Principal Kuno (九能校長 Kunō Kōchō?) is the father to Kodachi and Tatewaki Kuno. He is also the principal of Furinkan High School and is determined to get all the students to have either buzz cuts (for the male students) or bowl cuts (for the female students), especially Ranma Saotome. Although the principal's first name is unknown, Kuno can be mean "Nine Abilities", a sarcastic pun about his children's overblown sense of self-worth.
The principal is known for his Hawaiian appearance, consisting of sunglasses, a palm tree-like topknot, Aloha shirt, lei around his neck, capri pants, and sandals. He also became heavily tanned. In the anime he is also shown to wear suits on occasion. Principal Kuno typically uses disguises to attempt to escape, but these are easily seen because they always have a Hawaiian theme. His hair is dark brown styled in a coconut tree short top knot.
Upon meeting with his son and Kodachi who is happy to see him in the estate, Principal Kuno is dressed in a brown formal suit jacket with a white long sleeve button shirt with a red neck tie on the collar, brown formal pants and black shoes. He was not seen wearing his sunglasses as his eyes are shown to be brown. When meeting his son, Tatewaki at their home, he commonly wears his sunglasses where he keeps it underneath his jacket.
Generally the Principal is viewed as almost completely insane, with his only wanting in life to make the lives of the Furinkan High School students as miserable as possible. He does this by introducing new rules seemingly whenever he can gain from the situation, such as when he tells Akane she can't move to the next grade unless she can swim (which gives him the opportunity to teach her).
Despite his first impression the Principal does also seem to care a lot for his family, with him actually crying at the thought of his son, Tatewaki, whom he hasn't seen for three-years at the time of his introduction. In the anime continuity, he is also extremely willing to make his daughter Kodachi maintain her preconceived/aged memories of her father, even going as far as to hide his true personality from her until he shows it to her when she introduces Ranma as her fiancé after he confronts him and accidentally shaves the right side of Tatewaki's hair due to his knack of cutting Ranma's pigtails.
He is also serious and strict when scolding his son Tatewaki during their family dinner with Kodachi who makes the former got furious of his actions before leaving. Since their reunion as father and son, he and Tatewaki are fighting in hostility due to his abusive and humiliation acts towards his son even both are fighting each other in the estate in whoever is the master of its estate which causes Kodachi to cheer them both. But after their confrontation, Principal sadly admits to Tatewaki about his actions of being tough and wants his son to be strong like he was before he pushes his son into the roof showing that he was acted dramatically due to his antics.
The three years which the Principal has spent in Hawaii also seems to have changed his personality considerably and develop an almost Otaku-like obsession with Hawaiian culture. Prior to leaving, he seemed comfortable in traditional Japanese attire prior to leaving, but after returning he mostly wears a very Hawaiian outfit. Also upon returning his language becomes littered with Hawaiian Pidgin (or English words in the original Japanese).
Not much is known about the Principal's past. What is known, however, is that during the time before his leaving for Hawaii he spent pretty much all of his time annoying the students (and by extension the teaching staff who generally distanced themselves from him). At some point before leaving for Hawaii he also fell out of favor with his son, Tatewaki Kuno, when at the age of 14 the Principal managed to give him a buzz cut.
Shortly after giving Kuno his buzz cut, the Principal also claims to have drawn a map to a Coconut which has a "Get Out Rules Free" card inside (this map, however, is never seen as it's claimed to only be visible when Kuno has a buzz cut). After this, the Principal left for Hawaii where he claimed to have learned new teaching techniques, while also getting a tan and seemingly losing some weight as well.
Principal Kuno Intro
Having returned on a very cold day in Furinkan, the principal begins terrorising students (whilst dressed as a snowman) by handing out demerits for uniform infringements. He then encounters Ranma and attempts to cut his pigtail, but is quickly kicked by Ranma for his trouble. After a short lived fight, the principal's snowman costume is destroyed and his true appearance is revealed.
As the other students look on confused, Principal Kuno again tries to cut Ranma's pigtail. He is unsuccessful, except for annoying Ranma even more than before. The Principal quickly leaves via a sleigh along with some reindeer, but gives Ranma a present in the form of an exploding pineapple.
Later that day, the Principal reveals another present for his students. This time he reveals his plans for the students, where boys get buzz cuts and girls get bowl cuts. This ruling receives an extremely negative reaction from the students. Ranma goes up to the stage the Principal is standing on and asks him if it is meant to be revenge for what he did earlier that morning. In an attempt to deflect Ranma's aggression toward him, the Principal unveils that he has taken Akane captive. Unfortunately, she doesn't remain that way for long as Akane is easily able to break the broomstick holding her.
After dealing with the angry Akane, the Principal explains that there is a special coconut that has a "Get Out of Rules Free" card, which will excuse the student who possess it from having to get a hair cut. Ranma quickly grabs the coconut the Principal is holding (believing it to be the one he mentioned beforehand), but it turns out to be a dud. Now standing on the roof of the school, the Principal declares that the search has begun.
Some time later, the Principal has retired to his office and watches via closed circuit television as the students wonder where his office actually is. To help the students, the Principal floods the corridors and causes the students to end up in the school basement that he has turned into a tropical paradise. The Principal then uses the other teachers dressed in animal costumes and armed with barber's sheers to distract the students so that he can escape from them.
While relaxing on an artificial beach, the Principal comes across a girl (actually Ranma in his female form) who has washed up onto the beach after a wave crashed on the shore. At first, the Principal seems concerned for the girl, but soon tries to gives her a bowl cut. Ranma stops the Principal by saying she's not one of his pupils. Ranma continues by giving the Principal a sob story about her sickly father on a neighbouring island, and she must have a "very special coconut with a parchment inside."
