Relation to the Previous Episode
In a park one night, Ranma and Ryoga engage in yet another battle, much to Ranma's annoyance. Ryoga tries to use his Bakusai Tenketsu attack on Ranma, but Ranma easily redirects him and then pummels him into unconscious with his rapid-fire punching technique, which he calls "Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken" in homage to the training method that gave him the idea. While this happens, neither of them are aware that somebody is hidden in the bushes nearby, photographing the whole fight.
The next morning, Kuno attacks Ranma, who exasperatedly beats Kuno senseless, unaware that he is being photographed again. At lunch time, Ranma has been turned into a girl and is pestered by Happosai, who wants her to put on a bra; this time, the photographer's luck runs out; both fighters sense his presence, but other than posing for some pictures, neither catches him.
On the way home from school, Ranma mentions to Akane that he has had somebody trying to take photographs of him, possibly having realized he was stalked that morning and the previous evening as well. Akane is skeptical, and playfully teases Ranma about his ego. In the same spirit, Ranma teases her that even though he's only a girl half the time, he's still twice as cute as she is. Naturally, Akane doesn't take this joke as well as Ranma took hers, and promptly swings her bookbag at him when he protests it was just a joke.
Though Ranma dodges the first blow, he hears the sounds of a camera clicking, and Akane's second strike hits him. He shrugs it off, asking if Akane didn't hear that as well, and Akane realises that she did, spotting a strange boy hiding in the shadows nearby. He gives no explanation, instead continuing to photograph them - even as Ranma charges at him declaring he'll teach the kid to spy on him. He leaps away at the last second, warns Ranma that he will be back, and then bounds away over the rooftops.
Later that Day
That night, Ranma and Akane talk about their strange encounter to their fathers, who fearfully worry if Ranma's stalker mightn't be the dreaded "Copycat Ken". This is the first Ranma and Akane have ever heard of such a person, and they ask what the deal is. Genma dramatically proclaims that Copycat Ken is a notorious thief and bane of the greater Tokyo area, dreaded for his ability to steal a martial artist's best moves right from under their nose.
Ranma scoffs that Copycat Ken sounds more like some loser too dumb to come up with moves of his own, then heads out the gate to grab a drink at a nearby vending machine. Genma watches him go and sadly declares that Copycat Ken will beat him even with that kind of confidence. Akane doesn't find this pleasant news.
At the vending machine, Ranma suddenly finds himself under attack by Ryoga, who first nails his just-purchased can of drink with his thrown umbrella, then blows up the vending machine with his Bakusai Tenketsu, laughing over how "cool" that was. This is not normal behavior for him in the slightest, and Ranma is deeply puzzled, until he catches sight of a second Ryoga, lying in a trash can around the corner.
Disbelievingly, he tosses cold water from nearby buckets onto both of them; the one in the trash can turns into a pig, the one who just attacked him simply sneezes. He realises that he is now face to face with Copycat Ken, who uses a cloth to shed Ryoga's form and assume his natural form. And then, to Ranma's disbelief, Copycat Ken takes up Ranma's form and attacks.
Irritated by how long Ranma has taken to come home, Akane comes out looking for him. She is deeply surrpised when she finds herself caught between two identical Ranmas, each of which proclaims the other to be a fake before they start fighting again, pausing only to let her get out of the way. Ranma tries to use the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken volley-punch attack to prove his identity, but to his horrified disbelief, Ken-as-Ranma is also able to mimic it just as he has mimiced all Ranma's strikes, dodges, blocks and other fighting tricks. When his impersonator smiles, Ranma grows more worried and, sure enough, a blow from Ken-as-Ranma slips through his defences to land painfully on his chest, knocking him to the ground.
As he lies there, stunned more by the fact somebody who was imitating him managed to actually beat him than by the blow, Ken-as-Ranma glomps onto Akane's waist until the now-conscious and livid P-chan attacks him.
Taking Ranma home, where he heads straight to bed, Genma approaches Ranma and comments that now Ranma has seen the truth about the infamous Copycat Ken; the terror is not in his power, but in how he turns your own power against you. For a martial artist, there can be no greater defeat, no truer humiliation. Akane comments that still doesn't explain why Ranma lost; how can an imitation beat the real thing? Genma nods his head and sagely comments that the truth is that Ranma didn't lose to a "mere copy"; Ranma defeated himself. This statement confuses Ranma greatly.
