Long time manga artist Rumiko Takahashi first brought us the world of Ranma 1/2 in 1987. For the next nine years, we were introduced to a multitude of characters that would fill the world of the teenage martial artist who always seems to fall into bad circumstances. This romantic comedy wasn't short of quirky characters with different abilities to make poor Ranma's life hell. So, join me in this article looking at the people that fill this crazy world we call Ranma 1/2.
The Saotome Family
The 16-year-old titular character of the series. Since birth, he has been trained in the "Anything Goes Martial Arts" style and it is hoped that he would carry on the discipline for the next generation.
Ranma is unlucky as he is often a victim of circumstance or actions of those around him that puts him in situations he has little control over. Thanks to one of his father's training trips to China (and his father not being able to read Chinese), he is cursed with turning into a short red-haired girl when splashed with cold water. He also ends up being engaged to several women thanks to deals his father made or him not paying attention to what is going on. He is betrothed to Akane Tendo thanks to a deal with their fathers that Ranma was to marry one of Soun's daughters to inherit the Tendo Dojo. He and Akane do not get along very well and bicker and fight constantly, usually ending with Akane getting violent and hurting Ranma severely. He is also promised to Ukyo Kuonji thanks to his father wanting to steal a food cart, and is engaged to Shampoo after beating her in battle by accident. Also, he indirectly or otherwise is responsible for several other Jusenkyo curses that have left him fighting against strong opponents who are after revenge.
Although he is often very lazy, he is primarily motivated with the chance to fight and defeat opponents. Although he tends not to be very observant in his normal life, he is an expert in picking up new styles of fighting and adapting to the circumstances of the battle around him so that he can win the fight. His ability to adapt has made him a tough foe for anyone, even if the style of fighting is in things he doesn't know or is not very good at like ice skating or flower arranging. Even if a foe gets the best of him the first time, Ranma comes back to win in the end, even if he has to be very creative in doing so.
His biggest weakness, in life and in battle, is that he is deathly afraid of cats. Caused by his father in a misguided attempt at a form of training, Ranma is scarred for life. His fear can get so bad that if exposed to a cat (or cat demon) long enough, he will snap and develop the personality and fighting style of a cat, known as The Cat Fist. He also is afraid of his mother returning, due to his father promising her that he would make Ranma "a man among men" and instead he turns into a girl when splashed with water, this would force him to commit seppuku in front of his mother. However, he has met his mother several times in his female form, calling herself Ranko and saying she is a Tendo cousin. Ranma, despite his father's warnings, often grapples with the idea of telling his mother everything so that she can be more a part of his life.
Despite his sometimes selfish and lazy behavior, he cares about the people around him, even if they cause him grief in his life. He has risked his health and even his life for Akane and the others many times and does what he can to make things right. While he doesn't admit it, he does have a soft side for those around him, even if he doesn't always know how to show it.
Ranma's father who was training partners with Akane's father Soun Tendo. While his son may be the victim of a great deal of misfortune, Genma is usually the reason behind it.
Like his longtime friend Soun, Genma is fully trained in "Anything Goes" martial arts, but when confronted with an enemy, is cowardly and weak-willed, not wanting to get his head bashed in. Most of the time Ranma has to stand up for him, sometimes against his better judgment.
Genma is more scheming than either Soun or Ranma. He is always looking to better his position in life. Whenever an idea crosses his mind or an opportunity comes along to make his life better, he takes it, no matter how crazy it is. Those plans always fail and he is left on the short end of the stick.
Thanks in part to his idea to bring his son to China, and the Jusenkyo cursed springs, despite not being able to read Chinese or the map that he had, he is cursed to turn into a giant panda when he is splashed with cold water. He, however, is probably the least affected by his curse and seems content to spend a lot of his time lazing around the Tendo house as a panda. He often uses his panda form to try and overpower his son, but he has found it most effective in mooching free meals from Shampoo and Ukyo's respective restaurants. He also uses his panda form to hide from his wife, of whom he is deathly afraid since he promised her he would make Ranma a man among men, only for him to be cursed with turning into a woman. He knows once his wife finds out about Ranma's curse, that they would be forced to commit seppuku in front of her.
Although he loves his son, Genma's approach seems to be more of the "tough love" variety to try and train him to be more of a man. He is the main reason Ranma is so scared of cats, after trying to train him in Cat Fu when he was younger. Genma is also the reason he is engaged to Ukyo and Akane and was partly responsible for Shampoo's engagement as well. Genma will often use his schemes that end up making Ranma's life hell as lessons in building up the boy's character, or at least that's the excuse he gives when he screws up and Ranma has to fix it.
Genma wants his son to grow into a stronger and capable fighter. However, it seems his character flaws and his own motivations cloud over that, making him appear like he only uses his son to get a better lot in life. Although they bicker and fight a lot, Genma deep down is proud of what his son has accomplished so far as a fighter and as a person. Ultimately he hopes that his son exceeds his expectations. His ultimate wish is to retire and let his son and Akane takes over the Tendo Dojo and live comfortably in his remaining days.
Ranma's mother and Genma's wife. When Ranma was a small child Genma set out to train him to be a martial artist, feeling a mother's love would hinder him. He also promised in writing to his wife that he would make Ranma "a man among men" when he was done, or else they both would commit seppuku. She hasn't seen her son or husband in 10 years since they set off. With Ranma's curse turning him into a woman when splashed with cold water, this makes things problematic when she arrives at the Tendo Dojo looking for her long separated family.
Not much is known about the woman's past, or how she came to marry Genma. Genma in turn never told Ranma about his mother. Genma would keep in contact with his wife through letters, but those letters stopped after their trip to the cursed Jusenkyo springs.
While her husband is scheming and lazy, Nodoka is a very kind woman who loves taking on a motherly role when she arrives at the Tendo Dojo. While trying to avoid having to kill himself, Ranma introduces himself in his female form as Akane's cousin Ranko. Nodoka thinks Ranko is a bit tomboyish at first, thinking a young lady shouldn't use harsh language when they first meet, but Ranma also wants to spend time with the mom he never knew. Nodoka also takes to trying to help Akane be more motherly and ladylike, and comforts Akane when she is having trouble learning to cook and other housewife duties.
Although she isn't very good in using them, she carries a long sword that would be used for Ranma and Genma to kill themselves with, and in turn she herself would slit her own throat if Genma's vow was carried out. She isn't so much wishing the death of her family or herself but found the vow that he had made to be very noble and will hold him to it. However, she is very much interested in seeing her son more than she is her husband. While she looks forward to seeing what kind of man her son has become, she doesn't hold much the same emotion for seeing her husband, much to Genma's dismay.
Nodoka tends to have a unique view of what a "man among men" is supposed to be. She openly encourages that her son peep on Akane while she is taking a bath, along with messing around with women's panties. Ultimately she states that as long as Ranma was a great martial artist and liked girls, she would accept him as a man among men and would not want Ranma, or her husband, to literally spill their guts over the whole ordeal.
With Nodoka, once again circumstances have led to a sticky situation, especially for Ranma. Much like everything else in his life, his father was the one who complicated things for him. She in turn is not someone looking for bloodshed, but a mother just looking to see what became of the son she hadn't seen in over a decade, and to see if he had become the man that she had hoped he would be.
The Tendo Family
Father to Akane, Nabiki, and Kasumi. He is the owner of the Tendo dojo and a teacher of the "Anything Goes Martial Arts" style. A simple man who often finds himself way over his head with the events that seem to befall his daughters and all those around him.
Trained by Master Happosai along with Genma Saotome in the "Anything Goes" martial arts, Soun typically wants to avoid conflict at any cost. He at times can be reduced to groveling on his knees in apology when faced with a great challenge, or even Happosai himself. However when it comes to the welfare of his daughters, he has the ability to "influence" people (most often Ranma) with his demon head form, where he appears as a forked tongued demon if anyone even suggests that harm may come to one of his girls. He cares very much for his daughters and wants the best for them and to protect them, even if he isn't always capable enough to do so on his own.