This story brings a tear to the Principals' eyes. Confused, Ranma enquires why he's crying, to which the Principal explains he's thinking about his son who's been missing for three years. The Principal goes on the agreeing to help Ranma, and find the coconut with her. Ranma, annoyed, asks the Principal if he doesn't have it, to which the Principal explains he forgot where he put it.
The Principal returns to the other students, who have just broken every coconut they could find none of which, have the parchment pardon. After being double-crossed by Ranma, the Principal remembers where the coconut is, just as the students try to torture it out of him. The Principal reveals his missing son will be able to find the coconut. At first the students don't know how they're going to find him, but Ranma notices a similarity and so puts some paint on the picture of the missing son, making it obvious the missing son is actually Tatewaki Kuno.
After the students find Tatewaki, they bring him back to the Principal, but the Principal doesn't recognise him. When the Principal continues to deny any memory of Tatewaki being his son, he threatens to give him a buzz cut, which manages to bring Tatewaki back around. The pair continue to deny knowledge of each other, however, when Tatewaki tries to attack the Principal his Bokken it just gets shredded by the Principals sheers.
As only a Kuno could know this technique, the two finally know that they are related. However, the reunion is short lived as Tatewaki wants revenge for what happened to his hair three-years ago. Ranma then sends Tatewaki flying so they can go back to finding the coconut, but the Principal reveals the map is on Tatewaki's head.
Later on, while the students have gone is search of Tatewaki, the Principal resumes his attempts to cut their hair. The Principal's plan does not work; Ranma chases him to his office. Once there, the Principal makes up as a statue of himself, but Ranma doesn't fall for it. Ranma then tries to get the Principal to reveal the location of the coconut, ultimately resulting in Ranma being hit with the coconut and hung upside-down by the Principal. Ranma is now about to become buzz cut students Numbah One!
The Principal tries to cut Ranma's hair, but fails due to Ranma dodging. He then resorts to using pepper balloons so he distract Ranma long enough to cut his hair. However, Akane suddenly appears and shouts in his ear with a megaphone, obviously causing him great pain. The other students notice the coconut and try to grab it, but the Principal (comically donning a baseball uniform) hits the coconut with a baseball bat before they can grab it.
After Tatewaki ends up returning the coconut to his father, the Principal decides to reward his "Tacchi" with a haircut. The two engage in a fight with Ranma caught in the middle. Eventually, Ranma and Akane managed to knock out Tatewaki in order to end the fight. Ranma tries to get the coconut back, and after using a pole for distracting the Principal's attention, Ranma manages to land a kick on the Principal.
While the other students rejoice, the Principal admits defeat. He then begins to cry, but soon gets over it when Ranma and Akane decide to forgive him. Shortly afterwards, the Principal reveals his new idea of male students having Chonmage cuts, while female students have a Geisha hairstyle. Needless to say this is unpopular as well and the Principal is attacked by every student. The students then leave Tatewaki to clean up because it is his father's mess.
Some days later, the Principal decides that all students not in school before the bell rings, even if they're just outside the gate, are tardy. Unfortunately, this doesn't go according to plan because Ranma steps on the Principal's head as he gets into the grounds and is soon followed by a flood of students who run over the Principal as well. In response to this, the Principal holds an School assembly, where he reveals that whoever is late will have to clean the toilets as punishment.
The next day, the Principal goes after Ranma (having learnt the way he goes to school) and uses several tactics to try and slow Ranma. Unfortunately, for Ranma, along with the Principal he also has to deal with Happosai with his usual mob of angered students as well as Tatewaki after he falls into the storm drain.
After more shenanigans, Ranma reaches the school gate, where the Principal is waiting. Ranma easily gets past the Principal, but Shampoo suddenly appears and pushes him back outside the school grounds. The Principal grabs his chance, making the gates shut, he then gives the late students brushes so they can get ready to clean the toilets.
Ranma then grabs the brush and begins fighting the Principal. At first the two seem evenly matched, but Ranma uses his brush to push over the gate allowing the students to enter the grounds just before the bell rings. A few seconds before the bell goes, Ranma uses the brush to push the Principal out of the grounds. The students quickly pick this up and declare that the Principal himself is tardy. Later that day, several male students are desperate for the toilet, but the Principal won't let anyone in until he's finished cleaning. Ranma looks on, saying that the Principal will probably be in there all week.
Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion
After Happosai uses the "Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion" on Ranma, making him extremely weak, he sends out letters all over Furinkan, one of which the Principal receives, revealing this information. Taking this opportunity, the Principal tries to cut Ranma's pigtail but of course has to try to deal with Mousse, Gosunkugi and his son, all of whom want to defeat Ranma as well. The four of them are ultimately sent flying away by Ryoga who can't stand people picking on the weak.
Several days later (after Ranma has mastered the "Hiryū Shōten Ha" through his training with Cologne), Ranma challenges Happosai to a fight and uses the photos of his female form in Lingerie as bait to get Happosai to run in the required spiral shape. However, Kuno wants the picture as well and soon Ranma is faced with Mousse, Kuno and the Principal trying to attack him for various different reasons.
At first Ranma doesn't want to hurt the trio, but remembers back to what they tried to do to him and so uses the Hiryū Shōten Ha on them anyway. When the trio and Happosai land the students who gather around the site where they landed decide that only thing to do is bury them.
Later on, the Principal is out of the hole along with his son and Mousse. They try to get their revenge on Ranma, but as Ranma now has his strength returned he easily just kicks them and sends the trio flying.
Akane's Swimming Lessons - Principal Kuno
Akane is mopping at the side of the pool since she's the only one who can't swim and there's going to be a swimming test next week. The Principal suddenly appears and pushes Akane into the pool, only to save her with a life ring. The sight of Akane splashing uncontrollably makes the Principal deduce that Akane can't swim, which he declares to be Kapu (a Hawaiian word, which closely translates to "forbidden") as there is a rule where if a student can't swim they can't go to the next grade. Akane believes this is just a rule the Principal has made up on the spot, but the Principal continues by saying he'll teach Akane how to swim.
