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Thread: Pumpkin Reads Ranma 1/2

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    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Default Pumpkin Reads Ranma 1/2

    So Ranma 1/2 is one of my favourite manga series of all time. I only ever got to vol. 15 though when I read them when I was younger. But I am now re-collecting them and I am very excited about that!

    I won't obviously be posting actual pages and whatnot from the manga here because GO READ IT SERIOUSLY IT'S GOOD, but I will be covering the different volumes when I read them. This can serve as an intro to people who haven't read the series and don't know if they're interested, or if you're already a fan, you can come reminisce as I talk about them, or you can make comparisons if you're a fan of the anime.

    Also feel free to generally discuss Ranma 1/2 here because it's Ranma 1/2 and we should discuss it!

    Volume One


    So our titular character, Ranma Saotome <-- this dude, is a 16-year-old martial artist who recently went on a voyage of training with his father Genma . They have now returned to Japan as Genma has made a special promise to his friend Soun Tendo a rather intense and dramatic moustachio'd man.

    Genma promised that his son would marry one of Soun's three daughters:
    19 year old Kasumi, the sweet homemaker motherly type,
    17 year old Nabiki, the opportunistic sister,
    or 16 year old Akane, the martial artist who says she hates men.
    That way Ranma can inherit the Tendo dojo.

    There is one little issue though. You see, on their recent training trip to China, they visited the ground of Accursed Springs, where many things have drowned. Now anyone who falls in these springs will take the form of whomever drowned there. Wouldn't you believe it, both Ranma and Genma fell in.

    Ranma fell in the spring of drowned girl and now turns in to a girl when splashed with cold water and Genma now takes the form of a panda when splashed with cold water . Both revert with hot water.

    Because of this little quirk, Kasumi and Nabiki are quick to pass off the engagement to their younger sister, Akane, using the excuses that she hates boys anyway and this one is half girl.

    Akane and Ranma get off on the wrong foot after some sparring matches, finding out about his secret, and some accidental bathtime hijinks, so neither is particularly excited about this engagement. But now it's school time!

    Ranma's first day is eventful as he learns that Akane has an army of suitors looking to best her in battle for a chance at a date. Chief among these is Upperclassman Kuno a rather absurd young man who is both full of himself and of love for Akane. He's not super pleased to learn about the engagement, as you can imagine. This leads to Ranma and Kuno fighting, and at some point Ranma turns in to a girl. Kuno promptly falls in love with this girl. Nabiki uses this opportunity to sell Kuno pictures of both of them. There is more fighting. Ranma wins.

    Ranma and Akane find the pictures Kuno was in possession of and Ranma makes a comment about how Akane will never find a husband. She beats him up. Time for a trip to the doctor! Dr. Tofu to be precise , a man that Akane has had a crush on since her childhood. Usually a competent doctor, he is in love with Akane's older sister Kasumi, and when in contact with her he turns in to a bumbling fool. Also Mr. Saotome, Ranma's father, gets a job as Dr. Tofu's assistant. Panda form only .

    More hijinks involving these plot points ensue, Ranma is injured many times over, and then a new threat emerges. It goes by the name of Ryoga . Ryoga is a super strong boy from Ranma's old school who is out for revenge. He also has a terrible sense of direction and gets lost several times before arriving to challenge Ranma. Ranma can't remember why he wants revenge, except maybe for all of those times he got the last lunch bread over Ryoga.

    The fight day finally comes, at which point TRAGEDY STRIKES and one of Ryoga's weapons cuts Akane's hair clean off. She has a humiliating haircut and asks for Kasumi to fix it for her. And short-haired Akane is born! We find out she originally grew it out because her sister mentioned when she was younger that Dr. Tofu might like her more if she wasn't such a tomboy, and Akane decided to grow her hair out like her sister. Dr. Tofu tells her she always looked better with short hair.

    So that's the fist volume! I don't like this one as much as most. It's still the intro and it's got a lot going on, but it doesn't quite find it's rhythm yet.
    Last edited by Pumpkin; 06-16-2016 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I love Ranma 1/2, one of the first anime series , that wasn't on TV, that I collected back in the day. Hell my nickname in high school was Ryoga Hibiki due to my poor sense of direction.

