Ranma Hentai Books
Ranma Hentai Books (at one time known as the Ranma Hentai Gallery) is a website and associated group of artists and fans of the world-famous anime series, Ranma ½. They have grown from merely collecting various Ranma hentai from across the web, to becoming a major producer of their own, topmost quality erotic Ranma art and fan-comics. They are a site made by fiercely loyal fans of Ranma hentai, for all fans of Ranma hentai, and dedicated to keeping Ranma hentai from fading into obscurity despite the ever-growing number of years since the end of the original manga and anime series.
The current system in use for releasing their original, high-quality, full-colour, English Ranma erotic comics is the Defenders System, which replaces the less cost-effective (but still open, for the time being) online bookstore. The Defenders System has its own page explaining how it works and the reasons for the change in detail, but is essentially a pay-site subscription.
Regardless, Ranma Hentai Books has been and still remains a non-profit organization; all proceeds from book sales and Defender subscriptions are used in the making of new books and art. The founders have never kept a penny of the revenue for their own use, and in fact have dug deeply into their own pockets on more than one occasion in the past, to ensure production of new books would continue.
History of Ranma Hentai Books
Prehistory: The Era of Stang
Exactly at what point the Ranma Hentai Gallery (the progenitor website of Ranma Hentai Books) first graced the web is unknown to anyone still associated with it. Its oldest known webmaster, who went by the handle of Stang, was not the site's original founder, but had, sometime in the late 1990s, taken up control of the site, and its then-mission to aggressively seek, collect and maintain every Ranma ½ hentai image ever drawn in a single place.
RHG was a free site with no income or funding (but neither did it produce any content). Stang hosted it on several different free host services, but they proved the old adage of getting what one pays for. The free hosts provided no service or even stability; the RHG site was demolished again and again, without cause , reason or excuse offered, forcing Stang to rebuild the entire site from scratch. In 2001, the site went down for the third time and Stang considered giving up.
However a long-time fan and supporter of the site, SHADE, not eager to see the site disappear forever, began asking around his various associates and connections. He found, as he calls it “The Great Mysterious Benefactor,” willing to host the site privately (but did not wish to accept the credit for doing so). And so Stang rebuilt the site one more time, and the RHG relaunched at the Ranmahentai.ranma.ws/ domain, on January 1st, 2002.
Despite the positive upturn in the sites fate, roughly two months later, Stang dropped out of contact and would never be heard from again. What happened to him remains a mystery to this day.
Early History: The Era of SHADE
SHADE would anxiously wait several more months for Stang to reappear, but finally, in April, as the only other person possessing the access codes and the full archive of hentai pictures, he was forced to dig into the site himself, despite no training or experience in html code, and try and get the site's numerous problems fixed. It was extremely challenging with no one to teach him, but he eventually became familiar with the basic functions of maintaining and updating the site.
In between hunting the web for Ranma hentai, accepting submissions from artists and cultivating relationships with like-minded fans of Ranma hentai art, those who were drawing Ranma hentai art and encouraging them to produce more, SHADE was also working on pet projects of his own, including his first original H-manga, Out of Character 1. There was no process in place for creating books yet, and SHADE struggled to keep organized and motivated an eclectic collection of volunteer artists to get work done on the book. In the end, SHADE had to do much of the work himself that had originally been delegated to others, several of whom “pulled a Stang”.
Finally, after numerous delays and great hardship, OOC 1 was released in the early summer of 2003. From conception to completion, OOC 1 took SHADE about two years to finish. It was the first installment of a planned trilogy, with funding for the subsequent sequels dependent upon sales of the first volume.
Unfortunately, sales of OOC 1 did not meet expectations. This was due largely to PayPal pulling the plug on processing online digital orders, the main method Shade had been using to fund the RHG comic projects. Without funding, OOC 2 would spend the next three years stuck in limbo.
Modern History: The Era of Deep Star
By 2006 the Ranma Hentai Gallery was struggling. Progress on OOC 2 had been halted for over a year. And SHADE remained unable to accept donations or process online sales of OOC 1. SHADE's love for Ranma hentai was as strong as ever, but the prospects of finishing the OOC Trilogy seemed bleak. SHADE was forced to contemplate whether it was time to scrap the Out of Character project and move on from the RHG. But before SHADE was forced to make such a painful choice, fate stepped in. SHADE was finally about to get the support he so desperately needed.
