Ranma ½ (らんま½, Ranma nibun-no-ichi?) is a manga series created by Rumiko Takahashi with an anime adaptation. The story revolves around a 16-year old boy named Ranma Saotome who was trained from early childhood in martial arts. As a result of an accident during a training journey, he is cursed to become a girl when splashed with cold water, but hot water will change him back into a boy.
In Japan, the manga was serialized in Shogakukan's Shōnen Sunday where it ran from 1987–1996. Takahashi has stated in interviews that she wanted to produce a story that would be popular with children. Ranma's main audience was boys from elementary to junior high school age.
Ranma ½ was extremely popular among American anime fans in the 1990s and popularized many of anime's most common visual gags. The infamous 'cursed springs' plot device has even come up in anime-themed custom role playing games as a quick transgender device. The anatomical logistics of the cursed condition were purposely glossed over by Takahashi to avoid complications or detractions from its comedic effect.
In November 2006, the New York Comic Con announced that it would host the first-ever American Anime Awards. Anime fans had the chance to vote for their favorites online during the month of January 2007. Only the five nominees receiving the most votes were announced February 5th for each category. Among the 12 different categories, Ranma ½ was voted into the "Best Comedy Anime" category, and the Ranma ½ OVA series was voted into the "Best Short Series" category.