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Swim Like a Hammer (特訓! ハンマー・ガール Tokkun! Hanma garu?) is the 139th chapter of the manga and the first chapter of the Akane's Swimming Lessons - Principal Kuno Arc.


One afternoon Akane is staring into the swimming pool at Furinkan High thinking about how she has never learned to swim. The Principal arrives and thinks Akane is trying to kill herself. When he discovers she can not swim he decides that he won't let her move up a grade unless she learns.

Plot Overview

As other students continue heading home, Akane stares at the school pool and recalls the instructor telling her class that next week they'll be having a swimming test, which is made worse by the fact that Akane's the only student in the class who's unable to swim.

The Principal declares he'll help Akane learn to swim so she can pass to the next grade.

Suddenly the Principal appears shouting to Akane "don't do it" before pushing her in and declaring the tragedy of him coming too late to save her from drowning. After dragging Akane out with a life ring, the Principal asks her why she wanted to do it, although Akane angrily retorts that she didn't want to "do" anything. Hearing this, the Principal woefully declares that it's a shame Akane can't swim as there's a rule which forbids students who can't swim from going on to the next grade. Akane, however, sees through the Principal's newly made up rule and hits him over the head with a nearby bench, but when she does, the Principal suddenly declares he's come up with a great idea... he'll teach Akane to swim!

That evening, Akane tells the others about the Principal's swimming lessons. Whilst Kasumi and Soun are supportive of Akane's decision, Ranma is shocked the Akane accepted, prompting Akane to explain that she'll do whatever it takes to learn to swim.

Later that evening Akane goes to the dojo's balcony and declares to herself that every time she's gone to the beach or the pool, even in a new swimsuit, she's always felt so awful at her inability to swim. Just then Ranma's voice calls out saying he understands how she feels, before commenting on how she has a new swimsuit and having nothing to put in it but her body. After promptly beating up Ranma for the comment, Akane points to a star and declares that this year she'll learn how to swim; even if she has to strap herself to a boulder!

With the said, Akane turns to Ranma and instructs him not to dare to interfere before walking back inside.

The Principal gives a textbook definition of the shark, instead of explaining why it's in the pool.

By the next day, word has quickly spread of Akane's swimming lessons and a large number of male students decide to take advantage of a chance of seeing Akane in a swimsuit. Unfortunately, their fantasies are far from met as they arrive to find Akane literally strapped to a boulder. As the Principal tells Akane to jump in, Ranma looks on from a distance and comments how he thought that being strapped to a boulder was meant as a figure speech.

Just then a shark jumps out of the pool, making the confused Akane ask what it is. The Principal responds to Akane's question by giving an encyclopaedia definition of the shark, forcing Akane to angrily explain that she knows what it is, but wants to know why it's here.

Viewing the whole situation as ridiculous, Akane begins walking off until the Principal shouts to her to stop if she doesn't want to be called "hammer girl" for the rest of her life. The Principal then declares that in Hawaii they learn to swim by strapping boulders to themselves and try to get away from sharks. Despite the other students not believing of this obvious lie, Akane falls for it, but still demands that the Principal show her how it's done before kicking the boulder at the Principal, causing him to fall into the pool.

Akane tries to rescue the Principal, but finds him perfectly fine with Scuba equipment.

As the bubbles in the water settle down and the water calms, the other students assume the Principal must've drowned before calmly walking off. Akane, however, decides she has to save the Principal, so jumps in only to find him hiding at the bottom with Diving cylinder to help him stay there.

Finally realising what she's done, Akane begins panicking and heads to the surface where she flounders uncontrollably whilst the Principal comments that he knew she'd come and save him. At that moment the shark starts speeding towards the pair, as per the Principal's training, until Ranma steps in by kicking the shark and rendering it unconscious.

As Ranma stands on the shark's stomach, he apologises but couldn't just look on anymore. The Principal, however, is furious with Ranma's interference as Kapu (forbidden), to which Ranma comments that there's no way this is going to teach "that hammer" to swim. The pair then begin arguing about Akane's chances of success, until Akane tires of them and ends the argument by knocking Ranma into the pool before declaring (albeit with her mouth filled with water) that she'll do her best. Hearing this, the Principal tells Akane that she's got the right spirit whilst Ranma tells Akane that she's not stupid, she's insane.

Cast in Order of Appearance


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See Also