  3. #3
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Hopefully not that level of poor xD

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    It's not humanely possible to be that bad. He's still one of my favorite characters though. This was easily one of my favorite series by Rumiko Takahashi.

  5. #5
    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    I am reading the manga at the moment, they've been reissuing it and I've just finished volume 28. It is very funny at times, though it does feel like it went on for too long in the end (still got 10 volumes to go!). Always like Ranma's father as a panda, and Ryoga's cluelessness.

    Maison Ikkoku is my favourite Takahashi manga, maybe as it's the only one that didn't go on too long!
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    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    I only read bits and pieces of the manga. Mainly the ones that continue on where the anime ended. Ranma is one of my all time favorite animes and I had a huge crush on Akane growing up. It was also among my formal introduction to anime alongside Sailor Moon, although technically Pokemon was the first anime I ever watched I didn't know what Japanese animation was at that point.

    I have all of Ranma on DVD sans the first two seasons and the movies.

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    Volume Two


    So this time we discover the real reason why Ryoga is seeking revenge on Ranma. You see, a little while back, Ryoga challenged Ranma to a fight. Because Ryoga has such a terrible sense of direction, he got lost on the way down the street. Ranma waited 3 days for him before leaving, but Ryoga arrived on the fourth. Upset that Ranma "skipped out" on their duel, Ryoga followed him all the way to China. There, he was knocked in to a cursed spring by a young woman and a panda . Chances are you can see where this is going.

    And now when splashed with cold water, Ryoga turns in to a pig. Akane finds this pig and adopts it as her own, naming him P-chan . Getting close to Akane in pig form also causes Ryoga to develop feelings for her. Luckily Ranma agrees to keep his secret by not outright telling Akane, but at the same time he likes to drop hints for her to find.

    The next part of the story involves martial arts gymnastics, the start of Ranma 1/2 introducing martial arts to everything it can. A gymnast from an opposing school team, Kodachi "The Black Rose" , younger sister to Upperclassman Kuno , has been going around beating up her opponents before the upcoming match. Desperate, the gymnastics team at Rnma and Akane's school begs for Akane to fill in for them since she knows martial arts and is in shape.

    She's terrible at it. Ryoga generously offers to teach her, because he loves her, and she's just terrible at it. In any case, she injures her ankle before the match and so it's up to Ranma to fill in. Also, after chasing P-chan around, Ranma accidentally knocks Kodachi out with a tea kettle and rescues her so that she falls for him when she regains consciousness.

    More hijinks happen. Female Ranma tells Kodachi to leave male Ranma alone. Kodachi says that if Ranma (female) loses the fight, then Ranma (male) will date her (Kodachi). This gets Ryoga interested since if he goes steady with Kodachi, Akane will be free to date him. Thus he tries to exhaust Ranma by "training him" the night before.

    The match takes place in a rather ridiculous fashion, as I'm sure you can imagine. No bare handed blows are allowed in amrtial arts gymnastics, so things such as table and... brothers are used. Eventually Ranma manages to win by a hair. Don't worry though, Kodachi will be back to harass Ranma another day.

    So now that that's over with, the gang goes skating! Akane brings P-chan because of course she does, where he promptly gets kidnapped by a figure skater named Azusa . Azusa likes to name things she thinks are cute and then take them. Yes, that is illegal. She names P-chan "Charlotte". Akane is displeased by this, of course, and Azusa's partner, Mikado shows up to be his womanizing self and try to kiss Akane. Ranma and Akane are not having that, and Ranma challenges Mikado to a duel. The event will be pair skating.

    This means that Akane needs to teach Ranma how to skate. Ranma, having his male ego easily bruised, practices as a girl to avoid humiliating himself as a man. Mikado arrives on the scene to plant a kiss on the female Ranma, which sends him in to a rage as it's his first ever kiss. Things become much more personal now.

