In the Furinkan district of Nerima, Tokyo, the Tendo Dojo is rocked by the sudden announcement of its head, Soun Tendo, that he expects one of his three daughters - Kasumi, Nabiki or Akane - to wed Ranma Saotome, the son of his mysterious "old training partner", Genma Saotome. Akane Tendo, the youngest, is particularly opposed to this. To her relief, the only visitors to arrive are a giant panda and a shy young girl - named Ranma Saotome. But then things take a turn for the weird when these new visitors reveal that they got an unnatural ability and a literal whole other side to themselves.
The episode starts out on a rainy day, on a street of Tokyo. We can eventually see a young red haired girl with a pig tail and a large backpack, being chased by a giant Panda. She eventually decides to stop and fight, though it appears she is clearly outmatched. The Panda then takes several strikes at the girl, but all miss. She leaps high in the air and lands a solid kick on the panda’s face, knocking it off it’s feet. The girl, clearly exhausted, walks away to retrieve her luggage. While she is walking away, the panda manages to get back up on it’s feet and it knocks the girl all the way to a crowded street. The people on the street are further shocked when they see the giant panda come into the picture. The panda and the girl continue their fight where the girl continues to avoid the panda’s many attacks. She manages to grab one of the panda’s punches and flips it into a sign while saying something about some one “picking her fiancé for her without even asking”. The girl then says she is heading back to China. Whilst she is walking away, the panda arises and knocks her unconscious with a street sign. It then picks her up and places her on it’s shoulder and proceeds to scare off all the astonished spectators.
The scene then goes to a man reading a post card with a panda on it. The man is none other then Soun Tendo, head of the Tendo Dojo. With happy tears in his eyes, he mentions something about someone named “Ranma ” coming to the Dojo. Soun then calls his 3 daughters. The eldest, 19 year old Kasumi Tendo, is in the kitchen cooking. The middle child, 17 year old Nabiki Tendo, is in her room reading a magazine. However, the youngest daughter, 16 year old Akane Tendo, is no where to be found. She is soon shown in the training hall where she manages to karate chop 2 concrete blocks in half. Her sister Nabiki shows up to take a photo of her and explains that her training habits are what make the boys at her school think she is so weird. Akane appear to get mad at the very mention of the word “boys” and angrily shouts that not everyone believes the world revolves around boys. Nabiki just walks away saying “Then I guess THIS wouldn’t interest you.”
Back in the living room, Soun explains that a long time friend of his, Genma Saotome promised to engage his son Ranma to one of his daughters to carry on the Tendo Dojo. Akane immediately rejects this claiming that she wants to have some say in who her fiancé would be. On the other hand, Nabiki seems to be fairly excited with the news. Soun then explains that Ranma and Genma have recently hiked all the way back from China on a training journey. Nabiki is fairly impressed, while Akane demeans their accomplishment. Kasumi questions how old Ranma is (because she finds younger men boring) and Nabiki questions Ranma’s looks. Soun only laughs before saying he has no clue as he has never met Ranma, leaving the girls dumbfounded and Akane fuming.
There is soon a ruckus at the door and familiar screaming and shouting can be heard. Nabiki and Soun quickly assume it’s Ranma and Genma Saotome and rush towards the door. Seconds later, they come scrambling back with shocked and nervous expressions on their faces. They are quickly followed by the Giant Panda carrying the, now conscious and screaming red haired pig tailed girl. Kasumi asks her father if they are his friends. Soun, now too dumbfounded to answer, nods no. The panda places the girl in front of the Tendo Family and she quickly becomes silent. The girl introduces herself as Ranma Saotome and apologizes for the mess. Soun quickly gives her a hug but after feeling her small body for a brief moment, let’s go and gains a shocked expression on his face. Nabiki glances down at her chest and realize she has breasts. She then feels them to see if the are real and Ranma is pleading for her to stop. Nabiki come to the conclusion that Ranma is a girl. Soun is so shocked by this development that he falls unconscious.
He awakes later on the living room floor surrounded by his family and the guest. Nabiki scolds him for disappointing her with his choice in a fiancé and Soun angrily replies that he thought Genma’s son was a BOY. Nabiki then grabs Ranma’s breast again (this time groping them) saying “Excuse me, does this look like a boy to you?”, while Ranma continues to protest what Nabiki is doing. Akane feels sorry for Ranma and offers to be her friend. The shy Ranma accepts the offer. Akane suggests they have a “little match” in the training hall. Akane starts off wildly throwing punches at Ranma, but she dodges every one with ease. Akane gets frustrated and throws one last powerful punch. She puts a hole through the wall, but Ranma avoided the punch and jumped overhead before landing and poking Akane in the back of the head. They both begin to laugh before Akane begins to leave. She then tells Ranma that she is glad that Ranma is a girl and said she would hate for such a person to be a boy.
The scene then goes to the Giant Panda getting in a hot bath tub. The scene again changes to Soun and a strange man in the living room both tearing up. Nabiki peaks in on the two before leaving. Soun then says “So that’s it…”. The man then nods. The two look into the sunset and Soun is heard saying “The path of a true martial artist is fraught with perils.”
