As if Ranma wasn't having enough problems from China, things grow even more complex when a new Chinese enemy arrives; Mousse, a would-be suitor of Shampoo from her home village, has followed Shampoo to Japan, and is demanding Ranma fight him in a man-to-man duel for the right to Shampoo's hand.
Relation to the Previous Episode
This episode continues the Shampoo Returns arc, which will be concluded in Cool Runnings! The Race of the Snowmen, and carries on directly from the ending of the previous episode.
In Dr. Tofu's clinic, before they need to go to Furinkan High School, Tofu watches in bemusement as Ranma, attempting to hold a cup of tea that he poured quite some time ago, finds her fingers badly scalded, dropping it to the floor with a scream of pain. Akane explains how Cologne did this with the Full Body Cat's Tongue pressure point, then start a minor quarrel when she flatly declares it's been driving Ranma crazy. Tofu settles them down, at which point Akane confidently insists that Tofu can fix this problem.
Unfortunately, Tofu gently but firmly insists that there isn't really anything he can do, which prompts Akane to unthinkingly ask if this means Ranma will spend the rest of his life as a girl. Ranma is so stupefied with horror at this declaration that she doesn't recognize Tofu saying there may be something he can do at first, then snaps to and stands up. Tofu hits a pressure point on Ranma's lower back, and explains it's a heat tolerance nerve strong enough to counter the Full Body Cat's Tongue; the Old Man Tokyo pressure point, which gives the subject the incredible resistance to hot water associated with elderly Tokyo men.
To Ranma's delight, it works, and he crows about how Cologne will be so upset over this defeat of her plans. At that, Tofu leans towards Ranma and tells him that he has something important to tell him about the Old Man Tokyo point... but, at that moment, Akane gives Dr. Tofu a phonecall from Kasumi, and he becomes a bumbling idiot once again. As the time for school is drawing near, and admitting that Dr. Tofu is hopeless while in this state, Ranma leaves and heads home with Akane.
That afternoon, after school is let out, Akane approaches Ranma about going to get a burger on the way home; while Ranma is at first interested, he isn't so happy when Akane insists that he is going to pay for them, declaring it his fault they were forced to leave home without their lunch in the first place. This argument draws jokes about how they're arguing like a pair of lovers from their classmates, much to their embarrasment, but other matters soon occupy their attention; the ringing of a bike's bell signifies the approach of Shampoo.
Leaping from her bike in midair, she lands neatly in front of Ranma as the bike zips harmlessly past him, giving a muffled "aiyah" of shock and perhaps disappointment before schooling her expression and tone into happiness. She excitedly proclaims about Ranma having returned to being a male, then curiously asks how he managed it.
Ranma simply smirks that he didn't need Cologne's dumb pill after all... which prompts Cologne to ask just how long for and then leap up onto Ranma's back. Ranma's disgust only grows when she rubs her cheek against his flirtatiously and he promptly wheels around in a frantic effort to dislodge her, though all he succeeds in doing is persuading her to leap off of her own accord, bonking his head in the proceedings. Snickering, she taunts him about how long he's going to be able to stay a man, at which the infuriated Ranma grabs Shampoo's delivery (to her disapproval) and tries to whallop Cologne with, eventually flinging it into the air when she leaps onto a nearby fence.
And that is when a Chinese boy in a long white robe suddenly leaps onto the scene, snatching the delivery out of the air, discarding the box and performing an acrobatic routine without spilling a drop. His serene landing is rather ruined when he promptly squats down and starts wolfing up the ramen.
Everybody is surprised and curious - save for Shampoo, who is quite visibly horrified by this stranger's presence. Once he finishes eating, he walks over to Ranma and embraces him suddenly, calling him "Shampoo" and declaring that he's been searching for "her". Ranma promptly kicks him in the face in disgust and demands to know who the stranger is calling "Shampoo". Once Ranma removes his foot, the stranger pulls out a thick, nerdy pair of glasses, puts them on before staring Ranma in the face - and then promptly knees him in the throat and demands to know who he is. At this, Akane forcefully interjects that they are the ones who should be asking him that.