He is always decked out in his gi and seen playing Shogi with Genma Saotome. His goal at this point in his life is to retire and let Ranma and Akane handle things with the dojo for the rest of his days. Unlike his friend Genma and Happosai, he is an upstanding member of his community. He is part of his local community organization and also rents out the dojo for functions and meetings. Although rare, he will take on a student and earnestly wishes the best, even if he isn't that great of a teacher.
Although not as scheming as Genma, Soun has been known to let selfishness direct him. He has tried to convince suitors that Kasumi was "touched in the head" so that his eldest daughter would not leave the house and they would be forced to eat Akane's cooking. When he goes along with these ideas and plans, he is often stymied by Nabiki, who sees right through any of her father's ideas and isn't afraid to call him out on them. Most of the time his plans fall apart anyway and he just concedes defeat.
Overall Soun is a good man who looks after his family, especially with their mother having passed away, but also wants the best for himself as well. He wants them to be secure (preferably married) so that he can relax and know that his little girls will be taken care of in his elder years. He's not a malicious man or one that uses his training to prove anything to himself or others, he is just a man who wants the best future he can for his family, his dojo, and himself as well.
Soun Tendo's youngest daughter and the one that is the center of most of the series. She is a highly capable and vigilant martial artist in the "Anything Goes" style, even to the mockery of those around her. Prone to fits of anger and having a very short temper, sometimes she lashes out without realizing it.
Unlike what is expected of her by her sisters and her classmates, she is focused on martial arts and called a tomboy. She doesn't particularly take an interest in boys (thanks to Tatewaki Kuno making school rules about dating her), although she does have a soft spot for Dr. Tofu at the beginning of the series. She is dreadful in the kitchen, causing physical pain to anyone who eats her cooking, and has zero ability to swim. She is also very aware and self-conscious of her perceived faults and tries to make herself more feminine, only to largely fail and leave herself even more frustrated.
Much like Ranma, circumstances in her life tend to fall into her lap without her control. She was engaged to Ranma at age 14 after her sisters decided that since Ranma is a woman part of the time, he would be perfect for Akane since she wasn't interested in boys. She is often a victim, and a target, thanks to people wanting to fight Ranma, or marry him. However often she ends up way over her head in these battles, Akane has shown she is capable to being able to handle her own and defend herself if need be, sometimes even saving Ranma in the process.
Akane also shares Ranma's ability to not be very observant. She is blissfully unaware that her pet pig P-chan is actually Ryoga with a Jusenkyo curse. She also gets blinded by her rage or determination, making her have tunnel vision and not seeing she is making things worse and not better. She often tries so hard not to fail that she puts too much energy into whatever she is doing and makes things end in a spectacular disaster.
Despite her easily getting frustrated with Ranma, and their constant bickering, she does have feelings for him. She gets concerned and worried when Ranma gets into something she thinks he might not be able to handle, and doesn't want to see him get hurt, even if she tends to be the first one to beat him. She, much like Ranma, also cares about those around her, even those who view her as an enemy for Ranma's affections. Although stubborn and needing to be convinced sometimes, she will often help those around her when they are in need.
Possessing superhuman strength, high-level martial art abilities, and finding herself in extraordinary circumstances, Akane seems the most balanced and fleshed out of the Ranma 1/2 cast of characters. She has strengths and faults, worries and fears about her future, and things she is very self-conscious about. She strives to live her own life, but also feels like she can do better to improve herself and feel accepted.
Soun's middle daughter and the younger of Akane's two oldest sisters. Nabiki is focused on how much money she can make and how she can go about doing it. She has very few scruples about taking advantage of her situation or the people in it to fill her wallet full of yen.
Nabiki is the most plain-spoken and deadpan of all the people in Ranma's life. She rarely gets emotional over anything except for money and isn't afraid to say how things are as she sees them. Probably the most observant of the group, she knows when there is money to be made in a situation and also knows when things have gone too far and it is time to collect her earnings and run. Typically her schemes tend to be harmless compared to those of Genma or the others, but they still make things difficult for Ranma and those around her. She also is very adept at using a camera, especially in catching people in compromising positions, and is always willing to sell the photos off to the highest bidder. She finds that the wealthy Tatewaki Kuno is not only her favorite customer for pictures of Ranma in his girl form or Akane, but he also serves as her favorite rube as well, milking the vain boy for all she can get. As a result of her schemes and plans, she often appears to have more money than her own father.
Nabiki isn't above using Ranma or her sister Akane for her schemes and ideas either. She will often charge them a nominal fee for keeping any secrets, and then turn around and charge someone even more to have them find out what the secret was. However, she seems to hold Kasumi in more regard and does not try to use her older sister as a victim or target as much as her younger sister, if at all.
Against her father's desire for his daughter's perspective futures, she isn't in any rush to go out and find a boyfriend, unless he is very rich and would take care of her. She has shown little interest in learning how to be a good housewife, often preferring to order take out than attempting to cook. Her dream is to be waited on hand and foot and to enjoy the finer things in life.
Nabiki can often appear as uncaring and cold, only looking to see how much money she can get out of people, even her own family. She has shown a soft side for people, helping out Ranma, Akane, and even Dr. Tofu on occasion. She has a heart and in spite of herself, she sometimes is able to show it, just usually in her own way and with a price tag attached.
The oldest of Soun's daughters. She is the motherly figure of the Tendo household, striving to be like her deceased mother. She is the calming force in the craziness that surrounds the Tendo household.
Being the eldest daughter, she was the one who got to experience their mother the most. Since she is out of high school, she able to devote herself full time to being the mother figure to everyone in the house, even to her father. She cooks the meals, cleans the clothes, and takes care of the shopping almost all of the time. She cleans the house as well, but some of the others are willing to help her out thanks to her kind and gentle demeanor.
Kasumi is in contrast to both her younger sisters. While Akane is stubborn, headstrong and violent, Kasumi has a Zen mentality where she rarely gets upset, doesn't let too many things bother her, and would not hurt a fly. In contrast to Nabiki, she is a very caring a loving soul who is friendly to everyone, no matter what. Even when the house is exploding around her, she will be the calm one who doesn't panic and just goes about doing her chores.
If there is a weakness to Kasumi, she has a naive mind. Unlike her sister Nabiki, Kasumi takes things at face value and thinks the best of everything. When at the beach wearing a revealing two-piece swimsuit, she thinks men are talking to her because of her cooking. However, it seems that when it comes to Akane, she tends to think the worst. She automatically thinks Ranma and Akane were sleeping together when Ranma was caught in Akane's bedroom and is fully aware of Akane's violent behavior. She is more than willing to give as much help to her youngest sister, but Kasumi can only do so much in trying to teach Akane how to cook and to be more like their mother. If there is one thing that really gets to Kasumi, it's Akane's inability to be more like a housewife.
It is quite obvious to everyone around her that local chiropractor Dr. Tofu is head over heels for Kasumi, to the point where he physically affects him and what he is doing. Although Kasumi will say Dr. Tofu is just "being silly," it still begs the question: Just how much she realize Dr. Tofu's feelings for her?
Because of her gentle nature and her kind personality, Kasumi seems to have the respect of everyone in her life. Unlike Akane, she has no known enemies, and very few people think of her as a target. Her kindness has made her not be a victim of Nabiki's plots or even Happosai's lechery. She is friendly to everyone, even if their intentions are not so pure, and everyone is an invited guest of hers within the walls of the Tendo dojo.
The Kuno Family
The self-proclaimed "Blue Thunder of Furinkan High" is a narcissistic pain in the butt not only for Ranma but for Akane as well.
