Close Call! The Dance of Death... On Ice! (危機一髪! 死霊の盆踊り Kikiippatsu! Shiryō no Bonodori?) is considered the second episode in the second season of Ranma ½, Anything-Goes Martial Arts, and is the 20th episode overall.
Now with a personal reason to partake in the battle, Ranma joins Akane in preparing for a duel with the Golden Pair to win back Akane's precious P-chan.
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
This episode follows on directly from The Abduction of P-Chan.
Continuing from the Previous EpisodeEdit
After a brief recap of Ranma's challenge from the end of the previous episode, Ranma vows he will pay Mikado back a thousand-fold for his humiliation and that Mikado will regret having ever been born. Springing into the air, he hurtles downward in a ferocious punch, only for Mikado to dodge at the last second and leave Ranma to make a massive crater head-first into the ice.
The onlookers marvel at the sheer force Ranma used, while Mikado scoffs at Ranma's lack of intelligence, proclaiming that only an idiot would launch a suicide strike so early in a fight. Needless to say, he is startled as hell when Ranma suddenly zips up behind him, only barely avoiding Ranma's strike and asking in shock how Ranma got up. Ranma says nothing, instead charging at Mikado, only to miss and slip, landing on his face and zipping across the rink on it so hard and fast that he smashes through the wall on the other side. This evidently does nothing to phase him, as he promptly gets up and assumes a fighting position.
At this, Mikado declares that Ranma does have some skill, and that while he regrets having to use it on such an amateur, he has been left with no choice. And with this, he launches into his famous Dance of Death attack, to the awe of his sparring partners and Ranma's disdain, the heir to the Saotome School sprinting clumsily across to his foe. He is promptly pulled into the whirling flurry of blows, and while Mikado's sparring partners declare how nobody has ever broken free of the spin before, Akane is focused on counting Ranma's strikes, strikes that only she has the skill and attention to see. At last, Ranma is ejected forcefully out of the Dance of Death and lands heavily on his head, even as Mikado spins to a stop and remains frozen in his stance.
Akane speaks the final count aloud and skates over to Ranma, asking if he can stand up. In response to her words, Ranma pushes up with his arms and throws himself into the air, backflipping to land neatly on his feet - which then slip out from under him and send him flat on his back, apparently out cold. Akane picks him up by the back of his collar and starts to drag him off of the rink as Azusa skates up to them and declares Mikado has won. Quietly triumphant, Akane replies that Ranma was the victor and skates off. Confused, Azusa turns to her partner and quickly discovers that Mikado is out cold, and has been since the Dance stopped. Playfully, she starts doodling on him with a convenient marker, the ice hocky players all eagerly crowding in to join in the fun.
At the Tendo Dojo, as Ranma tends to his injuries, Akane sarcastically asks if Ranma really had to go as far as he did to hurt Mikado, Ranma angrily snapping back that he was justified. When Kasumi asks just what did happen, Ranma, embarrassed, tries to change the subject. At that, however, Ryoga pops up onto the scene and begins taunting Ranma, enjoying the reversal in roles, and happily reveals to Kasumi and Nabiki that Ranma was kissed, and by another guy at that.
In response to that, Ranma takes himself off to the dojo proper to brood, his feelings hurt. So focused is he on his own misery that he fails to notice Akane has approached until she proclaims him to be wide open and taps him on the back of the head. In response to her declarations that this was his own fault, Ranma tries to play the tough guy and tells her to laugh at him if she wants, only to snap at her angrily when she does just that. She places a bandaid on Ranma's nose and tells him that he has no grounds to be upset, as it was his own weakness that caused him to get kissed, answering in the positive when Ranma sarcastically asks if she's saying she would have done better in his place. Ranma quickly disproves this, placing his left hand atop her breastbone and then sweeping her legs out from under her with his right arm, landing her firmly in his lap and helplessly staring up at him, to which Ranma gives her a sarcastic comment.
Suddenly realizing the intimate position they are in, Ranma leaps back, and, in a tone that mixes fear and embarrasment, tries to reassure Akane that he wasn't going to do anything to her. Looking surprised and perhaps a touch angry, Akane calmly states that she wasn't worried, as she knows Ranma is too much of a coward to do something like that. At this, Ranma angrily blusters that he just might if she keeps that kind of talk up, only for her to dare him to do it. At this, Ranma nervously creeps forward, insisting he'll do it, but only because she told him to. Akane calmly waits, closing her eyes at his request, but Ranma hesitates, finally asking in an embarrassed tone if Akane isn't supposed to be saving something like this for somebody that she really cares about. Akane huffily declares Ranma to be saying she isn't good enough, at which Ranma angrily rebuts her. Calming down, he shyly states that if she doesn't mind him kissing her, then he really doesn't mind kissing her. At this, the two teens sit together in silence for several moments before they realise, to their shock and horror, that Genma, in panda form and wielding a video camera, and Akane's family are watching them impatiently.
At the ice rink, meanwhile, Mikado has awoken and is not happy in the slightest to find himself covered in graffiti. He vows that Ranma will pay for this when they meet.
Finally, the night before the match arrives, Azusa cheerily and excitedly talks to her vast horde of stolen goods, assuring them that she will bring Charlotte back to live with them. She does the same thing the next morning, until her butler tells her it's time to get ready for the match.
