Reviews for The Better End?
Dingo chapter 1 . 11/13/2002
Wow. Just came across this fic and author, and am surprised at the vehemence of the minority. Then again, I shouldn't be. I mean, the characters themselves have rabid fanboys, it's not surprising that certain authors would have them, too. I'd tell you guys to chill, but quite frankly, that didn't work on the KoTF, so I doubt it would work on like-minded individuals.

As for this fic, it ain't that good, but then again, neither was the one that it was based on. Personal opinion, however. That tends to be the keystone for fanfiction, as a lot depends on a reader's personal tastes. Though, if you really want to change an author's mind, you have a better shot at doing so if your reviews aren't so imflammatory, and you don't attack other reviewers, IMHO. As far as I know, flaming never changed anybody's mind, other than to make some authors stop writing. Though, I suppose if this is your intent...

As for me, I said I don't particularly care for it, nor do I care if he changes it, so I'll just say it didn't work for me.
kpjam chapter 1 . 11/11/2002
This response is mainly to Kyriel, but it applies to anyone else who has his same views.

The author did a pathetically poor job of this one, and he should be man enough to own up to it.

quote by Kyriel: "Depressing, but I agree wholeheartedly with the concept, and like how it was expressed in a short story. Of all of the fiances, Ukyo may seem to be the most stable and reliable, but what would marriage to her do to Ranma?"

Unfortuantely, the author showed none of this in any real context. Even an extrapolation of an extropation of the ides behind the fic, don't hold water when the actual fic is read. We don't see what Ranma, at least the Ranma from the manga would be like if he married Ukyou.

Kyriel: "To address some of the questions raised in reviews.. I think this scenario is possible, because Ranma is capable of being railroaded into almost anything. It happened throughout the series, after all."

Yes, let's adrees the possibility of the scenario. Ranma runs away with Ukyou, yes. Could happen. The reasoning behind it in this fic is perposterous. So while I agree it's a possibility, it's not a possibility the way it's written. A better alternative is Ranma decides to leave to find someone to train him to win back the Dojo. At least, he might have left to find money to buy it back. This is shown crappily in this fic. And the actual leaving scenario shown here is crap. At best, Ranma would allow Ukyou to travel with him, or help him out.

And also, when is Ranma railroaded into anything that involves him not practicing. The part about his honor is also a crappily shown here. Actually, very little is actually shown in this fic, the author merely makes blanket statements that aren't explained and aren't justified. I'll caviat the last statement, they aren't justified from the characterizations and characters shown in the series.

Kyriel: "Ukyo has been training to exact vengeance for ten years, then decides not to in a moment, then spends months engaged in rather rediculous attempts to attach herself to Ranma, culminating in the awfully stupid breakup of the wedding. What else does a character need to do to be tagged as obsessive and even unstable?"

If this same 'instability' is applied to all the characters in the manga, they should all be shot! But to the point, the Ukyou in this story isn't shown a unstable, ot very obsessive. She *allows* Ranma to date Akane?

Kyriel: "Based on the fact that canon Ukyo is obsessive and *ahem* frankly rather messed up by any rational standard (like most of the Ranma 1/2 characters..), it's perfectly reasonable that she would believe that Ranma would adopt her lifestyle and be perfectly happy with it. Everybody does that to some degree, it's human nature.. for Ukyo to take it to extremes wouldn't be that odd."

It would be odd, and ridiculous to think that Ranma would meekly throw away all his training and commitment to the art. It has been repeatedly shown that Ranma is obsessed with being the best martial artist. All of a sudden this goes wrong and he gives that up. bullsh*t. To go back to Ranma's honor. He also lost the Tenjo dojo(I assume house as well), and he doesn't feel obligated to do anything to get that back! IF he felt so obligated to Ukyou, he wouldn't have just forgotten the Tendou's.

Kyriel: "On the other hand, Ranma backing off on practicing martial arts.. well.. yeah, that does strike me as wierd. I guess I see this story as an example of what could/would happen if he were convinced to back off on his training."

Ah.. sorry. You can't even remotely call this a Ranma story if he backs off his training. No matter what butchering is done to the other characters, a story is trash if Ranma just turns into a shinji wanna-be. A Shinju has 10 timest he courage and back-bone Ranma does, even with his whining.

Kyriel: "As somebody pointed out, this scenario would likely work for Shampoo as well. I think it could easily be adapted to fit any of his fiances.. in my opinion, they all suck, and Ranma would be better off with Herb than with any of 'em."

