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The Legacy of Ranma ½
Taken from Shonen Sunday January, 1996
In Japan, the mourning period for Ranma ½ 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
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 ½ he's the most normal character. But what's really
abnormal about him is his really bad sense of direction. Why is he like
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 ½ 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
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 ½, including
a double-sized last episode...at 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
Soun Tendo: 16
Furinkan High School Principal: 9
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