    I did like this volume but it still wasn't the best. It's starting to get its rhythm more. The match between Ranma and Kodachi was hilarious though, 10/10

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    Volume Three


    Continuing on, the martial arts figure skating match officially begins, with Akane and P-chan both on the line.
    Ranma and Akane
    vs
    Mikado and Azusa

    The figure skating duo wastes no time and end up pretty badly injuring Ranma. Ryoga , not wanting to be won as a prize by Azusa and spending the rest of his life as "Charlotte", tries to pair up with Akane. Unfortunately, he instead ends up pairing up with the injured Ranma, now in female form . Things continue to deteriorate from there with Ryoga instead challenging Ranma for Akane's heart. They end up breaking the rink which reveals a pool beneath. After much fighting, Azusa and Mikado are pretty much out of it as Ryoga and Ranma battle it out. Unfortunately, Akane gets caught in the middle and nearly drowns as she can't swim. Ryoga, splashed with cold water, turns in to P-chan and tries to rescue her. Ranma ends up pulling them both out. Luckily for Ryoga, Akane never saw him transform.

    Before the gang can get settled too much though, a new crazy shows up in town that goes by the name of Shampoo . Shampoo is a Chinese amazon warrior, strongest in her village according to a tournament she had just won. Unfortunately, Genma and Ranma (transformed) ate her prize meal. Challenging female Ranma and losing, Shampoo hit him with the "kiss of death", a promise to follower him (her, in this case) to the end of the world and kill her in order to recover from the shame of losing to an outsider.

    After Shampoo's latest attempted murder, Ranma, this time in male form , accidentally defeats her again. But this time, Shampoo instead promises to marry him. There is much jealousy between Akane and Shampoo, Ranma's two fiancee's at this point. Shampoo tries a special technique on Akane that causes her to complete forget who Ranma is. Ryoga is pleased with this development, but Ranma is not. Male Ranma then promises Shampoo that he will severely beat up female Ranma in order to cure Akane. Shampoo accepts this deal and is beaten to a pulp by everyone else in order to fulfill his end of the bargain.

    Shortly after, Ranma shows Shampoo that male Ranma and female Ranma are one and the same person. Shampoo goes in for the kill before crying and saying goodbye.

    This volume introduces Shampoo, one of my favourite characters, so that's always a plus. I also liked it more, it was less all over the place and had a lot of good moments.

  9. #9
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Volume Four


    Today we are introduced to Gosunkugi , another suitor for Akane . He's a bit of a creepy loner guy, and predictably he has some hatred Ranma .

    While Gosunkugi is trying to voodoo up a Ranma doll, Upperclassman Kuno , another Akane suitor, loses another duel to Ranma. Gosunkugi and Kuno decide to team up and find Ranma's weak spot in order to defeat him. Kuno even makes a bet with Ranma, saying that if he finds Ranma's weak spot, Ranma will set him up on a date with the pig-tailed girl (female Ranma).

    After some hijinks, Ranma's secret is discovered! It turns out he has a phobia of cats ever since his father stupidly tied some fish to him and threw him in a pit of angry cats. Repeatedly. Gosunkigi uses this opportunity to gather a bunch of cats, including a tiger, in order to scare Ranma.

    However, when his fear reaches peak levels, Ranma goes crazy and enters a mode where he becomes a cat himself. Not physically, but he acts like one. His father tries to calm him down, but the only one who can successfully snap him out of his new cat mode is Akane. But not before he plants a kiss on her. Unfortunately, he forgets it ever happened, something that upsets Akane deeply seeing as how it was their first kiss.

    Sadly that is only the beginning of their couple troubles as Shampoo returns from China with some new developments. First, she and her great-grandmother Cologne have moved to Japan and opened a ramen restaurant. Secondly, Cologne and Shampoo are still hellbent on Ranma marrying Shampoo, and third, while training with her great-grandmother, Shampoo fell in to one of the accursed drowned springs. She now turns in to a cat .

    In case the relationship web wasn't getting complicated enough, another "friend" arrives from China. A man named Mousse who is madly in love with Shampoo but was unable to best her in battle in order to earn her hand in marriage. Mousse has incredibly poor vision when his glasses are off and is known as the hidden weapon master. It doesn't take long for him to challenge Ranma to a duel. Because Cologne still refuses to give Shampoo to Mousse, Mousse instead says that if he wins, he will still Akane from Ranma.

