Disclaimer: Not the Takahashi. (Also not Grayson Towler (Relentless) or Aondehafka (White Rose). To my knowledge no-one has actually ever written “All-Purpose Mercenary CatGirl Nabi-Neko”, so I’ll claim that.)
WARNING: Spamfic! Mostly a vehicle to get a particular beef off my chest, but also a tip-o-the-keyboard to some of my favourite authors.
“Ready Ms. Kuonji; in five, four, three...”
R E C O G N I T I O N
Hi, I’m Kuonji Ukyō. You may remember my analogues from fanfics such as White Rose, Turning the Wheel, and Waters Under Earth, or myself from the excellent Relentless. I’m here to talk to you a little about recognition, and how we ain’t getting it.
Not recognition from our so-called fiance. Let’s face it, all you Ukyō analogues out there: the chances of any of you taming that wild horse are pretty slim. More power to those of you who’ve pulled it off, but most of you’d be much better off doing what I did: say ‘he loves me as a friend’ over and over until it stops hurting, then get a life and find someone else.
Not recognition from our rivals. We’re the ‘cute fiancee’, the best friend: just like Akane, only better. Hah, we’re what Akane can barely dream of being. Like it makes a difference...
Not recognition from other martial artists, because frankly my dear analogues, I know how good we can be, and most of you are letting the side down.
Not even recognition from the other chefs for making the best damned ’yaki this side of Oz.
No, I want to talk about getting some recognition from those damned artists and songwriters.
Let’s look at the facts, sugar. We’re Ranma’s best friend. We’re one of the biggest forces in his life, coming to his aid in crises big and small. And do the title sequences of that so-called ‘canon anime’ recognise this?
The first two series ain’t so bad, since we ain’t in them — but then, the old ghoul ain’t in the first series, and she gets in the intro.
But then Series Three comes along. It’s our big entrance — Kuonji Ukyō is here; she’s cute, she’s cool, she’s loyal, she’s Ranma’s best bud — and what do we see?
[flash RANMA flash AKANE flash SHAMPOO flash]
So that gaijin slut, who tortures our poor Ranchan every day with her bike and her glomps and her evil cat body, that barbarian witch with her mind-control mushrooms and fake cures, she gets second billing, like she’s ever got a chance with him?
And then there’s the closing theme. One of the best pieces of music in the series, with a chance for everyone to say their catch-phrase, even the psycho-girl, and are we there? ARE WE? If you listen to the damned track in full, even that klepto Shiratori and her lip-happy sidekick get a word in, but good ol’ Ukyō? Hey, it’s only her introductory episode, who gives, right?
And it just gets worse from there. Series Four intro: who gets to pose with Ranchan? Where’s Ranma’s best friend? On the same level as the psycho doctor and the duck-boy! Series Five, Ranma skids an’ runs past everyone in the cast, even down to the fathers, and where’s Ukyō?
Heads up Kitty Films — Ukyō’s gone gunning for you. I’ve got me a yatai with a Burroughs-Libby-Asmor inter-universal drive on it, so we can get a whole BUNCH of us Ukyōs together, we can get the biggest fu—lippin’ spatula in the Panverse, and we can STICK it RIGHT UP THOSE ANIMATORS’—
[Scene: a small TV studio with a single camera. Tendo Nabiki (APMCGNN analogue) is behind the camera; Hibiki Ryōga (Relentless analogue), Saotome Kodachi (White Rose analogue) and Shan Pu (White Rose analogue) are kibitzing. Kuonji Ukyō (Relentless analogue) is in front of the camera. The sprinkler system has just gone off.]
Ukyō [desperately dousing her battle aura]: Sorry, guys! I got a bit carried away...
Onna-Ryōga [looks down at herself]: Sheesh, not again...
Nabi-neko [displaying a catgirl’s distaste for being wet]: If this camera’s damaged you’re paying for it, Kuonji!
Kodachi [sensing Shan Pu’s barely-suppressed rage]: Shampoo dear, I don’t think she was including you in that—
Shan Pu [pulling Kodachi towards the door]: I know, I know! I just reminded how much I want to go and thrash canon Shampoos so hard they no sit down for weeks!
[Exeunt, in haste]