryoga arrives to help save Akane from the Eight-Headed Orochi and is just as surprised to see Akane might have a new beau in the sickly and forgetful Shinnosuke.
September 21, 1995
Oh, Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever
(Aa! Noroi no harendou, waga ai wa eien ni)
This is the first of three Super OVAs, and was released in 1995 and is titled "Aa! Noroi no harendou, waga ai wa eien ni" (Aa! Accursed Love Cave, My Love is Forever!) . Based on a story from volume 27 of the manga, Shampoo and Ukyo arrange to travel to a cave that is legendary for breaking up couples. They hope they will cause Ranma and Akane to break-up and Shampoo hopes to ditch Mousse the same way. When Ryoga arrives Ukyo tells him what's happening and he happily joins in to help wreak Akane and Ranma's relationship. Ranma and Akane become convinced that Ryoga and Ukyo are now a couple and wish them the best, and the ghosts haunting the cave wind up attempting to break up Ukyo and Ryoga instead of Ranma and Akane.
November 17, 1995
The Evil Oni
(Jaaku no Oni)
Based on a story from volume 29 of the manga, an Oni (that wears a tiger-striped diaper just like the Oni of Urusei Yatsura) escapes it's sealed box and begins to possess people in the neighborhood. Fortunately, the demon can be expelled from its host with a punch. The Oni hops from Genma to Kuno to Ryoga and then the priest before finding its way to Kasumi. Of course no one in the house would dare to hit gentle Kasumi. Soun attempts to draw it out but fails. Finally the Oni leaves Kasumi in order to gather more power from an even greater evil- Happosai.
January 19, 1996
The Two Akanes, "Ranma Look at Me!"
(Futari no Akane "Ranma, Atashi o Mite")
This is a story from volume 31. Ranma disturbs a doll that takes revenge on anyone that shows it disrespect. In order to teach Ranma a lesson, the doll possesses Akane and tries on many occasions to attack him. Evil Akane sees that she'll never beat Ranma when his guard is up so she attempts to seduce him before she goes in for the kill. We see a very different side of Akane in this OVA with an excellent job done by both Noriko Hidaka and Miriam Sirios, Akane's Japanese and English seiyuus. They both provide a very convincing sensual side to Akane. While the evil doll controls Akane, the real Akane is transfered into the doll where she tries to seek help. P-chan arrives and realizes what has happened just in time to help doll-Akane stop Evil Akane. This is the final piece of animation for the series, and unfortunately does not resolve the overall story.
July 31, 2008
Akumu! shunmin ko
(Nightmare! Insense of Spring Sleep)
Taken from volume 34 of the manga, this 30 minute special was shown on odd numbered days at the "It's A Rumic World" exhibition in Tokyo from July 30th - August 11th. The following summary is based on the manga summary. Akane comes home with some sweet smelling insense, which piques Happosai's interest. He tries to share some of his special brand with her, but Ranma fans it in his face causing him to pass out. It seemed he had planned to molest Akane while she slept. That night, after he awakens, Happosai sneaks into Ranma's room and mixes the "Incense of Spring Sleep" intending to cause Ranma to sleep all through spring. Ranma manages to evade the fumes, but Akane is caught with them. At school Akane falls asleep and everyone is concerned that will sleep through her exams. Soon they realize that she is able to fight while sleeping, and upon reading the instructions they learn that the incense was actually designed for those who were forced to stay awake in order to evade assassins. Soon Akane begins to attack Ranma as she dreams of him flirting with Shampoo and Ukyo in a giant harem where she is being forced to serve. Everyone tries to make Akane sleep comfortably and sooth her bad dreams, but no matter what they do, her dreams seem to drive Akane to attack those around her. Nabiki arrives and offers to sell Ranma a special "Incense of Coming Summer" to trick Akane into believeing summer has come and it is time for her to wake up. The incense works, but only after everyone realizes it was merely a mosquito coil Nabiki tricked Ranma into buying.