For A Dying Friend
Ranma is stuck in female form, possibly for life. Is this the end of his relationship with Akane? And how will the other Nerimans react?

Read the whole thing

Not quite my favorite fanfic, but possibly my most popular, and definitely the one that got the most attention. I think HaM is overall better, but this one being a good deal shorter and self-contained is obviously more accessible.

This story was, in part, a response to the typical "Ranma gets stuck as a girl" story, in particular Nick Leifker's Iris, about which he and I have had some fairly strong public disagreements. I should say that I have nothing personal against Nick, with whom I shared a hotel room at an anime con once. I actually admire his skill at writing evocative prose. We just have very different views of Ranma as a character. In this story, Nodoka espouses the viewpoint of Iris, so that Akane can shoot it down.

Some have called this two different stories. I think that misses the point a bit. Not only is Ryoga's transformation (and eventual death) a logical consequence of the story premise, it speaks to the overall story theme, which is that Ranma could learn to live with being permanently female if he had to. Clearly he wants to go back to being male; so what would make him give up a chance at that? I think he'd see the chance to save the life of a friend as more important, and that's the decision he makes in this story.

And yeah, I know there's a blatant continuity error between the opening and the ending. I'll do a revision someday that will fix this.