|Enter Kuno, the Night-Prowling Knight|
Tōjō! Shijō Saikyō ni Kunō
October 12, 1990
When Tatewaki Kuno accepts the Principal's offer to become his moral-enforcement officer, he turns to the one teacher who can possibly make him good enough to beat Ranma Saotome; the dread Happosai!
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
This episode takes place the next day after the previous episode, and references to Principal Kuno's crazy antics are made repeatedly.
It's time for the students to begin a new day at Furinkan High School, and Akane Tendo greets one of her friends at the gate. She asks where Ranma Saotome is, and Akane explains he overslept (several blocks away, an irate Ranma races through the streets, irritated that Akane didn't try to wake him before leaving the house). At the school gate, they find the new headmaster waiting for them, laughing about how he had such a great time yesterday and now he has a whole new present for them. The students' cynicism is well justified when he pulls a cloth off of a large statue of himself in mid-stride, reading an open book; the principal declares that he wants them to bow on hands and knees to it whenever they arrive at school for the day. The students are outraged, but that changes to good humor and relief when Ranma, in his efforts to make it into schoolgrounds before the last bell rings, bounces off of the statue's head, inadverdently causing it to crumble into rubble. Hiroshi and Daisuki triumphantly lead the bewildered Ranma inside, even as the principal vows angrily that they're going to pay for this.
While class is in session, the principal calls Tatewaki Kuno to his jungle-like office, and after some brief flattery, offers him the position of deputy principal, placing him in charge of school morals and discipline. Kuno initially refuses, but declares he will accept when the principal points out that he hears the "wahinies" go crazy for guys in power, which brings an irresistably tasty daydream to Kuno of him effortlessly forcing Ranma to bow to him before Akane and "the pigtailed girl" glomp onto him in delight.
At lunch, the students are disgusted to find that statues of the principal in various outfits have been erected all over school... which gives way to terror when they start moving, shouting at the kids to get on their knees. This only goes on for a few minutes before one tries to bully Ranma into doing this by grabbing his pigtail: Ranma promptly kicks it in the face, causing said face to shatter - the statues are all teachers who have been bullied into doing this for fear of losing their jobs. Akane then comes running up to Ranma with even worse news; the principal has turned Kuno and the kendo club against them.
Heading outside to meet them, Ranma cheerfully mocks Kuno, to the elder boy's growing fury, up until Kuno uses Ranma and Akane's engagement as an example of the "immoral behavior" he intends to stamp out, which earns him a synchronized punch in the face from both of them. Livid, Kuno orders his goons to attack, only to be trampled in the charge. As Ranma thrashes them effortlessly, Akane tries to talk them into surrender, pointing out that they are all being used by the principal. To the shock of her and Ranma both, the kendo clubists promptly start fighting each other over who will "get" Akane now that Kuno has been defeated... up until Kuno proves he's far from out. Kuno declares a challenge to Ranma, who irritably accepts, then declares that if Kuno is really in charge of school morals, then there's something he should be taking a look into.
Kuno looks confused, then follows Ranma's pointing thumb to behold Happosai, making another of his regular panty/gym shorts raids on the schools and being pursued by livid girls. Kuno gets ready to intercept the old pervert when he goes leaping at Akane, but Ranma beats him to it, ignoring Happosai's bawls to insist that if Kuno's really supposed to be stamping out immoral behavior, then this is the guy he should be focused on dealing with. Happosai then sends Ranma flying for his interference, which the principal, who has been watching since the kendo club first attacked Ranma and Akane, finds most exciting indeed. He pops out of hiding to flatter Happosai on his strength and skill, then asks if the old letcher would maybe consent to training Kuno so he can perform his new duties better. Kuno and Akane are both aghast, with Akane politely trying to tell the principal that idea's insane. Ranma staggers over and adds there's no way Happosai would accept, seeing as how all he cares about is women's underwear. To the shock of them all, Happosai proceeds to declare that he will accept.
