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- Ranma 1/2 - The Shadow Chronicles by Mark McKinnon - I never used to get why there was a shitload of Ranma fic out there or even why people would want to read it, much less *write* it. Sure, the Ranma characters were neat, but neat enough to write THAT many fics? It wasn't until I started reading (and watching more than a handful of episodes) that I got it. There are so MANY ways to play with these characters, so many different directions to take them. The series itself almost never resolved any of the issues set up, nor did it often touch on what these situations must have done to their emotional and mental states. Mark McKinnon's fics were some of the first I read and are still some of my favorites; his writing is supber, characterizations perfect, and dialogue wonderful. His fight scenes also kick ass and you could *see* these were the characters in the original material. (Ie, on screen or in the books.) They are infinitely *readable* and are good enough leaving you wanting more. Two of the things that get the most points in my book.
- Ranma 1/2 - A Lesson in Love by Marisa Price - Mulling this story over for awhile, I think I realized what it is that bothers me a little about the writing... it feels like the author is hitting the pause button of the fic to summarize everything for us, telling us in a straightforward manner what the situation is and how the character feels about that, without filtering it through their thought proceses. However (and it's not like I'd list it here if I didn't think it worth being rec'd), I'm more than willing to give it a little time because a) it's long and I like long fics (they also give the author time to grow as a writer or settle into a style), b) I've only just started, c) the writing is very readable, I'm not jolted out of the story every five seconds by an awkward phrase (writers like that don't happen nearly often enough for my taste), d) the story seems to be touching on issues I want to read about, and e) the characterizations are damned good. I agree with her take on them and their reactions to the given situations. So... I like. ^_^v (RanmaxAkane, RyougaxUkyou.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Street Fururu [ Japanese Fan Art Site ] - Aww, more fun Ranma fan art. Some of them are little too round-ish-CG-y, but I adore this site just for this illustration of Ranma and Akane with a couple of brats. And the colors of this one are lovely. And awww. And there's a lot of here, too. (Make sure you go through the gift/treasure gallery as well, there's a lot more tucked away in there, too.) ^_^v (RanmaxAkane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Bulb [ Japanese Fan Art Site ] - Aww, cute RanmaxAkane-centric fan art. ^_^ I kinda like the sketch-like nature of the art and the pretty colors, and, of course, the content. ^_^v Like this one looks priceless. (RanmaxAkane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Rainy Afternoon by Sholio - Ranma 1/2 is a series where there is a lot of really good fic, but I never seem to have the time to settle into it or find the right fic to really catch my attention, so color me surprised when I read this fic on a whim and didn't get distracted once. Of course, it helps that I just adore Sholio's writing and have been reading her fics all day, but she also does some of the best sparkling characterization that I've seen. And what I mean by that is that not only do the characterizations resonate with me, not only are they right, but that they make me laugh or smile or touch my heart in the way they're supposed to. The writing is... clever. That's the best way to put it, I think. And excuse me while I fawn, 'cause it's been awhile since I read a good Ranma-fic that I liked. I do so adore the fic for that series. =^_^= (No real warnings.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Red, Orange, Black, After Black, Yellow, and Manila by Joseph Palmer - When I saw the link to these stories on animefics, I went, "Ooh! Yay! Ranma/Akane fic! I love those! *sparkle*" And it had been a long time since I'd read any Ranma/Akane that I'd really liked, so I was looking forward to them and... I found that what I liked about them was what I liked about the original series, in a way. I've read other fics that have made me go, "Oh, my god, that was so amazing!" more than this one did, but these stories had a special... charm to them that made me smile and love them. They're... very, very WAFFy, far more so than the series itself, but that's okay, because I like Ranma/Akane WAFF. The writing is good, very smooth and readable and... somehow reminds me of the mangaka's art. It's... kind of simple, in a way, but still very pretty, very... heart-warming. (Ranma/Akane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Cast a Long Shadow by Mark MacKinnon - Yes, yes, I've rec'd this author's stories before, but 1) that was a crappy rec and 2) it was an author rec more than a specific story rec and 3) it's my archive, I can do what I want. ^_~ Also, I've been reading so much Ranma 1/2 fic lately that I at least want something to show for it. Anyway. This fic did a couple of things for me that will always stand out in my mind--this is one of the first I picked out at random to read and it just... completely and utterly set the tone for the fandom for me. The characters were three-dimensional and believable, the characterization so spot-on that it made my teeth hurt, the huge cast juggled amazingly well, and the plot... oh, the plot just sunk its teeth into me and wouldn't let go. It's a darker fic, a huge epic about demons and dark spiritual things, which you would think would clash with a series in as light of a tone as Ranma 1/2's, but... just... it worked for me. So incredibly well.
