The gender-bender theme has been used so many times, especially in the genre of romantic comedy. The recent success of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name represents the continuing popularity of this theme. One of the most famous gender-bender series back in the early 1990’s is Ranma ½ (Ranma Nibun-no-Ichi) . Serialized in 1987, this shonen manga written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi is now celebrating its 30th anniversary.
— Anime Mojo (@AnimeMojo) February 24, 2017
When Ranma Saotome and his father Genma go through rigorous training at the legendary grounds of Jusenkyo in China, they fall into cursed waters. Ranma falls into the ‘spring of the drowned girl’ and Genma falls into the ‘spring of the drowned panda’.
Upon their return to Tokyo, they meet Genma’s old friend and fellow martial artist Soun Tendo who has three daughters. The two agree to have Ranma marry one of Tendo’s daughters, but things get a little complicated when Ranma arrives as a red-haired teenage girl and Genma as a giant panda.
Dousing them with hot water could reverse their transformation instantly. Unfortunately, Ranma gets off on the wrong foot with his supposed fiancee, Akane Tendo. Their love-hate relationship and other encounters with strong and wacky characters who vie for their affections, make Ranma ½ a series filled with fun, romance, and well-choreographed martial arts.
Ranma Saotome is known for his appreciation of Chinese-style fashion. To commemorate Ranma ½’s 30th anniversary, NOWHAW, a street style clothing brand, has released a line of kung-fu style pajamas inspired by Ranma Saotome’s outfits.
This August 2017, NOWHAW will deliver items that were ordered between May 25 and June 8, 2017. However, if anyone missed out on this, they shouldn’t be depressed since more Ranma merchandise has now been made available for fans!
— cospa (@cospa) July 21, 2017
Cospa, a Japanese clothing company known for the production of cosplay costumes and anime-related goods, has released several Ranma ½ items, including t-shirts and tote bags featuring some of the manga’s most noteworthy characters. Aside from a sexy female Ranma who is dressed as Lum Invader which features on shirts that come in black and blue, there are also shirts with the characters Ryoga and Shampoo!
Ryoga Hibiki is Ranma Saotome’s biggest rival. Just like Ranma and Genma, he falls into the cursed spring which causes him to transform into a cute little black pig. During this transformation, he is called P-chan and becomes Akane’s pet and confidant. Known for his great physical strength and unbelievably bad sense of direction, Cospa makes shirts and tote bags designed with an image of P-chan and the words “Where am I?”.
Shampoo is a blue-haired Chinese Amazon woman, and one of Ranma’s three main fiancees. Their complicated relationship is driven by the “Kiss of Death” as Shampoo tries to take revenge and kill female Ranma while she tries to marry the male Ranma. Shampoo-designed shirts show her donning a cute cat cafe costume and a traditional Chinese dress called Qipao.
These Ranma items are available for pre-order and are expected to be shipped by October 2017.
Cospa Website*Japanese Only
— catwithmonocle (@catwithmonocle) July 18, 2017
Japan Post has now officially opened the page for pre-orders of Ranma ½ original frame stamp sheets. The brightly-colored set is composed of ten stamps, a sheet holder, postcards, and a calendar. The package is worth 4,200 Japanese yen and the deadline for pre-orders is on September 19, 2017. Items will be shipped from October 23, 2017.
Japan Post Online Shopping Website*Japanese Only
Ranma ½ may not be as iconic as Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon but it was one of the most engaging series of its time and has even been regarded as “the ancestor of all comedy-action manga”.
It’s not exactly the forerunner of this genre, but it contains fascinating character development, and some of the funniest cliches that are still seen in harem, reverse-harem, and gender-bender themed shows today. Time passes quickly, and these commemorative items will surely bring back many memories from the good old days! Would you be interested in purchasing them?