Ranma 1/2 Volume Seven is a manga by Rumiko Takahahsi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media. The version of this volume I’m reviewing is second printing, which was released in 2004. This manga was published as a flipped version, meaning that it reads like an American book instead of a traditional manga. Ranma 1/2 is rated “T+” for older teens, due to some panels that include female nudity.
Volume Seven begins with the Furinkan High School drama club asking Akane Tendo to be the lead in its upcoming play. At first, she steadfastly refuses, until she discovers the role is Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Kasumi explains to Ranma that when Akane was in elementary school, she was cast as Romeo in her class’ production of the play, since she was such a tomboy then. However, Akane has always wanted to play the role of Juliet. Kuno, Gosunkugi, and Happosai all want to audition for the part of Romeo. Ranma only ends up vying for the role after overhearing that the winner of the upcoming drama competition between high school will get an invitation to see China. Hilarity and hijinks ensue as the drama club attempts to perform Romeo and Juliet for the competition.
The next story in this volume sees Ryoga obtaining a map that shows where the Japanese branch of the cursed Chinese springs is. Ryoga wants to find it in order to be a whole man again, instead of changing into the little black pig P-chan when he’s doused with cold water. Ranma finds out about the map, and teams up with Ryoga. They realize that the spring they want is under the girls’ locker room at Furinkan High. Misunderstandings and comedy occur as Ranma tries desperately to get to the spring.
The final story in Volume Seven starts out with Akane and Kuno’s sister, Kodachi, trying to get Ranma to eat cookies that they have each baked. In the process of trying to get away, Ranma accidentally falls on top of Kodachi. Gosunkugi snaps a picture of this, which makes it look like it’s more intimate than it really is. Kodachi uses the picture to try to blackmail Ranma, and invites him over to the Kuno house in order to get Ranma for herself. Ranma, meanwhile, is trying to keep Akane from seeing the picture.
If you’ve read the Ranma 1/2 manga up to this point, then you know that the humor you have come to expect and enjoy from the series is also in this volume. Takahashi continues to bring the right blend of comedy and drama to the writing of this series. And even though the twists at the end of the first two stories are somewhat predictable, I still found them to be amusing.
All three of these stories were adapted for the anime. The only real difference comes in the third story, since Gosunkugi wasn’t introduced at this point in the anime series. I believe it’s the Kuno’s ninja servant, Sasuke, who takes the incriminating photo. Other than that, they’re basically the same if you are familiar with the anime before reading the manga.
Even though I already knew what to expect from these stories since I’ve seen the corresponding anime episodes, I still wanted to read them to see how they were executed in a manga format. This volume of Ranma 1/2 was also a quick read, but it’s still enjoyable.
If you’re a fan of Ranma 1/2, you should be able to find enjoyment reading Volume Seven.