Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume Three

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume Three is a new release for the Ranma 1/2 franchise, which includes the fifth and sixth volumes of the series. These omnibus editions are the first “unflipped” release of Ranma 1/2 in North America. These editions have also been “remastered,” with sharper images and a “spiffed up” translation.

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 3
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The volume numbers used for this release are for the Japanese manga, not the original VIZ Media manga release for Ranma 1/2. The chapters that appear in this volume correspond with all of the chapters in Volume 4 and nine of the chapters of Volume 5 of VIZ Media’s original release of the Ranma 1/2 manga.

At the beginning of this volume, we meet a character named Gosunkugi, a boy who is infatuated with Akane. He also harbors a grudge against Ranma, since Ranma is supposed to be Akane’s fiancé. Gosunkugi teams up with Kuno to try to find Ranma’s weakness. A weak spot is found, and what it is comes as a surprise to most of the cast. However, there is a strange side effect when Ranma is around what causes his weak spot for too long. Gosunkugi doesn’t come across as being the sharpest tool in the shed, though. Some of the antics that he tries to pull on Ranma are incredibly stupid, and he’s genuinely surprised when they don’t work. Gosunkugi also comes across as being a bit of a klutz.

We also learn a secret about the character of Shampoo in this volume. It turns out that she also fell into the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo, and she turns into a cat with cold water. Considering that Ranma’s weakness turns out to be cats, this adds another layer to the already crazy relationship between Ranma and Shampoo. Cologne, Shampoo’s great-grandmother, makes her first appearance here, as well as a character named Mousse. Mousse has had a crush on Shampoo since childhood, which makes him a rival for boy-type Ranma since Shampoo has been pursuing him. Shampoo’s great-grandmother insists that Ranma marry Shampoo, while Mousse fights Ranma to try to win Shampoo.

Shampoo’s great-grandmother uses her abilities to make it so even lukewarm water feels scalding to Ranma, which means he has to stay as girl-type Ranma. But Cologne has an antidote: the Phoenix Pill. Ranma must get the Phoenix Pill from Cologne in order to reverse what she has done. As part of this, Ranma must learn the “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” technique.

But after Ranma succeeds in getting the Phoenix Pill, Cologne decides to train Ryoga on how to use the Breaking Point. This culminates with Ranma and Ryoga fighting each other and utilizing the new techniques they have learned. It’s an amusing fight.

This volume includes one more arc, which introduces the character of Sentaro and the concept of the martial arts tea ceremony. Sentaro kidnaps girl-type Ranma in the hopes of marrying her instead of the girl he is betrothed to. Girl-type Ranma must train in the ways of of the martial arts tea ceremony and defeat Sentaro’s betrothed. Fortunately, this particular arc ends at the end of this volume. Personally, I think the martial arts tea ceremony arc is one of the weaker ones in the Ranma 1/2 franchise, and it’s not one I enjoy all that much. It lacks the humor and the action that I enjoy in the franchise, and it comes across as one of the more ridiculous martial arts styles to appear in the series.

To me, this remastered version of the Ranma 1/2 manga is worth picking up and adding to your manga library, even if you already own a copy of this series. This unflipped and remastered version is a much needed upgrade, and it’s a better version of the manga to share with others to introduce them to the Ranma 1/2 franchise.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

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