When the water heater breaks down, Ranma and Akane have to go to the public bathhouse to get clean. Unfortunately, Happosai decides he wants to come to the baths too...
Relation to the Previous Episode
Late one evening, Ranma stands in the garden of the Tendo Dojo, the two masters and the grandmaster of Anything Goes standing around him and preparing for a lesson in more advanced training. As Genma finishes his speech about what it means to truly practice martial arts, Ranma just calmly tells him to stop talking and start training. At this, Happosai comments on how smug Ranma is, then warns him that he doesn't know it all yet and his elders still have plenty to teach him, emphasizing this by literally fading away into nothing before Ranma's eyes.
While Soun and Genma chorous about Happosai's skills, Ranma simply declares that while Happosai does have his tricks, he also has his weakspots, throwing a set of panties into the air and then kicking Happosai out of it when he lunges for it. At this, Soun and Genma promptly reverse tack.
Inside, Kasumi is trying to turn the heater on, but she can't; it's broken, and that means that there's not going to be any hot water until it gets fixed. She heads into the living room, where the men are recuperating, and reports this state of affairs to them, with Soun declaring they'll just need to use the public bathhouse. At this, Kasumi pleasantly suggests making a little trip out of it and all going together; this rouses Happosai from his dazed stupor, and he reminisces that he, Soun and Genma used to go to public baths all the time when they were training.
While he looks upon the missions where they would be forced to help him peek at the bathing women and then be left behind as distractions with fondness, their own memories are nowhere near as pleasant and they quickly turn the offer down. Genma claims the hose in the backyard will suffice him, while Soun claims to have a cold. Ignorant as to what is going on, Ranma is too slow to avoid being invited along with Happosai.
Heading there, Ranma fondly reminisces that he and his father used the public baths all the time until they came back from China. He then remembers Soun privately warning him that he mustn't let Happosai out of his sight while they are there, but he's a bit more curious about why Happosai is carting along a bucket full of bathtoys.
Back at the Tendo Dojo, Akane arrives just in time to catch the tail-end of a conversation from Nabiki with somebody on the phone. Though Akane doesn't know it, Nabiki sees the potential for great amusement when Ranma and Happosai clash at the bathhouse, and has just finished inviting her friends to come and share the fun. Once Akane has finished apologizing for being so late, explaining she lost track of time while shopping with friends, Nabiki playfully encourages her to get her things ready to go to the public baths.
Ranma and Happosai, meanwhile, have just arrived there, and are stunned into disbelief - this place is far more classy and deluxe than anything either of them has seen before. Finally regaining their bearings, they head inside and Ranma gets his first inkling of what Soun was warning him about when he has to bonk Happosai on the head to keep him from making an indecent proposition to the cashier.
Ranma promptly kicks Happosai towards the lounge-like area just outside the baths proper, and finds himself stunned at the luxuries before Happosai jars him into moving again. Happosai changes into a bathing suit, snorkel set and bucket of toys, while Ranma, embarrassed but figuring that maybe it'll keep him out of trouble, strips down to just a towel. While he heads to the tap racks to wash off with buckets of steaming hot water, Happosai races on ahead and jumps into the bath proper.
Outside, Akane and Nabiki have just arrived, meeting up with Nabiki's friends, to Akane's confusion.
Inside, Ranma finishes dousing himself off and joins Happosai in the bath, noting that Happosai seems to be in a good mood after seeing him let some of the little kids borrow some of his toys to play with. As Ranma luxuriates in the hot water, Happosai announces he's going to do some snorkelling and heads off underwater. Ranma promptly sees where he's going and sends a ribbon lashing out with an idle flick of his wrist, tugging Happosai closer and then pouring hot water down his snorkel from Happosai's own toy kettle. Happosai surfaces, spluttering with indignation, while Ranma firmly tells him that men are supposed to stay in this side of the bathhouse.
Happosai asks why they shouldn't take advantage and see the sights, so to speak, to Ranma's disgust. Nabiki promptly raises her head over the wall and calls out a flirtatious hello to Ranma and Happosai both, which prompts Happosai to turn to Ranma, point out that there's a good chance Akane is on the other side of the bath, and shake the disinterested Saotome boy while asking if they shouldn't go and grab a sneak-peek. Ranma flatly declares Akane has nothing he's interested in, whereupon Akane scales the wall in fury and knocks Ranma out cold with a projectile bathpail, something Happosai declares he had coming.
