Woke up in the middle of the night, found myself reading more Ranma 1/2, and finished the series.
...I've had the final volume of the story, in Japanese, since it was released, but my Japanese is robust enough to ask where the toilet is, to say hello and goodbye, and a few other things including "Pantii-o misete kudasai," which means "Please show me your panties."
This is what happens when much of your spoken Japanese comes from anime.
Anyway, so written Japanese is the most complex written language in the world, considering that it encompasses two phonetic alphabets, the roman alphabet, and approximately 5,000 kanji. I've done better than many and have mastered hiragana, and I can usually puzzle out katakana, but it takes Japanese people fifteen years of school before they master the core kanji characters and I was never that devoted to learning to read Japanese. I know maybe eight or nine characters, total.
So, until about 5 AM today, I had never known how the story came out. I had the pictures, and could puzzle out what was going on, but now I know, and I'm just a little disappointed.
Ranma and Akane aren't married. The wedding was interrupted by Ranma, Genma, Mousse, and Ryoga all fighting over the keg of Nannichuan water, sent from Jusenkyo by the guide who lives there. This is the water which would reverse their curses, so that when splashed with cold water:
Ranma would no longer turn into a girlWhich leads to my second disappointment:
Genma would no longer turn into a panda
Mousse would no longer turn into a duck
Ryoga would no longer turn into a black piglet
Ranma isn't cured of the curse. The thing is, going by the rules established earlier in the series, if you dump Jusenkyo water into a container of water the whole thing becomes Jusenkyo water. This was established when a bunch of carnivorous fish were turned into ducks during the episode where Mousse is trying to defeat Ranma. The keg was "enough for one person" but it should have been enough to turn an entire Japanese soaking tub--such as is found at a bath house--into Nannichuan water.
Those were the two big points which should have been done with the series coming to an end. The latter point was "resolved", if you can call it that, by having Ranma say that he was now entirely comfortable with his curse, and no longer felt the need to have it cured--but it should have been cured, or at least the resolution of this issue should have taken more time than a couple of panels.
The former point is also a problem. Okay, they're still in high school, so marriage could be safely postponed until after, but the group I call the Bride Brigade--Akane, Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi--still fight over Ranma. Ranma has made his decision (Akane, as if I had to say it) and they make a show of Ukyo and Shampoo retiring in defeat--but then there they are, at the wedding, fighting over Ranma.
The only thing that has changed at the end of the series is that Ranma and Akane have acknowledged their love for each other. I don't feel like that's enough, not after 38 tankoban. (Tankoban=collections of manga, usually about trade paperback size, encompassing approximately 6-10 issues of the manga as published in the magazine.)
But regardless about how I feel about it, this is what we've got. Oh well.