Trouble comes from China when it's revealed that the cat that was mailed to the Tendo residence is Shampoo, now sporting a Jusenkyo curse of her very own and having realized that Ranma was lying to shoo her away, is now more determined to claim him as her husband. But she's not alone in her quest; her great-grandmother, a martial arts master, has come along to make sure Ranma picks Shampoo as his future bride...
Relation to the Previous Episode
This episode continues the Shampoo Returns arc, which will be concluded in Cool Runnings! The Race of the Snowmen, and carries on directly from the ending of the previous episode. The opening scene, in fact, presumably takes place roughly simultaneously with the midday of the previous episode, occuring at roughly the same time as Ranma, Akane and Sasuke are tricked into unleashing the Nekoken.
A building site is thrown into a stunned state of confusion when a bizarre vision floats down from an airplane passing overhead. Consisting of a carriage in the shape of a giant, if goofy-looking, bird, and supported by three similar birds, it disgorges a tiny, ancient woman in Chinese robes and quite literally supportingherself atop a large, gnarled staff. She pays no mind to their disarray; even when an I-beam is dropped on her head in the confusion, she doesn't pay any real attention, idly catching it on the tip of her staff and causing it to disintegrate harmlessly.
When the construction workers admit their ignorance as to the mysterious "son-in-law" that she seeks, she wanders off in search of him.
On the same evening that Akane goes home in a snit because of Ranma "kissing" her while believing himself to be a cat, Ranma is kept out by the problems that occur from such an event. Namely, Ryoga attacking him on what he admits is the basis of having heard rumors from Ranma's schoolmates that Ryoga's "poor heart of glass" can't bear to hear, ignoring Ranma's efforts to try and talk this out peacefully.
Ranma thinks he has gotten away with it when one of Ryoga's dramatic charges causes him to go flying into a canal and turn into a pig, wandering in the direction of home while complaining about Ryoga's harrassment, only to be attacked by Sasuke in a cat costume. Sasuke taunts Ranma with his knowledge of Ranma's ailurophobia, but Ranma's responses are cut off when he feels a bokken touch him on the shoulder. Tears in his eyes, Kuno furiously confronts Ranma about kissing Akane, and Ranma's efforts to try and solve things diplomatically are foiled, no thanks to Sasuke egging Kuno on by claiming that Ranma forced himself on the defenseless Akane.
Things quickly devolve into a brawl between the two, and when Sasuke manages to get a snare around Ranma's leg while he is distracted by Kuno, then proceeds to use it to pull Ranma's feet out from under him, it looks like Kuno might win this fight. However, Ranma is strong enough that he is able to pull Sasuke from his feet with a well timed jerk of his own leg, causing Kuno's blow to bounce off of Sasuke's head and render the tiny ninja unconscious. This just adds fuel to Kuno's fire and he continues to pursue Ranma, who is still insisting that he didn't kiss Akane. His efforts to flee are hampered by the fact that, even unconscious, Sasuke retains a death grip on the binding around Ranma's leg, and when Ryoga-as-pig suddenly appears and hurls himself into Ranma's face, wildly clawing and gouging with his hooves, Kuno promptly catches up.
It's past sunset by the time Ranma's bruised form limps home, supporting himself on a handy stick. His initial irritation at Ryoga and Kuno gives way to morbid curiosity; is it possible that he really did kiss Akane? He can't remember, and warily notes to himself that if he really did kiss her, Akane is going to rip his head off when he gets home. Wishing to avoid yet another confrontation, Ranma heads through the gates and straight for the dojo, unaware of the fact that Soun and Genma are discussing the potential implications of Shampoo sending a cat as a present for him, or the way that said cat has clambered up onto the rooft and is watching him enter.
Inside the dojo, Ranma discovers Akane is, as he anticipated, practicing katas to try and burn off some turmoil, offering her a weak greeting. The two teens sit down against a wall in mutual silence before Ranma softly tells Akane that he's sorry. When she asks if this means he remembers, Ranma admits that he actually never remembers a thing about what happens after he "turns into a cat". Akane jumps to a much darker conclusion about what he means, asking in a voice that is steel edged in lace if he's saying that it could have been anyone. Ranma is confused and asks what Akane means, then grows offended when she makes it clear that, yes, she is accusing him of using the Nekoken as a convenient excuse
to kiss girls and it just happened to be Akane that he chose. When Akane angrily asks why he did kiss her if what she's saying isn't the truth, Ranma weakly tries to explain. However, Akane quickly grows impatient and accuses him of being a liar, starting a brief exchange of verbal unpleasantries that culminates in Akane slapping Ranma across the face and storming off, telling him to stay away from her.
