Ranko ½ Dreamgirl
In this case, I'm going to do a general review of the story here, and a chapter-by-chapter review after the end of the synopsis section.
This story does have some good points. It has a somewhat different explanation of Ranko's origin, and how she and Ranma can have separate physical bodies. Akane is her nasty self, but finally gets a real boyfriend. Nabiki decides to seriously go after Ranma. Ranko is very well adjusted.
The story also has problems. The main thing is that there are too many characters and too many fights. Far too many. It complicates the story needlessly, and seriously damages would could have been a decent fanfic. There is also an excessive use of people coming from alternate universes into this one, having been other characters there, the characters over Marvel super-heroes.
If the author had stuck with the Ranko origin, the problems with Akane, and Nabiki's desire for Ranma, and Ranko's getting a boyfriend, then run with that, it would have been good. There's also a very interesting plotline about an evil Amazon elder who wants the Amazons to rule the world, and that could have been developed much more, with Ranko, Ranma and the others helping Cologne and her group to defeat the elder. I think that would have the makings of a very fascinating Ranko story.
Nodoka has a stillborn daughter as well as Ranma. Ranko's spirit merges with Ranma's. Ranko's spirit lives in a sort of dream world. she comes to the aid of a boy named Kumo.
Kumo becomes much better. Toru Gobancho says something about inter-dimensional travel. Kumo is beaten by a gang and stabbed; Toru sends him through the gateway, and he returns grown up. In the dreamscape, Ranko helps one guy heal and another guy become a better cook. Meanwhile Kumo goes through intensive training wiith Toru and others.
Ranko, in the dreamscape, has made love to Kumo and other men. Kumo tells her his grandfather can help cure her and Ranma's fear of cats, and maybe Ranko can become a flesh-and-blood person.
Chapter 2: Gosunkugi tells Kuno he has heard of a “psychic samurai” that is an assassin that Kuno could use to take care of Ranma. The samurai attacks Ranma and a psychic blast knocks him out, but Ranko takes over mentally and then physically and is able to defeat the samurai.
Chapter 3: Ranma/Ranko gets back to the dojo and Akane accuses him of being with Ukyo or Shampoo. The Ranko personality tells Akane to be quiet, and Akane gets madder and tries to hit Ranko/Ranma with her hammer but misses, and destroys the hammer with a ki-blast.
Ranko/Ranma takes a bath and Happosai tries to glomp on to her, but she kicks him away. Then she sits down to supper and eats normally and politely, and helps Kasumi clean up afterwards, causing everyone to wonder what has happened to Ranma.
Ranma wakes up in the dreamscape and finds a house with a girl inside. Meanwhile, Genma attacks Ranko but she easily defeats him, and Ryoga attacks and is easily defeated. Ranko/Ranma is behaving very effeminate and is enjoying herself quite a bit.
Ranko and Ranma meet in the dreamscape and go over everything that has happened.
The next day Ranma/Ranko is on her way to school when Shampoo glomps him, and Akane hits him far away. After he lands he finds Kuno and beats him up some, and then runs into Ryoga. Pantyhose Taro later runs into Ranma and attacks him and is also defeated.
Ranma than runs into Cologne who wants to know what is going on. She meets with Kumo's grandfather and tells him Ranma will come to him that night in the dreamscape. He will cure Ranma of the neko-ken, and enable Ranma and Ranko to have separate physical bodies. Cologne has overheard everything, though, and so has Nabiki, who has trailed Ranma.
Ranko warns Cologne that there is another Amazon matriarch who is evil, and wants to kill her and Shampoo.
Nabiki takes money from Taro, who later attacks Kumo and is beaten. Meanwhile, in the dreamscape, Ranma goes through the dimensional gate and returns for further training.
Ranma and Ranko and ready to be separated, but Nabiki interfers with Ranma/Ranko trying to leave the dojo. Since the Ranko personality is in control, she has no hesitation about rendering Nabiki unconscious.
Then Ranko/Ranma is attacked by Mousse, Pantyhose Taro, and somebody named Ryu, and a giant named Hugo. Then Kodachi joins in the attack. Then Happosai joins in.
Kuno runs into an old guy carrying a special sword. The guy trains Kuno how to use it, then dies.
Kuno fights Kumo and loses.
Then a lot of the people end up at Kumo's home, and Ranko and Ranma get separated physically.
Another character is a Korean martial arts master. Kuno escapes and attacks others. Ranma and Ranko are in their physical forms, similar but better than their original forms. Ranko and Kumo embrace. Everyone has their reactions to Ranko and Ranma, and Kumo and Ranko become engaged. Then Kuno comes in.
