Ranko ½, Part 3:
"I hate men"

It is another fine day over Tokyo. The birds are singing and the sky is cloudless. At the Tendou Dojo Ranma is looking a little forlorn.

Ranma: So I hafta go to school?

He is sitting in the guest room with his father. He doesn't seem to be very thrilled by these news.

Genma: Well, we are going to be staying a while.

Nabiki looks into the room from outside through the open sliding wall.

Nabiki: It's the same school that Akane and I go to. We'll see you there.

Akane who is wearing the same school uniform as Nabiki comes running and calls out to her sister.

Akane: Nabiki, wait! I'll go with you.

Nabiki: What are you talking about? You should walk with Ranma. After all he's your fiancé.

Akane: Technically.

She and Ranma stare at each other.


Nevertheless Akane and Ranma are walking to school together. Ranma is walking alongside Akane on top of a fence that separates the street from a canal. Akane ignores this.

Akane: We're not going to get married, you know!

Ranma: You're tellin' me?

Akane: So don't hang around me in school.

Ranma: Jeez, you're acting as if this craziness was my idea! We're in this together. Don't worry; If you keep up the "I hate you, I hate you" routine you won't see me coming near you.

Suddenly Genma appears. He, too, is running along the top of the fence and hits Ranma over the head.

Ranma: Pop! What're you...

Genma: I went through a lot of pain to get you two together. Now listen, Ranma, I'll tell you only once...

Ranma kicks Genma off the fence and into the water canal. When he resurfaces as a Panda Ranma taunts him.

Ranma: You were saying something? Something about pain you went through?

The angry Panda jumps out of the canal and over the fence forcing Ranma and Akane to run. Soon they leave the animal behind them. When the panda finally gives up the chase, Ranma stops and truns to look after him.

Ranma: Ha! We lost him. His legs're too short. One problem less.

Exactly in that moment a stream of steaming water hits his head from above.


On a balcony above the street Ranma is in lies a tea kettle on it's side, now empty. Inside, a family is having breakfast. A little child has apparently kicked the tea-kettle outside and the water has emptied out to the street below. The father scolds the little girl.

Father: Chiya! Don't be so wild! The water in the kettle was hot - you could have hurt someone.


On the street below stands a dejected-looking, wet Ranko. Akane comes up to her.

Akane: Hey, Ranko, what's wrong?

Ranko: I think I'll go take a cold shower.

Akane: [raises a brow] You'll be late.

Ranko: Well, I can't go like this!

Akane: [confused] Why not?

Ranko: Pop has registered me with the school office as a boy! I don't wanna start school with problems right away. [quieter, to herself] Besides, I promised.

It's not clear whether Akane heard the last sentence. She responds.

Akane: If you come late, you'll start school with problems, too. Come on, let's get some water for you.


The two stand at the front of a private clinic. The sign at the corner advertises the doctor's skills in Acupuncture, Acupressure and Moxibustion (BTW, what the hell is Moxibustion exactly?). Akane is at the door speaking to a woman while Ranko leans against the wall at the corner, out of sight.

Woman: A bucket of cold water? Sure, just a moment, Akane-chan.

Akane: Thank you.

Ranko: Hoo boy, whatta way to start the...

Suddenly a skeletal hand touches her shoulder. Ranko turns around and looks right into the face of a grinning human skull. She jumps back and falls into a defensive position reflexively. Behind her old position stands a tall bespectacled man in plain black clothes. He is carrying a medical skeleton (it has to be, because actual skeletons don't hold together like this :)

Man: Oh. Pardon me. Sorry to have startled you.

A small smile on his face belies that statement. He holds up the contraption.

Man: This is just Betty-chan my skeleton.

Without a word, but still staring, Ranko relaxes her defensive stance. Just then Akane arrives with a bucket.

Akane: Ranko, here's the cold...

Man: Ah, Akane-chan!

Akane: [quietly, blushing slightly] Oh, Sensei!

She bows politely. Ranko does the same but she looks over at Akane while she does. The Doctor and Betty bow in response.

Akane: Good morning!

Doctor: Good morning to you.

Ranko notices Akane's blushed but happy face.

Ranko: [thinks] Hmmm...?

Doctor: You haven't been by, lately. No new injuries?

Akane: [a little flustered] No, Sensei. I mean... I haven't been doing anything that would...

Ranko is standing around the corner turning into Ranma while observing the conversation.

Ranma: [thinks] Interesting.


Later on another street, Ranma and Akane are running along at high speed. Ranma is walking on a fence again.

