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Since its debut in themangaweekly "Shônen Sunday Comics" in 1988 and as an anime series a year later, Rumiko Takahashi's gender-bending comedyRanma 1/2has been a popular favorite in both Japan and the United States. The first OAV episodes make it easy to understand why: the stories blend outrageous physical comedy, absurd situations, and likable, obtuse characters with just enough sentiment to keep the humor from becoming mean-spirited. Ryota Yamaguchi's screenplays push the nutty situations to the maximum, and director Junji Nishimura keeps the action moving. School blowhard Kuno hatches a phoenix that looks more like an outsized marshmallow Easter chick than the noble bird of legend: it imprints on Ranma, causing no end of trouble. An enchanted brooch produces 180-degree revolutions in the emotions of Shampoo, the Chinese girl. When she wears the pin right-side up, she chases Ranma harder than ever; when she wears it upside-down, she detests him with equal fervor. A demon escapes after 300 years of imprisonment and possesses members of the cast: Ranma and Ryoga use their martial arts skills to bombard the monster with charms that would recapture it--if they had spelled the magic formula correctly. The filmmakers balance these absurdities with gentle moments that anchor the character relationships. When Akane knits a scarf for Ranma in "Tendo Family Christmas," it looks like it's been attacked by a flock of voracious moths. He happily dons it and hands her a gift he bought with money borrowed from her venal sister Nabiki. Not realizing that Akane's spirit has been trapped in an enchanted doll, Ranma holds it and reflects on the things that make her attractive to him. The warm moments play against the exaggerated slapstick--when Akane punches Ranma, he literally goes flying--and vice versa.Ranmafans will want this three-disc set in their libraries; newcomers will find it an excellent introduction to one of the best-loved anime series of all time. Not rated; suitable for ages 12 and up: minor nudity and cartoon violence.--Charles Solomon
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CastSarah Strange, Megumi Hayashibara, Kappei Yamaguchi, Noriko Hidaka, Myriam Sirois
DirectorKazuhiro Furuhashi, Shinji Takagi, Takeshi Mori, Tomomi Mochizuki, Tsutomu Shibayama
Genre:  Animation
Screen WriterHiroyuki Kawasaki, Katsuyuki Sumizawa, Rumiko Takahashi
DVD Release Date:  January 28, 2003
Studio:  Viz Video
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review by . November 24, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
The OAV series of Ranma 1/2 is definitely not for those who have never seen the series before. The OAVs pretty much assume you know quite a bit about the series and go from there. I would STRONGLY suggest you watch the first few seasons of the TV series before you watch the OAVs. But when you do . . . it will be worth the wait.The OAVs for the Ranma 1/2 series are exciting, are VERY well done both graphically and musically. The storylines are awesome, and well outside the standard panty-stealing, …
Ranma 1/2 - OAV Series, Episodes 1-12 (2000)
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