|Reviews for Hand-Me-Down Ranma -- A Good Fit?|
| zonunagog chapter 28 . 4/19
This is good,lots of novel or particularly some of the fanfic that I have read sometimes feels like the authors are narcissistically rambling on their own subjective opinions , to me it kind of force and does the story harm.
But your story have balance and its good to read. Good job
| Stary Wylk chapter 60 . 12/9/2019
You have taken the characters and situations of a Three Stooges sort of rom-com and built a novel about two-thirds the size of War and Peace. Your characterizations have been stronger and fuller than what they came from. It was too long; I merely skimmed the last three chapters; but novels I haven't the patience to read seem all the style now. It was better than the work of some paid authors I've read.
| LannLasrach3746 chapter 56 . 9/13/2019
I can imagine nabiki and her team of friends being a tanker crew for an armored division it is awesome!
| Leasla7373 chapter 60 . 7/27/2019
Fue una historia bastante larga, pero hermosa y puedo decir que me gustó todo, talvez hubiera querido un epílogo, pero de todos modos gracias.
| Yasha-HebiHime chapter 59 . 1/3/2019
Cont, from previous review-
4. "Connections" - Nabiki and Riko's powers over people are handled well. The army assisting them not as a thing Nabiki handled as a "favor", but as a thing the Tendo family as a whole was owed as a debt was... masterfully done. Had it been just another one of Nabiki's connections, that would have been a bit... eh?, but it being because of their samurai lineage was acceptable. Nabiki's other connections being enough to get her into a restaurant here and there was handled as well and realistically, even if we're kept in the dark as to the origins of most of her connections. The way the crowd assisted in supporting Ranma, simply because he was Nabiki's fiance and friend, was also quite beautiful when compared to canon.
But the connection that was handled the best, I think, was Ranma's connection to the CEO. Because that's /so like him/ and it was understood from the start. He was calling someone to get him something he was told, but not out of greed, just out of the understanding that he wasn't prepared to get those kinds of things on his own. And he even /offered to pay for it/, and that's just... Accurate. It's how Ranma really is and it's written well. The only thing that could have made it better is if Nabiki over heard Ranma complaining over the phone to the guy about getting something so expensive like that, but appreciating it all the same. It'd be pretty cute to Nabs, I'm sure.
5. Ranma - Ranma is... complicated. I've given my grievances about his female form already, but that's honestly not a major point as it's still him, regardless of form. It's his emotions that complicate him, but while he's complicated, he's also... beautifully understandable. He's socially inept, but not an idiot. He bounces off of Nabiki will throughout most of the story and doesn't rush things past his comfort zone, except for when he /really/ is about to lose it. Which mostly happens against the Amazons.
Yes, there are times where he acts like a total jerk. The silent treatment thing after Ukyo was one of them, and he does do things here and there that just makes people angry... But he's understandable. I kind of wish he thought things out a bit more to show his intelligence; the common trope of him treating everything like a kata or something usually works. However...
I think the way Akane spells it out is what makes him such a well written character here. We only see things from Nabiki's perspective, so things tend to spiral out of control in the way we view Ranma through her anxiety, but when he's /really there/ as a person, as Nabiki sees him for who he truly is and isn't blinded by a raging dragon inside... He's listening. He may not understand everything, but as Akane said, he's really listening to Nabiki. Really wanting to know her and embrace her and he's always excited to see her in almost every scene. He wants to be with her and that's something we don't get to actually /hear/ from him, but instead /feel/ through Nabiki's perspective of his actions. The fact that he's written in a way that allows this to be conveyed to the reader, despite never getting any real insight on what he's thinking, is very good.
But ultimately, what makes Ranma great... is Nabiki. The connection she has with him throughout the story brings out his best and they constantly flip roles. From teasing, to /being/ teased. From tricking, to being tricked. From Nabiki ordering him to kill, to keeping him /from/ killing. It's ... a good relationship built up between the two. While the added perspective of Ranma's side of things would add more clarity to a lot of scenes, Nabiki's perspective doesn't really subtract from the things they share throughout the story. In a way, that's one positive to them not being fully involved with Riko's antics during those scenes; because it means they're just kind of cuddling off screen the whole time and that's cute. They fit together wonderfully.
