Ranko ˝, Part 6:
"We are one"

It is early morning above Tokyo in general and the Tendo dojo in particular. A scream tears the silence that lies above everything.

Voice: Aaaaahhhh!


At the breakfast table this morning, the Tendou sisters console a very shaken-looking Ranko.

Kasumi: You dreamt of Kunou again?

Ranko: Y-yeah.

Her teacup begins to shake in her hand. Akane reaches out and steadies it. Ranko doesn't notice either.

Nabiki: I still don't get it. What's so bad about Kunou being in love with you?

Ranko: He's... he's so... weird.

Akane: Unhealthy.

Ranko: Yeah. Hey Nabiki, why do you insist that Kunou's not so bad? You're in his class - you should know how he is.

Nabiki: [counting on her fingers] Well, for one, he's filthy rich. And he's not bad-looking. And... uh, did I mention, he's filthy rich?

Akane: You did. He has no brain whatsoever.

Nabiki: [counting out the third finger] Right.

Kasumi: Oh, that's bad.

Nabiki: No, it's good.

Ranko: Having no brain is good in a boy?

Nabiki: Especially if he's filthy...

Akane: Rich. I think we get the picture, Nabiki.

Ranko: Well, I'll opt for keeping my brain.

Akane: You're no boy.

Ranko: Not right now. Oh, that's right! He also hates my guts when I'm a guy.

Nabiki: Hmmm, tough. But he doesn't know you're the same person. See? That's where the missing brain becomes a plus.

Ranko: [sarcastically] If you like him that much, why don't you take him?

Nabiki: Heh, He'd probably try to behead me for being so dishonourable to try to steal my sister's lover.

Akane sighs.



Two sets of feet pummel the asphalt as if to beat it into submission. Ranma and Akane are flying across the streets of Nerima with a speed that could lead you to mistake their resounding footsteps for sonic booms.

The hordes of boys that assault them as they near Fuurinkan High are batted aside without even slowing down.

Boy: There she is! Akane!

Boy 2: Her fiancé is with her! Leave Akane alone, Saoto---


Ranma: Out of the way!

Akane: We're late!

No sooner have they entered the building than Kunou Tatewaki assaults.

Kunou: Attack!


With both Akane's and Ranma's foot impacting in his face Kunou looses balance first, consciousness second. Akane regards Ranma angrily.

Akane: Hey, don't fight my fights for me.

Ranma: I don't do this just for you.

Akane: Hmph!

In other words: a perfectly normal schoolday begins without noteworthy incidents.


Class E of the second year. The Panda looks rather tacky - Large-eyed, ball-shaped, wearing a big "take me home and cuddle me" grin it lies on Tendou Nabiki's table. Nabiki eyes it suspiciously.

Nabiki: Another present for the Pigtail Girl, I presume?

Kunou: So it is, Tendou Nabiki.

Nabiki: Look, Kunou-chan, this can't go on. All this "messenger of love" stuff may be cute, but it doesn't bring in the yen - and you know what they say about charity work...

Kunou: What?

Nabiki: How should I know? I stop listening when they talk about charity. [giggles as Kunou facefaults] I'm kidding, you dope. But if you want something from me, how about these?

Nabiki slaps down a set of photos. They all show Ranko in a variety of poses: sleeping, sunbathing, dressing and undressing... Kunou's hands shake as he regards them.

Nabiki: Set of five, 3000 yen. Interested?

Kunou: Such beauty. So free, so open, so unguarding.

Nabiki: Kinda like a boy, eh? Deal?

Kunou: Sold.

Nabiki: [counting the money] Well, well, well... Nice to know that I won't lose this part of my income, now that you are dropping Akane.

Kunou: Dropping Akane? I will do no such thing.

Nabiki: [as if realizing] Oh, so you intend to two-time her?

Kunou: No! [he agonizes over the two options] Akane's purity and virtue are unsurpassable... The Pigtail Girls is simply overflowing with healthy energetic beauty... Is it a crime to be attracted to both?!

Nabiki: [calmly] No. It's two-timing.

She lays another set of photos before him. These are of Akane smashing concrete blocks.

Kunou: Such strength, such skill... such ferocity. Sold.

Nabiki: [counting again] If you really want the Pigtail Girl to get all those presents, you should take a more direct route.

Kunou: Huh?


The door to class F of the first year shifts open. Nabiki pokes her head in and looks around.

Nabiki: Hey, Ranma! Kunou wants a word with you.

Ranma: Just a word?

Akane: [thinks] Oneechan...?


A back corner of Fuurinkan High, at the foot of the fire escape that crawls down the side of the building.

Ranma: You wanted to talk to me, Kunou?

