Relation to the Previous Episode
It is early morning at Furinkan High School, and as they arrive, the students are all abuzz with the news that the mysterious principal of the school will be arriving today after having been to America for many years. They scatter in shock when a helicopter suddenly descends from the sky, only to hover a storey or so above the ground and unfurl a banner with the English lettering for "Welcome Headmaster", which a student with an English-to-Japanese dictionary explains is a Western variation of "Principal". While one student suggests that maybe they all take helicopters to school in America, Ukyo Kuonji declares that no matter who you are, it's tacky to hang out your own welcome banner. A joyous cry of Aloha suddenly splits the air, to the students' confusion, and a shape darts out of the helicopter's door, even as the machine lifts off and flies away.
Akane Tendo and Ranma Saotome run to school, Ranma trying to reassure Akane that they'll be fine, only for her to point out he said that yesterday, and they were late then. When they arrive, though, they arrive to the ludicrous sight of a snowman with a tiny coconut palm tree sticking out of its head chasing various students around the schoolground, a muffled voice noting various dresscode infractions like non-regulation schoolbags, socks that are too long and untucked blouses. Catching sight of Ranma, with a pigtail and Chinese outfit, brings the snowman leaping over to confront him. Dumbfounded, Ranma can only think to ask if it's not too warm for snowmen, whereupon it laughs at him not to worry... before grabbing his pigtail and getting ready to shear it off. Outraged, Ranma kicks it away fiercely, evades several more attempts to cut his pigtail off, and then uses a rebound off of a tree to deliver a powerful kick to the back of its head, causing it to shatter.
To the surprise of them all, standing in the broken pieces is a chubby, tanned man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and shorts, stumming a ukelele and with a small coconut palm on the top of his head. Smiling widely, he introduces himself to the stunned students as the new principal of Furinkan High. They can hardly believe this, but Ranma is more concerned with the fact this weirdo just tried to attack him. The principal simply backs away when Ranma confronts him, offering him a pineapple from Hawaii as a gift... which promptly explodes, leaving Ranma dazed at the bottom of a crater. Looming over him, the principal gloats that this is what happens when students defy the headmaster of Furinkan, hoisting Ranma up by the pigtail and getting ready to chop it off... only for Ranma to spring awake and twist himself around to deliver a powerful kick over his own back straight into the principal's face. Even as he complains that Ranma mustn't hit his face, Ranma demands to know what's wrong with the weirdo. Muttering about how Ranma is a "bad keikei", he instead runs off, then turns and throws a pineapple bomb at Ranma again, blowing him up. He takes advantage of the smoke to grab Akane and drag her away. When the smoke clears, Ranma is too scorched to notice; he barely has the energy to snarl that the principal's going to go down for this before he faints from his injuries.
Shortly afterwards, an announcement rings out over the school P.A. system to come to the school gymnasium for a school meeting, called by the principal. Given his previous antics, there is doubt expressed about whether he genuinely is the principal, but they obey his commands to shut up. The principal proclaims he's got a present for all of the students now that he has returned, but tenative excitement gives way to disgust, dread and outrage when he reveals that his "present" is a new school rule: all boys need to have buzzcuts and all girls need to have bowl cuts. This elicits an upraor of displeasure from the students; while two thuggish boys who already have buzzcuts protest they don't see anything wrong with them, Tatewaki Kuno drowns them out by stepping on their heads. The principal darkly declares that if they think this is bad, then they need to wait and see his other new rules; what this school needs is order...
A barrage of junk comes flying through the air, forcing him to duck, but when it stops and he tenatively pokes his head out, Ranma comes flying into his face in a fierce kick, accusing him of making this as payback for his "defeat" that morning. The principal merely laughs it off and then reveals his trump card; a broom tied horizontally to a rope descends from the ceiling, a gagged Akane tied to its length by her wrists in a crucified position. Ranma flinches, even as the principal gloats that Ranma has to be the first boy in school to get his head shaved, or else. Akane promptly twists in her bonds so that she delivers a painful blow to the back of the principal's skull, knocking him to the platform and giving Ranma ample time to free her. Seeing the two of them advancing on him menacingly, the principal protests that they haven't given him time to explain the whole story.
He announces to the student body that he has a challenge for them; if they can find a coconut he's hidden a "get out of all school rules free" pass inside, then they will be exempt from his new rule. To emphasize his point, he holds up a coconut, but Ranma promptly kicks him in the face and swipes it - the principal immediately dives for cover, as it's actually another of his disguised bombs. Taunting them that they have only three days to do it in and that he'll be waiting in his office, he runs off. Immediately, the students fly into an uproar, determined to find this coconut of the principal's and/or beat him into agreeing to waive that stupid new rule. The teachers watch this happen, some of the older members noting that this is exactly the sort of thing they were expecting and the principal is renowned for doing it, as he loves to annoy the students, before they decide to vanish, lest the angry students turn on them as well.
