Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
Learning of the Obstacle RaceEdit
One fine, sunny morning, the residents of the Tendo Dojo sit down to breakfast, the only problem being the way that Happosai steals Soun's breakfast and then bullies him into giving up the rest of it. The group looks up as an advertisement on the television plays for an Anything Goes Obstacle Course Race that will be taking place that day and not too far from Nerima, with the grand prize being an all-expenses-paid trip to China.
Naturally, Ranma can't resist the urge and immediately heads off to enter. To his irritated disbelief though, others have followed him from the house; not just his father, but also Soun, Happosai and even Akane. Furiously he demands they go back home, whereupon Akane mockingly asks if he hasn't considered that they might like to visit China for their own reasons as well. To Ranma's increasing surprise and anger, more of his "friends" start showing up; first Shampoo, who declares she'll go wherever Ranma will go, then Mousse, who will go wherever Shampoo will go.
Tatewaki Kuno and his sister Kodachi arrive next, Kodachi giving a friendly greeting to her "boyfriend", while Kuno mocks that Ranma isn't worthy of being called his rival. The family argument that is on the verge of breaking out after Kodachi points out that Kuno is the one who has no chance of beating Ranma is disrupted when Ranma announces the arrival of Ryoga, who managed to track them down despite having had to slip away after breakfast to resume his human form. The announcer finally appears and, after some pep talk, tells the would-be competitors to enter the tower via three large doors, marked A, B and C, to determine whether they will qualify or disqualify to compete.
The Race BeginsEdit
Shampoo and Mousse enter through door A, where they discover themselves on the back of a giant rocking horse mounted on a spring, which begins to bounce up and down. The Joketsuzoku champion has no problems handling the motions and, even as the other competitors drop off like flies, leaps across its mane and head to the door beyond. Mousse uses one of his grapnels to climb over, the only other person to succeed in entering through this door.
Soun, Genma and Happosai enter through door B, where they find themselves facing a path lined with giant automated threshing arms. Happosai exhorts his students to join him in charging straight through, and blitzes ahead, just managing to evade the pounding flails and reach the far side with Genma. He then notices Soun hasn't made it, and is disgusted when Genma points back and reveals Soun got squished, declaring Soun is unfit to be his disciple. Two pretty women then come out, and promptly disqualify Genma and Happosai.
Finally, Ranma, Akane, the Kunos and Ryoga all enter through door C and find themselves in the dark. Each of the Kuno siblings has a brief fantasy about taking advantage of the fact they are with their beloved one in a dark room, when the floor suddenly jolts and begins sinking like a giant elevator, turning their attention towards scolding the Tendo Dojo resident of the relevant gender as an unwanted interference. Ryoga, meanwhile, indulges in a private fantasy of being able to put the moves on Akane.
The floor then comes to a splash down in the middle of an underground lake (into which Ranma promptly falls), revealing a massive, elaborate subterranean themepark styled after a lost world, full of animatronic dinosaurs and other surprises. The announcer declares that it's time for the real challenge to begin and that only those contestants with the courage to swim to the shore will qualify. The Kunos both declare that they have the courage to do so, and Akane is quick to join them, Ranma having already struck out. Ryoga, knowing of his curse, instead uses Kuno and Ranma's heads as stepping stones to bounce to the far shore.
Everyone else stays on the platform and rides it back up through the roof, to Ranma's disdain. Kuno is delighted when he realises that "the pigtailed girl" is present, offering her and Akane alike a bouquet, to their mutual disgust. Kodachi, however, grows upset that there is no sign of her "beloved Ranma", and aggressively demands Ranma reveal his location to her. Kuno draws his bokken and threatens her to leave the female Ranma alone, Kodachi drawing her ribbon and getting ready to fight. As they stand there locked in a face-off, the fake volcano suddenly erupts, disgorging alarmingly real hot rocks.
Ryoga uses his Bakusai Tenketsu attack to rescue Akane, something that Ranma begrudes. Noticing one of the rocks has landed in the shallows of the lake, she distracts the Kunos by calling at them and pointing in the opposite direction, then jumping into the heated water to return to his true form.
Kodachi is delighted to see the male Ranma, but Kuno promptly confronts him in anger over "the pigtailed girl's" disappearance. Kodachi steps in to defend Ranma from him, and the two face off again, a sight that elicits Ranma's disbelief and Akane's scorn. She exhorts Ryoga to come with her and heads off to pursue the end-goal, Ranma's initial attempt at pursuit blocked by Kuno. Kodachi interposes herself between them and exhorts Ranma to go on ahead while she sees to her elder brother. Ranma promptly runs off and the Kuno siblings get ready to fight, only to be swatted aside by the tail of an animatronic sauropod as the announcer declares that they are disqualified.
Akane and Ryoga's headstart has done them no good; they've gotten caught up in a loop-do-loop around the rim of a giant turtle's shell. Only when Ranma runs by and taunts them about where they are do they manage to follow him into a giant rotating door maze.
Ryoga and Akane quickly get lost and caught up in a dead end, but when the announcer offers to send a guide if they'll give up, Ryoga convinces himself that he can't just let it end like this. Grabbing Akane's wrist, he starts smashing through all of the doors in his way, accidentally catapulting Ranma through the door to a tunnel to the next part of the course. Ranma finds himself falling into a pair of giant hands, shortly before Shampoo and Mousse enter from another such tunnel on the other side of the "room".