    It still isn't smooth sailing though because Cologne activated a pressure point on Ranma, making him incredibly sensitive to heat. Because of this, Ranma is stuck in his female form and his new height disadvantage gives him a harder time against Mousse. This is also where most of the school learns that Ranma is both the girl and boy version, although most just think he's an absurdly talented cross dresser. Dr. Tofu ends up saving the day when he activates yet another pressure point allowing Ranma to change back. Unfortunately it was a one time deal and Ranma is once again stuck in female form.

    Cologne agrees to change Ranma back if he marries Shampoo or if he can snatch the Phoenix Pill from her to undo what she did. Being a master martial artist though, Cologne doesn't make getting the pill so easy. After getting a job as a waitress at the Cat Cafe (Cologne and Shampoo's restaurant) in order to try and find an opening and fighting her at the fair, things finally come to a head when Cologne declares the Martial Arts Melon-Spliting contest at the beach.

    The contest is basically trying to split your opponents watermelon while retaining your own intact. First to cross the finish line wins Shampoo, who happens to be carrying to Phoenix Pill. After tying for a win, Ranma and Cologne face off again, this time with Ranma seemingly taking her down. Ranma then proposes that if he wins against her, she'll give him the pill. Cologne agrees, as long as he marries Shampoo should he lose. After Ranma agrees, Cologne suddenly gets her strength back and thus a water battle begins. Involving a shark.

    So this is actually one of my favourite volumes. The humour is on point, the pacing is good, and the whole things is just a joy to read. Highly recommend this volume!

  10. #10
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    Volume Five


    Picking up where we left off, Ranma , currently stuck in girl form, and Cologne are fighting. Cologne is the cause of Ranma's situation and has promised him the cure if he can defeat her in battle. Cologne has summoned a shark to help her fight.

    Not to worry though, Ranma has a plan. He goes to Shampoo , Cologne's granddaughter and woman in love with Ranma, for help. This involves tying her to himself as he goes back in the water. You see, when splashed with cold water, Shampoo turns in to a cat , and Ranma just so happens to have a fear of cats. This causes him to enter the deadly Cat Fu mode, where he thinks he is a cat. After taking a huge bite in to the shark, Cologne gives him mad props and hands over the Phoenix Pill which will allow Ranma to change back in to a man with hot water.

    Ryoga is back in town and of course decides to challenge Ranma to a fight. Turns out, however, that Ranma has gotten a lot stronger thanks to his scuffles with Cologne. Humiliated after Akane Ranma's fiancee and woman Ryoga loves, tells Ranma to stop picking on him, Ryoga accepts Cologne's proposal to train him.

    Ranma and his father Genma are off training in the same woods as Ryoga and Cologne. They bring Akane along, who turns out to be the worst cook ever, who defects to Ryoga's camp after he manages to gratefully eat her food to the best of his ability and Ranma only insults it. Ryoga is learning the "Breaking Point" technique, a technique said to destroy anything if he can only touch its breaking point. Cologne then offers up Akane as the prize for the Ranma and Ryoga match. After some intense battling, Ranma and Ryoga fall off a cliff, turning Ryoga in to his pig form of P-chan and wins the fight. Cologne then reveals that the breaking point technique only works on rocks.

    After these shenanigans, Ranma, female form is hit by a runaway horse with a strange man named Sentaro on it. Sentaro decides that Ranma should be his bride, drugs him (as a her), and dresses him in a wedding kimono. Ranma, predictably, is not happy. Sentaro explains that he's in an arranged marriage in which he cannot stand the bride and wishes for Ranma to defeat her and take her place. The challenge: Martial Arts Tea Ceremony. With his pride as a martial arts whatever champion, Ranma agrees to fight. Ranma also takes this opportunity to reveal his manhood to a shocked Sentaro, and Akane arrives at the scene. Sentaro quickly proposes to Akane as well, who doesn't want to marry him, but does want to show that she can perform the graceful tea ceremony. She can't.

