The Charlotte Cup between the Golden Pair and Akane & Ranma over the possession of P-chan reaches its conclusion. But Ryoga is waiting in the wings for a grudge-match of his own against Ranma Saotome!
Relation to the Previous Episode
This episode follows on directly from Close Call! The Dance of Death... On Ice! and concludes the Golden Pair arc.
Continuing from the Previous Episode
As before, this episode opens with a recap of Ranma's declaration of his relationship to Akane and Mikado's subsequent vow to break those ties. Akane wonders if Ranma sincerely meant what he said and then pushes it aside, skating off with him to resume the battle as the Golden Pair announce their other title, the Anti Matchmakers, and get into a stance that the announcer proclaims is the dreaded "Couple Cleaver". In the brief conflict that ensues, Ranma is sent flying into the air, only for Azusa to drop onto him and happily wrap her arms around his neck -- seeing this naturally makes the ever-jealous Akane come rushing back to Ranma, angrily asking what he thinks he's doing.
What's happened, however, is that Akane has taken the bait for the true heart of the Couple Cleaver, the technique known as the Goodbye Whirl, and soon she and Ranma are being spun furiously high in the air, with Azusa holding Ranma's legs and standing atop
Mikado's shoulders. Mikado taunts Ranma to release Akane and save himself, something that Ranma furiously refuses to do, rebutting Akane's sacrificing pleas (Akane evidently not having looked into the Golden Pair's fighting style in the last week) and grabbing hold of her when she tries to pry herself loose of his grasp. His angry declaration that she is too stupid to know what is good for her infuriates her, but she doesn't have very long to feel that way; Ranma has held on longer than any other opponent, and Azusa just can't take the spinning any more.
She lets go of Ranma, and he and Akane go flying towards a wall. At the last second, however, Ranma manages to reposition himself so that he is the one who takes the brunt of the impact, creating a considerable, if shallow, crater in the wall and collapsing motionless onto the ice. Throughout it all, he never lets go of Akane's hand, with the announce passionately declaring that this means that, for the first time ever, the Couple Cleaver has failed. This is just too much for Ryoga, who has been watching the fight as P-chan until now, and he finally manages to shatter the shackles holding
him to the trophy. As Mikado triumphantly announces that every bone in Ranma's body must have been crushed, as nothing human could have withstood an impact like that, Akane's eyes fill with tears. Softly she whispers that she didn't ask Ranma to do that, then begins to sob the word "dummy" louder and louder, until she is lying on Ranma chest and chanting the word. This helps rouse Ranma back to consciousness, with him telling her to be quiet and then asking, in a soft but irked tone, if calling him names is her way of thanking him. She asks him, half suspicious and half relieved, if he was faking, to which he softly asks if that's really what she thinks of him.
Ranma rears back on his arms and flips himself onto his feet, though the way he shudders upon doing so makes it clear he is considerable pain. His enthusiasm to fight is undiminished, despite Akane's protests, and Mikado declares he has no intention of allowing Ranma to leave. Mikado is unable to capitalize on Ranma's weakness, as Azusa realizes that "Charlotte" has disappeared and physically restrains him, begging him to help her find him (and trying to beat him into doing so) until Mikado finally makes her change her mind. Ryoga, meanwhile, has resumed his human form and is watching the drama from above, waiting to make his move.
Finally, Akane pokes Ranma in a particularly sensitive spot, causing him to collapse onto chest. When he protests this action, she kneels down beside him and takes his hand in hers, begging him not to put himself through all of this for her sake. The potential moment of connection is ruined when Ryoga dumps cold water onto Ranma from above, and then leaps down with a tarpaulin. Landing between the two and draping the cloth over them all, he scuffles in the darkness for several moments as he tells Ranma to slip away quietly in girl form while Ryoga takes his place as Akane's partner. Finally managing to grab one of the girls, he bundles her up in the cloak and tosses her off to the side of the ring... only to discover, to his horror, that he has accidentally selected Ranma to be his partner.
Mikado is delighted to see Akane's mysterious "girl friend" on the rink once again, and comes up to reintroduce himself, earning nothing but Ranma's scorn and a punch for his efforts. Ranma promptly returns to Ryoga's side and gets ready to fight, willing to team up with his main rival if it means she can defeat this lecherous opponent, but Ryoga wants nothing to do with it, grabbing Ranma in a stressful hold and pulling on her painful in an effort to torture her into agreeing to give up. Fortunately, nobody seems to really notice this, nor does anyone protest the idea of Ranma's girl form and Ryoga substituting for Furinkan High. They are upset over how tacky their costumes are, but a quick visit from the Kolhotz High fashion club fixes that problem.
