The Plum and the Prune (老人と梅 Rojin to ume?) is the 210th chapter of the manga and the first and only chapter of the Harumaki Arc.

Ranma is reluctantly goes on a date with the spirit of a dying man to fulfill his last wish to see the plum blossoms.

Plot Overview

Just a Dream?

Ranma wakes up from a horrible nightmare where his girl self kisses an elderly man under the plum blossoms. He wakes up screaming and is subsequently knocked out by Genma. In the morning he explains to Akane that he had been having the same nightmare on a regular basis.

Suddenly he is transformed when Happosai splashes him with water to fondle her breasts. As he is booted out of the vicinity a young boy leaps on the fence and asks if she had been dreaming of a certain elderly man. He holds up a picture of the same man Ranma saw in his nightmare and becomes interested. The boy asks if she would like to go on a date and leads Ranma and Akane to a local hospital where he introduces them to Harumaki, the elderly man in Ranma's dreams. The young boy is identified as his grandson and Harumaki's wife and his doctor are by his bedside.

Just as they are introduced Harumaki's spirit leaves the body and calls Ranma by an unfamiliar name, much to her shock. The grandson explains the separation and free movement of the spirit from the body using Colonel Sanders as an example.


Colonel Sanders Effect explained by Harumaki's grandson.

He also presents them with Harumaki's diary, which contained a picture of Ranma's girl form and how she looks very similar to his first love, Gyoko. The entire family then dramatically pleads with Ranma to go on a date with the feeble spirit as his days are likely numbered.

Spirit Date

Ranma reluctantly agrees to the date and dresses in the same outfit she wore in the dreams. They go through their date, seemingly not minding that everyone else is scared by the roaming spirit. When the date is finished, Harumaki's spirit says that there is one promise that has not been fulfilled. Ranma realizes that he must be talking about the kiss under the plum blossoms she remembers from the nightmare.

Unwilling to go through what the old man actually desires, Ranma instead attempts to lead Harumaki's spirit through a fantastic date to try to make him forget about the promise. Her attempts fail and the spirit is left unsatisfied, forcing his grandson to take a peek in the diary to see if he can figure out what Harumaki desires. He finds a passage that describes the promise which involves Gyoko and Harumaki running away together when the plum blossoms bloom. Ranma sees the plum blossoms as the key and decide to go to the spot where the promise was made, while refusing to actually elope with Harumaki.


The promise made by Gyoko and Harumaki.

When they get to the site, however, they realize that the grove had been cut down to make way for a hotel. Harumaki's spirit is devastated and starts to fade, and the worried spectators rush back to the hospital to check on his condition. They see him lying there as before and begin yelling at him before being quieted by his wife. She tells them that if loud noises can possibly wake him up she would be doing the same thing. The doctor then explains that there's no reason it shouldn't, prompting her to gather a drum and various noisemakers to try and wake him up.

Surprisingly it actually works, as Harumaki wakes up to shush her. They apologize and call each other's name, and Ranma and Akane notice that the wife's name is Gyoko, the same name found in the old man's diary. He explains that she is indeed the same girl and that they ended up eloping anyway.

Finally, Gyoko explains that all the stuff about the plum blossoms in his diary are completely fictional. Harumaki is then booted through the hospital window. Later that night, his grandson, Gyoko, and Akane notice Harumaki whispering the same plum blossom tale into male Ranma's ear as he sleeps, prompting them to wonder just what he is trying to do.

Cast in Order of Appearance




See Also

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