Kuno leaves. Nabiki smart-mouths Ranma and Ranko, and Ranko grabs her by the throat but lets her go. Akane wants to fight Ranko. Ranma reveals that , in the other reality, he was a member of the Legion of Super Heroes and that he fought Superboy.
Ranma rescues the girl who is stranded on an island. Akane gets mad at both Ranko and Ranma.
Akane is still angry. Back at the Cat Cafe, the evil elder and her daughter show up (Rollon and Bedea.) Ranko will be living, for now, with Nodoka. They go shopping, Nodoka obviously wanting to make Ranko a “proper” lady, which just isn't going to happen.
There's a really funny scene where Happosai shows up, wanting to glomp Ranko's large breasts, but Ranma comes in and Ranko and Ranma are about to make a wishbone game out of Happosai. Worse for him, Nodoka comes in with blade drawn and threatens him.
Pantyhose Taro meets someone he knows who says he's invincible and plans to attack Ranma. Nabiki schemes about how to get pictures of Ranko. Meanwhile a different elder shows up at the Cat Cafe, and says that the evil one is going to unleash a nightmare creature on the Amazons, and they need Ranko's help.
The elder says that, if Ranko will help them and defeat the creature, they will nullify marriage obligations, and Ranko will be an honorary Amazon. It turns out Rollon doesn't have as much control of the creature as she thinks. The Musk plan to use it to wipe out the Amazons.
The psychic samurai attacks Ranma, and Ranma defeats him. Then a guy named Akuma shows up to attack Ranma. Ranma defeats him. A guy named Ken shows up, but he wants to fight Kumo. He does, and loses.
Ranko goes to fight the nightmare creature.
Rollon and Bedea have a captive. Rollon's scheme is to produce ultra-powerful Amazons. Meanwhile, Ranko takes on the monster in the dreamscape, but the Musk transport the monster into the real world.
Ranko, Shampoo and the others finally defeat the monster. In gratitude, the Amazons release Ranma from his duty of marrying Shampoo, and they also free Shampoo from her cat curse. Ranma gets back to the dojo, and finds Happosai raping Akane. He apparently already raped Nabiki and Kasumi. (If he didn't rape them, he took their clothes off and groped them, but no intercourse.) Anyhow, Akane is mad at Ranma for not being there earlier and Kasumi finally slaps her.
Kodachi later attacks Ranko, but is easily beaten and Ranko tries to explain to her that Ranma is not interested in her, and that she is his sister.
Ranko arranges some fake computer records for her, and she'll be in her senior year at the school, and working nights at a restaurant. Ryoga interrupts Ranko and Kumo, and Ranko gets mad at him about P-chan.
At the school the next day the hentai horde go after Ranko and she tells them she is engaged and not interested. Then Kuno shows up and attacks her. She defeats him. Then the girls come on to Ranma.
In class, one of the girls kisses Ranma. Later, Akane gets mad and slaps him and says that they are through. Ping, a guy from the alternate universe that killed Ranma in it, attacks. Ranma manages to knock Ping and Taro all the way to China after Ping tells Ranma he raped the woman he was married to in the other universe.
Some weird guy attacks Ranko but she knocks him out easily.
Ryoga attacks Ranma at school but is no match for him. Akane gets mad at Ranma, accusing him of picking on Ryoga. Nabiki later tells Ranma Akane has fallen in love with a doctor. Akari's grandmother promises to train Ryoga.
A guy in a spaceship was the Green Goblin in another universe, and is Lum's uncle. He wants to kill Kumo. Oz, the former Green Goblin, ends up fleeing when he finds out how good a fighter Kumo now is.
Ryu escapes. Kyo challenges Ranma and loses. Two thugs, one of whom is named Sagat, come to attack Ranko. Both are defeated. Nabiki uses a remote-controlled flying thing to try and recover a magical stone that will grant a wish. Three guys try to hit on Ranko at the same time.
Ryu is in bad condition and is taken to Dr. Tofu's clinic to be treated. Rollon murders the two guards who let Ryu escape. Nabiki charges some guys to keep some information about Ryu quiet.
Kumo and Ranko encounter a woman named Reimi, who used to be his girlfriend. A guy named Hayao is next up to attack, along with an unknown number of friends.
Nabiki uses the stone to wish herself into a powerful fighter. Cologne and other Amazons talk about having certain girls train under Ranko. A girl named Mai shows up to challenge Ranko and loses.
Nabiki tells Ranko that she's going after Ranma as a potential husband.
Kasumi becomes ill, and Nodoka and the others plan to move back to the dojo temporarily. Dr. Tofu says it's exhaustion, and then asks Soun if he can (later) ask Kasumi out on a date.