Kuno immediately attacks Happosai in an outrage, but is defeated effortlessly. Happosai then taunts Ranma that with the proper training, even an incompetent like Kuno could become Ranma's worst nightmare. Ranma stays silent, but Kuno pulls himself up and haughtily declares he would never consent to the idea of training under somebody like Happosai, and then walks off, challenging Ranma to meet him behind the gym. Akane asks if Ranma really should answer the challenge, and Ranma declares that he knows it's a bad idea, but if he doesn't show up, Kuno will never let him hear the end of it.
The challenge goes as well for Kuno as one might expect. That night, he seeks Happosai out, right arm in a sling and covered in bandages, and asks to be Happosai's student - though, of course, Kuno's ego means he can't phrase it as him asking. Still, Happosai accepts and then heads home to the Tendo Dojo, where he discovers Akane and Ranma talking to Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome about the events of the day. Genma notes that if Kuno does get training from Happosai, it'll be bad news, as Happosai knows all of Ranma's moves and can train him accordingly. Ranma comments he couldn't understand why Happosai would actually accept the idea of training Kuno anyway, and irritably asks if Akane really thinks he's stupid enough to do something like that on purpose when she timidly asks if maybe Ranma made Happosai angry again. Soun declares that Happosai offering to train Kuno, the "school morals officer", actually makes perfect sense; being perverse is his joy in life, and Genma agrees by chipping in that Happosai has no morals at all.
The unspoken implication, that Happosai hopes to corrupt Kuno to his own twisted sense of "morals", causes Happosai to cry out in distress, tearfully proclaiming himself misunderstood and insisting he actually wants to help Ranma improve as a martial artist by enhancing the skills of an otherwise lackluster rival. He hurls himself angrily at Soun and Genma, arms flailing, and they quickly prostrate themselves before him, as usual. Darkly, Happosai warns Ranma that Kuno asked for his help just before, declares that if he loses the upcoming fight he'll be wearing a pink bra that Happosai "just so happens" to have on him, and, catching Ranma's infuriated punch with a pair of chopsticks, smugly warns Ranma he better prepare himself.
The next day, Kuno, the principal and Happosai meet in one of the dojos on the school grounds. The principal exhorts Kuno to train hard and make him proud, waving it off as "same difference" when Kuno angrily declares he's doing this to finally be able to beat Ranma. Then, as humbly as he can, Kuno asks Happosai how to proceed with training. Happosai declares that the problem here is the difference in speed; Ranma is much too fast for Kuno. Kuno promptly suggests that he must strive to strike the first blow then, before Happosai emphasizes that Kuno's not paying attention to him. Attitude isn't something Kuno's lacking, but at the same time all the attitude in the world won't help if he's physically incapable of getting some hits in. However, Happosai has something that can change that; he offers to produce his special "Speed of Light elixir", which makes the imbiber fast as light and graceful as a swallow, if Kuno can successfully hunt down three clues he's scattered across town. While Happosai first has to knock Kuno over the head with the fact he has to do this himself and not send Sasuke after them (literally), Kuno sets off.
To the disbelieving horror of both him and the principal, though, the directions to the first clue force him to raid one of the girls' locker rooms of Furinkan High. While the girls are brutally thrashing Kuno, who tries to gasp out explanations that he didn't come to peek even as he weathers through the blows and manages to grab the clue before being dragged down under their cursing fists, feet and blunt objects, Happosai sneaks in and makes off with all their gym shorts and underwear. The principal desperately suggests that maybe Happosai was just taking them for training, then faints when the old letch proves he truly is just a dirty old man. Moments later, Kuno claws his way out of the locker room and attacks Happosai, furious about being used as an instrument of perversion and evil. Happosai "persuades" Kuno to keep up with it, declaring that only somebody willing to risk any danger and endure any humiliation will be able to become good enough to defeat Ranma.
That evening, Kuno raids a women's bathhouse, doing his best to deflect their projectiles with his sword and dodge what he can't deflect, though he still ends up being dogpiled, thrased senseless and thrown out the door, all while Happosai steals the underwear. That night, he attacks a women's dorm and makes off with their underwear, though fortunately for him Happosai makes off with it in turn while Kuno is "distracting" a police officer.
