"SURVIVING": RANKO SAOTOME
A woman with no past creates a future for herself in a city where everything is possible. Ranko Saotome is one of the few success stories in the novel. About to wed a man that she loves surrounded by her own friends, Ranko Saotome has broken the empty past that Ranma 1/2 left for her to become a woman proud of her own identity and her success.
Ranko has never told her friends that her life is a lie. That she is actually the separation from her "brother" Ranma Saotome's curse when he fell in Nannichan, the Spring of Drowned Girl. She emerged when Ranma was doused with cold water and pursued by hapless hormonal men. The story she has told her friends though is that she was born in Japan and she is Ranma's "sister." After separating from her male-half Ranma and thus curing him of his curse, 25-year-old Ranko Saotome felt lost in her own identity.
Her final decision was to come to San Francisco where she would not have to deal with Ranma and her past. With the secret backings of Nabiki Tendo and Ukyou Kuonji, Ranko got accepted into New York University where she gained an immediate interest in the newspaper industry and after grueling it out at the college newspaper, she received a paid internship for The New York Times. At the Asian American Journalists Association, Ranko met Ryan Hitomi and felt much attraction to him....until she found out that he was gay. He encouraged her to apply for a position in The San Francisco Chronicle and she successfully made it into the newspaper. Years later, Ryan joined her at the Chronicle's staff and the two have been nicknamed the "Asian Will and Grace" by friends everywhere.
While in San Francisco, Ranko met Bret McNamara, a charming Irish architect for the city, while on an assignment. After several years of courting, Bret asked for Ranko's hand in marriage. Ranko, who is now 31, is about to take the biggest step in her life- matrimony. Before she does so, she needs to let go of her past and face her future.
Ranko Saotome's model is Ji-Hee Kim.