It helps that it's not just about the demons or the fights (but, dude, I so get happy fangasms off those, too), it's about the characters and their reactions. It's about the slowly building relationships between the characters, the friendships that have spawned, the evolving relationships between others. And Ranma and Akane... THIS, no matter how much other Ranma fic I read, THIS is what Ranma and Akane are for me, in my ultimate evolution for them. They sparkle, they're clever, they're sweet without being saccharine, they're a little bit spastic, and they make me flutter around the room like the good fangirl I am, without ever being all shoujo-y about it. This is Ranma and Akane, to my eyes. Also? The foreshadowing and storyline hints being laid for future stories? Fantastic. I rec this fic multiple times because it is my favorite. Luff. (Ranma/Akane, some dramatic content, but a good balance of the entire cast.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Prodigal Mother by Mark MacKinnon - Yes, yes, I am going to rec all of Mark's stories as I read them because, just... they're all part of this richer tapestry that he's weaving that I find myself falling in love with every time I read more of it. In this one, Nabiki starts to unravel the mysteries surrounding the Kunou household after the events of Cast a Long Shadow. What I love about this is that everything is done so amazingly well, especially the darker, more dramatic elements to the story, the horror of what's going on around them, the suspenseful mystery surrounding everything. And Nabiki is done gorgeously--her careful scheming to find out more information is beautifully plotted, you can see her mind working and it just... it's CLEVER. And it continues to segue into future stories and it starts shifting the focus to the Kunou family (after reading more and more of the manga, I've developed a real fondness for both Shampoo and Kunou... I think it's the lack of annoying voices ^_~) and the way Kunou himself is changing. I luff. (No real warnings.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Ill Met by Starlight by Susan Doenime and Mike L. - This is one of those fics that I've been aware of since my original quick trip through the Ranma fandom, but never quite got around to reading until now... probably largely because it is such an incredibly long fic. Not the longest out there, but DAMNED long. And once I started on it... it was one of those fics that I just could not put down--I read the first half of it one day (note that it's over a MB long, so it's incredibly rare for me to sit still long enough for that, much less in one day) and only stopped because I had to go to bed. I picked it back up again yesterday morning and just could not stop reading, that's how well this story pulled me into it. Now, first I'm going to mention a couple of crits I had for the story--the ending felt a small bit rushed, like it could have been paced a bit bitter and at least one character's death felt like it was thrown in just for shock value rather than because she genuinely had to die.
That said, they're incredibly minor nits in the grand scheme of this fic, because... just... wow. First of all, the writing is fantastic, the kind of makes-my-teeth-hurt-to-read it fabulous writing, which is often times what I require of Ranma fic. Second, the characterization is just so incredibly tight that I boggle in amazement at it--Ranma especially is just... this is a different Ranma from the one we're used to, this one is quite insane. But the way he was done? I can still see Ranma in there--this one uses his head more, is more aware of the skills he has beyond martial arts and is aware and uses that charisma he has. Which is an amazing thing to see here--he still has that... that... sense of, well, charisma to him that's such an essential part of the character for me. You can't help but notice Ranma, you can't help being drawn to him.
