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Magical foodstuffs cause a lot of mayhem in the tenth volume of "Ranma 1/2," with mushrooms and noodles setting off some potentially humiliating battles. And author Rumiko Takahashi introduces a grotesque new opponent for the students of Furinkan High -- someone who makes Kuno look sane.

Shampoo gets her hands on some kairaishi mushrooms, which make the eater do whatever they are told. So of course she feeds them to Ranma, but a mistake causes Ranma to passionately hug anyone who sneezes, including Kuno and Akane (who thinks Ranma is trying to molest her). And Shampoo turns up to cause even more mayhem with her mushrooms, by making Akane hug every man EXCEPT Ranma....

Akane's rivalry with Shampoo continues when she accidently eats Happosai's super soba noodles, which bestow enormous strength. Now she's able to beat anyone (including Ranma) and she can finally whip Shampoo's behind. But while Akane and Shampoo duke it out over martial-arts ping pong, Ranma discovers a terrible side effect of the super soba. Unfortunately, Akane isn't about to give up her new power...

The students of Furinkan High have never met their principal -- until a strange faux-Hawaiian guy attacks some students and tries to snip off Ranma's pigtail. Turns out this lunatic IS the principal -- and his first rule is that boys must have buzz cuts, and girls must have bowl cuts. The students riot, and find themselves in a bizarre tropical maze under the school (that's your tax yen at work, folks).

Ever since Shampoo came onto the scene, we've been treated to the two girls fighting over Ranma. In a way, this is the peak of Akane's problems with Shampoo, and which features her finally defeating the Amazon and her sex-changing fiancee. And all she had to do was take massive doses of hormones and grow facial hair.

Despite the intense romantic infighting, there's plenty of humour here, especially poor Ranma being compelled to hug anyone who sneezes (an affliction that breaks up at least one happy relationship), and Akane being rape-paranoid whenever he grabs her. Not to mention Ranma's sure-fire method of getting Akane's attention: "Waaahh! Shampoo, put your clothes back on!"

We're also introduced to the principal -- a nutcase with a palm tree growing out of his head, and an accent that is more fake Jamaican than Hawaiian. And we see a different side of Akane -- an insecure side, which feels inferior to mega-martial-artists Ranma and the pushy Shampoo. With people like that around, and able to defeat her, it's no wonder that she wants to win so badly.

Embarrassing foodstuffs and humiliating haircuts kick off another round of martial-arts comedy in the tenth "Ranma 1/2." Now arm wrestle!
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Ever since arriving at Tokyo, Ranma Saotome's love life has been way too complex. But in the eighth volume of Rumiko Takahashi's "Ranma 1/2," things get even worse for the teenage martial artist -- he now has three fiancees and a newly-cursed rival to deal with.

A mysterious young man, Ukyo, thrashes Ranma's dad and threatens to do the same to Ranma. Ukyo is a childhood pal of Ranma's, now a master okonomiyaki chef (sort of between a pancake and a pizza). But he seems angry at Ranma, for reasons Ranma doesn't understand and soon challenges him to a duel. It ends with Ranma and Akane discovering a shocking connection to Ukyo: "He" is really a girl, and Ranma's fiance....

As if this weren't uncomfortable enough for Ranma, Ryoga soon arrives and tries to throttle Ranma for having another fiancee when he also has Akane. Ukyo clues in that Ryoga likes Akane; to get Ranma all for herself, she sets up a date between the bashful Ryoga and clueless Akane. Problem is, Ranma soon shows up as Ryoga's "long lost fiancee..."

There's no fun in the sun for the Ranma gang, when Ranma sets ancient martial-artists Cologne and Happosai on a date. Turns out Happosai raided the Amazon village a hundred years ago, and stole a valuable heirloom... which has three love pills embedded in it. And now Akane has accidently swallowed the "life" one. And finally, a trip to the circus reunites the gang with Mousse, who now has a Jusenkyo curse of his own... and a new grudge against Ranma.

Ranma doesn't even need to turn into a girl to have romantic complications -- he has enough of them just as a boy. The eighth volume tallies his fiancee count up to three, with poor Ranma not responsible for any of the engagements.

There's plenty of goofy humour in this one, everything from legally blind Mousse kidnapping a stuffed pig to Ryoga almost making out with the disguised Ranma. But it ends on a taut cliffhanger, with Mousse about to turn the captive Akane into a duck, so he can trap Ranma. Somebody get that boy a therapist.

This volume also introduces Ukyo Kuonji, a girl who has been living as a boy for ten years. Ukyo is also Akane's biggest rival: Not only does she have a longer acquaintance with Ranma, but she's also tough, blunt, pretty, a good cook, and far wilier than the brutally ditzy Shampoo. And poor Ryoga gets his feelings played with once again.

One of Rumiko Takahashi's most memorable characters makes her debut in the eighth volume of "Ranma 1/2," bringing even more romantic turmoil in her wake. And it gets even worse...
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on March 7, 2004
Volume 8(originally vol. 9-10 in Japan) introduces Ukyo Kuonji, an old friend from Ranma's past. As our story progresses, we learn of her engagement to Ranma, and it's soon renewed afterwards, thus leading to Ranma gaining his "cute" fiancee as she's called. Now, if you want me to be honest, I do not like Ukyo. In fact, you could go as far as to say that I hate her. Which is probably why the scene where Ranma pours the hot water over her is my favorite in this. But that's just me. After the her introduction, we go to a few other stories, including her setting up a date between Ryoga and Akane, which is the funniest one(particuarly Ranma and Ryoga's battle at the beginning, it's hilarious), Happosai getting ahold of some love pills that will make anyone who swallows them fall in love with the first person of the opposite gender they see, and the second best in the group, Mousse's return in the series, and as of now he's cursed to turn into a duck when he gets splashed into cold water. That alone has some funny moments, escpecially Mousse's "fight," with a monkey that he mistakes for Ranma. So all in all, another solid volume of Ranma 1/2.
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on February 29, 2000
ALrighty then. Rumiko-san has to have the oddest sense of humor there is. The plot line for Ranma 1/2 goes something like this; boy-hating girl has a father, who say's she's to marry the son of an old friend. Old friend shows up (as a giant panda) and brings a girl along. old friend explains that his son turns into a girl when splashed with cold water (and turns back when splashed with hot water). From this point on, some of the craziest whacks pop in and out of the story. There's Ryoga, Ranma's arch rival with no sense of direction (and lots of Bandanas and umbrellas). Shampoo, the chinese amazon who wants to kill the girl form of Ranma, and marry the boy form. Kuno, the girl obsessed overdramatic moron who runs around with a BIG sword, and his twin sister, Kodachi the black rose, who is equally insane and dramatic. Happosai (can't spell his name, sorry) the panty stealing perverted midget man, and Pantyhose! the love triangles (and quadrilaterals and pentagons, aw hell, everyone want's to marry someone, except Akane and Ranma of course) might confuse you of at first, but you'll get use to it. And the best part is the fact that cold water will turn up in the oddest places (you'd never believe how many old ladies will be washing they're houses before school). And then of course there's the odd assorment of weapons that the characters use (spoons, umbrellas, bandanas, anything can be a lethal weapon when Akane's involved) you just won't be able to stop laughing. If you're a fan of Clamp, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z or Slayers (Xellos-sama!) you'll love Ranma 1/2! And even if you have no idea what i just said, and are just nodding your head to keep me from talking anymore (just humor the crazy people they say) you'll like it! P-chan!
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on August 27, 2003
Well, Ranma gets not one, but two new rivals in this volume. The first is Hikaru Gosunkugi, who wants Ranma out of the way because he wants Akane. What does he do? He decides to offer his services to Kuno! The two join forces to discover Ranma's weak spot! But come on... Gosunkugi's incompetent! How could he learn it? Well, he does, and it turn out to be felines! But Gosunkugi is the least of Ranma's worries... it seems that a certain amazon from China isn't out of his hair like he thought! Shampoo's back, and has a curse of her own, which seeing as it's a cat one, it will probably dampen their relationship. Enter rival no. 2, Mousse, Shampoo's would-be lover, who challenges Ranma to a man to man fight! But with Shampoo's great-grandmother Cologne using a deadly pressure point touch on him, Ranma is stuck in girl form! Ranma now has to beat Mousse and get the cure for his condition! Things get hectic, ending in a cliffhanger, but it's really great stuff. Luckily, now that the book's been rereleased with a cheaper price, it's now more affordable to fans!
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on August 18, 2003
In reply to a criticism, Ranma tells Akane that his figure, when he is a girl, is better than hers. She responds by upending the floor table and clobbering him over the head with it.
Such is a typical occurrence in the Kendo household, where Ranma and his father Genma are staying. Which is not to say that there's ever a dull moment for Ranma and Akane anywhere. Every morning as she arrives at school, Akane, in her school uniform dress and Mary-Janes, has to vanquish a host of boys who believe that by defeating her in martial arts they would earn the right to ask her out. Ranma, for his part, is constantly getting challenged: By his father (who's training him), by Akane, by a befuddled upperclassman, and by an old schoolmate who has followed him to Tokyo. Despite winning nearly all his contests, he is constantly getting injured, chiropracticked, doused with cold water, doused with hot water.
The many wonderful characters are the outstanding feature of this series, but the reader should be prepared for a tremendous lot of action. "Action" is, in fact, a title for the edition of books to which this belongs.
Yet with all that is going on, you are reminded, in some rather subtle ways, that the characters all really do love each other. All the combat (and the melodramatic language that goes along with it), is just sparring. There's no real attempt to hurt anybody, and nobody really gets hurt.

But what does it all mean? I couldn't tell you. Please enjoy, (but don't pause even for a moment to reflect -- you might get kicked!)
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on April 29, 2003
I read the first one so I naturally had to get this one. In this novel you meet Kodachi the Blace Rose who turns out to be Upperclassman Kuno's sister (read the first one and then this on so it will make more sense). Kodachi is the representative of St. Bacchus school for girls Martial Rhythmic Gymnastics team. She believes in "fighting in all fairness" before the match. Needless to say she defeats the whole team of Furinkan High before the match so Akane is asked to step in with only a few days to master rythmic gymnastics techniques. Anyway, Kodachi tries to attack her one night but Akane is too good, so Kodachi takes off. Meanwhile, Ranma [boy-type] is chasing after Ryoga in his P-chan form with a pot of hot water. Ranma clonks Kodachi on the head with it without realizing it then he sees Kodachi falling. He grabs her and asks her if she's okay and she falls for him right on the spot. Later on Ranma tells Kodachi that he is Akane's fiancee (to get her to leave him alone) and ends up being wagered as the prize for the Martial Rhythmic Gymnastics match. Akane hurts her ankle the night before the match and [girl-type] Ranma must take her place. This volume is just too funny! I'm not going to say anymore because I've given up too much already. Take my word for it, though, this graphic novel, no...the whole series is a must-have for any manga/anime collector, not to mention the casual reader/watcher (Ranma 1/2 is also available as anime). I warn you now these are addictive and can really strain your bank account :(
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on June 15, 2004
I love the Ranma 1/2 series - actually, I love most things that Rumiko Takahashi has created. If you haven't read any of this series before, you should know that Ranma changes into a girl when splashed with cold water. His father, on the other hand, changes into a panda. A lot of this is explained just before the story begins, in a "the story thus far" section and a "cast of characters section." Although, as usual, I believe that it's always a good idea to know something about a series before jumping into it at a later point (especially this far into the series), I don't think that this volume will be too hard to understand if you've never read any Ranma 1/2 before. The two explanation sections to a fairly good, if brief, job, and, once yet get past the beginning of book, there's another story that's pretty self-contained. Since I haven't read the previous volume, the beginning of the book, which is continuation of a fight between Ranma, Ryoga, Mousse, and a trio of martial artists, made me feel a little lost. After that, however, come two stories that are unrelated to this beginning part. In the first, Ranma has to deal with a new teacher, who is known for her ability to deal with problem students. This teacher can use an unbeatable technique, which there is only one very awkward way to defeat. In the second story, Akane wants to investigate something that happened in her past. Only the first story is actually finished in this volume. For the rest of the second story, I think you have to get the next volume.
If you're looking for humorous manga, I really recommend Rumiko Takahashi. She does wonderful work and has a very odd and wacky sense of humor. Then you, too, can get looked at oddly whenever you try to explain this series to someone. :o)
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Okay, sure, "Ranma 1/2" is technically a comedy series. Rumiko Takahashi wrote the sprawling martial-arts romance with plenty of jokes, goofy characters and misunderstandings.

But in the 22nd volume of this series, Takahashi showed us the darker side of the Ranma story. There are plenty of funny moments, but it also has a very powerful and impressive opponent, some harrowing fight scenes, and what seems to be the death of a major character.

Ranma finds his rivals Ryoga and Mousse, both savagely beaten by a pair of animalistic warriors. Ranma arrives just in time to see their cloaked leader mistreat Akane -- and during the fight, the dragon-woman Herb splashes Ranma with water. Herb is from the ancient Musk Dynasty, a tribe that took on the attributes of animals. And the water is from the Pail of Preservation -- and it locks Ranma in his female form.

Ranma can regain his male form, but only if he gets the Water Pot of Liberation, which Herb is also searching for. So Ranma, Ryoga and Mousse (who want the pot for themselves) set out to defeat Herb and her bodyguards. But Herb is a more lethal opponent than Ranma has ever faced before -- and his own attacks don't work, especially when Herb's startling secret is revealed...

Takahashi's more recent works -- such as the Inuyasha series -- rely more heavily on action and fantasy than the Ranma series did. And so the Musk Dynasty story seems almost like a warmup for Takahashi's later work, with its emphasis on gritty action, understated romance and lethal villains. Herb even looks a bit like her later villain Sesshomaru.

Okay, there's still plenty of humour, such as the Musk warriors who are obsessed with women and breasts, or the way that Ryoga and Mousse keep distracting them ("Look at HER boobs!"). But the climax of the story is completely devoid of humour. Ranma is beaten to a pulp and almost decapitated, while Mousse and Ryoga battle the superhuman Lime and Mint and are nearly sealed in their pig and duck forms.

Takahashi's artwork had also matured by this time -- it's very detailed, more lifelike and intricate, and there is a new maturity to the tempestuous Ranma/Akane attraction ("I guess... even if I can't be a man... I have to go back for her sake"). She had also mastered the art of the cliffhanger, since Ryoga seems to be dead near the end of one chapter.

Ranma and Company deal with a new and frightening enemy in the 22nd volume of this series. Darker, edgier, but still often funny.
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on August 1, 1999
Actually... I haven't exactly read that many of the English-translated sets here (I do, however, have all 38 Japan-bought manga), so I can't really say this without claim, but anyway: I bought a traslated version, vol. 3, read it, and thought that the english version was sorta handicapped by the general problems of translating (that is, having to reverse pictures, erase and put in translated in sound affects - that especially, since alot of sound effects are these wording jokes that Takahashi-sensei put in, figure out how to deal with Japanese puns and jokes). But a bunch of non-japanese speaking people thinks that it's funny and action packed anyway. So what I'm saying here is that this thing isn't just funny and action packed, it's hilarious and, well, really action packed. Sorry, couldn't think of a good word. Not only that, I thought the english version ain't that bad. There's little glitches in translation, but I've had to traslate a bunch a Japanese stuff before too, that stuff can't be avoided, and they made a pretty good trans job. (Really good, if I think back on other examples of japanese traslating people... Besides, what you don't know won't hurt.)
I showed the one traslated vol. 3 to my random friend (American) along with the first few stories that I had traslated for the heck of it, and 2 and a half days later she was like, "You will give me the name and place of where you got this, Yes?"
In fact the only thing that's bad (yes, I admit the translations are pretty good afterall) is that the stuff is so expensive! Aiee!
One more thing: wow, they (Vis or whoever) translated every story and every page of everything Rumiko Takahashi wrote. Dang.
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