Trouble comes to the Tendo Dojo in an unusual form as one of Genma's past sins catches up with him. Akane Tendo wasn't the only fiancee that Ranma's father arranged for him...
Relation to the Previous Episode
A younger Genma Saotome, in a ripped and tattered gi, thin and weak, with a bundle of belongings and his wrapped up baby son on his back, staggers through a rocky desert-sort of place, supporting himself with a stick as his own voice reminisces that there was a time in his mid-20s when he journeyed the earth with the newborn Ranma on his back, travelling to many a strange and desolate land. Genma groans to himself about how hungry he is, which causes Ranma to wail faintly and Genma to try and shush him, shortly before he falls to his knees in exhaustion. At the edge of his strength, he suddenly gains hope when he catches smell of something cooking.
Nearby, in a small, tidy camp, a strange man with large ears talks playfully to his sleeping baby daughter and then gets ready to eat his humble dinner of some fish, pickled vegetables and camp rice. He pauses as he senses something is amiss, and springs back in shock as the starving Genma appears behind him, desperately trying to grab the fish he was about to eat. As the stranger asks who Genma is, Genma begs to be given at least a little bite, the camp-owner angrily rebuffing Genma and asking what he's going to eat if he feeds Genma his food. At last, Genma sinks to his knees and begs for help, explaining how he and Ranma are starving. In between trying to quieten his crying son, he promises to do anything if the stranger will just give them some food.
At that, the stranger asks if Genma would truly do "anything", even if that means giving the stranger his son. At Genma's shocked look, the stranger explains that he has no male heir to his family school of martial arts, the Daikoku School, and that if he can raise Ranma to marry his daughter Kaori and carry on the school, he will give Genma the fish he is asking for. Looking back, he sees Genma has developed a wild expression and is trembling, which prompts him to ask with mingled anger and incredulity who would trade their son for a fish... only to go wide-eyed with disbelief when Genma presents the baby boy and declares that, if Daikoku will throw in the rice and the pickles, it's a done deal.
Minutes later, Genma is nowhere to be seen and Daikoku is happily feeding and amusing the baby Ranma, delighted that his school has an heir at last. Once Ranma is fed, he stands up and gets ready to break camp, sadly remembering Genma and declaring he'll never forget that look in his eye (cue flashback of Genma gladly and uncaringly wolfing down the food he was traded). As he starts clearing up his camp, though, he fails to see a hooked stick on the end of a rope descending from the cliffs at his back, snagging Ranma, and carrying him up and aloft into Genma's arms. Genma hugs his son, saying that he could never leave him, and then makes a respectful gesture towards Daikoku, whispering that a man has to do what a man has to do and promising to remember him until his dying days.
Genma's voice over then declares that he had little idea of the true price he would eventually pay for this. Genma grimaces and a squishy, belching noise is made, it being unclear if he is suffering some stomach upset from what he ate or if the baby Ranma just threw up on his back...
Returning to present day at the Tendo Dojo, Ranma and Genma are having another of their fights, running through the halls and out into the garden. The cause? Genma grabbed a tiny pickled eggplant from Ranma's plate, much to Ranma's displeasure - and when Genma eats it, proclaiming that he must remove such "temptations" from Ranma's sight as "martial artists must rise above their stomachs", Ranma gets madder. Genma bounds out into the garden, pleading with Ranma to understand, even as Ranma angrily chases and attacks him. Soun philosophically states that self-denial and constant exercise are the key for a true martial artist, as only through these measures may a martial artist gain enlightenment; Akane simply eats, clearly annoyed with the whole thing, while Nabiki is skeptical and sarcastic. As Akane finishes and angrily strides off to the dojo to relax, Genma slips on one of the rocks near the koi pond and, with another pickle flipped in his direction by Ranma, falls into the pond.
Elsewhere in Nerima, a big Chinese restaurant called "Kaikaden" is celebrating its 10th anniversay. One of its staff spots a small Rolls-Royce-type car and hands the driver a flyer, who accepts and drives off, noting that this city seems profitable enough.
Back at the Tendo Dojo, Akane is just getting ready to smash two stacked bricks... when the still squabbling Ranma kicks the Genma-panda through the wall and on top of her.
While Akane explodes at this, the car from before pulls up in front of the Tendo Dojo, the driver getting out with a grim chuckle of "Guess who's coming to dinner?"
