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Ghost Story! Ranma and the Magic Sword (怪談! 乱馬と魔性の剣 Kaidan! Ranma to Mashō no Ken?) is the twelveth episode in the third season of Ranma ½, Hard Battle, and is the 52nd episode overall.

Ranma, Akane and Ukyo become involved when rumors fly of a vandalizing ghost haunting Furinkan High School.

Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit

None.

Plot OverviewEdit

IntroductionEdit

Furinkan High windows smash

The Janitor notices that windows mysteriously smash, before running away.

Late one stormy night, the janitor at Furinkan High School is forced to flee from a mysterious presence he encounters wandering the halls, growling menacingly and smashing windows. The next morning, it's the talk of the school, with Akane retorting to Ranma's skepticim by specifically pointing out Ranma's curse as a more offensively personal build on from Ukyo's diplomatically pointing out that there are weirder things in the world than ghosts. After some scary stories are shared to explain why there might be a ghost in Furinkan, Ukyo organises a ghost hunt that night - when she reveals she'll be dishing up some okonomiyaki to those who attend, Ranma volunteers to come along as well. Although, to his dismay, he finds out that being her fiance just means a discount (¥500 off specifically in the sub) - as she cheerfully explains, she has to make a living, being that she's a single girl without any other support.

That evening, at the Tendo Dojo, Soun and Genma express the opinion that it's a pity that their ghostbusting kids can't do some monster-busting as well. Happosai easily reads their underlying meaning, but when he confronts them, they quickly turn it into a harmless comment on his monstrous attitude at dinner, which he explains is him "building up his strength" to go ghostbusting with Ranma and Akane.

Pandas and ghosts don't mix

Genma's unsuccessful attempt to get out of the ghost hunting.

Ranma angrily points out he doesn't remember asking Happosai along, and is disgusted when Happosai makes it clear that he just wants to hang out with all of the teenager girls that will be there. Nabiki Tendo then teases Soun and Genma about going along as well, first implying they are scared, then pointing out it would mean good publicity for the dojo. This excites Soun and he eagerly decides to accompany Ranma and Akane. Genma, though, takes a little more persuading.

The Search BeginsEdit

Crowd reaction - Ghost Story!

The groups reaction to Ukyo saying they have no idea about the ghost's pattern of movement.

That night, as the storm rages outside, Ukyo takes charge of getting ready, dramatically building things up by drawing a map of where the attacks have taken place... only to then admit nobody has the faintest clue where the ghost is or what's going on. Happosai takes advantage of the confusion to lecherously trace a finger down Akane's buttocks, which makes Akane squeal and whirl around to slap Ranma in the face, accusing him of doing so and making no apology when he points out the real culprit.

Snapping for everyone to regain their order, Ukyo sets up marching orders; rather than patrolling in one huge group and scaring away the ghost, they are to break up into small two-to-three strong teams and patrol seperately. Happosai, naturally, is promptly placed with the two most homely and masculine of the girls present, after trying to get into a group of several pretty young girls.

Male ghost-hunters found

Akane, Ukyo and Ranma find the group who were escorting Happosai.

Grouped with Akane and Ukyo, Ranma goes off in search of the ghost. Outside of room 3-D, he complains about the fact that nothing has happened yet - which is when they hear the sounds of glass shattering and people screaming from the next floor down. Racing to investigate, they find the two girls charged with escorting Happosai unconscious in a mess of glass shards, their clothes and bodies torn by what looks like windburn, and a shotput that has been sliced cleanly in half lying behind them. This is all the proof that Ranma needs that there is something walking the halls of Furinkan, confirmed when the team of two that was taking the same route as Happosai's guardians prove similarly battered, but retaining consciousness long enough to wail that "it's here!".

This gets Ranma excited that he'll finally have a chance to fight someone, whereupon Ukyo points out that Happosai has vanished. The sounds of feminine screaming is naturally assumed to be a sign of his presence, but when they arrive, they find a group of three girls unconscious in the exact same condition as all the others, save for the fact they are lying in a tangle of shredded and unrolled toilet paper from a nearby cupboard. Akane nervously points out that makes for another three ghost-hunters down.

Red flash - Ghost Story!

Soun and Genma see a red flash behind a door, before they try to leave and are attacked.

On the bottom floor of the other wing of the school, Soun and Genma make their search, trying to quieten their fears by verbally ridiculing the idea of a haunting - and especially themselves in going along with such nonsense. Still, strange sounds lure them to the science lab, where a scattered model skeleton gives them quite a scare - and then Genma terrifies Soun with a slab of specimen gelatin, much to Soun's displeasure. Suddenly, the noise echoes out again, closer, and the two scared men try to withdraw... only for the ghost to attack them.