The stranger, pushing his glasses up on his forehead, proclaims his name to be "Mousse", and dramatically points a finger as he declares that he has come for "you, Shampoo" all the way from China. To the amusement of everyone save Akane, he's addressing Akane, who angrily tells him to put his glasses back on and points him in the direction of Shampoo. Mousse apologises, and declares that he is Shampoo's future husband - at which Shampoo angrily snaps he is just a "stupid friend from child time".
At that point, Cologne returns, sharing a brief bit of sarcasm with Ranma, and then points out that Shampoo has already rejected Mousse. When he points out that it happened when they were three years old, Cologne merely repeats that Mousse knows the rules, and besides which, Shampoo already has her eyes on Ranma - which Shampoo is happy to prove is true by glomping onto him, even as he shouts that he didn't agree to anything.
Mousse angrily stalks over to Ranma, demanding to know his identity and, upon being told Ranma's name, grabs him by the throat. Shampoo and Akane both shout at him to stop, but it is Akane's more forceful declaration that draws Mousse's attention. He asks her name, but her declaration of her identity is cut off by Cologne's assertation that she is nobody more than a girl at whose house Ranma is freeloading.
This naturally offends Akane - and Mousse's idle comment that she is angry, which Cologne blithely replies to with "she's always angry", doesn't help matters. Mousse then returns his attention to Ranma, angrily accusing him of stringing Akane along, and attacks him. Though Ranma evades his kick and tries to talk him into calming down, Mousse promptly slams him hard enough into the wall to crack it with his "Fist of the White Swan" attack. As Ranma lies on the ground, stunned, Mousse taunts him and he rises. At that, Shampoo runs up and warns Ranma to be careful, as Mousse is a master of "dark magic" - meaning, she explains that he has many hidden tricks and weapons.
Mousse chucklingly agrees, advancing menacingly towards Ranma as he declares that, just as the swan's own thrashing feet are concealed beneath the lake, so too are his own deadly blows impossible to see - and with that, he lunges at Ranma with another Fist of the White Swan. But this time, Ranma stops him, leaping up and supporting himself in the air by hanging onto the wall he has been backed against and grabbing Mousse's attack with his legs... revealing that Mousse has been hitting him at super-speed with a swan-stylized training toilet.
Feeling humiliated, Ranma challenges Mousse to fight for real, but Mousse first declares that they must have stakes for this match. While Cologne cuts off his first proclamation about making Shampoo the prize, Mousse then declares that Ranma must give up "his woman" (Akane Tendo), much to Akane's indignation and the enjoyment of the crowd. Ranma incredulously asks if one woman is as good as another to Mousse, but when Mousse declares it to be a man-to-man match, and then asks if Ranma is too chicken to agree, Ranma immediately leaps to the challenge.
At that, Cologne interjects, persuading the two that more formal arrangements should be made for dueling over Akane's "hand in marriage", getting them to agree to a duel the next day at noon in the local park. Mousse reminds Ranma that this is a "man to man" promise, and Ranma agrees that he will be there. The students who have been watching this plan also eagerly plan to attend the duel.
Later That Day
That evening, Akane's typical practicing session is interrupted when Ranma shows up. He begins to reassure her, in his own self-centered way, that he can handle her, but she angrily cuts him off, giving a passionate rant about how she's got no intention of following up with this ridiculous challenge even if Ranma loses and she's sick of people trying to push her around, whether it's with this latest duel or the whole Saotome/Tendo engagement.
At that point, her family and Genma suddenly burst into the dojo, with Soun tearfully complimenting Akane on her display of maturity and righteous pride. Genma tearfully tells Ranma that he's so lucky to be engaged to someone willing to swallow her pride and stick her neck out for him to take the weight off of his shoulders, which prompts a bemused Akane to point out that she didn't mean anything like that. Soun and her sisters ignore this, instead reassuring her that Ranma will win and commenting that she needs to trust Ranma sooner or later.
