Ranma 1/2: Chounai Gekitou Hen is the first of three Fighter games on the Super Famicom to be based on the martial arts comedy manga/anime of the same name. The player selects various characters from the show and either plays through their stories in the single player or fights against another human player in versus mode.
When the game was brought to the US a year later, Irem decided to graphically rehaul the characters, as Ranma 1/2 and anime in general had yet to enter the western mainstream. All the characters were reimagined as various sci-fi fighter game archetypes, with some undergoing more drastic changes than others. The character of Shampoo, for instance, was only given a slight hair color change and a mask and renamed Lita, while Principal Kuno instead became a skateboarding robot named Helmut.
Conversely, the second game in the series, Ranma 1/2: Bakuretsu Rantou Hen, was left largely intact with its American incarnation Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle. The third (Ranma 1/2: Chougi Ranbu Hen) was never released overseas.
Though both rosters are completely different superficially, each character fights identically to their trans-Pacific counterpart.
Additionally, the characters of Happosai and Cologne appear during bonus rounds. Their Street Combat equivalent is an old man named Happy. These characters can be unlocked in multiplayer with a special cheat code.