Ranko ½, Part 8:
"There is a girl that he likes"

Voice: Hyaaaa!

A battlecry reverberates above the roofs of Nerima, Tokyo. In the garden of the Tendou Dojo Saotome Genma and his daughter Ranko collide in mid-air. Suddenly their sparring is interrupted.

Kasumi: Mr. Saotome, Ranko, breakfast is ready!

Genma: Ah, thank you very much, Kasumi.

Ranko exploits Genma's momentary distraction and kicks him to the ground. He lands right in the middle of the little garden pool and turns into a panda. Ranko somersaults backwards to evade the water that her father tries to throw at her.


Later at the breakfast table the panda holds up a sign.

Genma: [signs] Today I'm going to start working.

Ranko is looking in from outside. She has taken off her top and is lying on her back, letting the ground absorb her body heat from the workout.

Ranko: Work? You? In a petting zoo, perhaps?

Genma: [signs] Ha, ha, ha! [flips over the sign] You're wrong!

Nabiki: Pass the soy sauce, please.

Father Souun enters the room, still brushing his teeth.

Souun: Ha ha ha, Saotome, old friend. I heard your morning workout with Ranma. Atta boy, atta b...

He breaks off in shock as the "boy" comes into the room, very female and still completely topless. Souun's toothbrush is now irretrievably lodged in the back corner of his mouth where he rammed it in shock.

Ranko: [oblivious to this] Good morning!

Akane has seen all this and enters, too.

Akane: Ranko! Has your training erased all sense of modesty? Cover yourself!

Ranko: Huh? Cover...

She looks down herself and realizes what Akane talks about. She turns beet red and hastily puts on her top.

Ranko: Sorry, sorry! I've been in boy form for so long that I got used to it. I completely forgot that I was in my natural form at the moment.

Akane: That's terrible.

Kasumi: Oh, Akane, I just remembered... When you two come back from school, could you stop at Toufuu-sensei's place? I borrowed this book from him [holds up a book about akupressure], would you return it for me?

Akane: [evasive] Umm, why don't you go yourself? Today is not so good for me...

Kasumi: Oh, in that case I'll go.

Ranko: [pondering Akane] Hmmm...?

Akane: [standing up] Well, let's go, Ranko.

Ranko: Wait for me, I gotta change.

Kasumi: Father? Why don't you remove the toothbrush?


Akane and Ranma walk to school in their usual fashion - Akane on the sidewalk, Ranma on the fence. Akane seems very introspective and Ranma looks at her quizzically. He jumps down from the fence and walks along her. She doesn't seem to notice. Finally he talks to her.

Ranma: Akane? Why did you say that to Kasumi? I know you'd like to see Dr. Toufuu.

Akane stands still for a second, then turns towards Ranma with a strange look in her eyes. She grabs him by his pig-tail and takes off at lightning speed.

Ranma: Whoa! Akane!

Akane continues towards school without reacting to him. As they pass a certain house, a splash of water rains down from above and hits Ranma.


Ranko: Ah! Akane, wait!


On a balcony above the street is a little red-haired girl with an empty kettle. From inside comes a voice.

Father: Chiya! Where did you hide that kettle? I swear I don't understand this child. Where does that fascination with hot water come from?


Akane passes the gates of Fuurinkan High and pulls a sharp turn. She slams Ranko against the wall of the school yard.

Akane: I don't want to hear a word about it!

Ranko: About what?

Akane: You know what! I'm talking about Dr. Tou...

She notices Ranko's feminine features and stops. She grabs Ranko's shirt and pops open the top half. There's no question that she's female again.

Ranko: I told you to wait.

Akane: When did...

She notices that Ranko stares past her and whips around, assuming a fighting stance. Before her stand all the boys that fight her every morning.

Ranko: [sarcastically]Did everyone get a good look?

Akane: Who'll go first, today?

But the boys look different today. They all are crying and look fiercely resolved.

Boys: We do not come to fight you. We all will swallow our tears and honour your engagement to Ranma.

Ranko: Hey! What're you..

Akane: [over her shoulder] Cover your breast!

Ranko: Eeep!

Akane: What are you talking about?

Voice: Perhaps they have fallen prey to that strange rumour...

Everyone turns to regard the speaker. It is Kunou Tatewaki, bandages covering every inch of his head and torso.

Kunou: ...that Saotome Ranma defeated me. But, I won't admit defeat.

Ranko: Hey, what's with the 'invisible man' outfit?

Boys: Kunou was the strongest of us. And the greatest hentai, too.

Kunou: [fuming] Who's a hentai?!

Boy: If you choose Ranma over him, we have to accept it.

Kunou: But I will not! Ranma's weak kicks... I can take a hundred - two hundred - of them. They do not hurt me.

He takes off his bandages and the onlooking boys gasp at the footprint-shaped bruises on his face.

Ranko: Weak?! I'll tell you what's weak! Not admitting when you've been beaten, that's what! [gets ready for fighting]

Akane: [quietly grinning] Funny you should say that...

Ranko: [aside] Hey, what's that supposed to mean?

Akane just lays a hand on her side at the same place that Ranma received the bokken wound from Kunou. But Kunou interrupts them.

