Random Speculation about Ranma 1/2
This was going to have to end up becoming several pages, but... it never really got big enough. These are some of the random ideas about the show that I got from watching it. I figured if I thought something was interesting, someone else might think so too. And if not, then at least I would have organized notes.
Akane is Attracted to Girls
There's no way that I'm the first person to come up with this (or, for that matter, anything else I'm likely to post). But I have organized evidence... Let's start from the beginning, shall we?
Akane is the first person to be friendly to Ranma when she arrives at the Tendo home. Friendlier, I think, than can be explained simply by not having to deal with the trouble involved with a boy showing up. Not that Akane is normally an unfriendly person; she seems nice enough when she's not dealing with Ranma. It's just that normally you'd expect Kasumi to be the first to extend the hand of friendship, with how pleasant she always is. That, and that Akane seems, well, a bit too eager.
And then, out in the dojo, Ranma dodges everything Akane can come up with and starts giggling about it. And Akane, instead of freaking out like she normally would and seems to be about to, sees Ranma's cute face and just can't help laughing along. Then there's the bath scene. While it isn't especially unusual for people of the same sex to bathe together in Japan, they've only just met, Ranma has been rather reserved, and there's a sign on the door saying to knock (the sign isn't there in the manga, but it should still be apparent that the bath is in use). And maybe it's just me, but she seems awfully cheerful as she's getting ready to go in. And it just seems kind of odd that she was too intent on going in to consider that Ranma might not want company, or even to give any indication before opening the door (she could at least say 'hi' or something first).
When Akane finds out that Ranma is actually a boy, she's not just disappointed or even just angry, she's positively furious. Broken hopes and dreams?
And then there's the second naked encounter in the bathroom. Akane is definitely staring for a few moments before she goes into her usual rage. Far more than enough time to tell that Ranma's a girl. And she's blushing too. Could her anger be as much in reaction to her response to seeing another girl naked, or to being caught staring, as because of anything else?
Nabiki's question to Akane at the end (you were both girls this time; doesn't that make it ok?) suggests that she, at least, thinks the same. On the other hand, it could be just an innocent question, but how often are Nabiki's innocent questions really innocent?
Later on, when Nabiki tries telling Akane that a guy who changes into a girl isn't such a big deal, Akane overreacts. A shattering-the-pencil-she's-writing-with-and-going-off-on-a-vicious-rant overreaction.
Another significant scene: Early on, when Ranma is about to blurt out that Akane likes Tofu, she drags him off to school at full speed, not stopping until they get there and not noticing that Ranma gets splashed along the way. No big deal, until they stop and Akane notices. Having already noticed the change, Akane then practically rips open Ranma's top. It even looks like she's staring, until most of the male population of the school interrupts. And Akane then has the nerve to yell at Ranma for having her shirt hanging open...
I can't think of any specific incidents to reference, but Akane has even groped Ranma on numerous occassions. I'm sure she'd say it's as some sort of punishment, but really, now...
...more evidence coming...?
Being Half-Girl Isn't All That Bad...
...and even Ranma realizes it at least occasionally. Hey, if being female is good enough for about half of humanity...
I haven't written much on this one yet or added any pictures, but just watch Ranma when she's not actively whining about how horrible it is. It happens more often than Ranma is ever likely to admit... And free food is always a nice bonus. Besides that, Ranma becomes increasingly likely to change sex voluntarily as the series progresses, though it's usually for a specific purpose like fooling Ryoga or sneaking in somewhere boys aren't supposed to go. And as far as martial arts goes, though Ranma seems to think that being a girl is a disadvantage, it's only once (that I know of) actually been a problem. During the fight with Mousse in S2E8, Ranma forgets that her legs aren't quite as long that way, but that seems to be more an error of judgment than anything else. On the other hand, Ranma (despite claims to the contrary) doesn't seem to be any weaker, and is most definitely faster, which complements Ranma's style better than raw strength anyway. Plus there's the advantage of a few built-in distractions, especially effective against people like Happosai, who often completely lose their concentration, and it's not like Ranma has any shame.
