In a show as long as Ranma 1/2, completionism is often a mindset that leads to failure. As much as you may want to see all the good that the show has to offer, it may not be worth plowing through the bad, epecially with a show this long. Luckily, Ranma 1/2 is almost entirely episodic, so it’s easy to simply skip over the bad episodes. I have created this guide to help you get through all of the good episodes of Ranma. If you still feel like you have to see all of it despite the fact that you will never get around to it, simply follow my guide and say that you’ll watch all of the episodes you skipped ‘later.’
Now, Ranma has it’s fair share of moderately bad to outright horrible episodes. Anything that is really, truly bad i have not allowed into this list. About 24 episodes have been cut, meaning that the absolute most episodes you will possibly watch following this list is 137. However, that’s still a pretty huge number, and not all of those are amazing episodes. About 39 of those episodes can be easily skipped, however I have marked them as ‘optional’ pending circumstances as listed. Generally, an episode is listed as optional if it isn’t that bad and stars a certain character – so if you really like that character, you may want to see more episodes of them. Some episodes are marked as ‘optional if you’re really bored’ which is for those of you who aren’t trying to cut the series down too far, and just want to skip the really bad ones.
Assuming you skip all of the bad and moderately bad episodes, you will be left with the much more reasonable number of 98 episodes, which I would recommend watching all of to get the best experience. However, if that number sounds too great still, I have gone and bolded all of the episodes that you Absolutely Must watch in order to understand the plot of the show, so if you really don’t have time/energy for a long series but still want to try out Ranma, you can just stick to those. Using this method, you will only have to watch 60 episodes, the bare minimum.
Now, what is very important to keep in mind here is that if you are using the Viz DVDs or have downloaded rips of the Viz DVDs, then the episode order will be different from what I list, seeing as I am listing them in the Japanese broadcast order. HOWEVER, it is more than easy to figure out which episode is which using Rumic World’s Ranma 1/2 Perfect Edition Episode Guide which corresponds directly to my list and gives both episode titles and descriptions for every episode. So you’ll have to do just a bit of piecing together on which episodes are which, but it shouldn’t be hard. There is also the list of episodes on Wikipedia that should cut down on the work.
List of Ranma 1/2 Episodes You May Want to Watch:
Season 1 episodes: 1-17
(after season 1, the episode numbers reset back to 1 because it is technically 2 different series)
Season 2 episodes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, (optional 13 + 14 if you like Mousse), 15, 16, 17, 18, (optional 19 if you like Kodachi), 21, (optional 22 if you like Happosai)
Season 3 episodes: 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, (optional 30 if you’re just bored), 31, 33, 34, 35, (optional 36 if you like Mousse, 37 if you like Happosai), (optional 38 if you like Kodachi), 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, (optional 45 if you’re just bored)
Season 4 episodes: I really wish I could say you don’t have to watch 46, but it introduces a character. Stop after a few minutes if he makes you contemplate suicide, 48, 49, 50, 51, (optional 54, introduces minor recurring character), 55, (optional 56 if you’re just bored), 57, (optional 58 if you like Ryoga, 59 if you like Happosai), 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, (optional 65 if you like Shampoo, 66 if you like Mousse), 67, (optional 68 if you like Azusa), 69
Season 5 episodes: 70, 71, (optional 72 if you like Lin Lin and Ran ran), (optional 73 if you like the ghost cat), 74, 76, (optional 77 if you’re bored), 78 is another bad principal ep, but it’s where you learn he’s Kuno’s dad, (optional 80 if you’re bored), (optional 81 or 82 if you’re bored, 82 introduces very minor recurring character), 83, 84, (optional 85 if you’re bored, 86 if you like Sasuke), 87, 88, (optional 90 if you like Ryoga, 91 if you like Happosai), 92, 93, 94
Season 6 episodes: (optional 95 if you like the Kunos), 96, (optional 97 and 98 if you’re bored, 98 introduces very minor recurring character), 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110, 111, 113, (optional 115 if you like Gosunkugi), (optional 116 if you’re bored), 117, (optional 118 if you like Happosai)
Season 7 episodes: (optional 119 if you like Kuno), 121, (optional 122 if you like Happosai), 123, 124, (optional 125 if you like Shampoo), 127, 128, (optional 129 if you like Picolet), 130, 131, 135, 136, 137, 138, (optional 139 if you like the Kunos), (optional 140 if you like dogs and Ryoga, 141 if you’re bored), 142, 143
Most of the bolded ones diretly involve plot progress in one way or another, but if you have the time, I urge you to go at least the 98 episode route. Good luck with whatever path you choose, and enjoy!