Speaking of remiss, if I didn’t recommend Ranma 1/2, I would be a very, very bad person! Rumiko Takahashi is a comedy goddess!
I’ll say this again: RUMIKO TAKAHASHI IS A GOMEDY GODDESS! Ranma 1/2 was really popular when I first got into manga– basically everybody had heard of it, even if they weren’t reading it. But nowadays, I barely ever see mention of it. It’s all about Rumiko’s newer series, like Inu Yasha, or Rinne. But in my opinion, Ranma 1/2 blows them, and all of her other series out of the water (Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku included)!
Ranma 1/2 tells the story of a boy, Ranma, and his father, Genma, who fell into some cursed springs (called Jusenkyo) when they went to do specialized martial arts training in China. Ranma’s curse causes him to turn into a girl whenever he’s splashed with cold water, and then back into a boy when he’s splashed with warm water. Genma turns into a panda!
To make matters worse, Genma has arranged for Ranma to marry one of the daughters of the Tendou family and inherit the dojo, and brings him back to Japan to pick which one of the three girls is to be his bride.
The three daughters are Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane.
Kasumi is the oldest, a loving mother-type, destined to be nothing more than a mother in life. Since their mother died when they were young, she has been stepping in to fill the role. Nabiki is the middle daughter. Above anything, she values money and getting her way. She is sweet in her own way, and would never backstab her sisters, but she is the type to put money before love. Akane is the youngest, and an avid martial arts student. She hates boys, and is totally against the idea of an arranged marriage. In fact, she has to fight off a horde of suitors every morning before school!
When the family learns of Ranma’s “condition,” they naturally choose Akane to be his bride, and the engagement is on. Neither Akane nor Ranma are okay with it, but are forced into these roles by their parents..
Let the comedy ensue!!
Ranma is a really long series, which was also turned into a tv anime, an OAV series, several movies, a ton of pachinko games, TV specials, and even recently, a live-action tv special! Aside from the weird live-action thing, they were all AWESOME. And of course, in true comedy style, other main characters are introduced as the series continues, including a Chinese Amazon named Shampoo who turns into a cat (Ranma is deathly scared of cats), who claims that Ranma is her fiancee because an Amazon is required to marry the man who beat them in combat. Then there’s Ukyo, the “childhood fiancee” of Ranma’s (also betrothed to him by his father, in exchange for some food!), Kodachi the Black Rose, a crazy gymnast who tries to use poison to get Ranma to marry her, Kuno, her pompous brother who speaks in poetry, who is hopelessly unable to choose between the two loves of his life: Akane, and “the pig-tailed girl” (aka, girl-type Ranma). Oh yes, there’s also Ryoga, a charming wanderer with the worst-ever sense of direction, who is hell-bent on revenge against Ranma, and just happens to turn into a pig. Which Akane adopts as a pet (he falls madly in love with Akane). Or Mousse, a hapless boy with bad eyesight who fell hopelessly in love with Shampoo (he turns into a duck). That’s just scratching the surface!
What can I say other than I don’t think that I would have fallen as in love with anime if I hadn’t seen Ranma 1/2! The manga and the anime are must-sees for anyone who claims to be an anime fan. To not see it is a travesty! (And luckily, it’s available in English too!)
Here is a trailer for the anime. At the very least, give it a watch!!