Ranma suddenly falls head over heels for Shampoo when she ties him to her with the magical Red Thread of Fate. Just a few more hours and the effect will be permanent, and Akane doesn't care one bit... does she?
Relation to the Previous Episode
One day at the Cat Café, a friendly Chinese apothecary expresses surprise at Cologne for still being alive. He talks with Cologne about what "miracle medicine" he can sell her, only for the old amazon to retort that his last "miracle cure" gave her arthritis for almost a week. The man cheerfully corrects her in that she asked for canned arthritis and so he sold it to her: what she needed was "canned arthritis cure". Defeated Cologne requests for some of the cure but then Shampoo, who is also there, asks about a particular red string that among the medicines. It is revealed that it is called the "Red Thread of Fate" and that once tied around the pinky finger of herself and a loved one, the two will be bound for life after five hours. Imagining herself with Ranma Saotome, Shampoo decides to purchase the thread.
At the Tendo residence, Genma Saotome (in panda form) and Ranma are napping when the latter just so happens to wake up his father. Genma brushes him off and goes back to sleep just in time for Shampoo to sneak in through their bedroom window. The girl goes up her beloved and is about to get the thread ready before Akane Tendo comes in. Upon seeing Shampoo over Ranma, she gets furious and throws the book he wanted to borrow (apparently about P-chan) in his face. Shampoo has failed and she flees the house just as Ranma wakes up, none too happy about the book throwing. He asks if Akane always does this to guys she doesn't like, to which she counters it's only him that gets special treatment. She leaves the room leaving the clueless Ranma to wonder what he's done now.
Some time later Ranma is chasing P-chan around the house, Akane yelling at him to cut it out. The chase moves outside where neither boy or pig notice the red thread dangling from the front of the gate in a loop. Ryoga gets to the gate only to get his neck caught in the loop. Shampoo is disappointed in her failure again and jumps down to greet Ranma, removing the string from the piglet's neck. She asks to play a game of cat's cradle with the string but the boy scoffs telling her that they're too old for that. He only agrees after Shampoo offers to give him a week of free food from the Cat Cafe. The still angry Akane walks over to them and splashes Ranma with a bucket, turning him to his female form because according to her "girls are less trouble". The two start their usual argument until they notice Shampoo tying the thread to Ranma's pinky. Before she knows what's going on, the Chinese girl secures the thread to her finger. Ranma gives Shampoo a dreamy look before the latter changes her back to male form with a kettle, saying that now they can finally make wedding plans. A confused Akane gets mad after Ranma says that he can finally get rid of her now that he's marrying Shampoo. Cologne appears out of nowhere and delightfully asks if Ranma will finally be her son-in-law (technically great grandson-in-law). Ranma surprisingly says yes and asks for the elder to move in with him and Shampoo after their marriage. Genma appears from behind and asks (through a sign) about who will take care of him when he reaches old age, but even his own son ignores him and tells Cologne that they should decide on a date for the marriage. Distraught, Akane gives up and tells Ranma to have it his way.
Soun Tendo is horrified to learn of Ranma and Shampoo's sudden decision to marry. He grabs Genma (now back in human form) and demands if he had anything to do with this, demanding if he made a deal for free food at the Cat Cafe in exchange. Offended Genma grabs his friend and demands if he really looks like that kind of man, to which Soun coldly tells him that he does. Genma looks genuinely mortified and starts sobbing into Soun's arms begging him to disagree, but the other man refuses just as Ranma and Shampoo walk in on them. Dramatically Soun demands what it means (Ranma and Shampoo holding hands) to which Ranma cheerfully replies that it's a sign of affection. Before Soun can question Genma further the man becomes a panda and starts playing with his ball, denying responsibility. What really breaks Soun is that Ranma asks him to cancel his current engagement to Akane, much to Shampoo's delight. Ranma's logic is that no one asked him if he wanted to marry the youngest Tendo daughter and that it's Shampoo whom he truly loves. A frantic Soun flees the room and screams for Akane.