Never did get pet names for each other, though. Nabs is usually the go-to for Ranma's pet name for Nabiki, but Ran-Chan would be painful for Nabs to use... Since Ukyo used that. Maybe Ma-Chan? Hmm...
6. The Last - The last positive thing I feel I should rant about is the /way/ the story is told as a whole. While there are bits and pieces that come out of left field, it is ultimately written with the understanding of what Ranma's universe is like. What relationships are like. How friends can drift apart, become even closer, and be misunderstood with each other. How people can be hurting without even really realizing what's wrong until it all comes out on its own. Once the dam breaks and the feelings come flooding out... I think that's the real point where I felt like I truly understood this story. Re-reading it with the context of Nabiki's break down would probably make a lot of the subtext a lot more understandable.
Honestly, that should probably be in neutrals as a positive and negative, as it leads to the beginning of the story lacking a lot of needed context to feel... fully there. Kind of like missing the context to a reference, or something, which can lead to some people dropping off the story early, as I did.
However, I don't want to do that, because ultimately my feelings towards this story are entirely positive. Yes, there are some things that it could have done without, but no story is perfect. No person is perfect. That's what makes it interesting. The story breathes on its own now, but you're the one that gave it life to begin with. You're the one that wove together the strands of a novel... and I thank you for it.
The way things were moved here and there with an understanding of how people really act and feel, without putting down their emotions as simple anime nonsense, was well done. While the conflict with the Amazons was still rather idiotic on their part, it was still understandable in the same way that Shampoo's pride kept her from acting out, up until someone was actually about to die. It was a wonderful story, with a solid, yet open, ending. The only major complaint... is that it was a bit rushed or "shoehorned" as some would put it.
I wouldn't mind more, but I understand the need to move onto your own, original content instead. I hope your novel has been selling well and wish you all the luck. At the very least, I'm sure you've improved since writing this story, so I'm sure you're doing fine. Thank you hand me down. It's a beautiful fit, and I hope the next one fits just as well.
| Yasha-HebiHime chapter 60 . 1/3/2019
I have finally reached the end after about a week or so of reading off and on...
So, where to begin? Hmmm...
I first started reading this story around the time it came out, or at least a bit past it. Couldn't give you the exact date, but I believe it was around the time it was only at 20 chapters or so. Something around that. At the time, I couldn't bring myself to continue reading it. Then, on a whim, I decided to give it another try and found myself wanting to finish it.
But before I get into the 'why' and 'what changed', I wish to say that it was an enjoyable read, before you start thinking this is a completely negative review. I have issues here and there, I have mixed feelings, but I mostly have positive emotions regarding this story and the way it was handled. It was a good fit.
I'll begin with the negatives, starting with the biggest thing that initially kept me away from the story:
1: Tofu and Nabiki - The starting subtext of their relationship was never really put on full blast and it's the context of what the character represents in canon that gives me such heavily mixed emotions about how he's portrayed at the beginning. As the story goes on, this improves remarkably as his character is expanded upon, but his initial introduction of being the family doctor who has several "special codes" that he shares with Nabiki was just... a bit out there. In a bad way. It felt like a strange thing coming out of left field that had no real reason to be there. Which it sort didn't? It never really seemed like anyone was listening in on their conversation and once he was on the playing field, it didn't really matter. They knew he was there. I get what it was supposed to represent, but it still felt rather forced. This, again, may be because Tofu in canon simply disappears so we're never given much insight on how strong he /actually/ is or how close he is to the Tendo family, but... who knows? All I can say is that it's initially what kept me from reading this story all the way.
