Throwback Thursday: Ranma 1/2 – Jajauma ni Sasenaide

Throwback Thursday revisits Ranma 1/2, a comedy classic by Rumiko Takahashi


KWEH!

Welcome again to our #ThrowbackThursday post! Today we will be looking at a classic gender-bender romantic comedy anime/manga by Rumiko Takahashi. Yatta-Tachi presents Ranma 1/2‘s first anime opening song: “Jajauma ni Sasenaide” (roughly translated as Don’t Make Me A Shrew or Don’t Make Me Wild Like You).

Takahashi’s works have garnered many fans. It is not surprising since many of her works are unique. An earlier manga by her, Urusei Yatsura (known in the States as Lum and The Return of Lum) dealt with romance, comedy, and Japanese mythologies. Inu Yasha, arguably her most popular work to date, is an epic adventure with intricate story lines and heavily infused with Japanese mythology. Ranma 1/2 introduces the readers to the funny sitcoms of many different characters going about their day-to-day lives.

The main story element of the anime involves a fictional part of China named Jusenkyo (呪泉郷). It is a collection of “cursed” water springs that will turn anyone who falls into the spring into something else. The springs are cursed by living beings that fell and drowned in that very pool. For example, Ranma Saotome, the main male character, fell into a spring marked “Spring of Drowned Girl”. Every time Ranma gets wet by cold water, he will transform into a girl. Another example is Genma Saotome, Ranma’s father who fell into the “Spring of Drowned Panda.” Well, you could easily guess what happens next. Jusenkyo has been used as a place for martial arts training and both Genma and Ranma fell into their respective springs during a training session. The temporary solution to revert the condition is to douse the cursed ones with hot/warm water.

Jusenkyo has been used many times for comedic elements, mainly because there are many characters who become cursed after falling into the springs. Ranma is betrothed to Akane Tendo, a girl with a fiery temper and good martial arts skills. Both have been revealed to mutually like each other despite clashing personalities. However, there are also other males and females who chase after both protagonists. Male Ranma is pursued by several different girls while there are guys who are smitten with the female Ranma. Knowing this, Ranma would often use his dual “identities” for his own advantages. In addition, there are other characters that fall into other springs.

The relationship dynamic of the series is very complicated but often involve both Akane and Ranma (in his male as well as female form) at the center of the bubbles. Here is a nice love diagram by Magasantos.

Ranma 1/2 romance diagram
Ranma 1/2 romance diagram

Please note that the diagram above does not display the enmities between some of the characters.

As the series is showcases Takahashi’s artistic interpretations of Chinese cultures, it is only appropriate that the cheery opening song is influenced by Chinese songs and instruments. “Jajauma ni Sasenaide”‘s lyrics seem to have been written from someone who has some infatuations with Ranma, but not willing to admit it. Perhaps it is closer to how Akane would view Ranma. What do you think?

Remember to come back next week for more #ThrowbackThursday!

Sources: Ranma 1/2 Wikia, Wikipedia, Anime News Network, and Furinkan.com

 

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About the Author

Astra W

I am a Chocobo mug who loves puns and is driven by the thirst for nostalgia. You will usually find me writing about days past like an old person. Other than that, I usually gawk at different visual arts or exercising my fingers on games. Or napping in the kitchen cabinet.

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