Kuno is a vain man of wealth and privilege. He uses his influence to reign over all those around him, especially fellow students at Furinkan high school. Wanting Akane Tendo for himself, he will often decree rules for dating her, including that only students who defeated her in a fight would be able to date her. This made Akane's life hell when she would arrive at school every day and have to fight almost every male student in the school. Once Ranma arrived on the scene at it became known he was her fiancé, Kuno instantly made him target number one. Kuno then ended up falling for Ranma in his female form, called "The Pig Tailed Girl", and no matter what, still never puts it together that the two are the same person.
Kuno speaks with an affliction of nobility and often acts like a nobleman from old world Japan. He dresses in large traditional robes and carries a wooden kendo sword. Although he is a skilled kendo fighter and the captain of the Furinkan kendo club, he is typically very weak in fights with Ranma and often made to look like a fool. Even his schemes to get Akane or his pigtailed goddess never end well for him and usually have him suffer pain, either from his plan backfiring or just having people beat him up.
Kuno's biggest nemesis, at least mentally, is Nabiki. Seeing him as nothing more than a gullible rube loaded with money, she will use that to get every dime she can out of him. She will charge him for pictures of either her sister or Ranma in his female form, or will offer love advice about her sister, for a nominal fee of course. She also has him meet her at restaurants and isn't afraid of leaving him with the bill. But no matter how many times she does this to him, and no matter how many times her advice turns out to be wrong or misleading, he always seems to come back to her for advice.
His relations with his family are turbulent at best. He rarely sees eye to eye with his father, if he sees him at all. He only seems to work with his sister Kodachi if it benefits him, as they often fight over Ranma's female and male halves since they have opposing allegiances to Ranma's female and male forms.
Kuno, for the most part, plays a pompous foil for Ranma and a character that always seems to get what he deserves in the end no matter who it is that gives it to him. Gullible, over-opinionated, and one who always fails at his goals, Kuno ends up being a punching bag for the series more than a real threat.
"The Black Rose" and Tatewaki's "twisted sister".
Like her brother Tatewaki, she is used to the good life, living in a large house and having the finer things. Kodachi goes to a private girl's school where she is the leader of the rhythmic gymnastics martial arts team.
Kodachi is probably the most unbalanced of the main characters of the Ranma series. She loves to inflict pain, even on those she is affectionate for. She also likes to use different poisons on people and animals, including her favorite paralysis powder that she sneaks into food for her guests and even her brother. She tortures her house servants and will use them to her own means.
Kodachi is one of many women vying for Ranma's attention, even though she has no real claim to being his fiancée other than she just wants him. Like her brother, she will use schemes and plans to get what she wants and she doesn't mind hurting anyone very severely to get it, including attacking Akane in her own bedroom.
Known for her haunting laugh, the mere sound of it sends shivers down almost anyone's spine. Using her rhythmic gymnastics style weapons such as clubs or ribbons, she is a much more difficult fighter than her brother is. Combined with her love of poisons she can do a lot of damage when she is in a fight.
Seeing as everyone is beneath her, she doesn't have many actual friends. She barely gets along with her own family members, and those subservient to her only do what she says largely out of fear or a sense of duty. The only thing she has affection for that she doesn't try to harm or kill in some manner is her pet crocodile, affectionately named "Mr. Turtle." Although she will graciously invite Ranma and Genma to the Kuno household and personally cook for them a large banquet, it would never stop her from poisoning the food anyway and setting up several traps around the house to get a little bit of pain and satisfaction out of the ordeal.
Kodachi is plain and simple, the most insane and dangerous of all of the recurring characters of the Ranma series. She sees little value in the lives of those around her, even the ones she fancies like Ranma. Even though he is rather unobservant, her brother thinks she is bonkers, let alone what everyone else thinks. Fortunately for just about everyone, she also is about as inconspicuous as a laughing raving lunatic in a leotard can be, even with all the other character in the area.
The erstwhile principal of Furinkan high school and the father to Tatewaki and Kodachi Kuno. He is just as off-kilter as his kids tend to be and just as much a pain in the butt to Ranma, Akane, and any of the other students of the high school.
For a long time, the headmaster was absent from the school he was supposed to be the principal of. It turns out that he was off in Hawaii and upon his return, has acquired an island accent, a deep tan, wears Hawaiian shirts and leis, and has a small palm tree growing out of his head.
He decides to use new techniques supposedly learned from his long teaching trip to try and keep the students in line, but his methods fail miserably as he tries to enforce standard haircuts; buzz cuts for boys and bowl cuts for the girls. The entire student body rebuffs his efforts and causes havoc all over the building to stop this rule from taking effect. Even outside of school he is seen with a pair of clippers to shorten student's haircuts.
As an educator, his methods are bizarre and often employ cruel and unusual punishment. He seems to be genuinely surprised when the students of the school reject his methods and fights back against them. He particularly likes to pick on Ranma, since he is often the one to foil any of his plans and ideas.
As a father, his upbringing of his two children is never touched upon. Obviously very wealthy, he doesn't have a lot of interaction with Kodachi at all, since she goes to a different school. However, his interactions with his son seemed not the most loving of relationships. Tatewaki only seems to want to help his father if the principal strokes his son's ego and gives him something in return for one of his over-the-top ideas.
Principal Kuno thankfully doesn't share the desire to torture and hurt people as much as Kodachi does. Although he's not above giving Ranma a lot of pain, he isn't trying to actively kill everybody in sight. He also doesn't share his son's pompous attitude and superiority complex either, although that could have something to do with his trip to Hawaii as it is never shown what he was like beforehand.
While he is bizarre and out of his mind at times, he also seems to take his job seriously, even if he is totally hated by all the students under his watch. He mostly stays out of his children's affairs and only goes after Ranma for his own reasons and not for his son or daughter.
Much like a lot of the parents in this series, he is not the best example of parental love, at least from what we see. He seems disconnected from his children and depending on how long he was gone to Hawaii, may not have been there for either of them growing up. No matter the case he, like his children, prove to be a real pain in the butt for Ranma and the other students of Furinkan High.
A character that was created specifically for the anime as the Kuno family servant and lackey
Sasuke was created by the producers of the anime series when it was decided they were not going to follow the manga series as strictly as when the show began. He was used as a replacement for Gosunkugi and that character wasn't introduced until the show's sixth season. However, he was still used even when the ghostly boy entered the anime series.
Sasuke has the facial appearance of a rat and dresses like a ninja. He is very sneaky and conniving, but usually follows the wishes of either Tatewaki or Kodachi. They both treat him with contempt and often abuse him, but he will still serve them without question. He often fails in his assignments and has been threatened with the loss of his job many times, but he always ends up back at the same place every time. A bit bumbling, he does have a number of tricks up his sleeve. He is not a large threat to Ranma or anyone else as his plans aren't very successful.
Unlike his primary master Tatewaki Kuno, Sasuke doesn't seem to have much of an ill will towards Ranma on his own. In fact, he will turn to Ranma and Akane if he thinks his master is risking his life or he is in danger. He is genuinely surprised that he is treated well in the Tendo house, as he lives in awful conditions when he is living at the Kuno family estate, despite the size of the estate and their wealth.
Sasuke can best be compared to Baldrick to Kuno's Blackadder. (An old British sitcom for those who haven't heard of it! It's funny, check it out!) He isn't the sharpest of blades, but he helps keep his master out of some of his troubles. He is also treated like crap by his master, but since it is all he knows, he goes along with it just fine.
The Amazons from China
A member of a Chinese amazon tribe Ranma first encounters just after leaving the cursed Jusenkyo springs while he and Genma were traveling through China.
Ranma's first encounter with the amazon warrior takes place after they had left Jusenkyo springs. In his female form, along with Genma in his cursed panda form, stumble across Shampoo's amazon tribe holding a competition. While everyone is distracted and desperate for food, they start eating what turns out to be the grand prize feast that was to go to the winner. Shampoo wins the competition and finds outsiders eating her prize. She challenges Ranma to a contest and to everyone's surprise, Ranma defeats the girl easily before he and his father leave.