Inside the walls, Akane chases Ranma, who is chasing Genma, around with a straw broom, flailing away in anger and missing. Hearing a stranger call from the door, Kasumi goes to meet their guest, only to be met in the hall as he cheerfully explains he let himself in. The stranger is none other than an older Daikoku, who responds to Soun's questions by explaining that he's hear for Ranma. Ranma pulls up to hear this, and gets whacked on the head with the broom, but that is a minor shock compared to the stranger suddenly glomping him and calling himself Ranma's father, even as Genma hides in the bushes. As the Tendos demand to know what's going on, Daikoku explains that Ranma will be his true and legal heir once he marries Kaori, who he calls in to the scene. Fully dressed in a traditional Shinto bridal robe, Kaori kneels on the porch before Ranma and whispers a greeting to her "future husband". As Soun demands to know what's going on, with Ranma protesting his innocence, Daikoku stage-whispers to Ranma that Genma has already agreed to the match, before asking where Genma is.
At that, Nabiki tips a kettle of hot water on Genma, seconds before Soun rushes in with a whole tub of boiling water and drenches him, demanding an explanation. As Genma weakly asks if the water had to be that hot, Soun warns him that the water's temperature is the least of his worries. Genma tries to slip away, only to be confronted by Daikoku, who pointedly reminds him of how quickly he left the last time they met. As Genma tries to back away, Ranma finally grabs him and shakes him, demanding the truth. At first, Genma weakly tries to explain, before squaring up and admitting what's going on, asking Ranma honestly to try and understand that things were different back then. After Genma finishes, Ranma asks in furious horror if Genma really sold his hand in marriage for one fish -- when Genma cockily giggles that he also got the rice and two pickled vegetables as well, Ranma punches him in the face and asks in a tone as aghast as the Tendos' expressions what kind of father Genma is supposed to be. Calmly, Daikoku tells Genma that he knows he can't hope to take Genma's place in Ranma's heart, but he'll try to be a good father to him, to which Genma can only reply weakly that he's sure Daikoku would.
At that, the desperate Soun interjects that Ranma already has a fiancee, presenting Akane to Daikoku as proof. When the startled Daikoku asks if this is true, the embarrassed Akane denies it is. When Ranma flatly declares he's been saying the same things she has for months, she swings at him with the broom again, only this time he ducks and the head goes flying off. Before the startled eyes of everyone, Kaori suddenly springs up and tears it into straw confetti in a flurry of blows before landing neatly in the exact same position as before, asking Ranma humbly to forgive her impertinence. Somebody whistles in admiration at her skill, while Akane huffily admits Kaori isn't bad and turns her nose up.
At the lull in the activity, Daikoku comments to Soun that he can understand Soun's position, as he does have a certain amount invested in Ranma, and asks what would be fair compensation. Soun looks interested, actually asking how much Daikoku has, before Akane whirls on him in shocked anger, accidentally hitting Ranma in the head with her broomshaft. With Akane's angry declaration ringing in his ears, Soun quickly changes his tune and refuses, insisting Ranma will marry Akane and carry on the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts, to which Daikoku rebutts that he has declared Ranma to be the heir to his school. At that, Kaori suddenly coughs politely and her father comes over, allowing her to whisper into his ear. He asks Akane on Kaori's behalf if Akane truly loves Ranma, or is just being a dutiful daughter. Akane insists she doesn't love Ranma, who responds the same way and starts another bout of petty bickering, while Kaori coughs for Daikoku's attention again. This time, Daikoku declares that Kaori wishes to challenge Akane for the right to be Ranma's one true bride, stating that she is of the opinion that, despite Akane's protests, she does have feelings for Ranma and so she will give her a chance to win him squarely.
Soun immediately accepts for Akane, citing his relation to her as giving him the right, and demanding to know what they will compete in. Daikoku looks thoughtful, and then fishes up the flyer he received from Kaidaden, which is for a Martial Arts Delivery Girl Race that they will be holding later that day. Noting that the prize is a year's supply of ramen, Soun eagerly accepts. As Daikoku grimly warns Soun that there's no way he's giving up on Ranma, Soun grimly warns Daikoku that there's no way he's giving up on the ramen. Or, he adds as an afterthought, on Ranma.