2: Nabiki's friends not joining earlier - This is mostly a 'hindisght' complaint, but Nabiki was... off early on in the story, even past the Canon events, and yet we never really got involved with Riko or Yui until it was almost half way through the story. More on the characters themselves later, but after knowing them, it felt a bit odd that they had no real impact earlier. They weren't even named. Early chapters just has Nabiki listing them as "her friends" as she moped throughout the day. It's quite odd in retrospect.
3: The Conflict - The Conflict between romantic parties, and even Kodachi if she's counted, is interesting, but... some what over the top when it comes to the Amazons, don't you think? I have no doubt the Amazons are a horrible threat and honestly I was surprised you never went the "Shampoo" route with how over the top you were letting them be. When Akane walked up during lunch to tell Ranma to leave, I honestly had a bit of fear that they had brain washed here again like in earlier chapters, but thankfully I was wrong on that count. Regardless...
The way they're handled is... off putting. Idiotic, really, but not on /your/ part, but on theirs. As for the writing for their reasoning, honestly, you handled their idiotic nature well. Stubborn to a fault and stupid about it too. That part is fine, but it really makes the universe ring with an injustice towards Ranma's relationship with everyone that I can't quite place. Perhaps it's because of how much had happened during the placement of the story and how much happens near the end, which is what I'm used to, putting me in a poor place of judgment, but... Only Shampoo's love for Ranma felt real in the entire conflict. The Elder's prideful "laws" and the sense of "duty" the Amazons had simply felt... forced and empty. This mostly comes to a head near the mid point where they're /actively losing/ and still getting up with broken legs and arms just for ONE MAN.
An amazing man, to be sure, but only one. One they were even willing to kill by the end of it all and that just... doesn't make sense. Not one bit. But along with that comes the fighting itself; I understand the non-lethal route being taken at every turn, outside of the Amazon's methods that is, but ... Perhaps it's influence from another story I have read, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the Amazons weren't /that/ powerful. As in... Not powerful enough that the Government, Chinese or otherwise, wouldn't be a serious threat to them. I mean, Ranma is good enough to handle everyone but the elder without breaking a sweat, and had he been in top shape, he could have taken her too... So the army not being able to deal with them in some way feels pretty off, no matter how good he is.
It also felt odd that Mousse ... wasn't even really in this story? I think he's mentioned once, but that's kind of it. Same with Royga, honestly. He shows up to help once and goes down like two paragraphs later. Kind of an empty feeling, but I know they weren't really a focus on the story.
Lastly, the way it's ended seems kind of anticlimactic and odd. Understandable after Cologne knocks out her own troops, but after actual /armed soldiers/ were put into play, you'd think she'd at least like to negotiate a bit more before she gets gunned down. It's just one guy and he hasn't even killed Saffron yet.
4. Perspectives - I want to say that I /like/ that it focuses on Nabiki and that you used actual chinese to represent hidden text... But it felt kind of redundant when you put the translated text at the very bottom of the chapter, but had everyone around reacting as if they understood it completely. It's easy in some situations to use the context of what and how they say things, which you handled well, but... Nabiki understands it, so why are the translated notes all the way at the bottom? A simple sign that they were speaking in their native tongue, perhaps just with (these around the text) would have been enough, I think. But along with that...
There are /numerous/ occasions where Nabiki is kind of out of it, or waking up, and people speak in broken sentences, which are difficult to understand as it mixes with Nabiki's own inner ramblings. Perspective wise, this makes sense... But it's distracting when you have no idea what is being said. This is fixed up after the third or fourth time it happens as it becomes far more clear what they were supposed to be saying, but the early ones were definitely bothersome.
As a last annoying bit for the perspective, we hardly ever get a chance to see how Ranma feels about something. Which is understandable; we're following Nabiki. But there are times where he just does things that we get no real insight to... and the same goes for Nabiki. By that I mean Nabiki does and says things that people around her, mostly Riko, state to be "wrong" or "out of character" and she does act out a lot in this story; I think she tears up in more than half the chapters, if not outright cries. But we don't know why.