Some time later, after they had returned to Japan and moved into the Tendo dojo, Shampoo tracks them down and nearly kills Ranma in his girl form. Tribal law states that an amazon must kill anyone who defeats them. When trying to explain how he is really a guy, Ranma accidently defeats her again in battle, but in his guy form, thus by amazon law the two are to be married. Shampoo leaves after her defeat, but returns, with a Jusenkyo curse of her own, turning her into a cat and moves into the area in her pursuit of Ranma. She at first works for Dr. Tofu before opening her own restaurant, The Cat Cafe and often times will make unannounced free deliveries to the Tendo Dojo for him.
Shampoo is a very aggressive and determined girl. She does whatever it takes to get what she wants, eliminating anyone or anything in her way. She uses schemes and plans, often times cooked up by her great-grandmother Cologne, to try and woo Ranma to marry her, even against his will.
As she acclimatizes to living in Japan, her hard edge does soften a bit. Still determined to marry Ranma, but not actively trying to harm Akane or any of Ranma's other suitors as much. She has a frenemy type relationship with fellow restaurateur and suitor for Ranma's heart with Ukyo. They will work together at some points, but will bicker and fight at others, usually over whose cooking Ranma would rather have. She doesn't hold the same regard for Mousse. She rejects any of the boy's advances and thinks of him as a nuisance and a bit of a fool. However, she has shown a soft spot for him in some of his attempts to win her heart.
Shampoo is a character that always seems to be trying to balance her old tribal ways from China with the modern living of Japan. Single-minded and goal oriented, but at the same time once you crack her tough outer shell, she can be a sweet and caring person underneath.
Shampoo's ancient great-grandmother who comes to Japan to help her great-granddaughter. She is a contemporary to Happosai and he once tried to court her. Although not nearly as aggressive as Shampoo is, she too can be very scheming to try and get Ranma and Shampoo to marry.
Cologne is very calm in her demeanor most of the time but isn't afraid to crack someone in the head with her walking stick. She is wise and knowledgeable about many of the ancient powers, weapons, and fables from China and the amazon warriors. Whereas Happosai is more of a lech and will use his abilities for his less than noble means, Cologne is more sage-like and will even help some of Ranma's friends even if it doesn't get her great-granddaughter any closer to her goal.
She is also quite a lot more logical than Soun or Genma, and even Happosai. She has the ability to look over a situation and quickly figure out what is going on. She can assess a battle of two people and see what their strategy is and whether it will fail or succeed. At one point when Ranma loses all of his power, it is Cologne who trains him in new techniques to defeat Happosai and get his ability back, a technique that Ranma keeps with him. She has also shown a sense of humor about herself and others that most of the other characters lack. She will sometimes refer to herself as a beautiful woman while she is looked at as an ancient shriveled old prune by Ranma, and laughs things off when someone makes a wrong assumption.
While considerably older than most of the other characters, she is just as capable as they are in defending herself, often using mysterious techniques that the others have never even heard of. She is also an excellent chef, especially with noodles and is the cook behind the counter of the Cat Cafe.
Cologne may be wise and crafty, but she doesn't hold the maleficent intent that Happosai holds. She wants to help make her great-granddaughter happy and isn't typically one to be directly hurtful or mean-spirited towards anyone. Even someone like Mousse, who pesters Shampoo and wants to win the girl's heart, isn't looked at with complete disdain by the old woman; she just views him as a lovesick fool who tries way too hard for something he will never have.
Shampoo's often spurned love interest. A fellow resident of the same Chinese amazon tribe as Shampoo, he proposed to her when they were three years old, and she rejected him. Ever since he has always tried to win her heart.
Mousse first arrived in Japan looking for Shampoo's new fiancé, feeling that beating Ranma in combat would make Shampoo fall in love with him, but in reality Shampoo would reject him anyway, and under their amazon tribe's law, Shampoo's rejection trumps any kind of results in battle. Even with that, he still tries anyway in his obsessive desire to win the girl's heart.
Mousse is a very skilled martial artist in battle. His main style of attack is his hidden weapons and explosive he keeps within his long robe. He has an ability to store things much larger than he is inside his robe. The element of surprise in what weapons he can produce make him a mighty strong opponent. But for all his skill, Mouse has several weaknesses. The biggest is that he has extremely poor eyesight. Even with his rather thick glasses on, he still has trouble seeing, and without them he has a hard time telling objects from people, let alone who is who in front of his face. He also, like many others in the series, is saddled with a curse from Jusenkyo Springs. He is the only person to every have received the curse after only one step, walking right into the cursed spring of the duck. Now whenever splashed with cold water he turns into a small white duck, keeping his thick glasses in that form. However even as a duck he can still sport his hidden weapons and makes for a nasty surprise during fights in this form.
Partially from his bad eyesight, and partially for his desire to impress the one he loves, Mousse also can end up being a total klutz. He literally will fall over himself trying to do even simple things sometimes, leading to disaster. He seems at best when fighting for Shampoo's attention, however futile it is. Outside of that he tends to be a disaster who can barely see where he is going.
Mousse, like Shampoo, is very single-minded in his goal, and not afraid to scheme and conspire his way to get there. Unlike Shampoo, his plans typically don't get anywhere close to succeeding on his own and even with help he only finds failure. Despite this, and sometimes losing faith in himself, his dogged determination motivates him and keeps him going, even in the face of certain defeat.
Pink and Link
Twins from Shampoo's amazon village who are masters of plants and plant-based poisons. They are exclusive to the manga although have had anime style artwork of them produced for Takahashi art books.
Pink likes to use people as test subjects for her herbal medicines and seeds to poison people, such as Ranma and Shampoo, while Link is the one to give the antidotes. Problems arise as people can't tell them apart and often attack Link, thinking the twins are the same person. When they were children Pink tried to poison Shampoo, only for Link to save her from Mandrake poisoning. Shampoo attacked Link in response, and from then on Shampoo would attack either twin with 100 stomps whenever she saw them.
The twins find Shampoo again 10 years later when she is the subject of a story in a paper, saying that she was married to Ranma and the story gives her address. They try to attack Ranma first, but Ranma is saved from poison by Link only for him to think they are one person. Link is very upset by this as she was trying to help. After rendering Shampoo unconscious, they get their revenge by stomping on her, before trying to kill her. Shampoo fights back in her sleep and gives them both a beating, nearly killing them. Eventually, Ranma saves everyone from being poisoned and the twins, being grateful, leave.
The twins are masters of plants and all their attacks are herb and plant-based. Although Link is the one to make the antidotes, she is not above seeking revenge on people as well. Although they are looking for revenge, they do have a real reason why since Shampoo tortured them for so long. While Pink doesn't seem to care much about others, Link has shown she is capable of mercy and not wanting to kill people, unless they do things to her. A true form of yin and yang.
Ling-ling and Lung-lung
A pair of young twin girls from Shampoo's Amazon village that idolize her. They appear in the anime only, and although they seem to replace the manga twins of Link and Pink, they are completely different characters.
The twins are tribal sisters of Shampoo and look up to her very much. After defeating everyone in the village, they come to Japan to not only find stronger opponents but to see how their sister had defeated girl Ranma after she defiled the village. The twins easily defeat every man from Furinkan high school (including Kuno) before going to the Tendo Dojo for a challenge. Soun doesn't take them very seriously, but he and Genma (whom the twins recognize in his panda form) are forced to tell them everything about Ranma and Shampoo. Things fall apart as they challenge Ranma, but Shampoo, protecting Ranma from being killed, gives them the kiss of death. During the fight, they beat Shampoo, but both Ranma and Akane show up, only to easily defeat them.