The next day, after Akane has decided herself to be taught how to swim by the Principal, she is next to the pool with a boulder strapped to her back. The Principal tells Akane to jump into the pool, but of course Akane is skeptical. Just then a shark jumps out of the pool, Akane questions what it is and the Principal shows that it's a Bonito Shark (Isurus glaucus) along with other information about it. This obviously isn't what Akane meant so she reiterates by asking what it's doing in the pool.
Now that the lesson has gotten severally out-of-hand Akane is going to leave, but the Principal tells her that she can train to be able swim away from Sharks while carrying large boulders (the other students don't buy it, but Akane seems to believe the Principal completely). Akane then suddenly throws the Boulder onto the Principal and grumpily tells him to show her first...
A few moments for completely silence pass and the other students decide that the Principal must've drowned so begin to walk away. Akane, however, feels responsible so jumps into the pool to check/try and save him. But when she gets under the water she is met face-to-face with the Principal using Scuba-gear to stay underwater. This causes Akane to realise that she's in the water and so she begins to panic and trash uncontrollably, attracting the Shark.
Luckily for Akane, Ranma steps in and kicks the Shark and defeats it. The Principal declares that interfering with the Kahuna is Kapu and the two of them begin to argue over Akane being able to swim or not. Eventually Akane has had enough of this and so knocks Ranma into the water before revealing she's going to do her best to learn to swim, much to the Principal's approval.
Out of the pool, the Principal tells Akane that the first lesson is called "Swan" and he tells Akane to put on the outfit he spent all night preparing for her. Despite Akane's preconceptions, the outfit looks more like an ugly ducking rather than a swan. This obviously causes Akane to become upset and embarrassed but she soon changes her mood when she notices the injuries on the Principal's fingers (caused by him getting pricked by the hitting needles) and decides to go ahead with the rest of the lesson.
The Principal then proceeds to push Akane into the pool while wearing the duck outfit. At first Akane seems to not be swimming any better, but the Principal activates a switch which makes the legs of the duck outfit begin to kick and at first it seems to be working, but Akane soon ends up upside-down while the legs trash wildly in the air.
After Akane has been taken out of the pool by Ranma and takes the duck outfit off as well, Ranma patronises her by patting on the shoulder and asking if she's ready to give up yet. This angers Akane who tells the Principal to move onto the next lesson, which the Principal calls "Da Mermaid".
Akane is then put into a Mermaid outfit and thrown into the pool, where the Principal flicks a switch that makes the outfit's tail being to trash. Ranma enquires how this is any different from the "Swan" lesson, to which the Principal reveals that he'll be holding onto Akane via a fishing pole. He then tells Akane to swim with confidence, but this causes the Principal to go flying across the pool and hit his head on the other side of the pool edge.
Once Akane is saved from drowning by Ranma again and brought to poolside. The Principal and other students watch over Akane and wait for her to come-to. When she does the Principal apologises to her as he can't give one student what they want, he then begins to cry at his failure. Akane, however, puts on a brave face and tells him not to worry as she plans to live on a boat and if a tidal wave hits she can run to the hills faster than any water can.
As she runs off, however, Ranma intervenes as she knows this isn't what Akane wants. The other students, all with tears in their eyes at Akane's desperation in wanting to swim, give her the courage to agree to have her third lesson with the Principal. The Principal explains that this lesson will make even a hammer girl like Akane swim like the Mahi-mahi. Akane and the other students are deeply intrigued by this comment, but all are shocked by the revelation that this the Principal describing a Life Preserver.
Nether-the-less, Akane tries using the Life Preserver and even then she manages to end up under the water as her feet trash wildly. The Principal wails in despair at being a "bad Kahuna" while the other students take back what they said to Akane earlier and tell her just to give up.
A statue of the Principal is seen on the grounds of Furinkan High School, which Mousse mistakes for Akane when he tries to explain/warn her of Cologne's plans to make Ranma marry Shampoo.
Hinako Ninomiya Intro
The Principal hires Hinako Ninomiya to deal with Ranma, as he's heard of her ability to crack down on problem students. However, she is late and the Principal ends up practising with a toy bear over 45 times before Ranma takes the unconscious Hinako (who he mistakes for a transfer student). When Hinako comes to she tells the Principal that she's arrived, although he doesn't know who she is. Hinako introduces herself and the Principal is shocked and ends bedridden due to his plans ends in a "Wipe Out".
The night before the results of a test Ranma's class did where set to be sent out, Principal Kuno came and stole them, leaving behind evidence that it was him (mostly notable his ukulele). After some confusion from Hinako as to who took the test the next morning, the Principal, riding in the basket beneath a hot-air balloon that has a picture of Principal Kuno painted on the envelope, reveals that the tests are inside the balloon and at the noon it will explode. The tests will then be spread everywhere. The Principal says that the only way to stop the explosion is to take the bundle he's holding, Ranma is undeterred by this and makes a rather easy jump to the Principal's balloon. The Principal of course has planned for this and jumps from the balloon and blows up the bottome out of the basket Ranma is standing in.
As the Principal slowly floats down using an umbrella for a parachute, he sees that he is about to land in a crowd of the angry students. Using a jet pack that he lights with a zippo lighter he eludes them as well. Unfortunately for him, the jet pack soon explodes, so the students go searching for the Principal in the general area where they think he fallen. Ranma returns and quickly notices a small coconut palm walking along the corridor. He attacks it and, unsurprisingly, the palm turns out to be Principal Kuno. He was using it as a disguise.