The other thing is the way the psychological thriller stuff (if you read the author's notes at the end, they mention that, yes, the fic is dark, but it's more of a psychologicial thriller, which I agree with) is just... genuinely creepy. Ranma is SCARY here, genuinely and truly. Not just because he's strong, but because he's so charismatic and can turn everyone else against you, because his mask is so flawless that sometimes I wondered what was real and what wasn't. Even as a reader I was still in doubt about him, about how "evil" he really was. And, finally, the real heart of this story for me? Ranma and Akane's relationship. Because Ranma is different, the relationship itself is a little different, surprisingly (and yet not surprisingly) gentler and closer than their canon selves--these characters are just as in love/more in love and a lot closer and rarely fight because of the way Ranma is different. Yet, at the same time, it's still THEM, it's still that same spark and chemistry that is Ranma and Akane and what kept me so absolutely enthralled with this fic. This is a terribly long rec and not exactly very coherent, but I had to mention all those points because they were all the things that immediately jumped to mind about what I loved with this fic, it was that well-done. Go reeeeeeeeeead it. +___+ (Ranma/Akane, very dark themes, some deaths.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Ninjoubanashi - Thicker Than Water (And Much Tastier) by Eric Hallstrom - I admit, I went looking for Ranma/Shampoo fics this morning because... well, as much as I love Ranma/Akane, I am a Ranma fangirl first and foremost and since I've started reading the manga (as opposed to watching random episodes of the anime), I've grown to be a lot more fond of Shampoo, so I wanted to see how a fic with them would be done. And... to be honest, I found this fic kind of working for me (even if Ranma was pretty much only in the background for most of it), the concept was clever, the execution interesting, Shampoo was VERY well-done and it was one of those stories that was just enough... that I kind of want more of these two characters. .....dammit. ~_~ (Ranma/Shampoo.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Christmas at Sub-Zero by Sam A. J. Halsall - Okay. So. I stumbled over this story from a referral to my site, clicked on it, came across the site, decided to give a random story a chance, and... well, I liked it. I have this oddly growing fondness for Ranma/Shampoo fics when done just right (which, sadly, doesn't seem to be very often ~_~). The writing of this story was suberbly done, just gorgeous writing and something I can SO EASILY see happening, especially the way things turn out in the end. Shampoo's characterization was subtle (I know, I know, she's not a subtle character, but it WORKS here) and sparkling, her reaction to the events around her wonderful. And the lemon? God, why can't this author have written more? Beautiful and lovely without being overly flower or romance-novel-esque. It doesn't skip the details, but neither does it get crude. It was wonderful. *happy tears* (Ranma/Shampoo, with Ranma/Akane referenced, lemon content.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Fair Warning by Kenko - The summary reads: A one-shot... what if someone had had... fair warning? And I read that and thought, hell, why not? It's semi-short and I never get through the long epics, maybe I'll get through this. And it was a cute, kinda fluffy little story. The writing was very good, incredibly smooth and readable, managing to really evoke the feel of Takahashi's style and give me a perfect picture of the scene going on. I really liked the author's take on Akane, she felt right, and the idea was cute and clever and just quirky enough that it fit in with the style/feel of Ranma 1/2. Just... a FUN story. Go read. (A little Ranma/Akane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Three Days to Say I Love You by Angela Jewell - I don't even remember how I came across this fic anymore (despite it being just yesterday or so), but I'm so very glad I did, because it is exactly what I wanted from a Ranma 1/2 fic. The writing is so smooth and perfect that I barely notice the words, I just easily slip into the story the author was telling and didn't come back up for air until it was done. The characterizations were top-notch--there are times when I can find Akane's character irritating (don't get me wrong, I really like Akane's characters, it's just that there are times when I can find her anger or frustration to be silly or unjustified), but with this story, I couldn't have adored her more. Even when she was angry and ready to fly off the handle, she was a sympathetic character, someone who was trying really hard and you could see the maturity in her blossoming. (I also loved that it wasn't about playing favorites, because Ranma was my darling Ranma here, too.) There was absolutely no moment where I was annoyed with any character, even when they were at odds with each other or getting on each other's nerves. The demon that makes the bargain with Akane was also really well done, she felt like something that could have stepped out of Japanese lore, but also fit extremely well with the Ranma 1/2 style. Add to this some of the flat-out best Ranma/Akane moments I've read and an incredible climax to the story... during the later chapters, I felt like I could have cried over the intensity of the connection between Ranma and Akane, they were really and truly powerful, meaningful, and touching. And I mentioned the stellar prose and dialogue, right? Seriously one of the best fics for the series that I've read. (Ranma/Akane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - Acceptance by DQBunny - Oh, I liked this. I especially liked it because... it's Akane post-manga, she's been through a lot in the past year, she's started to grow up and she knows a lot more about her own feelings and you can see it reflected here. She's still very fierce and independant, but she's... tempered in all the way she should be. I really liked that in this story, she's thinking about the future a little, because these are things she would think about and worry over in their future, yet still... being Akane. And the ending is wonderful, they're still Ranma and Akane after all. <3 (Ranma/Akane.)
- Ranma 1/2 - apnea [ Japanese Fanart Site ] - It's been ages since I even thought about looking for Ranma fanart, but my favorite okekai board was having a Rumiko week and that led to checking a few sites out and that led to stumbling over Rumiko Search and then that led to checking a few more sites out. And this one is totally just my speed--a decent amount of art and it's really cute and captures the original manga's style and yet still has the artist's own style in it and it's all about Ranma and Akane. ♥ Not everything is perfect, but there are lots of soft colors and the two of them being cute at each other and some really cool concepts/poses it just. Satisfies that craving I have for pairing stuff with them. <3 Especially the one of them in the snow. That made me happy in my heart. (Ranma/Akane.)