In February of 2006, SHADE was contacted by another devout Ranma fan, Deep Star, who had recently become intrigued with the Out of Character project. Unlike so many volunteers SHADE had dealt with in the past, Deep Star was determined to see the RHG projects continue and offered unlimited support.
Unfortunately, the RHG was in no shape to continue production of OOC 2. SHADE was the sole remaining artist from the OOC 1 days. If there was going to be a new comic, the revitalized RHG production team was going to need someone to draw it.
Shade contacted an artist by the handle of God of Chaos who had previously drawn several pages of OOC 2 before the project was suspended. After receiving a guarantee of salary from Deep Star, God of Chaos quickly agreed to join the team.
This new RHG team was raw and untested. Deep Star decided that, before OOC 2 would resume production, they needed a "shakedown cruise" in the form of a test comic. This test project would give them time to get used to working together and afford them opportunity to iron out any bugs so that their real goal, completing the Out of Character Trilogy, could be realized smoothly.
Deep Star quickly fashioned a plot about Ryoga and Ranma battling for the hand of the hot-tempered Akane. Shade took Deep Star's notes and fleshed them out into a full script with art layouts, which God of Chaos then used to draw what became The Perils of Fighting Dirty.
Over the next several months, all three worked tirelessly on the project. No one was certain what the results would be, but whether the comic succeeded or failed, it would not be because of a lack of effort.
Surprising to all three RHG team members, the project turned out better than expected. The comic was not without issues though. It was evident that God of Chaos was still learning the Ranma character designs. SHADE and Deep Star had not quite found their voice yet as authors either. However, the overall results were fairly entertaining. The decision was unanimously made to go ahead and release Perils to the public. Even if it was only a prototype, if nothing else, sales of the book might help fund OOC 2 and give the RHG team an idea of what kind of interest there might be in more Ranma doujinshi.
Now that the RHG team had decided to release Perils, they were confronted with the challenge of finding a marketplace for their creation. Deep Star answered this challenge by creating Deep Star Books, an e-commerce website that would be completely dedicated to distributing RHG comics. Finally there was a system in place to simultaneously release new RHG comics and raise funds for the next project.
It is often thought that Deep Star Books was named after Deep Star, but in actuality, it was the other way around. Deep Star derived his handle from the website he created. Up until this point in time, Deep Star had simply been known as The Patron in SHADE's monthly RHG updates.
In July of 2006, The Perils of Fighting Dirty was released to the public. Although the team had great hope for the project, a lot was riding on this release and the RHG team was nervous. The final production cost of Perils was estimated to be 5,000 U.S. dollars, which was entirely donated by Deep Star. If the project had met with poor sales, serious doubt would have been cast on the viability of resurrecting the OOC Trilogy.
Despite it being three years since the RHG released a comic, sales of Perils were astonishingly strong. In only two weeks, Perils had racked up 153 sales. And while this amounted to little more than half the budget of the comic, it gave the RHG confidence to continue with their projects. There was apparently a legion of Ranma hentai fans who were clamoring for more art, and the RHG team was not going to disappoint them.
The RHG (now Ranma Hentai Books) continued to produce more than 30 comics of ever-increasing quality and quantity in the next four years and continue to do so to this day.
History in the Making: The Era of The Defenders
In October of 2008, The Ranma Hentai Gallery was suffering heavy financial losses due to rampant piracy and a weak global economy. It was found through online web statistics that for every comic the RHG sold, 30 were being downloaded illicitly.
Deep Star struggled to understand why some people felt it was acceptable to pirate their work and sought answers. He was disturbed to learn many were of the opinion that since the RHG had been hosting content such as a fan-translated version of the Ranma manga, it was therefore ok to share RHG content without authorization too.
After much soul searching, Deep Star suggested that what the RHG team needed was a fresh start. The RHG legacy had been tainted by the indiscriminate farming of Ranma hentai from anywhere on the web. With a heavy heart, the RHG team shut down the Ranma Hentai Gallery in November of 2008.
There was a huge uproar following the demise of the RHG. Shade and Deep Star knew that some fans would be alienated by their decision to abandon the website's original mission, but they felt that there are some principles worth taking a stand for and stayed the course. Piracy wasn't hurting just the RHG, but it was killing the anime industry as a whole and they wanted no part of it.
Shade and Deep Star quickly began work on a new website. Unlike the RHG, this would be a place that respected the rights of all Ranma hentai authors. The new website was branded Ranma Hentai Books; a site that would only add to their galleries with the express permission of the artists themselves, and whose main focus would be creating new Ranma hentai, not hunting the web for it. It was a new name for a new mission.
Along with their new rules of self-conduct, came a new, more stable method to fund the creation of new books, and throw a couple more roadblocks into the path of those unable to wrap their heads around theft being a negative activity, not something to proudly pat oneself on the back over, or how the money they avoided paying was being used entirely (and desperately needed) to produce new books, not padding the webmasters' pockets as they cynically believed.
They named their subscription program the RHB Defenders, because in a very real sense, the true fans who subscribed are defending the site from being forced to shut down, and the future of extraordinary quality Ranma hentai comics yet to be drawn. The Defenders mascot is Ranma-chan wielding a paladin-like sword and shield (and wearing decorative plate armour... some plate armour... Alright, very little plate armour) and represents the fierce commitment of the True Fans, who now have a name to call themselves.
The Defenders System is discussed in greater detail on its own page.
Contents of the Site (Public)
(A.K.A. The free portion of the site)
The General Galleries
The original galleries of Ranma hentai art from around the web, neatly organized by character, have been both streamlined, and added to, since the old days of the RHG.
The more professional policy changes that came with the site's name change dictate that new art is only added if submitted by the artists themselves, to prevent image piracy and the entirely justifiable offence of artists who did not wish their work to be posted with the RHB for whatever reasons of their own. Despite RHB honouring the wishes of all artists who requested their work pulled from these galleries, and the much tighter new submission requirements, these galleries still remain quite likely the largest collection of Ranma ½ hentai art in a single place. New submissions of Ranma erotic art (by their artists) are always welcome, and RHB will be sure to accredit submitting artists properly, including links to their own art sites if desired.
The Artist Galleries
For artists who are big enough fans to draw more than just one or two pieces of Ranma hentai fanart (or anticipate drawing more in the future) RHB gladly hosts all their Ranma-themed art here, in sub-galleries under their own net-handles. At the time of this article's posting, there are 78 different artists with work hosted here, each with anywhere from 2 to 329 examples of their Ranma artwork available for free viewing to all.
Originally begun by site webmaster and founder SHADE who created the 3D models for several of the main Ranma ½ characters with the Poser rendering program (used for other well-known animation projects such as Dead Fantasy) as a cheaper alternative to paying an art model to get into various sex-related positions and not move for hours. He still uses them for that to this day, but many other interesting side-projects and experiments have been created by SHADE and those he shared the models with over the years. Including, but not limited to, pin-up art, single-panel-per-page comics, and even short movies.
Reactions to the models have been mixed; some adore them instantly, others think the marriage of realism and anime-style art is positively alien (they are 3D-rendered anime characters still, not 3D-rendered versions of real human models as is more common). However, like them or hate them, they're unarguably an interesting and NEW way to make and see Ranma ½ hentai.
The Hentai Zone
This was a bonus project, funded entirely by fan donations to the site (as opposed to previous book sales or subscription revenues). It was released a page a week on the weekends in those periods it was actively running, at no cost to any of the readers. THZ was a spoof of the original Ranma ½ manga, redone as a sex comedy instead of a martial-arts comedy. Unlike the rest of the RHB's narrative comics, THZ is a sexy comedy story, rather than a funny pornographic story.
The project has a more detailed listing here: The Hentai Zone
Contents of the Site (Defender Only Content)
Currently this section of the main site contains a detailed listing of all Original Books produced by the RHB to be sold via the bookstore. Books released solely through the Defenders System, and not sold through the bookstore, are similarly detailed within the Defenders Tour.
Including, for each book: covers, large collages of sample art, and a large selection of reviews from those who already purchased the book (taken directly from the RHB Forums).
RHB Third Party Books are also listed in this section, but as they are not Ranma ½ related, will be discussed separately.
