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The Love Polygon

Why 'Pairing-Up' Doesn't Work

Proud to be the most controversial Ranma site on the Internet

Cutting to the chase, this page displays the infamous Takahashi Love Polygon of Ranma 1/2 (named after the creator of Ranma 1/2, Takahashi Rumiko, 5th wealthiest person in Japan...): who loves who, who is loved by who, and who doesn't love who. Then, an expose why 'pairing-up' (eg. make character X and Y a couple; I mean a dating couple, mind you) characters really doesn't work out.

7/3/00: Anime Expo 2000 Con Report available for viewing.

New 4/20/00: Updated entries.

Fan misconceptions page moved.

The Takahashi Love Polygon

CharacterWho he/she lovesWho rivals his/her loveWho loves him/her
RanmaAkaneKuno, Ryoga, Shinnosuke, GosunkugiAkane, Shampoo, Kodachi, Ukyo
RyogaAkaneRanma, Kuno (sometimes)Akari
KunoAkane and the pig-tailed girl (girl Ranma)Ranma, Ryoga (sometimes)Mariko
KodachiRanmaAkane, Shampoo, UkyoNobody
ShampooRanma (only boy part, tho)Akane, Ukyo, KodachiMousse
UkyoRanmaAkane, Shampoo, KodachiTsubasa, Konatsu
Genmafood, NodokanobodyNodoka
Soundaughters, dead wifenobodyhis daughters, Miss Hinako
KasumiDr. TofunobodyDr. Tofu (?)
NabikiMoneyclients she pulled fast-ones onnobody (although Corg says Kuno, but I doubt it)
AkaneRanmaShampoo, Ukyo, KodachiRyoga, Ranma, Shinnosuke, Kuno, Gosunkugi
Happosaiwomen in general, lingerienobodyNobody! Die, old lecher!
KonatsuUkyoTsubasa (but he gave up)nobody
Dr. TofuKasuminobodyKasumi (?)
HinakoSounSoun's daughtersSoun? (no chance to ask)
GosunkugiAkaneRanma, Kuno, Ryoga, Shinnosukenobody

Why 'Pairing-Up' Doesn't Work

One of the biggest mysteries in Ranma fandom is the desire to 'pair-up' character X with character Y. Why do people do this? Beats me, but I think it's just a way to say that the characters deserve someone. Takahashi-san (prostrate yourselves!) said the only real couple in the series was Ranma and Akane, and I tend to agree.

So what's wrong with pairing-up? Well, most of the time it's illogical matches, for one thing. Sometimes the pairing is downright unrealistic. Someone explain to me WHY everybody has to be part of a couple? My biggest beef about this 'pairing-up' thing is that the pairing often goes unexplained; unless you provide sufficient evidence to suggest a pairing would work, I scoff at it.

In sum, you can't just throw two characters together for no good reason. I'm not saying you CAN'T imagine these up, but that you should put good reason behind them (backing by facts is preferrable to personal whims). This definitely includes certain hentai (perverted) graphics/texts that say otherwise.

The basis of this essay is contained within the manga, which bars divine intervention, time travel, external circumstances that could put two characters together, magic, personal whim, etc.. If you feel like arguing with me, be Spock and not McCoy, and use that "damn Vulcan logic" instead of personal feelings. Or you could end up on The Lamers' List if you're not careful.

Ranma and Akane. The real couple. I don't completely agree with this pairing, but they're obviously in love with each other, even though they can't bear to admit it to each other (toward the end of the series they do... sort of). Well, in any case, they deserve each other.

Ranma and Shampoo. Ranma isn't attracted to her. 'Cute' doesn't necessarily mean attractive.

Ranma and Kodachi. Ranma can do worse.... Still, he doesn't think of Kodachi as a person.

Ranma and Ukyo. Ranma doesn't think of her that way. Ukyo is obviously in love with Ranma, but is too shy to admit it (and obviously knows that Ranma like Akane, otherwise she wouldn't be trying to make herself out as 'better' than Akane).

Ranma and Kuno. Ranma hates being a girl.

Ranma and Nabiki. Read the manga story when this happens (Vol.17 in the Japanese version). She's more trouble than she's worth, and besides, she admits that she doesn't love him.

Ranma and Kasumi. Why? Kasumi admitted that she didn't like younger men. She hasn't shown any interest in Ranma at all (then again, this IS Kasumi we're talking about here; she doesn't show interest in anything...).

