OAV 2 - Tendo Family Christmas Scramble
Kasumi has a dream that Santa Claus asks her to hold a Christmas party at the Tendo Dojo. Practically everyone from the series is invited and chaos ensues. Ranma's fiancées become jealous of one another, Akane thinks Ranma hates her handmade present, and Ranma doesn't feel like singing karaoke with the other girls.
This OVA is definitely not Ranma ½ at its best. While other less funny episodes of Ranma make up for the lack of humor with action scenes or character development, this one offers very little of either. In short, this OVA episode is almost a complete waste of time.
None of the jokes in this episode are funny enough to make you laugh out loud and those that might make you chuckle are too spread out to offer any serious comedic entertainment. Action scenes are relegated to a very short fight between Ryoga, Mousse and Kuno and another even shorter fight scene between Shampoo and Ukyo. There are a few scenes where Ranma and Akane actually treat the other like they care about them, unfortunately there is no development leading up to these scenes, they just sort of "happen".
The artwork is typical quality for the Ranma OVAs, with very nice use of rich and vibrant colors and acceptable animation. On the other hand there is a big problem with the sound quality of the dubbed version of this OVA. Throughout the OVA the sound effects in the English version are noticeably dull when compared with the Japanese version, this is most noticeable during, but not limited to, the concert scene.
The concert scene, which is probably this OVA's biggest draw, features the five regular female cast members (Ranma, Akane, Nabiki, Kasumi and Shampoo) performing a love song for their Christmas party guests. These guests just happen to be just about every single person who has ever appeared in any Ranma TV episode or movie. The Japanese version of this song is very nice, but the English version isn't nearly as good for a variety of reasons. While the Trish Ledoux's re-written lyrics for the English song are actually quite good, most of the English voice actors don't have any of the singing talent of the original Japanese seiyuu. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, background sounds, such as the music are much more dull in the English dub, leaving a very bland feel to the English rendition of this song. Interestingly enough, this is actually more realistic since it is highly unlikely that these five characters would sound like professionals when singing karaoke, but realism never was a strong point in the Ranma universe, and I prefer the better sounding, less realistic, Japanese version of this song. Make sure to listen to Ranma's short solo (listen to the Japanese lyrics, not the English ones). One place where the English dub actually outshines the Japanese is the short scene with the King Gambler, his English voice is great, and his short haiku (in English) is one of the high points of this OVA.
As for the rest of the music in this OVA, the opening and ending themes are the same as with the first OVA. The music during the actual OVA is pretty good, nothing worth listening to on its own, but mood enhancing music that compliments the actual Anime very well.
All in all, this OVA isn't one of the best. In fact, it isn't worth buying or renting at all; unfortunately you have no choice if you want to see the other OVAs.
Overall : C-
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