On Ranma and Akane
I've been a fan of Ranma 1/2 since I was ten years old, which is easily more than two decades ago. Saotome Ranma and Tendou Akane have always been one of my forever OTPs, but my interest in the pair was refueled when I learned that in 2017 the Ranma manga—penned by Takahashi Rumiko—was celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first chapter release. For the first time since I was a teenager, I re-launched myself into the small but still thriving fandom after. Discovering that people are still making fan content for this pair is a pleasant thrill.
"Best Left Unsaid" is the phrase I chose for this site's title because I feel this best describes the underlying feelings that Ranma and Akane feel for each other. They are two sixteen-year-olds engaged by their fathers against their will, so throughout the manga they make a big show about how much they hate being each other's betrothed: they constantly bicker, insult each other, and make each other jealous by inadvertently acquiring multiple admirers (since Ranma 1/2 is a
reverse-harem kind of comedy).
To make matters worse, everyone around them intrudes in their personal space. They are surrounded by a nosy family waiting to see them develop feelings for one another, while a horde of suitors constantly attempt to disrupt any such development. There does not seem to be any time (or reason) for them to
learn to fall in love with each other, and it might even seem that their resistance and threats to break off their engagement (and a few times, they actually did) are real. However, when they do have moments alone together, these always turn soft, quiet, and tender—and these precious gems make it clear to the reader that they actually like each other.
This will-they-won't-they romance is the formula that was sustained in almost forty manga volumes, as readers witnessed instances of varying magnitudes that reveal how they have actually fallen in love with each other, despite their behavior to the contrary. However, up until the end of the manga (Chapter 407), they never quite told each other how they actually feel.
While this can sound frustrating, one has to read the manga to understand it is in this nonexistent verbal admission where the power of their love actually lies: For the most part they have had to learn to listen to what the other doesn't say, and words have become unnecessary anyway, because they have already shown it a thousand other ways, both big and small.
Their love, to me, is best left unsaid, because they don't need to say anything, after all.