Kasumi is sick in bed and the Tendo's have no one to cook their meals for them. Akane offers to cook, so Soun insists that he can order take-out, but Kasumi does not want to trouble her family. Nodoka Saotome stops in for a visit to see if Ranma and Genma have returned from their training journey yet, and is greeted by Ranko and Mr. Panda. Nodoka then offers to cook for the Tendos and asks Akane and Ranko to help her.
Akane and Ranma have just returned to the Tendo Dojo, where they receive news that Kasumi is feeling unwell. In her room, Kasumi is being tended to by Soun and Nabiki. Kasumi apologises for this, but Soun tells her not to worry and just concentrate of getting better. Kasumi is still unconvinced, however, as she's concerned as to who will take care of the house and..., but before she can finish, Akane appears and tells Kasumi not to worry, as she'll cook dinner for everybody.
Almost the instant Akane makes this promise, Kasumi attempts to get up and make dinner, but Soun insists that he'll order take-out. Meanwhile, Genma tells Ranma that they have to go on a training journey right now, whilst Nabiki tells Akane that she promised to meet some friends outside. Downstairs, a person walks into the Dojo and believes that nobody's home, but decides it best to make themselves comfortable while they wait.
Back with Akane, and she begins following Ranma and Genma, as well as asking them where they think they're going. Ranma is surprised that Akane can't guess why they're leaving, as they'd rather have poison that her cooking (not that you could easily tell the difference). As Akane angrily beats Ranma for his remarks, Genma sense something, but can't believe it to be who he thinks it is...
At that moment, Nodoka appears and explains to Akane and Nabiki that nobody answered the door, so she let herself in. Nodoka continues by asking if Ranma or her husband have returned yet, but Akane can't think of an answer before Ranma (in his cursed form, thanks to him and Genma jumping into the Koi pond) greets Nodoka and asks if she had a nice trip. With Nodoka busy talking to "Ranko", Nabiki whispers to Akane that it seems like Ranma and Genma are keeping their curses a secret.
Some time passes and Nodoka learns of Kasumi feeling ill and hopes she gets better soon. Soun then explains that Kasumi usually takes care of all of the housework, but as she's ill there's nobody to make dinner. This prompts Nodoka to ask that, if nobody objects, if she could make dinner as it's been so long since she cooked for a family. Ranma, Soun and Nabiki are overjoyed at this, but their joy soon turns to despair when Nodoka asks Akane to help her, an offer which Akane agrees to.
Noticing the reaction of the others, Nodoka asks if something's the matter, to which Akane explains that her cooking doesn't turn out well most of the time. Ranko then tells Akane not to be so modest, causing Akane to threaten her with a Shinai and ask if she's saying her food is horrible, to which Ranko explains that she (Akane) already said that, but she won't argue about it. Nodoka then quickly breaks the tension by placing her hand on Akane's shoulder and telling her not to worry as she'll teach her how to cook well, she tells Akane that she has faith in her. As Akane looks at Nodoka with gratitude, Soun rushes up to Nodoka and asks her if she can really cure Akane, causing Nabiki to remark to her father that bad cooking isn't a disease.
Nodoka then asks Ranko to join her as well, as she's a young lady as well. Ranko is then taken away by Genma (still in his panda form). On the stairs, Genma warns Ranma to stay away from the hot water in the kitchen, since if Nodoka discovers their secret they'll have to commit Seppuku. Ranma then remarks on how stupid an oath is was that Genma made.
Back in the kitchen, Akane excitedly awaits her cooking lesson and hopes that Nodoka will help her to become a good cook. Nodoka begins by asking Ranko to cut the vegetables for the salad, a task which Ranko happily attends to. Initially, Akane is skeptical that Ranko knows how to perform this task, but Ranko shows up Akane by throwing the vegetables and cutting them midair, followed by having them all land nicely in a bowl. As Akane panics that Ranma might be a better cook than her, Nodoka kindly tells Ranko that it would be better if she washed the vegetable before cutting them, a mistake Ranko happily apologises for.
