Since I had only been familiar with Miss Hinako through the one Ranma 1/2 OAV anime episodes that she appeared in, I hadn’t realized that she was a recurring character until I read the manga. While the subsequent Miss Hinako stories are amusing to read, I’m not sure that they would have necessarily worked as well in the animated medium. With this particular story, I think Takahashi hit on a realistic plot idea for Miss Hinako, and that this plot idea was executed well.
Next is another one chapter story, where Kuno is possessed by a demon in a cherry tree after he carves a love declaration to female-type Ranma on it. According to legend, when the cherry tree has the name of a woman carved on it, the demon possess the man who carved the name, and takes the maiden whose name was carved onto the tree as a sacrifice. Ranma has to figure out how to free Kuno from the curse. This was definitely one of the stranger stories to appear in the Ranma 1/2 manga series, and it felt like it was written simply to bring Kuno back into the spotlight again. While he appeared in Volume 27, his storyline was the first one to appear in that volume.
The fifth story sees Happosai catching a fierce cold, and turning Ranma into girl-type Ranma in order to get over it. Unfortunately, he passes the cold on to Ranma; while Ranma is running a high fever, cold water will not turn him into girl-type. Ranma’s mother makes another surprise visit to the Tendo Dojo, and Ranma desperately wants to see his mother as male-type Ranma; however, his attempts keep getting thwarted.
I have really appreciated how much Takahashi has been using Mrs. Saotome in the series after introducing her. Unfortunately, Ranma’s mother was introduced so late in the anime series, that her potential was never truly realized in the animated medium. As a reader, I keep rooting for Ranma to be able to see his mother as himself, instead of as “Ranko” (the name used for girl-type Ranma when Mrs. Saotome is around).
The final story has to do with a cursed spatula. If you couldn’t guess, this story features Ukyo, Ranma’s finacee who is an okonomiyaki chef. This was another strange story that runs for one chapter. Like Kuno’s cursed cherry tree story, this story also feels like it was included in order to bring Ukyo back into the spotlight; her last appearance was in Volume 25.
Even with the odd stories featuring Kuno and Ukyo, Volume 28 is still worth reading if you’re a fan of Ranma 1/2.