Ramble #1: Why Does Akane Have to Always Win?
Well, I suppose that it had to happen that I'd open up a Ramble Section and that my first one would be about the character that I like the least. Well, let's get to it shall we? (And for all those KOTF and Supporters of Mallets R Us, I give thee a Japanese Red Eye!)
By now, my readers know that I dislike Akane and in my fanfics, she doesn't get much on the breaks. What am I saying? She doesn't get any breaks period. Why? Well, the answer is simple. She has all the breaks in the manga and the anime.
Skysaber once mentioned this to me, and I feel that he's right on the mark. Akane is the character who will always be handed a 'gimmee.' In other words, Akane will be the one who gets the lucky break, is the one to deliver the final blow, arrive in the nick of time to save Ranma, or some other such nonsense. (Pardon me, while I refrain from losing my lunch). The Super Soba, the Battle Dogi, the Moxibustion Point and others are all prime examples in which Akane gets something that puts her over her rivals, in which normally, she could never attain. She also gets to 'save' Ranma, thereby putting him in debt to her and giving her a chance to gloat. Without these gimmees, Akane wouldn't have lasted nowhere near as long as she had.
Is Akane a good martial artist? In comparison to everyone else, she's at the bottom of the ladder, probably just above her father's level. And yet, she does very little to improve on said skills, but is able to win against experts? When fanfic authors write about Akane suddenly gaining enough skills to beat Cologne, I really think they really need a reality check. Every fight she's ever been in, she always receives some kind of edge, gets helped by Ranma, or her adversary makes some stupid mistake and Akane wins by blind luck. I have NEVER seen Akane beat an opponent with her own skills and by herself in the original series. And for those of you who say that she beats Kuno and the Horde of Hentai all the time, just keep in mind that Kuno never goes all out against her and the Horde is mostly composed of non-martial artists.
Another question is why is it that every male seems to go after Akane? She's neither especially beautiful nor talented. In fact, she has next to no redeeming qualities at all, yet every male becomes fixated on her in one way or another. Yeesh!
When Rumiko Takahashi wrote Ranma 1/2, she came up with a law that stood true throughout the entire series: Akane must always WIN! Even when she is proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt, she doesn't have to apologize or make any atonement for her actions. Even when she's facing up against an opponent who is by far her superior, she has to be the winner. It's just the way it was. Akane must always be defended by Ranma (mostly) or some other character. She must always be saved. She'll always have someone to clean up her messes. She can't make a mistake because... she's Akane Tendo that's why! Takahashi established it that way and that's the way it's going to stay! And apparently, many of the writers who advocate the Ranma/Akane pairing feel the same way. (Whoops! There goes my lunch anyway)
I suppose I could go on and on about how Akane always gets the breaks, but I think you'd get the idea. Oh sure, the Akane-lovers out there would point out all the good things she had done, but they're only pointing out the 'gimmees' that Takahashi had awarded to her. Akane was made to LOOK good in comparison to all the others, because that's how it went. All the boys who wanted her, only saw the good side and never any of her numerous faults, (petty, vain, self-centered, extremely violent, unable to cook, sew or any other domestics, etc). All the other girls were seen as scheming, psychotic, ignorant and heartless. Akane was the pure, perfect princess who could do no wrong. Take away those gimmees and what do you have? Akane is reduced to nothing. It's as simple as that.
When I started wring fanfics, I had decided that a changeup was needed. First of all was NO RANMA/AKANE PAIRUPS. It's been done to death. There's no point in it. Secondly, without Ranma, Akane would have to go on as she was in the beginning. No Ranma means, that if she gets into trouble, she won't have him as a safety net. No Ranma means, that she has to solve her own problems, instead of blaming them all on him and have him deal with them. No Ranma means that Akane will have to fight her own battles with whatever mediocre skills she has. Finally, no Ranma means that Akane will have to deal with the world OUTSIDE of her own private kingdom. This includes encountering martial artists who are her superiors and the fact that the world will not bow down to her, just because her family has sheltered and catered to her thus far. (Remember that she has grown up without being disciplined by her father when her mother had died). We all go through the same trials in our lifetimes and endure those hard knocks. Failing and making mistakes are parts of the learning process, not just in battles, but also in everything we do. That is how we learn. Why should Akane be exempt from that?
Does she ever improve her martial arts whenever she gets beaten or shown up? Nope. She always has Ranma to save her, or she gets some lucky break, like the Battle Dogi and the Super Soba. Does she ever learn to cook anything edible? Nope. She continues to ignore the recipe and thinks that it will all come to her, despite the fact that the recipe is there for a reason. To put it plainly, she has to admit to the mistake and strive to correct it. Akane doesn't acknowledge that she makes mistakes. Therefore, she continues to make the same errors repeatedly. In a way, she's like Kuno with his delusions. And yet, despite those mistakes, she never pays for them. It is always someone else who pays for them; mostly it's Ranma.
Whenever someone says that Ranma always wins in the canon series, I feel that they should revise that phrase to 'Ranma loses in everything but the fight' and that 'Akane always wins,' because that what she does. In the original, she's the quintessential winner, because she will always have Ranma, always be able to do what she want and get away with it, and won't have to answer for whatever mistakes she makes because that's Ranma's job.
Whew! Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'm going back to writing.