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Ranma Saotome (Return of the Warrior)

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Ranma Saotome

Alias

Cub

Ranko

Age

17

Gender

Male

Fighting Style

Anything Goes Martial Arts Various other "martial arts" styles against specific opponents Umisenken (later sealed

Occupation

Martial artist

High school student

Affiliation

Tendo dojo, School of the Fang (former)

Ranma Saotome (早乙女乱馬, Saotome Ranma) is the protagonist and title character of. Ranma can mean "chaotic" or "reckless horse" or "a tangled thread". Saotome means "rice-planting girl".

AppearanceEdit

Ranma can be considered of about "average" height compared to his fellow characters who are of the same age, as most of them are also around the same height, although Akane Tendo and several of the other females are slightly shorter than him, while Tatewaki Kuno is taller. His female form is shorter than his male form and close in height to Akane. It has been revealed more than once than the female form has a larger bust size and smaller hip size than Akane, which has infuriated the latter whenever Ranma has pointed it out. Later in the it is revealed that both their bust sizes increased, with female Ranma's breasts still staying larger.

Ranma's most recognizable physical trait is his trademark pigtail, although before he was cursed he wore it instead as a ponytail. Male Ranma has black hair while his female form has red hair. Ranma favors Chinese-style clothing in the form of long-sleeved, short-sleeved, or sleeveless shirts of various colors, black pants, and slip on shoes. This has served him well when changing into his cursed form or back. Ranma has his own gi which he will occasionally don specifically for learning a new technique. He wore a gakuran at his former school that he attended with Ryoga Hibiki, but is able to get away with not wearing the one required for boys at Furinkan High School. He also wears a tank top, either as a undershirt or not, and when he "dresses up", will usually put on a Mao suit, including the signature cap with a star in front. However he has also dressed in Western formal wear on a few occasions. Ranma has worn a wider variety of outfits in his female form than in his male form. She will dress in women's clothing voluntarily depending on the circumstances, usually in order to get something she wants, but also when she has to. In several instances however Ranma has involuntarily transformed back into a male while dressed as a woman.

PersonalityEdit

Ranma's personality is a mixture of nice, clean-cut, frank, energetic, indecisive, stubborn, picky, stingy and sly. Under normal circumstances, he is fairly carefree and generally friendly to those around him. However, he also lacks experience in social situations and frequently speaks and acts without considering the consequences, or the feelings of others. He sometimes insults people by gloating about inflated perceptions of his prowess, or taunting them about their perceived flaws. 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 lech", Ryoga "clueless moron" or "sucker", Nabiki "heartless bitch", or Pantyhose Taro "pantyhose guy".

For this same reason, it is 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. While he occasionally blames others for his problems, Ranma has sporadically taken responsibility for matters not mainly his fault, such as when Akane's hair was accidentally chopped off during his first fight with Ryoga, or trying to soothe Ukyo's rage at being left behind.

He takes great pride in his prowess as a martial artist and occasionally brags about it. Although he frequently has the skills to back it up, his overconfidence can also lead to trouble. Ranma tends to rely on direct tactics and planning, but he is adept at learning from his mistakes in a fight and generally takes advantage of an opponent's weaknesses during a later encounter. He will not back down from a challenge during very serious situations, or when his pride has been wounded, even if he is completely outmatched and unsure of how to overcome an opponent. Despite this, he will apparently refuse a match if he considers the opponent to be too ridiculous, given that female Ranma tried to withdraw when set up to fight the monkey Sanae in "martial arts tea ceremony". Apparently Ranma takes pride in his strength, skills and basically being a man, while in female form she takes pride in her beauty, but still takes her pride as a martial artist seriously.

His pride recurrently results in him being unable to accept defeat, and becoming preoccupied with trying to win the next skirmish against his foe. He also has a prominent petty side to his character which manifests itself in these situations. If he's repeatedly defeated, humbled or otherwise feels humiliated, he takes it personally, howling statements of revenge at the moon or even crying on the floor. He will frequently stoop to trickery or cheating in the rematch. Among many examples, he couldn't stand seeing Akane become more powerful through the use of super-strength soba. Nabiki and Kasumi both observed that he held a big grudge after she turned back to normal, which he satisfied through gloating while repeatedly defeating her in arm-wrestling. He was also willing to 'feign' love for her strictly to get rid of a similarly enhancing sentient battle-dougi, in part because he couldn't stand the thought of her being more skilled than him, and also because it was a severe nuisance that was literally coming between them between them.

