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

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Ranma 1/2 Volume Six is a manga by Rumiko Takahashi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media. The version I’m reviewing is the original printing of this volume, which was released in 1996. This manga was published as a flipped version, meaning that it reads like an American book instead of a traditional manga.

The character of Happosai is introduced in this volume. He is the master of Soun Tendo (Akane’s father) and Genma Saotome (Ranma’s father), and he is also very lecherous. Happosai’s hobbies include stealing women’s underwear and trying to spy on women who are undressing or are trying to enjoy themselves at the bathhouse.

Happosai wreaks all kinds of havoc after his arrival, including causing a commotion at Ranma and Akane’s school, battling with Ranma at the local bathhouse and nearly destroying it, and attempting to kidnap Akane. It all comes to a head after Happosai creates a stir with panty raids that gain the attention of the volunteer neighborhood watch program. Soun Tendo is asked to apprehend the thief, but he ultimately leaves it up to Genma and Ranma. Ranma puts a Chinese “woman repellent” on a patch that Akane sews onto Happosai’s clothes, which causes women to run away from him. Ranma hopes that will put an end to Happosai’s lecherous ways.

The other storyline that appears in this volume is about a dojo destroyer taking the sign for the Tendo Dojo, which is intertwined with a plot with Shampoo using an herbal remedy that will change Ranma back into a boy permanently as bait to get him to go on a date with her. Unfortunately, the date is scheduled at the same time that Ranma and Akane are supposed to face off against the dojo destroyer together.

When I read through this printing of Volume Six, I discovered that some of the pages looked as if they were reproduced from a second or third generation copy of the original Japanese manga; those pages looked blurrier than the other pages, which caused some details to be launched. Hopefully, this issue was corrected in later printings of Volume Six.

Once again, Takahashi brings just the right blend of comedy and drama to her writing, which she is able to bring to life through her expressive art style. She did a great job introducing and building on Happosai’s character in this volume. The storylines about the dojo destroyer and Shampoo’s herbal remedy are very different than how they were presented in the anime adaptation; in the anime, they were done as two different storylines and were presented differently. The manga version of these storylines is interesting, but I haven’t quite decided whether I like this presentation or the anime presentation better.

Even though I am already familiar with the story through watching the anime adaptation, I still found myself not wanting to put this volume down so I could read what happens next. This particular volume of Ranma 1/2 is a rather quick read, but it’s still enjoyable.

Ranma 1/2 is a manga series that I would personally recommend for older teenagers and adults who enjoy humor and have an appreciation for the martial arts.

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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.