Manga Monday: Ranma ½

Published on April 6th, 2009

So while last weeks recommended manga was fairly new, I thought this week we would look at something slightly more ‘retro’.

ranma-1_2-vol-15-vol-15-r176_f

While modern anime/manga is often summed up through mainstream programs such as Pokemon and Dragon ball Z and have become art forms many people recognize. This week’s manga takes us back to more simple times. This particular manga ran from 1987 to 1996 and was a shoene manga that was one of the first mangas to become popular with anime fans in main stream markets, like America.

So this week I bring a fine example of gender bending madness known as Ranma ½.

Ranma ½ follows the story of Ranma Saotome, a high school boy trained inmartial arts by his father from a young age. However, while out training one day Ranma fell into a cursed hot spring. Upon getting out Ranma discovers exactly why these were cursed springs. From that day forward when ever he was hit by cold water Ranma would turn into a (smokin’ hot) girl and when he had hot water, back into a guy. Oh, as you expect hilarity ensues!

Apart from the obvious scenarios that arise from turning into a smokin’ hot girl at inappropriate times, the manga still contains plenty of action, in the form of martial arts battles, a rather cute romance plot and a small pantie thief (random other transformations include a pig, a cat, a duck and panda that enjoys holding up inappropriate signs at inappropriate times).

The artwork is to be expected of the 1990s and is simplistic compared to more modern art styles. This may put some more hardcore manga fans off but its simplistic style may be more inviting to manga n00bs. Think along the lines of famous animes such as Akira and Astro boy.

Ranma 1/2 was the first manga that ever came into my posession and its the one the got me hooked. The crazy plot, the art work and the laugh out loud stroy line was my perfect intoduction into a very odd world.

Hollie ‘Pheonix’ Bennett
hollie@comicimpact.com