Pretty Womanhood

The first episode on this tape is "Am I...Pretty? Ranma's Declaration of Womanhood."

Basically, in this episode Ranma gets hit on the head and ends up thinking that his female form is his real form. Ranma refers to the change as if she had awakened from a dream. Here speaking voice, her style of speech and her movements have all become feminine with no trace of her male self left (except in how powerful a punch she can throw). Ranma now abhors violence, does not want to inherit the dojo, and wants to learn about flower arranging, cooking and other things necessary for a bride.

Needless to say this terribly upsets everyone. Akane is deeply affected by the change ( there is little doubt that her attraction is for the male Ranma). The parents think only of the dojo and Happosai thinks only about getting the now totally-female Ranma to wear a bra.

In the end, of course, everything returns to normal, or what passes for normal at the Tendo dojo.

I feel sorry for Ranma and for the fact that he returns to his half/half mix. Ranma as a girl is totally at ease with herself; the mental tortures he/she has been going through end. Ranma has a definite sense of self, a new and total identify as a full female and is she is obviously very much at ease with that. The expressions of her eyes, her body movements and her speaking tone all show just how happy she is with being totally female.

This is the first time that I can recall seeing Ranma actually content, happy and at ease. Granted, for the sake of the series things had to return to the way they were previously, but at the same time I feel very sad for Ranma's loss. As a "full" female (or, had things been different, as a "full" male) Ranma is happy. To see that happiness once again ripped away from him/her is somewhat upsetting to me.

This doesn't stop me from liking this episode, though. There were parts that were incredibly funny in it, but at the same time I am saddened by Ranma's loss of a "real" identity.

(This is my single favorite episode of Ranma 1/2. To see loads of screen caps, you can go here)

The second episode is "Final Facedown! Happosai vs. the Invisible Man" and concerns Happosai's constant stealing of girl's underwear and the inability of the two fathers to face up to him, that is until they meet someone who just might have a technique which would lead to their final triumph over their master.

Or, it just might not.

Anyhow, the second episode is pure farce and is really good, making this tape an absolute must for the collector.

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