Kasumi goes upstairs with towels in her hands, to show Ranma her guest room. Kasumi offers Ranma a hot bath. At first, Ranma turns down the offer. But after Kasumi sums up that Ranma might be a little sweaty from training, Ranma has no choice to accept the offer. Nabiki goes into the kitchen and asks Kasumi who the man in the living room is. Kasumi says that she doesn’t know who it is. Kasumi then asks Nabiki to tell Akane her bath is ready.
Akane goes into the bathroom and notices Ranma’s clothing, assuming they can both take their baths. Akane undresses and heads into the bath tub, only to find a naked young man in there. Akane casually and quietly, closes the door, puts a bathrobe on, and exits. The second she closes the door behind her, she screams incredibly loud. She continues to scream and runs throughout the house. She goes into the living room, where Soun and the man are drinking some tea, and grabs the table between them and claims she is going to drown the “pervert” in the bathtub. When Nabiki questions why Akane didn’t attack him, Akane replies she was too scared. Kasumi then wonders what happened to Ranma who was taking a bath as well. A faint “Excuse me” can be heard and everyone looks to see an unfamiliar young man standing in the living room. When Nabiki questions who he is, the boy’s response is “I’m Ranma Saotome…Sorry bout this…”. Leaving everyone silent.
Soun introduces the man and boy. The man is Genma Saotome and the boy is his SON Ranma Saotome. When Kasumi asks if he is the same girl from before, Ranma says that he is. Genma steps up to explain, but his idea of an explanation is throwing his son into the Tendo’s pond in the backyard. When Ranma emerges from the water, he is a girl. All the Tendo girls are shocked and Ranma is clearly angry at her father. Genma says that he is so ashamed and cannot bear to see his son like this. An angry Ranma jumps behind Genma and kicks him into the pond. When Genma emerges, he is shown to be the giant panda from earlier, and he and Ranma begin to punch each other. Soun says that once they calm down, they will explain their story.
One month ago, Ranma and Genma voyaged to China to go to a fabled training ground called Jusenkyo. The second they arrived, Genma and Ranma began training on the grounds despite the guide’s pleas. Ranma managed to kick his father into one of the many springs. Genma emerged but not as a human, but rather a panda. Ranma’s immediate reaction was to look at the guide and saying “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?” The Guide said that Genma fell into the “Spring of Drowned Panda” which held the spirit of a panda that drowned there 2000 years ago, now whoever falls in takes the body of a panda. Genma, apparently not knowing what he had turned into, attacked Ranma and knocked him into another spring. The guide said that Ranma had fallen into “Spring of Drowned Girl”, which held the spirit of a young girl that drowned there 1500 years ago, now whoever falls in takes the body of a young girl. Ranma opened her shirt to discover she then had breasts. Ranma had turned into a GIRL.
Back in the living room, Ranma is frustrated by hearing the story of how he lost his manhood. Ranma then lashes out at his father for taking him to a cursed training ground. Genma says that Ranma sounds like a girl before throwing him into the pond again. Genma then says that Ranma was prepared to give his life for martial arts. Ranma (now female) comes running with a bucket of water in her hands and splashes her father saying that she was prepared to give her life, not her manhood. Ranma continues to protest because Genma insisted on taking her there even though he did not speak a word of Chinese. Soun then explains to the girls that hot water will change them back. He pours his boiling tea kettle on Genma and he quickly changes back. He then attempts to pour some on Ranma but she avoids it because it is boiling. Soun believes Ranma’s problem isn’t too bad so he decides to introduce his daughters. Nabiki and Kasumi are alright with this, but Akane isn't.
Nabiki and Kasumi decide that Akane should marry Ranma. Akane immediately rejects and calls Ranma pervert because she saw her naked. Ranma rejects saying that she was the one that walked in on her. Akane responds that it is somehow different for a girl to see a boy naked. Soun and Genma laugh because they believe that the two will be a perfect couple. Both Akane and Ranma reject. Ranma then states that she is heading back to China to find a way to remove the curse. Ranma then tells Akane that she took a good look at him and that it’s no big deal for Ranma to see a naked girl as she has seen herself plenty of times. Then Ranma says “And I’m better built to boot” (meaning that she is more bustier and has smaller thighs than Akane).Akane becomes so infuriated that she grabs the table and knocks Ranma unconscious. Genma’s only response is “Now THAT he had coming”.
Ranma awakes several hours later surrounded by Nabiki and Kasumi. Kasumi asks Ranma not to think to badly of Akane but Ranma ignores her and heads down to the shower mumbling about Akane’s sexist ways and starts taking off her clothes. Akane is done in the bathroom scrubbing herself, feeling like a fool for not knowing about Ranma's curse until after she saw his boy form, and thinking of the bad things Ranma said to her, feeling insulted about him commenting on her small bust. Ranma opens the shower door only to find a naked Akane on the other side. An innocent Ranma tries to explain, but is unable to. Akane is so furious that she firmly lands a loud slap on Ranma’s face.
