The Tendo School of Anything Goes. Is It Really Worth It?
Here we go again, with another round of me shooting my mouth off over something that got my hackles raised. I just recently got an e-mail from one of the KOTF (Knights of the Terrible Fiancée). Yes, they keep turning up like cockroaches when you least expect them. This particular schmuck went on and on about how the Pledge to Unite The Anything Goes and the promised engagement before Ranma and Akane were ever born, is the only valid contract and all the other girls have no claim.
The Pledge to Unite the Schools.
You mean there’s a Tendo School Of Anything Goes Martial Arts? There’s actually another branch that rivals the Saotome Anything Goes? There’s this great fighting style with powerful moves, incredible techniques and seemingly impossible tactics?
Well… not really.
Throughout the entire series, (manga and anime), I have BARELY, EVER heard the battle cry, “TENDO ANYTHING GOES MARTIAL ARTS SPECIAL TECHNIQUE… ETC.” Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve run across anything like that. I’ve heard “Saotome Anything Goes, or Anything Goes, and so on, but I have not heard the name Tendo attached to any move or technique. Do they even have any moves that are special to the Tendo school at all? Do they hold any value or even considered noteworthy?
Soun Tendo’s Demon Head: Really scary, but exactly what does it serve in martial arts besides intimidation? Does Soun just stand there looking ugly and expect his opponent to just bow down and surrender? What happens when he comes across an enemy that isn’t scared or impressed by the display? Then what?
Akane’s Brick-Breaking and General Pummeling: Standard moves, and though it can get ridiculous when she starts breaking huge stacks in a row, we can’t say that it’s a special move and just about any standard martial artist can achieve such a feat with practice.
Twin-Jet Stream Technique: I wouldn’t exactly call this a special move for the Tendo school since it requires someone from the Saotome school to do it with them.
Natsume and Kurumi’s Hiryu Karimbou: This DOES NOT count as a Tendo technique, since both girls are not really Soun’s daughters, (they were lied to by Happosai). They had to develop it on their own, away from any so-called formal training under Soun’s guidance, the supposed MASTER of the Tendo school.
So is there anything else? Can’t think of any other moves or such that come to mind. So that’s it? That’s ALL the Tendo School of Anything Goes has to offer? Does it have anything WORTHWHILE to contribute to the Art aside from having more offspring from the marriage to continue the so-called Tendo School?
Then why even BOTHER uniting with such a mediocre and essentially WORTHLESS discipline?
The Tendo School can be compared, (at least to me), like a leech or parasite. It can’t stand on it’s own, so it has to lean HEAVILY on its counterpart, the Saotome side. Nothing is actually done to improve the discipline. In fact, the School is pretty much at a standstill, especially with Soun Tendo at its head.
Throughout the series, Soun own a dojo that has no students. He teaches no one, and only sparred occasionally with Akane in the beginning. He’s a crybaby and isn’t ashamed of that fact. He plays Shogi all day with Genma and has no job nor regular source of income. He’s pretty much left his children to fend for themselves and does NOTHING as a father to help them in their times of need. He goes on and on about his dead wife and doesn’t even meet any challengers, but instead lets Akane and Ranma fight for him. He’s a coward and can’t even see himself taking responsibility for any of his mistakes.
Great candidate for a sensei… NOT!
As I said, nothing but a parasite. Soun has placed all his hopes and dreams on uniting the Schools, because without the Saotome side, the Tendo School would have withered away and eventually forgotten. He has done NOTHING to keep his school alive and expects his children to do everything for him. In other words, he’s leaning on his friend Genma and his son to keep HIS school going. As author Rippen Drakuzz said in his fic, Dark Present, No Regrets, it’s not to carry on the dojo, but rather to TAKE OVER the dojo. Like I stated in Fighting Blind, the Tendo Dojo is a DEAD legacy.
As much as I hate Genma, I will admit that he’s done more for the Anything Goes than Tendo has. Of course, it was all at Ranma’s expense, but he and his son has contributed to the discipline. Things like the Umisenken and the Yamasenken for example. Many of their techniques have been stolen and modified from other styles, but then again, the Founding School of Anything Goes was based on Happosai’s perversion and stealing habits, so you can’t exactly say that Genma and Ranma didn’t follow their school’s creeds. Though Ranma has suffered much from Genma’s stupidity, plus all the trials he’s been through by his rivals and fiancées, he has added the MOST to his school’s techniques.
So naturally, Soun would see Ranma as the perfect way to raise his school’s reputation, WITHOUT having to go through all that work. Why bother fighting stronger people and endure the torture of training, when he can let Ranma do it, then marry him into the Tendo family to get those techniques? As for Genma, well it’s his plan for a luxurious retirement, so why not agree to the pledge?
And about that pledge itself. How do we KNOW that it was made YEARS before Ranma was born? All we have is Soun and Genma’s say so. And in many fanfics and reader speculations, it has hypothesized that both were drunk at the time. And we all know that Genma isn’t anywhere NEAR the epitome of truthfulness. Soun isn’t exactly an honest person either. If the pledge truly WAS made so long ago, don’t you think it would have been invalidated when Genma promised Ranma to Ukyo, then stole her family’s cart? How about the time when Genma sold Ranma for a bowl of rice, a fish and two pickles?
Technically speaking, the pledge is nothing more than a verbal agreement that was made a questionable time ago, (and under even more questionable circumstances), and has no proof of its validity, other than on the words of two idiots who use honor as an excuse. In that respect, their pledge is no more valid than any of the claims of the other fiancées. Furthermore, joining the Tendo School with the Saotome’s would have made no sense, since the Tendo school would not enhance the Saotome’s, and the Saotome’s would likely suffer due to dragging a deadweight like the Tendo’s. There’s no financial gain aside from Genma and Soun living off their children’s sweat. And unfortunately, I would have to say that neither CANON Ranma nor Akane would make good instructors, since both lack patience and understanding.
The Saotome Anything Goes Martial Arts does has its own faults and drawbacks, but in Ranma’s case, it’s still a valid and powerful fighting style. Ranma is constantly training to learn new techniques and adapt them to his fighting style. As he improves, so does his school. It doesn’t need to join with its weaker and almost non-existent counterpart. It would more likely benefit from merging with the Amazon, Kuonji and or even (shudder), Kuno methods. The pledge to unite the schools is nothing more than an excuse for Genma to mooch off his friend, and for Soun to carry on his school without having to fight for it.