VIZ Media has revealed its plans for the Blu-ray releases of celebrated martial arts action-adventure anime series Ranma ½, the first 23 episodes of which arrive on March 25th via a special 3-disc Limited Edition Blu-ray box set. Six additional series releases will follow, although street dates have yet to be set.
Official Synopsis: From the legendary oeuvre of master creator Rumiko Takahashi, the mixed-up, madcap, martial arts romantic comedy Ranma ½ returns! After taking a surprise dip in a cursed spring while on a training journey in China, martial artist Ranma Saotome and his father, Genma, aren't quite themselves anymore. Now Ranma turns into a girl whenever he's splashed with cold water, and Genma turns into a panda. Their new forms cause nothing but confusion at the Tendo dojo, where Soun Tendo is waiting to introduce one of his three daughters to Ranma... as his fiancée. Turns out Genma and Soun arranged the match long ago, but the girl, Akane, and the boy, Ranma, aren't exactly crazy about the idea, or each other! Or are they? Watch the gender switching, jealous rages, and martial arts battles unfold all over again!
The acclaimed series is being presented in 1080p with high quality encodes created using the original Japanese Blu-ray masters, providing fans with each episode's uncropped, 4:3 aspect ratio. Also for the first time, all episodes are arranged in the original Japanese episode order. Lossless tracks are available for the original Japanese (with English subtitles) and the English dub, and a secondary subtitle track is available for signs and songs. The set comes packaged in a premium chipboard box with gold foil stamping with art illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi, and includes a 64-page booklet with a full color episode guide and a manga re-master sampler.
The Limited Edition box set features the following extras:
Exclusive "We Love Ranma: Part 1" Manga Re-Mastering Interview with VIZ Media editor Hope Donovan that details some of the processes behind the latest manga release
2013 New York Comic Con Ranma ½ Panel Footage
2013 New York Comic Con VIZ Media Events Highlight Reel
Upcoming Episode Previews
"This is the series that introduced many fans to manga and anime, and we're extremely excited to mark the return of Ranma ½ to North America in its high definition debut," says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. "Catch all of the action and hilarious gender- and species-bending hijinks in the first set of this groundbreaking comedy that also comes jam-packed with an array of special bonus features. These gorgeous sets are truly great to collect and treasure!"
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 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 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."
Takahashi won the Shogakukan Manga Award twice in her career, once for "Urusei Yatsura" in 1981 and the second time for "Inuyasha" in 2002. A majority of the Takahashi canon has been adapted into various media including anime, live-action TV series and film. Takahashi's manga, as well as the other formats her work has been adapted into, have continued to delight generations of fans around the world. Distinguished by her wonderfully endearing characters, Takahashi's work adeptly incorporates a wide variety of elements such as comedy, romance, fantasy, and martial arts. While her series are difficult to pin down into one simple genre, the signature style she has created has come to be known as the "Rumic World." Rumiko Takahashi is an artist who truly represents the very best from the world of manga.
Love how in their trailer they emphasize "uncropped" as if to tell Funimation "we listen to our fans". Only seen maybe the first 3 or 4 episodes a long time ago, but man was it great! I'll definitely pick up the first set at least, and give it a watch. If it continues being great, I will get the other 6; just hope there's maybe a little over a month in between each set as these are sure to be about $50 a pop.
Saw the entire series a long time ago. Thinking about it now, it's sort of a guilty pleasure; the plot is totally irrelevant, but every episode packs a lot of laughs, sort of like a supernatural martial arts rom-com version of The Office, if that makes any sense.
And yes, I love how they emphasize "uncropped, 4:3 aspect ratio." FUNimation screwed the pooch with their decision to do the "orange box" treatment of the new DBZ BDs (cropped, over-saturated, and DNR'd to hell to the point of looking like flash animation). If any A/V and anime aficionados are interested, Viz has a poll going for quality control and preferences:
One of the first anime that got me interested in the genre. I already have the entire series on DVD, so I'll just pick up the first 3 seasons (later seasons do have few good episodes, but can't compete with the first few seasons). Well unless they eventually offer complete series box set for cheap.
An eventual series boxset would be cool but with Viz's limited amount of releases, I don't see them doing a repackaged 21 disc series boxset. I'm not saying it can't happen, it just doesn't seem like many of these big animated shows get full series boxsets.