The Day of the Fight
The next morning, Ranma and Genma engage in one of their typical sparring sessions. While they are doing this, Akane answers the phone and receives a call from Dr. Tofu, who has finally recovered from his Kasumi-daze and is desperate to warn Ranma with what he was going to tell him before. Horrified, Akane runs out to the lawn and calls out to Ranma... unintentionally distracting him and allowing Genma to kick him into the pond, much to her embarrassed dismay.
With a scream of denial, Ranma races off to the bathroom, with Akane revealing to the others what Dr. Tofu just told her; the Old Man Tokyo point only works once. Now that Ranma has turned back into a girl, it's been undone and can't be applied to her again. As Ranma discovers, she can no longer tolerate the hot water from the shower, luckily falling into the cold water-filled bathtub. Akane asks in concern what Ranma is going to do, insisting that she can't fight Mousse in her present state, while Ranma insists that she would never run from a fight and she made a man to man promise to attend this one, trying to reassure Akane that she will think of something to handle the duel.
To Akane's shock, when she arrives at the designated place, she finds it's become a small fair, with dozens of people and small stalls set up. Ten minutes after 12, and there is still no sign of Ranma, prompting Cologne to ask if he's going to forfeit. Akane insists that Ranma will show up, and Cologne suggests he is arriving late on purpose to psyche Mousse out - a strategy that is clearly working, as she has to save an innocent bystander from the sightless fool after he mistakes them for Ranma, though the way she punches him for accusing her of being Ranma "all shrivelled up" is considered quite funny by the crowd.
The Fight Can Begin
Another fifteen minutes pass, with Akane growing more nervous, Cologne more skeptical, and Mousse more furious, before Ranma finally appears... in a parody of Mousse's own outfit. Akane is relieved, yet skeptical that Ranma's diguise will work - though, to her relief, the twin-like resemblence of the two forms and the form-obscuring robe that Ranma has sewn for herself means that the crowd has no problems accepting the "masculinity" of Ranma, especially due to her trademark attitude.
While Mousse's poor vision impairs his ability to recognize Ranma having changed, Ranma takes further steps to disguise herself. To Mousse's rage, she lets slip a flurry of bandannas, rabbits and pigeons, like some sort of stage magician, and then asks if he can also do "magic tricks", explaining that his so called dark magic is basically a melodramatic pun.
What his style boils down to is the ability to conceal items on his person despite their size, like a slight of hand artist or magician, and then use them in conjunction with the darkness of his robes to occlude his opponent from seeing what he's using or when he's going to pull it out. To emphasize her point, Ranma pulls out a myriad of objects from her own sleeves, including a fishbowl with water and goldfish, a rice cooker, and a stereo.
Infuriated, Mousse declares he's going to show her the true limits of his 'dark magic' and proceeds to attack her with the Hen's Egg Bomb attack. Ranma merely laughs this off as more magic, which prompts the outraged Chinese boy to send a number of ropes lashing from within his sleeve to entangle Ranma.
Ranma merely leaps into the sky with a dramatic proclamation and sheds her robe with a dramatic burst of smoke, dropping to the ground and revealing her female form clad in a "stage bunny" outfit, claiming that this is her ultimate trick, a female disguise. Indignant, Mousse asks if Ranma is trying to make a fool of him, then declares it's time to put away their tricks and fight with bodies alone, casting off his own robe dramatically.
On the sidelines, Shampoo notes that everyone has fallen for it, while Akane is relieved - though her relief ebbs when Cologne asks if Ranma can really beat Mousse in hand to hand while in female form. Her efforts to reassure herself fail when Tofu appears and agrees with Cologne.
Meanwhile, the Kuno siblings have entered the park, Kodachi eager to see "her" Ranma fight, while Tatewaki is indignant that Ranma would fight somebody other than himself.
The Fight Continues
In the arena itself, Ranma and Mousse have thrown themselves into a mid-air crosskick - but Ranma's foot falls inches short of Mousse's face, while his has planted itself firmly in her face. As Ranma collapses onto the arena, Tofu grimly notes that this is what he assumed would happen, as Cologne explains that Ranma has underestimated just how much less reach his female form, with its shorter limbs, has compared to Mousse.
