I Love You! My Dear, Dear Ukyo (大好き! 私のうっちゃん Daisuki! Watashi no Ucchan?) is the fifth episode in the third season of Ranma ½, known as "Hard Battle", and is the 45th episode overall.
Relation to the Previous Episode
Plot SummaryOne fine afternoon in Nerima, Ranma, currently in female form, and Akane are walking through the streets. Ranma is on the fence, as is common, and reading a callenge letter to her from somebody named Tsubasa Kurenai. Wondering if the name is that of a boy or a girl, Akane demands to know what Ranma's done to offend somebody this time, suggesting stealing, eating at a restaurant without paying and getting engaged yet again. Ranma sarcastically notes that it's nice to see how much Akane trusts her. Before the argument can get any further, a scratchy voice rings out in a challenge to Ranma, and both girls, to their surprise, see a mailbox come bounding rapidly along the street. It smashes right into the wall that Ranma is standing on, though both girls escape in the nick of time, then comes after them again. Dodging it, Akane asks just what Ranma did to get a mailbox after her life, while all Ranma can suggest is that maybe she forgot a postage stamp once. The mailbox charges at Ranma again, but she not only evades but kicks it so that rams into a telephone pole, cracking it and causing it to fall right on top of itself. At first, it looks like this has defeated it... but then a battered girl suddenly rips through the mailbox, revealing it to be nothing but an elaborate costume. Feebly, she tries to charge them again, but then faints onto the street.
Akane promptly whacks Ranma on the head with her bookbag, demanding she identify the stranger. Both Ranma and Akane approach and examine her curiously. Ranma declares that she's never seen the stranger before in her life, while Akane simply declares that she knew Ranma had gotten engaged again. Ukyo wanders by while they
are bickering, and pales in horror when she recognizes Tsubasa. Akane asks how she knows her, but Ukyo has no time for her; instead, she grabs a nearby garbage can and demands Ranma stuff Tsubasa into it. Confused, Ranma does so, and Ukyo promptly seals it up and sends it flying off into the distance, complaining that she thought she was rid of Tsubasa. Confused, Ranma and Akane both expect answers and follow Ukyo to her shop.
There, Ukyo reveals that, during her last school, Tsubasa developed an infatuation for her and was constantly harrassing her with presents, love letters and pleas for dates. Finally, shortly before she found Ranma was at Furinkan High School and transferred, Ukyo tried to chase Tsubasa off by telling her that "he" was already engaged. Tsubasa then bursts into the shop (still wearing the garbage can), standing on Ranma's head and passionately declaring that she refused to let that stop her; even after Ukyo moved away, Tsubasa continued to send her love letter after love letter. Ukyo then states that she finally had enough of this and sent her a photo of herself and Ranma, telling Tsubasa to leave her alone. At this, Akane whispers to Ukyo asking which version of Ranma was in the photo; Ukyo whispers back that it was of the female Ranma, pointing out that Tsubasa thought she was a boy; she didn't want Tsubasa to think that she was some sort of pervert by proclaiming a boy to be "his" fiance.While this discussion is going on, Tsubasa sidles up to the disinterested Ranma, giving her the evil eye, then declares that she is "butt ugly". This insult cuts Ranma to the quick; Akane observes the way Ranma twitches physically and facially, and asks in disbelief if Ranma's feelings have been hurt. Ranma calms down, and then turns and leaps into Ukyo's arms, taunting Tsubasa that Ukyo sure doesn't seem to think she's ugly. Tsubasa does not take Ranma's mockery well; she runs out of the shop, gets into a vending machine costume, and comes smashing right back through the door, narrowly missing Ranma. She seems unabashed at the destruction she has caused, but Ukyo is apocalyptic; as she gets ready to deliver a thorough beating to Tsubasa, though, Akane grabs Ukyo's shirt from behind and pulls it open, causing her to squeal and then retreat in embarrassment. Having exposed Ukyo's cleavage to Tsubasa, Akane explicitly tells her that she is a girl, with Ranma asking Ukyo as an aside why she never thought to do that herself. To the surprise of everyone, Tsubasa arrogantly asks if they think she's some sort of fool; she not only knew Ukyo was a girl all along, but that's precisely why she's interested in Ukyo. She challenges Ranma to prove which of them is better for Ukyo at school tomorrow, repeats her taunt of Ranma being butt ugly, then runs off. Ukyo is in shock to hear that Tsubasa knew about her gender all along, while Ranma and Akane are dumbstruck at Tsubasa's declaration of her attraction to Ukyo despite their being the same gender. Perhaps partially due to being livid over the insults of her own (apparent) gender, Ranma furiously calls Tsubasa a "pervert".
