Ranma is the son of Genma Saotome and Nodoka Saotome, and most obviously the main character in the series.
Ranma was taken from home by his father at an early age, and journeyed with him on a decade-long martial arts training trip. During that time, he encountered many people who later return as the series moves on.
During the training trip, Genma took him to the Jusenkyo, a training ground in China. But what Genma didn't know was that no one used that training ground anymore, because of the cursed springs that were there. They started their training atop bamboo poles that jutted out of the pools. Ranma knocked his father in the Spring of Drowned Panda, and was surprised when a panda, rather then his father, climbed out of the pool. Then Genma, in panda form, knocked Ranma into the Nyannichuan, or the Spring of Drowned Girl. So he turns into a girl when splashed with cold water, and rerturns back to a guy with hot.
Of course, this curse couldn't have come at a worse time. Genma was taking Ranma to Japan, because he had made an arrangement with his old friend Soun Tendo. The arrangement being that Ranma was to be engaged to one of Soun's three daughters, and carry on the Anything-Goes school of Martial Arts. Now being half-girl as well, put Ranma in a very uncomfertable situation.
Soun didn't seem to mind all that much, and Akane was selected to be engaged to Ranma. Though at the start, Ranma was truely unwilling to be engaged to Akane, but even though it doesn't seem like it at all, because of all his remarks, Ranma actually finds himself developing feelings for Akane. He would never admit outloud his feelings for Akane, but he doesn't want to see her hurt or seperated for him.
The Saotome's moved into the Tendo dojo, and since then, nothing's been the same in Nerima. Since moving in with the Tendo's, Ranma has come across Amazons wanting to kill him, old rivals, Dojo destroyers, and evil creatures. His ability to change genders hasn't helped him at all, but given him a whole new handfull of problems. Whether in male or female form, Ranma gets himself into a lot of predicaments. His big hope is to find a cure for his curse, and possibly to get along with Akane for once.
Ranma has a lot of pride in his ability to preform martial arts, and sometimes it's even to the point of overconfidence. Although he might not be the most intelligent in other matters, he always learns from his mistakes in fighting, and fixes them the next time around. He has a great blend of Chinese and Japaense styles of fighting, which are almost impossible to beat. Ranma will always prove himself on his word, will never back down from any type of fight, and is very persistant.
The one thing though, that Ranma isn't good at, is matters of the heart. He fumbles a lot when trying to explain how he feels to Akane. And what he was trying to say usually comes out as a negative comment towards her. Though, at times Ranma can show that he is a nice guy, despite that first impressions can show him as a bit egotistical.
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