Upon confronting his daughter in her room, Akane tells Soun that it's none of her business who Ranma decides to be with but Soun retorts her that she's wrong and that Ranma is serious about the marriage. She replies that serious or not that she wasn't responsible for the whole mess: Ranma's the only one to blame. A disappointed Soun looks down and decides not to pressure his youngest if that's how she really feels, but that she is still engaged to Ranma for the moment. Once again Akane tries to get it through to her father that neither Ranma or her asked for an arranged marriage and that it was all his and Genma's idea in the first place. Nevertheless Soun demands that she try to talk her betrothed out of it, even if she has to beg on her knees, much to her horror. Taking it back, Soun tries to appeal to her in that she's free to use any means necessary to break up Ranma and Shampoo and that he'll be supporting her all the way. Akane however just ignores him and walks out of her room, a sympathetic Soun and Ryoga staring after her. Going after her, the pig boy notices a hurt look on her face. Downstairs Ranma and Shampoo are cuddling with Nabiki and Kasumi Tendo watching around the table. Nabiki thinks that the pigtailed boy is overdoing it with the affection but Kasumi tells her sister that it's inevitable since they are tied by the Red Thread of Fate. The middle sister doesn't believe it until the eldest points out the string on the "couple's" pinkies. Shampoo tries to pass it off as nothing, but Nabiki isn't buying it. In the dojo, Akane is breaking tiles like no tomorrow, furiously telling herself that it's got nothing to do with her. A scared Ryoga watches her in awe before she looks to him and tells him to come along for a run, which he immediately does.
At Ucchan's Okonomiyaki, the owner is outraged upon hearing of Ranma and Shampoo's engagement from Nabiki. She asks for a shrimp okonomiyaki next and Ukyo tells her that she'll make her anything she wants if she tells her how Shampoo convinced Ranma to marry her. Nabiki tells her that it was the Red Thread of Fate, much to Ukyo's surprise as she thought that it was supposed to be invisible, but the Tendo girl insists that she saw it and that it's controlling Ranma to love the amazon girl. Ukyo doesn't need anymore convincing as it sounds like just the trick that Shampoo would pull. It is then that Nabiki notices that Sasuke Sarugakure is sitting next to her, having heard the entire conversation. The ninja thinks to himself that he's lived on table scraps for a year and there's no telling how far this information will take him, With that, he heads off to tell his masters, neither girl paying him any mind. With that Ukyo resolves to cut the thread of fate herself. As she heads out, a berserk Mousse and Kodachi Kuno join her on the hunt. Their motto "Better dead then wed!"
When they get to the Tendo Dojo, they find Tatewaki Kuno sitting in front of the gate, refusing to let them pass to ruin the new couple's relationship. Kodachi just laughs it off and tells her brother that he's not fooling anyone. Her point: by keeping Ranma and Shampoo together, he's free to pursue Akane for himself. He silences her by pointing his bokken at her and the others, telling the trio that he has no intention of letting them sever the thread. An angered Ukyo strikes with her spatula but he easily counters it. Kodachi and Mousse then strike with their weapons but while Kuno is able to parry his sister's ribbon, he finds himself tied in Mousse's chain. Ukyo smacks him over the head, knocking him out and the trio make their way into the Tendo household. Ranma and Shampoo manage to flee the house with the suitors hot in pursuit. The runners pass Akane and Ryoga on the street, Shampoo noting that the effect will become permanent in three hours. Akane exasperatedly notes that everyone is now involved just as Kuno comes up to her and asks what she thinks about having a double wedding ceremony with her ex-fiance, putting his hands on her shoulders. Of course like always, Akane proceeds to kick him away in annoyance. Afterwards, she tells herself that Ranma can manage on his own and that he's free to have his own wedding.
Later in her room, Akane wears a forlorn expression staring at Ryoga, who squeals a little. Just she notes that the whole thing feels like a bad dream, Soun comes barging into her room saying that it's no dream, handing her an invitation to Ranma and Shampoo's wedding. Upon reading it, she sees it as pity and sarcastically tells Soun to send them her regrets. Soun tries once more to reason with his daughter, saying that once Ranma and Shampoo wed there will be no turning back. Sighing, Akane explains that what she wants doesn't matter since no one is forcing Ranma into marriage, but then Nabiki comes in saying that that isn't the case, stating that Kasumi's theory earlier may not have been far off. She tells her family that Shampoo is indeed using the Red Thread of Fate to tie them together, much Soun's shock and Akane's skepticism. The middle girl says that they don't have to believe her if they don't want to but they shouldn't go crying to her once it's too late, though Soun admits that it does sound like the type of trick for Shampoo to use. Thinking back to her and Ranma's argument, Akane realizes that that's when the amazon must have tied on the thread. With that, Soun hands his daughter a pair of scissors, noting that the thread should be cut by her hand, but Akane doesn't see why, as she's not Ranma's babysitter. The others try to persuade her to take action in that it was all the thread making Ranma fall for Shampoo, but the stubborn Tendo yells at them to get out as she has homework to complete. At that moment Ryoga grabs the scissors and runs to the bathroom, changing back to his original form. He declares that no one hurts Akane while he's around (which he admits isn't very often).
