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The Final Choice (最後の選択 Saigo no sentaku?) is the 163rd chapter of the manga and the sixth chapter of the Hot Springs Obstacle Course Race Arc.

Synopsis

Ranma and Akane make it to the maze part of the course and decide to take the path labeled easy win since they are in last place. This path leads through a women's bath which proves troublesome for Ranma. Ryoga and Ukyo are lost in the attic and are not even on course. Mousse and Shampoo are in the jungle section of the maze. Ranma manages to rip through a wall and find Mousse and Shampoo.

Plot Overview

Ranma and Akane enter the final obstacle of the race.

Finding themselves in last place thanks to the previous obstacle, Ranma and Akane arrive at the final obstacle before the finishing goal, the Zekkyo Maze Baths! The pair soon find themselves at a crossroads, with three paths labelled "E-Z", "So-So" and "Tough Win" laid out before them. With no time to think it over, the pair head through the passage to the "E-Z Win", but are immediately confronted by a group of women bathing who instinctively begin throwing objects at Ranma. Akane attempts to fix the situation by blindfolding Ranma with a towel, but this still stop Ranma from being pummelled by washbasins.

Ranma soon grows tired of being hit so sprays herself with cold water so that he turns into his female form; before asking the bath patrons what's wrong with a girl being in the girl's bath (flashing her breasts as evidence of her gender). The women apologize to Ranma. Unfortunately Ranma soon finds himself back where he started as Akane jumps over the hot-water bath, turning Ranma back into his male form as the bathers resume their pummelling.

Meanwhile, Ryoga and Ukyo are lost in the bath's attic.

Having finally gotten through the women's baths, Akane takes the chance to get her breath back as Ranma comments that if this the "easy" way he'd hate to see the hard one. Suddenly a voice rings out welcoming them to the Zekkyo Sauna. As a wall falls behind Akane, blocking off the only exit, the voice continues by telling the pair to make themselves comfortable.

Shampoo is overjoyed at Ranma's sudden appearance.

At the same time, Shampoo and Mousse wander aimlessly through the steamy "Jungle Baths". Whilst Shampoo wonders where Ranma could've gotten to, Mousse decides that this is his chance to make Shampoo his and so turns to tell her that they where meant to be together forever. However, thanks to him not wearing his glasses, Mousse mistakes a bathing monkey for Shampoo and is subsequently scratched repeatably by it. As Shampoo looks on and tells Mousse to play with the animal on his own time, she hears a noise coming from the other side of the wall, moments before Ranma and Akane break through from the Sauna.

This sudden appearance of Ranma overjoys Shampoo, who quickly latches onto him as he and Akane rush through the bath maze, leaving an irate Mousse behind.

Akane understandably protests at Shampoo's sudden addition to their group and informs her that Ranma is her partner. Shampoo, however, points out that Ranma's other leg is tied to her. With neither side willing to back down, Akane and Shampoo continue speeding through the maze (dragging Ranma behind them in the process) until they arrive at a fork in the path, whereupon each head down a different route, leaving Ranma to get slammed in the crotch at the dividing wall.

Ranma finds himself having to choose between Akane and Shampoo once again.

Whilst Akane and Shampoo continue to argue over Ranma, Mousse looks on when he suddenly recognizes the situation from a tale from feudal Japan where two mothers fought over a child until Ichizen Oka declared the pair will tug-o-war with the child. Mousse then finishes recalling the tale by exclaiming that the child was split in half before proceeding to laugh at what a fitting end this is for Ranma.

Once Ranma promptly kicks Mousse out of a nearby window he turns his attention back to Akane and Shampoo. He then reminds the two of them that he's only interested in going to Jusenkyo, not who he pairs up with to do so. With his point made clear, Akane and Shampoo calmly ask Ranma to choose between them right then-and-there as they're each heading to different baths. As the pressure on him continues to escalate, Ranma sorrowfully think to himself why things like this always happen to him.

Elsewhere, Ryoga and Ukyo find themselves still hopelessly lost under the floorboards of the Sentō.

Cast in Order of Appearance

Quotes

  • (Shampoo) "Let go! You hurting Ranma!"
    • (Akane) "You're the one hurting him!"

Trivia

References


See Also



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