Anime Soundtrack Review: Ranma 1/2 TV Theme Song Complete

Ranma 1/2 TV Theme Song Complete is a 16 track CD that includes the full versions of all of the opening and ending themes for the Ranma 1/2 television anime series. This CD was released in Japan in 1999.

Ranma 1/2 TV Theme Song Complete
Publisher: Pony Canyon Inc.
Release Date: March 17, 1999

The disc opens with “Don’t Make Me Wild Like You” by Etsuko Nishio, which was the first opening theme for the series. When someone thinks of theme songs from Ranma 1/2, this is going to be the first one that pops up in anyone’s head. Not only was it the first theme song, it was also the catchiest theme song for the entire series. When I hear this one, I can’t help but bop along to it.

Next is “Let’s Keep It Friends” by Kaori Sakagami, which was used as the first ending theme for Ranma 1/2. This is an upbeat theme song and it ranks up there as one of the memorable ending themes for the series. But this song is definitely a product of its time; sonically, you can tell that it came straight out of the late 1980s. Fortunately, I’m a fan of 1980s music, so this “dated” sound doesn’t bother me at all.

This is followed by “EQUAL Romance” by CoCo, which was used as the second ending theme for the series. This is another upbeat track, and is a standout ending theme. It’s a great song in and of itself, but it stands out because this song was later covered by voice actresses under the name DoCo and was used in the “Tendo Family Christmas Scramble” OVA during the karaoke scene. The original version also has a “dated” sound, but I don’t mind it; also, I think it’s the dated sound that helps to make the song.

Next is “Don’t Mind Lay-Lay Boy” by Etsuko Nishio, which was used as the third ending theme for Ranma 1/2. While this is a memorable ending theme, I don’t like it as much as I do “Let’s Keep It Friends” or “EQUAL Romance.” Also, between this and “Don’t Make Me Wild Like You” (which was also performed by Etsuko Nishio), I think this song isn’t as strong or as catchy.

“Little Date” by Ribbon was used as the second opening theme for the series. It’s not as catchy as “Don’t Make Me Wild Like You,” but I still like the sound of this one. This song has more of a “rock” sound when compared to the previous themes, which tended to be more pop in nature.

This is followed by “Full Of Memories” by CoCo, which was used as the third opening theme for Ranma 1/2. This is more of a midtempo song, but it works really well as an anime theme song. Both of CoCo’s contributions to theme songs for the series are very strong, and this is one of the opening themes that I really enjoy listening to. This theme song is from the early 1990s, but to me, it has an arrangement and sonic sound that almost make it sound like it could have come out ten years earlier. Not that I’m complaining, though.

Next is “Lambada Ranma” by Ranma 1/2 Choral Ensemble, which was used as the fourth ending theme. I have no idea who thought this song was a good idea, because the way it’s done makes it sound really cheesy. You hear characters saying lines of dialogue, and their names being sung before they say their lines. This definitely ranks up there as one of my least favorite theme songs from the series.

“Present” by Tokyo Shonen was used as the fifth ending theme for Ranma 1/2. Musically, the arrangement sounds like it’s influenced by Motown music from the 1960s. It’s a decent theme song, but I admit it’s not memorable enough for me to see the title and realize that it’s this song. But once I hear it, I’m like, “OK, I know this one.”

This is followed by “Absolutely! Part 2” by Yoshie Hayasaka, and it was used as the fourth opening theme. This one is a classic and memorable theme. It’s an upbeat and frenetic song, and the visuals for the opening help to make this song memorable. It’s one of those songs that I hear and I have to bop along to it because it’s so catchy.

Next is “Friends: by Yoko Takahashi (YAWMIN), which was used as the sixth ending theme for Ranma 1/2. It definitely sounds like it was recorded in the early 1990s, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a good theme and it’s catchy when you listen to it, but I admit that it doesn’t come to me right away when I see the title. But as soon as I hear it, it’s like, “I do know this one, and it’s got a catchy beat.”

“Earth Orchestra” by Kusu Kusu was used as the fifth opening theme for the series. It features horns, something that you don’t hear much of in the other theme songs on this disc. The song also has a tropical sound to it, so this helps it stand out as a theme song.

Next is “Red Poppy” by Michiyo Nakajima, which was used as the seventh ending theme for Ranma 1/2. It’s a slower song, and it’s a decent song. It’s not as memorable as many of the other songs, especially if I just see its title. However, when I hear it, I recognize it. It’s not a bad theme, but I’m not as likely to listen to it as I am to many of the others.

“Don’t Cry Anymore:” by Azusa Senou was used as the sixth opening theme. It’s a very upbeat track, and it’s one I recognize instantly when I hear it. It’s another one of those where I just have to bop along when I hear it. However, I do have to say that it does sound a little similar to one of the theme songs used for the Inuyasha television anime series, another anime based on Rumiko Takahashi’s work that was released after Ranma 1/2.

This is followed by “Positive” by Miho Morikawa, which was used as the eighth ending theme for Ranma 1/2. It’s a more midtempo song and it’s got a catchy beat. While it may not be one of the first theme songs I think of when I think about Ranma 1/2, it’s still an enjoyable song to listen to.

“Love Seeker (Can’t Stop It)” by VisioN was used as the seventh opening theme for the series. I liked this one when it was used in the series, but because I only heard one particular section of it, I had a very different impression of the song than what it actually is. By being able to hear the whole song, I could hear that the band was definitely inspired by the band Queen. The introduction of the song makes me think of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and there are arrangement choices later in the song that also have a Queen influence to them. While the song is heavily influenced by Queen, it doesn’t sound like VisioN was simply trying to outright copy Queen.

The final track on the disc is “Hill of the Rainbow and the Sun,” which was used as the ninth ending theme for the series. It’s a midtempo song that has a strong focus on piano and percussion, but it’s still catchy and memorable.

Even though the songs appear on this disc in the order they appeared in the series, I have to say that the disc still flows together well as a whole unit. And in the end, even if there are a couple of songs I may not care for that much, I still have to say that Ranma 1/2 TV Theme Song Complete is still a good collection of theme songs for Ranma 1/2.

For fans of Ranma 1/2 who want to be able to own all the theme songs from the television anime series, this would be a great disc to try and track down. By having this disc, the main music from Ranma 1/2 that would be missing are the theme songs for the OVA episodes; however, I don’t know if there’s a disc out there that would have those songs or not. If you’re interested in trying to acquire this disc, your best bet is to look around at sites that sell import Japanese import CDs and trying to find the best deal.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Ranma 1/2 TV Theme Song Complete that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

Additional post about Ranma 1/2:

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