A love-bringing trinket presented to Ranma by a hopeful Shampoo turns out to not work exactly as advertised, as a ghostly cat tied to the trinket attempts instead to make one of the girls his bride instead!
It's late night after dinner at the Tendo Dojo, and Soun Tendo, his daughters Akane, Nabiki and Kasumi, and Genma Saotome are all in the dining room, watching the TV announce that a scary movie special is on next. At that, Kasumi asks Nabiki to give her a hand washing the dishes, and Akane nervously asks if her elder sisters don't want to stay and watch the movie with her. Kasumi gently points out that they have to clean up the mess, and Nabiki just tells Akane to turn the TV off if it gets too scary for her. When Soun and Genma get up to go and play some shogi, the scene repeats itself, with Akane asking if they aren't going to stay, Soun gently telling her to just switch it off if it becomes too much for her, and Genma then suggesting she ask Happosai to join her: he loves stuff like this. Akane is actually willing to do so, but she can't; as she points out, Happosai left the house right after dinner. Soun then suggests Akane invite Ranma, who is just upstairs, and Genma eagerly agrees. Akane promptly rejects this, and resolves to watch the movie alone.
Unfortunately for her, just because she doesn't want Ranma to show up doesn't mean that he stays away -- in fact, he makes a point of yelping from just behind her at the scariest part of the movie, frightening the wits out of Akane. Angrily she tosses small objects at the laughing boy, who runs out into the garden and teases her as a scaredy-cat, and she then grabs a shinai and tries to swat him with it, furiously asking why he has to act like a five-year-old. He effortlessly dodges her blows, but fails to dodge the basketball-sized round bell that suddenly hits him in the face. To Akane's great shock, over the walls comes the bicycling form of Shampoo, who throws a cheery "Nihao" to her reluctant fiance.
The three teens head inside and place the bell on the table, before asking Shampoo why she's here and what the deal with it is. Shampoo reveals it's a present for Ranma, and makes a pair with a smaller bell, sized to fit on a cat collar, that she has a on a string necklace. These are a trinket she picked up during a recent visit to her home country; the legendary bells of Maomolin. She explains that according to legend, those two who share the bells are destined to become husband and wife. Ranma promptly tosses it back to her with a casual "no thanks", which incenses Shampoo. Asking if he really thinks he can throw a "gift from her heart" back in her face, she grabs a nearby vase of flowers and tips them over herself. Ranma leaps across the room and then leaps away again when Shampoo-as-cat saunters in his direction, tripping over and falling onto the table in his panic. Casually, Shampoo leaps up onto his shoulders, and Ranma immediately grabs the bell, shouting that he will accept it, so please go away!
Later that night, as everyone goes to bed, Akane is still mildly annoyed at Ranma being such a pushover, then dismisses it and tries to get some sleep. It doesn't work, though, as she can hear the strange sound of a bell tinkling -- while she at first dismisses it as just her imagination, she can't do so when the bell Ranma just received floats into her room, softly glowing, before a feline-accented voice asks her to "be my bride" and a set of giant cat's eyes opens in the darkness above her.
Naturally, Akane's scream wakes the entire household. When the bell drops to the floor beside her bed, she grabs it and goes racing off to Ranma's room, slamming it down on the sleeping Ranma's head. When he wakes up and asks in confusion what's going on, she accuses him of sneaking into her room and pretending to be some kind of giant ghostly cat, much to Ranma's shocked disbelief. Akane angrily accuses him of faking his innocence and then asks if he's going to claim he didn't pop the question before vanishing. When Ranma asks her just what question, she blushingly clarifies it to mean "ask her to marry him". A teary-eyed Soun promptly thrusts himself into their midst, delighted to hear that Ranma seems to have finally admitted his feelings for Akane and starts slapping them both on the back while exhorting them to get married. They shrug him off and Ranma angrily insists that he didn't do it -- no matter how badly Akane might wish he had. When Akane demands to know who did, he suggests she ask the bell, to which she points out that bells can't talk...