Akane asks in an aghast tone how this happened, even as a disbelieving Ranma comments that first it was a fish, and now it's noodles.
The Race Begins
When the race is prepared, Ranma, Akane, Kaori, Soun and Daikoku gather at the starting lines amidst a crowd of women of all shapes and ages. As the announcer declares that this "Miss Martial Arts Takeout" competition is an anything-goes race in which the first delivery girl to pass through all the checkpoints and reach the finish line with her delivery box intact wins, Daikoku repeats the deal that whoever wins this match will have the right to be Ranma's only legal bride, with Soun boasting he'll giftwrap Ranma if Akane loses. At this, Akane angrily declares to Ranma that she's not doing this for him, with Ranma tiredly stating that he knows and boredly telling her to get out and win that ramen. When Akane sarcastically asks why Ranma isn't taking advantage of his "half right" to compete, Ranma angrily retorts that he has no intention of becoming a girl.
When Kaori approaches the starting line still in her wedding dress, Akane is scornful... and though she tries to hide it, she grows nervous when Kaori suddenly flings her delivery box into the air, springing up after it to divest herself of her wedding dress and perform an acrobatics display that has the other contestents awestruck, revealing herself to be of around Ranma's age, with long brown hair, bluish-gray eyes and dressed in a uniform-like apparel of blue shirt and red pants. Once she has done this, Daikoku gloats to the intimidated Soun that the Daikoku school, of which Kaori is a master, is a school of Martial Arts Takeout, an fighting art pioneered in the Edo period for the purpose of allowing a delivery boy or delivery girl to cross vast distances of hazardous terrain quickly and while protecting the food. He finishes by gloating that Soun doesn't stand a chance.
The race promptly begins, and barely have the competitors begun to run when Kaori makes a leaping side-kick at Akane, who nimbly dodges, resulting in Kaori knocking out a scooter-riding contestant and causing a small-scale pile up. Akane calls Kaori a cheater, who responds with the fact there are no rules to this race and then lunges out with a special technique of hers that allows her to destroy the contents of a delivery box with the touch of a finger. Akane narrowly avoids each strike, chaos in their wake, until this results in a skateboard being tossed into the air, which she grabs for a speedboost going down the hill. As Kaori races along just behind her, Soun and Ranma cycle up beside Akane, with Soun wishing Akane luck and Ranma joking for her to try and avoid killing herself, much to Soun and Akane's anger.
As Akane speeds on ahead, Kaori manages to get her first face-to-face meeting with Ranma; while she says nothing and merely gives him a small smile, Ranma tenses up in fright, causing Soun to reassure him and point him towards another constestant. To Ranma's disgust, it turns out to be a crossdressing Genma, slipped into the race to ensure that the Tendo Dojo receives the year's supply of ramen. Ranma points out that this is a women's only race, with Soun's attempt to assure Ranma that this is part of their school's code failing as his breaks give way and Ranma abandons bike, leaving Soun to go ploughing headfirst into a telephone pole.
The remaining contestants have reached a path through a park, with Kaori shattering Akane's skateboard with a kick, though Akane avoids taking a spill and in fact grabs half of the skateboard and throws it at her rival to discourage her, shouting at her to stay out of her way. Other contestants quickly fall for the myriad pittraps scattered through the path, but Akane and Kaori both evade them, prompting Kaori to unleash another special attack; Fishcake Blizzard sends a flurry of spiral-patterned ramen fishcakes through the air in Akane's direction; though Akane deflects them, the other girls fall prey and end up falling into pits or just falling over. To Akane's bad luck, chance sees Genma's glasses covered, and in a literal blind panic, he ends up knocking Akane into a pit before falling into the river. Though Akane managed to catch her delivery box in her feet, Kaori stops for a moment to taunt Akane with how happy she and Ranma are going to be. As she runs off, Akane climbs out of the pit, refusing to admit defeat and angrily wondering who thought up this dumb race anyway, even as Ranma watches from a nearby tree.
On the bridge leading to the final section of the race, Akane catches up to Kaori, who decides to take the gloves off. She injures Akane's ankle, or perhaps strikes a pressure point, with a thrown chopstick, hobbling Akane's left leg, and then uses a third special technique that allows her to make a strangling lasso out of ramen noodles. Catching Akane easily, she taunts Akane to surrender, promising to let her go if she will forfeit the race. Akane feebly begs for Ranma, who is watching and can hear her, but is reluctant to go, mentally pleading with her to not ask him to become a girl again. He takes a faltering step forward... and is promptly kicked into the river by Genma, who snuck up on him.