In fact, when he has set himself up in the woods outside Nerima and is busily training for his planned rematch with Ken, Ranma still has no idea what Genma meant by that "you defeated yourself" comment; he's still brooding over losing to an imitation of himself. This makes him understandably short-tempered when he discovers Ryoga, Kuno and Mousse following after him and repeating his training exercises, accusing them of being Copycat Ken come to interrrupt his training. The three boys insist that they aren't Ken; he is their enemy too.
Ranma asks in disbelief if Kuno and Mousse were also victimised by the shapechanging copycat, and they admit that this is so. Furiously, Ryoga declares that no self-respecting martial artist would copy another's fighting style, whereupon Ranma sarcastically asks if Ryoga didn't copy his Bakusai Tenketsu from the old ghoul, which causes the outraged Ryoga to protest that was different.
Before a fight can break out, Kuno actually steps in and acts as a diplomat, pointing out that they share a common enemy and a common goal and asking if they cannot cast aside their petty rivalries and band together for their own common greater good. Initially, it looks good, with Ranma, Ryoga and Mousse all declaring that they will agree to hold a truce until the training is over and everyone partnering up to train... but, naturally, it gives way to a vicious free-for-all brawl.
The fighting ends only around sunset, when a combination of exhaustion and hunger has left them all too weak to keep it up. Ranma, Ryoga and Mousse perk up at the sudden smell of cooked food, most notably well-cooked beef steak, and look around to see Kuno has sat down at a table laden with European-style cuisine, dutifully set up by Sasuke. Kuno comments that the aroma is most enticing indeed to somebody who has just undergone such a vigorous sparring session, the others drawing near and thanking him for setting up such arrangements... only to find themselves falling into a pit trap.
Angrily, they demand to know what the deal is, whereupon Kuno snootily declares that such rich foreign cuisine on their uncultured, unrefined palates would be too much for them. He throws a pair of meat-laden bones at them, which Ranma angrily swats aside saying they can't be bought. He then realises Mousse and Ryoga have snatched them up and are tearing the flesh off of it, indignantly asking what they are doing. As one they reply, "we're eating", and then they leap up out of the pit and attack Kuno's table in order to grab their fair share of the food. Ranma quickly follows and joins in the melee.
Happosai's New Partner
Back in Nerima, Furinkan High School has just come under a most unwelcome attack; not only has Happosai appeared for his usual raid, but Copycat Ken has decided to show up and imitate him! The two of them get into a match in which they compare panties, up until Akane hits them both over the head with a broom, scolds them, and swats them into the air when they try and leap for her breasts. In mid-air, they blow each other up with the Happo Fire-Burst, but on landing, they seek shelter on the school grounds and sit down to talk in a level-headed fashion.
Happosai declares that Copycat Ken's imitative skills are fairly impressive, but there are still limits to them, revealing that, for example, Ken can't hope to match Happosai's skill at creating realistic images of panties out of pipe smoke. Reverting to his true form, Ken kowtows to Happosai and proclaims he's not worthy. Happosai mildly tells Ken to not let it bother him; not everybody can be a master of perversion, after all. Ken reveals he's not only a thief and a bully by begging Happosai to take him on as a disciple, something that Happosai agrees to.
With Ken wearing his Happosai skin, the two terrorize the Tendo Dojo; they not only peek on Akane in the bath, they actually grope and fondle Kasumi, though Nabiki manages to dispatch them with a well-aimed kick and elbow drop combo when they attack her. As the two perverts race around the house hooting like maniacs, the girls demand the fathers do something, but both have taken to their beds in utter shock and refuse to move.
The Battle Against Ken
Sometime not too long after, Ranma gets sick of how he is constantly fighting with the others for every scrap of food and irritably heads home. When he makes his way inside, to his disbelieving shock, Akane cries out that she's happy to see him and runs up from the table to embrace him. Shock gives way to disgust when the real Akane comes storming out of the door on the other side of the table, and Ranma finds himself being thrown through the air by none other than Copycat Ken.