We don't know what she's feeling despite following her thought processes and the line "he promised" kept showing up over and over, with mentions of this feeling of "wrong" leading us back and forth on Tofu's relationship with Nabiki that didn't get solved or answered until the story was nearly over. With little to no build up in the actual issue itself, really. Most of it was focused on Ranma and Nabiki, and then /boom/, suddenly Tofu is the real problem... and that felt out of left field, y'know? The constant "Dragon" that was being mentioned also felt... out of place and confusing, as it was never really addressed by Nabiki herself, just something that was just kind of... there. It's odd. But back to Ranma's perspective, there's one issue that really never comes up... and that's...
5. Ranma's Girl Side - Because of how Ranma 1/2 is set up and the feminine side is treated as a joke in canon after the initial shock as died down, with almost everyone forgetting that time Ranma got /kissed as a girl and cried/, I'm not surprised it wasn't addressed at all. But... Outside of the sleeping arrangement, with the feminine scent thing now being odd now that we know it was because of a thing Nabiki's Mom left behind, and a joke or two about Kuno, Ranma's girl side hardly shows up at all. I appreciated that Ranma's form was still referred to as "he",too, but it sometimes needed more description for context. Regardless...
It's still /present/, but it's never really brought into focus. I feel like that is a flaw, but it may just be my personal bias. This is because I feel that, regardless of who gets with Ranma, it's a side they not only have to /accept/, but get /Ranma/ to accept as well. It's a part of him as much as anything else and that's important. It's one of the biggest reasons why I think Nabiki /is/ the best choice for Ranma, because she's logically the only one I can really see accepting both sides of Ranma's body.
Akane thinks the female form is perverted and hates it. Ukyo ... doesn't really care, but she 100% prefers Ranma's male side. Probably thinks of it as extreme cross dressing, or something. Shampoo is similar as she prefers Ranma's male side, but accepts the female side's existence... but not enough to love it. She /did/ have to hunt that face down for quite awhile, after all.
But Nabiki wouldn't care, further proven by the way Nanami and Riko act in front of her and the closeness she has with everyone else. Canonically, this is somewhat proven on the first episode, as she openly gropes Ranma's chest without any hesitation. Not to mention all the pictures she has of that form, even if she says it's for Kuno. But... In this story, it doesn't really come up, even as a topic of who Ranma feels more comfortable around.
Perhaps in the "future", it would, but as it stands, it didn't really go anywhere near that and I personally feel it's a good thing to at least have a brief discussion about. It didn't have to be focused on at all, but getting Ranma to accept who he was and getting him used to everything around him was one of the major plot points. Getting him used to being a girl here and there would have been good... and led to good scenes with him and Riko. What better for her than /two/ Crimson Haired Goddesses?
6. Miso Miso - Honestly, probably the worst character in this story. She gloats about her power and uses it to protect the innocents which is appreciated, /but/... she doesn't really do anything. She's there and protects the most innocent people involved, but outside of that, she feels empty. She has no real purpose other than to be mysterious and get people hurt because of her negligence. Perhaps she would come off better if she was fully explored, but as she is, she's boring and empty. She has little to no personality beyond being a "Grand Master" and all of that skill and foreshadowing with her amounts to nothing but a convenient shield that, again, amounts to nothing. She does nothing that simply moving Riko and the gang to the side wouldn't do. If she wasn't in this story... or at least wasn't just portrayed as something more than her initial appearance as a really strong Nurse that Tofu knows, because Doctor stuff, then I don't think much of the plot would change.
Annnnd... that's the negatives. Here's the neutrals.
1. Side Characters and Canon - Very little of the canon events happen during this story. Which is understandable, as most of the major players are removed or have a new conflict, but... It would have been nice to see a bit of Ranma's typical chaos be twisted to have not only Nabiki's perspective on it, but also her influence. I can't recall what happens after the original "Fiance Nabiki" chapters, but it would have been nice to return to goofy stuff. However, I also understand that wasn't the point of your story /and/ that it wasn't something you wanted to do. It's hard to just twist funny events to be more amusing, after all. Never try to make a joke out of a joke. But along with that... Well, I've already said it before, but a lot of characters don't really appear at all. Happosai is mentioned, but not seen. Ryoga shows up once, then ... yeah. Mousse is missing almost entirely. It's... odd.