Later in the living room, Nabiki tries to calm Akane down saying that it should not be a big deal because they were both girls at the time, but Akane disagrees. Genma tries to cheer Ranma up by saying that Akane’s spunk makes her cute. Ranma responds “Cute is NOT the word”.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (female, debut)||Megumi Hayashibara||Brigitta Dau|
|Genma Saotome (debut)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Soun Tendo (debut)||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Kasumi Tendo (debut)||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo (debut)||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Akane Tendo (debut)||Noriko Hidaka||Myriam Sirois|
|Ranma Saotome (male, debut)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Jusenkyo Guide (debut)||Kōichi Yamadera||Ian James Corlett|
- Ranma (female): [To Genma (panda).] Well, I still say the whole thing sucks, [Flips Genma into a sign.] Picking my fiancé for me without even asking! [Pants.] I'm going back to China now, so suck on that, old man.
- Kasumi: Father, how old is this Ranma?
- Nabiki: Is he cute? Younger men are so... young.
- Akane: Well, what kind of guy is he?
- Soun: [Laughs.] I don't know.
- Nabiki: You don't know?
- [Ranma and Genma enter the Tendo home, still in their cursed forms.]
- Soun: You wouldn't be...
- Ranma: I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry about this.
- Soun: At last! You're here.
- Nabiki: Ooh, he is cute.
- Soun: [Hugs Ranma.] I'm so glad you're here. [Surprised look, then hugs him more tightly. Lets go, then gasps.] Huh? What...
- [Nabiki looks at Ranma's chest. She pokes his chest twice, then rubs lightly.
- Ranma: Um, could you stop that?
- Nabiki: Ranma's not a boy. He's a girl!
- Soun: A girl? [Collapses.]
- Kasumi: Father...
- Akane: I'm just glad that you're a girl.
- Ranma: What?
- Akane: Well, I'm just really glad you're not a boy.
- Ranma (male): Excuse me.
- Kasumi: Who is that?
- Nabiki: Who are you?
- Ranma: I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry about this.
- Ranma: This is all your fault, old man! What's the idea of dragging me to a place like that, anyway, huh?
- Genma (human): Ranma, you sound like a girl! [Throws Ranma into the koi pond.] Were you not prepared to lay down your life for the sake of the art?
- Ranma (female) My life, yes. My manhood is another story! [Splashes cold water on Genma.]
- Soun: How I suffer for you. Here. [Picks up a kettle of hot water. He pours it on Genma (panda)'s head.] When doused with hot water, you return to human form.
- Genma (human): It needn't be quite that hot, thank you.
- Soun: [To Ranma.] When doused with cold water, you become a girl. [Attempts to pour hot water on Ranma, who avoids it.] But hot water turns you back into a boy.
- Ranma: Hot water, not boiling!
- Akane: Me? Marry that pervert! Never!
- Ranma: Hey, wait a minute! What do you mean, pervert?
- Akane: You saw me in the nude, you letch!
- Ranma: Hold it, just a second. You walked in on me.
- Akane: Oh yeah, well, it's different when a girl looks at a boy, pervert! Peeping Tom!
- [Genma and Soun laugh.]
- Soun: See, they're already the perfect couple.
- Ranma: By the way, I noticed that you took a pretty good look at me, too. Besides, it's no big deal for me to see a naked girl. I mean, I've seen myself plenty of times, right? And I'm better built to boot. [Laughs.]
- [Akane hits Ranma with the table, out of anger.]
- Genma: Now that, he had coming.
- This episode introduces Ranma and Genma in their cursed forms, Ranma as a girl and Genma as a panda, due to fact that it was raining in the beginning of the episode.
- Ranma states that its not a big deal for him to look at a naked girl since he seen his female form's naked body plenty of times, but in later episodes he seems to be uncomfortable in the presence of nude girls.
- This is the first time Ranma boasts about her female form, she states that she has a better build than Akane; a later episode will have him specify that his/her bosom is larger than Akane's whilst his/her waist is narrower. Given how Rama will sometimes taunt Akane about having thick thighs, his girl-form's own legs may be more slender and attractive.
- Nabiki displays a distinctly "boy-crazy" attitude in this episode, being blatantly excited about the potential of being engaged to a cute boy and bringing up her approval of good-looking guys on several occasions in the episode. This trait will be dropped for the rest of the anime.
- Genma was shown sitting down in a hot bath while in his panda form when he should have changed immediately back into a human when he came in contact with the hot water. This instance was likely done only for this episode to hide Genma's true form to the viewers. And so that way the scene that reveals that he and the panda are one in the same to be more surprising.
Differences from the Manga
When Ranma wakes up after being knocked out cold by Akane, Kasumi tells her (in the dubbed version) that "she's really a very sweet girl, she's just a little... high spirited". In the original manga version, the line she gives is "she's a sweet girl, she's just a violent maniac".