When Ranma, in girl form, rescues three Furinkan High girls from a female bully, she thinks that's the end of that. But then they come to Akane for help, as the bully is the champion of a rival school's martial arts team, and Akane promises to take their place. The problem? The style is Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, and Akane doesn't know the first thing about it... not to mention that the bully, one Kodachi "the Black Rose", doesn't seem to be at all interested in playing fair...
Relation to the Previous Episode
This episode has no relation to the previous episode; it marks the beginning of a new story arc, continued in A Woman's Love is War! The Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics Challenge! and concluded in A Tear in a Girl-Delinquent's Eye? The End of the Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics Challenge!
Ranma, in female form, charms an ice cream seller into giving her an extra scoop on her cone, then wanders off down the street, happily licking it and thinking to herself that being a girl is the only way to go when eating out. As she walks through the streets, though, she comes across the vacant lot where four girls are standing, three of them in Furinkan High School sports uniforms and sporting bandaids, and a Catholic school uniform-wearing fourth who, despite the visible hostility of the girls, seems unconcerned. Ranma stops to see what's going on, noting that she believes the Furinkan girls are in her class.
Despite being outnumbered, the fourth girl is nonchalant, reaching down to a sport's equipment bag at her feet and withdrawing a gymnastics ribbon while declaring that the other girls must be from Furinkan and that she's looking forward to facing them in the match next week. She goes on to admonish them that she hopes they will fight fairly though, and insists that though their schools are rivals, she hopes that they can still be friends. The girls angrily shout at her to shup up, declare they would never be friends with someone like her, and rush to attack.
As Ranma watches, the ambushed girl handily disarms her opponents and then begins to viciously lash them, coldly telling them that if she wasn't a lady, she might make them really sorry. Unable to stand such bullying, Ranma flicks her hat off of her head with her finger and springs forward -- by the time it has hit the ground, she has moved in front of the Furinkan girls and caught the ribbon, admonishing the stranger that she's made her point quite clear.
The stranger declares nobody has ever managed to stop her ribbon before and comments that Ranma must be very formidable, to which the genderbender shrugs nonchalantly. Dropping the ribbon and drawing out her own gymnastics clubs, the stranger then declares she won't go any easier on Ranma and lunges forward to attack -- but discovers Ranma to move so fast she effortlessly ducks beneath her thrust, using the momentum to sweep her feet out from under her. The stranger uses her gymnastics training to catch herself on the ground with her hands and flips over to land on her feet, staring back at Ranma. After a moment's hesitation, she compliments Ranma's skill and introduces herself as "the Rising Star of St. Hebereke" and "Kodachi, the Black Rose". Warning Ranma to keep that in mind, she bursts into a shriek of laughter and springs up to a nearby telephone pole, sliding off and using the cover of the fence to vanish, trailing black rose petals as she goes.
Ranma blinks in surprise and wonders what that was about, even as the girls break down and start crying. She takes them to Akane, who comforts them as they explain that they were merely the only ones of Furinkan High School's entire gymnastics team who were still fit enough to move after having been ambushed and beaten. They explain that they are scheduled to have a match of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics against St. Hebereke (which they explained is nicknamed "St. Bacchus", a reference to the different name in the manga version of this story) but now they have nobody who is fit to compete and beg Akane to take their place. Warning them that she's not sure how good she'll be, she promises to do this for them.
Ranma is not impressed by Akane's volunteering, but keeps her mouth shut in front of her friends. When they have gone and the two Anything Goes students have retired to the dojo, Ranma resuming his male form, though, then he points out the flaws in Akane's plan. She has no idea how to perform the style, has never trained in it before, and doesn't really have anybody to teach her. Akane insists that she'll manage and experimentally picks up up the clubs. As she practices striking with them, she is distracted when Ryoga shows up in his P-chan form. After a brief moment of fussing over him, she places him beside Ranma and, after warning her fiance not to bully him, goes back to experimenting with the clubs. Leaning on one arm as he watches, Ranma idly comments in disgust that Ryoga always manages to surprise him whenever he has become convinced that Ryoga can't stoop any lower. Ryoga angrily bites Ranma on the arm for several moments before Ranma punches him in the head, which prompts Akane to beat Ranma over the head with her club and repeat her order to not bully the faux pig.
Unbeknownst to them, one of Kodachi's fellow St. Hebereke gymnasts is listening to what they say outside. She immediately plans to go and report this to Kodachi... though she is first delayed by the surprise appearance of Genma in panda form, who asks her via sign if he can help her.