The twins are as strong as they are clumsy. While they have few problems with "normal" fighters like Kuno, when paired up against the likes of Ranma and Shampoo, they really struggle. They are very powerful with their weapons, as Ling has a bo staff and Lung carries a trident, and they often combine attacks. Shampoo only lost to them because she had never heard of their "Dance of the Fire Dragon" attack, which is just playing music, forcing people to dance to it, while they attack with a flame throwing Chinese dragon contraption.
The twins are obviously very young but train hard to be like their big sister. While they are still tough fighters, they just seem a bit over anxious with their fighting style and lack the experience to pull off anything truly dangerous.
Friends around Town
Happosai, or Happi as he is sometimes called, was Soun and Genma's martial arts teacher and is the master of the "Anything Goes Martial Arts" style.
Happi, at best guess, is over 100 years old. Although he tries to convince everyone that he was popular with women in his younger days, in truth he was just as much a pain in the butt as he is in the present day. He spends his days taking part in lecherous activities such as peeping on women in hot springs and locker rooms, stealing women's panties to the point where he has a large collection, and even feeling up women without their permission, including Akane and Ranma in his cursed female form.
Despite his lecherous behavior, he is easily one of the stronger martial artists of the series. His long life's worth of experience combined with his martial arts techniques (he created the "Anything Goes" style), his knowledge of mystical positions and pressure points from Japan and China, and his knowledge of ancient artifacts makes him a very strong foe to encounter. Happosai's most frequently used weapon is Chinese-style wrapped fireworks that he can produce, seemingly out of nowhere. These explosives can be of any size or strength and can do a lot of damage.
He also can be very devious, especially towards Ranma, whom he feels is an ungrateful and disrespectful boy. Happosai also doesn't think highly of his two students, who suffered not only their master's teachings but also his lecherous schemes and scams as his students. Eventually this led to Soun and Genma burying him inside a cave before he escaped over a decade later.
Despite his rather wicked intentions, he has shown a bit of a soft side as well, even if it is for selfish reasons. He trained a young and sickly Hinako Ninomiya from her hospital bed to drain energy from people with the use of a coin to make herself stronger. Eventually, she would return as one of Ranma's teachers and another foe for Ranma to fight. Happi helped deliver Pantyhose Taro but accidentally cursed him into a yeti/ox/eel/crane hybrid when splashed with cold water soon after. He also started helping look after little children at a school, but only so he could spend time with their teacher.
He often plays the opposite role to Cologne. He fancied her in their younger days when he was in China, and now that they are much older, she will often help the others in defeating him or undoing the damage he has caused. They don't completely hate each other, but will oftentimes be on the opposite end of whatever plan Happosai has come up with.
Crafty, lecherous, and thin-skinned to what he feels is disrespect, Happosai is a constant thorn in the side of Ranma being able to live his life. Opportunistic, Happosai doesn't need much convincing or motivation to try and ruin Ranma's day with glee and pride, but will usually see his plans backfire with a little prodding and playing to his lecherous vices and weaknesses.
The eternally lost boy. Ryoga is the main rival of Ranma for Akane's affection and also has the worst sense of direction ever seen.
Ryoga first met Ranma in junior high school where Ranma would often get the advantage over Ryoga in the lunch line waiting for flavored bread. Having enough, Ryoga challenged Ranma to a duel in the vacant lot behind his own house. However, Ryoga got lost along the way, ending up several towns away, before Ranma finally gave up and left. Ryoga trailed Ranma for years trying to find his rival, before tracking him down again in China. Ryoga's luck didn't get any better as Ranma and Genma, in their cursed forms, accidentally pushed him off a cliff and right into the spring of the little black piglet. The Jusenkyo Springs Guide finds the pig and tries to cook him for dinner before he is turned back to his human form.
Since he spends a lot of his time traveling by himself, Ryoga does a lot of brooding and thinking. He will act on his rage with the only provocation being his own imagination. He is also very gullible and easily misled, leading to him taking part in dumb ideas and schemes, only to see them backfire in his face. However, unlike say Happosai or Kodachi Kuno, he really only desires to defeat Ranma, not kill or destroy him. In fact, even though they bicker constantly and will engage in a fight when the moment arises, they do work together a lot to fight a common enemy or if "Pig Boy" as he is called, is in trouble.
He, like many others in the series, is infatuated with Akane. She was the first to show him any kindness, so in return he is the first to jump in if something should ever happen to her. He will sometimes go along with plans to split her and Ranma up, but often times he just yells at Ranma saying he doesn't treat her very well. He is actually the only suitor that went on an actual date with Akane, but his nerves lead to it being a disaster. However, she never held it against him.
Even though he spends a lot of time at the Tendo Dojo, thanks to Akane adopting his pig form as a pet named P-chan, in the manga we learn he does have a real home with parents (who are equally as lost as he is) and even a dog named Checkers. Thankfully the dog can take care of itself since no one seems to visit the house for weeks at a time.
Despite his inner thoughts sometimes getting the best of him, and the constant teasing he receives from Ranma, Ryoga is actually a very helpful person. Even when not involved with scams to get Akane for himself, he is often called on to help the others in town and chip in to save the day for Ranma and the others. A bit naive, sometimes a little slow, and prone to letting his thoughts get way out of hand, he actually is one of the friendlier foes to Ranma and probably the nicest of Akane's other suitors.
Ranma's "cute" fiancée and one of Ranma's earliest friends. She is both a deadly martial artist and a very nice and warm person towards her friends.
Ukyo's story with Ranma started when they were just kids. During their travels, Genma and Ranma meet an okonomiyaki chef and his young daughter Ukyo. Genma and Ukyo's father agree the two should get married and that Genma would receive the okinomiyaki cart as a gift. However, Genma ends up stealing the cart and running off with the oblivious Ranma who never fully understands the whole scenario. After the Saotomes left, Ukyo receives a lot of shame and bad treatment, saying that she was not feminine enough to keep her fiancé .(She is also around 6 years old at the time.) Ukyo disregards her feminine side and starts training to be a strong martial artist. As she got older she dressed and acted like a boy, even going to an all-boys school at one time. She becomes a deadly martial artist, using okonomiyaki themed attacks and weapons like a dough, spices, and her ever-present giant spatula she uses as her main weapon.
Ukyo returns to Ranma's life and challenges Genma for revenge, and then challenges Ranma as well. Ranma recognizes his old friend, again being oblivious to what really happened, but she wants her revenge. Ranma is not only shocked to find that his friend is actually a girl (and not under a similar Jusenkyo curse as he) but actually calls her cute. After this Ukyo tries to rekindle their relationship and tries to act more feminine to become his housewife, even if Ranma thinks of her as a friend more than anything else.
Ukyo is probably the most normal of the entire group. She is a down to earth country girl who runs her own business. Even though she will conspire to break up Ranma and Akane, she is still friendly with the Tendo family and even lives at the dojo for a brief time. She also has a friendly relationship with Ryoga as well, since they too share similar goals. She often tries to help Ryoga out, seeing him as gullible and often feeling down about his current situation. And although they are rivals for Ranma's affection, as well as rivals in the restaurant business, Ukyo and Shampoo get along enough that they can usually stand to be in the same room together, and even work together if the need arises. If there is a character in the series that she outright doesn't like, it would be Tsubasa, the cross-dressing master of disguise who has been trailing her for much of her life since they first met at the boy's school. She will use whatever is necessary to rid herself of the strange boy who just won't get the picture.
The big difference with her and characters like Shampoo or especially Kodachi is that Ukyo isn't a malicious person. She wants Ranma as much as the others, but she isn't willing to go as far as others are to hurt Ranma or Akane to get it.
Dr. Tofu Ono
Dr. Tofu is the local chiropractor who runs a clinic in the area of the Tendo Dojo. He is a master of acupuncture and pressure points, along with many healing techniques.
