Rumiko Takahashi


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The Legacy of Ranma ½

Taken from Shonen Sunday January, 1996

In Japan, the mourning period for Ranma still continues. The week after the last episode of Ranma in Shonen Sunday, a Ranma Memorial Section started, and has continued for several months. (Rumors of a shrine with candles in the Shogakukan offices are unsubstantiated.) Rumiko Takahashi herself, while working on a new manga feature for this Fall, has even come forward to console her fans with unrevealed secrets of the series. Want to know what would happen if Mousse got contact lenses? If Ranma had fallen half-in, half-out of a Jusenkyo pool? So do thousands of Japanese fans, whose letters to Takahashi have been answered in the Ranma Memorials. Reprinted here are some answers to those stay-awake-at-night questions.

Question: Before they came to the Tendo house, how did Ranma have any money to go to school? You never see Genma working. In the early days, when he went to school with Ryoga, he must have at least had money to buy bread...

Takahashi: Actually, you get to see a panel where Genma's working at a job (see Vol. 1). But their lifestyle is basically to find something to eat and something to wear, so they live like hunters. (laughs) When they need money, they get something and trade it in for money.

Question: Ryoga's mind seems to wander heavily from time to time, but I think in Ranma he's the most normal character. But what's really abnormal about him is his really bad sense of direction. Why is he like this?

Takahashi: In the comics, I mentioned Ryoga and his family once, but the Hibiki family all have a really horrible sense of direction. It's been passed on from generation to generation. But in Ryoga's case, since he's wandering all over the place around Japan, he has various encounters with vicious beasts and lives alone in desolate areas. The result of it is, it's his training and allows him to have the strength that he does.

Question: Those sticks with balls on the ends of them that Shampoo uses when she fights...what are they?

Takahashi: When you see Shampoo carrying it, it looks like some sort of accessory, but actually it's a real Chinese weapon. Don't you think it'll hurt if she spins it around and hits you upside the head with the metal sphere part?

Question: Just how many pieces of underwear or items of clothing does Happosai carry in his bag when he's stealing?

Takahashi: There are approximately 100 pieces of undergarments usually packed away in his bag each time. You get to see him carrying off roughly 12 bundles of underwear, one bundle of panty stocking, two bundles of swimwear, and one bundle of girls' gym shorts, so over the course of Ranma he's stolen approximately 1600 pieces of underwear.

Question: Tell me the secret of the Saotome family. If Genma Saotome had a lot of hair in the past, why did he go bald?

Takahashi: Probably all the stress. Or, possibly it's one of those hereditary things.

Question: Why did Nodoka (Ranma's mother) marry Genma? They just don't seem to be a very good match.

Takahashi: He was probably cool in the past, with all his hair and all (laughs).

In Japan there were 407 weekly (1987-1996) installments of Ranma , including a double-sized last 16 pages per installment, that's 2448 pages of Ranma. Over time, keen-eyed fans have spotted some patterns (no, not hidden stereograms if you blur your eyes together, not Satanic messages spelled out backwards...). In thousands of pages, Ranma's done a lot, enough to count out just what he's done and get the exact figures.

Number of Times Panda Uses Signs: 264


Qualifications: When the opponent is defeated and doesn't come back, or admits defeat, it is considered a win even when the other opponent can't continue to fight. If Ranma himself says "I lost," ends up passed out, or ends up in a condition where he can't continue to fight, it's considered a loss. A fight where either character runs away, or an outside character comes in and wrecks the fight, is considered a draw. Note: This counts MAJOR fights only!

Ranma's Number of Wins: 44
Ranma's Number of Draws: 22
Ranma's Number of Losses: 24


In Ranma, you've probably seen the three-fingers-up hand symbol that Ranma and other characters make when they get...bonked. But who's got the busiest hands in the series? (No, not Happosai.) A diehard fan found out how often the gesture is made in all 38 volumes.

Male Ranma: 250 times
Female Ranma: 105
Tatewaki Kuno: 48
Ryoga Hibiki: 47
Akane: 40
Genma: 30
Soun Tendo: 16
Happosai: 14
Shampoo: 11
Furinkan High School Principal: 9

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