Day of the MatchEdit
At Kolhotz High, everyone is gathering in excitement for the upcoming Charlotte Cup, while Ryoga Hibiki himself has just arrived, triumphantly noting it's a good thing he gave himself five days to get here and vowing that he will be Akane's partner instead of Ranma. He senses danger, and leaps aside just in time to avoid being drenched with cold water, courtesy of Ranma, who was hiding behind a small billboard. Ranma, now sitting on the billboard, happily mocks Ryoga and then leaps to attack him with a second pail of water. Ryoga leaps to intercept, knocking the bucket flying... but when he rebounds from his contact with Ranma, he jumps right back into its path and turns into a pig. Ranma taunts Ryoga that this time, he won't be interfering and, off-screen, takes him to be chained to the trophy for the winner.
In the men's dressing room, Mikado is experimenting with various cosmetics, hurriedly wiping them off when he hears Ranma come in. He isn't happy when Ranma greets him as Mikado the Molester (Mack Daddy Mikado in the subtitles), correcting him that his name is Mikado Sanzenin. He does get back when he steers the topic to Akane Tendo, declaring that he will somehow steal a kiss from Akane during the match, making her girl number 1000 in his list of kisses. Ranma disbelievingly asks if kissing women is all that Mikado thinks about, and is somewhat disturbed when Mikado asks what else is worth thinking about.
In the women's dressing room, Akane has a sneezing fit and comments that she had never believed in that old wive's tale about sneezing when somebody's talking about you before.
The Golden Pair proceed to make an elegant entry into the ring, while Ranma and Akane's entry is far less spectacular, with Ranma falling over and sliding along on his back and just barely holding Akane aloft during the crash. When the fight proper starts, it is Akane who takes the lead, declaring that winners strike first and they will win, dragging Ranma and swinging him around as a human weapon. Mikado ducks under Ranma and then slides into the gap between Ranma and Akane's open arms, immediately beginning to make an effort to kiss her. Ranma stops him by grabbing onto Mikado's head with his feet, only to be knocked off and sent flying by a diving kick from Azusa. Mikado resumes trying to kiss Akane, who disgustedly falls to the floor in an effective throw, though Mikado gracefully somersaults through the air and lands nimbly on the ice.
Brushing his hair with his everpresent comb, Mikado and Azusa join up again, Mikado amused that Akane is so "shy" to refuse his kiss, while Azusa playfully points out he may just make Akane sick. Akane, meanwhile, skates over to Ranma and scoops his arm over his shoulder, helping to jog him back to his senses. The two teams skate towards each other, Mikado lifting Azusa off of the ground and spinning her around at arm's length to become a whirling vortex. Ranma, in return, lifts Akane onto his shoulders and then throws her over the Golden Pair, zipping in and ducking beneath the rotating Azusa to deliver a solid punch to Mikado's stomach in passing and catch Akane. However, his lack of experience in skating means the two are heading uncontrollably towards the fence and he is unable to stop, though he manages to perform the miraculous feat of running up the fence and then backflipping off of it to land soldily on the ice, both he and Akane petrified at their near miss.
Mikado, meanwhile, has collapsed to his knees in pain, which isn't helped by the fact that Azusa skates up and promptly starts playfully poking, then punching, him in the same spot. He snaps at her, and then coldly tells Ranma he has rarely been brought to his knees, so he will make sure that Ranma regrets doing so.
Ranma, in return, angrily snaps back that he'll put Mikado in a coffin if he doesn't cut it out with trying to put the moves on Akane, boldly declaring that Akane is his fiancee and he'll kill Mikado if he touches her. Akane is stupified that he would say something like that in front of so many people.
Mikado merely retorts that fiancees aren't forever and, cracking his knuckles and chuckling icily, declares he will take very great pleasure in breaking those bonds.
Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Mikado Sanzenin||Kazuhiko Inoue||Ian James Corlett|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Hidaka||Myriam Sirois|
|Ryoga Hibiki (P-chan, human)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Azusa Shiratori||Naoko Matsui||Cathy Weseluck|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
- The manga version of this story is emphatic that the kiss that Mikado stole was Ranma's first, having Nabiki and Kasumi note that the "it doesn't count if it was another boy" factor is negated if it had been Ranma's first real kiss, and then having Akane ask if it really was Ranma's first kiss that Mikado took.
- In the dub, Akane proclaims Ranma to have hit Mikado "501" times during the Dance of Death, while the subtitles say the number of blows was "518".
- At the Tendo Dojo when Ryoga Hibiki was telling Ranma Saotome to switch place with him. Ryoga did not have the collar on that was given to him by Azusa even though it could only be taken off with the only key Azusa has.
- When the dubbed translation of the kanji doodled onto Mikado's body is scrolled across the bottom of the screen, the last one is "buffoon", misspelt in the exact same way ("buffon") as the insult that Ranma tattooed onto Kuno's head in their first encounter.
- The reason for the joke where Ranma refers to Mikado as a pervert, only for Mikado to angrily retort with his proper name, is because one reading of Mikado Sanzenin is "Sex-Obsessed Neurotic".