Mousse declares that Ranma shall either shed her "disguise" or fail, a needle-toed sweepkick slicing her outfit open and exposing her breasts to all the viewers. She promptly finds a gang of hornball lechers storming the arena and trying to mob her, yet finds herself saved by an unwelcome intervention - Kuno knocks them all out with a few blows and happily glomps Ranma himself. This earns a disgusted query from Mousse if Ranma likes to seduce men as well as women, which makes Ranma angrier and causes her to start trying to free herself from Kuno's grip.
Mousse promptly leaps onto a nearby lightpost and dives at the duo in the Raking Hawk's Talon attack, but Ranma manages to maneuver so that she escapes, Kuno takes the blow, and she steals Mousse's glasses. Mousse taunts the downed Tatewaki for a few moments before Kodachi makes it clear that he hit the wrong person. Ranma offers Mousse his glasses back, but Kodachi interjects, knocking them from Ranma's grip and crushing them underfoot as she declares that she is the one who will fight with Ranma. Mousse promptly tosses her aside and insists on continuing his rightful match.
Akane hopefully proclaims that Mousse surely can't win without his glasses on, but Mousse reveals he has a magnifying glass that can help him compensate for his poor vision, to a degree. He scatters small explosives around, covering the ring in flames that Ranma, with her Full Body Cat's Tongue, can't bear.
With a shout from Akane reminding her of her newly learned "move", the rapid-fire volley of punches she developed by mastering the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken, Ranma leaps into the air, elbows Mousse in the gut when he follows, and then gives him a two-fisted burst of rapid-fire punches to the face that leaves him unconscious on the now burned-out arena and Ranma the victor.
Unfortunately, neither she nor Akane have much chance to enjoy her victory; Shampoo happily latches onto Ranma's neck, Cologne taunts Ranma with the promise of giving her the Phoenix Pill, and then the Kunos regain consciousness and start harrassing her. As Nabiki sarcastically comments that Ranma is popular with both sexes, Akane declares she's not so popular with her and she, in fact, hates Ranma.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Tofu Ono||Yuji Mitsuya||Ian James Corlett|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Shampoo (human)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Cologne||Miyoko Asou||Elan Ross Gibson|
|Mousse (debut)||Toshihiko Seki||Brad Swaile|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Kodachi Kuno||Saeko Shimazu||Teryl Rothery|
- This is the episode that first introduces Mousse to the series. He will not become a series regular until The Abduction of Akane!, five episodes later.
- In the manga, Akane and Ranma never think of seeing Dr. Tofu; he shows up in the middle of Ranma's duel with Mousse and, after asking just why they never thought to come and speak to him about this problem, applies the Old Man Tokyo point to temporarily fix Ranma's heat intolerance.
- This also means that Ranma actually goes to school in this rendition, instead of evading it while stuck as in the manga.
- In the subbing, the Old Man Tokyo point is called the True-Born Tokyo Grandpa point.
- A man wearing a shirt featuring Lum of Urusei Yatsura can be seen behind Akane during the fight.
- The fight with Mousse takes a different turn in the anime. Most notedly, Ranma remains a girl throughout and Mousse's Ostrich Kick (a 90-degree angled kick with a needle in his shoetip) and Ranma's Shish-Kebab (an upward leaping kick intended to slip through the opponent's defenses and "impale" them in the torso) attacks are absent.
- In the manga, this storyline introduces a running gag of Shampoo running Ranma down whenever she meets him on her delivery bicycle. Here in the anime, this gag is removed.
- In the manga, Mousse introduces himself by slicing a thrown concrete roller in half, only for the halves to land on his head.
- In the original manga story, Ranma fought Mousse prior to learning the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken.
- The order of events are thrown out due to the lateness of this story. Originally, Cologne afflicts Ranma with the Full-Body Cat Tongue, then Ranma is challenged by Mousse before discovering the affliction and that he's stuck as a girl, necessitating the "magic show" to fight Mousse. The Tokyo Grandpa Nerve is used mid-battle and is enough to allow for male Ranma to defeat Mousse, but wears off due to a rainstorm after he's defeated; then leading to Ranma stuck as a girl to learn the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken.