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Ranma 1/2
Reviewer: Apatt Seriniyom 12/31/1999

Ranma is a regular guy with a not-so-regular problem. See, when he was training in China, he accidentally fell in a cursed spring. As a result, whenever he comes in contact with cold water, he turns into a she. Not to worry, a splash of hot water to turns Ranma back to his male self just as quickly. It doesn't help that Ranma's future marriage has already been arranged by his father... and that several girls and guys are all after both boy-type and girl-type Ranma!
Words almost fail me when I think about how good the Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2 manga series is. It's simply one of the most entertaining publications in existence! If I must break it down into different delicious components, I suppose the most important part is the humor.
Ranma 1/2 is laugh-out-loud funny. The manga humor works over and over because it isn't simply based on visual or verbal jokes, but on characterization, which has long been Ms. Takahashi's forte. She has imbued each of the characters with their own quirks -- such as Ryoga's non-existent sense of direction, Mousse's acute myopia, and Nabiki's money-grubbing ways... Ms. Takahashi somehow always manages to whip up hilarious new situations to exploit these quirks.
Then there is the drawing style. While not as refined as some other manga artists' works (think Clamp and Naoko Takeuchi), Ms. Takahashi's art is always charming and pleasing to the eye. Her visual gags are also priceless. Even the oft repeated ones like how people are kicked high into the air, and the characters' surprised expressions and gestures. The stories themselves are hilarious too, especially when combined with a character's particular personality or quirk. A fine example of such is the episode when the ultra kind and gentle Kasumi is possessed by a demon. She starts doing bad things but she's still so nice about them! Ranma 1/2 also has its more serious moments, especially during Ranma's epic battles against his numerous enemies (who usually become friends by the time they are defeated).
Ms. Takahashi's story-telling ability is second to none, and there is never a dull moment in the series. Overall, Ranma 1/2 is very high on the feel-good factor. I always feel an extra spring in my steps and lighter of heart after reading a new volume. The best kind of relaxant you could buy, really.
While Akane has a lot of detractors even among Ranma 1/2 fans, a lot of people like the relationship between the two main characters and want them to end up together. Many fanfics have been written about how Ranma finally admitted his love for her, kissed her passionately etc. but in reality Ms. Takahashi is never so unsubtle in her writing...

Ranma 1/2
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Review title:
Ranma 1/2
Alternative Titles:
Ranma Nibun no Ichi
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General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Action, Comedy, Ecchi,
Martial Arts, Romance, Shounen
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