Which is when the bell, currently sitting on Ranma's head, repeats the plea for Akane to "be my bride". They all look at it before it then jingles on its own, causing them all to shout in shock. Soun grabs a spear from the wall and stabs at the haunted bell, Ranma narrowly ducking, and it then goes flying out through the door, with Ranma and Soun in hot pursuit. Ranma kicks it towards the dead end of the house, where it bounces off of the wall and then starts to glow. Ranma gloats that they will now be able to see what it really is, but Akane calls for him to stay back. Ranma declares that he can't call himself a martial artist if he runs... but he soon wishes he had when he finds himself gripping the scruff of a huge, teary-eyed cat, which starts nuzzling him and begging him to stop being mad and not hit it.
Ranma promptly ends up in his bed, a blinder and an iceback over his eyes, shivering and chattering from fear, much to Akane's disgust. Conversationally, the monster explains that he is the bakeneko known as Maomolin and asks if they have seen a girl carrying the small bell that matches his bell. He explains that the "couple bound by destiny" actually refers to him wedding the girl who has the other half of the set. Akane claims she hasn't seen any such girl, but then Shampoo suddenly appears through the window with a box of takeout ramen -- Kasumi ducks her head in to explain she phoned the Nekohanten to order some food when it appeared that looked like they were going to be up for a while.
Akane asks if Shampoo would normally deliver this late at night, and Shampoo cheerfully replies that, if it's for Ranma, she'll deliver any time, any place. Finally catching sight of Maomolin, she asks where Akane got this one, only for the bakeneko to catch sight of the bell hanging around Shampoo's neck. Excitedly proclaiming this makes her his bride, he lunges at her, only for her to deliver a snap kick to his head in disgust and tell him to keep his paws to himself. Teary-eyed, he asks if she's saying she won't marry him just because he's a cat, whereupon Shampoo grabs Ranma from his bed and, heedless of the way he screams and flails, thrusts him in front of Maomolin while insisting that this is the man she intends to marry. Enraged, Maomolin looms threateningly over Ranma, asking if Shampoo's saying that if he can beat Ranma, she will marry him.
This is too much for Ranma, who flees out the window, the massive bulk of the bakeneko following him into the garden. When it corners him, though, it finds itself on the receiving end of a punch from Ranma, which sends it shuffling off, teary-eyed and whimpering softly, to even Ranma's surprise. Vowing that it will be back the next night to try again, it is absorbed into its bell and goes flying away. Shampoo promptly leaps down and flings her arms around Ranma's neck, praising him for coming to her defence and irritating Akane, while Soun and Genma eat the ramen that Kasumi ordered.
Evening the next day comes too soon for Ranma; while the Tendos are downstairs, privately wondering how Ranma will cope but not willing to try and interfere, he hides under the covers of his futon in fear, even as Genma bewails the tragedy of it. Sadly, Shampoo declares that this is all her fault; if she hadn't fallen for that stupid legend and brought Maomolin's bells to Japan, none of this would have ever happened. Ranma promptly shouts at her, asking why she doesn't try throwing her little bell away to see if maybe that will make Maomolin leave them alone... and gets a conversational "don't want to" in return. Finally, the sun sets and Maomolin stalks up to the Tendo Dojo, dramatically clawing on the window to the Saotome guest room. Ranma hides himself partially behind Genma and begs him to do something, whereupon Genma dramatically stands up, proclaims that ghostbusting is a sacred duty of martial artists... then encourages Ranma to go and get him before kicking him at Maomolin, causing him to crash headfirst into the bakeneko's face as he opens the window.