Now female, Ranma leaps out of the river and startles Kaori into releasing her noodle lariat's grip around Akane's neck by attacking her. Akane is relieved that Ranma arrived, especially when Ranma asks if she's alright, and Kaori is confused and angered, particularly when Ranma declares that she can't let Kaori win this race, grabs Akane's box and races on ahead with it. As Daikoku asks where Ranma came from, Akane wonders at Ranma's saving her, then determinedly hobbles after Ranma and Kaori.
And the Winner Is...
Having come to the conclusion that Ranma's female form is another girl trying to steal Ranma from her, Kaori angrily protests that she can't have him and uses her noodle whip attack to grab Ranma's ramen bowl and sending it flying back the way they came. Ranma races after it and dives desperately, but it is Akane who manages to save it before it spills or shatters. Kaori taunts them not to be so happy, pointing out that the fishcake has fallen off of the ramen and even the absence of that is grounds for disqualification. As she runs off, though, Akane spots it floating through the air, and Ranma just manages to save it from being eaten by a stray dog, desperately chasing after Kaori.
Kaori, now, is close enough to the finish line that the anxious Tendo household and Daikoku can see her - and Ranma closing in on her from behind. As they shout encouragment, Ranma desperately throws the ramen at her, diving and latching onto her legs once she is distracted by evading it. Kaori topples to the ground but manages to keep her dish from falling onto her hand. As Soun and Genma frantically bat the bowl of ramen that Ranma threw at them back in her/his direction, Kaori hisses at Ranma to let go, which Ranma refuses to do. Kaori promptly starts trying to drag herself forward with her free hand, even as Akane catches the ramen bowl and limps forward resolutely. The Tendo household and Daikoku both scream encouragment, but it is Ranma's encouragement that gives Akane the determination to push past her pain to literally inch into victory ahead of Kaori.
That evening, Daikoku graciously wishes Ranma and Akane a happy marriage and thanks Soun and Genma for their hospitality, insisting that he is also doing so on behalf of Kaori (now seated beside him and back in her wedding dress so that her face cannot be seen). Soun declares that there is no need to thank them and Genma offers him some "ramen for the road", with Daikoku graciously turning it down and driving away.
Inside, the household sits down to a feast of ramen as Ranma pointedly tells Akane that he intervened in the race to win the ramen, not for her sake, with Akane replying just as coldly that his secret is safe with her. As Soun and Genma celebrate their victory, another strange man pulls up and invites himself into the Tendo home - just like with Daikoku, he latches tearfully onto Ranma, proclaiming himself to be Ranma's father. As the Tendos react in disbelief, Ranma plaintively asks just how many more fiancees he has.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Mr. Daikoku (debut)||Unknown||Unknown|
|Kaori Daikoku (debut)||Hiromi Tsuru||Kelly Sheridan|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- This episode differs considerably from its manga equivalent. In the manga, this story does not take place until after Shampoo returns, is done solely for the chance at winning the ramen, and results in Ranma-chan, Akane and Shampoo all converging on Kuno's house, as they must persuade him to eat their delivery first to be the winner.
- This is the first hint in the anime of Genma's willingness to trade Ranma to others for his own gain, which is the ultimate cause of the arrival of Ukyo Kuonji.
- Kaori Daikoku actually looks somewhat like Ukyo in addition to having a similar backstory. Moreover, they share the same voice actor in both the japanese version and the english version.
- In the subbing, Daikoku claims that Martial Arts Restaurant Takeout originated in the Aizu fief, while in the dubbed version, he claims it originated in the Aizuna prefecture.
- Several of Kaori's attacks are taken from Shampoo's Martial Arts Takeout techniques in the manga version of this story. The Delivery Case Crush (subbed title; dubbed title is "It's Fast Or It's Free") and the Ramen Round-Up Noodle Noose (dubbed title; subbed title is simply "Noodle Noose") are the most notable as such.
- When Akane takes to the skateboard to give herself the edge in speed, it's a reference to how, in the manga version, Akane needed to use a skateboard to keep up with an on-foot duo of Ranma and Shampoo, who were currently preoccupied with trying to beat each other up.