Publisher: Viz Media
Welcome back, Ranma! Oh boy, oh boy, have you been missed! I remember the first time we met: on the VHS rack at my local Blockbuster. You were a guy (sometimes); I was a girl. We were sixteen. Our eyes didn’t quite meet, but that’s because you were busy balancing on a Panda and fighting your 4 fiancées. You were the first ‘Anime’ character I’d ever realized had a ‘Manga.’ It was the 90’s anime-boom and I couldn’t get enough of you. I hunted high and low for your episodes, subbed OR dubbed. I hunted down every comic shop in 50 mile radius from my house for single issues and then your tankoban graphic novels. I discovered fanfiction and cosplay and conventions.
And I discovered I wasn’t alone. Turns out there were thousands of us Ranma fans! And your title, Ranma ½, was one of the original gateway drugs to otaku-dom. We were head over heels for you, a cursed martial artist who was doomed to spend half his life as a boy and half as a girl. Poor Ranma! You could have broken your curse in a handful of volumes if your con-artist father wasn’t busy getting you engaged to every wacky lady this side of Tibet! You were the best, and you introduced us to so many other Japanese titles and creators.
To have you back, two decades later, still proud and determined (and occasionally genderswapped), in both collector’s edition manga format and anime episode high-def re-releases has got to be the best news of 2014. Welcome back, Ranma, welcome back!
~ Sarah Martinez