At a Tanabata festival, Ranma's and Akane's marriage fortunes get attached to various others' fortunes, cursing them to be those people's love slaves. They go to great lengths to recover their fortunes and restore their luck.
At the Fair Edit
Ranma and Akane arrive at the Tanabata festival where a huge crowd has gathered around one particular booth. They see several couples with small bamboo trees with their names on papers attached to the leaves. When the names are attached, the couple is destined to be together, or so the legend says.
Genma and Soun force Ranma and Akane to sign their names on a paper and get their own tree, but they remain skeptical and ask the booth person if it's just a story for the tourists. He tells them that it would be very bad for the paper to end up on someone else's leaf, and just at that moment Kuno appears in tears.
Kuno, seemingly appalled, says he will not allow this to happen and cuts Ranma's paper away from the leaf. He offers Akane a paper with his own name to place on the leaf but is subsequently beaten down by Ranma and Akane.
The Love Slave Edit
Ranma's card, meanwhile, flies and attaches itself to Ms. Hinako's tree. He instantly declares his love for her and the booth person explains that because his paper was placed on someone else's leaf, Ranma became Hinako's love slave. Hinako takes advantage of this by making Ranma give her a piggy back ride.
Ranma's paper is suddenly taken away from Hinako's leaf by Kodachi, who uses it for herself. He briefly becomes infatuated with Kodachi instead, but she is quickly kicked out of the scene by Akane.
Ranma decides to just tear up his paper, but the booth owner advises against it, saying the paper's destruction will destine the two people to live separately. Ranma and Akane look at each other and tell each other how little they care should the paper be destroyed. Ranma takes this opportunity to tear up the paper which surprises Akane, who quickly tries to piece the it back together. But when she reassembled it, she finds that it was a fake, and Ranma still held onto the real one. She starts chasing Ranma with a mallet when Ranma finds Kuno busy sharpening a sword. He then starts striking at Ranma and Akane feels this has done enough damage. She offers to have his paper on her leaf, but Ranma must first bow down to her and thank her for the honor of sharing the leaf.
Chasing the Love Paper Edit
Ranma becomes irritated at the demand when suddenly a hermit crab appears on Akane's leaf. It snips Akane's paper off of the leaf, which then flies away with Ranma's paper when a crab salesman bumps into them. They begin chasing after the paper and Ranma in particular goes through all sorts of trouble as he runs past a circus with ring of fire and bipedal tiger, then fireworks, birthday celebration, and a shooting gallery. Once he gets the paper, he realizes that it was Akane's paper, and Akane steps over his head to easily grab Ranma's.
Akane puts Ranma's paper back on the leaf, but Ranma begins taunting her to put her own leaf back, saying it will confirm her love for him. She becomes flustered and stomps Ranma, but accidentally loses the paper again. The paper gets attached to a balloon and flies out of her grasp. Ranma sees Akane's sad face and springs to get the paper. He jumps off a bamboo tree and grabs the paper off of the balloon, just as the fireworks start and knock him out.
When Ranma wakes up in an empty field, he finds that he successfully got the paper and finds Akane on the other side of a river. She thanks him for the trouble of retrieving her paper and together put it back on the leaf. Just then, the river starts to sparkle and Aakne comments it's like a river flownig through heaven. Ranma comments that they are like Hikoboshi and Orihime, they only really see their true selves once in a while but... suddenly realize in embarassment that he had been dreaming and he was instead lying down on a cot and still in the festival. In reality it seems that he suddenly woke up and talked about the old couple while face to face with a very confused Akane. Meanwhile Soun asks him if he's feeling better and Genma says Akane's paper is fine.
On the way home Genma (with a tree that says "Genma" and "hair") and Soun are pleased with the plan. Ranma is still embarrassed with his face flushed. Akane thanks him for getting her paper but Ranma is unable to make eye contact.
Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Ranma Saotome (male)
- Akane Tendo
- Soun Tendo
- Genma Saotome (human)
- Tatewaki Kuno
- Hinako Ninomiya
- Kodachi Kuno
- While the anime and manga both contain a story relating to the Tanabata festival, they are completely independent of each other in both plot and appearance.