The former Green Goblin finds this reality's Dr. Octopus. They are teaming up with Ping, Taro, and an entire gang of thugs. A character named Sadaharu joins them. Ryu joins them.
Ranko and Ranma are talking in the kitchen, and Nabiki joins them and tells them about the gang getting formed. Her spy-plane just happened to spot them.
Rollon creates a sixteen-year-old evil girl. Akane and Ranko get into a fight when Akane again loses her temper.
Ranko and a number of the others plan to take a trip to the U.S.
Akane and her would-be doctor boyfriend spar in the dojo. Later Akane spills hot tea on P-chan and he changes into Ryoga, who is very defiant. Ryoga leaves, angry. At school the next day, Kuno attacks Fujiko. Then he attacks Ranma when Ranma shows up. (Why doesn't someone put Kuno in an asylum?)
Ranko has gotten a GED rather than stay at the school. The trip to the U.S. will include Ranma, Fujiko, Yasao (Akane's boyfriend), Akane, Nabiki, Kasumi, Jan and Okonogi (two people Ranko knows), plus Ranko.
Someone named Madoka Tendo wakes and escapes from being in a block of ice at the bottom of the sea. She goes to the Tendo dojo.
Some bikers attack Madoka and Ryoga. There's at least thirty in the group. Madoka and Ryoga defeat them. At the dojo, everyone is astonished at Madoka's appearance; she's supposedly been dead for four years.
Madoka knows everything that has happened (she was in suspended animation) and knows how badly Ranma has been treated by Genma. Genma smart-mouths off to her, though.
In America, Ranma and the others are at a nightclub. They encounter a couple very racist characters, but there's only one, extremely brief, fight.
The former Green Goblin and his group plan to attack Kumo in New York.
There's a section about a fight in the past that Cologne was involved in, and Ping and the others plan to attack Ranma. Ping, Taro and two dozen other guys are in the group. Meanwhile, in New York City, the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus attack Kumo and Ranko. Kumo and Ranko defeat them. (I think killing them would be in order, actually. At the very least, have them arrested for attempted murder, etc.)
Ranma and Fujiko win their fight, and Kuno shows up in New York.
Kuno attacks Kumo. Kuno is finally arrested. On an airplane, Kumo and Ranko talk to various people, and there's talk about a group of friends who happen to have the same names as the people in Peanuts.
While Ranko and the others are having dinner at a house, Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi all show up. Ukyo, Shampoo and Kodachi later attack Fujiko. Mousse shows up and threatens to kill Fujiko.
Elsewhere, Kumo, Ranko and Ranma are attacked by another martial arts guy and Ryoga. Another villain named Dr. Gero shows up, knocks out everyone, and takes off with Ranko.
Kumo thinks he knows where Ranko is. A whole bunch of martial artists are going along with Ranma and Kumo. Ryoga is also coming, as is Kuno, who somehow got out of jail. (Then, again, his family is rich and they probably bought his way out of jail)
Dr. Gero plans to use Ranko to raise an army of warriors by breeding with her. Genma sells the right to a date with Ranko to some guy.
Meanwhile, Ranma and the others get to Dr. Gero's hideout and battle a bunch of weird beings that attack them, with Dr. Gero still holding Ranko prisoner and having another woman there who wants to be his queen.
Madoka is Fujiko's sister, and Fujiko was involved in a robbery. The Fujiko of this story is not exactly the same one, though. The others defeat the strange beings sent to fight them then go after Dr. Gero. Ranko has gotten free and attacks him, and Gero uses a teleporter to teleport the entire group of them out of his base, and he then hides his base.
Then the group gets on a plane and flies back to Japan.
The guy Genma had promised a date with Ranko to shows up, is ultra-nasty, but finally leaves. Madoka turns out to be Fujiko's mother. Genma and Ranma have an argument. Genma makes up with Ranko. At the dojo, Fujiko and Akane get into an argument. Madoka tells Nabiki that she will take over the family finances, and that Nabiki is to stop taking pictures of the girls and selling them.
Ranko, Ranma and others are at a festival. There's a funny part about Ranko wearing clothes too small for her. Then a woman who had dated Kumo attacks Ranko. Ranko defeats the woman attacking her.
Ranko and Akane get into a yelling match. Lum shows up, and she and Ranko get into a fight. Happosai is watching Ataru hit on the girls, and thinks Ataru is perverted enough to become his student.
At the end, Taro and Ping are there, planning to get at Happosai. Taro and Ping robbed a bank in the U.S.
Chapter 1: That Nodoka could have had a stillborn daughter, and her spirit merged with Ranma is acceptable. Other fanfics have had the Ranko spirit from the pool merge with Ranma.