Each Original Book project has its own individual wikipage, found from the RHB Comics Index. Eventually, this wiki index of the RHB's completed works may replace the Original Projects listing on the Ranma Hentai Books site.
This page answers common questions about the Defenders System, such as why it was put in place, why it is necessary, and where the subscription money goes. Eventually, this section may be replaced by the Defenders System wikipage, which contains the same information and more.
Much like with the Original Projects page, the Defenders Tour provides a listing for all the RHB's Original books, pin up collections, and any other projects that have been, are currently, or are soon to be released through the Defenders System.
The Tour page includes, for each book: covers, sample art (large collages for the narrative comics, several low-res sample images for the pinup books).
Defender-release books (because most are not sold through the bookstore) do not have specific review pages, but do have commentary pages in the RHB Forums where they are discussed page by page as they are released, along with final comments on the entire project upon the completion of its run. Specific links to each Defenders-released project are found on their own individual listing on the RHB Comics Index.
In summary, the Defenders Tour outlines everything that is available to Defender subscribers, to present sound reasons for the value of becoming a Defender; and defending the continued creation of new and better Ranma hentai art and fan-comics. The tour's purpose is to give readers enough information to determine if what the RHB does is worth defending to them.
Join the Defenders
Fairly self-explanatory; those who have perused the Tour and decided Ranma Hentai is something valuable enough to preserve, or even just that the numerous narrative comics, pin-up collections, and other bonus art and features found inside are worth a monthly payment, click here to sign up.
The RHB Community
A brief profile of the RHBs core members and primary art teams.
The Anime Fanservice Image Gallery (see Affiliated Sites below) has offered the RHB their own little corner of their forums since their smaller, more obscure days as the Ranma Hentai Gallery. They have been fine, gracious hosts, and while the RHB might certainly have a large enough forum community to create their own, new forum at this point, there is no valid need to do so, and we would miss our old friends of the AFIG.
The RHB is not just one site run by a handful of dedicated fans, no. It is a large hub on a greater wheel of fans of erotic manga and anime everywhere! Our friends and compatriots, old and new, have supported us and helped the RHB become what it is today, and the RHB returns that favour by supporting their sites as well.
Justice Hentai began life as an annual alternative project for SHADE and Deep Star. Although originally created as a fun diversion for the RHB team, it eventually blossomed into its own community.
Although the two websites share some personnel, SHADE and Deep Star have made it very clear that these websites do no share financial resources.
Originally the completely Ranma-centric Nerima Ecchi Records Vault (yes, N.E.R.V.) in its first incarnation over a decade ago, the Anime Fanservice Image Gallery is a very long-standing site dedicated to the appreciation of those moments in mainstream anime (as opposed to outright pornographic anime) that feature gratuitous or innocent panty shots, cleavage, partial or full nudity, and many other types of fanservice-laden fetishes.They have galleries from several hundred different anime series, and those who are looking for authentic screenshots, bouncy animated gifs, or nude transformation sequences will probably find what they need there. (The site also has male service, though there's significantly less of that available)
Bradster is the site's webmaster, as well as the forum Administrator.
Deep Star Books
Also referred to as our bookstore, this site was built by Deep Star specifically to transact the sales of the RHB's original books and projects, as well as RHB Third Party Books commissioned or produced by RHB's affiliates and friends, but in need of a home.
Although initially very successful, the website was vulnerable to piracy due to its business model and eventually proved not to be the most cost-effective method to distribute online comics. Currently, it is having its “Going Out of Business Sale” and all books are severely marked down from their original prices, ranging between 50 and 75 percent off.
Ranma Lemon Archive
Not all sexy tales of Ranma are necessarily told in Hi-rez full colour comic format. For one thing, producing such are surprisingly expensive, and for another, some tales are just better told in written form. A picture may be worth 1000 words, but what about 2000 words? St. Fan hosts the Ranma Lemon Stories Archive here, collecting all the erotic stories, Addventure episodes, Role-playing transcripts, and even the few sexy chapters of long-running Ranma fanfiction series that aren't purely sex-oriented.
No collection will ever be totally complete, not so long as authors are still writing tales of the immensely frustrated cast of Ranma ½ finally getting some, but St. Fan's huge archive has probably come closer than any other.