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Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume 35 by Rumiko Takahashi

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Ranma 1/2 Volume 35 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 2006. 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.

Volume 35 is the penultimate volume of the Ranma 1/2 manga series, and there’s only one story included in this volume. This story is not resolved in Volume 35, so it carries over to Volume 36. For this storyline, Takahashi put an emphasis on the cursed springs of Jusenkyo.

This volume opens with the guide at Jusenkyo being kidnapped by strange people with wings. His daughter, Plum, escapes to Japan; she is pursued by the people who kidnapped her father. Luckily for Plum, Ranma and Ryoga are able to save her.

Plum has come to Japan to find the characters who were affected by falling into the cursed springs. She informs the group that the people who kidnapped her father want a map that is in her possession; she warns that if they get the map, all of the Jusenkyo springs will go dry.

The people looking for the map attack and try to get it, but Plum manages to thwart them. However, after the winged people capture Shampoo and use her to get the map, Ranma and the others follow them to China, in the hopes of rescuing Shampoo and getting the map before anything can happen to the Jusenkyo springs. Without their knowledge, Akane follows them to China.

In a lot of ways, it makes sense to me that the ending volumes of the series would have a storyline concerning the cursed springs at Jusenkyo. It also makes sense to make this a story that could potentially affect the ability of the characters to break their respective curses. I appreciate how Takahashi uses this story to focus on the relationship between Ranma and Akane. However, I find this storyline to be a little on the strange side.

I have to admit that while I overall enjoy the Ranma 1/2 manga series, I’m actually glad to be almost done reading the series. The first half of the series was pretty good, but it got a little on the weak side during the third quarter of the series. Luckily, the past few volumes improved the overall quality of the series. If you’ve made it up to this volume of the series, then you need to stick it out in order to see how Ranma 1/2 comes to an end.

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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.