At school the next day, they find Tsubasa's challenge; an okonomiyaki bakesale sponsored by Okonomiyaki Ucchan's. Though Ukyo does initially whallop Tsubasa with her spatula for involving her restaurant without permission, she does then admit that a bake sale would be good business. Akane isn't so certain about this,
pointing out that Ranma could back out. Ranma simply tells her that she knows him better than that; besides, it is the code of the Anything Goes school to accept any challenge.
At lunchtime, Ranma secretively douses himself with cold water and meets Tsubasa for the challenge; whoever sells less of the okonomiyaki than her competitor will have to give up on Ukyo. As they set off to entice the lunchtime crowd, Akane watches, wondering why Ranma is so determined to take part in this ridiculous affair. Ranma, meanwhile, is stewing over how Tsubasa called her butt ugly the other day and is determined to prove that she really is a hot tamale. However, she is in for a nasty surprise; when the crowd of boys comes sweeping past, they clear out Tsubasa's tray, but nobody even gives a second look to Ranma. Collapsing onto her knees in shock, wounded, Ranma wonders if maybe Tsubasa was right - maybe she really is butt ugly. That Kuno promptly shows up and glomps her, needing to be kicked away, doesn't make Ranma feel any better. Akane wanders up to Ranma's side, but her words are less than comforting; she upbraids Ranma by asking if she thought she really could compete with a real girl. But her words prove unexpectedly inspiring to Ranma; she races off and then comes back in a bunny-girl outfit and long, black wig, which has the boys clamoring to buy from her. Smugly, she notes to herself that she just wasn't playing to her sex appeal before the way that Tsubasa was, and she is confident that now she will win - only for Akane to come and, in a fury, drag her away.
Akane demands to know if Ranma has gone insane, but Ranma shouts her down for her unwanted interference, whining that she's only got one okonomiyaki left to sell. At that, one of the trees suddenly springs to life - it's Tsubasa, in another costume! She taunts Ranma that it looks like she is going to lose - only for Ukyo's voice to ring out, the proprietor of Okonomiyaki Ucchan's heading purposefully towards them with the declaration that Ranma's last okonomiyaki is for her. At this, Tsubasa starts crying, dramatically asking why Ukyo didn't just tell her that she wasn't interested in the first place. Ukyo points out that's exactly what she did; Tsubasa just wouldn't go away. Sniffling, Tsubasa declares that this time, she will leave Ukyo alone forever more and goes running off, still crying.
Feeling guilty despite herself, Ranma gives chase, eventually finding Tsubasa hiding in a wastebin on a set of lonely swings. Her conscience prompts Ranma to admit that Tsubasa really won the contest, no matter that Ukyo stepped in on Ranma's behalf, while Tsubasa gently admits that Ranma isn't really butt ugly - in fact, she thinks she's really too cute; she knew she didn't stand a chance against her. Ranma tries to comfort Tsubasa, placing a hand on her shoulder and telling her that she's pretty cute in her own right... and sure to find a boyfriend with no trouble. Tsubasaputs her own hand atop Ranma's and then looks at her with dreamy eyes, an expression that makes Ranma increasingly nervous. A reaction she was right to have; Tsubasa declares that she has fallen in love all over again, slipping into a massive flower arrangement costume and chasing Ranma away down the street, Ranma frantically shouting that she takes it back; Tsubasa isn't that cute after all. Ukyo and Akane watch as they go running off, Ukyo commenting that Tsubasa is a lot more fickle than she thought. Akane expresses sympathy for Tsubasa, as Ranma's secret is sure to come out to somebody who keeps chasing "her", but Ukyo declares that it's Ranma who she feels sorry for.
Ranma manages to escape Tsubasa, resume his male form and return to school, but when school lets out; it starts raining. Ranma ends up being chased through the streets by Tsubasa disguised as a Kasa-obake, finally escaping her by running straight up a telephone pole and leaping away over the rooftops. Tsubasa, teary-eyed, begs aloud to know why Ranma keeps running from her and what's so wrong with her; seeing her hysterics, Akane feels sorry and takes her to a nearby restaurant to try and talk her into stopping this before she gets hurt.