Kunou: Harumph! I cannot honestly say I want to converse with you.

Ranma: So why are we here?

Kunou: That is for you to explain. [angrily] Why do I have to give this to you? [thrusts the toy panda to Ranma]

Ranma: [turns it over and looks at if from all sides] You don't have to. It's not quite my style.

Kunou: "If you want her to have it, give it to Ranma." Tendou Nabiki's very words. Why, Saotome Ranma, do I have to reach my pigtailed love through you?

Suddenly Ranma understands what's behind all this. He tosses the Panda back to Kunou.

Ranma: Forget it Kunou. I'm not i... I'm telling you she's not interested. Just forget about her. You'll probably not see her much 'round here, anyway. [thinks] I mean, it's not like hot water is gonna start falling from the sky.

He tips Kunou a goodbye and leaves around the corner. Suddenly a scream comes from above - and something else.

Voice: Ayyaah! Hot!


Ranko: [wet and back in her real body] Aaargh, ouch, hot!

In a window two stories above her a teacher reprimands a careless pupil.

Teacher: Kotaira, come back here. How often do I have to tell you to use tongs to pick up the beaker. And you turn down your bunsen before you take it down, too.

At ground level Kunou comes storming around the corner. He has heard his Pigtail Girl scream.

Kunou: Saotome! What are you doing to her?!

Finding nobody, he looks around. Frustrated he slashes at a tree with his bokken.

Kunou: Damn you, Saotome.

The tree, sliced neatly in half by the wooden sword, falls down revealing Ranko who rolls out of the wreckage.

Kunou: The... the Pigtail Girl!

Ranko: Um...

Kunou: Pigtail Girl, I love y...


Ranko: Ah, give it a break.

Despite the violent punch to his face Kunou continues. He embraces Ranko.

Kunou: I'll love you forever, Pigtail Girl.


Ranma: [muffled in Kunou's arms] What Pigtail Girl?

Nabiki is standing behind the two with an empty bucket.

Nabiki: Say, Ranma, why is Kunou suddenly so enamoured of you?

Kunou: Ranma??

Ranma: Kunou darling... [he frees himself and kicks Kunou in the head] time to let go! Ha! [turns to go] Now you know how it is. Will you let me in peace, now?

Kunou: [calls after him] Never, Saotome! Where have you hid my pigtailed love?

Ranma freezes in his tracks. He turns, embarrassed to have to spell it out to Kunou.

Ranma: Err, Kunou...

Nabiki: Listen, Kunou-chan. It's like this: Ranma and the Pigtail Girl are a unit.

Ranma: Yes, we are one. Do you finally get it?

Kunou's face is chiseled in stone. He begins to shake. Suddenly he brandishes his bokken and attacks Ranma again.

Kunou: Dishonourable wretch!

Ranma: [dodging] Somehow I've got the feeling that you didn't get it, yet.

Kunou: Silence, cur! Despite your engagement to Akane you claim to love the Pigtail Girl! How dare you besmirch their honour by trying to bind them both to you.

Another tree is felled in Kunou's rage. Ranma continues to dodge.

Akane arrives and sees the fight going on. She hides behind a stone pillar (What kind of thing is that supposed to be, by the way?) and continues to watch.

Akane: What fight did she get into now?

Kunou: I can see it clearly! You enslaver of women!

Kunou's fantasy paints a picture of horror in livid colours.

Akane (imagined): Oh, Saotome-san, won't you set me free? You have the Pigtail Girl - and there's a boy in school whom I love...

Ranma (imagined): Ha, set you free? How didja get that idea into yer pretty head? I'll keep ya to myself!

Pigtail Girl (imagined): [squirming in his grip] But what about your claim that you love me?

Ranma (imagined): I'll keep you both! Bwaahahahaha! [grabs them]

Both girls (imagined): Ohhh!

Back in the real world.

Ranma: You idiot! Neither Akane nor me want to be engaged...

Kunou stabs at Ranma who jumps up in evasion. Ranma then grabs the outstretched wooden blade, swings his legs down and kicks Kunou hard in the chest, knocking the wind out of him.

Ranma: And I'm not in love with the Pigtail Girl!

Kunou staggers back. A lot off cards fly from his breast pocket. They are photographs. Curious, Ranma snags one out of the air. It is a photo of his true, female form taken from the back at an angle - and she's taking her shirt off on it!

Ranma is so shocked by this that he momentarily drops his guard. Kunou, spying an opening, lashes out with the bokken and finally scores a hit; He lands a vicious blow to Ranma's ribs.

Kunou: Fool!

Ranma: Unngh!

Akane who is still in hiding gasps astonished. Is it all over now?

-- End of part 6.

Part 7: "She is really a very nice girl"

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