Anime DVD Review: Ranma 1/2 Second Season Box Set

Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts is a DVD box set of the second season of Ranma 1/2; this set contains a total of 22 episodes. The first two discs contain five episodes each, while the remaining three contain four episodes each. The fifth disc is the only one to contain any special features.

Ranma 1/2 Second Season Box Set
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 31, 2009

The series focuses on a young man named Ranma Saotome, who, along with his father Genma, fell into cursed springs in China. When splashed with cold water, Ranma turns into a girl, while Genma turns into a panda. The two of them move into the Tendo Dojo which is run by Genma’s old friend, Soun Tendo. The fathers arrange for Ranma to be betrothed to Soun’s youngest daughter, Akane. Neither Ranma nor Akane seem to like this arrangement.

During the first season, several potential love interests were introduced for both Ranma and Akane. The combination of the antics involved with the love interests, along with the curses that some of the characters have, drive the humor of the series.

In season two, we learn that the Amazon girl Shampoo has fallen into the cursed springs and now turns into a cat when splashed with cold water. This is bad news for Ranma, because he has a fear of cats. This new complication adds to the humor in the series. In addition, Shampoo’s great grandmother Cologne has moved to Japan with Shampoo, and together they run the Cat Café.

Another character from China arrives: a young man named Mousse who is in love with Shampoo, who has also managed to fall into one of the cursed springs of Jusenkyo. So while Shampoo is chasing Ranma, Mousse is chasing after Shampoo. Another new character is introduced this season: Happosai, the lecherous master of Genma and Soun.

This season also sees Ranma and Akane participate in a martial arts figure skating championship, Cologne teaches Ryoga a new technique, storylines involving both Tatewaki Kuno and his sister Kodachi, a production of Romeo and Juliet that goes out of control, and trouble with Happosai at the local bath house.

At this point, Ranma 1/2 continues to be an enjoyable series, and characters like Happosai, Mousse and Cologne add new elements to the series to help keep the show humorous. At this point in the series, the overall concept and the jokes have not gotten stale.

When it comes to the DVD box set, there are a total of five special features on the fifth disc: “Line Art Gallery,” “Textless Opening,” “Textless End Credits,” “Cast List,” and “Actor Profiles.” As expected, the textless opening and textless end credits are just the opening and ending credits without the text.

The line art gallery includes several pages of production sketches of the characters that you can flip through. The cast list lists the English and Japanese voice actors for each character; the English voice actors have links to selected filmographies for each actor. The actor profiles contain the exact same actor filmographies that are available in the cast list.

Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts is a rather “low frills” DVD set, although it has a little more in the way of special features in comparison to the first Ranma 1/2 DVD box set. However, over the years, I have come to better appreciate these low frills DVD box sets after learning how North American licensors acquire the materials for bonus features. In this case, it’s actually kind of impressive that the Japanese licensor provided these materials for a series that’s as old as Ranma 1/2 is. One thing I really have to applaud Viz for is including the cast list and filmographies on this set, since this wasn’t included on the first season set.

If you’re a fan of Ranma 1/2 or appreciate anime from the late 1980s and early 1990s, then you should have this DVD box set in your home video collection. As of this writing, this box set is out of print; if you want to obtain a copy of this set, you’ll need to look around at both online retailers and brick and mortar stores that sell used DVDs and try to find a good deal for this release.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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