Saotome Family (Onsen) Vacation (早乙女一家温泉旅行 Saotome-ikka onsen ryoko?) is the 353rd chapter of the manga it is also the first and only chapter of the Onsen Vacation Arc.

Genma and Ranma are off training in the mountains when Genma tells Ranma the story of the pair of coats Nodoka made for them when Ranma was but a child. An avalanche causes them to retreat to a nearby hot spring resort, which looks familiar to Genma. After seeing his and Nodoka's name carved on a tree, he remembers that this is where they honeymooned after they were married. Surprisingly Nodoka is revisiting the hot springs as well, and Genma and Ranma have to disguise themselves as Ranko and Mr. Panda once again.

Plot Overview

Finding the Hot Springs

Whilst training in the mountains, Genma tells Ranma the story of how, just before Genma took him to go and train, Nodoka sowed their names into two padded coats so they could wear them when it was cold. As Genma notes how lucky he was to get them back from the Pawn shop, Ranma says that this is all fine, but why is Genma wearing both of them and leaving him to freeze?! Ranma then begins to wrestle Genma to get his coat, but the ruckus causes an avalanche.

Nodoka appears - Onsen Vacation

Nodoka suddenly appears while Genma was remembering his honeymoon with her.

Luckily, the pair manage to make it to Kokowa Hot Springs. While they enjoy their dip in one of the springs, Genma notes that although he can't quite put his finger on it, but this place seems familiar to him. A little later, Genma finds a tree and after shuffling off the snow from it, reveals an old ai ai gasa with his and Nodoka's names carved in it. Genma then remembers that he and Nodoka carved this on their honeymoon. As Genma reminisces, Ranma sarcastically asks him who he is and what he's done with his father.

At that moment, Nodoka appears at the tree and notices the footprints in the snow, but can only see two Snowmen near to the tree (which Ranma and Genma have hidden themselves inside of). After wondering where Ranma and her husband are now, Nodoka notices the two snowmen have started running away and curiously follows them. However, she ends up finding Ranko and Mr. Panda who've landed in some very cold water.

Nodoka quickly notices the padded coats that both of them are wearing and demands they show her the back of them. Ranma and Genma panic, so attempt to escape, but just end up hitting their heads on some ice and lose conscious. While the pair lie face-down in the water, Nodoka sees the writing on the back and instantly recognises it as the sowing she did years ago.

The Family Vacation Begins

Ranma's faux flashback - Onsen Vacation

Ranko lies to Nodoka and says that Ranma gave her the coat.

After managing to take Ranko and Mr. Panda back to her hotel room, Nodoka waits for them to wake up. When Ranko does, Nodoka questions about where they got their padded coats. Before Ranma has chance to come up with an answer, Nodoka believes that this means she's met Ranma. Ranko then comes up with the false story of how a young man gave her the coat whilst she was freezing in the snow and then left without even telling her his name. Genma soon joins in by holding a sign saying a charming middle-aged man gave him his coat, but Nodoka isn't interested in her husband and declares that if Ranma is nearby she has to find him (Ranma, meanwhile, holds Genma back from attacking Nodoka in a fit of sadness and anger).

When Nodoka goes to look for Ranma, Ranma asks Genma what they're going to do, to which Genma holds up a sign saying they'll do what they always do... Later on, in another hot spring, Genma tells Ranma that as soon as they get warm they'll leave the mountain. Ranma isn't as convinced, however, as he doesn't want to leave his mother all alone. Genma reminds Ranma that if Nodoka finds out about their curse they'll have to commit Seppuku.

Ranma declares he can't leave his mother when she's out in this weather looking for him. At that moment, Nodoka (who tripped when her wooden sandal got caught in the snow) tumbles onto Ranma's head and into the hot spring. As Ranma hides behind a rock, Genma pokes Nodoka with a stick and tells Ranma not to worry as Nodoka's unconscious.

That Evening

Once Nodoka is returned to her hotel room and regained consciousness, she begins to wonder if her son has gone somewhere far away by now. Ranko then reassures Nodoka before suggesting that since she came all this way to the hot springs she should at least enjoy herself. Nodoka wholeheartedly agrees with the idea and takes Ranko to the women's open-air bath so they can both enjoy themselves.

Ranma slips - Onsen Vacation

As Ranma is discovered by some of the female patrons, Nodoka goes to protect Ranko.

As Ranma freezes on the area surrounding the spring so she doesn't reveal her curse, Nodoka enjoys herself in the lovely hot spring. Nodoka then asks Ranko why she isn't going to come in, but can't see her anywhere, as Ranma has begun rushing back to the hotel room before she freezes. Unfortunately, Ranma slips on some soap and falls into the hot spring. Some women then arrive to enjoy the water, but are horrified when they see the male Ranma in the water.

Nodoka hears the screaming from the other patrons and takes out her sword so as she can protect Ranko from the pervert who's arrived. When Nodoka arrives, she sees Ranma's pigtail and grabs onto it. Ranma begins to panic, but luckily a snowmen lands between the pair and gives Ranma the chance to get dressed and flee with Genma.

Nodoka sees Ranma - Onsen Vacation

Nodoka sees a boy running away in Ranma's coat and believes it to be Ranma himself.

When the steam from the melting snowman clears, Nodoka sees a young man wearing Ranma's padded coat running away. Nodoka then attempts to question the man if he's Ranma, before adding that if that means he was the pervert. The latter statement strikes a cord with Ranma, who can't bring himself to leave with his mother thinking he's a pervert. Genma decides to stop Ranma by hitting him with a mallet, which inadvertently causes the ice beneath them to crack.

After managing to catch up, Nodoka sees a person in Ranma's padded coat continuing to run away. Nodoka tells him to at least show her his face, but Nodoka is shocked to see that it's a monkey wearing the coat. Meanwhile, Ranma and Genma (both back in their cursed forms) decide to go back to the hotel. When they get there, Nodoka still can't believe that her son looked just like a monkey. Whilst Mr. Panda holds a sign noting that at least she got to see Ranma this time, an annoyed Ranko tells Nodoka that it was a real monkey she saw, not Ranma.

Cast in Order of Appearance




See Also

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