Ranma Tribe

 

The following is the cast of the Ranma Tribe (taken from Ranma ½) of Anime Survivor. It includes 8 characters that I have selected for reasons explained below, plus the series mascot, P-chan. The mascots are not involved in the challenges or voting for Anime Survivor, they're just there for moral support, plus they're cute!!!

 

Ranma Saotome

Ranma is the main character of Ranma ½. He changes into a girl when splashed with cold water and back to a boy when splashed with warm water due to an accident while training with his father in Jusenkyo, China. Ranma is a very powerful martial artist, and is somewhat arrogant. He can usually defeat anyone in a fight. However, his one weakness is his mortal fear of cats, due to the side effects of a training method employed by his father, Genma.

He is "engaged" to Akane Tendo through an arranged marriage that was their fathers' idea. If he marries Akane, he will inherit the Tendo Dojo and carry on the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. He is also "engaged" to Ukyo Kuonji and Shampoo, and various other minor characters that he knows about so far, mostly thanks to his father, Genma, who tended to offer Ranma as marriage material in exchange for food when Ranma was little. He is rivals with Ryoga Hibiki, Tatewaki Kuno, Mousse, and Happosai for various reasons, mostly his "engagements" to other characters.

The real problems start when Ranma turns into a girl. Tatewaki Kuno, who usually hates Ranma, is in love with his girl half (and Akane), whom he refers to as the "pigtailed girl". Kodachi Kuno, his sister, is in love with male Ranma and hates female Ranma. Neither of them realize that both Ranmas are one in the same, although the rest of the cast has figured it out.

Deep down, Ranma really likes Akane, so he is very protective of her and becomes jealous of anyone else who tries to get close to her. However, he also likes his other fiancees, and he has no intention of getting married any time soon. Ranma's primary goal in life is to rid himself of the curse of Jusenkyo so he never has to be a girl again.

Akane Tendo

Akane Tendo is the youngest daughter of Soun Tendo and sister to Kasumi and Nabiki. She is a martial artist, although not nearly as good as the others listed here. She is "engaged" to Ranma, although it was their fathers' idea. Deep down, she really likes Ranma, although they constantly argue. Akane tends to get jealous of Ranma, plus he does stupid stuff all the time, so she can become very violent or hurt, depending on what Ranma does. Since she is the only daughter of Soun who is a martial artist, she is the de facto heir to the Tendo Dojo until one of the daughters gets married to someone who can take over the dojo (like Ranma).

Akane is also being pursued overtly by Tatewaki Kuno and secretly by Ryoga Hibiki, who also is her pet, P-chan, due to another mishap at Jusenkyo. She is rivals with Shampoo, Ukyo Kuonji, and Kodachi Kuno because they're all after Ranma and see Akane as being in the way. Many of the episodes deal with one of them trying to get Ranma to herself.

Besides being a martial artist and having a bad temper, Akane's other distinguishing characteristic is her inability to cook. No matter how hard she tries, everything she cooks is totally inedible (except to Ryoga, who is not only in love with her, but spends most of his life foraging for food in the forest or mountains). Her inability to cook leads to many confrontations with Ranma and the other girls (Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi), all of whom are excellent cooks.

Shampoo

Shampoo is a member of a Chinese tribe of Amazon women. Her martial arts style is basically hand-to-hand, although she will employ two spherical war hammers from time to time. When Ranma was in China training with his father after they went to Jusenkyo, they came across the Amazon village and Ranma, who was in his girl form, beat Shampoo in a match. Shampoo, as was tribal law, gave Ranma the "kiss of death", a promise to track that person down to the ends of the earth and kill them. Ranma escaped and Shampoo eventually tracked him down in Japan. After several run-ins with Shampoo, Ranma as a boy defeated her in combat. Instead of the "kiss of death", tribal law dictates that Shampoo must marry Ranma. More confusion ensued for a little while as Shampoo would try to kill "girl-type" Ranma on site and chase after "boy-type" Ranma to try to get him to marry her. Eventually she found out that both Ranmas were one in the same, and she is okay with that, as long as he is "boy-type" Ranma.

