The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Ranma ½: Nihao My Concubine

Title: Ranma ½: Nihao My Concubine
Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: Shogakukan
Format: Movie; 59 minutes.
Dates: 8 Aug 1992

Synopsis: Kuno’s invitation for Ranma and the gang to venture out to sea aboard his new vessel turns sour when a storm leaves them stranded on a deserted island. As the girls begin disappearing one by one, the others set up Ranma as bait to find the girls’ whereabouts and rescue them. They soon discover that Toma, ruler of the island they assumed deserted, has been collecting women from all over the Pacific in search of his future bride. Who will Toma choose, and will Ranma and the others make it back to Japan alive?

The Highlights
Story: Funnier; fanservice-ier.
Plot: A bit more in touch with the premise of the story; still another random adventure.

Fans were graced with a second Ranma movie approximately a month prior to the end of the original television series. With no real relevance to the main storyline, our beloved characters are dragged through the mud once again to appease the franchise hunger. While the second movie was definitely more enjoyable than the first, Ranma ½: Nihao My Concubine did not have enough merit to be worthy of a theatrical release.

One positive quality the second movie has to offer is that the premise is slightly more believable. When Ranma and the other male victims of Jusenkyo see an opportunity to remove their cursed transformations, it motivates them to participate in the competitions and save the girls as well. Despite the length of the original television series and with the addition of two movies, and later an OAV series as well, filler stories are hard pressed to keep viewers interested. Yet in keeping with the progressing love interest between Ranma and Akane, and the continued quest for a cure of the Jusenkyo curse, viewers will get more out of Nihao My Concubine.

Fans will also appreciate the more appropriate ratio of humor and action. Big Trouble in Nekonron, China was more action based and inconsistent with how the television series progressed. The second movie stays in balance by focusing more on the humor, which is what makes Ranma entertaining in the first place. In addition to this signature element, fan service also creeps back into play. As far as fan service is concerned, I feel if it’s appropriate then by all means “service” on. Yet in situations such as these, where flashing and scantily clad outfits are added for solely that purpose, it becomes a bit distasteful and could have easily been left out.

As far as Nihao My Concubine is concerned, it will only attract the attention of those fans that have already seen the series. While the redeeming qualities of the original run are still present, including the influence of Takahashi‘s work and an outstanding seiyuu cast, the repetitive humor and action scenes are stale the millionth time around. As the relationship between Akane and Ranma in the end still rests at a stalemate, this production brought no real impact to the franchise. With another passed opportunity to give the series a more appropriate ending, Nihao My Concubine sits completely on the fence. Watch it. Don’t watch it. Rest assured your opinion of the franchise beforehand will not be changed.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: Godai

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