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Live-Action Ranma 1/2 Poster Drawn by Rumiko Takahashi

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Genma's panda form, TV special's original villain also revealed

The makers of the Ranma 1/2 live-action special are releasing a new poster with art drawn by the original manga's creator Rumiko Takahashi on Tuesday. The poster features Takahashi's art as a mirror image of the martial arts comedy's live-action cast poster.

A picture of the character Genma (Arata Furuta) — the titular Ranma's father who transforms into a panda when splashed with cold water — in panda form and the television special's new villain Okamada (Ryōsei Tayama) were also released. The Nikkan Sports newspaper published a picture of some of the cast in costume last month.

As a revival of the manga, the special tells an original story centering around Akane Tendō (played by Yui Aragaki). Kenta Kaku and Natsuna play the dual male/female roles of the title character. The Live-action Ranma 1/2 production's staff revealed the supporting cast in September and more of the leading cast on October 7. 9nine, the musical act composed of actress Umika Kawashima and four other girls, are performing the song "Chikutaku☆2NITE" as the adaptation's them song.

In the story of the special, Akane (Aragaki) is determined to protect the family's legacy, its dōjō. However, her father Soun (Katsuhisa Namase) suddenly and arbitrarily announced one day that "only men can be heirs." Unfortunately, this puts Ranma (Kenta Kaku, Natsuna in dual male/female roles) in a bind, since he turns female when splashed with cold water after falling into a cursed hot spring in China. To return himself to a "full man," Ranma searches for the "secret hot spring" and gets caught up in a battle with a mysterious enemy (Ryōsei Tayama). Now Akane holds the key to the story.

The special will air during NTV's 7:00 p.m. Friday Super Prime timeslot on December 9. The original manga ran in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine from 1987 to 1996, and Shogakukan printed 53 million copies of the compiled book volumes.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

Update: More information added.
Update 2: More background information added.
Update 3: More cast information added.

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