Ranma Saotome "disorderly horse":
Ranma is the main character of the manga. He’s the 16 year old martial artist who is heir to “the Saotome School of indiscriminate grappling”. Unfortunately, he has a lot of problems. It's bad enough that he's been engaged to two different people, has a Chinese girl trying to marry him and an enemy who's common sense leaves a lot to be desired but to top it all off he turns into a girl in cold water. This means a lot of mishaps (especially in the rain). Luckily he turns back into a boy in hot water but this doesn't mean that people don't think he's a girl.
Ranma has spent most of his life training with his father, in the hope that he will take over a Martial Arts School. On their journey, they visited China where the Legendary Training Springs of Jusenkyo were. Unfortunately Mr. Saotome speaks no Chinese at all.
Ranma gets his curse after falling in Nyanniichuan “spring of drowned girl”. "There very tragic legend of young girl who drown in spring 1500 year ago, now whoever fall in that spring take body of young girl" or so says the Jusenkyo tour guide, but that's after Ranma falls in.
Ranma-girl or Ran-Chan as s/he is known by sometimes, is virtually the same looking as Ranma-boy, apart from the fact that her hair is red (Ranma boy-type's is black) and s/he has a much more feminine figure (actually much, much more feminine).
Ranma was engaged to One of Soun Tendo's daughters, by Mr. Tendo and Mr. Saotome. Due the fact that both of Soun's older daughters have already decided what's going on in their love lives, Akane gets stuck being engaged to Ranma. This is in the hope that Ranma will be the heir to the training school. They kinda get off to a bad start when Akane think's Ranma is a girl and then meets boy Ranma in the Bathroom.
Both characters are strong willed and so detest the arrnged marriage even though they like each other. They spend most of their time arguing with one another although it is obvious to see that they love each other really. Well maybe not when Ranma is being harrassed by his multitudes of admirers.
Shampoo, Ukyou, Kodachi Kuno and Tatewaki Kuno are among those who appear to be madly in love with him, though Tatewaki hates Ranma's boy form and Kodachi hates his girl form. Much of the comedy comes from the strange and wonderful situations that Ranma gets himself into involving his various fiancees and admirers.
Ranma prefers to wear Chinese clothes and always wears his hair in a pigtail. This is because while he was in China Ranma ate some soup, which contained the Dragon's Whisker that would make his hair grow wildly. So he got a Dragon's Whisker to tie his hair with, though why he ties it as a braid, I don't know - maybe it's so to make it harder to come off. Why he has his hair long in the first place is unknown - probably added to make him look more like a girl when female.
Before going on his training journey, Ranma went to school with a boy named Ryouga Hibiki. Ranma was something of a rival to Ryouga as they were both martial artists. However, Ranma, having already been training in martial arts with his father, was able to defeat Ryouga at 'getting the best food at the school cafeteria'. This created a terrible grudge for Ryouga who followed Ranma to China and back and tries to make Ranma's life a misery. Not to much avail, although he does have some rather strange dates with Akane, much to the jealousy of Ranma.
Anyway, since Ranma met his fiancee Akane, the Saotomes have been living with the Tendos at thier Dojo. Since they're staying around, Ranma goes to Furinkan High and is in 1-F, the same class as Akane.
Ranma's only weakness is an intense fear of cats, due to the harsh training he received in Cat-fu as a child.
Personality: In general Ranma is pretty easy going, and he is a lot more tolerant than most of the cast. He also will protect anyone is danger, being bullied on (even if they're normally strong, or are his enemy), and helps out people with their problems. He is rarely underhanded and sneaky (though he is good at it when pushed to use it) nor vindictive (but if you really piss him off, you'll be in deep shit) and is pretty open, honest and direct, and feels bad when he did something he knew he shouldn't.
However, it is quite hard to get a real idea of what he thinks, and how he really behaves, even though Ranma is of course the main character. This is mostly because Ranma is not the introspective type and so we hardly get any pondering of his situation in general, and also because he occasionally does some very surprising things. However, it seems that most of the latter he does on impulse - i.e. he gets an idea on how to resolve something and immediately does it, even though if he thought about it more he would reject it - most likely for being too embarrassing or strange. Ranma has had quite an unusual life, and this helps explain many things about him. For example, his only constant companion has been his father, as he probably moves around quite a bit, and Ranma doesn't seem to want any close friends, or open up to people. So Ranma doesn't consider how others might view his actions, and he has a very straight and direct attitude, in that he rarely hides his opinions or his feelings about a particular subject, or takes into account how others might react to it. In other words, he's insensitive, and over-honest, and often says things he shouldn't have. This is why he has so much trouble dealing with Akane, because not only does he often accidentally insult her (since she has quite a few faults, this isn't hard), but he ignores how his actions or behavior would effect Akane, and of course he also deliberately insults her when they argue - though from his point of view, he didn't start it.