After being unable to defeat "girl-type" Ranma, Shampoo returned to China and trained at Jusenkyo, where she fell in a spring that makes her turn into a cat when splashed with cold water. Shampoo shipped herself to Ranma back in Japan, thinking that he would enjoy a cat as a present. She did not realize, however, that Ranma is extremely afraid of cats, due to the side effects of a training exercise this father, Genma, used on him as a child. Shampoo is very much in love with Ranma, and will jump on him and throw her arms around him at the drop of a hat. However, when she is mad at him, she will sometimes change herself into a cat and chase after him. Shampoo is usually seen riding her bike making deliveries. Most of the time when she encounters Ranma, she runs him over with her bike, either due to her being so excited to see him or being mad at him.

Shampoo works at Nekohanten, or the "Cat Cafe" with her great grandmother, Cologne, who is a matriarch of the Chinese Amazon tribe, and will do anything to make sure that Shampoo and Ranma get married. Shampoo is a good cook who specializes in Chinese food. Shampoo usually employs tricks to try to get Ranma to herself, such as using paralysis powder, the red thread of fate, etc.

Ukyo Kuonji

Ukyo and Ranma have been friends since childhood. Ranma, however, never realized that Ukyo was a girl. Ukyo dressed up as and pretended to be a boy for most of her childhood. Ukyo is "engaged" to Ranma and has been since childhood, thanks to Genma offering to marry Ukyo to Ranma and getting Ukyo's family Okonomiyaki cart as a dowry. Genma took Ranma and ran off, leaving Ukyo behind. When Ukyo finally tracks down Ranma, she wants to kill him. Ranma thinks they are still friends. The end up in an elaborate martial arts match in a boxing ring rigged to be a cooking surface for Okonomiyaki (Ukyo's martial arts style). Eventually Ranma figures out that Ukyo is a girl, and Ukyo falls in love with Ranma. Ranma doesn't want another fiancee, but at least she's cute (he refers to her several times as his cute fiancee).

Ukyo is rivals with Shampoo, Kodachi Kuno, and Akane Tendo for Ranma's affections. She never tries anything nearly as sneaky or underhanded as Shampoo or Kodachi to try to get him to herself. Ukyo is also friends with Ryoga Hibiki, whom she tries to help get Akane, as he is hopelessly in love with her. That way, Ukyo can get Ranma to marry her. They team up several times in contests in the hopes of Ukyo getting Ranma and/or Ryoga getting Akane. Ukyo and Ranma are good friends, and he eats at her Okonomiyaki restaurant for free.

Ukyo is probably the most down-to-earth person in this series. She runs her own Okonomiyaki restaurant, called U-chan's Okonomiyaki, and is a shrewd businesswoman. She can also run her business from a cart, so any time Ranma tries to leave threatens to run off, Ukyo wants to go with him and bring her cart.


Ryoga Hibiki

Ryoga is an old friend of Ranma's from childhood. They went to school together. One day, for various reasons, mostly involving sandwiches, Ryoga challenged Ranma to a fight. The designated area was the empty lot behind Ryoga's house. Now Ryoga has the worst sense of direction in the world. It's not that he has no sense of direction, it's more like he has a negative sense of direction, if that's possible. If he is supposed to go one way, he inevitably chooses another. Ryoga will wander all over Japan for days or weeks just to go five blocks away. Because of this, Ryoga never showed up for the appointed match, even though Ranma waited for many days. Unbeknownst to Ranma, Ryoga, still hot for revenge, followed Ranma to China and fell into a spring in Jusenkyo that turns him into a little black pig when splashed with cold water. This only made Ryoga madder at Ranma.

Ranma and Ryoga are constantly fighting. They can be civil on occasion, and even have trained with eachother. However, eventually they will end up fighting again. Ranma always gets the best of Ryoga after a hard-fought battle, and Ryoga leaves on another training mission in the mountains (or wherever he ends up).

Ryoga is hopelessly in love with Akane. The attraction started out when Akane found a little black pig and made it her pet, calling it P-chan (Pig-cute). In reality, P-chan is Ryoga, although Akane does not know this. Nobody had ever been that nice to him before. In fact, Akane sleeps with P-chan in her bed and takes baths with him, which is a source of endless frustration and jealousy for Ranma, who is constantly trying to take P-chan away from Akane because he knows it's Ryoga. Akane just accuses Ranma of being mean to P-chan for no reason and usually screams at him or walks off in a huff. Despite this, Ranma never reveals the truth about P-chan and in fact saves Ryoga from turning into P-chan in front of Akane many, many times, although he does let Ryoga hang in the wind for a bit.

