Dead Horses In Ranma & Sailor Moon Fanficion

Compiled by Scott K. Jamison
Edition 1.1


"There is nothing new under the sun." --attributed to King Solomon

While it's certainly not true that every possible plot twist or character twitch has already been used up, some have been more heavily mined than others in fanfiction. Some of them have been done so often that the experienced reader, upon seeing someone attempting to "reinvent the wheel", can only sigh and think "here we go again."

Thus this list, which hopes to cover the most commonly overused themes and scenes, not to forbid their reuse, but to let the beginning writer know what has already been done, and done well.

Each person contributing to this list, therefore, was asked to provide examples of "dead horses", and more importantly, an example of a story in which that scene, theme, or characterization was done best. If nothing else, it should allow the reader to look up the more interesting specimens.

Further suggestions for this list should be sent to me by private e-mail at On-topic discussions of the stories themselves need not be sent privately, of course.

I've restricted this to Ranma 1/2 (Created by Rumiko Takahashi) and Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Created by Naoko Takeuchi) because those are the two series with the most fanfic traffic right now.


Ranma Becomes A Sailor Senshi
Getting Ranma into a fuku one way or another is a staple whenever these two series cross. Indeed, it's actually a surprise when he doesn't get co-opted.
Best Treatment:


Nabiki/Kunou matchup
This is Nabiki's default coupling in "continuation" or "wrapup" stories. Usually, it has no more justification than "Nabiki likes money, and Kunou has it."
Best Treatment:
  1. Long, Hard Road by George Mori

    "Featured scenes where Nabz gets herself in big trouble and Kunou is there to help her." --Gary Kleppe

  2. Reunions: Kunou/Nabiki Chapter by J. Austin Wilde

    "Nabbie marries Kunou to gain access to his money." --Gary Kleppe

  3. Thy Inward Love by Richard Lawson

    [No quote provided.]

New Relative
A quick way to introduce a new character, but often suffers from a lack of imagination, making the sister/brother/cousin just like the original, only quirkier.
Best Treatment:
Akane's Hammer
If you look carefully, almost every continuing character in the Ranma 1/2 series uses a hammer at one point or another; even Kasumi advocates hammering. But in fanfics, it's usually treated as something unique to and stereotypical of Akane.
Best Treatment:
Overuse of Character Catchphrases ["Aiyah", "Oh my", etc.]
Yes, it's a quick way to remind the reader who's saying what. But too many writers use catchphrases as a crutch instead of writing new but still appropriate dialogue.
Best Treatment:
Ranma Is Split Into Separate Male and Female Halves
One of the most obvious Ranma plotlines, and one with a lot of potential. Actually, it's not so much the number of stories with the plot, it's the number of unsatisfying or unfinished stories with this plot.
Best Treatment:
Nodoka Finds Out About the Curse
The early stories about this made sense, since it hadn't happened yet, but we still have people reinventing the wheel long afterward. (Which isn't to say that it isn't appropriate in "alternate universe" tales, but even in these, there seems to be a fatal sameness creeping in.
Best Treatment:
Akane's Cooking
All too often used as a quick way of creating hostility between Ranma and Akane in a story, even when it's taking place past the point when Akane's cooking became acceptable in the manga.
Best Treatment:
Gaijin Visitors in Nerima
AKA "Self-inserts", nine times out of ten.
Best Treatment:


New Senshi
Perhaps the most obvious plot device available, with even Takeuchi-sensei herself succumbing to some of the sillier examples.
Best Treatment:
Jadeite Returns
Note that this one is anime only, since in the manga Jadeite is pretty definitely dead.
Best Treatment:
Lesbianism in Crystal Tokyo (Non-Lemon)
"Why should Usagi be the only Senshi in a heterosexual relationship?" --David Johnston
Best Treatment:
Rei and Usagi Discovering They're In Love and, After Admitting it to Each Other, Go at it Like Rabbits in Heat [*2]
Best Treatment:
Self-Insert Lemons
All too often, merely an ego-stroking fantasy for the author, and less than thrilling to those who fail to share the author's kinks.
Best Treatment:
Naru Confronts Usagi About Their Distancing Relationship
Strange how she never seems to do this in the anime or manga ...
Best Treatment:
Setsuna is Manipulative and Will Do *Anything* to Advance the Path
Another of those stereotypes that is perhaps more fan canon than reality.
Best Treatment:
  1. Secrets by Ken Wolfe

    "While Setsuna's manipulations are horrifying in their results, she is not depicted as omnipotent or omniscient; the author manages to make her seem very human, despite everything." --Chris Davies

  2. Universal B by Jendra (

    [No quote provided.]

* * *


I'd like to thank everyone who contributed. In addition to those quoted above, assistance came from Brian M., Bob W. and Benson Yee. Congratulations to those authors whose works were chosen as examples!
Scott Jamison



*1: "It doubles your chance of a date on Saturday night."

*2: As one of my correspondents put it, "Usagi and Rei? Only a straight boy would believe that one!"

v1.0 (081398) First version.
v1.1 (081498) Added Gary Kleppe's nominations, put in a couple of pointers, minor corrections.

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