A Tear in a Girl-Delinquent's Eye? The End of the Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics Challenge! (スケバンの目に涙?ルール無用の格闘新体操決着 Sukeban no Me ni Namida? Rūru Muyō no Kakutō Shintaisō Kecchaku?) is the 13th episode in the first season, Digital Dojo, of Ranma ½.
It's the day of the big match, and Ranma, in female form, has to substitute for Akane. With no prior experience in the style except for an entire night practicing, and exhausted from no sleep, can Ranma hope to defeat Kodachi Kuno, who is determined to win this match, no matter what it takes, if it means she can have Ranma as her own?
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
This episode concludes the Kodachi's Introduction/Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament storyline and begins right where the last episode ended.
Ranma warns P-chan not to try anything stupid, then gets ready to fight as the announcer reminds everyone that barehands attacks are forbidden and being knocked out or landing outside the ring are immediate losses. Ranma tells Kodachi that she doesn't like hurting girls and warns her to leave while still in one piece, even as Ranma lashes out at her opponent with her ribbon. Kodachi easily evades Ranma's blow and mockingly thanks her for her kindness. When Ranma gets distracted, though, P-chan seizes his chance and uses the lengthy chain that binds them together to wrap up Ranma's arms and legs, leaving her vulnerable to a strike from Kodachi's current weapon: a cunningly wrought steel bar designed to look like a length of rope. Akane protests to the referee, but is told that Kodachi's choice of weapons is legal. Next, Kodachi unleashes a flurry of baton thrusts at Ranma that the boy-turned-girl narrowly dodges, revealing her chosen ones have retractile spikes that can be extruded and concealed with pressure on a hidden switch, something that prompts an exclamation of admiration from Kuno. Akane, needless to say, is not pleased when the referee tells her that the clubs are legal too.
Kodachi declares that she is fighting this "mysterious girl" that she is only fighting her for Ranma's sake. As she drifts off into an elaborate romantic spiel, Ranma is unable to resist snapping that she'll tell Kodachi when she wants a date with her, even as she leaps up, grabs P-chan between her feet, and uses him as a weight to kick forcefully into Kodachi's face. The impact stuns both girl and boy-turned-pig, giving Ranma a chance to untangle herself as the announcer gleefully explains that pigs are a legal weapon in this match. Shaking off the impact, Kodachi demands to know who said anything about dating the female Ranma, explaining she only wants to date the male Ranma Saotome. Ranma changes the subject by demanding that Kodachi promise that if she loses, she'll give up on Ranma once and for all, swinging P-chan like a living flail. Kodachi demands to know what the two Ranmas are to each other, right before getting hit in the back of the head by the pig.
Down, but most certainly not out, Kodachi bends her legs over her head so that they are on the floor, then straightens up to bring her in close, almost face to face, with her opponent. Triumphantly, she declares she's figured it out; the redhaired pigtailed girl must be in love with Ranma too, something that Kuno is shocked to hear. Angry, Kodachi begins attempting to cudgel Ranma over the head with her baton, Ranma blocking each strike -- save for the one that hits Kuno in the head when he races out into the ring to confront Ranma. Shrugging it off, Kuno asks if it's true that "the pigtailed girl" loves Ranma, to which Ranma replies that they are of one mind and body -- something that the Kunos are aghast to hear, though this quickly turns to rage in Kodachi's case. When Ranma goes on to say it just happened, like fate, things get worse and Kodachi calls for her hoop. Ranma and Kuno narrowly manage to leap into the air as it sails past them, shredding Kuno's bokken -- this is another of Kodachi's custom tools, and is razor sharp on its outer edge. The referee preempts Akane's complaint by declaring it too is legal, much to Akane's disgust.
While Kuno ended up faceplanting into the floor after their leap, Ranma lands neatly on the ring itself, where Akane throws her two batons. Firmly declaring that she'll have to beat some sense into Kodachi if she won't listen to reason, Ranma shows off her skill by displaying some nunchaku routines with her batons, much the amazement of the crowd. Kodachi scoffs the idea she could be defeated by some nobody she's never heard of, and launches into her first legitimate special technique: the Attack of 1000 Clubs. This manages to keep Ranma at bay until Akane throws her a ball, which Ranma uses to knock the multitude of batons Kodachi is using out of her left hand.
Now standing at the center of the ring, the two opponents size each other up before Kodachi delivers a speech telling "her" Ranma to be patient and uses her ribbon to grab the bell from the announcer's desk and hurl it at Ranma. Ranma, instinctively, uses P-chan as a shield, and while she is distracted quarreling with the understandably disgruntled animal, Kodachi then uses the same technique to hurl a chair at them. Ranma dodges this and displays she knows the same trick, throwing a desk at Kodachi -- who counters it by throwing her elder brother at it.
In the "visitor's changing room", Genma finally falls off his seat and is jolted awake. Unconcerned about what might have happened, he nonchalantly grabs a kettle of hot water and the crockery needed to make tea and ambles over to the gymnasium. On the way, he can hear the announcer over the PA system describing Ranma and Kodachi's battle, which involves Kodachi using Kuno's lustful attraction to Ranma to her advantage, Ranma using Ryoga as a "medium" with which to knock Kuno out of the arena, and Kodachi unleashing exploding balls. Sounding totally innocent, the announcer explains that this is the most exciting match ever seen, as up until now Kodachi has always won the match by default due to her opponents suffering from sudden, freak illnesses. When Genma arrives in the gymnasium, Kodachi compliments Ranma on her skill, then declares the real fight starts now. The two dart past each other from one end of the ring to the other several times, trading a barrage of clubs and then lashing at each other with their ribbons so hard that they tie into a knot and the two girls are left in a tug of war.