E gods! Ranma could also have a marriage he enjoys with _ANY_ of the fiancess. Sure, people can write scenarios where he has a bad marriage, but it's all conjecture. The idea that Ranma could have a bad marriage. A marriage that turns him into something less than he could be is valid. But not only is the scenario set up here pathetically done. The writing is artocious and 2nd grade level. I think most second graders can keep a timeline in-tact. Write better diologue, I know I could at 12.

I like the idea of showing the pitfalls of Ranma plus other people other than Akane, but at least make an attempt at writing something coherent. And please, do it for a reason other than bashing another writer, especially one who writes like a poet compared the garbage shown here. And please, don't encourage crap, just because you find something of merit in your interpretation of what the author wants to say. Because the only thing that should be interpreted in this fic, is the writing is pathetic. It's not something that's thought provoking where you can let your imagination run wilde and glory in an author who leads on a wonderful ride. This is a piece of drivel that was a kne0jerk reaction by a person without a clue to something he didn't like reading. And it shows, badly.
Ed Simons chapter 1 . 10/30/2002
Some more comments.

I really don't like the way you bash Akane in this fic. Two years after Ranma has left and Akane still can't find a job to help support her family? Surely Akane has some marketable skills or talents, but instead she waits around helplessly for two years for Ranma to solve her problems by offering her a job. Surely Akane would grow up at least a little by the time she graduates high school. Even if your Akane is that pathetic, Nabiki has a functional brain and could find a way for Akane to do her part supporting the family.

Then there's the taste in men your version of Akane has. Your Akane likes spineless doormats that spend most of their time as a woman, since she ends up attracted to the Ranma of this fic. Your Akane is also honorless as she attempts to steal away another woman's fiancé.

Then there's your portrayal of Nabiki. There are over twenty-four million people in Kansai, yet Nabiki has such godlike powers of detection she finds Ranma and Ukyou after two years, especially when Nabiki has no reason to do so. Yet this same Nabiki is so stupid she can't think of any way for the popular, athletic, and photogenic Akane to make money besides washing dishes for Ukyou. Sorry, I'll have to add Nabiki to your out of character list.

You've also got Soun wildly out of character at this point. After losing all he has, this frequently hysterical man is going to let his precious baby daughter wander off to live a life of poverty with the man Soun blames for the loss of his dojo?

Then there's your absurd statement "there wasn't that much hot water to be found on the road" as an excuse for Ranma staying as a girl most of the time he's been with Ukyou. Even if every one of the over twenty thousand hot springs across Japan dried up, this would still be ridiculous. Even Akane knows how to boil water, surely Ukyou could put a small pan of water on the corner of her okonomiyaki grill every time she fires it up.

There's an additional credibility problem when Ryouga finds Ranma at the end of this fic. If Ryouga was there at the Tunnel of Lost Love, why is he remotely surprised at what Ranma has become? You portray Ranma as being that way from the moment he left Nerima with Ukyou, it couldn't be surprise to Ryouga.

An additional credibility problem with this fic is why no one has challenged Ranma in the years since he left Nerima. In the manga, people regularly seek Ranma out to fight him - Shampoo, Ryouga, Ukyou, Mousse, Ryuu, Tarou, etc, etc. Why does that stop after Ranma leaves Nerima?

Overall your original version of this fic is better than the current incarnation, it only bashed Ukyou and Ranma and had significantly less continuity errors.
Ed Simons chapter 1 . 10/4/2002
In your Bio you say - "I enjoy any and all comments about my fics, so please send me any C&C."

Then you should enjoy this review. :)

First, you have some major continuity errors. You say Ukyou has made Ranma wear an outfit for the past ten years, yet in the very next paragraph you say Ranma is only twenty years old. Finally, you have Ranma fight Ryouga five years after the Tunnel of Lost Love, which you set two and a half years after Ranma leaves Nerima.

Make up your mind, is Ranma twenty, twenty six, or twenty-three and a half?

You also say " She even tried to get in my bed!" You appear to be referring to the events of the Ukyou's Secret Sauce story, but this occurs during the Volume 19 of the manga. This is impossible since you have Ranma leaving Nerima right after the Gambler King story, which occurs in volume 15 of the manga.

Your divergence point is a good choice, but your story suffers from blatant inconsistencies from the manga. Ukyou couldn't have talked Ranma out of cheating against the Gambler King, because Ranma didn’t tell her or anyone else he was cheating. Unless Ukyou has suddenly developed psychic powers, she couldn't have known.