Shampoo immediately comes running over to hug Ranma, and Ryoga & Akane come smashing through the wall into the chamber in time to accidentally intercept Mousse's flying kick. Neither is pleased to be mistaken for Ranma and Shampoo. Ranma protests that Ryoga can't just go breaking through the walls, but Ryoga's protests that he can indeed do so are met with the gleeful announcer saying that yes, he officially can do just that. All five of the teens have qualified, and the giant hands they are standing in suddenly dump them down to the next layer of the course.
Meanwhile, back the Tendo Dojo, Nabiki is watching the race on the television when Kasumi walks in and asks how things are going. Nabiki explains about the remaining competitors, to which Kasumi says that it completely slipped her mind. When Nabiki enquires to Kasumi what she's talking about Kasumi explains she meant to ask father to bring them some bean paste.
In the Jungle StageEdit
In a steaming jungle river, they are told that they have to pair up, the previously disqualified Soun, Genma, Happosai, and Kunos returning to make it even, and swing on vines to cross the river and reach the goal downstream. Shampoo and Kodachi immediately try to lay claim to Ranma as their partner, while Ryoga shyly wonders if maybe he can ask Akane to be his partner...
To the confusion and displeasure of both of them, Ranma and Ryoga are partnered together, though the sudden appearance of a giant crocodile in the water ahead causes them to forget their argument.
While they avoid falling into the monster's jaws, the splash as it submerges turns Ryoga into a pig, much to Ranma's disgust. Akane and Soun come swinging up, and Akane notices that "P-chan" is on the vine with Ranma, but Ranma manages to distract her and douses Ryoga with hot water from a flask he prepared earlier. Soun joins Ranma in insisting Akane must have imagined it, whereupon Ranma swings off to try and win the race. Ryoga expresses no gratitude in the slightest for Ranma covering for his curse yet again.
Bringing up the rear of the pack, Shampoo sadly sighs about how unfair her life is; Mousse, on the other hand, thinks things are going swimmingly. Shampoo promptly shakes him loose of the vine and dunks him in the water, the combination of his transformation and her momentum meaning that, even though she's the last to reach the goal, Mousse is left far behind. This puzzles the announcer, but he decides it's unimportant.
The Final StagesEdit
Round three is a combat race through a canyon; seperated into pairs, each contestant is given a small headband with a balloon on top; whoever makes it to the goal without their balloon being broken will qualify for the final round, the others will be disqualified.
Of the nine remaining contestants, only Ranma and Ryoga make it through; Ranma uses his curse to lure Happosai into letting his guard down, Kuno pops his own balloon by forgetting that his "Overhand Strike of Death" requires thrusting his bokken over the top of his head, Soun and Genma are disqualified for trying to cheat by joining forces, and Shampoo, Akane and Kodachi stalemate for so long that the referee disqualifies them all in disgust.
Round four is a running battle to the final flagpole over a desert, and Ranma & Ryoga set off, both determined to win. They end up falling into a sand drift and being swept into a pit containing a bizarre robotic monster, with Ranma suggesting they team up to defeat it. Ranma stuns and breaks it with his Chestnut Fist, while Ryoga uses a rapid-fire variant of his Bakusai Tenketsu to bury it and fill up the pit, allowing them to escape.
Ryoga promptly launches himself back at Ranma with a Bakusai Tenketsu that Ranma dodges, causing Ryoga to blow the pit empty again and fall back in. As Ranma races across rocks to reach the girl, Ryoga uses the Bakusai Tenketsu to dig through the earth; just before Ranma can grab the flag, Ryoga opens a hole below it and it falls into his own grasp. As the announcer cheerfully proclaims that Ryoga is the winner, the Eternally Lost Boy starts weeping with joy and relief.
Alas, status quo is god; thanks to Ryoga's abyssmal sense of direction, he can't find the airport in time to use his ticket, snatching the icecream cone from a darkly satisfied Ranma to try and alleviate his pain with a bit of sweetness.
Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Soun Tendo||Ryunosuke Ohbayashi||David Kaye|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Genma Saotome (panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Ryoga Hibiki (P-chan, human)||Koichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Shampoo (human)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Mousse (human, duck)||Toshihiko Seki||Brad Swaile|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Kodachi Kuno||Saeko Shimazu||Teryl Rothery|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- This story is very similar to the events revolving around the Zekkyo Sports Spring Valley, but this episode came out before that manga story and may possibly have inspired it. The Zekkyo story was then recursively adapted into anime format to become the Season 5 episode, Hot Springs Battle Royale!
- This episode is perhaps the most poorly animated of the season.
- The plot for this episode is unusually "whacky" for Ranma ½; it honestly seems almost more appropriate for an episode of Urusei Yatsura.
- Despite Akane's known ineptitude at swimming, she nonetheless succeeds in swimming to shore with Ranma and the Kunos.
- An instrumental version of the season one opening theme, Don't Make Me Wild Like You, plays when Ranma and Ryoga start swinging off along the river.
- The dub refers to the robot as a "giant antlion", while the subtitled version just calls it a "beast from hell". Additionally, the robot is a parody of Alien Baltan, an antagonist of Ultraman.