Even though he is a young man, Dr. Tofu has been helping the Tendo family for a long time. As Akane was growing up, he would often treat her wounds after she got into fights with boys. Since her older sister Kasumi was the one who would take her, Dr. Tofu is madly in love with the eldest Tendo daughter, to the point where he loses all focus and his glasses fog up. Although she never says it, Kasumi seems aware to some degree of the effect she has on him. However, Akane also developed a crush on him as well, growing her hair long to be more like her sister, but she soon realizes it is hopeless and abandons her crush, especially once Ranma and her other suitors started popping up.
Dr. Tofu comes from a long line of men who went loony when they met the loves of their lives. When we meet his mother, she is as odd as he is, totally focused on him marrying a woman with good birthing hips, even having Ranma and Nabiki square off in a butt bumping challenge to see who would marry him.
Even though he is a man of healing and medicine, Dr. Tofu is no push over. With his ability and knowledge of pressure points and acupuncture, he can disable a person without them knowing it, and if Kasumi is around, he can disable them without realizing it himself!
Although he was never a main character in the series, his role diminishes in the manga by the halfway point, but shows up in the anime through the entire series.
Other love interests
Mamolin Ghost Cat
A ghost that is the form of a giant white cat. He is looking for a bride and isn't very selective in who it may be. The jingle of his bell and the call of "Beeee myyy brrrriiiiide" sends shivers down Ranma's spine.
The giant ghost cat first came into Ranma's life when he was haunting a set of bells that Shampoo had bought. Having the bells was to signify that she and Ranma would be together but Ranma didn't go for it, making Shampoo angry. It turns out the set was haunted with the larger of the two bells containing Mamolin. The large ghost cat was looking for "his little bell" or whoever held the smaller bell of the sets. Being terrified of cats, Ranma had a hard time dealing with the big softy, even though he isn't that frightening to everyone else.
He has reappeared in their lives a few more times, trying to kidnap Shampoo at one point and permanently turn her into a cat, he also possessed Ryoga as a way for the both of them to marry Akane, and even popped up to help Shampoo when she and the others took a day out to the beach.
Although sometimes he feels the need to fight, the Mamolin ghost cat is mostly just a lonely guy who is down on his luck. Even with the story of the two bells, he largely doesn't care who will be his bride, going after Shampoo, Ranma in his female form, Akane, and even Tsubasa, whom the ghost cat didn't even care that Tsubasa is a guy. All in all a fairly harmless foe for Ranma and his friends.
An old "friend" of Ukyo's that has been following her for a while. He finally found her after she moved to Nerima and transferred schools.
Tsubasa and Ukyo first met when they were both enrolled in an all-boys school together. Ukyo would dress and act like a boy while Tsubasa often dressed and acted like a girl. He has a crush on her and when he later finds out that Ukyo and Ranma are engaged, he feel like Ranma stole Ukyo away from him. Ukyo, on the other hand, will say she was never Tsubasa's to begin with.
Unlike most of the other characters of the series, Tsubasa is not a trained martial artist, but more like a highly skilled cosplayer from hell. He is a master of disguise and loves to dress up, not only as a girl, but as objects like street signs, garbage cans, and newspaper dispensers. Even though he has no formal training, Tsubasa is incredibly strong and will create havoc just on that alone. Although he tries to act feminine, he just never quite makes it. With his roaring low voice and temper, he's about as much of a sweetheart as a dump truck.
Although he holds Ranma in contempt, he's not really a big threat to him. He only pops up occasionally and doesn't scheme or devise plans against him. Even Ukyo has an easy time in dealing with him and she views him more of a nuisance than anything.
The head of the Seisyun high school cheerleading team and a practitioner of "Martial Arts Cheerleading" who falls head over heels for Tatewaki Kuno.
Mariko leads her squad that feels it's necessary to interfere to make her sports teams win. During a volleyball match between Seisyun and Furinkan high (lead by Akane), she causes her team to win, making Akane very upset. After the match, Ranma is angry for Mariko's interference and making Akane cry, meanwhile Mariko falls for Kuno after he falls on her. This all ends up with Ranma in woman form challenging Mariko to a cheerleading battle to take place during Kuno's kendo tournament.
Mariko is a bright and bubbly girl who has a habit of spelling out words as she says them. It is said she gets depressed after every match since, despite guys thinking she is cute, she has never been in love, at least until Kuno falls on her head. She is very skilled using a baton, pom-poms, and other cheerleading equipment to down opponents of any Seisyun team she cheers for, as they have an undefeated record when she does. She is also very self-confident in her abilities and with good reason.
Mariko's only real grudge against Ranma is that she feels that female Ranma is trying to steal her Kuno away. Ranma only wants to challenge her for what she did to Akane. Mariko reveals the secret to martial arts cheering is love, meaning that Ranma has to try to love Kuno to beat her. Although she is very skilled, she is an unusual foe for Ranma since they don't fight each other directly, and Mariko is fighting Ranma for something he doesn't really want. Ranma's pride as a martial artist, as well as he wanting to avenge Akane (though it is hard for him to admit) is largely what keeps the feud going.
A girl who breeds and raises combat pigs to win in sumo style matches. She is a character only seen in the manga.
Akari is from a long line of pig farmers who raise pigs for sumo competitions. Her whole life revolves around pigs, including sayings that are pig-centric. Her grandfather had decreed that she would only be able to be with a man who could defeat her large champion pig Katsunishiki in a fight. She happens to come across a fight between Ranma and Ryoga and during the fight, Ryoga easily takes out the large pig and Ranma. Akari walks up to Ryoga and tells him he had won and gives him a love letter.
Since Ryoga hates pigs because of his curse, Akari tries her hardest to hate pigs too to try and make him happy and be with him. She completely fails at it, but then learns about Ryoga's pig curse and is overjoyed.
Akari is a very sweet lovesick girl who is deeply in love with Ryoga. Ryoga takes some time, but it is shown he too has feelings for her, despite the lingering feelings he has for Akane. She has shown she would do anything for Ryoga, including making him gifts like cookies and sweaters, as well as giving him maps to help him find her, knowing that the boy has almost no sense of direction. Ryoga in turn carries a picture of her in his wallet.
Akari is one of the few characters that actually makes a connection with the person she is trying to pursue. As time goes on, it is shown that Ryoga cares for the girl just as much as he does for Akane during the series, if not more. Also, she isn't competitive or nearly as jealous of the other characters that were a reoccurring them during the Ranma series.
Yet another Ranma foe that isn't what they appear. Konatsu grew up and was trained as a kunoichi, or female ninja, even though he is a guy. He is another suitor trying to get Ukyo's attention. Kontasu only appears in the manga series.
Konatsu's story is very similar to Cinderella, due to the death of his birth parents, he is raised by his stepmother and stepsisters and treated as a slave. Because of this, he is very quiet and soft spoken, acting very subserviently, and is grateful for any kind of praise that is given to him.
Konatsu had several run-ins with Happosai, who tried to grope him, thinking he was a woman. Konatsu goes after Ranma in revenge for Ranma, Genma, and Happosai destroying the family tea house, even though he tried to douse the rubble in kerosene and light it on fire to make sure his stepfamily were all dead. They weren't and ordered him to avenge the tea house or not come back. Eventually, the step-family turns on Konatsu when he fails to get the revenge.
He begins a friendly relationship with Ukyo when the girl tries attacking Konatsu for going after Ranma, but seeing the sad shape he is in, she takes pity on him. Eventually, Konatsu's family goes after Ukyo and Ranma and Kontasu have to save her. He eventually gets a job working for Ukyo at Uuchan's and becomes friends with the okonomiyaki chef.
Although a supremely skilled ninja, Konatsu's circumstances make most of the characters pity him. Like many others in the series, he starts out as a dangerous enemy, but soon is befriended by Ranma and the gang and become a friend grateful for everything he receives because of it.
The Jusenkyo Springs Guide
A minor character in the overall series, but one that appears in many character flashbacks.