Ranma promptly retreats to the bathroom, thoroughly irritated at how Akane would take his apology and use it to start a fight. As he thinks about what, precisely, she said, he begins to wonder if maybe the kiss itself wasn't what she was talking about. Any further thought, however, is lost when the sound of a meow from behind him reveals that Shampoo's cat has snuck into the bathroom with him. It leaps at him, knocking them both into the bathtub of hot water behind him, and when they surface, Ranma discovers that it was no mere present from Shampoo, but Shampoo herself! As Ranma can only ask in a daze how Shampoo got here, Shampoo, totally unbothered by the fact they are both naked as the day they were born, instead jubilantly cries out about how Ranma isn't a girl, but a boy after all, wrapping her arms around his neck in a passionate embrace and shouting how she loves him.
And it is into this scene, with Ranma struggling to pry Shampoo loose without touching her somewhere inappropriate, that Akane walks.
The next morning, Ranma angrily and forcibly declares his innocence, insisting it was merely a bad-looking coincedence. He finishes demolishing some training equipment as he does this, then straightens up proudly. He was psyching himself up to try and talk about the incident with Shampoo in the bath to Akane, and he goes in search of her. When she meets his forceful words with a sweet hello, he loses his nerve, and barely manages to weakly start the topic before Akane douses him in cold water and kicks him onto the nearby wall, storming off. Ranma repeats tiredly to herself that Akane is definately not cute, then tenses as she senses danger
approaching. The little old lady from the episode's beginning suddenly attacks Ranma from out of nowhere, the boy-turned-girl narrowly evading a series of blows. As she settles into a stance and demands to know who the old woman is, she grins at Ranma, compliments her skills... and calls her "son-in-law", proceeding to vanish while warning that they will meet again, much to Ranma's confusion.
By the time he has returned to male form and come inside, there's an unpleasant surprise for him; Shampoo has evidently moved to Japan and set up a Chinese restaurant "around the corner", and to celebrate has brought bowls of ramen to the Tendo dojo. Except for Akane, everyone is quite contentedly tucking into the (admittedly delicious) cuisine, and when Kasumi wonders what they'll do with the left over bowl, the mysterious old woman appears again and claims it for herself. Shampoo proudly introduces her as her great-grandmother, and she makes it quite clear she's heard all about Ranma's "engagement" to Shampoo, asking why he is being so stubborn about the marriage.
At this, Soun forcefully interjects that Ranma accepting Shampoo is out of the question; he is to marry Akane so they can carry on the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. The old woman just as forcefully insists that three thousand years of tradition are on the line here, so Soun will simply have to cancel Akane and Ranma's engagement. The two engage in a stare-off, which ends quickly when the old woman threatens to kiss Soun as their faces near. Seeing Soun scared off does not stop Ranma from firmly stating that he has no intention of marrying Shampoo, who angrily demands Ranma come with her.
Curious, Ranma follows her to the bathroom, where she turns her back to him and disrobes. Flustered, Ranma demands she put her clothes back on, but she tells him to shut up and turns on the shower, cold water washing over her and proving once and for all that she was indeed the cat shipped to them the other day. Diving into the hot bath nearby, Shampoo explains to Ranma that by returning home in defeat, she brought disgrace to her people and so had to be punished for breaking the law. The punishment was that her great-grandmother took her out to Jusenkyo and held a sparring match with her, which
resulted in her taking a dive into the 1800-year-old Maoniichuan. She angrily tells Ranma that this is his fault and he will pay for what he has done. When Ranma protests that he's done nothing to her, Shampoo's great-grandmother whacks him over the back of the head and tells him that she holds him responsible and he "made her (Shampoo) do it". Ticked off, Ranma angrily backhands the old woman, who leaps straight up and then bounces off the back of his head, belting him in the forehead with her staff when he whirls to face her, much to Shampoo's displeasure.
This results in a running battle that sees Ranma and the old woman fighting through the house, ending in a mid-air duel over the koi pond and Ranma taking a dive, even as Soun worriedly comments to Genma on the old lady's skill. Akane and Shampoo both come running with kettles of hot water, but Ranma forestalls the brewing argument by taking both kettles simultaneously and turning himself back to normal. Asking the old woman where they were, he is irked when she promptly leaps the wall surrounding the house, causing him to go chasing her down the road. When she stops and turns to face him at an intersection, he thinks he has her and goes leaping for her... only for her to split into two versions of herself before he hits, resulting in him harmlessly passing through the space between them. As he stares in disbelief, each of the two old women then splits off another two old women, who continue to split until there are eighteen of them forming a circle around him, which begins to spin.
