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.