Ranma: Who was that guy?

Akane: Dr. Toufuu, the chiropractor.

Ranma: Martial arts master, too, isn't he?

Akane: Huh? How could you tell?

Ranma doesn't answer, but thinks back to his encounter with the doctor and his skeleton.

Ranma: [thinks] Sneaking up on me that way... He erased all sense of his presence. [aloud] He surprised me while I was waiting for you.

Akane: True, he is very good. But he doesn't look like he'd be, does he? [lost in thought] Ever since I was little he has taken care of my injuries.

Ranma jumps down from the fence to run beside her.

Ranma: So you're making an exception for him. [grins]

Akane: Huh?

Akane just looks at him without comprehension, so Ranma explains.

Ranma: I thought you said you hate men. And he looks pretty male to me.

Akane: [with clenched teeth] That's right! I...

They are reaching the gates of Fuurinkan High at that moment.

Akane: ...hate...

A voice from the schoolyard shouts.

Voice: Hey, there's Tendou Akane!

Akane: ...men!!

Suddenly a storm breaks loose. The doors of the School building slam open and dozens over dozens of boys in fighting and sporting outfits stampede out. Many of them are shouting Akane's name.

Boy: Come no closer, Akane!

Another Boy: They all want to beat you!

Akane jumps high into the air landing right in the middle of the crowd.

Akane: Out of my way! I'm late!

Without a moment's hesitation Akane begins to hack and slice her way through the mob with incredible fierceness and precision. None of the boys needs a second hit to go down. Ranma who has jumped onto the wall of the yard watches in amazement while the boys keep attacking.

Boy: I won't let another guy beat you! I'll do it myself!


Nabiki and some classmates are standing on a balcony of the School building, watching the fight.

Girl: Your poor sister. Every single day...!

Nabiki: [spies Ranma on the wall] Oh! Ranma! [shouts] Ranma! Get moving and come in!

Ranma: [pointing to the battlefield] But... But...

Nabiki: Don't worry about Akane.

And really - when Ranma looks down again, there are lots of broken weapons and their equally broken owners strewn around a slightly dishevelled-looking Akane. She flicks a strand of hair out of her face.

Akane: Yet again. Every morning. It's simply depressing.

Just then a voice speaks up and both Akane and Ranma turn to face the speaker.

Voice: Truly, such a boorish lot.

The speaker is a young man, somewhere around Akane's and Ranma's age, probably a bit older. He is holding a rose in one hand and a wooden Kendo sword in the other.

Boy: It appears that each of them intends to ask you out, Akane, should he be the lucky one to defeat you.

Akane: [looking annoyed and somewhat bored] Oh, Kunou-sempai, good morning. Gee, I wonder what could have given them such a ridiculous idea?

Kunou: Indeed, they should know by now that they have to bow to their betters. And now, Tendou Akane...

He flicks the rose toward Akane who catches it between her fingers.

Kunou: ... Will you grant me the honour of a fight with you?

Ranma jumps from the wall landing next to Akane.

Ranma: Man, you are popular, aren't you?

Akane: [still looking at Kunou] Stay out of the way. You'll get hurt.

Ranma: [shrugs] What's going on?

Akane: [still not turning] You'll see.

Suddenly Kunou's bokken swings to point at Ranma.

Kunou: You there! You are acting rather familiar with Akane!

Ranma and Akane look at each other. They silently decide that the word "fiancée" is not going to appear in the explanation.

Ranma: Err, ...

Kunou: Who are you, boor? Ah, but it is the custom to give one's own name first. So I will give you mine.

Ranma: Um, if you want to...

Kunou: My name is Upperclassman Kunou Tatewaki. Captain of the Kendo club. My peers call me "The Blue Thunder" of Fuurinkan high.


The girls on the balcony are whispering to each other.

Girl 1: "Blue Thunder"?

Girl 2: Have you ever heard that?

Nabiki: News to me.


Ranma: [unsure of what is expected of him] Um. Well, I'm staying at the Tendou Dojo at the moment...

Kunou: What?! Under the same roof as Akane?

He swings his bokken at Ranma who dodges and somersaults over the swinging blade. Ranma continues his introduction, taking his school bag off in mid-air.

Ranma: I'm heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts.

He tosses his bag to Akane who stands watching.

Ranma: Couldya hold my bag for a sec, please?

He lands before Kunou in a fighting stance.

Ranma: My name is Saotome Ranma. And I accept your challenge!

-- End of part 3.

Part 4: "What a way to start school"

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