Some of the funniest moments in the series occur when "girl-type" Ranma, usually in some flimsy disguise, starts messing with Ryoga. Ryoga doesn't recognize that it's Ranma at first and gets into all kinds of trouble. Usually Ranma will pull some stunt so that Ryoga will embarrass himself in front of Akane, or so he can get the drop on Ryoga and beat him up.

Ryoga carries a very heavy umbrella around with him, which, along with his bandana(s), he wields as a weapon or a defense against water. He knows various special attacks and is almost an equal to Ranma for martial arts prowess. His dream is to defeat Ranma and then marry Akane. Ukyo Kuonji helps him out on occasion in his quest to get Akane so she can get Ranma for herself.

Mousse

Mousse is a childhood "friend" of Shampoo's. He is hopelessly in love with Shampoo and has proposed to her many, many times, each time to be rejected. Now that Shampoo is "engaged" to Ranma, Mousse feels that if he defeats Ranma, he can marry Shampoo. In fact, Shampoo even agrees to this because she knows Mousse will never defeat Ranma. On extremely rare occasions, Shampoo feels sorry for Mousse because of the extreme lengths to which he will go to show his devotion to her, but usually she just thinks he's an idiot.

Mouse is very nearsighted and can't see anything without his glasses. This causes endless problems, as he is constantly running and hugging someone or something thinking it's Shampoo, when it's another person, usually Shampoo's great grandmother, Cologne. He also fell into a spring at Jusenkyo and now changes into a duck when splashed with cold water.

Mousse is a master of hidden weapons. He is always mounting surprise attacks on Ranma, only to be defeated in rather short order. Mousse is also very devious in trying to achieve his goal of defeating Ranma, using such methods as kidnapping, planting bombs, etc.

Tatewaki Kuno

Tatewaki Kuno, who refers to himself as "The Blue Thunder of Furinkan High", goes to school with Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo and is a classmate of Nabiki Tendo. He is the captain of the school's kendo club, and constantly carries his kendo sword around with him. He is very virtuous and chivalrous (in his mind) and carries himself with an air of arrogance and righteousness. He is constantly quoting Shakespeare. He comes from a very rich family and is the brother of Kodachi Kuno, who goes to a private all-girls school. He is referred to in the series as Kuno, which is his family name, while Kodachi is referred to as Kodachi. This probably stems from the fact that he is called Kuno-sempai in Japanese. Basically due to respect and lack of familiarity, he is referred to by his family name (in Japanese, they use the family name first, so his name is really Kuno Tatewaki), and sempai is a term of respect for upper classmen in school. In the English dub, you will often hear Akane call him "upperclassman Kuno", which is a reference to this.

Kuno starts out being obsessed with Akane, and therefore hates Ranma, who is her fiancee (at least according to their parents). Kuno is a very powerful martial artist and fights Ranma at the drop of a hat. In fact, he thinks that it is his right to defeat Ranma and nobody else's, so is constantly stepping in the way of others who challenge Ranma to get first dibs. When Kuno sees Ranma as a girl, however, he becomes obsessed with her as well. He refers to "girl-type" Ranma as "the pigtailed girl", and never realizes that both Ranmas are one in the same. In fact, it pains him deeply that the pigtailed girl has the same name as Ranma. Despite his new obsession with the pigtailed girl, he doesn't give up his obsession with Akane. His dream is to marry one and have the other as his concubine. His sister, Kodachi, is exactly the opposite — she is in love with Ranma as a boy and hates "girl-type" Ranma.

Kuno is constantly training and will send out his servant, Sasuke, to spy on Ranma and/or Akane to find a weakness, issue a challenge, or try to set up a date. Kuno gets involved in some of the more elaborate contests, and often teams up with Nabiki Tendo (usually, she just grabs him and says, "Let's go, Kuno baby [Kuno-chan in Japanese].") Kuno and Nabiki are often at odds because Nabiki sees through Kuno's act and doesn't give him the respect he feels he deserves.

