Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume One

Ranma 1/2 is a manga with the story and art by Rumiko Takahashi. Viz Media holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. This version of the manga volume was published in 1993; the particular copy I read was the seventeenth printing, which was published in 2002. This manga was published as a flipped version, meaning that it reads like an American book instead of a traditional manga. The English adaptation of this manga volume was done by Gerard Jones and Matt Thorn. Looking at the pressing of the manga, there is no age rating printed anywhere on it.

Ranma 1/2 Volume 1
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 8, 2008

Ranma Saotome and his father, Genma, are martial artists. While training at the cursed springs in Jusenkyo, they each fall into a cursed spring; Ranma falls into the spring of drowned girl, while Genma falls into the spring of drowned panda. Afterward, Ranma becomes a girl whenever he is covered in cold water, while his father turns into a panda; warm water returns them to their regular forms. In addition, Ranma finds himself engaged to Akane Tendo, the youngest daughter of one of Genma’s old friends. In this volume, we meet Kuno, who is very interested in Akane; after he meets Ranma in his girl form, he falls for her, too. We also learn that Akane has a crush on Dr. Tofu, the chiropractor in town; however, Dr. Tofu has eyes for Akane’s older sister, Kasumi. Ryoga is also introduced in this volume, and he has a grudge against Ranma.

When Viz released this pressing of the Ranma 1/2 volume, I found a couple of issues with it. First, some of the speech bubbles at the edge of the pages are cut off. Secondly, when Viz reproduced the manga, something went wrong in this copy that I read; it almost looks like it’s a second or third generation copy, and some of the details appear to be lost. Hopefully these were just production issues with this particular copy, and not with all of the copies released for this printing.

I really enjoy Rumiko Takahashi’s art style. Her characters are so expressive, and they are able to convincingly convey what they’re feeling through their facial expressions. It should be pointed out that there are occasional drawings in this volume that show female nudity.

This is a manga that I would personally recommend for older teenagers and adults who enjoy humor and have some appreciation for the martial arts.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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