Your second error is saying the Tendos lost their home to the Gambler King while Ranma was training. Actually, they had won everything but the dojo back before Ranma's final battle with the Gambler King and Ranma knew this.

Third, Ranma promised to be Ukyou's partner, not her employee, if he lost against the Gambler King. A simple rereading of the manga could have corrected this glaring error on your part.

Your fourth, fifth, and sixth errors are saying "there was no dowry for an engagement and no longer any school to unite, meaning we were no longer fiancees."

"there was no dowry for an engagement" - The dojo might be gone, but that doesn't have to be permanent, and the house and grounds would be perfectly acceptable as dowry. Genma would probably accept a good meal as dowry.

"and no longer any school to unite," This is silly. None of the branches of the school of Anything Goes Martial Arts have ceased to exist. The founder, Happosai, never had a dojo, and it is not a requirement for the school to exist.

"meaning we were no longer fiancees" Nothing that occurs in your fic has invalidated Ranma and Akane's engagement.

The way you get rid of Shampoo is ridiculous. Tsubasa disguises himself as inanimate objects, not other people. Tsubasa has no reason to marry Shampoo and he certainly wouldn't do it so Ukyou could spend time with Ranma. And Shampoo would have to be dumber than Ryouga and blinder than Mousse to mistake Tsubasa for Ranma.

"Cologne didn't find out until later as well, and man was she furious!"

So when did Cologne become a drooling moron?

"But apparently there was nothing she could do, once she learned that Shampoo had gotten pregnant on the honeymoon."

Shampoo's getting pregnant piles contrivance on contrivance. If the Amazons really are willing to kill people Ranma cares about, they'd kill Tsubasa in a heartbeat anyway.

”I had agreed to become her cook,"

Partner, partner, partner. Just read the manga.

"I was kinda glad to see her, even though it reminded me that she had lost her home thanks to me.

Surprisingly, she didn't blame me, but instead told me how they had been living with her grandparents."

Ranma never lost the Tendo home to the Gambler King; he lost the dojo. Soun lost the house to the Gambler King, but Nabiki won it back. Will you please read the manga or at least watch the anime.

Ryouga's appearance at the Tunnel of Lost Love section feels contrived as well. Why does Ryouga even appear two and a half years after Ranma left and try to break up Ranma and Akane? By this point Ryouga should have either succeeded or failed with Akane or given up and settled down with Akari. He has no reason to interfere with a Ranma-Akane pairing anymore. Worse, Ryouga's appearance serves no purpose here.

For that matter, why does the Tunnel of Lost Love actually work in this story, when it didn't in the manga?

"That's when she smiled at me and patted her belly, exclaiming that she was a one-month pregnant,"

That's the second improbably convenient pregnancy in this fic. Not bad for something this short. Also, nobody knows they are one month pregnant. They may suspect it, but after a month all they know is their period is late. You don't have to be a girl to know this.

"I haven't done much martial arts training in awhile, nor faced any really good opponents. It's obvious Ryoga has done both."

While this is less contrived than the rest of the fic, I wonder why Ryouga's skills haven't deteriorated without Ranma to battle. Who else comes close in skill? Who else could give Ryouga the kind of fight Ranma did?

Then there's your characterization, or should I say caricature-ization. Clearly you have a passing familiarity at best with the way Rumiko Takahashi portrayed the cast of Ranma 1/2.

You claim Shampoo tried to kill Akane, something strongly contradicted by the manga. Read Shampoo's intro where she easily defeats Akane and could have killed her with no witnesses to the murder, but all Shampoo does is erase Akane memory. True, Shampoo threatens to kill people at many times during the manga, but she never does it

Nor is Ranma ever even slightly worried that Shampoo is any danger to Akane (or anyone else). I suggest you read the Wedding story at the end of the manga where Ranma ignores Shampoo attacking Akane. Contrast that with the Phoenix Mountain story where Ranma killed Saffron without hesitation or remorse because Saffron was endangering Akane's life.

Cologne receives even worse mischaracterization at your hands. "Between her and the old ghoul, they could've done almost anything to people I cared about, and usually did." So what harm has Cologne done to Akane? Genma? Kasumi? Nodoka? Ukyou? Read the manga, Cologne doesn't hurt any of these people.