While Ranma is unconscious, he grabs a secret weapon; a pair of rubber gloves with suction cups on the palm and fingertips, with which he tries to scale the wall. But Ranma regains consciousness and stops him with Happosai's own water pistol, filled with soapy water.
For a while, Happosai is quiet, sulking, then he comes up with a plan, declaring he needs to go to the toilet. Convinced, Ranma escorts him there, even as Happosai indignantly asks what sort of trouble Ranma thinks he could get into. Once inside the toilet stall, he slips into the airvents, hoping to sneak away while Ranma waits outside the toilet... only to find himself being attacked by a swarm of rats and then electrocuting himself whilst flailing around. Scorched and indignant, he slips back out the way he came in, storming past the confused Ranma with a growl about the owners and the "rathole" they're running.
On the women's side, Nabiki softly complains to herself about nothing happening, which arouses Akane's suspicion, though her elder sister refuses to answer.
On the men's side, the bored Happosai idly spins a bathpail on his finger while Ranma seats himself at the tap rack, then approaches him with a friendly offer to wash his back - only to be cut off in midsentence by a powerful slap across the face from Ranma's bathtowel. When Happosai protests his innocence, Ranma curtly replies he was going to spray Ranma with cold water from behind - undaunted, Happosai simply sprays Ranma from the front, turning him into a girl in front of the startled crowd of onlooking men. Furious and humiliated, Ranma promptly blows her stack and attacks the old pervert.
With a single punch she shatters the tap rack where Happosai was standing, and he promptly leaps to the top of a new one behind her. She sends a ribbon lashing out and ensnares his wrist, but he is the one who sends her flying through a glass window and into the cold pond beyond. Undaunted, she attacks once more, leaping around the men's bathing area and causing havoc in her efforts to catch him, even as he dons a pair of soap-skates and goes skidding away from her - the sounds of chaos are music to Nabiki's ears, though Akane isn't really impressed when she realises what's going on.
Ranma unthinkingly follows Happosai over to the women's side, only for him to use a barrage of pails and soap bars skidding along the ground to drive the overconfident boy-turned-girl into the steaming hot bath behind her. Akane chooses that moment to grab Happosai, who starts sulking childishly when he discovers she and Nabiki are both in bathing suits and don't intend to take them off so long as Happosai is around. Akane sweetly tells him not to cry... and then punts him over the wall to embed head-first into the far-side of the men's bath.
Ranma, meanwhile, is stuck underwater, well-meaning girls approaching and groping to try and recover "her", and running out of air fast. Akane and Nabiki are no help at all; they are quite content to just sit on the sidelines and watch, with Akane even saying that there are "some things you have to do yourself". Desperately, he swims over to the small underwater gap between the two sides, hoping to squeeze through and escape without injury. His shoulders are too wide; he can't squeeze through - and then Happosai startles him, forcing him to emerge on the girl's side or else drown. Ranma's only consolation is that, though his efforts to try and talk his way out of being savagely beaten fail, at least Happosai also gets pummelled.
Not that it stops him from having the audacity to complain about getting hit for "Ranma's" perversions. Needless to say, a fight soon breaks out, going from barrages of junk to fisticuffs in a matter of moments. As Akane and Nabiki pull themselves up onto the walls to watch, Happosai declares his intent to teach Ranma the terrors of Bathhouse Fu, hurling a motley of bathpails aloft and then vanishing - as they tumble past Ranma, though, multiple blows slam home, bringing him to his knees as they land on the floor.
Happosai emerges from one and declares that to be his "Fist of the Hermit Crab" ("Hermit Crab Punch" in the subtitles) - using his invisibility technique and sheer speed to conceal himself in one bucket, strike, and then dart to a new one before repeating the cycle. Nabiki can only grin at their willingness to step things up to secret techniques, while Akane is less impressed, even as Ranma tries to handle Happosai through the direct approach - smashing the buckets and the pervert with one mighty blow. All that happens is that Ranma spends several long moments smashing bucket after bucket, with Happosai fleeing to a new one each time.