The Principal is glad to see Ranma as he has his test score with him, and it's the worst. He then threatens to reveal the score publicly to other students, Ranma doesn't care, however, as being a Martial Artist is to fight against injustice, oppression for the sake of the oppressed. The Principal opens the test score and is seemingly shocked by the result, but begins to cry and runs away, saying that the students would think he's cruel for revealing his score, leaving a very confused group of students behind.
A few minutes later, the Principal is about to read the result of Ranma's test over the school public address system, but Ranma kicks the wall beneath the speaker and reveals the Principal hiding in the wall beneath it. The Principal uses a smoke bomb to escape, but is then set upon by Ukyo and Akane who manage to knock him to ground so Ranma can grab the package for the balloon off him. However, the Principal reveals that Ranma will have to do the English instructions in the package to stop the ballon from blowing up.
Ranma is obvious confident in his ability to read the instructions, but is horrified when the instructions turn out to be a picture of the Principal with his lips puckered. It has "Kiss me!" written in Englsh. The Principal proceeds to taunt Ranma that he must be stupid because he cannot follow the instructions. Ranma responds by angrily slamming the framed picture over the Principals head. This breaks the control to the Balloon which files away with the Principal in pursuit of it. The tests do eventually fall from the balloon and the test results are read on the evening news the local news anchor. She reports that Akane received an 86, while Ranma's score is never' mentioned by the manga. This apparently because Genma cuffs the back of Ranma's head and shouts, "They read the scores to the whole world!"
The Principal decides that all the students have to pass canoeing before they can go onto the next grade. Obviously, the students do not like this, especially because the Principal is floating above them comfortably in his hot-air balloon. Ranma ends up destroying the balloon by blowing a sharp pin into its envelope. However, as he falls, the Principal throws a grenade which leaves the students stranded on an uninhabited island.
Three days pass and the students, along with Miss Hinako, find a building with a logbook saying not to eat any of the food as those who eat it will succumb to "Aloha" disease. Unfortunately, the Principal has just started feeding the students food from the island that he's been collecting for the last three days. This causes the male students to become infected with Aloha disease and so all of them begin to act like tourists on their honeymoons in Hawaii.
The male students then begin to chase after Akane, Ukyo and Ranma who they have assumed to be their wives. Hinako manages to use her Happo Five Yen Satsu followed by her Happo No Yen Coin Return to knock the male students unconscious while she, Akane, Ukyo, Ranma and the Principal escape. In a cave the Principal reveals he has an cure for the Aloha disease, but Ranma will have to catch him first in a race around the island!
At first Ranma seems like she'll easily catch up, but is tripped by a banana peel and ends up having sun lotion put on her by the male students and is at their whim until she sends them flying into the air with a powerful kick.
That evening, when the male students return in an almost zombie-like state, the Principal reappears and explains to them how to make blowguns. The students uses these to unsuccessfully to try and get their "wives". Ranma then sets after the Principal to get the antidote, but the Principal ends up drinking all of it!
This seems to have made the situation hopeless, but Ranma has an idea that if this is a tropical island, then there must be a hot spring somewhere. With Ranma, Akane and Ukyo carrying the Principal to the hot spring, out-of-sight the Principal is thrown in where he sweats out the antidote. Using Akane and Ukyo they lure the affected students into the hot spring where they recover from the Aloha disease.
Back at Furinkan High School, the Principal seems to have not learned from this experience, declaring that this week they're going camping. Ranma hits the Principal for saying that..
After Ranma, Hiroshi and Daisuke are found by Hinako ditching school she manages to absorb the auras of Hiroshi and Daisuke while Ranma runs into a sign. She then takes the trio to the Principal who, after a discussion with Hinako, decides to put them into the dentition room, where the only way out is to bow at the statue of the Principal in their and say that you're sorry for what you've done.
Once Ranma, Hiroshi and Daisuke realise that there is no escape from the room otherwise, Hinako joins them and tells them just to do it as they'll fell better because of it. However, Ranma tries to makes Hinako bow instead which angers her so she tries to use the Happo Fifty Yen Satsu on him. This however ends up absorbing the aura of the students who've bowed to the statue of the Principal which Ranma hid behind, thus she appears to be permanently in her adult form.
This amass of negative aura causes Hinako to go on a rampage of revenge against the Principal, where she destroys his office (which he was secretly hiding from her in). While Hinako goes on her rampage on the streets of Furinkan, the Principal devices a plan where he sends out flyers which explain that whoever captures Ms. Hinako gets to go on a date with her. When she learns of this, Hinako and Ranma end up returning to Furinkan High and are faced with the Principal's newly hired Evil Three.
However the Evil Three turn out to be Tatewki Kuno, Nabiki Tendo and Happosai. The trio are quickly dealt with, as Ranma and Hinako take out Happosai and Kuno respectively, while Nabiki takes the money the Principal bribed her with and flees. In order to escape from Hinako, the Principal disguises his head as a bomb (which explodes) and when the students can't see him they all go out to look for him. The Principal meanwhile, reemerges from the ground and comments on how close an escape that was.
Some searching later, Ranma finds the Principal and chases after the conveniently left footprints. Of course the Principal has set a trap, where a heavy object falls on Ranma forcing him to bow to him. However, Ranma manages to use his hands to allow him to kick the Principal in the face.
Hinako arrives with the other students and tells Ranma to hold the Principal still. She then performs a powerful attack, called the "Happo No Yen Hatred Bazooka" which blasts a hole in the side of the School building. Despite this the Principal still manages to escape again.
Ranma follows the Principal to a weird out-building and notices the floor is covered in some odd glue-like substance and has the positions to place his hands, head and knees when he bows on it as well (these imprints were present on the area in front of the statue as well). However, before Ranma knows it a clumsy Hinako bumps into him and the pair are stuck. The Principal then makes the walls and ceiling of the makeshift building fall so as everyone can see them bowing to him.
