Ever since I wrote about the troubling ways Ranma 1/2 deals with femininity, I was left thinking about the things I do like about Rumiko Takahashi’s works. One of them it’s the ways she expresses humor through her art. There are visual gags and quirks that are present in practically all her works–which might not be unique to them, but are still used so effectively. Ranma 1/2 it’s basically made of them; it helps give the story that “anything goes” nonsense vibe.
That’s why I think it’s fitting to focus on this work to highlight said gags. Although there are plenty of them that I enjoy, some certainly amused me more than others. Here are my favorites:
I can’t even explain why I like this one so much, I just do. Characters usually do this when they’re really shocked, receive unexpected hits, are sent flying or are just generally surprised. In Ranma 1/2, that’s basically all the time.
When someone get’s out of line, they often end up being kicked into oblivion. But what it’s “getting out of line” exactly? Well, by this series standards, it’s usually getting into the attacker’s nerves. Or existing, if they happen to have a grudge against you. Or being Kuno. Just being Kuno it’s more than enough to guarantee a couple of kicks.
Up and away
This one isn’t always a consequence of a high kick, so it deserves its own mention. There are many ways to send someone flying: with a powerful punch, a good push or using a ridiculously big script like a baseball bat. This gag basically says “alright, enough, get the hell out of my sight” but I’m sure you already guessed that.
In a Takahashi comedy, nothing says “how dare you” or “put yourself together” more than a good whack on the head. Like many classic cartoons, this is also used to knock people out.
It’s just another bizarre moment in Ranma 1/2 until someone decides they need more drama. It doesn’t matter where or how, a microphone will always appear for those who need it. Characters use microphones to make scandalous accusations, tell tragic backstories, add intense commentary to a fight, scream about the power of love, etc, etc. There’s also a microphone for every occasion: you’ll never see the same one twice.
Jumping surprised/scared pose
Getting the hell away from trouble
Background characters being the reader’s self-insert
Goddamn Happosai, the perverted master, getting stomped
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