It’s with pride and nostalgia that I sit down and write this latest musing. Recently Viz Media began re-releasing all of the Ranma ½ anime in fairly priced box sets of all seven seasons of the TV series, the OVA series, and the two movies. With new ease of access to the series, I could finally watch all of the TV series, all one hundred sixty-one episodes of it and tonight, I finished it.
Ranma holds a lot of personal points for me that will continue to give it a place in my heart. Aside from being the longest anime series that I’ve watched in full, Ranma was the first anime series that I was introduced to not by stumbling upon on TV, but rather by a friend saying about 11 years ago “hey have you ever heard of _____?” and seeing it as a direct-to-video release, the format most anime is still released by in America. (Although I’ve lost touch over the years if by some chance you’re reading this Aaron, give yourself a pat on the back.) What makes completing the Ranma TV series even more of a personal accomplishment is that I purchased the final seasons I hadn’t seen while I was nearing the mark of my one hundredth completed anime series.
I found it amusing that the final disc of the series has a featurette of the cast of the dub (Ranma is one of few titles I watch in the dub format) looking back at the project that took 8 years to finish. I couldn’t help but think about how it took me more than that watch all of their work. Even more amusing is hearing many English voice actors (who I will admit at many times made the show for me because they just seemed to “get it”) who I’ve met and interacted with at anime conventions over the years and reflect about how most of this work was before they were big names.
I got into anime thirteen years ago, and have hit one hundred completed series. It’s hard to say whether it’s surprising it’s taken that long or not, but after this long and enjoying this much, I doubt I will be stopping any time soon. Even as I type this on a shelf to the right of my computer are five DVD sets to finish off more series. I’m also trying to close in on 100 single sitting features (TV Special one-shots, feature films etc). It’s been a long road, but I’m just taking this moment to reflect while I tighten my hiking boots back up and continue on a path that I enjoy so much. Even finishing Ranma ½ doesn’t feel like I’m saying goodbye to an old friend, but rather, reaffirming an old friendship.
(Oh, and the Dunbine write-up hasn't been forgotten, I've just been sidetracked with lots of other stuff, including reaching today's milestone)