Lesley Aeschliman

Anime Review: Ranma 1/2 Set 5

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Ranma 1/2 Set 5 includes episodes 93-115 of the series in their original Japanese airing order. Surprisingly, all of the episodes in this set appear in the exact same order that these episodes appeared on VIZ Media’s original DVD releases. This release also uses the original Japanese title cards for the episodes instead of the ones that were created for the English dub. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Ranma 1/2 Set 5

Ranma 1/2 Set 5

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Buy Ranma 1/2 TV Series Set 5 Limited Edition (Blu-ray) on Amazon!

Ranma 1/2 Set 5 consists primarily of filler episodes and the stranger canon storylines from the original manga. This includes episodes that focus on Martial Arts Tea Ceremony, Martial Arts Dining, Martial Arts Shogi, and Martial Arts Calligraphy. To me, the best episodes in the set are the ones that introduce Gosunkugi, reveal that the principal of Furinkan High School is really the Kuno siblings’ father, and Kodachi being reunited with her long-last father. While there were occasional filler episodes that were somewhat amusing, such as Ranma temporarily becoming Nabiki’s fiancé, the vast majority are either painful to watch or just did nothing for me. Of the five Ranma 1/2 sets that have been released up to this point, Set 5 has the weakest episodes.

This Blu-ray release includes remastered high definition video straight from the Japanese Blu-ray masters. Overall, the Blu-ray remastering looks decent on this set, although I did see an occasional scene that looked grainy or looked washed out. It’s possible that the Blu-ray masters VIZ received from Japan had these same issues, so I’m not blaming VIZ for the occasional visual defects on this set. However, I do have to hold VIZ accountable for the couple of subtitle errors that I saw while watching this set with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

When it comes to the bonus features, there are a total of five that appear on Ranma 1/2 Set 5. The first is “We Love Ranma Part 5 – We Love Collecting,” which runs for about nine minutes. It includes interviews with cosplayers, voice actors, superfans, and anime industry professionals talking about the various Ranma 1/2 items that they’ve collected. Once again, this feature places more emphasis on the cosplayers, who I don’t know and don’t really care about, over the industry professionals and superfans. Overall, I’ve been rather disappointed in the “We Love Ranma” interviews that have appeared on these sets.

“Next Episode Previews” is a continuous piece that includes all of the next episode previews that aired with the episodes that appear on Ranma 1/2 Set 5. I don’t understand why this feature is included, since the previews are already included at the end of each episode.

The “Clean Opening” includes a textless version of the opening that appears on each episode in Ranma 1/2 Set 5, and “Clean Ending” includes a textless version of the closing that appears on each episode. Trailers are also included as a bonus feature.

This Blu-ray edition also comes with a 32-page booklet. The booklet opens with a “What Happened Thus Far” write-up that summarizes what happened in the episodes that appeared on the previous Ranma 1/2 set. The majority of the booklet provides a brief summary and screen shot for each episode, as well as production credits for the original release of the series and the credits for those involved with this Blu-ray release. The booklet has glossy pages that look nice, but are a little slippery for holding when you’re reading through it. It’s still a nice booklet, though, and I’m glad to see that it was included. The set also came with an art card with a picture of Ukyo that was used as the cover picture for the Ranma 1/2 Random Rhapsody DVD box set.

The box that the Blu-ray case, booklet, and art card come in is very sturdy and looks nice. The back of the box that gives a description of the product is actually something you take off of the box after you unwrap it.

While the episodes included in Ranma 1/2 Set 5 may not be the strongest in the series, I would still recommend this set to fans of the franchise. This is the best way to get Ranma 1/2 in high definition on Blu-ray without having to pay an arm and leg to try to import the Japanese Blu-rays.

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