Ranma, safely ensconsed on a rooftop, broods over this latest rotten development, fighting off a sudden embrace from Kuno, who pops up out of nowhere, and glumly recalling her talk with Ukyo after returning to school. It wasn't any great help; Ukyo merely confirmed that Tsubasa is insanely persistent, and the only thing she can recommend is moving. Ranma then wonders if maybe she's not going about this the wrong way.
In the restaurant, Akane talks to Tsubasa, gently trying to persuade her that she should give up on Ranma and find somebody more "normal" to go for. Tsubasa merely sniffs that she hates boys, to which Akane declares that she also hates them. At this, Tsubasa gently tells her that she shouldn't; when Akane is surprised at this, pointing out that Tsubasa just said that she hates boys, Tsubasa begins to declare that she is... something, only to change her tune at the last moment and ask desperately if Akane is maybe after Ranma for herself. Akane's angry/embarrassed fit calms Tsubasa down right away, and when she continues to express concern for Tsubasa, the sailor-suited girl starts to look at Akane with that same dreamy expression... Luckily for Akane, the ever-arrogant Kuno appears at that moment, ranting about how two girls must surely have no fit male companionship to act so friendly towards each other and naturally offering himself to "save them from the burden of spinsterhood". Akane and Tsubasa's fists impact in his face at the exact same moment, sending him flying out through the door and off into the distance, Tsubasa growling how she hates boys.
No sooner has Kuno vanished than a suction-cup tipped arrow comes flying through, which Tsubasa catches with a wooden implement from the table. Noticing that a letter has been wrapped around it, she unravels it and then reads it with growing excitement. It's from Ranma, and it's inviting her to a date on Sunday. As she starts dancing around with joy, Akane reads it and wonders if Ranma means to show up as a girl or as a boy.
Come the appointed time on Sunday and Tsubasa is anxiously awaiting Ranma's arrival, unaware that Akane and Ukyo are spying on her. Ukyo can't believe that Ranma would actually ask Tsubasa on a date, and even hesitantly asks if maybe Ranma really likes the way Tsubasa has been coming on to him. Akane immediately cuts her off, insisting that even Ranma isn't that twisted. When Ranma's voice rings out, Tsubasa wheels to meet him in glee, only to stare aghast as a male Ranma, dressed up in a green Chinese outfit and carrying a bouquet, literally tiptoes out of the bushes and presents it to her with some cheesy romantic lines. Akane and Ukyo watch this with a roughly equal-parts mixture of jealousy and disgust, until Akane finally loses her temper, delivers a powerful blow to Ranma and drags him several steps away to ferociously interrogate him, declaring that she thought this was supposed to be a girl-girl date. Ranma defends himself by stating that this is part of his strategy to make Tsubasa fall out of love with his girl side, adding that he never said anything about it being a perfect plan when Akane incredulously points out that this will just make Tsubasa transfer her feelings to his male side.
Not impressed in the slightest, Tsubasa starts storming off, and Ranma hesitates only to give Akane a fierce warning to stay out of this if she knows what's good for her before running after the disgruntled Tsubasa. This is not a smart move, particularly when a bunch of cats raid a nearby fish stall and come racing past, Ranma leaping into Tsubasa's arms in a blind panic. Tsubasa promptly beats him into semiconsciousness and sends him flying into a fountain behind her with one mighty uppercut. When she looks back, though, she sees the female Ranma floating in the water and immediately dives in to retrieve her. Badly battered, Ranma murmurs instructions to Tsubasa that sees her racing to the Tendo Dojo, Ukyo and Akane following in their wake. While Ranma's fiancees retire to the living room, Tsubasa goes running up to the bathroom and throws Ranma in, both of them ignoring the fact that Soun Tendo is already there.
This means that Tsubasa understands the two Ranmas to be one and the same when the male Ranma emerges, taunting her about being "disappointed". Snarling that she has no interest in boys, Tsubasa declares that this means she'll have to go after Akane. When she starts to run off, Ranma grabs her by the shoulders, insisting that if she gave guys a chance... his speech is cut off when Tsubasa's dress rips away, propelling him forcefully into the wall. Tsubasa turns around, declaring that if that's Ranma's idea of asking for a date, she's not interested, giving Ranma a good view of her chest.