Ken-as-Akane taunts Ranma that he can also take on female forms, right before Akane furiously crushes him/her under the table and exhorts Ranma to put the new training he's acquired into action. Ranma flinches; the four of them were all so busy fighting they never actually got around to training.
As Ken regains consciousness and resumes his real form, he taunts Ranma about being afraid and the two leap to fight. Akane watches Ranma in amazement; the increase in skill is drastically perceptible, and Ranma himself realises that the constant fighting with three opponents at once has really helped him improve. Ken can barely hold Ranma off, and so resorts to his imitation tricks.
Turning into Ryoga lets him use the Bakusai Tenketsu to disorientate Ranma, while he then turns into Mousse in order to deliver a powerful punch that knocks Ranma back. He then makes the mistake of turning into Kuno, Ranma's weakest opponent, for which Ranma taunts him.
Ken retorts by promptly turning into Happosai, to Ranma's disgust. Akane comes to Ranma's aid by splashing him with cold water; Ken-as-Happosai immediately latches onto Ranma-chan's breasts, apparently to his own surprise. Ranma punches him off of her, but he then uses Happosai's pipe-thrust to send Ranma flying across the yard into a tree before blowing her up with a Happo Fire-Burst. As Ranma struggles to her feet, Ken taunts her by transforming into her form and reminding her of how s/he beat her with the "Chestnut Fist". Ranma then freezes up, remembering Genma's words; the only power Ken has over her is that which she gives him - Ken didn't beat her that last time, she defeated herself!
As Soun and Genma arrive, Ranma startles Ken by getting up and calmly stating that there is more to the Chestnut Fist than speed and power - there's also the amount of soul you put it into. Saying that, closing her eyes, she charges at Ken, fists flying faster than ever before until finally she literally punches Ken out of his copy-skin of her. The delighted Akane and Genma come to congratulate her, Genma praising Ranma for realising that by focusing the entirety of her consciousness on the attack, she achieved a level of focus that Ken couldn't mimic, proving that a copy's a copy, but the original's authentic.
Infuriated, Ken staggers to his feet and vows to show them the most terrifying transformation trick of all. He rapidly transforms into the forms of Ranma and his rivals in succession... but then he ends up getting confused, mixing and matching against his will and begging for them to help him stop.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Ryoga Hibiki (human, P-chan)||Koichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Copycat Ken (debut)||Masami Kikuchi||Toby Proctor|
|Genma Saotome (human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Soun Tendo||Ryunosuke Ohbayashi||David Kaye|
|Mousse (human)||Toshihiko Seki||Brad Swaile|
|Sasuke Sarugakure||Shigeru Chiba||Robert O. Smith|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
- Precisely how Ken is able to copy people's attacks and appearances by photographing them is never explained. It's possible that his camera is some kind of magical item.
- This is the first and only time that Ranma Saotome, Ryoga Hibiki, Mousse and Tatewaki Kuno have all tried to align with each other for a common goal. Ranma, Ryoga and Mousse will work together with each other on a number of occasions throughout the series, but Ranma only teams up with Kuno when its with the entire cast (such as in the movies).
- This is the first if not only time that Ryoga can be heard fully pronouncing the "tsu" in Tenketsu when using his Breaking Point. Normally, the English pronounciation is given as "Bak-Sai Ten-Kets".
- In the subtitles, Genma says that Copycat Ken practices Copy Martial Arts.
- When Mousse recalls losing to Copycat Ken, Ken-as-Mousse cries out "Fist of the White Swan", but is shown using one of Mousse's wrist-claws on a chain to strike Mousse. The name is similarly mis-used when Ken takes on Mousse's form to punch out Ranma in their final battle.
- In the dubbed version, once they are all agreed to a truce, Kuno speaks the famous quote "We have nothing to fear but fear itself".
- In the subtitles, Kuno specifically identifies the wine he's drinking as Chateaubriant '29.
- This is the first time since the move was introduced that the Happo Fire-Burst has been portrayed as having a firework-like detonation - strangely, it only happens when Ken-as-Happosai and Happosai blow each other up.