Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume Nine

Article first published as Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume Nine by Rumiko Takahashi on Blogcritics.

Ranma 1/2 Volume Nine is a manga by Rumiko Takahashi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media. The version of this volume I’m reviewing is the second printing, which was released in 2004. This manga was published as a flipped version, which means that it reads like an American book instead of a traditional manga. Ranma 1/2 is rated “T+” for older teens, due to some panels that include female nudity.

Ranma 1/2 Volume 9
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 31, 2004

Volume Nine continues exactly where Volume Eight left off. It’s a continuation of the storyline where Mousse is trying to exact his revenge against Ranma by using Akane Tendo. Shampoo has spurned Mousse’s affections, and he places the blame on Ranma.

The next storyline introduces Tsubasa Kurenai, a student who attended Ukyo’s former school that has a major crush on her. Tsubasa has come to Japan after getting a letter from Ukyo saying that she’s engaged to Ranma. Ranma’s ability to change genders due to his curse is utilized quite heavily in this storyline, and there’s a surprise twist at the end.

The third storyline in this manga volume is one that was never used in the anime series, so it was a brand new story for me when I read it in this volume. On the “People Search Segment” of the news, Ryoga’s dog is featured and it’s said that the dog wants him to come home because the dog just had puppies. Akane asks Ryoga if she can go to his house to visit the puppies, and he says yes. Unfortunately, since Ryoga has such a poor sense of direction, he asks Ranma to take him back to his house; however, Ryoga only says he wants to see if his dog is all right, and never mentions the fact that Akane is coming over. When Ranma realizes what’s actually going on, he turns into girl-type Ranma and poses as Ryoga’s sister. It’s too bad that this story never made it into the anime series. From what I read in the manga, I think it’s a story that would have worked well in animation.

The final story in this volume is about Happosai’s Happo-Fire Burst Technique. Unfortunately, he has forgotten how it works, because he buried the secret scroll. It turns out that a women’s only hot spring ended up at the scroll’s location, and the story sees Ranma, Genma, Soun, and Happosai trying to get to the scroll without the women chasing them out of the hot spring.

This is the first Ranma 1/2 manga volume I can think of that had an exclusive storyline included in it. In previous volumes, while some of the details in the stories may have been changed between the two mediums, all of the stories were included in the anime series. As someone who has seen the Ranma 1/2 anime series that is reading the manga for the first time, this was a nice treat. I suspect that as I get later into the series, I will find more storylines that were never adapted for the anime series.

While this volume of Ranma 1/2 utilizes all the tropes and comedy that have come to be expected in this series, it still doesn’t feel old or recycled to me yet. Takahashi continues to find just the right blend of comedy and drama to tell the story of a cursed boy who is surrounded by a group of friends and enemies.

If you’ve read the previous eight volumes of the Ranma 1/2 series and enjoyed them, you should also be able to appreciate volume nine.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Ranma 1/2 Volume Nine that my husband and I purchased.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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