In a great swarm they stampede through the school, looking for the principal's office. Ranma mentions to Akane that he has no idea where it is; he hasn't been there since he transferred. Neither has Ukyo - in fact, nobody knows where it is. Save for a minor distraction when Kuno, after making a dramatic speech, comes charging directly at them, for which they trample over him, they remain fixated, and finally discover the principal's office... only to then recognize that the entire hall is lined with doors proclaiming to be the principal's office. Akane simply declares that they'll have to check out the offices one by one; after all, one of them has to be the real principal's office, right? Ranma, however, isn't paying attention; he's spotted something very unusual through the window. Coconut palm trees, near the walled-off portion of the grounds...
Akane leads the students into the first office, where a two-way TV set allows the principal to mockingly welcome them to the "big island" and tell them to bask in the "friendly Hawaiian atmosphere". At that, the door suddenly locks shut and the sounds of wild animals herald the arrival of a lion, tiger, gorilla and crocodile. Akane and Ukyo both realise that Ranma isn't there at the same time, but still go to the defense of their classmates. They defeat their attackers easily - and no wonder! It turns out that they are nothing but teachers in costume, blackmailed into doing this to keep their jobs, and accompanied by tapes of animal cries. Crisis averted, they return to their mission, though Akane is justifiably irritated that Ranma has vanished when they need him.
In the walled off area, the principal watches all of this thanks to a security system, having created a fake beach to relax on. He gets knocked from his seat when a canoe suddenly hits him in the head, followed closely by a great splashing wave. When he recovers, he sees the female form of Ranma lying on the sand, dressed in an islander-type dress; unaware of Ranma's curse, he has no idea who she is and, while initially he tries to bring her round, the sight of her pigtail is irresistable to him. When he tries to shave it off, though, Ranma reveals she's faking the coma and kicks him in the face. Adopting a soft, female voice, she insists she is not one of the principal's students, then spins for him a ridiculous story about being from a neighboring island and needing a coconut with a "get out school rules free" for her sickly father. However, the principal is touched and vows to help her find what she needs - as Ranma irritably discovers, the principal himself doesn't remember where he's hidden the coconut.
The students inside have discovered an office with "Headmaster's Office" written on a coconut-shaped placard; they're certain this must be the final office. But when they open the door, dozens of coconuts come spilling out. Akane is undaunted, though, and quickly establishes a "production line" where students hand her the coconuts, she karate chops them in half, and others remove the halves. She proceeds to hack through the nuts at a pace that seriously impresses the spying principal, while Ranma merely notes to herself, somewhat disdainfully, that Akane always has to do things the hard way. Finally, Akane reaches the last of the coconuts... but it turns out to be a dud; nothing inside but slips of paper containing mockery. The students momentarily lose heart, before Ukyo whips them back into a frenzy by declaring they'll just have to beat it out of the principal.
The principal promptly looks into the room to gloat that he's too smart for them to catch him, but Ranma takes that as an opportunity to kick him in the head and send him flying into the room, where the kids dogpile him. Binding him with ropes around the waist, they force him to undergo a particularly harsh form of physical punishment acted out in schools, demanding he explain where the coconut is. All they get out of him is that it's in the principal's office, he "needs" a big office, and he uses different ones for different days, before Ranma interjects, having managed to retrieve some hot water and return to his true form, that they should just beat him into giving up on this nonsense once and for all. Kuno then chooses that moment to make a nuisance of himself, coming barging through and beating on the principal, only to set him free in the process. The principal promptly shreds Kuno's bokken with a strange technique that relies on dual-wielded hand-shears, and then uses a pineapple bomb to both knock Kuno unconscious and escape.
For a moment, they all feel disheartened, but they rally themselves once again, splitting into groups to resume looking for the principal. While Akane & Ranma lead a group into a room full of tasteless photos of the principal, Ukyo's group finds themselves back in the fake jungle room, where they are attacked by remote control planes that try to shear their heads with specially designed propellers and are destroyed, much to the delight of the principal, watching through the security system. Both of these are dead ends, before Ranma suggests that there is one place left to check; the gym. As he explains, they just came from there that morning, and with how focused they were on the idea of an office being a small room in the school itself, they never would have thought to check here. Ukyo compliments him on his intelligence, even as they push the doors open and find an artifical jungle has been erected inside.