Although it seems Ranma and Hinako have finally lost, Ranma manages to lift himself, Hinako and the floor up. Hinako then uses an attack called "Happo No Yen Hundred Fold Return" that manages to hit the Principal and sends him flying skyward. Afterwards Hinako returns to her normal self, but has no memory of the event.
Three years prior to the events of the series, the Principal lived happily with his son Tatewaki. The Principal claims to have been a very good father and done everything asked of him (although in truth his actions were more like torture, with Tatewaki's hair being forcibly shaved along with being tied to trees in the nude on days of snow etc) until on day that Tatewaki had had enough so left (in the Principal's view this was due to him spoiling Tatewaki). This event is what mostly caused the Principal's strict nature regarding rules, so that the students won't follow in his son's footsteps.
Some time after being left by Tatewaki, the Principal went to the mainland United States before eventually moving and settling in Hawaii. It is unknown what the Principal did while he was in Hawaii, but the episode Dear Daddy... Love, Kodachi! he is seen leaving a high walled building possibly indicating he was in some sort of mental asylum.
Shortly after the students of Furinkan High School learn of the return of the Principal, he descends via Helicopter bearing the sign "Welcome Headmaster" in English on it. He then exits the Helicopter disguised as a snowman and begins checking over the students appearance etc, much to their fright and confusion. Ranma soon arrives with Akane and the Principal tries to cut Ranma's pigtail, only for his snowman disguise to be destroyed by Ranma. Ranma and Ukyo prepare to finish the Principal off, but he gives Ranma a Pineapple which soon explodes in Ranma's hands (the Principal explains is his way of punishment for Ranma kicking him earlier).
The Principal proceeds to have another attempt at cutting Ranma's pigtail. However, this attempt is equally unsuccessful as Ranma just kicks the Principal again. After going into some slight hysterics, the Principal gives Ranma another exploding Pineapple, only this time a substantial smokescreen is produced as well. While everyone is unable to see him, the Principal asks Akane who she is and when he learns the she is Akane Tendo he grabs her by the wrist and asks her to come with him.
Later on, the students are all called into the Gymnasium so the Principal can address them. The Principal explains that since everyone was so nice welcoming him back he's decided to give them all a big present. This obviously excites the students, but their excitement is short lived when the Principal reveals that his "present" is actually a new rule of all male students requiring Buzz cuts while all female students require Bowl cuts, which meets with a mixed but mostly negative reaction.
After the angered students throw several objects at the Principal, Ranma confronts him too and asks if this is just his way of revenge for what happened earlier. Before Ranma can get anymore hostile towards the Principal, he advises Ranma to look up, where a gagged and restrained Akane begins to descend. The Principal explains he did research on Ranma and learned of his engagement to Akane. He continues by trying to use Akane's safety to blackmail Ranma into having his hair shaved, however, Akane hits the Principal with the broom she's tied to, thus distracting him enough for Ranma to free her arms and let her down.
Akane then turns of the Principal as well, this causes the Principal to reveal that there's a Coconut with a piece of paper instead which pardons any student from his new rule. Ranma waists no time and takes the Coconut which the Principal happens to be holding, although this turns out to be a dud and explodes. The Principal gives the students three days to find the Coconut and leaves to go to his office.
The Principal heads to a man-made beach which he's installed on the school grounds, where he watches the students desperately search for the Coconut. Suddenly he's hit by a shovel and Surfboard and finds a girl lying on the beach (who's actually Ranma disguised in his female form). At first the Principal tries to cut the Ranma's pigtail, but is stopped when he says that she isn't one of his students therefore can't this rule enforced on her. Ranma then gives the Principal a false sob story about needing to find a Coconut with a pardon note inside it for her sickly father. Hearing this, the Principal agrees to help her find it (foiling Ranma's plan slightly as she'd hoped the Principal would have it on hand).
The pair head out and find Akane with the other students as she breaks each Coconut to find the pardon (although all turn out to be duds). The students decide to try and find the Principal so they can force him to reveal the Coconut's location, this causes Ranma to kick the Principal in front of the students who quickly pounce on him. The questioning soon begins and the Principal is subjected to torture by his students until he reveals the Coconut's location. Unfortunately, Tatewaki Kuno appears and begins attacking him, causing the rope tied around the Principal to be cut. Kuno continues his assault, but the Principal uses his clippers to shred Kuno's Bokken before handing Kuno an exploding Pineapple so he can make his getaway.
As the students try to find the Principal's true office, he himself is in a dark room where he controls several of the traps located in the false rooms. Later on the students deduce that the gym must be where the Coconut is as it's the last place they'd think of looking. After the Principal attacks the students with crabs trained to cut hair (along with himself dressed as a large crab), Ranma finds what appears to be the Principal's office. As Ranma looks around a statue behind him is seen to disappear, luckily Ranma saw through this rouse and hits the Principal when he attempts to cut his pigtail.
When Ranma begins threatening the Principal, he resorts to using the Coconut with the pardon to knock Ranma unconscious long enough for him to be tied up and hung upside-down by the Principal. Fortunately Ranma is able to avoid the Principal's attempts at cutting his hair long enough for Akane to appear with the other students and stop the Principal. The students then notice the pardon Coconut and immediately try to grab it, but the Principal (humorously dressed in a Baseball outfit) hits the Coconut and sends it flying across the room. However, the Coconut hits Tatewaki who effectively brings it back.
Tatewaki then begins fighting the Principal, with Ranma stuck in the middle. Eventually Ranma gets a bamboo stick and uses it to distract the Principal so he doesn't notice Ranma's out of the reach of his clippers, which allows Ranma to kick the Principal into the air. With the Principal defeated, the students take the pardon Coconut. The Principal, however, is very upset, but soon recovers when the students say that they'll forgive him. Now with a new found excitement, the Principal offers the students another "present", this time with males having to get Chonmage cuts while girls have Geisha cuts. This idea is equally unpopular as the first, causing Ranma to chase after the Principal in anger.
