Here are background information and character writeups for a game that I ran at GenCon during August of 1997, based on the manga series Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi.

Ranma 1/2 is a manga (Japanese comic book) series, written and drawn by popular author Rumiko Takahashi. Some of it has been adapted into anime (animated cartoons). Both manga and anime are currently being translated into English and released in North America at a rather slow rate.

Ranma Saotome is a teenage martial artist of the so-called "Anything Goes" school. He and his father Genma travelled to China as a training expedition. There in a remote wilderness they came upon the legendary cursed springs of Jusenkyo. Contact with the spring water turned Genma into a giant panda, and turned Ranma female. They found that contact with hot water reversed the curses, bringing them back to normal; but contact with cold water turned them back into their cursed forms.

Ranma and Genma came back to Japan, to the Nerima ward of Tokyo, to settle at the home of Genma's old friend Soun Tendo. The two men arranged for Ranma to be bethrothed with Soun's youngest daughter, Akane. Ranma and Akane met each other and were soon bickering and arguing. They have since come to care for one another, though neither will admit it even to himself/herself.

This game is based on the manga version of Ranma 1/2, rather than the anime. These are fairly similar, but there are some differences. Some of the anime storylines never happened in the manga, while others such as the Martial Arts Take-out Race happened quite differently. Other signifigant differences are:

* Ranma's hair does not turn red when he becomes a girl. The other characters who had weird hair colors in the anime (e.g. purple for Shampoo) are black-haired here.
* Sasuke, the Kunos' household ninja servant from the anime, does not exist. Much of what he did in the anime was instead done by Hikaru Gosunkugi. The Kunos are not quite so staggeringly wealthy as they are portrayed in the anime.

For those who are familiar with the manga, either in the original Japanese or the Viz comics translations, this story takes place around the middle of Volume 12 of the original release. That's about the same point in the series that the Viz translation was currently up to at the time of the game. Everything that happened up to this point can be assumed to have happened in this game, up to and including the arrival of Principal Kuno.

The various other entries in this category contain character descriptions and Hero system stats for the characters that were used as players in the game. You can use the "Ranma Hero" link at left to browse the category.