As they make their way in, though, a great swarm of robber crabs trained to clip hair start falling from the trees, and the confusion engendered by this and the principal appearing to lead them in a giant robber crab suited equipped with claw-mounted smoke launchers means Ranma is seperated from the group. To his relief, he discovers the principal didn't stop to cut his hair, and so he sets off deeper into the gym, undaunted, in search of the principal's hiding place. He discovers a wooden/bamboo hut on stilts, a traditional Hawaiian design, which has clearly been used as the principal's base of operations. There is no sign of the principal at first, but Ranma's feint quickly gets him to reveal his disguise as the bust of himself. The principal nervously tries to talk Ranma into calming down, offering to try and remember where the coconut is hidden, but Ranma declares he's no longer interested. He doesn't care who the principal is, he's just going to ignore his orders; he also intends to beat an apology out of him for all of this ridiculous mess. The principal manages to grab a trigger rope, knocking Ranma into a stupor and then tying him up before suspending him upside down.
As Akane, Ukyo and the other students arrive, the principal is trying to shave Ranma's head, but doesn't find this an easy target, Ranma easily flips around, grabs the principal with his feet and throws him through the air to land painfully on his head, a move Ranma mockingly identifies as the Coconut Crush. The principal complains Ranma did that on purpose, to which Ranma mockingly wipes his face with his foot and asks if the principal really means that. The principal promptly pops a pepper balloon in Ranma's face, hoping to get him while Ranma is stunned and choking, but Akane startles him, the other students surrounding him and seemingly putting an end to his plans. To add greater meaning to the victory, they spot the coconut they've been looking for on the desk, but as they charge it, the principal suddenly bats it away.
But it lands straight in the face of Kuno, who remains undaunted and charges blindly into the hut, swinging his sword wildly at the closest target... which happens to be Ranma. Irritated, Ranma kicks Kuno into a head-first collision with the principal, who grabs the coconut and then gets ready to shave Kuno's head. Kuno promptly wards him off with his bokken, jeering he'll make sure to invite Buddhist monks to his memorial service if he likes shaved heads that much. The principal takes cover behind Ranma, which doesn't daunt Ranma in the slightest. Finally, he twists around to kick both nuisances and goes swinging up to the roof, where he grabs a bamboo pole and then comes down, seemingly intending to use it as a spear. The principal promptly reveals his secret technique, the Aloha Sword Shredder, much to Kuno's wonder and terror. However, Ranma reveals the pole was just a distraction, dropping it and kicking him so hard he goes flying through the roof. Kuno promptly follows him when he begins to make a declaration of love to Akane.
When he comes back down to earth, Ranma and Akane badger him to remember his promise. The principal sobs that he will, but he was never really meaning to be the bad guy; he just thought they all seemed bored, so he wanted to liven things up a little. Ranma is skeptical, but Akane declares that she will forgive him, as will Ranma. Jubilant, the principal declares he has a new present for them now, unfurling a poster... which causes Ranma to start chasing him around the "office" again when he reveals it's a new haircut rule: all boys get topknots, all girls get geisha cuts. Watching this, Ukyo flatly suggests to Akane that the principal still needs a beating, and Akane agrees with this interpretation.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ukyo Kuonji||Hiromi Tsuru||Kelly Sheridan|
|Principal Kuno (debut)||Tatsuyuki Jinnai||Scott McNeil|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Richard Cox|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|The Director and his Assistant||Sukekiyo Kameyama||Terry Klassen|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- This episode introduces Principal Kuno.
- In the manga, the Principal and Tatewaki Kuno were reunited during this story; in the anime, this won't happen until Me is Kuno's Daddy, Me is, in the next season.
- Principal Kuno's first name is never given; even the Japanese "Kōchō" is merely the word for his title - it means "Principal".
- The boys in the Samurai/Shakespear costume and the Godzilla suit are the two chief members of the Furinkan Drama Club from Kissing is Such Sweet Sorrow! The Taking of Akane's Lips.
- Being forced to kneel on a corrugated platform while heavy weights are then placed on top of the folded legs is a traditional form of corporal punishment in Japan. For extra punishment, the victim is then whipped on the back.
- When Principal Kuno sends the coconut flying, he instantly changes into, and then out of, a Japanese baseball uniform. In the dub, he deems it a "homer" (slang for "home run"), while in the sub, he declares it's "outta the ballpark".
- This is the first episode featuring Richard Cox as the voice of Ranma in the English dub replacing his previous voice which is his voice actress, Sarah Strange.
- While Principal Kuno is explaining the rules of the coconut contest to the students Nabiki Tendo can be seen in the background to the far right. Otherwise, she plays no role in this episode and she didn't appear at all in the manga equivalent to this story.
- In the dub, when the teachers are discussing the principal's behavior, a female can be heard asking "He's always been like this?" but in the subs and original manga it was a male teacher who asked this.
- Ukyo did not appear in the original manga version of this story. Also, in the manga, Hiroshi and Daisuke played parts but here they do not make appearances, most of their roles were given to Ukyo or other students.