Maomolin rears back in shock, unable to believe Ranma would do such a thing, while Genma and Shampoo get behind Ranma and encourage him to finish his opponent off. Ranma, of course, wants no part in this, and when the Tendos arrive, they discover both "combatants" sobbing and whining, one in pain, one in fear. Recovering from his injury, Maomolin declares it's time for his ultimate attack, dissolving into an aura of light that suddenly envelops Genma, pushing him away from Ranma, and then disappears. Genma opens his eyes, his pupils now slit like a cat, and taunts Ranma in the voice of Maomolin, gloating that he has possessed a target that Ranma can't possibly hit. Unfortunately, Ranma has absolutely no problems with the idea of beating the stuffing out of Genma whatsoever, and promptly starts whaling into the possessing bakeneko. Both Kasumi and Nabiki wonder if maybe he wasn't waiting for such a mistake on Maomolin's plan. Realising how disasterously he misread the relationship between the Saotomes, Maomolin goes for plan B: returning to his bell, he announces his intention to possess Shampoo and then make a get away.
However, this is something that Shampoo won't stand. She kicks the bell fiercely, then slaps it repeatedly, where upon it goes flying out the window and into the yard, the three teen martial artists following it. There, Maomolin rematerializes and hangs his head, sadly admitting his defeat and crying. Shampoo softly declares that he just has to understand that there's already somebody that she loves, and Maomolin proclaims that he may look tough, but he's crying on the inside (Akane can't resist noting that he's crying on the outside too) and fades away. At that, Shampoo latches onto Ranma's arm and delightedly proclaims he fought for the woman he loved... whereupon Ranma, indignant that he just had to face down his worst nightmare because of her, lividly asks why he'd love a "stupid, selfish catgirl" like her.
Heartbroken shock crosses Shampoo's features before she softly declares she understands, turning away from Ranma as guilty confusion crosses his own face. Tears running down her eyes, she softly declares that whoever has the smaller of Maomolin's bells must become the bakeneko's bride, which prompts Akane to incredulously ask if she's really going to marry the ghost cat just because Ranma dumped her, a sentiment Ranma agrees with. Shampoo walks over to the koi pond before looking at Ranma and bitterly pointing out he thinks she's just a stupid, selfish catgirl. Ranma immediately darts in front of her, blocking her from the water, and insists that he was kidding. The two stare into each other's eyes for several long seconds before Shampoo gently places the small bell in Ranma's hands... then gives him a hard shove before leaping over him to the wall. Sticking her tongue out, she darkly proclaims that she is selfish, not stupid, and bounds off into the night even as Ranma loses his battle against gravity and falls in.
Naturally, Maomolin immediately tries to claim the female Ranma as his new bride, but quickly finds out he's picked the wrong girl as Ranma goes into the Nekoken and starts doing her best to savage Maomolin. After several minutes of being clawed, kicked, bitten and spat on, Maomolin wails, vanishes into his bell and, after proclaiming he can't marry somebody like the female Ranma, vanishes into the darkness of the night. Akane watches him go, then triumphantly kneels on the ground and calls Ranma over to sleep on her lap, remembering how it is that s/he needs to be handled in this state.
The next day, the two head cheerfully to Furinkan High School, but discover a very rude shock when they arrive. Female students come pouring out of the gates, and Ranma & Akane join them in fleeing when they see the cause; Maomolin in hot pursuit, with a whole sack of bells and begging for somebody to accept one so he can take them as his wife.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Hidaka||Myriam Sirois|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Richard Cox|
|Shampoo (human, cat)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Maomolin (debut)||Masahiro Anzai||Samuel Vincent|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- The scary movie that Akane watches portrays a classical Japanese ghost story, involving a yokai known as a Noppera-bo.
- Shampoo acquired Maomolin's bells during a trip to China; while when this happened is not explicitly said, it could be a reference to the events of the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion Arc, in which Shampoo is absent because she has returned to China.
- In the dub, when the household awaits Maomolin's return, Kasumi makes the quote "it's an ill wind that blows this night", an old English saying meaning that it looks like trouble is coming.