2. Paragraphs on Paragraphs on Para...- This is a completely neutral thing that I feel every writer, especially myself, has to deal with, but... A lot of text sort of just blocks together if not given proper separation. If not given proper context for what's going on. Too many times we see things through Nabiki's eyes and really don't get a sense of what's going on. This mostly happens with paragraphs going on and on about them talking, but not actually having any dialog written down, so we get this vague sense of emptiness. Which is good and bad. For when Nabiki is feeling out of it, that emptiness is a good way to get the reader to relate to the text. But there are times where she's /happy/ and feeling bubbly, yet we still get two or three paragraphs of... nothing, or at least close to it. It's a lot of fluff without too much pay off.
3. The Future - It'd be surprising if you /ever/ came back to this story, especially since it has now been about 3 years since it ended, but an Epilogue would have been nice to see. A future vision of what they became after all was said and done, or at least what you think it would be now that the biggest main players are out of the story entirely. This would change a /lot/ of canonical things... but I think it'd ultimately work out in the end. Yet... I'd love to see Nabiki kneeling down to hold her child... and tell them exactly the same thing her mother told her. That would be beautiful.
That's all I got for neutrals and now... the positives, which I've ended the review with to keep it from ending with negativity~
1. Nabiki - Nabiki is handled /wonderfully/, outside of her canonical scenes where she's acting "in character." She's proud, smart, and witty as she always is, but she feels /alive/ as we get to see her acting out on emotions that send her thoughts wild. Thoughts many can relate to, such as immature jealousy and anger. While a few things don't make sense here and there or just aren't addressed in full, there is no doubt that Nabiki is written to be a wonderful character. Not an ice queen, but someone who believes she should be held and arms length, and that's just...
Both sad, and beautiful. The build up to her break down was not really used the best way as it just seemed like out of place thought bubbles, but once she came to her breaking point... It was tear jerking. In a lot of different ways, especially as she breaks down to her child-like mindset and it gives a clear understanding as to why she says "Daddy", unlike her sisters.
Speaking of, her sisters are handled wonderfully too in their own ways. Akane's anger and childlike behavior is present and in full force, but not looked down on. You don't bash her or treat her like garbage, you treat her as she is. A person. Nabiki's sister who loves her family and is loved by them. That's beautiful in its own way... and I wouldn't have it any other.
She's bratty and immature, but so is Nabiki. So is Kasumi. They're all broken in different ways, yet they're so similar. They're still very much alive and easy to understand. The biggest factor in Nabiki's writing has to been her love for Ranma, however. It's in almost everything she does and thinks throughout the story. From her frustration of being read, to her small smiles from just having him hold her... It's lovely and descriptive in the way she is feeling. Some of the best moments in the story are just her cuddling up to him and Ranma responding in kind. It just fits.
2. Nabiki's Friends - Riko, Yui, Chinami, and Nanami... I think? I may have gotten one wrong and I apologize, but they're all ... wonderful characters. Some of the scenes I enjoyed the most were just them bouncing back and forth, being silly and cute with each other. My only real regret is that Ranma and Nabiki weren't really players in their games, for the most part. They were just the audience unless brought to focus. But out of all of the characters created that I've seen as Nabiki's "squad", and the backstories woven for them, ... these are the best ones. Not only in attitude, but in actual character.
They /exist/ and they're important to Nabiki. They give life and character to Nabiki simply by standing by her, not asking for a thing, just enjoying her presence. While they let her keep them at arms length with the idea that they're only around because they owe Nabiki a "favor" at first, this is brought down to an understanding rather quickly. It's a beautiful friendship and Riko's rants always succeeded in making me smile. Again, though, it'd have been nice if Nabiki and Ranma were more of a part of the playing. Mostly Ranma, I think.
