Ranma Saotome is a popular person known for his exceptional martial art skills.
A teenaged master of Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts, generally assumed to be sixteen years old, though no official age is ever given. Like most of the other cast members, a very contradictory character, possessing both positive and negative attributes — he can be sensitive and thoughtful one moment, and brash and insulting the next. Cursed to become a girl because of his father's stupidity, then bound in an arranged marriage he never even knew about until he was practically at the girl's doorstep, he doesn't get on too well with his father. When it comes to Akane, Ranma's lack of social finesse and Akane's mild loathing of men initially drives them to clash more often than not. But, as the story goes on, he gets to know her better and ends up genuinely caring for her as a person.
After receiving a letter from his wife, Genma revealed that he had promised that Ranma would return "a man among men", and that if he failed, they would commit seppuku, a suicidal ritual. Therefore, in order to meet his mother without dying, Ranma changed into a girl during her visit, and presented himself as "Akane's cousin Ranko," accompanied by her pet, "Mr. Panda."
Ranma made several attempts to talk to his mother without revealing his curse, to prove his manliness, but was generally stopped by Genma, and after being caught cross-dressing, he had to pretend to peek on Akane taking a shower to show his manliness. Eventually, after he saved her life, Nodoka accepted Ranma as a boy despite the curse.
Under normal circumstances, Ranma is fairly carefree and generally friendly to those around him. He has stated on various occasions that he sees it as a martial artist's duty to protect normal people from monsters, the supernatural and similar threats, and has saved bystanders in danger of getting hurt. He apparently shares this view with several other cast members. However, he also lacks experience in social situations, which makes it relatively easy to embarrass him. When faced with such a situation, he can freeze up or verbally lash out when found in highly incriminating 'amorous' positions. Nabiki has sometimes taken advantage of Ranma's lack of finesse and weak defenses against crying or emotional girls, manipulating him and various situations to her own advantage.
Ranma frequently speaks and acts without considering their consequences. He sometimes insults people by bluntly gloating about inflated perceptions of his prowess, or taunting them about their perceived flaws. For instance, he once boasted that his female form had a larger bust than Akane, despite that she was happy about her own growing bosom. Early in the manga, he borrowed Akane's overalls while his own clothes were in the laundry and casually mentioned that the waist area had plenty of room and was tight at the bust. He frequently insults the areas his fiancée has complexes about, by calling her an over-muscled, overweight, un-cute, clumsy, macho jock, violent tomboy with poisonous cooking skills. Ranma has also given other people insulting nicknames, with shifting degrees of justification, for example calling Cologne "old hag" or "old ghoul", Happosai "old freak" or "old letch", Ryoga "clueless moron" or "sucker", Nabiki "heartless bitch", or Taro "pantyhose guy", but this is also a rather frequent trait among other characters.
Ranma apparently has limited respect for suspicious or obnoxious authority figures, such as his father, his teacher Hinako Ninomiya, or Principal Kuno. His willingness to fight back against the latter seems to have gained him some respect from his schoolmates, but they have also stated a certain contempt due to his shamelessness and weird condition. He also has a low tolerance for people who try to steal from him, manipulate him, or otherwise treat him very badly, such as Nabiki or Happosai. He generally considers Tatewaki, Shampoo and Kodachi to be annoying pests. However, despite this and the more prominent petty pride, he can also be very forgiving and usually does not waste the energy to stay mad for very long, if the offense is minor, or non-recurrent and eventually doesn't bring any lasting harm.
Despite Ranma's stubborn protests and his pride, its quite clear that he's always held the strongest feelings for Akane. By the end of the manga, he has admitted to himself that he loves her, even if it was left unclear if he mustered the courage to admit it out loud. Even during the final chapter, after the concluding battle with Saffron, Ranma was unwilling to admit outright, but Akane implicitly knew it for a fact anyway. The end of the manga strongly suggests that Ranma and Akane will marry once they have sorted out their tangled personal affairs.