Is It Really Ranma’s Fault?

I decided to look over the early stories of Ranma ˝ and it got me wondering about the situations, which cause Ranma so many headaches. Though it is generally accepted by the other characters to blame Ranma for all their troubles, I feel that it’s mostly due to their inability or refusal to accept responsibility and because much of their woes was self-inflicted. Another way to look at it, could be due to how Ranma was raised and that would mean that Genma would be the real reason why Ranma has so many people blaming him.

Take Ryoga Hibiki for instance. Now his beef with Ranma started with the Bread Feud. A lot of Lost Boy sympathizers say that Ranma was greedy and should have let Ryoga get some bread. As I looked over both the manga and the anime, I can only say that it was ‘first come, first served.’ The lunch lady didn’t care who got the last curry bread, melon bread, cutlet sandwich or whatnot. She just tossed it into the crowd of boys and let them fight over it. The bread belonged to whoever got it first. So naturally Ranma saw it as a kind of training and used whatever skills needed to get the prize. It wasn’t his fault that Ryoga ended up on the short end of the stick each time.

This Bread Feud of course led to the infamous duel behind Ryoga’s house (in the anime), or down the street, (in the manga). Now this was definitely not Ranma’s fault that Ryoga took four days to get to the spot that HE chose. A lot of fanfic writers say that Ranma should have waited for him, given his problems with directions. Well, Ranma DID wait for him, for three days. Considering that he did so without food, water or sleep, one shouldn’t be surprised that Ranma would eventually collapse and say the heck with it all. Even though it’s not the way he liked to win a fight, he did win that duel by default.

And now we come to Jusenkyo, in which Ryoga had NO business whatsoever in following Ranma to China. He should have accepted his loss, but being the stubborn idiot that he is, he went anyway and got cursed. Though he got kicked into the Spring of Drowned Piglet inadvertently by Ranma, that’s still NOT Ranma’s fault since he shouldn’t have been there in there in the first place. And now he uses his curse to sleep in Akane’s bed and attacks Ranma as P-chan, knowing that Akane will defend him and Ranma is honor-bound not to reveal the truth. From my viewpoint, Ranma doesn’t owe Pig Boy anything and certainly isn’t obliged to keep his secret. If he insists on not telling Akane about Ryoga’s curse, then LET Akane find out on her own by giving her pet a bath. Most likely, Akane won’t take very kindly to have been lied to all this time, and Ryoga should take his medicine for that deception. Of course, if that ever happens, (which it didn’t in the original series), Ryoga would probably blame Ranma for that as well.

Next we come to the stolen yattai and the engagement to Ukyo. Now I can say that Ranma was not at fault for what happened because he was totally unaware of it. I mean, come on, we’re talking about a six-year-old kid. Would he know ANYTHING about marriage and dowries? Heck, he wasn’t even aware of the fact that Ukyo was a girl. Ranma had nothing to do with the arrangement and the real blame is with Genma. Even though he said that his son was already promised, he immediately commented that promises were meant to be broken when Ukyo’s father offered the family cart as a dowry. And did Genma EVER tell his son about the arrangement? No he did NOT and later on, when Ukyo reappeared, he tried to shift the blame to his son with that ‘choosing okonomiyaki over Ukyo’ nonsense.

I label it nonsense, because Ranma does NOT remember it. And that leads to two scenarios. The first scenario is that it DID happen but Genma simply did not tell young, gullible Ranma the reason why he asked, “Which do you like more, Ukyo or okonomiyaki?” When Ranma answered okonomiyaki, Genma took that as an excuse to take the cart, which he did. Would he have honored the agreement if Ranma chose Ukyo? Judging from all available evidence, I would definitely say no. The second scenario, is that the question was never asked, and that Genma just made it up to save his own hide, which is more likely, considering that he didn’t keep his promise to the Daijkoku family either. In both cases, Genma simply stole the cart and when the consequences came back to haunt him, true to fashion, he put all the blame on Ranma.

Is it Ranma’s fault that Akane can’t cook, sew, or isn’t the martial artist that she thinks she is? Definitely not his fault, and though he’s crude in his remarks about her skills, (or lack of), he’s just being totally honest. It won’t help Akane improve if he lies about her attempts, unlike Ryoga who has no problems in fibbing, (like with P-chan). Akane may accuse of Ranma having a big ego, but what does that make her, if she thinks she can get anything the first time without proper practice and following a recipe that’s right in front of her? Ryoga and just about everyone else coddles her, without really giving her any constructive criticism or correcting her when she’s 100 percent wrong.

Ranma is rude, boorish and severely lacking in subtlety and manners, but when you grow up with a father figure like Genma, what can you expect? And it is because of that background, that he is unprepared in situations where his martial arts will not help him. Genma expects him to marry Akane and carry on the School of the Anything Goes, but with his total lack of preparing Ranma on how to interact with girls, then getting him cursed to turn into a girl by dragging him to Jusenkyo, how can you expect his son to act any other way than he did during that first meeting? Then having Akane walk in on him in the bathroom, (without asking or knocking), and being labeled a pervert, Ranma could only retaliate in the only way he knows how… and that just snowballed from there.

Now I’m not saying that everything is NOT Ranma’s fault, because there are some instances where he had it coming, but what I’m trying to get across is that he’s been made the scapegoat for just about everyone else’s problems without just cause. Is it Ranma’s fault that Kuno is out to kill his guy side but is in love with his girls side? No, that’s just Kuno’s stupidity. Is it Ranma’s fault that Ryoga hates him for everything that went bad for him? No, that’s just Ryoga’s stubborn streak and lack of better judgment. Is it Ranma’s fault that Mousse can never win Shampoo? No, that’s just Mousse being so pathetic in his own attempts to win her and treating her like she’s already engaged to him. And for just about all of Genma and Soun’s crimes, Ranma is expected to pay for them, just because they shift the blame to him and not owning up to their own responsibilities.