3. Relationship Trouble - The way Ukyo is handled is wonderfully done, as it doesn't actively harm the character itself. It just has her... move on. It always hurts to see Ukyo dealt with in brutal manners because she's really /not/ a bad person... just... lost in the chaos that is Nerima. Lost in Ranma's heart that doesn't have a romantic place for her. So giving her the ability to fulfill her real dream, while dropping her (quite literally) school yard crush... Well, it's a good twist that makes Nabiki's stance clear. Ranma is /hers/, but she'll give people an honorable out of pursuing him before she crushes them entirely.
Akane is another matter. Again, she's handled well, being immature but not outright broken down into her base, angry elements. More than once, she simply looked... /thoughtful/ about Nabiki and Ranma, and finally came to the conclusion that most fans of the show agree with. Her relationship with Ranma is a weighted coin flip. On one side, they work out beautifully. They have a happy life together, training together in the dojo as equals, and go to bed hand in hand.
... On the other, far darker and heavier side of that coin, it ends in chaos. Akane couldn't move past her ideal romance and anger. She doesn't bring it to the full front in this story, but canonically... She'd have killed him, eventually. He can take the hits, but eventually it would hurt in a way he wasn't prepared for, or she would get strong enough that it would matter. She'd never understand how broken Ranma himself is and how much he needed her to understand him as much as she needed him to understand her. The fact that she comes to understand this, even if she doesn't understand why she can't say these feelings out loud to him, is a good change of pace.
Kasumi and Tofu are probably the biggest 'eh?' relationship of the story, as not much is given to why they act the way they do until near the end of the story. This is again a small issue with perspective, but answers are eventually given, so all is forgiven. At the same time, their relationship is... understandable, giving more depth to Tofu's mental state than the canon was ever going to on why he acts the way he does around Kasumi. To have both of them be at fault for breaking apart... It was annoying here and there, with how they'd beat around the bush without really explaining anything, but it would eventually come to a head and work out... I think. It's hard to tell with the guilt Tofu is carrying.
4. "Connections" - Nabiki and Riko's powers over people are handled well. The army assisting them not as a thing Nabiki handled as a "favor", but as a thing the Tendo family as a whole was owed as a debt was... masterfully done. Had it been just another one of Nabiki's connections, that would have been a bit... eh?, but it being because of their samurai lineage was acceptable. Nabiki's other connections being enough to get her into a restaurant here and there was handled as well and realistically, even if we're kept in the dark as to the origins of most of her connections. The way th
| Domenico chapter 60 . 12/26/2018
Bravo, sei eccezionale ti ho letto per 5 giorni di seguito, veramente sono soddisfatto del tuo racconto, spero di leggerti in futuro magari facendo in modo che Ranma sposi Shampoo o Ukio, oppure creare qualcosa con Kasumi
| metacllica chapter 60 . 8/16/2018
This was a great read :)
| erisol chapter 14 . 7/10/2018
Its been so long since I found a fan fiction that didn't read stupid. This story is perfectly writing and worth reading.
| happymp7 chapter 60 . 4/16/2018
Just finished marathoning your story. Obviously, I enjoyed it.
I think you both under and over wrote the story. For examples: when we finally get an explanation for why Nabiki's friends are so loyal, it's just them talking at us. Spending the time to write Nabiki's perception of these reveals in a flashback style would have gave them actual weight. On the other end, you spent 60 chapters to get there. You created some interesting characters and some neat interpretations of relationships in the Ranma world, but how much was actually necessary?
I think you unnecessarily wrote yourself some story issues with the 'one week' deadline. There is no good reason Nabiki would give Ranma or herself only one week to decide if the engagement would be viable. Let's say you changed that to 1 month. Now, Nabiki doesn't need deus ex machina connections to push her rivals out of the way or call in favors from the army. She'd be able to plan out and execute them during that month. You could move Ranma's dates with her and Akane around to a more natural sequence.
Where were all the Ranma characters? Could you have used existing characters to fill the roles of the ones you invented?