The Searching ContinuesEdit

Though faint, the sounds of their frightened screams brings Ranma, Akane and Ukyo running, but they are too late; the masters of the Saotome and Tendo Schools of Anything Goes are both unconscious, covered in glass and wood fragments from what was once the door to the science lab. They wonder what could have done this to them, but don't have long to speculate; almost as if in response to Ranma's angry challenge for the ghost to come out and show itself, another duet of screams brings them running to the pathway leading to the school gymnasium, where they find the ghost has gotten Hiroshi and Daisuke. This means, as Akane nervously notes, that they are the only ones left. Ranma refuses to be daunted, and when the sound of a ball bouncing comes from inside the gym, he heads in without fear.

Happosai found in gym

Happosai reveals himself to be the one making the Basketball bounce.

Inside, they are confronted by the sight of a basketball bouncing towards them, slowly and menacingly. As they get ready to attack, though, the true culprit reveals himself with a shout of "boo" - it's Happosai! Furiously, Ranma attacks him, only for Happosai to bounce off of the angry boy's face and then throw the basketball at him... which turns out to have been inflated with cold water, transforming Ranma into his female form when he cuts it in half. Happosai immediately tries to stick Ranma in a bra, and she promptly whacks him and accuses him of being the ghost. Happosai indignantly asks why he would haunt a highschool when he could be staging a panty raid instead.

Suddenly, the strange red flashing crescent appears again, some invisible force streaking across the floor and splitting it with its passage alone. As it comes rushing towards Ranma and Happosai, the old pervert gloats that this proves he's not the ghost and bugs Ranma to put the bra on as an apology. Exasperated, Ranma leaps into the air to avoid the strange attack, then kicks Happosai skyward through the skylight when he continues to make a nuisance of himself. But while Ranma has evaded danger, that means she's in no position to help Akane when that strange force suddenly comes lashing around in her direction.

Ukyo's Spatula cut

Ukyo is devastated about her Spatula getting cut in half.

To the surprise of perhaps all three girls, Ukyo rescues Akane by deflecting the attack with her spatula - which has its head cut off in the process. Devastated, she notes that it was a family heirloom forged by Masamune himself and asks why the ghost didn't just kill her. Ranma has no time to be sympathetic, bluntly telling her that they have to get out of here before the ghost tries it again, whereupon they run off outside.

Happosai, muttering to himself about how Ranma is an "ingrate", gleefully examines what he at first thinks is a bra, then casts aside in disgust at its smell. Flicking on a switch, he discovers he'd landed in the kendo club. Taking no note of the disarray everything is in, he expresses his disgust at the way things that have been worn by guys smell, then runs away. Unnoticed by Happosai, Sasuke emerges from the rubble, vowing that he'll stop "him" this time.

Sasuke's ExplanationEdit

Trio prepare for attack - Ghost Story!

Akane, Ukyo and Ranma stand in front of a building so they can avoid any surprise attacks.

Outside, gathered in a triangle that places their backs against each other and a wall to their unguarded flank, the three girls wait for the ghost to follow them; as Ranma points out to Akane, as the last hunters left, it has to follow them. Ukyo is a little more preoccupied with the matter of her broken spatula, even asking Ranma if she thinks that she'll still be able to cook with it, when the ghost finally makes its entrance, cutting down a tree and then striding through the branches with a series of slashes that knock the three girls flying.

Sasuke stops Ranma - Ghost Story!

Ranma is stopped by Sasuke, who reveals the "ghost" is actually Kuno possessed.

Stabbing the glowing red line into the earth causes the very earth to split, and when Ukyo attacks it to try and cover for Ranma and Akane, it knocks her unconscious effortlessly. Furiously, Ranma attacks the ghost... only for Sasuke to suddenly spring up and latch onto her from behind, causing her attack to falter and depositing her on the earth. To Ranma's surprise, Sasuke begs her to please have mercy on him, a request that makes sense when the moon emerges from behind a cloud and reveals the glassy-eyed, scowling figure of Kuno. Ranma advances on her enemy, chastising him for his behavior, when he suddenly starts growling and attacks her - and so ferocious and skilled is his assault that Ranma is forced to back away, great slices being cut in her shirt and pants. Sasuke intervenes by throwing a smoke bomb between the two combatants, allowing himself, Ranma, Akane and Ukyo to flee, the last one on Akane's back.

Kuno inspects sword - Ghost Story!

Kuno inspects the sword that fell, revealing it to once have belonged to Miyamoto Musashi.

