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

Ranma 1/2 Outta Control is a DVD box set of the fourth season of Ranma 1/2; this set contains a total of 24 episodes. The first four discs contain five episodes, while the fifth disc contains four episodes and the special features.

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

Ranma Saotome, along with his father Genma, fell into cursed springs in China. When they’re 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; however, neither Ranma nor Akane seem to like this arrangement.

This season of Ranma 1/2 begins with the introduction of the principal for Furinkan High School, and he has a connection to the Kuno siblings. A woman shows up at the Tendo Dojo and has long conversations with Genma Saotome, and it’s believed this woman may be Ranma’s mother. A young man named Genji Reita becomes a disciple at the Tendo Dojo; however, he’s never seen again after the episode that he appears in.

When it comes to being chased by potential love interests, Shampoo gives Ranma a big cat bell that has a legend that a couple holding this and a smaller bell are destined to wed; unfortunately for Shampoo, there’s more to the large cat bell than she bargained for. Ryoga decides he wants to enroll at Furinkan High, and he moves into the Tendo Dojo so Akane can tutor him. Tatewaki Kuno is told by a fortune teller that he will marry the first girl he sees; it turns out the girl he sees is Akane’s older sister, Nabiki. Shampoo tries to use the magical red thread of fate to make Ranma hers. Mousse gets into a fight with Ranma over Shampoo. Shampoo’s sisters return from China to attempt to eliminate all of Ranma’s suitors except for Shampoo; if Shampoo doesn’t get married, then her sisters have to wait to marry until she does.

Genma has an adventure in the mountains in his panda form and it’s hard to convince him to go home. Also, Ryoga becomes the strongest man in the world through a martial arts calligraphy technique, and he enlists Ranma’s help to try to get rid of the calligraphy. Ranma has to deal with a loss he had with the gambling king ten years earlier. There’s another martial arts ice skating championship that involves Ranma and Akane.

After the third box set had such a focus on Ukyo, she’s all but gone in the fourth season box set. Instead, Shampoo is given a much bigger role in the episodes that appear in this set; no wonder it’s Shampoo’s face that graces the cover of the set. However, when it comes to the stories that focus on the love interests, my favorite is actually the episode where it looks like Kuno and Nabiki may become a couple. Not only is this particular story rather humorous, but it does add a whole new layer to the love interest angle of the series.

The only major character who gets introduced in these episodes is the principal of Furinkan High; he’d been away in Hawaii previous to this point in the series, which is why we hadn’t seen him previously. It quickly becomes apparent that he’s just as crazy, if not more than, the Kuno siblings.

Overall, there’s some really good episodes in this box set, and it includes several memorable stories that appeared during the series.

When it comes to this DVD box set, there are five special features included in this set:
“Line Art Gallery,” “Textless Opening,” “Textless Ending,” “Cast List,” and “Actor Profiles.” As you would expect, the textless opening and ending are just the opening and ending credits without the text. However, it should be noted that for the textless opening, it is a textless version of the original Japanese opening; the English graphic for the title that covers the Japanese graphic is absent from this version of the opening.

The line art gallery has 28 pages of model sketches of the characters that appear on this DVD box set. The cast list is a list of the English and Japanese voice actors for each character. The actor profiles are selected filmographies for the English voice actors.

Ranma 1/2 Outta Control is a rather “low frills” DVD set, and the extras are similar to what can be found on Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts and Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle. Unfortunately, these were probably the only materials that Viz could get from the Japanese rights holders; but considering how old of a property Ranma 1/2 is, I guess we’re lucky that we even were able to get this much in the way of bonus features.

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 Outta Control that my husband and I purchased.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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