Published June 04, 2015 by

Ranma 1/2

Akane and her two older sisters live in a martial arts Dojo with their father. One day he announces that one of them will marry his friend's son Ranma Satome.
Akane is not pleased at the thought of being forced to marry a guy she doesn’t know. She and her two sisters wait the arrival of Ranma, but are instead greeted by a giant panda and a cute teenage girl who claims that she is Ranma. Relived that they won't be forced into the marriage, the sisters befriend Ranma and send her into have a bath only to discover that she is actually a man.

During a training trip to China, Ranma and his father unfortunately fell into a set of cursed springs. When splashed with cold water Ranma's father transforms into a panda, and Ranma becomes a cute teenage girl. Hot water reverses the effect. Akane's sisters quickly volunteer her to become his fiancé and what follows is a series of martial arts, romance and comedy.

The series is written by Rumiko Takahashi, who also wrote the popular manga Inu-Yasha. This series was highly popular in Japan, and was also made into a cartoon series and various video games. Takahashi seems to reuse many of her character types, and there are times when Ranma acts similar to Inu-Yasha. Some of the side characters are also quite similar.

I read this manga a when I was a teenager and loved it. After many years I don't relate with the characters as much as I did in the past, but I still find the characters interesting and the jokes hilarious.

I like many of the side characters who often act as rivals or love adversaries. They is one character who despises Ranma, but then tries to woo him in his female form. There is also Ranma's over serious rival who has no sense of direction, and takes a week to show up for a fight. Many of the antagonists and bad guys who show up throughout the series also have a fun side.

One thing which might not go down well with some readers is that many of the female characters are drawn naked in some scenes (in a non-pornographic way) which is used for mostly comical effect. This can be a bit surprising for western readers, but it's considered not as strange in Japan.

I recommend this manga for teenagers and anyone who has an interest in martial arts, kung fu or Japan.

You can buy it on Amazon

Or read it for yourself here at the following websites

Manga Fox,   Any Manga,   Manga Park

Have you ever read Ranma 1/2? If so feel free to comment below.