The next day, the Principal unveils his statue to the students which they must bow to. Unfortunately for the Principal, Ranma (who was panicking about running late since Akane left him behind) jumps over the school fence, jumps on the Principal's statue and breaks it. This causes the Principal to hire Tatewaki as his enforcer of discipline, which he achieves by telling Tatewaki that girls love men with power. The Principal later watches Tatewaki's attempts at disciplining students, when Happosai appears on his usual panty raids. After Happosai is able to throw Ranma skyward with such ease, the Principal is so impressed he asks him to train Tatewaki to which Happosai accepts (although Tatewaki is completely against the idea).
That evening, by which time Tatewaki has had a harsh beating from Ranma, the Principal goes with Tatewaki to the Tendo Dojo training hall so his training with Happosai can begin. The Principal then goes with Happosai to observe Tatewaki's "training" for the "Speed of Light Powder" and then watches with Happosai and the other students as Tatewaki has his rematch with Ranma. Once Kuno succumbs to the dirt from Happosai's fingernails which he used to make the Speed of Light Powder, the Principal goes to Tatewaki's side and reveals this fact to him, much to Tatewaki's distaste. Some time later the Principal returns to his office, where he makes another statue of himself, only the automated statue forces the Principal to bow-down to it as it can't distinguish between the Principal and students.
After Happosai uses the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion on Ranma he distributes letters all across Furinkan revealing Ranma's new weakened state, one of which the Principal receives. Soon afterwards the Principal, Mousse and Tatewaki go after Ranma to finally defeat him, only to be stopped by Ryoga who can't stand those who gang up on the weak. Once Ranma returns to Furinkan after mastering the Hiryū Shōten Ha, he tries to use it to defeat Happosai. However, the Principal, Mousse and Tatewaki return once again to finish off Ranma and are ultimately sucked into the technique as well. Once the group escape the Hiryū Shōten Ha's whirlwind they land and create a large crater, where several students decide to finish the job and bury them. A little later the Principal (again with Mousse and Tatewaki) reemerge and continue trying to defeat Ranma, but Ranma just recovered from the Moxibustion a few moments earlier, so all three are easily dealt with by him.
Some weeks later the Principal calls the students together to announce the arrival of a new teacher, Higuma Torajiro. However, after Higuma introduces himself and gets instant student approval the Principal regrets hiring him since Higuma isn't like how he imagined. When Higuma declares his departure from the school, he invites the students and teachers to play off in a game of American football, despite seeming against the idea the Principal does compete with the other staff. The staff don't do very well and get stampeded on by the students. When Higuma finally takes his leave, he kicks a football into the air which hits the Principal in the face.
One day the Principal, dressed rather ironically as Santa Claus, begins taking items from students which are against school rules (such as bag accessories). He then declares that anyone who's late will have to clean the toilet's for a week, causing a flurry of students to rush into the school grounds. When Ranma and Akane arrive, the Principal tries to cut Ranma's pigtail yet again, but fails and accidentally runs into the school gates (which closed automatically). After the students finish laughing at the Principal's expense, he explains about his son and why he's so strict with them. Once he finishes he gives Ranma a present, which subsequently explodes in his hands. The explosion knocks down the school gates, allowing the Principal to enter and quickly run off.
During the school lunch break the same day, the Principal gets chased by Ranma for what he did earlier. As the Principal runs from Ranma, Sasuke happens to see him and recognises him as Tatewaki's father who disappeared three years ago. Meanwhile, the Principal is in his office and decides to hold a school tournament where the winner will be pardoned from his bowl/buzz cut rule. When the Principal announces this to the school, the students are very suspicious at first but soon agree to the tournament when Ranma agrees to join.
Just before the tournament is about to begin, the Principal hired some professional fighters to compete and used the guise as them being transfer students so they could enter the tournament as well. Once the tournament finally begins, the Principal sits and watches while also acting as the guard to the pardon.
When the students of Ranma's class view how effective the "transfer students" are they protest to the Principal about them. The Principal reiterates that they can enter since they are students of the school and even takes out their student I.D.s as proof, as he does this a picture of Tatewaki aged 14 falls out of his pocket and gets picked up by Akane.
Once Sasuke learns of this picture, he goes with Ranma, Ukyo and Akane to watch the semifinals of the tournament, where Tatewaki is the last student standing but gets defeated easily by the "transfer students". When the Principal comes over and notes how good Tatewaki did on his own, Sasuke asks the Principal how he could do this to his own son. This comment shocks the Principal who initially doesn't believe that Tatewaki is his "Tacchi", but soon realizes that he indeed is when he places a bald cap on him. Overjoyed at finding his long lost son, the Principal soon wastes no time in trying to shave Tatewaki's hair, although Tatewaki soon gains consciousness and protests this action.
Tatewaki continues by demanding that the Principal pays for all the humiliation that he was put through as a child. The Principal admits that he was a bad father, but quickly stops Tatewaki by giving him an exploding gift which renders Tatewaki unconscious for the Principal to drag him away. The pair then watch as Ranma, Ukyo and Akane fight fight the armored students. The Principal also has a cat hidden in a box so he can exploit Ranma's ailurophobia. Eventually Ranma manages to defeat the armored students and takes the pardon, which turns out to be fake. The Principal then explains that the real pardon is on Tatewaki but can only be seen when he's shaved, this angers Tatewaki and the pair begin to fight each other while Sasuke tries to stop them.
