This manga was published as a flipped version, meaning that it reads like an American book instead of a traditional manga.
In this volume, we see the conclusion of the martial arts skating duel between Azusa and Mikado and Akane and Ranma. This volume also introduces the character of Shampoo, and the reader learns how Ranma and Genma met her in China. Because of a change made in the anime series, Shampoo's introduction is a little different in this manga volume when compared to her introduction in the anime. A rivalry develops between Akane and Shampoo over Ranma, and several confrontations take place involving boy-type Ranma, Akane, Shampoo, and girl-type Ranma. Ryoga also has a role to play in this manga volume as well.
I found something kind of amusing in this volume. At the beginning of the book, there's a list of characters, with a description and a drawing. For whatever reason, the characters of Mousse and Cologne were included on this page, even though they don't appear anywhere in this manga volume.
Unlike the first two volumes that I read of the Ranma 1/2 manga series, there were no speech bubbles cut off at the edge of the pages. Also, the quality of the reproduction of the images is noticeably better in this volume. While there might be a couple of pages where the reproduction quality is a little on the "bad" side, it's nowhere nearly as pronounced as in volumes one and two of the series. Hopefully, the artwork reproduction quality will continue to improve with subsequent volumes of the manga series.
I really enjoy Takahashi's art style and character designs. One of my favorite things I saw a bit in this volume is Genma Saotome in his panda form, using his signs to communicate with the other characters; while this device had appeared in the previous two volumes, it was used a lot more in this volume of the manga. When it comes to any nudity, there a couple of pictures where it's hinted at, but there's no actual nudity that appears in this volume.
Ranma 1/2 continues to be a very enjoyable series, and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to read future volumes to see how it compares with the anime series.
Ranma 1/2 is rated "T+," which means that it is being aimed at older teens.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that my older daughter checked out through the King County Library System.
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About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman (ljaesch)
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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