Ranma 1/2 (Action Edition) Vol. #36 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0507-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Ranma 1/2 (Action Edition)

Ranma 1/2 (Action Edition) Vol. #36

By Ben Leary     September 05, 2007
Release Date: November 14, 2006

Ranma 1/2 (Action Edition) Vol.#36
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rumiko Takahashi
Translated by:Kaori Inoue
Adapted by:Gerard Jones

What They Say
It's the final volume! Does Ranma break his gender-flipping curse? For that matter, does anybody find a way to reverse the effects of the legendary cursed spring? Does Mousse get Shampoo? Does Kuno finally get his little red-headed pig-tailed girl? Does the panty-stealing Happosai pilfer enough undergarments to complete his collection? And yes, the ultimate question will be answered: do Ranma and Akane get married? Find out!

The Review
Let me start off by saying that I'm really not the person who should be writing this review. My only previous familiarity with Ranma is from a handful of episodes of the TV series (I think they were later episodes, but I'm not sure.) This volume is my first exposure to the manga version. I really, really hope I don't need to say something this obvious, but just in case I do: you should not begin reading Ranma 1/2 with this volume. That should only be attempted by highly trained reviewing professionals. Reviewers have to do some silly things sometimes. That doesn't mean you should try them too. (Even if Viz has very kindly included a character identification page at the beginning of the book, which kept me from getting a lot more lost than I otherwise would have been.) But even though I'm operating at such a disadvantage here, I'm not going to let it worry me. The 36th volume of a juggernaut like this is practically review-proof to begin with. Any reader who's come through 35 volumes of a series, even if he's skipped a couple along the way, should have a pretty good idea of what he's in for. The real questions should be (1) Is there a real ending? (2) If so, is the ending worth going through 36 volumes to get to? So that's what I'm going to concentrate on.

Well, there's certainly an ending in the sense of a climax. We're in the middle of some action from the first page, and it gets pretty exciting--only to be topped by a knock-down, drag-out between Ranma and Saffron. The way the final battle is set up and staged is very impressive. It manages to escalate really well without just pulling things out of a hat, and we get to see Ranma use some creative tactics in addition to his martial arts moves. There's some real showmanship at work here. I seriously doubt anyone will be disappointed with this showdown.

About the denouement proper I am less sure. There's a good curtain call, as you might expect, but the ending refuses to tie up any major threads and mostly leaves things open, looking into the future and suggesting an endless string of more wacky adventures. So whether a given reader will like it or not depends largely on his tolerance for open-ended stories. Largely, not entirely. I generally dislike endings that don't have resolutions, but I liked this one pretty well. Even if it's an open ending, it is a true ending and not a non-ending. It isn't a powerful finish, but it's nothing to complain about either. Of course, I don't have 35 previous volumes of emotional investment in the characters. So I will hazard a guess that few readers will really, really love or really, really hate the ending, and leave the rest to individual judgement.


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