1996 Fools: [Review][Dub] Ranma 1/2: Love Me Tendo (Kanketsuhen)

Article 232123 of rec.arts.anime:
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From: arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.anime,rec.arts.anime.misc
Subject: [Review][Dub] Ranma 1/2: Love Me Tendo (Kanketsuhen)
Date: 31 Mar 1996 22:42:35 -0500
Organization: Johns Hopkins University CS Dept.
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[Massive spoiler warnings]
Although it's a little bit late, the Viz adaption of "Ranma 1/2 Kanketsuhen",
the fourth Ranma movie, has arrived in America.  I say "adaption" for the
usual reasons; I admit not being fond of the dubs, and this dub shares _many_
of the flaws with Viz's entire series of dubs.

The movie has been renamed to "Ranma 1/2: Love Me Tendo", which I suppose is
not a bad name.  The original means "final story", but of course it never
did end up being the final Ranma story, as the manga went on much further,
so the name was pretty unsuitable.

Dubbing: My feelings about the Ranma dub are well known--everyone sounds like
a Californian.  (I later learned that the dubbers are Canadians.  I suppose
everyone sounds like a Canadian trying to be a Californian.)  Still, Viz's
dubbing has vastly improved since the first few releases, and now they merely
sound like Californians rather than Californian caricatures.

Well, most of it was dubbed.  The ending theme (Aikawarazu, ai kawaranai) is
subtitled, but if it feels a little suspicious--your feelings are probably
right.  The fansub version (by Subtitle Splash II group) does translate it,
and here's the beginning to give you a sample of what Viz _did_ to this song:

    SS2 Version:

	Why do I love you like this?
	I don't know, I don't know.

	We meet in the street but I don't know you
	We're going somewhere but I don't know where
	We bump and fall and make a mess
	And it starts to rain

	Running around the edge of the river
        A truck passes by
	We glance up and watch the clouds
        You and me together

    Viz Version:

	Tell me why I love you so.
        I just don't know, I just don't know.

	At first we met, by accident
        A chance encounter in the rain
        I wish I understood my sentiment
        I want to know you once again.

	I never knew that I loved you
	You never knew you felt the same
	A cloud of rain has blocked our view
        But now I'm here and here you came.

'Nuff said.  I just hope that Viz won't do this in the actual subtitled
version.  (Of course, with their schedule, we won't see a subtitled version
before the Macross falls to Earth.)

Plot: What can I say?  It's Kanketsuhen.  For those that have been in remote
parts of China the past few years, the plot is simple.  Ukyou is kidnapped
by an evil sorcerer.  Ranma, Akane, and Shampoo go to rescue her.  Ranma ends
up admitting he loves Akane (what, you think I'm going to tell you how?  Go
watch it) and they finally kiss.  There is an out, though: in the bonus scene
where the characters discuss the movie,  Ranma doesn't remember the kiss.
There have already been at least two kisses in the series that didn't count
for various reasons, and I would bet that this becomes the third.

Also, the ending _does_ leave poor Ukyou out in the cold, and even her
comments in the bonus segment admit it.  Ukyou is probably the worst-treated
character in the whole Ranma series in some ways; she met Ranma first, she
really loves him and he is at least nice to her, and she's one of the kinder
characters overall (not counting later Takahashi mischaracterizations).  And
Ranma and her are forever doomed to be apart by something far more
unsurmountable than pride, circumstances, or refusal to admit one's
feelings--plot device.  Poor girl.

Miscellaneous: This is the first dubbed release from Viz I've watched in a
long time.  Since I rented it, there were no liner notes, but this doesn't
matter since there weren't any liner notes anyway.  The subbed version has
them, and I miss them.

And finally, we come to the advertisements.  I'm glad that they're at the end;
they're less obtrusive this way.  Ogre Slayer looks interesting, but my budget
is running very low.

Which brings me to another point:  Anime won't have made it until we can rent
_everything_ as easily as we can rent a typical non-animated movie.
Blockbuster did have this movie, but only two of the TV volumes.  I'm only
slightly envious of those fans with 100 commercial tape collections (assuming
they aren't LD-only fans), because seeing anime that way depends mostly on
your willingness to spend money than anything else.  I don't even have the
money for a full set of the first 18 episodes subtitled yet, and most fans
either don't, or have much higher priorities.  Or better yet, show Ranma on
cable (getting it on regular broadcast TV is hopeless).  Goodness knows Viz
has enough episodes for that by now, and perhaps if they ever manage it you'll
be seeing more reviews like this.
Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu, karromde@nyx.cs.du.edu;

"An alien invader has entered our galaxy!  It has now entered our universe,
clearing Saturn...  radial velocity KMS minus 8.  It is now orbiting directly
for Earth."      --Bad American Dubbing #2 (quoting ???)