The Guide is a friendly portly man who helps anyone who comes to Jusenkyo to train. He is an expert in the area as he knows every single one of the springs, their title, and what would happen were you to fall into them. He usually offers warnings to not train there since it is too dangerous, but it seems most people underestimate his warning and walk home wondering if they are ever able to take a cold shower again. The problem is he tends to tell people what has befallen them AFTER they have fallen into the spring in the form of who knows what.
Not a lot is actually known about this man, including his given name. We do know he is from the Jusenkyo Preservation Society that seems to make sure people do not "abuse" their curses. He also lives in a small house and has a young daughter named Plum, even though we never see her mother.
Despite being located in the wilderness of China, he pays visits to Japan. He arrives at the Tendo Dojo when one of the springs reversed and a new Jusenkyo spring forms in the Tendo Dojo koi carp pond. He was also a big help to the gang in the manga, including the events of leading to them ending up in China, and the battle with the Phoenix People.
Although a smart man, and one who is tasked to protect a most dangerous area, the guide seems like a nice man who holds no grudges to people who use the springs to try and train and will help those who have fallen victim to its many, many curses.
She is the young daughter to the Jusenkyo spring guide and the one who brings Ranma and his friends to China to help find him after he is kidnapped by Saffron and the Phoenix People in the last chapter of the manga series.
Plum arrives in Japan looking for Ranma. After being saved by a group of crows controlled by one of Saffron's followers, she reveals that her father was kidnapped and that the Jusenkyo Springs have dried up. She brings with her the Jusenkyo map, but it gets split up among the different characters. She eventually leads Ranma, Genma, Ryoga, and Mousse to China to try and get her father back.
Plum, despite being a young girl, is very brave and despite never have met them before, knew about Ranma and his friends. She doesn't have the knowledge of the area of China her father does but still knows enough to help Ranma find his way around the area to fight the Phoenix People, return her father, and get the water back to the Jusenkyo Springs.
Plum is a quick-thinking girl who knew who to turn to for help. She seems to be more on the ball than her father as he was known for not warning people of the springs until after they already had fallen in them. Although she doesn't seem trained in any martial arts style, she is still very capable and can handle herself, safely escaping many dangerous situations.
A teacher at Furinkan High School and disciple of sorts to Happosai. She wages war against delinquents and uses her power to absorb the energy out of a person to make her age into an adult woman.
Hinako was a sickly child with a weak constitution. She was staying in a hospital when Happosai met her. Over a period of time, he used pressure points to change her metabolism and taught her the skill of draining the energy from people to make her better. However, Happi really taught her these things to weaken the nursing staff of the hospital so he could steal their underwear.
When she gets older she is hired by Principal Kuno to try and deal with the students who largely ignore him and fight against his rules. Kuno, along with everyone else, is surprised when their new homeroom and English teacher is a giddy and energetic little girl. However, she soon shows her power, absorbing energy and turning her into her proper age.
Hinako is a woman of seemingly two different personalities. In her "weak" form, she is a hyperactive little girl and as such acts very much like a child. When she is in her "strong" form, she is very much an adult who is a whole lot of serious and usually very intimidating, since being in her adult form means she has to fight. The common thread between her two sides is that Hinako feels a strong duty to straighten out kids and set them on the right path... or else. Since Ranma is the strongest of the Furinkan High children and the source of much aggravation for Principal Kuno, she tends to target him quite a lot, however Tatewaki Kuno and even Ryoga (who doesn't even go to school there) have felt her wrath.
Hinako has also shown she has a crush on Soun Tendo. Soun was quite nice to her when she was in her child form and as a result she has her eyes on him.
Although her power is very strong, she doesn't intend on killing anybody with it, more used as a way to control people. Hinako, like many others in the series, is antagonistic towards Ranma since she tries to affect his life and tell him what to do. She has a strong moral code for her students and young people in general, but with Ranma's equally strong code to have people leave him alone and quit making his life harder, let alone making sure that his friends don't get all the energy sucked out of them, it makes for a natural rivalry. Although not the strongest or deadliest of Ranma's foes, she presents a stubborn challenge to him none the less.
The Golden Pair: Azusa Shiratori and Mikado Sanzenin
Masters of Anything Goes ice skating and an undefeated team.
Azusa is a materialistic kleptomaniac who steals anything she finds cute, renames it, and takes it home. She has the personality and manner of a child and throws fits and gets very violent if anyone tries to stop her from getting whatever she claims as her own. Her partner Mikado is a playboy who has eyes for any girl he sees, except for Azusa who beats him up constantly and drives him nuts.
These two run afoul of Akane and Ranma at an ice skating rink when Asuza tries to steal P-chan, renaming him Charlotte. The ensuing battle involves Ranma as both a man and woman, Akane, and even Ryoga, even though he is tethered to Azusa most of the fight. The Golden Pair uses attacks that emulate ice skating maneuvers as well as their own skates. They pose a big threat to Ranma and Akane on their home turf since Ranma can barely skate on ice and Akane is clumsy anyway
When not on the ice, Asuza will wear retractable roller skates to get around and will use similar attacks if need be on the street. The problem is, while they are top talent skaters, they can barely stand each other and spend more time bickering over each other's bad habits. They do not seem to be very friendly to others unless Mikado wants a kiss from a cute girl, and thankfully for Ranma, they don't pop up in the series very often.
A ghoulish and death-fascinated student at Furinkan with Akane and Ranma. His appearance is often very sickly and with two burning candles strapped to his head. He uses his voodoo-like abilities (which seem to largely made up) to try and get things to go his way.
He was replaced for much of the anime by Sasuke, the Kuno family house ninja until very late in the series, where he is mostly used as just another one of Ranma's crazy fellow students. After the anime series ended, he was returned more to his manga role in Rumiko Takahashi's short that was produced for an exhibit of her art and animation.
He plays a more major role in the manga, as he serves as Kuno's lackey. Gosonkugi is madly devoted to Akane Tendo and will do anything to prove it, including kidnapping, so he could play opposite her in the Furinkan High play where he would get to kiss Akane.
When upset or when his plans go wrong, he is often seen nailing small paper dolls in effigy to trees to try and make his curses work, however, they rarely do. Although strange and unusual, and having affection for Akane, he is low on the list of people that give Ranma trouble, and poses little risk to Ranma or Akane, or anyone else for that matter.
A wandering martial artist trained in a style that killed his father and is looking for the counter for his power.
Ryu's story begins when he is young. He and his father ran a very poor dojo that was about to close. Genma happens to wander by and give Ryu's father a scroll that would teach him the deadly secret technique of Fist of One Thousand Mountains, thinking this would be the thing to resurrect their dojo. However when practicing the technique, the dojo is leveled, killing his father. Ryu was sent with his father's last breath to find Genma and the counter scroll to the technique. Many years later, he runs into Nodoka Saotome and plays along with her misunderstanding to think he was her son to try and get the other scroll.
Due to his parents being dead and he being alone, Ryu is ruthless and cold-hearted. He tries to kill Ranma by ripping his heart out, considers torturing Nodoka for information (but thankfully doesn't go through with it). However, he has shown a chivalrous side in saving Nodoka and enjoys the attention Nodoka gave him when she thought he was her son.
Ryu, unlike most of the other male characters, is more of a serious character in the series. He doesn't shy away from meeting women, he doesn't have weird personality quirks or any kind of strange magical power. Lacking a Jusenkyo curse he doesn't have any kind of weakness to water either. He is noted as having a strong resemblance to Rambo as he wanders around wearing camo pants and army boots while carrying his large bag.
Ryu is one of Ranma's toughest challenges but thankfully begins to change his mind about his ways once he is told by Genma what the scroll he had and the scroll he wanted were really used for. In parting, he tries to give some comfort to the woman who treated him like a son.
A young man who along with his grandfather tend to the very large animals of the forest area of Ryugenzawa.
