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Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume 19 by Rumiko Takahashi

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Ranma 1/2 Volume 19 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 first printing of this volume, which was released in 2002. 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.

There are three stories told in Volume 19. The first story is about Genma realizing that he has become weaker than Ranma. Genma goes off to do some training, and then challenges Ranma to a fight. During their fight, Genma unleashes a new technique, but the battle turns out to be comical instead of serious.

The second story is about Akane encountering a man who claims to practice mochi fortune telling. He gives Akane ingredients to make cherry blossom mochi; if a man is destined to be with her, marks that look like cherry blossom petals will appear on his face. If a man who is not destined to be with her, an X will appear on his face. Akane tries to get Ranma to eat the mochi, but he doesn’t like her cooking, so he doesn’t want to eat it. The story follows the hijinks of Akane trying to get Ranma to eat the mochi to try to determine if Ranma is indeed the man that is destined for her.

The final story introduces Mariko Konjo, a cheerleader for Seisyun High. She meets Kuno and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, Mariko sees Kuno talking with girl-type Ranma; this leads to a martial arts cheerleading competition between Mariko and girl-type Ranma. Unfortunately, this story is not resolved when the reader reaches the end of Volume 19.

I originally saw all of these stories when I watched the Ranma 1/2 anime series. As I read the manga, I really didn’t notice any glaring differences between the manga telling and the anime telling of the stories included in this volume.

All of the stories included in Volume 19 all fir very nicely into the tone that Takahashi has established for the Ranma 1/2 manga. I didn’t find myself thinking that any of the stories were “strange” or that they didn’t really seem to fit in with the other stories told in the Ranma 1/2 series.

If you’re already a fan on Ranma 1/2 and have read all of the previous volumes in this series, you should be able to get as much enjoyment out of Volume 19 as you did out of the previous 18 volumes in the series.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.