Ranma finally learns that, contrary to his belief, his mother is alive and well - what's more, she's coming to visit. Unfortunately, there's a reason why Genma has kept her existence a secret from Ranma and the Tendos...
Relation to the Previous Episode
Going to the Cemetery
Akane is having a dream about her childhood. In the dream she's just picked a Carnation for her mother, but falls over and bends the flower. Akane's mother sees her and walks over, she then pats down Akane when she sees how dirty Akane's gotten. After Akane explains what she was planning to do she begins to cry, so to cheer her up Akane's mother shows her how pretty the Carnation is even if it is a bit broken and thanks Akane for it. This manages to cheer Akane up, who is then told by her mother that she's a very kind girl to which Akane responds by telling her mother that she loves her.
The group then head to the local cemetery, where the Tendos and Saotomes visit the grave of Mrs. Tendo to pay their respects (Akane also leaves some Carnations at the grave since they were her mother's favourite). Afterwards Ranma is waiting around the cemetery with Akane and eventually asks her if she even knew her mother. Akane explains that she did and although she died when she was little she still remembers a lot about her, mostly how kind she was. Nabiki then walks up and asks Ranma if he remembers anything about his mother, but Ranma can't seem to remember anything about her.
Ranma then notices Genma (in his panda form) trying to sneak away, but stops him and demands he tell him about his mother. Genma holds up a sign saying he'll tell Ranma the secret and begins to draw out a new sign which reveals it. However, Ranma doesn't wait so looks over Genma's shoulder as he writes and notices that Genma has written that he gave birth to Ranma. This obvious lie causes Ranma to kick Genma and decide that she probably left them.
Later that day and Ranma has changed into his normal clothes and is walking on the fence next to the storm drain when he starts thinking about his mother again. He first notes how he never really thought about it before, but then decides that anyone who married his father must've been a real twit. Ranma then continues walking along the fence, but doesn't the sign on one of the panels saying that the panel is loose. As soon as Ranma stands on the loose panel he quickly feels it give and jumps onto the next one, but before he realises that panel is also loose so begins to give way as well, only this time Ranma falls into the cold water of the storm drain.
Just after Ranma falls into the storm drain (now obviously in his female form) a kind woman asks her if she's all right and takes an object off her back in order to help Ranma out. However, when Ranma grabs hold of the object she just ends up pulling in the woman too. After Ranma grabs one of the woman's sandals she apologises. This causes the woman to tell Ranma what a tomboy she is, before continuing to rub Ranma's hair and tells her that she's a girl so should try to be a bit more ladylike. The woman then says that she's in a hurry so has to go, Ranma just stands stunned and thinks to himself what a kind lady she was.
Ranma returns to the Tendo Dojo and is almost immediately met by Genma (in his human form) falling down that stairs and quickly grabbing her while telling her that they're going on a training journey. Before Genma can make his getaway, Soun steps on the back of his sandal and tells Genma that he surely can't be leaving without telling them why. After Genma finally falls over (landing atop of Ranma in the process) a letter falls out of his clothes and floats down onto Ranma's face. Ranma manages to wriggle out enough in order to read the letter which says "I am coming. At once." and is signed by someone called Nodoka.
Some time later back inside the Dojo then Tendo sisters read the letter too (Nabiki also notes that Genma turned white as a ghost the moment he read it). Kasumi then asks Genma what happened, but Genma (who's now been restrained with ropes around his arms) tells them to let him go since there's no time and she'll be here any minute. Nabiki and Kasumi notice that "Nodoka" is a female name so then Akane asks Genma who she is, to which Genma says wild horses couldn't drag it out of him. This causes Ranma (who's now changed back to his male form) to kick Genma in the face and asks him if he's eaten somewhere without paying and also demands he comes clean about whatever's going on.
Having his son think so lowly of him bring tears to Genma's eyes. Nabiki then decides that this woman must be a bill collector, while Kasumi thinks it might be the owner of a house that Genma stole from and Akane thinks she could be the owner of a diner where Genma skipped out of the bill. These allocations cause Genma to declare that she's not a stranger and that she's Ranma's... However, Genma stops himself before he reveals the truth. Just then a woman's voice comes from the front entrance, causing Genma to panic and shout "forgive me, mother". Everyone hears this, but ask Genma to reiterate what he said in case they misheard, but Genma did say "mother".
Soun then heads to the front entrance and talks to the woman stood there saying that she must be Genma's wife, but the woman if just some from the Kame Sushi Restaurant who's come for the tray. Genma then quietly tells Soun that this woman isn't Nodoka. Ranma then walks behind Genma and hits him over the head and asks Genma if this means the woman who sent the letter is his... But before Ranma can finish, Kasumi and Nabiki declare that it must be Ranma's mother and after Genma nods in agreement everyone is left in a stunned silence.
Ranma has gone out to the walkway outside the living room with the letter. Akane then walks up to Ranma (who seems to be a bit depressed about the whole situation) and asks him isn't it great that he's finally found his mother, Ranma agrees that it is but it all seems a bit so sudden especially especially when he doesn't remember her at all.
A woman's voice then comes from the front entrance and the Tendos eagerly go to meet who they presume to be Ranma's mother. Ranma, meanwhile, stays sat on the walkway when Genma walks up next to him. Genma tells Ranma that this may be painful, but he can't call her "mom" especially not now, he then grabs Ranma and throws the both of them into the Koi pond, so they become their cursed forms. Once they emerge Ranma angrily asks Genma what he did that for, but Ranma can't understand Genma's panda babbles. Genma eventually holds up a sign telling Ranma that he's sure she'll be unhappy if she meets her.