Chapter 2: The added characters of Kumo and Toru are good, although the inter-dimensional travel thing, guy-returning-better stretches things almost too much. That Ranko has had sex with guys in the dreamscape is quite interesting; she obviously is a fully-female spirit, and not a partly-female spirit as often happens in fanfic.
Chapter 3: The idea of people meeting in the dreamscape is actually quite acceptable. It falls into the area of the paranormal, and there are numerous examples. Since Ranma and Ranko have both received a lot of martial art instruction, they have probably both also worked on the spiritual side of the martial arts.
Chapter 4: The main problem with this story becomes terribly apparent in this chapter. It's trying to cover too many things too quickly, bringing up too many plot lines and too many characters. I also think the cursing that is going on is out-of-character for Ranma ½.
The story would have worked much better if the number of characters had been kept down. Kumo and relatives, Ranma, Ranko, the Tendos, then one or two villains. Ranma/Ranko doesn't have to fight everyone he ever fought.
Chapter 5: Way too many characters attacking at the same time. Kuno mastering a sword in four hours is hard to believe. Nabiki as a villain is done rather well, though. In my opinion, at least half of the fighters should be dropped, and the part with Kuno is not really necessary. At this point, Nabiki's character has a lot of potential. Of course, it's all evil.
Chapter 6: The author refers to the way the average Japanese seems to feel about those from other countries. It's still a problem in Japan, especially when it comes to Koreans. The author also has down Akane's personality, as she is constantly getting angry and trying to fight people.
The idea that Ranma was a member of a super-heroes group in another universe some people might have a problem with, but actually I don't. Where do ideas for stories come from? Where do all the comic book universes and their concepts originate? How about the Shadow, and all his adventures? In a universe which is far more complex than anyone ever thought, especially with the possibility of alternative realities being more accepted, maybe there are realities where what is fiction here is fact there, and people who are psychically sensitive here can pick up on events in that other universe. They then write down “fiction” stories which are either true, or at least based on truth, in the other reality.
This is also a concept frequently done in science fiction. On Stargate SG-1, for example, there ends up being a massive number of other realities. In one episode, for example, the base itself has a large number of alternate-realities teams plus far more than those were not allowed on to the base.
Another theory that has been put out is that much inspiration for stories and songs comes from the after-life, where spirits exist and continue to learn things, and transmit some of that knowledge to people who are sensitive here.
Chapter 7: Another good chapter, with things being set up for later. The evil elder Amazon is ok as a character. Ranko seems well-adjusted and happy. There's also some good humor in this chapter.
Chapter 8: Seems to be sort of a pause in the story using filler material.
Chapter 9: The monster fight is good, as is the author covering various bases like making sure Ranko has an “official” identity, Soun starting to teach again, and the continuing problem with P-chan.
Chapter 10: Another chapter where I feel too many plotlines are being used, especially with the introduction of the former Green Goblin. I do like the idea that Akane has fallen in love with someone else.
Chapter 11: Again, too much crammed into one chapter.
Chapter 12: A normal chapter. Only one fight. Time is spent on Ranma's personal problems, which is very good. Tofu finally wanting to date Kasumi is good.
Chapter 13: A chapter setting up later events.
Chapter 14: An interesting chapter, with Akane and her boyfriend getting closer, Fujiko and Ranma getting closer, etc. The fact that so many of these people can fly is sort of hard to accept until you consider that one of the explanations I read for Superman's ability to fly was that it was mental, not physical ability that he used.
Chapter 15: The nightclub scene is pretty good, and the use of racism is done well.
Chapter 16: Two major fights, and Kuno shows up again.
Chapter 17: The chapter begins well enough, with Kuno actually being arrested for once for attacking someone. Then there's the fight with Kodachi and the other two attacking Fujiko, and Mousse appearing at the end. I think three ganging up on one is cowardly, and is not true martial arts. Also, I think Mousse's death threat against Fujiko is carrying his character flaws too far. Finally, Dr. Gero is absurd; all the people are ultra-powerful fighters, and he uses one blast and knocks everyone out. The story doesn't need yet another mad character.
Chapter 18: Sort of strange, but not bad.
Chapter 19: Pretty good.
Chapter 20: Another pretty good chapter.
Chapter 21: More characters are introduced from another anime series. More girls hit on Ranma. Nodoka has been giving “proper lady” lessons to Ranko. Having Happosai take on an apprentice is a neat idea. The only thing I don't like about this chapter is that Taro was involved in robbing a bank in the U.S., and I think that's really out-of-character for him, no matter how normally nasty he is.
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