Ranma 1/2 Volume 21 is a manga with the story and art by Rumiko Takahashi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2003. The Ranma 1/2 manga volumes are “flipped,” which means that they read like American books instead of traditional Japanese manga. Ranma 1/2 is rated “T+” for older teens, due to some panels that feature female nudity.
Volume 21 features five stories; of these five, it appears that only one of them was used for the Ranma 1/2 OAV episodes. I finally appear to have reached a point in the manga where most of the stories in the remaining volumes will be new to me, since they did not appear in any way, shape or form in the Ranma 1/2 anime series.
The first story sees the return of the character Pantyhose Taro. He’s a young man who first made an appearance in Volume 16 of the manga. He was cursed not just by the water at Jusenkyo, but by Happosai giving him the name of Pantyhose.
According to the customs of Pantyhose Taro’s village, the only person who can change his name is the one who gave it to him. Pantyhose Taro has returned with water from the Spring of Drowned Pious Man, hoping to douse Happosai with it and force Happosai to change his name. Unfortunately for Pantyhose Taro, things don’t go as planned.
The second story sees Ranma and Genma fighting over food while training on an island. Ranma falls into the water and becomes girl-type Ranmal. The water washes Ranma up onto a private island, where the owner is trying to find a girl he has fallen in love with. This “Cinderella story” has a twist; instead of trying on a shoe, the girl must stomp the man on the head. The girl in question had jumped on his head while he was on a journey to train for a hot spring excavation.
The third story is the one that served as the basis for the “Akane vs. Ranma! I’ll be the One to Inherit Mother’s Recipes!” OAV episode. In this story, Kasumi has caught a terrible cold and is unable to cook. Akane volunteers to do it, much to everyone’s chagrin. Ranma’s mother suddenly shows up and offers to help. Ranma (in his Ranko alias as girl-type Ranma) and Akane try to learn to cook as Ranma’s mother gives them lessons. Akane’s lack of cooking ability makes up a lot of the humor in this story. This story was basically left intact when it was used for the OAV episode.