Check that. A good view of his chest.
Ranma twitches, then hops onto the floor to look Tsubasa over, who sticks his chest out and mockingly asks if Ranma's never seen a real guy before. With an ominous chorus of cracking fingers, Ranma savagely recalls all of the humiliating things he did to try and "compete" with Tsubasa, the crossdresser flinching back as Ranma's aura lights up in a fire almost as baleful as the one burning in Ranma's eyes.
In the living room, Akane finally hears from Ukyo the whole story of Tsubasa; the last school they attended together was an all-boy's school, Ukyo asking in confusion if she didn't mention that before. Awkwardly, Akane muses that this means that Tsubasa isn't really a pervert... except for maybe the crossdressing. At that, a bruised Tsubasa suddenly comes charging into the room, wearing the Tendo's washing machine. Playfully apologising for being so boring, he declares that he's no more of a pervert than Ranma is. Akane notes that Ukyo really should have told them about Tsubasa's gender in the first place, while Ranma stalks into the living room, whallops Tsubasa again, and disgustedly declares him a pervert. Tsubasa's response is to meekly beg Ranma to not be angry, as they both share the same hobby, after all. Wilting, Ranma feebly protests that it's different in his case.
- Tsubasa- Ranma Saotome, prepare to die!
- Tsubasa- You're butt ugly!
- Ranma (Girl)- Butt ugly am I? ha, a hot little tamale like me? I don't think so.
- Akane- Okay Ranma, you're being ridiculous even for you!
- Tsubasa- Why can't you love me back, what's wrong with me? (Random Guy)- I'd get rid of the crazy costume for starters.
- Ukyo- Tsubasa is persistent, once you've been targeted its all over, you'll be tracked to the ends of the earth, then your only hope is to move away.
- Ranma (Boy)- I'm your knight in shining armor baby.
- Ukyo- P.U. somebody get a shovel!
- Soun- Excuse me?
- Ranma (Boy)- So that how it is huh? Lets see, oh yeah, It was all to compete with you wasn't it? I did a little of this, I did a little of that, I did even more of that.
- In the previous episode's preview of this episode, its dubbed title is given as "I Love You! Oh, My Darling Ucchan".
- Both this episode and the original manga version have a rather homophobic vibe. It's hard to say which is worse; while the manga has Ukyo declare that it "wouldn't make sense" for her to send a photo of herself and a male Ranma, and it lacks Ranma calling Tsubasa a "pervert" for apparently being a lesbian, it does have Ranma declare that he's got to lead Tsubasa onto "the correct path" when Akane catches him trying to date Tsubasa as a boy.
- Ranma being so offended by being called butt ugly doesn't actually come out of nowhere; while it's subtle, Ranma does have a vain streak to his personality. Most notably, back in P-P-P-Chan! He's Good For Nothin', first amonst Ranma's complaints about being attacked by "P-chan" is that he's ruined Ranma's perfect complexion. But his vanity can be tracked down to very first episode Here's Ranma, when she-Ranma teases Akane about better body build.
- Akane sure doesn't seem to mind baring Ukyo's breasts to punctuate her point about Ukyo's gender - despite the fact that if anyone had treated her that way, she would have beaten them senseless for it. This also means that Ukyo has had her breasts bared to strangers by both Ranma and Akane.
- In the manga, it's explicitly noted that the reason Tsubasa outsold Ranma is because the school all knows that Ranma's really a boy; but here in the anime, the school isn't aware of Ranma's curse yet. The reason why Ranma does so poorly is one part Ranma's apparel (dowdy, travel-worn Chinese shirt and pants vs. elegant dress) to one part Ranma-chan's reputation: while none of the boys at school know that she's really a boy, they do know she's most violently not interested in boys. Hence why it was so important for Ranma to be unrecognizable as well as to amp up her sex appeal.
- Tsubasa's rainy afternoon costume, the Kasa-obake, is a kind of yokai from Japanese mythology. Specifically, it is a Tsukumogami, a spirit that arises when an object reaches its 100th year, that is formed from an umbrella.
- In the subtitled version, Akane explicitly asks if Tsubasa is gay, and he equally explicitly confirms that he is straight, he just likes to dress up.