For anime fans, everybody got their start somewhere — mine was, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), this little shounen manga entitled Ranma 1/2.
Crammed full of improbable transformations, intense hand-to-hand combat, topless hi-jinks, and out-of-this world personalities, Ranma 1/2 was a fantastic introduction to the world of Japanese comics and anime.
With an ensemble cast numbering in the low hundreds, it’s hard to pick a favorite, right? That wasn’t the case with me: from the very first chapter my heart was set on one particular character.
And it wasn’t because he was handsome or rich, or that he was handy in a fight — it was because he was so, so, so full of himself that by the end of the series he was likely to end up FOREVER ALONE.
He is Tatewaki Kuno, and here are five reasons why he will never get a girlfriend.
He is the most oblivious person in the world — bar none.
Not even Ranma transforming from boy to girl (and back) right in front of him is enough to convince Kuno that Saotome Ranma and his beloved pig-tailed girl are one and the same. He is dense, clueless, and incapable of empathy — kind of like your real boyfriend when the new Call of Duty has just been released.
His much vaunted “charisma” with women is practically nonexistent.
Kuno likes to think of himself as the perfect lover — an irresistible Don Juan who has his modus operandi for courting women down pat. Unfortunately for him, nothing can be further from the truth — as evidenced by both Akane and the pig-tailed girl’s rejections of his incessant wooing. Even Ukyo has a much better chance landing a girl, and she’s a girl herself!
The boy gets no respect. SO RONERY.
Several Ranma episodes feature dearest Kuno-baby being trampled by a thundering horde in mid-speech — the poor boy just doesn’t get any respect (not that he deserves it, but that’s beside the point :D). The only time anybody ever bothers with him is if he has something they want — a wad of thousand-yen bills for Nabiki, a cursed weapon for Ranma boy and girl-types, or a way to get back at Ranma for Akane. SO RONERY.
If the Ranma universe is anything to go by, more than half of the entire female population can beat the crap out of him without breaking a sweat.
Ranma-onna can beat the crap out of him. Akane can beat the crap out if him. His sister Kodachi can beat the crap out of him. Even non-martial arts practitioner Nabiki can beat the crap out of him — if suitably motivated. So no, Kuno — the ladies don’t need you as a knight in shining armor. But you’ll probably need to be in armor if you’re ever up against them.
The person he is most in love with in the entire world is actually himself.
Face it Kuno — you are a consummate narcissist :DDDDD I suspect the only real reason he pursues both Akane and Ranma-onna with such fervor is because he thinks that he — as God’s gift to womankind, deserves them both. He wants them to be his girlfriends so that they will marvel at his looks and skill and fat bank account, and of course that never ends well both in the 2D and the 3D worlds.
In the end, I just like Kuno because behind his goofy characterization and the scrapes he gets himself into, he is basically a walking and talking example of what not to look for in a boyfriend. And even if you think it’s impossible to find someone as bad a caricature as Kuno, there are a couple of lowlifes somewhere who fit the bill — they’re just not as handsome, not as clueless, and not as adorkable as our Kuno-baby.
So here’s to you Kuno — rich boy, martial artist, and doormat. May you find happiness in a Rumiko Takahashi gaiden, sometime in the near future <3<3<3
This post is part of the Movable Manga Feast featuring Rumiko Takahashi, hosted by Rob Mcmonigal of Panel Patter, as recommended by Khursten Santos of Otaku Champloo. Surf on by to get a taste of the other Rumic-centric posts, which hopefully will not leave you FOREVER ALONE.