Spinning them around, she then attempts a simple routine, throwing them into the air whilst leaping and then aiming to catch them after she lands. Instead, they fall to the ground on different sides of the dojo. Akane, understandably, is not happy when Ranma mockingly asks if she meant to do that. Akane next experiments with the ribbon, but proceeds to unintentionally tangle herself while trying to use it. When Ranma sarcastically asks if she's supposed to do that, Akane angrily tells him to shut up. An experiment with the hoop turns just as bad; she can't bend sufficiently to get through it and instead breaks it. As Ranma sarcastically comments on her lack of grace, she throws a tantrum and begins stamping wildly on the floor in her rage.
At this, P-chan leaves the dojo and heads for the bathroom. Ignoring Soun's presence in the bath, he jumps in and, having resumed his human form, goes back to the dojo, Soun watching this happen without any comments.
Exhausting her fury, she collapses on the floor and admits she's never going to be able to get good enough on her own to do this. At that moment, Ryoga walks in through the door and softly asks if Akane would like him to train her, having overheard the conversation while in Akane's room as P-chan. Precisely how Ryoga could possibly know anything about this situation is something Ranma cannot resist pointing out, but Ryoga merely demands to know who Ranma is calling P-chan instead of flying into a rage. Akane gracefully accepts Ryoga's offer to tutor her. Ryoga proceeds to demonstrate the most basic skill, the ribbon, using a spiral lash to strike Ranma multiple times before he is hurled against the wall. Ranma is irritated, to say the least, while Akane is impressed with Ryoga's display.
At St. Hebereke, Kodachi tells her gymnasts that training is over for today and they eagerly relax and start cleaning off to go home. As they do, they talk amongst themselves, wondering why they bother training at all seeing as how they always win by default, being warned to not let Kodachi hear that, and wondering who will lead tonight's ambush. Kodachi's spy approaches her and tells her in whispers about what she discovered. Kodachi nods and goes to her personal locker, marked with a black rose insignia and stuffed full of weapons. Withdrawing a large mallet and a hooded cape, she leaves St. Hebereke and bounds through the streets to the Tendo Dojo.
Later that evening, Ryoga declares Akane has trained enough for today and compliments her that her ribbon technique is coming along nicely, insisting that he's sure she'll master it soon even as Akane thanks him for training her. When she asks if Ryoga really means that, Ranma flatly declares Ryoga is lying through his teeth -- Akane, despite being wrapped up in her own ribbon just like when she first started, angrily tells him to shut up.
Kodachi, meanwhile, has arrived at the Tendo Dojo. Thinking to herself that Furinkan won't get away with cheating, she dramatically throws away her cape and starts laughing, even as passers by stare at her in shock.
Akane, meanwhile, is in the bath and thinking nervously about how there's only a week left before she's due to compete.
Sitting on the rock near the koi pond, Ranma declares Akane is so hopeless it hurts to watch her, even as he bounces a gymnastics ball up and down on his index finger before catching it and spinning it around. He warns Ryoga that he really doesn't think that buttering up Akane is going to help her in the upcoming fight, but Ryoga merely smirks and declares Ranma to be "jealous". As Ranma sputters in disbelief, Ryoga dives into the pond. When P-chan emerges and starts resolutely heading for Akane's room, Ranma realises that Ryoga is going to sleep in Akane's bed again and angrily starts chasing him.
In Akane's room, she flops onto her bed in exhaustion and thinks that she could sleep for a week. After a few seconds, her eyes widen with shock as she realises that Kodachi is clinging to her ceiling above her, a black rose in her mouth and her mallet slung across her back. Kodachi opens her mouth and lets the rose fall first, then drops and smashes through it so that she descends hammer-first in a shower of petals, shouting for Akane to "prepare to die!" Akane rolls aside and flips to land on her feet even as Kodachi's mallet slams into her bed and demands to know who Kodachi is. Kodachi proclaims her identity and starts attacking her with her mallet, declaring that she hopes Akane will fight fair in the upcoming match. Incensed by this, Akane fights back and forces her against the door, pointing out the hypocrisy of Kodachi's actions. Kodachi blatantly excuses her actions and then entangles Akane with her ribbon. As she gets ready to make an overhead strike, though, she is flattened against the wall as Ranma and P-chan burst through the door. As Akane watches in shock, the two bounce all over her room
for several moments before running out again, leaving her unable to think of doing anything except to go to the door and call out admonishments to Ranma for picking on her pet. Realising she's left herself open, she spins around in a high kick that knocks Kodachi's mallet from her hands. The two share some brief conflictive banter before Kodachi declares she will leave, using her ribbon to unleash a spiraling wind laden with black rose petals while laughing before bounding out the window. After she leaves, Akane angrily asks who's supposed to clean up the mess she's made.