Then there's Genma and Soun. These two are mindnumbingly obsessive about getting Ranma and Akane married and will stoop to anything including using magical compulsion (read the Magic Leaves story) to get them together. Yet you have the pair meekly accepting the loss of the dojo and the end of Ranma and Akane's engagement. That is absurd.

You take Genma further out of character by having him meekly stay behind when Ukyou insists on it. Ukyou's insistence itself is odd; she had no problem with Genma coming along during the Hiryu Shouten Ha story. Genma's acceptance of the matter is totally out of character.

For that matter, why is Akane meekly accepting the loss of the dojo and of Ranma? Why isn't she issuing her own challenge to the Gambler King? Ranma, Soun, and Nabiki have all bet against the Gambler King and lost; this would be Akane's chance to shine.

And why doesn't Akane follow Ranma and Ukyou immediately? She did it before in during the Hiryu Shouten Ha story.

Then there's Ranma's mischaracterization. Who is this spineless wimp, this pathetic whiner? He has all the backbone of a chocolate éclair.

And of course your portrayal of Ukyou is a relentless bashfic all the way to the bitter end, even JessicaL aka Reviewer aka as KFL aka several other names admits it. Casual reading of the Hiryu Shouten Ha story in the manga shows Ukyou going from indifference to Ranma's loss of his martial arts to genuine concern as she realizes how much it means to him to abandoning her restaurant to try to help him regain his abilities. At least you didn't make the ridiculous claim of being Ukyou fan, like you did your original version of this fic - .

You also have a few stray spelling and grammar errors, but that's incidental. To sum up: You have significant continuity errors; the plot is contrived; events repeatedly contradict the manga; and Akane, Cologne, Genma, Ranma, Shampoo, Soun, Tsubasa, and Ukyou are all noticeably out of character.

To quote your Bio again - "Any angst in my fics, will match the appropriate level in the manga."

Does that mean you didn't write "The Better End"?
Alathon chapter 1 . 9/25/2002
Depressing, but I agree wholeheartedly with the concept, and like how it was expressed in a short story. Of all of the fiances, Ukyo may seem to be the most stable and reliable, but what would marriage to her do to Ranma?

To address some of the questions raised in reviews.. I think this scenario is possible, because Ranma is capable of being railroaded into almost anything. It happened throughout the series, after all.

Ukyo has been training to exact vengeance for ten years, then decides not to in a moment, then spends months engaged in rather rediculous attempts to attach herself to Ranma, culminating in the awfully stupid breakup of the wedding. What else does a character need to do to be tagged as obsessive and even unstable?

Based on the fact that canon Ukyo is obsessive and *ahem* frankly rather messed up by any rational standard (like most of the Ranma 1/2 characters..), it's perfectly reasonable that she would believe that Ranma would adopt her lifestyle and be perfectly happy with it. Everybody does that to some degree, it's human nature.. for Ukyo to take it to extremes wouldn't be that odd.

On the other hand, Ranma backing off on practicing martial arts.. well.. yeah, that does strike me as wierd. I guess I see this story as an example of what could/would happen if he were convinced to back off on his training.

As somebody pointed out, this scenario would likely work for Shampoo as well. I think it could easily be adapted to fit any of his fiances.. in my opinion, they all suck, and Ranma would be better off with Herb than with any of 'em.
sHaN-Pu chapter 1 . 9/24/2002
I think this is pretty believable, actually. I remember good ol'Ucchan wasn't shedding any tears at the thought of Ranchan losing his strength and living his life as a happy househusband, raising plump kiddies. P
Learner chapter 1 . 9/23/2002
Well, I wish you left the other version up now that I'm hearing about it. Any type of fanfic isn't about what other people think about it, and there will always be enough people who love or hate, unfortunately most of the lovers are in the silent majority. It's about the author expressing an idea, a concept can be argued for and against but it can't be judged. Since a somewhat believable concept is used in this fic, I'd say it's better than most though not on the same level as the fic that it is satiring. My only complaint would be that it is based completely off of the manga rather than your interpretations of the characters, except for Ranma's submission.

I don't know if the assumptions you make can be called believable either. 1) As a result of a promise Ranma would completely submiss himself to Ukyou, doing everything she said and feeling everything she told him to. Granted he was kind of like this with his father, but for a 'Wild Stallion' to be tamed so easily is suspect. 2) Ukyou would want to be with Ranma even seeing how it made him miserable. Only obsessive compulsive disorder would allow this over a range of time. Granted there's no reason to believe she doesn't have it. 3) A man whose only constant in life is martial arts would just stop practicing. 4) Ukyou does not understand the drive to be the best. Best okonomiyaki in the world? Golden Okonomiyaki? Secret Sauce?