 

He frequently uses insults, violence, or harebrained schemes when dealing with those who upset him, usually worsening the problem instead of solving it. But while his cunning generally lacks finesse, he generally makes an effort to try to avoid conflict through the use of disguises, trickery, and theatrics. Sometimes, he has attempted to use reasoning and diplomacy, to no avail. On one occasion, Ranma even set up a play in an effort to convince Happosai to change Taro's name. He has also attempted to haggle with Nabiki, clumsily tried to make her lose her eternal self-control by sifting through her room for potentially embarrassing letters, or feigned love for her, Shampoo, Ryoga, Tsubasa, and Akane under certain odd or extreme circumstances. However, his straightforward schemes and sleight-of-hand are usually effortlessly countered by more devious characters such as Nabiki, Cologne, Shampoo or Taro. Perhaps most prominently, he routinely uses his shapely female form, combined with a fabricated innocent persona, to convince hormonal boys to treat him to food, or buy something he is attempting to sell. Ranma also does this to set up simple traps for Happosai or as part of schemes to fool, make fun of, or play with Ryoga's feelings.

On several occasions, he has stated that he sees it as a martial artists' duty to protect normal people from monsters, the supernatural and similar threats, and has saved bystanders in danger of getting hurt. He has protected all of his fiancees at different times, and has even rescued enemies, such as Herb, who was trying to kill him.

Ranma apparently has limited respect for suspicious or obnoxious authority figures, such as his father, his teacher Hinako Ninomiya, or Principal Kuno. He is rather irresponsible, and usually doesn't display much interest in academics. He often skips school, flouts the regulations when he does attend, and otherwise dodges situations that don't involve martial arts or his personal interests. Other examples include juggling his various paramours and fighting tooth and nail against Hinako's attempts to give him private tutoring in English. His willingness to fight back against the Principal 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 a low tolerance for people who try to steal from him, manipulate him, or otherwise treat him very badly, such as Nabiki or Happosai. At the same time, he can also be very forgiving and usually doesn't seem to stay mad for very long. For instance, despite that Herb severely tormented him out of sheer malevolence, he still opted to save Herb's life. Ranma has also made efforts to help out Kuno or Mousse, and refrained from seeking revenge against the Phoenix people after his conflict with Saffron. While his father frequently stole his food when he was small, and subjected him to the Cat-Fist technique, he usually just seems mildly irritated, but he has also been vengeful at times, repeatedly beating up Genma upon learning that he had become superior to his father in general hand-to-hand sparring. He has reacted in a similarly harsh manner whenever the Genma interfered with the reunion of Ranma and his mother.

 

Ranma's speech is casual and unrefined, using a coarse form of Japanese. He rarely uses -san, -kun, -chan or any other traditional Japanese honorifics. He does use -sempai (elder student) for Kuno, but that is more for sarcasm. Others he uses honorifics for include his benefactor Soun (Ojisan or "Uncle"), his childhood friend Ukyo (Ucchan), the considerate Kasumi (usually -san), and even Ojiisan and Obaasan for Happosai and Cologne when he's not mad at them. And while Akane usually uses honorifics for other people, she rarely addresses him with one. This is amusing since it would denote that the two are particularly intimate with each other.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

 The only son of Genma and Nodoka Saotome, Ranma was taken from his home by his father when approximately 2 years old to begin a 13-14-year training trip to perfect his skills in the martial arts. Genma was only able to convince his wife to let them go by promising him to raise his son as a "man among men" upon pain of death for both of them. He signed a pledge and had his infant son sign it via hand print. However Ranma remained ignorant of his pledge for years and did not learn of it until his mother resurfaced in his life and Genma prevented them from meeting face to face due to his curse.

 

While he was still a child, he befriended Ukyo Kuonji, the daughter of a travelling okonomiyaki chef and martial artist, although he was unaware that she was a girl. Genma engaged Ranma to Ukyo in exchange for her father's food cart, but he abandoned Ukyo and ran off with the cart without ever telling Ranma about the engagement or correcting him about Ukyo's real gender.