The next day at lunch, Kuno confidently gives Ranma a challenge letter, only to read it aloud (as Ranma and Akane point out; why bother writing it in that case?) and then turn to Akane, offering apologies and promises that soon he will become her "champion of virtue". Once he leaves, Akane asks if Ranma is certain he can win, to which Ranma cheerfully notes he's never lost to Kuno before.
After school, Ranma and Kuno face off outside the main doors of Furinkan High, the students gathered to watch. The two charge each other, but to Ranma and Akane's intense surprise, Kuno manages to strike Ranma a painful blow in the sternum, forcing him back. In fact, Ranma is forced back repeatedly, even his Chestnut Fist rapid-fire punching technique deflected easily, while an idly satisfied Happosai comments that he never expected Kuno to actually be able to fight Ranma fairly. The so-called "Speed of Light elixir" was nothing but material scraped from under Happosai's fingernails and boiled in water - Happosai honestly thought it'd just give Kuno a stomach ache. As Akane watches, Kuno uses a newly invented special technique, the "Sempuken (Whirlwind Sword)", that consists of spinning his sword in a tight spiral as he thrusts to send Ranma flying out of sight towards the water fountain.
Akane and Kuno both go in pursuit, of course, but Akane diverges to find some hot water. Ranma attempts to use her female form's influence over Kuno to try and get the sword away from him, as his attacks are too much for her to take many more, but Kuno won't surrender it. Luckily for her, his typical lechery leaves him open and she kicks him in the
throat, before ducking behind a wall to let Akane douse her with a kettle. When Kuno regains consciousness, it is male Ranma that stands ready to confront him... but he is quickly forced to run as Kuno pursues him, laughing triumphantly and assured of his victory.
As they race back the way they came, Happosai comments in what almost sounds like concern that Kuno may be believing what Happosai told him more strongly then Happosai ever thought he would - it looks like his efforts have unleashed an unstoppable killing machine. Akane, having retaken her place in the crowd, sarcastically asks if this is the result of Happosai's fingernail gunk, to which Happosai asks if it's his fault that even the filth from his fingers is too strong?
Ranma, however, is still trying to come up with a way of defeating Kuno, and thinks he may have something. Kuno's only strength comes when he is swinging directly in front of him, so if Ranma can get around him... He lures Kuno in to a feint, weaving around him and striking him before leaping up onto a tree branch... which breaks underfoot, leaving him flailing and off-balance. Kuno charges, certain of victory, but this is just Ranma's trick... however, to his surprise, moments before Ranma can connect, Kuno stops, face screwing up into a pained grimace. As a result, he doesn't even try to defend himself before Ranma's foot lands on his face and he crumples to the ground, barely conscious.
Ranma asks if Kuno's alright, even as Akane comes running up to him and congratulates him on his victory. Happosai tries to ingratiate himself into their goodbooks by flattering Ranma on his victory, only for Ranma to freely admit he won because Kuno suddenly got weak in the middle of the fight, not because he himself was strong. Kuno manages to hold on to consciousness long enough to find out that Happosai tricked him into eating boiled fingernail crud, vows revenge, then faints.
The principal promptly retreats to his office where he makes plans for revenge; attempting to create a remote controlled animatronic statue that will wave its arm threateningly and chant for the students to bow down to it. It promptly breaks down, beating him over the head instead.
- It's never stated if Kuno retains his skill increase from this episode or if he allows his skills to decay afterwards.
- This episode shows that Happosai's take on training really can improve your skills... it's just incredibly painful and humiliating.
- Ranma's reaction to Kuno getting stronger and almost beating him is a lot nicer than his behavior when Akane did the same thing during the Super Soba incident. Perhaps it's because Kuno got his increased skills due to rigorous training and hard work, while Akane simply lucked into eating some power-up items and then let her newfound abilities go to her head?
- This episode all but states that the current kendo club of Furinkan High are little more than Kuno's lackies, and they have no real loyalty to him at all outside of that which he can elicit with his fighting skill.
- In the subtitled version, Ranma's "Chestnut Fist" technique based on the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken is translated as "Popping Chestnut Fist".