Alan Smithee

Ranma ½ is Back!

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One of my favorite anime and manga series is getting a relaunch from VIZ and I couldn’t be happier!

Ask anyone who was into anime in the late 80s and early 90s before it was ubiquitous as it is right now and almost every single person will at one point probably talk about one of two things, all of the movies you could get from Orion Home Media and of course Ranma ½ in the early days of VIZ Media.

The genderbending martial arts action of character who are one form normally but transform to a different form when splashed with cold water remains of the most fun series I ever watched. To say that significant portions of my life revolved around this show is an understatement.


We’re talking the grandpappy of modern anime/manga fandom and one of the longest running and best dubbed series in existence. I remember picking up the Ranma ½ fighting game for my SNES when I was 13 and buying volume 1 of the manga series with my first paycheck from Blimpie. This was THE series that began my love for modern anime and a diehard fan of all the works of Rumiko Takahashi.

Well the fine people at VIZ wanted to let it be known that they have begun airing the show in its subtitled form on VIZAnime service as well as on Hulu. The dubbed anime will be coming to Neon Alley this fall and will be coming out on DVD and for the first time ever on Blu-ray in box sets starting in 2014. They will also be publishing the original manga series in it’s right-to-left format in 2-in-1 omnibus editions starting early 2014.

I am absolutely stoked and I hope that the Blu-ray box sets will come with some of the OVAs and movies as there wasn’t a single one that I didn’t like. Oh man, I can’t wait. Press release follows below.

San Francisco, CA, September 11, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced the return of one of the genre’s most celebrated manga and anime properties – RANMA ½.

RANMA ½ is a renowned martial arts action-adventure manga (graphic novel) series created by Rumiko Takahashi. The manga series was a staple of the VIZ Media catalog for over 14 years and remains one of the company’s longest-running titles and one of the longest-running manga series in North America. VIZ Media plans to begin publishing the RANMA ½ manga series (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) in new 2-in-1 omnibus editions featuring the original right-to-left reading format for the first time ever in early 2014.

VIZ Media today also launches the smash-hit RANMA ½ (subtitled, rated TV-14) anime series on its streaming service as well as on Hulu. The series will debut on its Neon Alley anime channel this fall (dubbed), and will be available on DVD and, for the first time ever, Blu-ray box set editions next year.

To celebrate the return of RANMA ½, VIZ Media is planning a variety of booth activities and special programming scheduled for the 2013 New York Comic-Con, taking place October 10-13 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. More details will be announced shortly.

Ranma Saotome never thought a martial arts training mission to China would turn out like this! Due to an unfortunate accident at the cursed Chinese training ground Jusenkyo, when Ranma and his father get splashed with cold water, papa turns into a giant panda and male Ranma becomes a buxom young woman! Hot water reverses the effect, but only until the next time! Constantly chased by battle-happy martial artists and lovesick suitors of both sexes, what’s a half-boy, half-girl martial artist to do?

“A groundbreaking story with eccentric characters, martial arts mayhem, and quirky romantic subplots, RANMA ½ is a zany adventure that has thrilled generations of fans with its colorful mix of action, romance and screwball comedy,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “We’re delighted to deliver this classic manga series to a new legion of North American fans this spring in 2-in-1 editions presented in right-to-left format for the first time.”

“RANMA ½ also introduced many influential artists to manga and anime fandom, and it remains a celebrated piece of the genre’s history,” adds Brian Ige, VIZ Media Vice President of Animation. “The addition of the anime series to our extensive digital catalog will present these acclaimed episodes in an entirely new way and allow fans to take advantage of the convenience and flexibility that VIZAnime and Neon Alley offer. Fans can also look forward to the hi-definition Blu-ray and DVD release this spring!”

Rumiko Takahashi is one of Japan’s most prolific and respected manga artists and is the creator of several long running series including MAISON IKKOKU, RANMA 1/2, and INUYASHA – all published in North America by VIZ Media. The spotlight on her prolific career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan’s annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and also spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another— MAISON IKKOKU ran from 1980 to 1987, RANMA ½ from 1987 to 1996, and INUYASHA from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include MERMAID SAGA, RUMIC THEATER, ONE-POUND GOSPEL, and RIN-NE (all also published in North America by VIZ Media).

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