Happosai

Happosai takes the term hentai (pervert) to a whole new level. He is a super powerful martial artist who can basically defeat anyone if he gets serious. He is also the founder of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts, which the Tendos and Saotomes practice. Most of the time he is out stealing women's underwear to add to his collection. When he's not doing that, he's trying to peep at women in the public baths or trying to get a peak at Akane or "girl-type" Ranma. Many of his martial arts techniques were developed over years of peeping at women or skipping out on bills at restaurants. Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo are his disciples and spent many years training with him, not necessarily willingly, but out of fear of reprisal. When Happosai gets mad, he can cause a lot of destruction, or else he can just annoy you to death. Genma and Soun had thought themselves rid of Happosai when they sealed him in a cave many years ago, but he escaped and came back to be a constant thorn in their sides.

Happosai is very intrigued by Ranma, who is constantly trying to beat him up because of some perverted thing he did or was trying to do. He recognizes Ranma as a great martial artist (although not as great as him), but feels Ranma doesn't treat him with the respect he deserves as the founder of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts and Ranma's master. Ranma, of course doesn't treat Happosai with any respect because of the things he's constantly doing. They usually end up in a huge fight. Ranma's only real defense against Happosai is to turn himself into a girl and show a little skin, at which point Happosai comes charging at Ranma trying to cop a feel. Then Ranma can knock him down and stomp on him (often with the rest of the family or a pack of angry women who were following Happosai after he stole their underwear joining in the stomping).

P-chan

P-chan is Akane's pet black potbellied pig. Unbeknownst to her, however, it is really Ryoga Hibiki, who turns into a pig when splashed with cold water, thanks to landing in a cursed spring in Jusenkyo, China. It was Ranma who knocked him in. Akane sleeps with P-chan and sometimes takes baths with him, which is the source of endless jealousy for Ranma, who is constantly fighting with P-chan because he knows it's Ryoga. Despite this, he never reveals Ryoga's secret to Akane, who is pretty much the only person who doesn't know that Ryoga is P-chan.

P-chan is the "mascot" of the series. Many anime series have what I will call "mascots". Tenchi Muyo has Ryo-ohki, a cabbit (cat/rabbit combo), Revolutionary Girl Utena has Chu Chu, a monkey/mouse thing, Love Hina has Tama-chan, a turtle, etc. They are cute little animals that are in the series for one reason or another, and frequently show up in the "splash shots" for commercial breaks or in the credits or on advertisements for the series.

I chose the above cast of characters because I thought they'd give the best mix of personalities, especially as far as generating conflicts between other characters. I have only seen the anime that has been released commercially in the US, and haven't read the manga yet, so I only chose from what I've seen so far. Also, I wanted to include only major recurring characters, not minor characters who only show up a few times.

It pained me greatly to exclude Nabiki Tendo, :-( as she is my favorite character, but she's just too good at scheming and conniving to ever get voted off. In fact, if there is a way to make money on a deserted island, I'm sure she could do it. However, as partial compensation, you can view a great anime music video by Phade starring Nabiki Tendo called "Material Girl" (the file is 64 MB—consider yourself warned). Sorry I can't provide a direct link, but most sites don't like it when you do that. If that link is not working, you can find this and many other anime music videos at Anime Music Videos.org.

Others that I thought about including, but did not, include Kodachi Kuno, Cologne, Kasumi Tendo, Soun Tendo, and Genma Saotome. Kodachi was excluded because she's a total psychopath and annoys me. She would probably be voted off first in a unanimous vote. Even Kuno would vote her off, and he's her own brother! Cologne (that's Shampoo's great grandmother) was not included because she's just not that interesting. Instead, I included Happosai, because he will cause general anarchy going after the girls' underwear, etc. Kasumi is just too nice, and may possibly be clinically brain dead (just kidding). She's pretty clueless about things and wouldn't be able to survive any of the challenges, I think. She could cook for everyone, but there's already Ukyo and Shampoo, and even Akane (Yikes! Imagine being stranded on a desert island with only Akane's cooking!). Soun and Genma are not that interesting either. Soun cries at the drop of a hat and is fairly useless, and Genma would spend the entire time on the island as a panda foraging for food and laying about.

 

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