Meanwhile at the entrance the woman who helped Ranma in the storm drain earlier says that she understands that a Mr. Saotome and his son are living here. Soun welcomes Nodoka, while Akane is left in silence at finally meeting Ranma's mother. Ranma and Genma themselves peak around a corner and Ranma instantly recognises the woman as the same person who helped her earlier.
Genma and Nodoka Explain All
Some more time passes and Nodoka is sat in the living room with the Tendos. Nodoka eventually pipes up and asks where Ranma and Genma are. Soun clears his throat and (following the pleas from Genma earlier) tells Nodoka that they've left for a training trip, this obviously disappoints Nodoka.
Out the back of the Dojo garden, Ranma tells Genma to come clean and explain what's going on. Genma reveals that Nodoka is indeed Ranma's mother, but Ranma isn't buying that an attractive woman like Nodoka would marry and airhead like him. This causes Genma to just look solemnly at Ranma before pulling out an old photograph of him with Nodoka and an infant Ranma. This finally convinces Ranma that Nodoka is his mother.
Back in the living room and Kasumi asks Nodoka if she's been alone the whole time that Ranma and Genma have been training, to which Nodoka says that she has and that she waited for their return at home. Nodoka continues that it was difficult, but the parting was much worse and being separated from Ranma broke her heart.
Nodoka then proceeds to have a flashback where Genma tries to forcibly take Ranma from him, but she ends up hitting Genma several times over the head until he stays to rationally explain his reasoning. Genma reminds Nodoka that Ranma is meant to carry on the Saotome school of Anything Goes Martial Arts so his training can't be hindered by a mother's love. He continues by pleading with Nodoka to bear it for Ranma's sake.
Back in the present day and these memories have brought a tear to Nodoka's eye, before saying that she believed in her husband. Ranma and Genma meanwhile are looking on from the bushes in the garden, Ranma then decides to turn back into his male form and meet his mother. Nodoka then goes on to say that Genma made a vow before he left, however before she reveals what it is she hears a male voice behind her.
Nodoka quickly goes to see who's it is, but just finds Ranma and Genma in their cursed forms (neither of which she knows, but does recognise Ranma's female form as the girl she helped in the storm drain). After Ranma hits Genma for what he just did, Nodoka puts her hand on Ranma's shoulder before patting off the dirt from her clothes and telling her the girls shouldn't use such crude language. Ranma then attempts to angrily declare that she's Ranma, but is stopped by Genma at the last minute.
Avoiding the Seppuku
To change the subject, Akane asks Nodoka what exactly the vow was. Nodoka then explains that Genma vowed that should he fail to make Ranma a man among men they'll commit Seppuku (ritual suicide), something which Nodoka initially regarded as very noble. The revelation of this vow shocked all those present. Returning to inside the living room, Nodoka adds that she used to get letters regularly from Genma telling her where they were, but the letters stopped after Genma told her they were going to Jusenkyo, China.
Akane and Soun instantly realise what the problem is (i.e. Ranma's curse). Akane then proceeds to ask Nodoka that really she wouldn't make them commit Seppuku, in response to this Nodoka takes the object off her back and reveals it to be a Katana which she removes from it's Scabbard. However, Nodoka soon looses her grip and the Katana lands inches away from Ranma and Genma.
Nodoka apologises and explains she's not very good with swords. Akane then reiterates her question about Nodoka being serious about committing Seppuku. This time Nodoka doesn't answer, but just stares at the blade as she remembers back to Genma signing his vow in writing followed by Ranma having to put his hand print on the paper as a form of signature. Nodoka then goes on to say that she agreed to assist them in committing Seppuku and then slit her own throat with the very same sword and join them death.
Kasumi then offers Nodoka some tea, which she happily accepts. Nodoka then also adds that she wishes she could've seen Ranma at least once, this causes Ranma to finally pipe up and try to tell Nodoka that she's Ranma, but Ranma chickens out at the last moment as says that she's Ranko, Akane's cousin. Nabiki then whispers to Akane that Ranma mustn't have wanted to die, to which Akane nods in agreement.
The evening and Nodoka thanks Soun and Kasumi for letting her stay the night despite barging while her husband's on a training journey. Kasumi tells Nodoka to stay as long as she likes, while Soun tells her not to worry about anything. Meanwhile in Akane's room, Nabiki is reading a paper when she says that Nodoka will find out right away and then there'll be bloodshed. Akane tells Nabiki not to say such things and then looks out the window worryingly. At that same time Ranma and Genma are having a hot bath where Ranma argues with Genma about how he had to shut him up when he was going to reveal his true identity to his mother. This causes Genma to explain that Nodoka is pure and single-minded, so if they reveal themselves they must die.
Ranma then prepares to attack Genma, but Nodoka then begins talking outside the door and walks in with an offer to scrub Ranko's back. She then opens the door, causing Ranma to quickly break the faucet and spray himself and Genma with cold water. When Nodoka opens her eyes again after being sprayed with the cold water as well, she just sees Ranko with Mr. panda. Ranko then apologises if the water was cold, but Nodoka says that she thought she just saw a pigtailed boy and a weird man wearing glasses. Genma holds up a sign asking Nodoka how she can say that about her own husband, but Ranko hits him and tells Nodoka that it was just her imagination...
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Mrs. Tendo (flashback, debut)||Kayo Sanpei||Cathy Weseluck|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Soun Tendo||Ryunosuke Ohbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Richard Cox|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Nodoka Saotome (debut)||Masako Ikeda||Lisa Bunting|
- This episode introduces Ranma's mother, Nodoka Saotome, to the series.