Ranma 1/2 Volume 25 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 2004. 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 four stories that appear in this volume of Ranma 1/2. Of these four stories, only one was used as a basis for an episode of the Ranma 1/2 OAV series.
The first story sees the return of Miss Hinako, Ranma and Akane’s teacher. In this storyline, she decides to visit the homes of each of her students so she can talk to their parents. When she comes to the Tendo Dojo, she falls in love with Soun. This storyline sees Miss Hinako trying to win Soun’s affections, while Ranma and the Tendo sisters do what they can to keep love from blooming.
The second storyline sees Mousse getting a hold of one of Cologne’s artifacts from the Amazon tribe. They’re glasses called the “Lens of Invincibility,” and anyone who is seen through the lens weeps and apologizes. Mousse uses the lens in order to torment Ranma and to try and make Shampoo fall in love with her.
The third story sees the Tendo family, Ranma, and Genma going to the beach. Unfortunately, their vacation becomes a nightmare when a cursed swimsuit forces itself onto girl-type Ranma and refuses to come off until a particular person compliments it.
The final story sees Ukyo taking Ranma and Akane to the Cursed Cave of Broken Loves, where she hopes Ranma and Akane will break up. Ryoga stumbles into the area, and Ukyo forces him to get involved with her scheme. This is the one storyline in this manga volume that became an episode in the Ranma 1/2 OAV series, and the anime version was a rather faithful adaptation of the manga story. Of the four stories in this volume, I would have to say that this one is my favorite.
It was nice to see Miss Hinako make a return, and it’s too bad that this story was never used for the anime. I could easily see this one working very well in an animated medium. The Mousse storyline is basically Mousse up to his same old tricks again, and it doesn’t really bring anything new to the series; this is the one storyline in this volume that felt as if Takahashi was blatantly reusing ideas and concepts. And while the swimsuit storyline hadn’t been done before for Ranma 1/2, I found it to be a little on the “odd” side.
Overall, I thought Volume 25 was a bit of a mixed bag. I really liked the Miss Hinako storyline and the Cursed Cave of Broken Loves storylines; while they may use concepts seen before in the series, the elements are used in a way that feels a little more unique and don’t feel “strange” for the universe established in Ranma 1/2.
If you’re a fan of the Ranma 1/2 manga series, then you should be able to enjoy Volume 25 just about as much as you did the previous 24 volumes in the series.