Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ranma 1/2 Volumes 26 and 27 by Rumiko Takahashi

I have to say, as much as I enjoy the series, I am sort of running out of things to say about Ranma 1/2. I mean, I think I have covered all the bases: it's silly, it's funny, it's sometimes a little bit emotionally affecting, I like many of the characters, and I think most of the stories have their good points, even the ones that are completely forgettable. We're sitting at Volume 27 complete, now, and we're not getting that much closer to Ranma solving his little dilemma. I have decided that this isn't really the point of this series, though.

Volume 26 contains one of those slightly more "deep" (note the quotation marks, they're there for a reason) storylines, in which an impostor comes to claim Ranma's place in Mrs. Saotome's heart and get revenge on the Anything Goes School. Ranma is pretty awesome in this volume, inspiring some genuine sympathy from me; and Takahashi does that thing she does so well where she appears to be getting serious and then pulls the rug from underneath the reader, laughing all the way.

I really despised Ryu, the false Ranma, at first. I thought pretending to be Ranma to gain his mother's trust was a pretty jackass thing to do to her (as does Ranma) and it doesn't help that he looks an awful lot like Ryoga, who still irritates me. But I have to admit, by the end of the story I'd re-evaluated him. Significantly. I'm glad to see the end of him, but I'd actually come around to accept his character. This is interesting, because I don't think I've had that experience in this series yet.

Which leads well into Volume 27, in which there is a Shampoo heavy story. Given that Shampoo has been around for considerably longer than Ryu was, one would think I might at least be okay with her by now. I'm really not. She bugs me. Now, this storyline was actually okay, because there was lots of Shampoo getting a little taste of her own medicine, and the eight-year-old in me appreciated that a lot. Akane also had a great moment to shine, which she rarely does when Shampoo is around, and that made me happy too. There were a couple of other short stories in this volume, including a Nabiki-heavy one which one would have thought I would have enjoyed, but it was just kind of meh for me. I did enjoy the fact that instead of donating money to adorable children she ended up making money off them -- that was the high point of that storyline for me.

I'm going to start putting the Ranma 1/2 volumes on hold at a rate of three per go-round this time, which will mean... only three more Ranma 1/2 entries on the blog. I am ambivalent about this. I have really been enjoying this series, but my suspicion, as stated at the beginning of this entry, is that I'm coming to the close of things to say. There's only so much I can squeeze out of "it was ridiculous! i like this character! i dislike this one! it was completely stupid and hilarious!"


Jill said...

know exactly what you mean about reviewing such a long series - I have the same issues with some of the manga I'm reading. I even had a difficult time with the recent "In Death" review I just posted, because it does start to sound repetitive. But still, I do think it's worth talking about them individually rather than just doing one collective review, because there's a lot there, and if you need to say it again, say it again! It's probably worth hearing again. Just my two cents.

Unknown said...

I think you're right. I worry about boring people, but I've never been bored by your "In Death" or "Xxxholic" reviews, so perhaps I'm just being paranoid. It's very handy for me to be able to look back on the Ranma reviews and remember what's happened so far, too. With a series like this, it's so long I do forget things!

Jill said...

Plus I'm looking forward to going back to your reviews when I reread and continue with Ranma, which I'm hoping to do this year. So please keep it up! :-)

Unknown said...

Ha! I feel the same about your Tsubasa/xxxholic reviews, because that's the next manga project on my slate.