A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 348 – Ranma 1/2 The Movie 2: Nihao My Concubine

Ranma ½ The Movie 2: Nihao My Concubine – February 11th, 2011

Tonight we watch the shortest movie we own. Really, according to the rules of the project, it doesn’t quite qualify, clocking in at one hour, but since the first one did qualify, and it’s labeled as a movie, we figured we’d include it. And I’m glad we did. This evening we had places to go and people to see (a very nice birthday party for a friend of ours, where we met many people and talked movies) and knew we wouldn’t get home until late. It seemed like a good plan to set this as today’s movie to save us from something that would run past midnight. As it is, we cut it a little close. But that’s how it goes and we’d seen this before anyhow.

Now, watching it tonight, I realized there were things I remembered quite well (the competitive flower arrangement with an overgrown Audry II and Nabiki being super awesome) and others I’d blocked out (like the prince telling his guards to go ahead and take the girls he’d rejected for themselves – ew). But well, the things I blocked out were things that bother me, so that would be why. And it’s too bad that the whole kidnapping-and-forced-marriage thing is again the plot, not just because it’s pretty gross but because it’s tired. They just did it! I’m sure there are other plots to play with, right? It makes me wonder just what I’ve forgotten about the series in the past ten or so years.

The thing is, the series revolves around a large number of unrequited romantic interests. Ranma and Akane are engaged, thanks to their fathers, but each has a suitor or two after them (Ranma gets one for his girl persona too – and Kuno never seems to twig that the ‘pigtailed girl’ and Ranma are one and the same) and then those suitors have suitors of their own who see Ranma and Akane as opposition, despite Ranma and Akane being thoroughly uninterested in anyone else. Hell, they won’t even admit they’re interested in each other most of the time. So I get that when making movies the plot will likely involve a romantic interest and said romantic interest will be unwanted and cause a chain reaction of jealousy. That’s pretty much par for the course. But come on. Forced marriage? Twice?

One reason why this movie isn’t as long as last night’s is that it doesn’t go to any great lengths to introduce anyone. Not that last night’s gave anyone much of an introduction, but there was that huge chase scene that sort of gave a snapshot of the entire cast. Here? Not so much. It’s a slightly smaller group and their introductions are worked into the story instead of getting their own scene. One of the group has a boat and they all end up out sailing when a storm comes up and suddenly they’re washed up on a deserted island. One by one the girls all disappear and it turns out they’re being kidnapped by the assistant to a prince who’s trying to find a bride. He’s been kidnapping girls from all over and keeping them in his palace, wining and dining them, but then presenting them with a bill for it all if they refuse to take part in the contest to be his wife.

Of course Akane, her sisters, Shampoo and Ukyo all get kidnapped! And of course it’s up to the guys to rescue them. And of course there are guards, all of whom have specialties and face off with the would-be rescue party members. And of course Akane wins the heart of the prince without meaning to and of course she ends up being sympathetic to him even though he totally kidnapped her and is trying to force her to marry him and gave her sisters and tons of other girls away to guards as party favors. And really, ick. I cannot describe how ooky that makes me feel. Now, Nabiki, Akane’s savvy financial genius of a sister manages to kick a lot of ass and deal with her guard. And the guard to makes off with Akane’s oldest sister, Kasume, ends up seeming more interested in her cooking than anything else, and Shampoo helps kick her guard’s butt. But I can’t help obsessing a little over the rest of the women,

Aside from that, however – and seriously, no more forced marriage movies – it’s fun. Ranma and three others who change shape with cold water find out that there’s a magical spring on the island that will turn anyone it touches into a man forever. They’d kind of like that. So Ranma dresses up like a girl, changes shape and goes looking for it. Meanwhile Akane has totally forgotten why she doesn’t want to be there (creepy kidnapper!) and seems kind of sweet on the prince, until he does something dickish and she remembers why. Because he’s a dick. But the whole bit with the bridal competition? And Akane’s father totally losing his coherence when Kasume disappears is fun. If you’re fond of perky breasts jiggling in skimpy bathing suits then this is the anime movie for you. There’s a lot of fun in here, I swear. It’s just filtering through some seriously irritating crap. But if you ignore the unfortunate implications near the end, it’s really just a long episode.

February 11, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , ,

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