Unlike the frantic slapstick of the regular Ranma series, "An Akane to Remember" has a much moodier quality to it, making it one of the most memorable Ranma stories. Other than Ranma, Akane, and Ryoga, the rest of the Ranma cast has less than five minutes of screen time at the beginning of the first episode, and none in the second. The real stars of this story were Shinouske and his Grandfather and sometimes it felt as if the Ranma cast were the guest stars. That is not in detriment to the story, it's only because Shinouske and his grandfather are interesting enough if they were to have their own series.
Like a handful of the other OVAs, this story takes place away from the familiar Furinkan. Ranma and friends are out of their element, allowing for the guest characters to be highlighted and share center stage. Despite all of this, we get a lot of strong emotional dialog between Ranma and Akane over her feelings for Shinouske. And given the subdued mood of this story, that dialog is far beyond Akane screaming "BAKA!" at Ranma. Instead, we see a more complex and vulnerable Akane who really wants everyone to understand her feelings. We also see Ranma reacting by trying to do the right and noble thing. This is the direct opposite of Ranma agonizing over trying to figure out what he did this time to make her mad, only to get easily distracted by Furinkan High's motley crew of colorful characters.
A special mention must be given to Kenji Kawaii's music score. Very moody and atmospheric. I recognized his style from the music score in the Devilman OAVs where it's also put to effective use.
Although "An Akane to Remember" is obviously geared towards those who are familiar with the Ranma characters, a newcomer watching this will have no real idea of who these characters are, especially since the supporting cast is mostly absent and Genma and the rest of the Tendos only appear in the beginning. It was a brilliant idea to limit the Ranma cast to just Ranma, Akane, and Ryoga for the main story. It didn't really need anyone else. If the third person was anybody except Ryoga, who due to his nature could very well turn up anywhere, the participation of any other cast member in this adventure would seem to be shoehorned into the story. Nevertheless, a newcomer will get enough to know that there must be something special between Ranma,Akane, and Ryoga and that may lead them to check out the rest of the series.
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