The root of all the issues with this story is your adherence to the 'rule of cool.' You had to have them get attacked at school so you could show off how forward thinking Nabiki was about security, so they go to school after literally declaring war with the Amazons. Tofu's master Miso said and did nothing that he or others could not have; why couldn't Nabiki decide she was the 'main character' and decide to go end things? Which is the more powerful statement, the one from a god who doesn't care if people die, or the star of the story declaring it's time to risk death in order to live free? Where does Nabiki get all the dirt or have the time to do all the favors? How can anyone think of her as the 'ice queen' when she and her friends are always touchy-feely and she's laughing, crying, or engaging in public displays of affection with Ranma? There are plenty more examples, like Ranma spending all day fighting, nearly dying fighting Cologne, but he's all set for sexy times immediately after, because that is cool/the final payoff. The story is less than it could be because you can predict the problems and their solutions by asking yourself "wouldn't it be cool if?"
With Ranma especially you removed any sense of agency. Nearly the entire story he just sits and takes whatever is lobbed his way. Panic attacks if girls get too amorous with him? Not if Nabiki condones it or says "they're just playing." Final fight with Cologne? Tofu does nearly all the work and Ranma claims to have secret plans and techniques but they aren't shown or used. He follows Nabiki almost blindly. He's more a blank slate or a wish fulfillment character for Nabiki than his own person.
I had a whole bunch more I intended to write, but I'll leave it at this. I enjoyed your story, but you tried to shoehorn the plot to match the scenes you wanted to write, instead of matching the scenes to the plot they were creating. Your characters are generally well rounded and believable, but you need to avoid arbitrarily handing out superpowers.
Good luck with your next work.
| Guest chapter 27 . 1/23/2018
wew laddy. think i'm rooting for akane now
| Guest chapter 22 . 1/23/2018
"There's nothing sexy about ankles and feet" I dunno I've seen some shit
| Derich chapter 1 . 1/11/2018
Alt title: "How Ramna got even more doomed than usual"
| Oriana Star chapter 60 . 12/19/2017
I am in love with this story and this couple! Thanks for this amazing fanfic.
| Steeltemplar chapter 60 . 11/6/2017
Hand-Me-Down Ranma is worth the read every step of the way to its 60 substantial chapters.
To start out with, I would like to say that I come to this story as someone who is a sincere fan of the character of Akane in the Ranma manga and someone who generally thinks that the canon Ranma/Akane pairing is my favorite. I did not read this because I thought that Rumiko Takahashi’s work was particularly lacking (Though I would pay real money to see a true canon wedding between Ranma and Akane. Please think about it, Takahashi-sensei!). Rather, I just love the entire world of Ranma and thought it might be fun to see how things might go if Ranma were to find himself in a real relationship with the sharp-dealing Nabiki.
One of the most delicate things about this kind of alternative to the canon pairing is how the main three characters concerned are portrayed. I have seen other fics write Akane as some form of irrational jerk or worse as a way of ending the relationship between her and Ranma. I honestly cannot stand that because it is entirely out-of-character for her and is a misrepresentation of how things actually were in the original work. In the manga, Akane was actually shown as being an incredibly giving and good-hearted person who genuinely loves Ranma even if she has trouble actually saying so. She can be hot-tempered and certainly overreacts to situations at times, but part of that is for comedy and part of it is because she repeatedly opens herself up to Ranma only to have him say or do something stupid to hurt her feelings.
Akane in Hand-Me-Down Ranma is an extremely sympathetic character and very true to the manga. Far from being dislikeable, her feelings are sometimes actually heartbreaking. Still more amazing is the amount of tenderness in romantic moments between her and Ranma, even while the reader is hoping for Ranma to end up with Nabiki. And Akane’s eventual decisions in the face of the love she has seen growing between Ranma and Nabiki - choices which would allow them all to continue to be a family together - are both real and a relief to a serious tension built up throughout the work.