    After some rigorous training, Ranma is ready to challenge Sentaro's supposed fiancee, Miss Satsuki , who turns out to be a monkey. All is well however when during the challenge, the REAL Satsuki arrives on a runaway horse and turns out to be a beautiful woman. Suddenly Sentaro is A-OK with the marriage and the two head off on their honeymoon . After making a quick stop on Ranma's head.

    The martial arts hikinks have not yet ended. Kuno has decided that it is time to decide between Akane and "Pig-tailed Girl" (female Ranma), and tells them that whoever arrives at his house first will win his heart. Coincidentally at the same time, Akane, Ranma, and Shampoo all enter a martial-arts delivery girl contest. The goal is to reach a randomly selected house before anyone else. The randomly selected house? Kuno's.

    Shampoo makes a bet with Ranma that if she wins, Ranma will date her. She is then hurt when Ranma doesn't lose. They soon arrive at Kuno's house, who thinks they're all there to win his love, and more battling ensues. After losing the race, Akane tries to sabotage them by turning Shampoo in to a cat, and Ranma protects her, not because he loves Shampoo but because of his fear of cats. At one point, Ranma turns back in to a man and tries to feed Kuno his food, thereby winning the race, but Kuno is insulted at the thought, especially since he hates male Ranma. After Ranma turns back in to a girl though, Kuno is more than happy to eat the dirty, soggy food, handing victory to Ranma.

    This was a pretty good one. Good stories, lots of funny moments. Not the best, but still very good.

  11. #11
    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    Oh god, I remember cracking up when Ranma is ranting about having to fight a monkey.
    "Excuse me Miss, do you like pineapple?"

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    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    Hm, I can't remember if the delivery girl contest involving Kuno was animated or not.

  13. #13
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    Bless this thread; loved this show/manga back in the day

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    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Volume Six


    Today on Ranma 1/2, we are introduced to a new terror. It goes by the name of Happosai , the martial arts master that trained Soun and Genma , fathers of Akane and Ranma. And by train I mean forced them to help him rip off innocent people. Not only that, but Happosai is one of the biggest perverts in existence.

    Soun and Genma are both angry and terrified at his return, and Happosai wastes no time in trying to grope Akane and successfully groping female Ranma . Ranma doesn't take kindly to this and challenges Happosai to the first of many battles. Happosai forfeits during the fight to scope out the girls locker room.

    After a horrible bathhouse battle shortly after that, Ryoga , in the form of Akane's pet pig P-chan makes a snuggly return. Happosai, being tiny, decides to use this as an opportunity to dress as P-chan and infiltrate Akane's bed. Ranma and Ryoga do not take well to this, and neither does Akane. Akane is put to sleep by Happosai and the other two battle it out with the old man. He wins in the end, but soon learns that sleeping next to Akane means getting beat on a lot, so really no one is a winner.

    The final battle with Happosai for this volume occurs when Ranma has once again had enough of the old perv and his panty-thieving ways, and challenges him to yet another fight. He comes prepared though after losing, and has Akane sew a special patch in to Happosai's uniform. It contains a woman repellent of sorts. This plan works as Happosai goes through withdrawals at being unable to touch the female body. Ranma however, wants to win in a fair fight and gives Happosai the opportunity to shine once again. After Happosai turns giant thanks to his battle aura (?) Genma, in panda form, decides to step up to his old master and also turn giant. Sadly they both wear themselves out after using up their battles auras and neither emerges the victor.

    For the next shenanigan, Soun and Genma hatch a plot to get Akane and Ranma to work together by pretending they were defeated by a dojo destroyer. Shortly afterwards, they are defeated by a dojo destroyer. He will be back on Saturday for the dojo to regain their dojo sign and honour. Ranma is all for foghting this dojo destroyer until Miss Shampoo arrives with an "Instant Spring of Drowned Man", which can turn Ranma back to 100% man. All he has to do is go on a date with her. On Saturday. Also, she "forgot" to mention to him that the instant spring only works once.

