Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Watching (and reading) a lot of Ranma 1/2 th' last week or so. The TV series ends fairly strongly, in an episodic, unfinished fashion, but that unfinished character suits an episodic series - a heck of a lot better than the way they (didn't) end Inuyasha, a shounen quest show if I ever saw one. I'm taking the OAVs slowly, as it's now high summer & walking season. Better to be out and about than cooped up inside with a TV & DVD player.

But I really liked Nodoka as a character, more than I thought I would from the descriptions I'd heard over the years. She's quite sweet & even-tempered, not at all the sort of fool who you'd expect would marry someone as monstrous and worthless as Genma Saotome. Only a walking catastrophe like Genma could take someone like that & turn her into an aspiring familicide. By the end of the TV series, I had come to hate Genma Saotome with the fire of a burning sun. The heck with harmless old Happosai, with his lechery, petty larceny and fire-bombs - Genma is the true villain of the story.

Everything wretched, or wrong, or mis-aligned in the world of the Tendo household was wrecked upon it by the will of Genma Saotome. That first trip to the Cursed Springs? Genma. Ranma's serial fiancees? Genma, again and again and again. Ranma's pugnacity, inarticulateness, and incapacity to effectively display emotion? Genma's insistence on raising him without a mother. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Soun & Genma's original apprenticeship to Happosai was somehow Genma's fault.

OK, OK, it's hard to blame the evils of the Kunou family on Genma. But I'm working on it. He *did* once affiance Ranma to Kodachi, so there's that...

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