Ranma, finally, lets go of her end of the impromptu rope, sending Kodachi flying back into the ropes with a grin. Now thoroughly irritated, Kodachi likens Ranma to a cockroach wearing a leotard, then declares she knows a remedy to roaches. Using her ribbon, she grabs the kettle that Genma so thoughtlessly brought into the ring, declaring her intention to use it against Ranma and drawing the panic of Ranma, P-chan and Akane. With Ranma terrified of the reputation damage he'll suffer if he's seen turning back into a boy in a pink leotard, and Ryoga terrified of both having his secret revealed and being naked in front of such a large crowd, they naturally back away, even as Akane realises what's going to happen and runs off. But when they spring into the air to try and evade Kodachi and come up with a plan of attack, she throws the kettle up towards them and uses a well-aimed slash from her ribbon to cut it in half, drenching both Jusenkyo victims in the burst of hot water. As they fall back towards the arena, the combination of the obscuring steam and the fact it takes a moment or so to change back saves them; Akane arrives with a firehose just in time to spray them, keeping their secret from being revealed. Although its sheer pressure almost carries them out of the ring, Ranma proves strong and tenacious enough to literally swim upstream to around the center of the ring.
Kodachi, needless to say, is not impressed, calling Ranma's efforts cheating, and uses a razor hoop to literally cut the stream. But by this time, Ranma is in position to drop neatly to the center of the ring as Akane turns the hose off, both her and P-chan panting with exhaustion at their near-defeat. Kodachi angrily questions if Ranma really wants to steal "her" Ranma so badly, which prompts the angry boy-turned-girl to point out that "darling Ranma" is not Kodachi's property. Kodachi merely lashes out at her in anger. This, at last, Ranma manages to turn to her advantage; ducking under a spiked club thrust, Ranma seizes Kodachi's arm with her feet, lifts the younger Kuno off of the ground, and then hurls her out of the ring.
Unbeknownst to Ranma, Kodachi has one final trick up her sleeve: before the match began, she smuggled her entire team of underlings under the arena, and though they have been relaxing up until this point, they remain aware enough that Kodachi's whistle gets them to slide the ring across the floor to catch her. When Kodachi taunts that she can't be knocked out of the ring, Ranma gives her a flat look and then reveals she's figured out the trick by first whistling the ring back to its starting position, then pounding the mat apart and pulling the canvas aside. The announcer and referee say nothing about the revealed gymnasts, just declaring that whoever touches the floor now will be the loser.
Ranma is confident that victory will be hers, as this is the sort of situation she has trained for, but P-chan suddenly clinging to the rope as she leaps almost costs her the match. She whacks him over the head and scolds him, Kodachi seizing this opportunity to hurl a razor hoop at her enemy. Luckily for Ranma, she successfully deflects this with her shackle, finally springing her loose of the irritating pig, but Kodachi follows this up by wrapping Ranma up in her ribbon and sending her flying out of the ring. Ranma just manages to untangle herself and turn the ribbon into a grapnel, latching onto a roofing beam and using it to swing at Kodachi, finally achieving victory by diving at her, slicing the pole Kodachi is standing on with her kick, and then using the fallen pole to keep herself from falling onto the floor like Kodachi has.
Exhausted, Ranma is declared the winner of the match, Kodachi tearfully proclaiming that she will abandon her present affection for Ranma and leaving.
That evening, in the furo, Ranma exasperatedly points out to Ryoga that the fight would have been easier if Ryoga hadn't interefered. Ryoga defends himself by saying that it was his one opportunity to break Ranma and Akane up. Hearing Akane calling out to P-chan, as it's time for bed, Ryoga grins moronically and leaps out of the bath, telling Ranma he has to go and dousing himself with the cold water from the shower, much to Ranma's fury as he realizes what Ryoga is planning. Blindly he chases the boy-turned-pig right into Akane's bedroom -- just when Akane has finished taking her shirt off, much to both teens embarrassment. Akane promptly slaps Ranma on the face for bursting into her room.
Ranma takes himself out to the koi pond to sulk. While sitting on one of the larger rocks, he is surprised when Kuno suddenly bounds into his garden, throws him a bouquet of red roses, and tells him both to deliver those to "the pigtailed girl" and that he will take "her" from Ranma by force somebody before bounding away. Ranma tries to stop Kuno, only to slip and fall into the pond. Now female, while sitting on the same rock she is greeted by Kodachi, who throws Ranma a bouquet of her trademark black roses and tells "her" to deliver them to Ranma. Ranma's angry question about what Kodachi thinks she's doing is met with the explanation that Kodachi abandoned her "present" affection and now "burns with entirely brand new passion". She repeats Kuno's warning about taking the side of Ranma she loves away by force before she bounds away, Ranma wondering what just happened and then tiredly declaring the siblings to both be sick.
- In this episode, Ranma notes that midair combat is the Saotome School's speciality. This may explain why Ranma and Genma both are prone to dramatic leaps and air-to-ground strikes when possible, though both are quite capable of fighting with both feet on the ground.
- Even though Kodachi is the captain and apparently the champion of the "Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics", she is shown to play dirty and is a cheater and yet nearly everything she did and used are considered legal when they are obviously not.
- When Kodachi leaves in tears, Ranma looks genuinely upset/sympathetic. This may be because of his apparent dislike for seeing girls cry.
- Ranma was trying to force Kodachi to stop bothering male Ranma which leads Kodachi to assume that female Ranma is in love with him. Nearly the same accusation Kuno had on Ranma assuming that he is in love with the pig-tailed girl(female Ranma). These apparent assumptions grew after female Ranma stated outright that she and male Ranma are "one mind and one body and that it just happened as if it was fate".
- This is the last episode featuring the second Let's Keep It Friends ending sequence.