Viz Media is doing an interesting attempt at building a new wave of interest in a classic, which is never easy, with a dual format approach to Ranma 1/2. With the anime getting its first time on Blu-ray release this month, they’re also going after the manga market by taking one of their oldest releases and breathing new life into it through the omnibus format release. The opening volume debuts on March 11th, presented for the first time ever in a right-to-left reading format that remains faithful to the original work. The volumes are will be pricd at $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.
“RANMA ½ was one of the first manga series to achieve massive international success, and became a staple of the VIZ Media catalog for over 14 years, making it one of our longest-running titles and one of the longest-running manga series in North America,” says Hope Donovan, Editor. “The return of RANMA ½ in a new 2-in-1 omnibus is an ideal format to revisit the series or enjoy it for the very first time and will allow fans to appreciate Rumiko Takahashi’s classic romantic comedy action series in a whole new way!”
The spotlight on Rumiko Takahashi’s career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan’s prestigious 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 spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular in their own right. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another— Maison Ikkoku ran from 1980 to 1987, Ranma 1/2 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).
Plot concept: 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?