In one episode, He was mentioned by both Tatewaki and Kodachi as the siblings argue each other to let him stay at the Kuno Estate since Tatewaki strongly hates his father due to his abuse and humiliation as a child. Principal shows up in his formal attire instead of his usual Hawaiian attire and reunites with his son and his long-lost daughter and Kodachi was happy to see him again as she hugs him. The Principal was reluctant to go with his daughter, Kodachi on her school's Parents Day to show to her classmates since Tatewaki is mostly shows up as a guardian than he was. Principal Kuno is shown to be caring to his daughter even he tells her about what happened to him in Hawaii who escapes in prison or in mental asylum. Despite he hides his true personality to Kodachi, he still shows it when he attempts to cut Ranma's pigtails while Ranma and Akane are here to see Tatewaki but his antics are seen by Kodachi when he confronts Ranma and accidentally shaves the right side on Tatewaki's hair causing the former to get mad. Kodachi finally introduces Ranma as her fiancé much to The Principal's surprise and happiness as he spares Ranma from cutting his hair before Tatewaki challenges him to a duel. The duel ends up in a draw as The Principal pretends that he sadly admit to his son for being tough and strong like he was before he pushes his son on the roof as Kodachi confronts him telling him that pushing his son through the roof is not the right thing. The Principal maintains his calmness to his daughter and he tells her that he would not come to her school's Parents Day for the time being and he allows Kodachi to take Tatewaki in his place much to her happiness. Despite being good to his daughter, Kodachi, he still keeps his horrible actions including her older brother, Tatewaki and his own abusive rules as the principal of Furinkan High School.
Some weeks later, Akane is chosen by class 1-F to represent them in the swim meet (with Ukyo and Ranma seemingly to be the only people in the class who know Akane can't swim). Akane goes to the poolside and wonders what she's going to do when the Principal appears and pushes her into the pool, resulting in Ranma having to save her. Shortly afterwards the Principal learns that Akane can't swim and reveals a rule of non-swimmers being unable to graduate. After being hit by Ranma for his invention of this new "rule", the Principal gets some inspiration and decides that he'll teach Akane how to swim.
The next day the Principal begins his lesson with Akane while seemingly every male student of the school gathers round to see Akane in a swimsuit. At first Akane is reluctant to get into the water as she's been forced to carry a large boulder on her back, but wanting to swim is made worse when a shark (named Kamehameha by the Principal) jumps out. Eventually Akane is about to leave, but the Principal convinces her to stay by giving a rather unrealistic speech about how Hawaiians learn to swim with boulders on their back and sharks chasing them. Akane then proceeds to make the Principal show her, by kicking the boulder into the Principal and then both fall into the water. As Akane and everyone else watches as the Principal doesn't emerge from beneath the water they believe he might have drowned.
Awash with grief Akane jumps in to try save the Principal, but finds him hiding under the water with Scuba gear. Akane then shouts at the Principal, thus letting out the air in her lungs and causing her to panic. The pair return to the surface, where the Principal calls the shark over, but it's stopped when Ranma kicks it, much to the Principal's distaste. After Ranma starts arguing with the Principal about whether or not Akane will be able to learn how to swim, Akane herself has soon had enough and agrees to continue the Principal's lesson.
When the shark regains consciousness, the Principal stops Ranma from repeating what he did earlier by hauling up a huge Coconut tree from beneath the water to stop Ranma before he makes contact with the shark. The Principal then gets out of the pool and throws Tatewaki (who'd appeared earlier to try and convince Akane to swim his way) a ring, which causes the shark to decide to jump through it instead of attacking Tatewaki and Akane.
Once Tatewaki is taken away via stretcher and the shark has been dealt with, Akane's determination to swim makes her continue with the lesson. The Principal gives Akane a briefcase containing a suit which he says will make her as graceful as a swam. Akane's preconceptions make her greatly upset when she sees how idiotic the actual swimsuit is, so she runs off crying in embarrassment. The Principal gives chase and soon Akane sees how sore his fingers are from making the suit, this touches Akane enough that he stops thus giving the Principal opportunity to push her back into the pool. Akane then begins drowning when the robotic legs of the suit end up above water, resulting in Ranma having to rent a Polar bear suit from Nabiki so nobody will notice his curse.
With Ranma posing as a Polar bear, the Principal goes onto lesson two, which is very similar to lesson one only with Akane dressed as a Mermaid. When questioned the Principal reveals that he'll be holding Akane via a fishing pole, however, the line soon runs out and the Principal is hurtled head-long across the pool where he hits the other side. Akane is saved by Ranma and Ukyo, where she remains unconscious by the poolside until late afternoon. After Akane initially decides Ukyo can take her place, the other students convince her to go on with the Principal's final lesson. The Principal reveals this time Akane will use a life preserver, however Akane just ends up upside-down with her legs flailing in the air causing the Principal to finally give up. However, at the swim meet the Principal watches as Akane wins the girls' 50m freestyle while wearing four life preservers (much to her and the Principal's delight).
Big Trouble in Nekonron, China
The Principal has a cameo appearance, where he sees the group chasing after Ranma and decides to join the group so he can cut off Ranma's pigtail. However, he doesn't get a chance to attempt and remove it as he's sent flying into the air along with his daughter, Kodachi.
The Principal has a few small roles in a number of the OVAs. A statue of the Principal was mistaken for Akane by Mousse when he went to find her and explain about Shampoo and Cologne's plans regarding the Reversal Jewel. The Principal was also one of the many characters invited to the Tendo Christmas party and can be seen talking to the Gambling King and Higuma Torajiro shortly before Nabiki, Kasumi, Akane, Ranma and Shampoo sing karaoke. He later hired Hinako Ninomiya for undisclosed reasons.
While Akane was affected by the Incense of Spring Sleep she encountered the Principal and he attempted to punish her for skipping class. However, in Akane's dream state she mistook the Principal for a statue and so "polished" it and places the football she had with he in his mouth. Akane continues by entangling the Principal in the bars of the gate he was stood in front of and leaves him there, he was soon found by Ranma along the group of students who where also after Akane.
