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Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume 23 by Rumiko Takahashi

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Ranma 1/2 Volume 23 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.

The first story in Volume 23 concludes the story arc that was introduced in the previous volume of the series. The other two stories in this volume were adapted for the Ranma 1/2 OAV episodes.

The first of these stories introduces Miss Hinako, a teacher who has conquered three schools full of delinquents. Principal Kuno of Furinkan High School hears about her and gets her to teach at Furinkan in the hopes of crushing Ranma Saotome. Miss Hinako looks like a teenager, but when she uses the Eight Treasures of the Deadly Five-Yen Piece, she transforms into a buxom woman and can easily defeat her opponents. It turns out that Happosai taught her this technique, and he leaves it up to Ranma to try to defeat Miss Hinako. I really didn’t notice any major differences between the manga version of this story and the anime telling of it.

The third story in Volume 23 has Akane having a hazy memory of an event from her childhood. After seeing a report on the news about a strange beast in the Higo Forest, Akane learns that as a child, she had gotten lost in the forest while the Tendo family was on a trip there. Akane was saved from the beast by a boy, who gave her a horn-pipe charm. When the dojo receives a call to investigate the beast, Akane heads out on her own. Ranma ends up following after her. Unfortunately, this story is not resolved in this volume. The portion of this story that appears in this volume was adapted rather faithfully for the Ranma 1/2 anime.

I really liked how the Miss Hinako storyline brings all of Ranma’s love interests together, with most of them joining forces against Miss Hinako when they think she’s chasing him. This is an idea that hadn’t been used previously in the series. I also liked how the third story is an Akane-centric story; while Ranma is also involved, the story is focused more on Akane. With how long the series had run to this point, it would have been easy for Takahashi to recycle ideas for her stories; fortunately, this really hasn’t happened with Ranma 1/2. However, with 13 more volumes remaining in the series, this could change.

If you’re a fan of Ranma 1/2, you’ll probably enjoy Volume 23 as much as the previous 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.