As they get ready to resume the match, Ranma discretely asks Ryoga if he's improved in his ability to skate as well. She is not pleased in the slightest when Ryoga reveals he's spent the last five days just finding the school and hasn't practiced since, nor does her mood improve when Ryoga says it's okay if he can at least stand up. Their argument is disrupted when they realize Mikado has skated over to Akane and is flirting with her, though she is not impressed in the slightest -- and horrified when he kisses her hand, which prompts Ryoga to throw Ranma at his head. Mikado is not unfazed by the slightest by Ranma's apparent actions, but she is quick to make it clear she wants to fight. Akane, however, notes that Ranma is still obviously hurt and suggests that Ranma drop out and let her and Ryoga handle the Golden Pair, which Ryoga agrees to. Ranma, however, refuses and drags Ryoga off, desperate to see to it that Ryoga doesn't get to fight as Akane's partner.
However, they don't get too far when Ryoga falls over, dragging Ranma down with him. She angrily asks that she thought Ryoga could stand up on the ice, to which he irkedly corrects that he can't do so for very long. The Golden Pair promptly scoop them up in another Goodbye Whirl, though Ryoga actively tries to make Ranma let go and finally punches her free. This reveals to Ranma the true nature of the Goodbye Whirl; while it does serve to shatter the teamwork between the opposing team, it also is designed to take full advantage of Mikado's lecherous nature. Once Ryoga has sent Ranma flying, Mikado releases Azusa, who brings Ryoga crashing into the ice, while Mikado himself goes skating off to save Ranma.
Ranma vs. Ryoga
Ranma, however, has no appreciate for this and quickly frees herself of him. Ryoga, meanwhile, is in a situation of his own; upon catching a glimpse of Ryoga's face, Azusa realizes that he is "Charlotte", her bizarre mindset mingling with her clear recognition of the collar still clamped on Ryoga's neck to enable her to deduce the truth. Ryoga tries to dissuade her of this before Akane hears, and Ranma is unable to resist interjecting that Ryoga's real name is P-chan. Seeing Ryoga's violent actions towards Ranma enrages Mikado, not that Ranma appreciates his help. When Mikado closes in to attack Ryoga, though, Azusa interferes and trips him up, refusing to let him hurt her "Charlotte" and laying him out with a massive mallet to the head. The sheer force of the impact shatters the rink and reveals an underlayer of icy cold water, much to Ryoga's panic.
Mikado is promptly carried off of the rink, but Azusa's efforts to steal his blanket culminate in
her smashing a thick chunk of ice over his head and ensure that there is no chance of him returning to the fray. Furinkan High is declared winners by forfeiture. Ranma and Ryoga's triumph does not last long, however, as the machinery that created the rink suddenly go haywire, causing great geysers of water to shoot up and then freeze solid. One especially massive one rises right below the block of ice they are standing on, leaving them on a precarious perch high above the exterior of the building after going through the roof. Ryoga doesn't let this stop his enthusiasm for a fight -- in fact, he promptly challenges Ranma to a final face off, much to Ranma's disbelief. Naturally, this quickly results in the platform crumbling beneath their feet, but the two are unperturbed, trading blows back and forth in midair and as they proceed to land on a stairrail and go whizzing down the steel and concrete towards a pool. They continue to fight, finally taking it up to the highest diving board, and Ranma at last has Ryoga pinned when Akane catches up to them.
She demands to know just what the deal is with their rivalry, with Ranma going to explain, only to be cut off by Ryoga. The two resume fighting, but the commotion causes Akane to end up falling into the pool -- with the startled rivals realizing she can't swim as she sinks like a rock to the bottom. They dive off to rescue her, greeting her in their cursed forms when she comes tpo in the nurse's office.
Azusa, meanwhile, comes out of the arena looking for Charlotte, though her dismay at his disappearance fades when she catches sight of Genma in panda form; she's got something new to fixate on. Indeed, that very night, "Oscar", in an elaborate military uniform and blonde wig, has pride of place amidst her "collection".
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Mikado Sanzenin||Kazuhiko Inoue||Ian James Corlett|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Hidaka||Myriam Sirois|
|Ryoga Hibiki (P-chan, human)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Azusa Shiratori||Naoko Matsui||Cathy Weseluck|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Genma Saotome (panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
- This episode reveals Akane's inability to swim.
- The fight is much shorter in the anime version than in the original manga, and ends with Azusa defeating Mikado to protect Ryoga.
- Unlike in the manga, no challenge is made between Ranma and Ryoga about avoiding falling into the water once the rink is destroyed. Nor is it stated that the rink is a frozen over swimming pool.
- Genma's final form of "Oscar" (as created by Azuza) is in reference to Oscar François de Jarjayes, the lead character of the manga The Rose of Versailles by Riyoko Ikeda.