Akane and Kuno. Akane hates Kuno (or, at least, thinks he's a total jerk). She fails to appreciate the courtesies Kuno grants her.

Akane and Ryoga. Akane doesn't think of Ryoga that way; it's like the situation between Ranma and Ukyo-- it's just friends. Ryoga also has Akari by the end of the story, and has since let Akane go (he slowly started letting her go after Akari showed up, btw).

Akane and Shinnosuke. Akane rejected him already.

Akane and Gosunkugi. What? That little twerp? Akane doesn't even know he's alive.

Mousse and anyone but Shampoo. Mousse is too much in love with Shampoo for it to work.

Mousse and Shampoo. Shampoo may like Mousse, but certainly doesn't love him. She has been shown to care less when she thinks Mousse is going to die (multiple times); however, she has shown some of her nicer side to him (rarely; once during the 'Smiling Three-Year Death' story).

Ryoga and Akari. Now here's one that would make sense, because Ryoga's so stupid he'd fall for any girl that remotely likes him. Akari's world revolves around Ryoga. Akari is too convenient to be real, but if it works for Ryoga... oh well.

Ryoga and Shampoo. Ryoga is only interested in girls that appear to like him, and he hasn't shown any interest in Shampoo at all (and same goes for Shampoo toward Ryoga).

Ryoga and Ukyo. You won't believe how popular this pairing is. Beside the fact that they've worked together (and it's not that often), there's really no reason behind this. I could argue that, since Ukyo worked with Shampoo, that Ukyo likes Shampoo with that kind of argument. As I see it they just use each other to get to their respective love interest. The fact is, Ukyo doesn't like Ryoga, and Ryoga doesn't like Ukyo.
Many people like to compare Ryoga and Ukyo's 'relationship' to that of Ranma and Akane; both fight all the time, etc.. However, anybody can tell that Ranma and Akane love each other, as they've shown, on several occasions, to care about each other. (Face it, this is the Ranma version of Kenshin's Sanosuke and Megumi-- when it's quite apparent that they aren't attracted to each other some people think otherwise anyway.)

Ryoga and Kodachi. Ryoga doesn't like girls that don't like him. Especially after what she did to him, chaining him to Ranma as a pig.

Kuno and Nabiki. Another popular one, but people fail to realize they hate each other; the only interactions they make are business-only. However, Nabiki's attitude is similar to that of Kodachi, so Kuno, depending on whether or not you believe he likes his sister or not, MIGHT find something for Nabiki. MAYBE. Kuno has no passing interest in Nabiki.

Kuno and Mariko. Kuno is too infatuated with Akane and the pig-tailed girl, and Mariko 'dumped' him after losing martial-arts Cheerleading against Ranma. Kuno did once say that he loved her in one panel, but that lasted as long as a slug in salt; at best, one can call it a passing interest.

Kuno and Ukyo. These two never met in the manga personally.

Kuno and Kodachi. I'm not going to think about it, and neither should you.

Kuno and Shampoo. For some reason, Kuno doesn't have any active interest in her; if it appears that Shampoo wants him, he'd be happy to oblige, but this is, at most, a passing interest. Shampoo's obviously not interested in him.

Ukyo and Konatsu. Ukyo doesn't share the same feelings as Konatsu, as she sees too much of a girl in him. In sum, Ukyo pities Konatsu more than she loves him.

Ukyo and Tsubasa. Tsubasa could just as easily go after any other girl; he also went after Akane on a dime. Ukyo hates him.

Kodachi and Gosunkugi. I think someone was desparate when they thought of this. In my mind Kodachi would only go after someone greater than or equal to her own station (Ranma is certainly way-up-there).

Soun and Hinako. This may have some merit, but Hinako has yet to say something, and it's not likely while the Tendo sisters have a word in it.

Kasumi and Dr. Tofu. It's obvious Dr. Tofu loves Kasumi, but does Kasumi share those feelings? Well, she does borrow books from him, calls him at his office, and sometimes even visits, so there's a pretty good chance she is interested in him, and is only waiting for Tofu to make the first move (a wonderful theory, no? It had to be pointed out to me first, though). On the other hand, she still likely doesn't think of him that way, and thus the relationship is one-sided.

Cologne and Happosai. Happosai made it up; Cologne never loved him.

Nabiki and anyone else but Kuno and Ranma. Put simply, Nabiki loves money. This is further emphasized in the Kinnosuke 'King of Debt' story and the 'Secret Sauce' story.

Any two (fe)male characters. .... (are we talking about the same Ranma 1/2?)

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