Akane takes a crack at cutting vegetables, but does it with such strength that parts of the wooden cutting board start flying off and hitting Ranko as she looks on. After Akane's finished, Nodoka inspects her work and tells Akane that she needs to watch the size of her pieces, as otherwise if the chunks are different sizes they won't cook properly. As Akane comments on that must be the reason why there's hard bits left in her cooking, Ranko meanwhile says the real reason is all the wood chunks Akane mixes in with the vegetables.
Undeterred by Ranma's comments, Akane begins cooking the vegetables while telling Ranko to stop making silly excuses. Ranma then panics and tells Akane to watch what she's doing, but Akane asks what she's panicking about as it's clearly Soy sauce she'd adding (although the bottle is clearly labelled "Salad oil"). After putting out the inevitable fire which occurs, Akane apologises for her mistake to Nodoka, but Nodoka calmly tells Akane that it's alright as they feed it to "Mr. Panda" (Genma) and she's sure he'll enjoy it.
The Competition Heats UpEdit
As they prepared some more vegetables, Ranma tells Akane to just give up as she's a worthless cook, but Akane asks Ranma what that's meant to mean. Akane continues by telling Ranma that just being able to cut vegetables better doesn't mean a thing, this response from Akane causes Ranma to ask her if she's willing to show what it takes to be a good cook. Akane accepts the challenge and the two prepared some stir-fried vegetables as Nodoka looks for the meat.
When Nodoka finds what she's looking for, she's immediately shown the food prepared by Ranko and Akane and asked to judge which is better. Nodoka decides to try Ranko's dish first and finds it delightful, she then tells Ranko that she'll a good wife to a lucky man someday. Nodoka then proceeds to try some of Akane's food, and after only one bites nearly collapses, but thanks to Ranko she quickly recovers and tells Akane that it "wasn't too bad". As Akane apologises, Ranma thinks to herself how hollow her victory feels.
Meanwhile, in Kasumi's room, Nabiki explains to Kasumi about Akane and Ranma having a determined fight to help Nodoka with the cooking. Something then comes to Kasumi's mind and she tells Nabiki to go and tell them about the hot water pipe. Back in the kitchen, and the dinner is almost finished, but Nodoka tells Akane that she hasn't cooked the eggs yet. As Ranma insults Akane for her forgetfulness, Akane says not to worry as she claims to be able to cook them quickly.
Ranma questions Akane how she plans to do this, and Akane sarcastically remarks that they do have a microwave. Ranma then realises that Akane put the eggs in the microwave still shelled, but before she can get Akane to take them out, the microwave door explodes off the and flies across the room. At that moment, Nabiki walks in and passes on the information from Kasumi that the hot water heater pipe is broken so they shouldn't hit it with anything hard. Unfortunately, it's too late as the microwave door hits the pipe and sprays the whole room with hot water, spoiling all of the food.
Nabiki then notices as Ranma (now in his male form) scurries out of the kitchen. She then tells Ranma that it was lucky that Nodoka was looking the other way when the water pipe blew, she then adds that Ranma looks good in the apron he's wearing. Back in the kitchen, Akane finally gives up and ends up in a flood of tears at her inability to cook. She then declares she'll never cook again, but Nodoka reassures her by saying that she just needs practice, especially as she's Ranma's fiancé, she'll have to cook for him sooner or later. Nodoka then tells Akane she believes in her and the pair begin to tidy up the kitchen. Outside, Nabiki notes how Akane won't give up cooking and it's all for Ranma. Soun, meanwhile, peeks into the kitchen and thinks to himself that there must be a "cure" for Akane.
At dinner time, the Tendos and Saotomes are enjoying some instant Ramen. As Soun and Nabiki note that it isn't half bad, Nodoka reveals that Akane boiled the water for it, she then asks Ranko what she thinks of it. Ranma just sighs as Genma sobs at the ruined food from earlier which he's been presented to eat.
Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Akane Tendo
- Ranma Saotome (male)
- Kasumi Tendo
- Soun Tendo
- Nabiki Tendo
- Genma Saotome (human)
- Nodoka Saotome
- Ranma Saotome (female)
- Genma Saotome (panda)
- This chapter forms the basis for the third OVA, Akane vs. Ranma! I'll Be the One to Inherit Mother's Recipes!, which adds some additional elements.