Kunou: Oh! The Pigtail Girl!

Ranko: [quietly] Oh no!

Akane: You just can't remember, can you?

Kunou <ZIP>s over to Ranko and holds her hands.

Kunou: I wanted so much to meet you...

Ranko: A-hem. I thought you like Akane.

Kunou: I like...

Ranko: Akane's looking at you now. [looks around and sees Akane turning away] Hey! What're you doing?

Akane: Oh, I had no idea... [makes Bambi-eyes] Kunou-sempai, if you truly love her, I'll leave you two alone.

Ranko: Hey! What're you doing that for?!

Kunou is stricken by such selflessness and sways back and forth as he is torn between his loves. Finally he decides.

Kunou: I love you both!

He tries to embrace both girls, but is met only by Akane's fist and Ranko's foot. He falls.

Boys: Well, that's how it is. Give our regards to Ranma.

Akane: [pushing Ranko along] All right.


On the sports ground of Fuurinkan High Ranma is working out at the high bar. He swings around it gripping with only one hand, jumps and lands in a perfect hecht dismount. The onlooking pupils applaud. He joins the sitting classmates to let the next one have the bar.

Boy: That was amazing, Ranma.

Boy2: He went to China and studied acrobatics.

Ranma: Err, it was martial arts, actually.

Two of the boys sit down next to him and begin to whisper conspiratively.

Boy1: So. How far did you get with Akane?

Ranma: Huh?!

Boy2: Don't pretend. You're fiancées, aren't you?

Boy: Surely you've <BEEP> and <BEEEP> and...

Ranma: I never did!

They begin to crowd him.

Boy2: Liar. <BEEEEP> and <BEEP>...


Ranma: She's not that kind of girl!


The girls' group are practising throws and swings with some baseball equipment.

Girl: It's coming your way, Akane.

Akane: Got it!

The boys fall silent as they watch Akane jump high and stretch her trained body to catch the ball in her glove. Ranma uses the opportunity to extricate himself from between them.

Sportsmaster: Now change places!

Boy: Wow, she's cute.

Ranma: So what? [thinks] She doesn't even have a friendly word for me because of that stupid engagement. And these guys sure aren't helping, the way they always remind her of it. [sighs] And that Dr. Toufuu probably doesn't even realize that she loves him. Poor Akane.

Boy: Err, Ranma? You studied martial arts, right?

Ranma: [still in deep thought] Uh-huh.

Boy: Well, shouldn't you have dodged that ball?

Ranma: What ball?

There is a baseball deeply embedded in Ranma's cheek. Nearby stands a very embarrassed-looking Akane holding a bat.


Akane: I'm sorry. Does it still hurt?

A big bandage covers almost fully one side of Ranma's face. He and Akane are walking from school.

Ranma: [thinks] It must have been coincidence. She couldn't have heard me thinking about that Toufuu fellow.

Akane: Look, I've apologized thirty times now.

Just then they turn the corner to Dr. Toufuu's clinic and stop in their tracks.

Ranma: Huh?

Akane: Oh.

Before Dr. Toufuu's stands Genma in panda form. He's sweeping before the entrance. He lifts one paw as a greeting.

Ranma: Pop? What're you doing here?

Dr. Toufuu: [coming out] Hello, Akane, Ranma. This is Mr. Saotome, who started working here today. You know him?

They step inside. As Ranma takes place in the examination room, Dr. Toufuu is surprised.

Dr. Toufuu: He's your father, Ranma? Well, I can't see any family likeness. [smiles] Now, what happened to your face?

Ranma: It was an accident during gym class...

Dr. Toufuu: I'll put something on it that'll work wonders. Wait a moment.

Just as he leaves the room the phone rings.

Dr. Toufuu: Oh. Mr. Saotome, will you get the phone, please?

The big panda trots over, pick up the receiver and holds it to his ear. A second goes by. Then another. Suddenly the panda holds up a sign in desperation.

Genma: [signs] Aaaargh! Pandas can't talk!

Ranma: Duh! Shouldn't have answered in the first place.

Akane doesn't pay attention to them and picks up the receiver.

Akane: Moshi moshi? [listens] OK, I see. Bye.

She puts down the phone, grabs her bag and heads for the door.

Akane: I'm going home.

Ranma: Oh, did something happen?

Akane: No, nothing like that.

Ranma follows Akane out into the hall.

Ranma: Then why don't you stay? [quieter] You like Toufuu-sensei.

Akane pushes him against the wall, her hand clasped tightly over his mouth.

Akane: Shut up! There is a girl that he likes. That was the phone call - She's coming right over.

In that instant the door opens and a voice calls.

Voice: Hello?

Ranma: [shocked] If that's Toufuu-sensei's taste...

Akane: She's not, baka!

The woman coming in is at least 80 years old and walking on a stick.


On a street in Nerima a merchant is laying out his merchandise, when he sees a figure he knows.

Merchant: Oh, hello Kasumi. Going out?

Kasumi: [smiles and greets] Just visiting Toufuu-sensei's place.

-- End of part 8.

Part 9: "Is she... crying?"

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