Ranma ½ is a lot like Akira.
Wait, wait, wait. Put down those torches and pitchforks. Let me explain for a second. It will all make sense if you just give me a chance.
They not the same when it comes to content. I meant that in the sense that at one point in time it was almost inconceivable to think that anyone who was any sort of casual anime fan had not seen at least a little of either. People tended to either love or hate either title and of course that led to lots of “overrated” and “overexposed” being thrown around about both. But even if you your opinion was in the middle of the road about it you were expected to have an opinion about both. They were an integral part of the framework of fandom conversations.
And then time passed and luster fell off both titles. Neither of them are forgotten. They still randomly appear on top 10 lists. They still influence people. They still get brought up in conversation. They are just no longer the essentials they once were. You can bring them up at a convention and if half the audience has not seen either of them you’re not too surprised. And so at some point both of them went out of print.
Viz announced at Anime Expo that the Ranma 1/2 manga was going back into print in a new format. Then at Otakon they announced the same for the anime. With this classic coming back into the consciousness (and store shelves) soon I decided this was a good a time as any to talk about this series.