Genma Saotome

Genma Saotome is very much like his son, Ranma. He is somewhat arrogant when it comes to his martial arts abilities, which he rarely showcases due to cowardice or laziness. It was Genma that took Ranma to Jusenkyo. Because he was unable to read the pamphlet, which was in Chinese, he had no idea of the curses that existed there.

When splashed with cold water Genma transforms into a panda. When in this form, he uses signs with written messages on them to communicate. Although he often tries to rid himself of his curse, he doesn't seem to mind it as much as Jusenkyo's other victims.

Most of Genma's time is spent sitting around the Tendo home playing Go with his best friend Soun. But despite this, Genma is a talented martial artist and once taught Ryu Kumon's father half of a technique that was powerful enough to kill him. Genma often engaged Ranma to other girls in exchange for food. Like Soun, Genma was trained by Happosai and is also very terrified by his former teacher.

Genma is also married to a wonderful woman named Nodoka. Genma being the insensitive man that he is took Ranma away from his mother at a young age to begin their training, and Nodoka has not seen her son for close to ten years. Genma promised to raise his son to be a man among men, but with Ranma's curse Genma is worried that his wife will force them to commit suicide as per their agreement should Ranma not become a manly man. Genma is also responsible for Ranma's engagement to Ukyo Kuonji, but after recieving the dowry, he grabbed Ranma and left Ukyo.

The Meaning Behind the Name

Genma means "Unpolished Horse", which defines his personality quite well. Saotome means "rice planting girl" which is more of a pun with Ranma's name than Genma's.

Keniichi Ogata & Robert O. Smith

Keniichi Ogata seems to be typecast in fatherly roles. He plays Ataru's Father in Urusei Yatsura, Myoga in Inuyasha and Eiken in Fushigi Yuugi.

Robert O. Smith is also known for his fatherly characters, which include Mr. Chigusa in Maison Ikkoku, D in Project A-ko and Ranma 's resident ninja Sasuke Sarugakure.

An Introduction to Ranma