Proclaiming Ranma to be an idiot, Akane calls out the suggestion that she is going to take off her suit, which draws Happosai out of hiding - however, he evades Ranma's punch and then leaps over the wall to the women's side, and Ranma unthinkingly follows. Though this gets him sent tumbling back over with a barrage of thrown projectiles, Happosai has outsmarted himself; when he senses the confusion has died down and emerges, he finds the only women present are the elderly matrons; as Akane and Nabiki mockingly point out, none of the pretty young women he was hoping to spy on were going to just sit around in the buff with him there, and the last bit of chaos was the last straw.
Desperately, Happosai goes looking for one last vision of nude female loveliness... and ends up smashed into the floor when he leaps at what is quite obviously female Ranma.
Finishing their bath, the residents of the Tendo Dojo head home, Ranma toting Happosai along on his back and berating him for being such a pervert - Akane, meanwhile, has the nerve to berate Ranma as having encouraged him.
Behind them, they leave a scene of total destruction for the horrified janitor to discover.
At the Tendo Dojo, Kasumi declares it'll take at least a week to fix the water heater, so they'll need to keep using the public baths. Happosai is happy, declaring he and Ranma will go there tomorrow to "train" - at this, Ranma thumps him on the head and furiously declares he's never going to the baths with Happosai again. If he wants to go with anybody, he can go with Soun and Genma - but they, immediately, proclaim that Ranma should keep this "training" for at least another week.
As Ranma spluttes in indignant refusal, Akane sweetly asks him to do it, pointing out that she and Nabiki couldn't have bathed safely without him watching over and trying to control Happosai, with the unspoken implication that they'll be defenseless if he doesn't come with them again. Nabiki then comments that her friends want to come for the "party" again tomorrow, and bring some of their friends as well.
As Ranma stares around, dumbstruck, Happosai triumphantly declares that it's settled, tauntingly revealing he's swiped the bathing suits they were wearing... only for them to reveal they have plenty more to replace those. Teary-eyed, sobbing over the "cruelty", he latches onto Ranma and begs him not to "betray" him like this and to keep on coming to the baths.
As this turns into another brawl, Akane wonders to herself just how long the bathhouse will be able to stay open if this sort of thing is going to keep up.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Soun Tendo||Ryunosuke Ohbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Kikuko and Ryonami||Unknown||Unknown|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
To be added
- When Ranma is splashed with cold water and turns into his female form on the male side of the bathhouse, in the reaction shot of the male bathhouse patrons includes a small boy grabbing the chest of a young girl.
- When Ranma retorted to Happosai's insinuation about being able to peep on Akane, he was truly caught in a catch-22: while Akane was angered and insulted by his claiming he doesn't want to see her naked, which implies he thinks she's unattractive, she would have been just as furious, if not more so, if he had replied that he did want to see her naked, the action of a "pervert".
- The ending of this episode features a remarkable display of hypocrisy from Akane. She gave him absolutely no help, encouragement or appreciation while he was struggling to restrain Happosai and keep him away from her and the other bathhouse patrons, and now expects him to throw himself back in to such a thankless, exceedingly difficult task for a week straight.
- This is the first episode to hint at Happosai's soft spot for little kids, which would play a part in several future stories.
- The trick Happosai displays when he fades away and becomes invisible is akin to the "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" technique from the season three episode Final Facedown! Happosai vs. The Invisible Man. The subtitled name for that move is "Cicada Shell", while the fading away trick here is called the Chrysalis Technique.
- Happosai's bath toys includes a replica model of the Yamato, a famous Japanese battleship.
- When Akane, Nabiki and Nabiki's friends first reveal they are in the bathhouse, they are naked. But when Happosai makes it over there at last, they have switched into bathing suits. Continuity error? Or did they change when they got the sense that Happosai was getting too much for Ranma to control?
- On the DVD set, the dubbed next episode preview has almost nothing to do with the next episode, instead being a thank you to all the fans whose interest allowed Ranma ½ to continue on to the next season.