On the rooftop, Kodachi thinks to herself that Akane will get hers at the match next week and starts running to get the momentum to clear the fence. She idly notices a small black pig suddenly bound past her, then realises someone else is chasing him -- Ranma, blind to everything but the desire to catch Ryoga, doesn't notice that Kodachi is in his way until he smacks the kettle he's carrying into her face hard enough to dent it. Realising the kettle just impacted something, he looks back and sees the unconscious Kodachi falling to the ground. Dropping the kettle he dives for her, catches her, and then springs back up onto the topmost roof. Asking if she's alright, she comes to and is instantly besmitten at the sight of Ranma, admiring his beauty even as Ranma realizes that this is Kodachi that he's holding. She shyly looks away before turning back to him, stuttering a few times before latching onto him and begging him to hold her, even as Ranma weakly asks what's going on.
In Akane's room, unaware of what's going on, Akane angrily rants to herself about Ranma ignoring her plight to harass P-chan as she vacuums up the black rose petals, finally snapping its over and accidentally smashing the vacuum in her rage, which snaps her sorrowfully back to her senses.
On the roof, Kodachi releases Ranma and he weakly tries to excuse himself, only for Kodachi to suddenly clutch her head and exclaim in pain. Her expression takes on a cold light as she thinks to herself that looking for Mr. Right at a girl's school was a fool's errand and that she's finally met him and not going to let him go. Ranma tries to excuse himself again as he claims he'll go for some asprin, but as he steps away she subtly lashes out with a small knotted rope, coiling around his foot and causing him to fall flat on his face. Once he has hit the roof, she begs him to not go.
In her room, Akane looks up at the sound of the roof creaking, wondering if there's an earthquake.
As Ranma stands up, clutching his sore face, Kodachi wonders aloud how she could have known she'd meet the man of her dreams on this night and begs Ranma for his name. He absently tells it to her, and after repeating it, she gives him a bouquet of black roses that he puzzledly accepts. When they explode in his face, flying apart in a burst of powder, he promptly collapses back onto the roof, choking, as Kodachi stands up and smugly explains she added paralysis powder to them. When he demands to know why she did that when he was trying to help, she promptly straddles him and, speaking as though he is the one who desires her physical affections, leans in to kiss him -- much to Ranma's fear. At the last second, though, she pulls back and declares she is not yet ready, stepping back and primping herself even as Ranma struggles to move. Finished her last second preparations, she turns back to Ranma and thanks him for waiting, even as Ranma sarcastically thinks to himself that he's paralyzed, not waiting. Resuming her former position and monologue, she again bends in to kiss the panicking Ranma...
And that is when Akane appears on the scene, violently kicking Kodachi off of Ranma and screaming about the indignity of her trying such things right over her bedroom. Kodachi haughtily declares she will not stay where she is not wanted and, after assuring Ranma he will be hers when next they meet, leaves. Racing through the streets, squealing with delighted laughter, she thinks desperate encouragments to Ranma in his "wooing" of her and entices him to "draw the nectar from these honeyed lips". Akane, meanwhile, watches her leave and coldly turns back to Ranma telling him the party is over and good night before going back inside, even as Ranma tries to beg her to come back through paralyzed lips.
Curled up in bed, Akane angrily declares to herself that she will pay Kodachi back for what she's done, P-chan wriggling in pain as she unconsciously squeezes him too hard.
Some time later that night, Genma wakes up and goes for a drink, blithely unconcerned with the fact Ranma is not there. On the roof, Ranma is still lying spread-eagled and paralyzed, begging for somebody to help him. Overlaid onto the moon, the final scene of the episode, he sees translucent images of first Akane coldheartedly staring at him over her shoulder, and then Kodachi laughing triumphantly, one bent-wrist hand raised in front of her mouth in a delicate expression.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Kodachi Kuno||Saeko Shimazu||Teryl Rothery|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Genma Saotome (panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Ryoga Hibiki (piglet, human)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
- While the music remained unchanged, the video portion of the end credits changed with this episode. The change includes listing Venus Terzo and removing Brigitta Dau; Terzo had replaced Dau as the voice of female Ranma back in episode 7. This ending only lasted for three episodes, the Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics Arc, before both the graphics and song changed again.
- This episode introduces Kodachi Kuno to the series. She was revealed to be Kuno's younger sister in the next episode.
- There is a slight continuity goof in this episode. At the beginning, Ranma is seen ordering an ice cream cone and eating it with relish, but in the chronologically later episode Enter Shampoo, the Gung-Ho Girl! I Put My Life in Your Hands, Ranma reveals he has never had ice cream prior to the sundae that he eats at the beginning of that episode. For added strangeness, in the manga chapter equivalent to this episode, Ranma is shown ordering sweet buns instead.
- One subtle difference between the anime and manga is that, in the manga, the Furinkan Girls are depicted in "mummy wrap" bandages, whereas in this episode, they instead sport a variety of sticking plasters.
Differences from the Manga