I think the main problem here, as far as the possibility of acceptance goes, is that Ranma places far too much importance on Being A Real Man as a primary aspect of his identity. This takes turning into a girl, even temporarily, from inconvenience to Soul-Crushing Failure, at least in Ranma's mind. In a way, though, the strength of his obsession with winning works out to an advantage here, since it has a history of making him forget about his masculinity issues when turning female works to his advantage in a competition... at least until the competition ends, and then self-loathing tends to rear its head. Even that increasingly seems to come more from the notion that he should feel disturbed than from actually feeling disturbed, or perhaps disgust at not feeling that way when he thinks he should. It doesn't help that Ranma appears to have some very backwards ideas about what it means to be a girl—and, for that matter, what it means to be a boy.
...more evidence coming...?
Ryoga is Perversely Attracted to Ranma
Ever notice how easily Ryoga is fooled every single time Ranma comes up to him in a not-so-clever disguise? And nine times out of ten, he's amorous, too... I don't think that's just a coincidence. He'll even forget about Akane for a while. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if 99% of the male fans of the series were perversely attracted to Ranma, too. Not to mention pretty much all the other male characters, though it's not perverse if they don't know any better.
...more evidence coming...?
Unsolved Mysteries...or just things my overactive imagination has thought about...
- 呪泉境 (Jusenkyou) curse mechanics:
- How much water does it take to trigger a form change?
- How concentrated or pure does the water have to be? Would a thick mist work? Or something like hot coffee?
- How hot is "hot", and how cool is "cool"?
- Is there a transition temperature range that has the same effect regardless of current form (either always causing a change or never causing a change)?
- What if a cursed person were hit with cold and hot water at the same time, maybe on different parts of the body?
- Is there a way to increase control over when a change does or doesn't occur, without entirely removing or blocking the curse? In other words, can an affected person learn to resist changing in water? How about a way to be able to change at will? That would be handy... it would make things less problematic—and therefore less dramatic for the characters, but being able to change between two (or more) forms at will... oh, the possibilites...
- If a cursed person dies, do they revert to their natural form?
- If not, does the curse effect linger after death (i.e., will the body change forms when wet)? Yes, it's a bit morbid, but it's a legitimate question.
- How could Kuno and Kodachi be so clueless about Ranma and Ranma? How could Akane possibly be so clueless about Ryoga and P-Chan? Does part of the curse make it almost impossible to figure out without either being clearly told (and we all know how open and honest everyone is ;-P ) or actually seeing the transformation take place?
- How did Ryoga find out that Ranma was going to Furinkan High School? Even Ranma didn't know about that ahead of time...
- Besides Genma's time as Tofu's assistant, and Ranma's brief stint as a waitress and occasional tournament prizes, is Nabiki the only person in the house to earn (or at least swindle) any money? Between that and all the destruction that goes on all the time, no wonder they always seem to be short on cash...
- Can/does Ranma have a monthly cycle? There's been no indication of it, but Ranma has never stayed female for all that long either.
- On a related note, can Ranma get pregnant? I've heard that
Rumiko Takahashi (the creator of Ranma1/2) has indicated that she is unwilling to
answer this question, so it will remain open to discussion/argument indefinitely. Personally, I think
the answer would be yes, since there's no indication that the physical transformation is anything
less than complete. There's even a clan appearing in a late storyline (manga only? not sure) that
traditionally dunks various animals in the "girl" cursed spring, hits them with something
else to "lock" the form, and breeds with them to produce offspring with animalistic
abilities, so at the very least, Ranma ought to be as fertile as any
woman when hit with the "locking" effect. And if Ranma
can get pregnant, that opens up all kinds of related questions, like:
- Assuming having a locked form is not a prerequisite, would Ranma be locked into girl form by the pregnancy?
- If not, how would changing form affect both the child, and Ranma? Werewolves often have to worry about this issue in fantasy novels...
- What would Ranma think of it? Okay, maybe that's not so hard to guess...
- Never mind Ranma, what would everyone else think? Nabiki would probably think it hilarious, at least.
- Could Ranma become pregnant with Ranma's child? Even without medical intervention, it could happen with a little water at the right (wrong?) time, if with incredibly slim odds. The poor kid would have some serious emotional issues to deal with, though...
- ...why am I even thinking about this? Well, I'm not the only one, since there are plenty of fanfics and other things that explore the possibilities... and some of them are even fairly believable. Try a Google if you want.
- Somewhat related to that last one, how different are Ranma and Ranma genetically, if at all? Do genetics even apply?
- Am I wa-a-ay overthinking this? Probably.