In the Cat Cafe, Ranma is dressed in a tuxedo and bowtie while Cologne is fitting Shampoo into her wedding dress. The old woman admits that the gown was meant to be used by her at her own wedding (much to her great-granddaughter's disgust) but that she's happy that anyone gets to use it. At that moment, Ukyo and Mousse come in and try to tell their respective interests that one is deceiving the other, only for Mousse to be turned into a duck, Shampoo telling him to stay out of it. To Ukyo's despair, Ranma comes to his bride-to-be's defense, that is until she spots the thread. As she pretends to leave in defeat, Shampoo tells the former that she can come to the wedding in a few hours and the okonomiyaki chef uses the opportunity to sever the thread with her spatula. Having gained his senses, Ranma wonders what's going on much to Ukyo's delight. It doesn't last long until Kuno suddenly bursts from the ground and reties the thread, putting Ranma back into his loving state. Kodachi soon bursts out herself extremely displeased with her brother's actions, to which he retorts that the wedding will go on. She attacks Kuno only to be tie herself with her own ribbon. Holding back Ukyo, Kuno tells the couple to go with his blessings. They barely leave the restaurant entrance when Ryoga confronts them saying that he won't let Ranma hurt Akane. With that he snips both ends of the string, much to Shampoo's dismay. She demands it back, but the pig man refuses. However, Shampoo points out that if she and Ranma do get married, than Ryoga is free to go steady with Akane all he wants. While at first excited, Ryoga struggles with what to do: if he lets Shampoo have her way, then Akane would never forgive him, but on the other hand, stopping the marriage means that Akane would eventually get back together with Ranma. Shampoo uses this internal struggle to take back the thread.
Back at the Tendo house, Akane is working on her schoolwork, noting that only fifty minutes remain until the Red Thread of Fate becomes permanent, but she's not watching the clock or anything. As more time passes however she continues glancing at the clock and then imagines Ranma and Shampoo finally getting married, much to her irritation. It gets to the point that she breaks her pencil and stands up, shouting that standing back and taking it is just what Ranma expects her to do. In the family room Soun and Genma (back to his normal state) ponder on what they can do. Genma stands up and tells his friend that they should stop meandering and take charge of the situation by force, to which Soun agrees. He backs off however after Nabiki pops in and warns him that Ranma may not look after him at old age if he ruins his big day, much to Soun's annoyance. They stop their bickering just in time to see Akane hurrying past them.
At the chapel, Cologne is stopping Ukyo from ruining the wedding, saying that she should be happy for her ex-fiance. Ukyo is quick to point out that it's because she's not the one marrying him and that the love he has for Shampoo is fake. The snickering Cologne tells her that it won't matter anyway once the clock strikes five since by then the thread will fall off and their love will become genuine. Flabbergasted, Ukyo tries to charge in but the old amazon trips her. Inside the two about-to-be-weds are questioned by the priest if they have no witness. Though confused at first since she sent out invitations, Shampoo decides that no guests are necessary and Ranma agrees saying that all they need is each other. The clock grows closer to five and Shampoo sees that soon Ranma will be all hers. At that moment, however, someone tells them to wait. It's Akane with an unusually pleasant look for the situation. Shampoo is quick to point out that Akane wants to stop the wedding, but Akane denies this and says that she wants to help. Holding up a set of roses, she offers to be their witness, to which Ranma thanks her and asks to come visit them soon. As the hour draws closer, Akane hands Shampoo the bouquet. The former's look of sweetness is soon replaced with fierce determination as she takes out a pair of scissors and cuts the thread. The clock strikes five as the Red Thread of Fate dissolves into nothingness, foiling Shampoo. She shouts that Akane tricked her, to which latter asks that if she honestly think she would't. Much to her relief Ranma has returned to his old self.
Suddenly Ukyo, the Kunos and Mousse (back in his human form) charge in, all furious at Ranma and apparently not knowing that the thread was thwarted. They attack him until Ranma gets them to back off, though they still call him out. He asks if everything is okay to which they sarcastically say "Sure, Ranma! We understand!" He tells Akane that they should get going and the girl grabs him by hand and runs away, much to the others annoyance. As they flee the church, Ranma asks Akane why they need to run in the first place, to which Akane slows to a walk and actually agrees with him. She walks over to him and gives him a quick slap, much to his annoyance and cluelessness. When he asks her why she tells him to think about it. As she walks away, he calls after her, which causes her to smile, happy that things are back to normal.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Shampoo (human)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Cologne||Miyoko Asō||Elan Ross Gibson|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Richard Cox|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Ryoga Hibiki (piglet, human)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Ukyo Kuonji||Hiromi Tsuru||Kelly Sheridan|
|Sasuke Sarugakure||Shigeru Chiba||Robert O. Smith|
|Mousse (human, duck)||Toshihiko Seki||Brad Swaile|
|Kodachi Kuno||Saeko Shimazu||Teryl Rothery|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Kōji Tsujitani||Ted Cole|
- In East Asian mythology, the deities tie a red cord around the ankles of those that are to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmates or a destined flame.