Ranma 1/2 (Japanese pronunciation: Ranma Nibun no Ichi) is a humerous anime and manga by Rumiko Takahashi (高橋 留美子) (this can't be right, too many kanji, i know her name has only 4) about a boy named Ranma Saotome (早乙女 乱馬) who was trained from early childhood to age 16 in the martial arts.
At the introduction of the story, we learn that in training he and his father fell in to the cursed springs at Jusenkyo. Anyone who falls in one of these springs is cursed to turn in to whatever drowned in that spring 1000 years ago whenever they come in contact with cold water. Hot water reverts the cursed to their original form. Ranma fell in to the spring of drowned girl. Similarly, his father fell into the spring of drowned Giant panda.
There are four women who want to marry him, three of whom claim to be his fiancee.
Cast of characters:
- Ranma Saotome: (早乙女 乱馬) main character and best all around martial artist in the series, doesn't seem too interested in getting married.
- Genma Saotome: (早乙女 玄馬) Ranma's dad, turns in to a Panda, bit of a coward
- Akane Tendou: (天道 あかね) The first of Ranma's fiancees we meet, and also the least eager to marry him. Her cooking is increadibly bad and her demeanor is decidedly tomboyish and hostile towards Ranma, most of the time.
- Nabiki Tendou: (天道 なびき) Akane's sister, a shrewd businesswoman.
- Kasumi Tendou: (天道 かすみ) Akane's oldest sister, she's a good cook and seems to have taken over the domestic capacities of the Tendou house since the Tendo mother died.
- Sou'un Tendou: (天道 早雲) Akane's father, and old training parter of Genma's who agrees to marry one of his daughters to Genma's son before he really knows what's going on.
- Ryouga Hibiki: (響良牙) Ranma's foil, and the only character who can beat Ranma in a fair fight (as far as I've read/seen). Ryouga turns in to Akane's pet pig (P-Chan), always gets lost, and really wants to have a relationship with Akane, but is too ashamed of the fact that he turns in to a little black pig.
- Tatewaki Kunou: (九能 帯刀) "The Blue Lightning of Fuurinkan High". When Ranma enters the scene, Kunou considers himself to be the front-runner for Akane's affection. He falls for girl-Ranma, however, and never seems to figure out his identity.
- Kodachi Kunou: (九能 小太刀) Kunou's sister, she falls for boy Ranma.
- Doctor Ono Toufuu: (東風 小乃) The friendly neighborhood chiropractor who's fixing up Ranma whenever Akane beats him up. Watch out when he sees Kasumi, though, his glasses get foggy and he doesn't really know what he's doing anymore.
- Happousai: (八宝斎) Genma's and Souun's former master, Happousai is a panty stealing pervert who's about 1'6" tall.
- Shampoo: (シャンプー) Chinese amazon who originally wanted to kill Ranma because she thought Ranma was a girl, and Ranma defeated her in a fight. The tradition of her village dictates that she marry the man who beats her, and kill any woman who defeats her. Worth noting that she turns in to a cat, and Ranma has a phobia of cats.
- Cologne: (コロン) Shampoo's mother, and contemporary of Happousai. Cologne refers to Ranma as 'son-in-law', as though he was already married to Shampoo, and she knows quite a bit about martial arts.
- Mousse: (ムース) Weapons master with poor vision who wants to marry Shampoo so he must kill Ranma. He turns in to a duck.
- Ukyou Kuonji: (久遠寺 右京) Okonomiyaki chef who Ranma though was a boy (she has a boy's name), and who Genma had apparently betrothed Ranma to in exchange for a food cart, but Genma loused on the deal.
- Pantyhose Taro: (パンスト太郎) Fell in the spring of (?), named by Haposai
- Principal Kunou: Kunou's father, this very dark skinned man dresses in hawaiian attire, has an accent I can't place, and wants to give the entire school bad hair-cuts (buzz cuts for boys, bowl cuts for girls).