The other night I couldn’t get to sleep so I randomly decided to watch an old Ranma 1/2 DVD I have. I had some older ones, but they were from back in the days of the VCR, so I don’t really have the equipment around to watch them anymore. I had forgotten about how much I loved Rumiko Takahashi’s stuff.
My memories of Ranma and Lum are mixed in with a past I’d just as soon forget. Apparently enough time has passed that I can disconnect them from that time now. I dug out my old Ranma collections and decided to see if they actually finished their run in America. It turns out they did back in 2006. I was only 2 volumes away from the end when I stopped buying them. XD They haven’t even increased in value since then. They’re still $10. I had some giftcard money left, so I decided it was time to finish things up with that series at long last. The books should get here tomorrow.
Ranma 1/2 volume 1 was the first manga I ever bought. There was a mail away form in the only SNES Ranma game they ever released in the U.S. It was a transformative experience Reading that book for the first time. Back then Japanese stuff was still foreign. The only stuff we got was so mutilated by the time it got here it wasn’t even the same thing anymore. Ranma 1/2 was pure Japan. It may as well have come from another planet. Nudity was treated like something that just happened from time to time, rather than a poison that would blind anyone that saw it. It was no big deal if Wolverine gutted someone on screen, but God forbid he see a tit…
Even though at the time it seemed like Ranma was so totally different in retrospect I can see similarities. It’s essentially a superhero comic. They don’t fight crime or whatever, but the cast has what amounts to superpowers. They just concern themselves with petty rivalries and matters of the heart.
I could go on and on about this, but I doubt I’ll be saying anything someone else hasn’t said before, and more eloquently. Manga and Anime are part of our culture too now. Certainly not as big a part as in their homeland, but we aren’t a world apart anymore. That’s a good thing.