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

Ranma 1/2 Ranma Forever is a DVD box set of the seventh season of Ranma 1/2; this set contains a total of 25 episodes. The first four discs contain five episodes, while the fifth disc contains five episodes and the special features.

Ranma 1/2 Seventh 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.

The curse gets addressed in this season when the Jusenkyo guide comes to Japan in order to perform a ceremony to tap the water table that is the source of the Spring of the Drowned Man, and the location of the spring is discovered in a surprising place. Of course, since the series isn’t quite complete at this point, you can pretty much predict how this particular story is going to end.

The ghost cat makes another return to the series when Shampoo goes to a temple to deliver food, and the ghost cat traps her there. It’s up to Ranma to kiss Shampoo before midnight; but if he fails to do it, then Shampoo will be forced to marry the ghost cat and spend the rest of eternity as a cat. Not only does this episode focus on the potential love interests, but it also has some good humor in it.

A rather humorous and enjoyable episode that deals with Akane and her love interests is the episode, “Wretched Rice Cakes of Love.” In this story, Akane is given a recipe to make sakuramochi, which she is told is supposed to foretell her destiny in matrimony. She decides she wants Ranma to eat one to find out what their future is, but Ranma does everything he can to avoid eating one. The lengths Ranma goes to is rather amusing, and this is definitely one of my favorite episodes in this season.

A new character name Mariko Konjo is introduced, and she’s the captain of the Seisyun High School cheerleading squad. She falls in love with Kuno and becomes jealous of girl-type Ranma. Mariko challenges girl-type Ranma to a martial arts cheerleading competition. At this point, you realize that just about anything can become a martial arts competition; one of my favorite things is to joke about how long it would be until there was a martial arts flower arranging competition.

The Kuno siblings are in a sibling rivalry for their love interest; Tatewaki is in love with girl-type Ranma, while Kodachi is in love with boy-type Ranma. Unfortunately for them, neither one knows that girl-type and boy-type Ranma are the same person. A scandal erupts during this episode, and it’s actually kind of amusing.

Sentaro Daimonji from the martial arts tea episodes makes yet another appearance, this time asking Ranma and Akane to help him protect the golden teapot of enishi. While this isn’t necessarily a bad episode, I was getting a little sick of Sentaro by this point.

Unfortunately, this season also sees the return of Picolet and Madame St. Paul, the characters introduced during the martial arts dining story in the fifth season box set. I personally don’t care for these characters, so this isn’t an episode in season seven that I enjoy very much.

The final two episodes sees Ranma’s mother finally making an appearance in the series. As girl-type Ranma, he learns that when he was a kid, Genma had promised to raise Ranma to be a master of anything-goes martial arts, and that if he failed to do so, both Genma and Ranma would have to perform Seppuku. During these episodes, poor Ranma is so conflicted; he has to hide the fact that he becomes a girl, and yet he wants to be able to see his mother. As girl-type Ranma he takes on the identity of Ranko. Akane tries to find ways to arrange boy-type Ranma to see his mother, but Genma keeps trying to interfere.

The seventh season of Ranma 1/2 wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was the weakest of the seven seasons. Of all the episodes that appeared in the seventh season, I would have to say that the final two episodes, along with “Wretched Rice Cakes of Love” and the episodes about the martial arts cheerleading, were probably the best.

When it comes to this DVD box set, there are seven special features included: “Line Art Gallery,” “Textless Opening,” “Textless Ending,” “Cast List,” “Actor Profiles,” “Ranma 1/2 ‘Cast Wrap Party’,” and “Ranma 1/2 ‘End of Ranma 1/2 Party’.” As expected, the textless opening and ending are just the opening and ending credits without the text.

The line art gallery contains 25 pages of model sketches of the characters and some of the locations that appear in this DVD box set. The cast list is a list of the English and Japanese voice actors for each character, while the actor profiles are selected filmographies for the English voice actors.

The Ranma 1/2 “Cast Wrap Party” is a roughly six minute feature that includes interviews with some of the English cast, intercut with footage from the English dub version of Ranma 1/2. Unfortunately, the audio quality on this features isn’t very good; in fact, there’s one voice actor interviewed in this piece that you really can’t hear well enough to understand what she is saying.

The Ranma 1/2 “End of Ranma 1/2 Party” is another six minute feature from a fan party celebrating the end of the series. This feature includes interviews with some of the cast, as well as some fans; this is also intercut with footage from the English dub version of Ranma 1/2. On the one hand, I applaud Viz Media for going to the effort to include these final two special features on the set. However, I’m disappointed by the quality of these two features, especially the audio quality for the “Cast Wrap Party.”

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 Ranma Forever that my husband and I purchased.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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