Principal Kuno is one of the weakest fighters in the series. He cannot take much punishment, nor is he adept at dishing it out, so his focus is on evasion and escape rather than actual combat. He can move with surprising speed for somebody so bulky and is fairly stealthy. He is also cunning enough to prepare a wide variety of disguises and escape routes in advance.
When forced to fight in hand to hand combat, the principal uses hairclippers, especially handheld shears, which serve an offensive and defensive role. His striking speed is just barely equal with that of his son. Because of his hostile relationship with his son, not to mention his obsession with cutting hair, he specialises in facing off against kendōka. If his opponent comes at him from the front with their sword held near their head, a common kendo assault position, then he can use their own sword as a bridge to shave their head bald.
- Pineapple bombs: The principal's signature weapon, bombs in the form of pineapples with a fairly small but intense blast radius. He prefers to throw these at a foe or get them to unwittingly accept them, then take off while they are dazed from the explosion. He once disguised a present as a bomb.
- Wooden Sword Shredder: The Kuno family's special technique. Using his shears, the principal can swiftly shear a bokken or similar wooden object (such as a short staff) into useless strips if it is thrust at him.
- Pepper Balloon: Nothing more than an inflated balloon filled with pepper that was used to daze Ranma in an attempt to cut off his pigtail.
- Disguise: Principal Kuno is a master of quickly assuming any disguise to hide or escape, but his consistent use of Hawaiian-themed disguises reduces their effectiveness.
- Gadgets and traps: The principal also tends to make use of a variety of exotic gadgets and traps.
As a rule, the students of Furinkan High hate the Principal, who seems to actively go out of his way to annoy them. It's implied, most prominently when he first returns, that he actively enjoys making them angry; that he is not so fixated on the rules because he enjoys the rules, but simply because he finds it hilarious when the kids get into a riot and the rules of Furinkan are a perfect way into manipulating them.
With the exception of Hinako Ninomiya, who is too fixated on her own little problems to care, the other teachers at Furinkan High regard the Principal with a mixture of embarrassment and disdain. However, they must obey him or else risk their jobs, so they bow to his whims.
Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo are particularly opposed to the Principal's actions, especially the former due to the Principal's obsession with cutting off his distinctive hair style. They are usually the first to oppose the Principal's latest scheme, and the students tend to rally around them as natural leaders -- perhaps more due to their combat experience than anything. Ukyo Kuonji has a similar attitude, but tends to be more of a background character than her rival or fiance.
Tatewaki Kuno absolutely hates his father, due to a powerful cocktail of abandonment issues, his own ego and a history of abuse at the Principal's hands. Well indeed does he remember meals where the Principal would take his food and harangue him for his "failings", being brutally overpowered and shaved bald, and being tied up and left hanging from a tree for hours, maybe days at a time. Tatewaki tries to deny any possibility that the Principal may be his father, and even after being forced to reunite with him, remains hostile towards him, most notably in the form of trying to do everything in his power to keep the Principal from returning to the Kuno Estate. In return, the Principal seems to delight in abusing, deceiving and manipulating his son, but may possibly have some twisted sort of parental care for him -- he still calls Tatewaki by the babyish nickname of "Tatchi". He has also been known to approach Tatewaki for assistance if he needs some extra muscle, and Tatewaki will sometimes accept.
Kodachi Kuno can't remember her father at all, and doesn't even learn he has returned or where he works until Genma Saotome brings it up to her in the episode Dear Daddy... Love, Kodachi! Kodachi is overjoyed to finally meet him, and tries her hardest to be a caring, loving, gentle-natured daughter for him. In return, the Principal seems to appreciate this, and refrains from subjecting her to any of the torments that he dishes out to other kids. Like with her brother, he tends to call her "Kochi".
The Principal has appeared in a handful of Ranma ½ games, usually in the role of an antagonist. In Akanekodan Teki Hihou he becomes a high-ranking member of the Red Cat Gang and acts as one of the several bosses of the game, with Kodachi and Tatewaki acting as slightly weaker "mini" bosses. In the trilogy of Ranma ½ fighting games released for the SNES, the Principal appears in all. In Chōnai Gekitōhen the Principal is a playable character and rides on a Skateboard with his signature explosive Pineapples. However, in Hard Battle the Principal's role is reduced to simply manipulating the other characters (with the exception of Pantyhose Taro) to pursuing a quest for his own amusement. The Principal's role is reduced in Chougi Rambuhen where he only appears in the background of the Hawaii Stage.
Although not seen in person, the Principal is seen carved into multiple boulders in the background of Battle Renaissance and is also the person behind the purchase of Kikaiga Island, which the Principal plans to turn into a amusement park.
He is mentioned in the live action special as being the principal and owner of Furinkan High School, but is on vacation and does not appear.
- In the anime, when he reunites with Kodachi in Dear Daddy... Love, Kodachi!, he is shown attempting to escape from a mysterious building while in Hawaii. Perhaps some sort of prison or mental asylum?
- In the Japanese original, the Principal's speech is littered with Hawaian pidgin to try and convey his otaku-like fixation on Hawaii. In the English dubbed version, this is replaced with gratuitous Hawaiian, to convey the exact same point.
- According to the episode The Secret Don of Furinkan High, the Principal flunked English when he was a student at Furinkan.
- While the Principal's sabbatical to Hawaii is said to have lasted three years, it's possible that this was only the most recent of such trips. Sasuke Sarugakure notes to Ranma, Akane and Ukyo, when explaining his theory that the Principal is Kuno's long-lost father, that the Kuno siblings had almost no parental guidance or contact since they were children and suggests that this is to blame for their present attitudes.
- In episode 11 of the anime version of Rumiko Takahashi's latest work, Kyokai no Rinne, a master of ceremonies is featured, bearing a strong resemblance to him.
- "It's time for de big fun, yeah!" - The Principal's catchphrase when things start to get exciting and absolutely not for for the students and other teachers.