At one point Ranma went to the School of the Fang in order to get over his fear of cats, and to master the cat-fist. While mastering the cat-fist Ranma found himself in a weird semi-conscious state of mind a lot of the time. he had to continue being in that state of mind until he could finally become fully in control of himself while using the cat-fist. However, he and a training partner Leon Max were sparring one day without any supervision and he lost what little hold over the cat-fist he had in the middle of it and almost killed Lee. After that Ranma left the ‘School of the Fang’ and decided to stop trying to incorporate the cat-fist into his style.

Later, near the end of the trip, Genma took Ranma to a training ground in China named Jusenkyo that few people used due to the springs being cursed. Falling into them would transform a person into whatever first fell into it and drowned. Not knowing this, and not having the patience to listen to a warning from the local guide, Genma attempted to train with Ranma atop the bamboo poles which jutted up out of the pools. When Ranma knocked Genma into Shonmaoniichuan/"Spring of 'Drowned' Panda", he was surprised to watch a panda emerge from the pond and leap onto one of the poles. Genma, now cursed, was able to hit Ranma into Nyannichuan (Niángníquán 娘溺泉), or the "Spring of 'Drowned' Girl". Thus he turns into a female version of his original form when splashed with cold water, which is only (temporarily) reversible through contact with hot water. Sometime after that he had eaten a large bowl of porridge made from Dragon's Whisker which would make his hair grow at ridiculous rates when he was a man. The cook of the porridge then gave him a sliver of Dragon's Whisker to seal the effect until it wears off which leads to Ranma constantly keeping his hair as a braided pigtail even after the effects wore off (before the incident he tied his hair back in a simple, loose ponytail).

Ranma ½Edit

Before this incident, Genma had made an arrangement with his best friend Soun Tendo that Ranma would marry one of the latter's daughters and carry on the Tendo Dojo. After learning of Ranma's condition, Soun's daughters Kasumi and Nabiki began to insist that Ranma choose their younger sister Akane, and rationalized that a tomboy would be a more appropriate fiancee for a man who transforms into a woman. Although Akane and Ranma were initially unwilling to be engaged, they develop feelings for each other which they generally struggling to deny or otherwise avoid openly expressing throughout the entire series.

Ranma and Genma moved in as house guests of the Tendos. Since then, Ranma has endured a series of challenges from his various rivals, new adversaries, and picking up two new suitors and renewing his relationship with a former one. Female Ranma has also received a few male suitors, the most persistent of which is Tatewaki Kuno.

After receiving a letter from his wife, Genma revealed that he had promised that Ranma would return "a man among men", and that if she were to discover the truth about Ranma's transformation into a girl, they would be forced to commit seppuku. Therefore, to visit with his mother, Ranma would change 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 thwarted by Genma or circumstances from doing so. However he eventually had enough of hiding from her and was able to save her from falling into the sea, proving his manhood. Nodoka soon after discovered that he and Ranko were the same person, but accepted his curse.

KyotoEdit

After the failed weeding, a surprise meeting between his rival adversary Leon Max and old master Tetsuya Tsuki gave news of the advent of Daigo Mitsurugi, the brutal practitioner of a deadlier version of the Nekoiken. Masterminding a movement seeking to overthrow the Government and establish his own tyrannical Social Darwinist reign, Ranma comes to leave Nerima upon their planned assassination of Tetsuya.

To defeat such a foe, Ranma is forced to return to Kyoto, the stronghold of Daigo. Before departing, he first said goodbye to his mother. Along his journey, he gains the accompaniment of Kaori Ichibana, a traveling ninja of in search of a missing Ryu. Upon the discovery of a battered and bloodied Shinji Mishima, and the arrival of Lee during the subduing of Daigo's residing forces, they witness both the atrocities Daigo's accomplishments have brought about, and the possible future that would come about under his iron fisted rule. Having his ki locked clashing with Ayame Narazu of Daigo's upper ranks, and realizing his strength is inefficient enough to stop Daigo without returning to the cat within, Ranma resumes his quest with a few new friends, a newfound resolve, and new tasks to stop his enemy.

 

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