It's obvious from your other fics that you are exclusively R/A so I probably shouldn't have bothered writing this, but perhaps it will help you examine Ranma's character and the supporting casts more effectively. As was said earlier, a fully developed cast is better than a two character developed cast, and in all truth even R/A weren't developed all that much. More like they gave in to what their fathers wanted than reached any conclusion on their own.

The only reasonable explanation I've ever heard of why R/A is a good pairing is "Takahashi said so" which is the argument of sheep. I personally feel the ending in this fic is more reminiscent of what would happen if Ranma and Shampoo were a couple, where he would be reduced to mindless breeding stock which it has been said from the start is Shampoo's reason for wanting Ranma. Ukyou never really got the chance to get to know Ranma, she originally left the engagement open as a way of saying "I don't know if I want him yet, but I'll give him a chance." This was then abandoned by Takahashi to make her a more caring Shampoo, end of story. All in all, the romance in Ranma 1/2 is very weak. It stands to reason that Akane is an avatar of Takahashi, and that is the true reason they are star-crossed in the manga.
Chibi-Shampoo chapter 1 . 9/21/2002
A well-done portrait of why Ranma and Ukyou are not good for each other. It's not about "one person completing another" so much as "two married people should want the same things in a marriage".

I have to say, I thought Ranma's speech was kind of annoying, but then again, there's no exact English equivalent for how he talks in the original manga, and this is as good as any...So, overall, great job, Kaiphantom. I remember reading the first one, and this one is much cooler.

Reading the reviews, though, is kind of confusing me. What exactly do the voice actors for Ranma and Ukyou have to do with anything? o_O

And I take slight exception to the claim that Ranma and Akane are the only characters that develop throughout the series-they certainly grow the MOST, but I'd say that Ryouga and Mousse grew up a bit as well, especially near the end. I admit that Shampoo and Ukyou are the same-but they're too funny the way they are.
Ranma Saotome1 chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
aondehafka,take a bow:You're right on the ,my use of the "Ranma Saotome" handle is far less slanderous than Ranma's characterization in this fic(so don't bother trying to argue with me).And to anyone who's reading this,Noriko Hidaka(Akane's Japanese seiyuu)is indeed married to someone other than Kappei Yamaguchi(Ranma-kun's Japanese seiyuu);and yes,it was an Akanist who told me this.*walks out humming "Kappei and Hiromi,sittin' in a tree..." which could very well be a true statement*
Sterling-Ag chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
Ouch...poor Ranma...good fic tho and a believable storyline to boot. Thanks for another good story
Ghost in the Machine chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
The changes are subtle, but they're there. If Ranma ever finds out that Ukyo and Ryoga set him up for the love destroying cave, scratch one marriage and possibly a couple lives.
seongmi chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
This is why Ukyou and Ranma would never work together, they want two totally different things out of life. Good job!
MingShun chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
Hmm...So Ukyou favors a stable relationship huh? I dunno, I don't like her very much now...

Try Shampoo!
Final-Fan chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
That's probably how it would end up, except...something smells wrong to me about the way things happened. Maybe just because it ended badly, though.

A good thought-provoker.
aondehafka chapter 1 . 9/20/2002
Well, this is far better than the original version, which dumped stuff on Ukyo that wasn't present in the original series. It is something I _could_ see happening.

And now I'd like to draw a line in the sand between possibility and probability. For this story to take place, you are assuming the following things: 1) Ukyo won't grow as a person. 2) Without Akane, Ranma won't grow as a person. I see these used a lot by the R-A fanatics out there, and they are frankly despicable to me.

Ranma does not need Akane to become a whole person. I'm sorry if that goes against your view, but the thought that there's some unique person out of all the billions in this world who is destined to be your soul mate, the one perfect match for you, without whom you'll never be complete, is not a reasonable premise. It's fantasy, just like a lot of Ranma 1/2, and you have to decide for yourself how far to take the suspension of disbelief. I'm generally leery of embracing fantasies that muck around with the basics of free will.

I am aware that in the original series, Ukyo, Shampoo, Nabiki, etc, etc, are not afforded character growth. That was Takahashi's decision; it isn't one I agree with. To me, a story is more enjoyable if there are more than two developed characters out of a cast of dozens.
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