A preference for my own "perfect" ranchu is now more clear. My vision is shaped by studying the many looks of ranchu and recognizing what is most pleasing to my eye. These are as follows (looking at the ranchu from above):
- long rectangular body outline
- rectangular head outline with funtan slightly protruding on the right and left of the head (I call it a hammer shark look)
- not much headgrowth development on top of the head
- thick tail peduncle and bracelet
- triangle shaped tail with supportive shoulders, that are only gently curved, with side lobe tips curved slightly more
- when swimming the tail must take a rounder shape and return to its original shape when fish isn't moving
- small uniform scales
- bright reds
All of the above must be in balance. Proportions between head, body and tail are very important and rely on personal perception. I am very interested in creating a ranchu that blossoms slowly, reaching its desired shape by the end of nisai and maintaining that look through its oya years. This, in my opinion helps to raise a healthier fish, that can live longer. In most cases, ranchu that are judged at the All Japan Ranchu Show, are groomed for a specific age category - tosai, nisai or oya. In all of the competition's history, it is very rare that a single ranchu is able to win the grand prize in all three categories tosai, nisai and oya in three consecutive years.
Ultimately, my "perfect" ranchu must be a great swimmer, projecting calm, power, strength and balance.
Through digital manipulation, I have created an oya ranchu of the shape and proportions I desire. To make this composite, I took various parts from several of my ranchu and exaggerated the parts that I still need to work on. Hope one day, I can match my drawing board fantasy with an actual ranchu in my pond. The vision in the making.