    So Saturday comes and Akane faces the dojo destroyer alone. Meanwhile Ranma tries to sneak his way to the drowned spring but learns that Shampoo isn't so easy to fool. She agrees to end the date and give him what he wants if he'll kiss her. He's unable to do so, but can't stop worrying about Akane. So he drags Shampoo to the dojo on their date to help defeat the dojo destoyer. Shampoo, not impressed with Ranma's plan, places the Instant Spring packets, and some fakes, all over the dojo destroyers vital spots. Also they're lined with firecrackers and will explode if impacted. Ranma hits most of them, sneaking one in to his hair.

    Shampoo, being the sneaky lady she is, asks Ranma for "another" kiss, giving everyone, including Akane, the impression that they already kissed. Akane is understandably upset by this, so Ranma tries to prove his loyalty by ripping up the last Instant Spring of Drowned Man. This makes Akane feel terrible and she grovels for his forgiveness. The dojo destroyer, however pulls the real packet out from Ranma's hair, calling him a liar. Akane is once again displeased.

    Ranma and Genma do get their Instant Spring of Drowned Man and soon learn that it was a one-time only deal. Oh well.

    This is another one of my favourites, it's pretty funny, well paced, and overall just enjoyable.

  15. #15
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay! I've been reading Ranma while I do bicycle at the gym so it's going a bit slower.

    Volume Seven


    To start out, the High School is putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet. Akane is initially asked to join but is reluctant to do so because she's always given male parts. When she hears that they want her to play Juliet, however, she jumps at the chance to fulfill her childhood dream!

    Of course, because Akane has signed up for the role of Juliet, Upperclassman Kuno , Gosunkugi , and Happosai , all decide that they should be Juliet. While Ranma originally doesn't care about the play, he learns that the winner will get a chance to see China, and so he too tries to secure the role of Romeo.

    Opening night begins with much shenanigans as none of the men seem to know what Romeo and Juliet is about and insist on still battling it out during the play. Ranma seemingly takes the lead until he learns he must kiss Akane, at which point he gets shy. So instead, he turns in to a girl and decides to take on the role of Juliet himself. Akane meanwhile was grabbed and tied up by Happosai, who was then given copious amounts of alcohol by Ranma to prevent further interference. Kuno decides to take the same approach with Ranma herself, who then wobbles around drunk as Kuno attempts to steal a kiss. Luckily, Akane makes a return and challenges Kuno.

    After more shenanigans, Ranma covers Kuno's mouth with tape and kisses him, not wanting to miss out on the chance to see China and cure his curse. Akane is incredibly upset with Ranma before she's drugged by Gosunkugi and passes out. The play then turns in to Snow White with Ranma needing to kiss her to wake her up. Akane decides to help him out by putting tape over his mouth and kissing him.

    So Ranma and Akane win the chance to see China. Unfortunately for Ranma, China is the nickname of a famous man and not the country.

    The next section can be summed up pretty quickly. Ryoga returns and has apparently found a hidden spring of drowned man right there in Japan. Wanting to cure himself of his pigness , he intends to search for it, when Ranma interferes. Turns out the spring is supposedly underneath the girls locker room. Akane doesn't approve of them snooping around and leads an all out assault against them. Eventually Ranma reaches the "hidden spring" only to find a note saying it was closed and they must visit the original in Japan.

    In the next part, Akane, know for being a terrible cook, worked hard in home ec to make some cookies for Ranma. Kodachi Kuno , meanwhile also made some treats for Ranma. She steals Akane's cookies, who fusses at Ranma to go get them back. Unfortunate timing while Happosai is stealing underwear leads to Ranma getting trampled and falling on Kodachi. Gosunkugi caught it on film and Kodachi uses this opportunity to buy the pictures from him, Photoshop them to make it seem like she and Ranma are kissing, and then blackmail Ranma to come to her house. Akane is upset that he's going over because Ranma won't tell her what's going on and she thinks he prefers Kodachi's food.

    Ranma tries to get the original film and destroy all evidence, which leads to him changing between male and female form to play both Kuno and Kodachi, who are in love with the opposite gender Ranma, while Akane tries to figure out what he's hiding. Eventually she sees the picture and gets upset until she sees the original and forgives him. He finally tries one of her cookies and falls ill.

    This was a pretty good volume, but not the best. I think the play was the best part.

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