Ranma 1/2 Volume 27 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. The first story was the basis for Team Ranma vs. the Legendary Phoenix, which was a theatrical release in Japan but was included in the OAV box set that was released in the United States.
The third story was the basis for one of the OAV episodes, and the remaining two stories never appeared in any way, shape or form in the Ranma 1/2 anime.
The first story is about Kuno acquiring the Egg of the Phoenix, which allows the swordsman who possesses it to master the legendary Phoenix Sword. However, Kuno is warned never to put the nest on his head. As fate would have it, Ranma places the nest on Kuno’s head, and the egg hatches. Ranma is the first thing the phoenix sees, and the first thing the phoenix sees is “imprinted” as the bird’s enemy. This story follows Ranma as he tries to figure out a way to get the phoenix to leave him alone.
This is a story that I felt actually worked better when it was animated, because the story as it’s presented in the manga feels a little on the short side. When the story was animated, the crew for the anime was able to take what was presented in the manga and extend the story out without it feeling like it was being stretched; the additional material felt natural. However, the manga version of the story is an enjoyable and entertaining read.
The second story is the longest of the four in this volume, and it has a set of twins named Pink and Link coming from China trying to get revenge of Shampoo. These twins have abilities to work with poisonous plants and to make antidotes for the poisons. It’s been reported back in Shampoo’s homeland that she is married to Ranma, so Pink and Link drag Ranma into their revenge.
This was my least favorite of the four stories to appear in Volume 27. The speech style for the twins really drove me nuts; also, the poisoned plants that are so integral to this storyline are strange, even by the standards set in the previous volumes of Ranma 1/2. Also, the anime had a storyline featuring Chinese twins Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung wanting to battle with Ranma, and I thought that storyline in the anime worked better than this storyline. Unfortunately, since this is the longest story in this volume, it can make reading this particular volume of the series a little on the painful side. Fortunately, this storyline was never adapted for the anime series.
The third story sees Ranma, Genma, and Soun going to a temple to try and reseal a demon that is trying to escape. Unfortunately, the little demon escapes, and it takes over the bodies of others and leads them down the path of wickedness. By the end of the story, the demon has possessed sweet and mild-mannered Kasumi Tendo.
I first saw this story when it was adapted for the Ranma 1/2 OAV series, and thought it was hysterical. Seeing sweet Kasumi being “evil” is extremely amusing. While the manga telling is good and amusing in its own way, this is another case where I think the anime brought more to the story and made it better.
The final story in Volume 27 is about Nabiki going on dates with Kinnosuke Kasha-O from the Kasha-O dojo. By the end of their first date, he has made Nabiki’s family pay for everything. Nabiki learns that Kinnosuke’s dojo is an art of living based on never spending your own money. Nabiki goes on a second date with him and makes a bet: whoever spends ten yen first must pay for everything.
I really liked this story because it was hysterical, as well as the fact that it focused on Nabiki. Nabiki is usually relegated to being a supporting player, so it was nice to see her get a featured storyline for a change. This is a story that I wish had been adapted for the anime OAV series, because I think it would have worked well in the animated medium.
Even with the Pink and Link storyline being included in this volume, Volume 27 is worth reading for the remaining three storylines.