Soun, Genma, Akane and Shampoo arrive on the scene, with Soun, excited despite himself, declaring that this is the legendary Joketsuzoku technique "Splitting Cat Hairs", which produces an array of illusionary doubles to fight. Shampoo excitedly encites both parties to fight and, when Akane asks whose side she's on, declares without any hesitation that she loves Ranma best, exhorting him to beat up her great-grandmother.
This, however, does not prove easy. Ranma can't distinguish the real old woman from her seventeen ghostly clones and finds that things get worse; there is an offensive element to the technique, in which the circle spins at ever greater speed, allowing the real fighter to make painful strikes that Ranma can't evade or detect. Finally, Ranma recalls/hears some surprisingly sage advice from Genma, telling him that his eyes won't work against the old woman and he needs to look at her with his "gut". Ranma proceeds to literally do that, grabbing some chicken from a nearby child and throwing it into the center of the circle, prompting the hungry real woman to drop the technique as she grabs and eats it, lamenting that she chose to fight on an empty stomach. Ranma tries to catch her, but she stuns him with the chicken bone and escapes.
That evening, she reclines atop a shrine gate, declaring that Ranma is "100 years too early" to stand a chance of beating her, only to hear Ranma tell her that the century is up from behind her. Marvelling at how he managed to sneak up on her without being detected, she comments that Shampoo knew what she was doing when she selected Ranma to be her husband, which prompts Ranma to angrily insist that he doesn't intended to marry Shampoo. Playfully, she then states that Ranma is adorable when angry, and if he's so set against Shampoo, then why not wed her instead? Clearly sickened, Ranma nevertheless politely tries to decline, with the old woman taking it in good humor and explaining it was a joke... even as she firmly, but painlessly, jabs a specific point on his chest with her cane. She declares that Ranma will be begging her to be allowed to marry Shampoo within two or three days, and then vanishes.
Ranma's confusion lasts until he gets home and tries to run a bath... whereupon he discovers the water is agonizingly hot, so hot that he is compelled to douse himself with cold water to soothe the pain. His screams of pain bring Nabiki and Kasumi running, but Kasumi confusedly confirms that the bathwater is, at best, lukewarm, even as Ranma insists she couldn't bear to put so much as her hand in it. At that moment, the old woman slides open the bathroom window and gloatingly reveals that her little poke with her staff has struck a pressure point that greatly amplifies Ranma's sensitivity to heat. As Nabiki and Kasumi quickly piece together, Ranma won't be able to return to male form again until the pressure point's effect is undone. Shampoo's ancestor tells Ranma that she will undo the pressure point if Ranma agrees to marry Shampoo. Ranma angrily lunges at her in hopes of catching her and forcing her to undo her dirty trick... but she vanishes out of the window, leaving Ranma to take an agonizing plunge into the bathtub to etch her claims into Ranma's mind.
Cast in Order of Appearance
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Cologne (debut)||Miyoko Asō||Elan Ross Gibson|
|Ryoga Hibiki (human, piglet)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Sasuke Sarugakure||Shigeru Chiba||Robert O. Smith|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Shampoo (cat, human)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Jusenkyo Guide (flashback)||Kōichi Yamadera||Ian James Corlett|
- This episode introduces Shampoo's great-grandmother to the series. Though she will be a regular for many episodes afterwards, her name, Cologne, won't be revealed in-series until the episode Back to the Happosai!
- When Kuno first enters the episode, he has two burning candles tied to his head by a cloth strip. Not only is this a traditional act from Japanese spiritual ceremonies, but it is a reference to Gosunkugi, who typically wears the exact same regalia and who is absent in the anime take of this storyline.
- This is the first episode to depict Genma and Soun playing games together, and is one of the few where Soun is shown cheating instead of Genma.
- In the manga, Akane and Ranma confront each other over the kiss at Dr. Tofu's clinic, and the meeting is much more vicious on Akane's side.
- In the subbing, Soun states that the Splitting Cat Hairs (referred to here as the "Cat Curiosity Technique") fooled King Guan Sing.
- Cologne claims she shouldn't have fought on an empty stomach yet before they fought she had eaten a bowl of ramen.
- The reveal of the Full-Body Cat Tongue affliction to Ranma originally occurs in the manga after he has been challenged by Mousse, which won't occur for two more episodes.