Ranma 1/2, Vols. 33-34

By Rumiko Takahashi. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialized in the magazine Shonen Sunday. Released in North America by Viz. Translated by Kaori Inoue, Adapted by Gerard Jones.

When Viz first started its omnibus re-release of Ranma 1/2, I told myself I was going to give every volume a full review, despite the fact that with one or two exceptions there is no plot or characterization development from around Vol. 10 to Vol. 36. And for the most part it’s been a good decision. I’ve been surprised at how much there is to talk about here, and how much more I’m getting out of the series twenty years on. That said, we’re definitely near the end of the series, and it’s starting to show. None of the chapters in this omnibus are horrible, but they are starting to feel tired, and you can sense Takahashi is ready to wrap this up. We’ll begin to see that wrapup with the next omnibus, but for now we have this mediocre book.


There are a few stories that are fairly well remembered by the Ranma fandom, but they ended up being more plotless runaround types than I expected. Ryouga eats a mushroom that turns him into a little kid, and Ranma rapidly follows. While the kids are adorable brats, the emphasis is on the brat part, of course, and so there’s mostly a lot of yelling and fighting. There’s also a lot of Mousse in this book, and readers familiar with my reviews will know that I simply dislike him. Probably the most famous story in the book is the one where the entire family become convinced, after deciding to eat out rather than going home and then returning to find various broken things, that Kasumi has finally snapped and actually gotten angry. It made me wonder if Takahashi was actually following the Western fandom, as a lot of the jokes (and resolution) here could be taken straight from it – except if it were the Western fandom, Kasumi really WOULD have been angry.

There are also some good bits here, as you’d expect for a series of such varying quality as Ranma 1/2. The Valentine Chocolate chapter was genuinely sweet towards the end, and shows off a bit of the ‘yes, they are in love’ that we enjoy so much from Ranma and Akane. And the chapters involving Hinako and Principal Kuno are a Takahashi runaround done right, with great comedy that works, including the revelation of “The Evil Tree… sorry, Three” which had me laugh out loud, and may be the best use of Nabiki ever. And while I felt the whole “Akane’s breasts are growing” arc with Nodoka was drawn out far too long, both that and the previous Nodoka story earlier in the book show this really isn’t going to last much longer – sooner or later, Ranma IS going to meet his mother.

Anyone picking up a 17th omnibus of Ranma is in it for the long haul, of course, and as usual it’s worth getting for the improved reproduction of the art and unflipped state. But we’ve only got two omnibuses to go after this, and I must admit I’m rather relieved.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. I feel Takahashi was probably worried that if she changed things or characters too much, it’d stop being funny. But she’s a little too cautious, I think.

    This is Konatsu’s introduction, he kinda gets a similar role to Mousse, I think?

    Why is Mousse your least favorite, it is his door mat nature to Shampoo?

    The ill boy chapter had a slightly creepy moment when Girl Ranma awoke in a hotel after being drugged. I imagine if it was animated, they’d take that out.

    The Valentine chapter is one of those times, you realize, the lives of the Ranma cast really aren’t that great, XD. Note only Ranma got chocolate among the guys, and it was after intense abuse from the fiancees. While none of the other fiancees got to give Ranma chocolate, their own fault, but still.

  2. Pata Hikari says

    You know, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Tanabata chapter, because that is by far the single most important chapter in the manga for showing exactly what Ranma and Akane’s relationship is, imo.

    While out on Tanabata Ranma and Akane are lead to a guy giving out magic bamboo leaves, by their dads where if a couple puts their names on them they are guaranteed to have a happy magic, but if their names are separated afterwords then they will fall in love with whoever their name is currently paired with. Needless to say, it turns the magic in them works, and after a bit of bickering (flirting), Ranma and Akane put their names on them, only for other characters to interfere and chaos abounds as Ranma struggles to keep his and Akane’s names together.

    In the end, he succeeds and they go home with the magic bamboo intact.

    Notably Ranma compares himself and Akane to Orihime and Hikoboshi , the mythical starrcrosed lovers who are the celebrants of the holiday.

    This chapter basically tells you flat out that they love each other in their own special way and are going to get married, no matter what wacky antics happen for the remaining chapters.

Speak Your Mind