Then there is Nabiki. I don’t think that it would really make much sense if Nabiki were taken as-is from the manga and just paired with Ranma. Her personality was very much established as the mercenary ice queen. At the same time, it also doesn’t work if the author snaps their proverbial fingers and, hey, Nabiki is the reasonable person Ranma needs in his life. If the author does that, then it isn’t really a story about Ranma and Nabiki. So what needs to happen is for there to be an exploration of Nabiki’s motivations and a growth of her as a person.
The author’s decision to tell the story from Nabiki’s perspective was really a brilliant one. It is Nabiki’s perspective which allows for the reader to understand her, to see previously unknown aspects of her character, to get inside of her hidden reasons for her more questionable behavior, and - most importantly - to see her both growing as a person and falling in love with Ranma. The reader’s journey through this story is a journey with Nabiki and she is an engaging character who does not take a huge departure from her manga persona. A reader can, with the understanding gained from her perspective, really see her developing as she does.
Finally, there is Ranma. He is actually a pretty tough character to write, in my opinion. The impulses which need to be avoided are either to ignore the clear flaws he has in the manga or to have him suddenly decide to change and become the fiance he should be. Neither of those works because neither of those would be Ranma. Also, neither of them would be interesting.
As with Nabiki, Hand-Me-Down Ranma’s portrayal of Ranma is one which involves an exploration of character motivations and an arc of growth. We need to get some sense of why he behaves as he does. And once we understand that, his issues are not immediately fixed. Instead, they are dealt with over time. Indeed, at numerous moments the reader can be frustrated with him, as they should be. That frustration makes him more real and makes the eventual changes to his life more satisfying.
Ranma and Nabiki not only grow as characters individually, but their growth is intertwined with one another. Each is key to the other’s development and Nabiki, in particular, does a great deal to help Ranma understand himself in ways which no one else did. This is so greatly essential to the romantic plot because it moves them beyond “hero and beautiful girl” or “idealised love” to being two people with all of their messy emotions working out life together.
The original material for Ranma has both comedic and serious notes, with a clear leaning towards the comedy. Even so, a serious story can be true to the original spirit and I think that is what has been done here. There is not a lot of comedy in this fic. Rather, there is a great deal of emotions from a variety of characters and especially some very poignant themes of loss and renewal. The thread of the Tendou girls’ mother throughout the story served effectively to unite several characters. That same thread also added a beautiful emphasis to the romance as Nabiki is reminded of the advice her mother had given her in finding a true love in her life.
Along with the romantic and emotional plots there is, of course, a great deal of martial arts action in Hand-Me-Down Ranma. It wouldn’t be a proper Ranma story if there were not. The fight scenes were exciting and enjoyable to read throughout, sometimes become very intense indeed, especially as the reader really begins to wonder if Ranma might reach his limit and go berserk on his enemies. The villains are suitable opponents - neither too weak nor too strong. If I were to make a complaint, I think that it would be that I would really like a much more detailed fight at the end. In particular, I would have liked a lot more description of Ranma taking on Cologne. Granted, Nabiki was not in a great position to see everything that happened, but it was such an epicly important fight that it was a shame not to get a better idea of how it went.
The greatest strength of Hand-Me-Down Ranma is its heart. There is so much genuine feeling and deeply felt emotion that it kept me constantly wanting to continue reading. The tensions and resolutions were engaging, leading to moments of real triumphant joy for the characters. That is something quite difficult to do and unusual to find.
Hand-Me-Down Ranma could definitely benefit from some polishing and refining. There are times when things probably could be implied instead of explicitly stated. Word variation could be improved as well. Certain strong emotional reactions such as crying should probably be reduced in frequency so that, when they happen, they are more powerful.
All such criticism, however, is eclipsed by the powerful story with its wonderful characters - both canon and original - and its utterly beautiful romantic high points. As it stands, I would absolutely recommend this at all 60 chapters without hesitation.
Thank you, Asayogure, for a truly great read. If you ever decide to do an epilogue or even a sequel, I will be eager to read it.