Shinnosuke and his grandfather once ran a small petting zoo, but a strange thing happened when any of the animals escaped; they would come back very large. This is attributed to the Water of Life, a special spring near their home. Shinnosuke first met Akane when they were children and Akane got separated from her family while on vacation. She was about to be attacked by a giant platypus when he saved her, nearly dying in the process. Since then he uses the Water of Life to keep himself alive and hold back the wounds he still carries.
Years later Akane returns when she hears of a giant monster around that area and remembers the experience. She goes back with Ranma and Ryoga only to find herself in the same situation of being attacked. The Waters of Life have been blocked off by the monster and seeing Shinnosuke dying since he needs the water to live, they try to help.
Shinnosuke lacks much of a memory. He forgets almost everything, including where he sets his own traps, everything except for Akane's name. He also very honest to a fault, lacking any tact. Like many others, he too has a strong affection for Akane. However, since his memory is so bad, he never remembers telling her that he felt that way and feels regret for not saying anything to her.
When healthy, he is very quick and uses a push broom as his main weapon. However, he doesn't attack people and is more concerned that anyone entering the area isn't attacked by any of the large animals.
Sentaro Daimoji and Satsuki Mikaoji
The heirs to the divergent houses of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony and hopefully the ones to try to bring those houses together. With Sentaro being the sole heir to the orthodox school of martial arts tea ceremony, he is forced to marry in an arranged marriage. He instead rejects the bride he never sees and first kidnaps Ranma in his female form and marry her, only to find Ranma's a guy. Akane ends up tracking him down and he tries to marry her to appease his grandmother, who is in charge of the family. Eventually, he meets his arranged bride to be, Satsuki, the heir to the unorthodox school of tea ceremony, and ends up liking her after all.
Sentaro is a loud and often goofy boy. He is expected to become a tea ceremony master but is clumsy and not very effective. He also still holds a bit of a candle for Akane, even though he is to be married, and she will often give him a pounding when he tries to hit on her. Satsuki, on the other hand, is indeed a master of the tea ceremony. So much so she is often only shown in a kneeling position and a voice so soft that only Kasumi Tendo is able to hear her. However, she is very skilled as a martial artist and even passes a test set up by her grandmother who runs their family style of tea ceremony. Although Sentaro does go after Akane a bit, they aren't really enemies of Ranma and the family, and ask for Ranma's help when they need it.
They do have feelings for each other and despite their quarreling families, they still plan on going through with the marriage. Although both families want them to be married, the families want to prove that the other family's heir is worthy of the union.
A teenage girl cursed with turning into a three faced god when splashed with cold water. She travels to Japan looking for Pantyhose Taro who she says stole the "source of her power."
Rouge has been trying to track down Pantyhose Taro when Akane meets her bathing in a spring, where she faints and is brought back to the Tendo Dojo, where Taro happens to be unconscious. After waking up, Taro starts to abuse her verbally and before he can do anything to her, Ranma and Genma stop him. Rouge says she will forgive him if she returns what he stole from her. He turns into his cursed form and runs away, scaring Rouge and making her faint.
In her normal form, she is very shy and sensitive, fainting if she is upset. She can come across as vain and over dramatic in how she acts. When she is in her cursed Ashura form, she becomes very violent, destructive, and has powerful abilities. She nearly destroys the Tendo Dojo and anything around her in her attempt of revenge on Taro.
Rouge is a character that overplays just about everything. The whole course of her revenge is nothing more than pain reliever for her sore shoulders, something Ranma ends up solving by taking her to a drug store. As seems to happen in Ranma's world, she proves to be more of a nightmare to his life over what turns out to be much ado about nothing. Ultimately when she gets what she wants, saying that having six arms makes her shoulders very stiff, she is a decent person to deal with, even with her theatrics.
The prince of the Musk Dynasty in China and descended from a dragon. The boy acts as would be expected of royalty. He was also cursed to turn into a woman when splashed with cold water and "stuck" in his female form. He only appears in the manga.
Herb was cursed as a young boy when he was about to be married. He thought that he should be able to see a woman naked before marrying, so he took a monkey and The Ancient Pail of Preservation to the cursed spring of the woman at Jusenkyo. He threw the monkey into the spring and turned her into a naked woman and was awestruck. The monkey got its revenge by tossing the stunned Herb into the spring and then used the pail to seal Herb in the cursed form of a woman forever on. Many years later Herb learns of an ancient pot that would counter the pail's effects and travels to Japan to learn its whereabouts from Cologne. Herb and his servants Lime and Mint encounter Ranma and use the pail on him to keep him in his woman form.
Herb is a very dangerous fighter that can outmatch anyone in the series. He has the ability of flight and manipulates energy to create weapons like a sword. However, his weakness is breasts. Even though he is trapped in a body of a female (and having to hide it from Mint and Lime), he is easily distracted in fighting by the sight of breasts, which Ranma takes full advantage of. However, Herb fights to kill and doesn't hold back.
Herb has the air of royalty about him and conducts himself as old time royalty would be expected to act. He speaks with a very regal affectation and has an uncaring attitude about him. As a result he isn't exactly a charming person to hang around with.
A cruel and ruthless boy from China looking for Happosai. He is cursed to turn into a large beast that is a mix of an ox, a yeti, an eel and a crane.
Taro was born in a village in Jusenkyo, China where, for better or worse, Happosai helped deliver him. The old master accidentally washed the newborn off with cursed Jusenkyo spring water from the most cursed spring of them all, the spring of the "yeti riding an ox carrying an eel and a crane." So Taro grew up with his cursed side being a Minotaur with crane wings and an eel for a tail. Village custom also let Happosai be the one to name the boy, who was called Pantyhose since the perverted master thought it was a name that everyone would love. Taro has vowed revenge on the old master, seeing as Happi is the only one who could change his name.
Taro is an incredibly strong and rather nasty fighter. He has no qualms about attacking people without them knowing, turning those who are Jusenkyo cursed into their weaker forms before attacking them, and just all around cheating. Taro's cursed form is incredibly strong, however, it seems a lot easier to defeat as more characters have taken out Taro in his cursed form than his human one.
Taro, even in his better moments, is a jerk. Ranma speculates that Taro didn't have any friends and doesn't know how to be nice to people or show appreciation. He causes a lot of headaches for Ranma and those around him, but like any challenge, Ranma faces him head on.
The ruler of the Chinese Phoenix People and the strongest enemy that Ranma and his friends face in the manga series.
Saffron and his people live next to the source of the Jusenkyo Springs and have inherited their phoenix abilities from these waters. Saffron is a young ruler and needs to shut off the water to the Jusenkyo springs so that he can be reborn into an adult form. Ranma and his friends travel to China to reestablish the springs and hopefully find the cure to their Jusenkyo curses in the process.
Saffron is very powerful, but very unstable thanks to Ranma interrupting his rebirth process. The ruler runs the risk of burning out and endangering his life if he stays in his incomplete form. However, being in possession of phoenix powers, it is thought that he is immortal and thus able to be reborn after being killed in battle.
He, as his title as ruler might suggest, is a spoiled, selfish and hateful child who is prejudiced against humans and has little concern for those around him as long as he gets what he wants. After the ruler is reborn into as a baby, Ranma warns his handlers that they should do a better job raising the child than the little snot he turned out to be before. It is unknown if they took Ranma's advice or not.
Saffron and his people never made an appearance in the anime series. However, the events surrounding him and the fight in China bring the manga to an end and lead to the final events of the story in the manga series.
As you have read, Ranma has met a lot of friends and made a lot of enemies in his adventures. From highly skilled and dangerous killers to goofball martial artists and quirky classmates, he has had a lot of people come into his life. Be sure to give this series a look, either from its anime and OAV presentations, or its long-running manga series. Make all these wild and wonderful characters a part of your life too!