Outside the kendo club, in response to Ranma's annoyed notation that Kuno has really improved, Sasuke explains that his sudden strange behavior and formidable new fighting skill are a result of the fact he is no longer Kuno, but Miyamoto Musashi. To the disbelief of the girls, he explains that a week ago, while Kuno was "meditating" in preparation of the next meeting of the Kendo club, he had been sent into the clubhouse's ceiling crawlspace to clean. While doing so, he found an ancient bokto with kanji burned into its blade, whereupon the wood gave way under his feet and he fell onto Kuno. Once Kuno recovered, he recognized the bokto as the legendary one whittled from an oar by Musashi after his battle on Ganryu Island, explaining that the history of the Furinkan High Kendo Club claims a former instructor once made off with funding and equipment to purchase it from an antique shop and then hid it.

In a typical display of arrogance, Kuno took the bokto up and proclaimed it to be a sign that he was to be the new Musashi - whereupon a strange red aura emerged from the bokto and then took over Kuno's body, Kuno just managing to growl that he felt himself being overwhelmed by the need for violence before he sent Sasuke flying through the roof. Ever since that day, Sasuke says, Kuno has been controlled by the malevolent spirit haunting the bokto, hiding away during the day and emerging at night to prowl the school like some destructive ghost.

Kuno's DefeatEdit

Akane is Otsu

While possessed, Kuno believes Akane to be Miyamoto Musashi's long-lost love, Otsu.

While Akane and Ranma both express the opinion that Kuno was probably the perfect patsy for the sword, they admit that they need to help him somehow. Sasuke sadly admits that he's been trying for the past week, but he's all out of ideas - Kuno has beaten him 35 times already. At that point, Kuno makes his presence felt, tearing up more of Ranma's shirt before she can flee to a safe distance and threatening with death at the hands of 1500 years of Japanese history. Ranma and Akane both scold Kuno for giving into the sword, but it is Akane's words that ultimately end the curse. The possessed Kuno mistakes Akane for Otsu, Musashi's long-lost lady love, and advances on her with open arms, asking her to become his wife.

Akane promptly kicks Kuno into the air - perhaps by chance, or perhaps by magic, the bokto goes flying from Kuno's hand and is struck by lightning, distintegrating in a brilliant flare of crackling energy. And, by divine coincidence, Kuno comes to a landing by crashing through the girls' locker room, right atop Happosai, who was about to make his getaway with a haul of gym shorts and girls' underwear.

Sasuke finds more objects

Akane and Ranma watch as Sasuke brings more objects of interest to Kuno.

The next day, Kuno is at the kendo club, bandaged, neckbraced and deep in his particular take on meditation, when Sasuke comes running in, declaring that he has found a treasure trove of antiques while cleaning the floor. As Akane and Ranma watch disgustedly through the window, Sasuke presents to Kuno an antique scabbard of incredible length, which Kuno declares must have been used for the sword of Miyamoto Musashi's legendary adversary from Ganryu Island, Sasaki Kojiro, a wooden stewpot lid that Kuno declares must have been the one used as an impromptu shield against an assassin's blow by Tsukuhara Bokuden, a set of antique sandals that Kuno swears must be those of the fleet-footed Chiba Shusaku, and a tiger skin that Kuno is sure comes from the one wrestled and slain by Kato Kiyomasa.

Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit

Character Name Japanese Voice English Voice
Akane Tendo Noriko Nagai Myriam Sirois
Ranma Saotome (male) Kappei Yamaguchi Sarah Strange
Hiroshi and Daisuke Koji Tsujitani (Hiroshi)
Takehito Koyasu (Daisuke)
Terry Klassen (Hiroshi)
David Kaye (Daisuke)
Ukyo Kuonji Hiromi Tsuru Kelly Sheridan
Soun Tendo Ryunosuke Ohbayashi David Kaye
Genma Saotome (human, panda) Kenichi Ogata Robert O. Smith
Happosai Ichirō Nagai Paul Dobson
Kasumi Tendo Kikuko Inoue Willow Johnson
Nabiki Tendo Minami Takayama Angela Costain
Ranma Saotome (female) Megumi Hayashibara Venus Terzo
Sasuke Sarugakure Shigeru Chiba Robert O. Smith
Tatewaki Kuno Hirotaka Suzuoki Ted Cole

QuotesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The posture Akane adopts to clarify she's talking about a ghost sighting is the traditional posture associated in Japan with restless spirits on the haunt.
  • The specific stories told about Furinkan High's "mysterious" past are that it was built on an old graveyard (changed to an "Indian" graveyard in the dub), it was a prison during the days of the samurai, and lots of kids were hurt in mysterious accidents while it was being built.
  • When the ghost first strikes, according to the subtitles, the two boys that have been beaten up are Makoto (the first one) and Naota.
  • Incidentally, "Makoto" is the name of one of Akane's friends.
  • In the subtitles, the possessed Kuno declares himself to be the master of the techniques of the "Black Miyamoto Wooden Sword School".
  • The name of Sasaki Kojir'os incredibly long sword, "Clothes Rod", is only given in the subtitled version.
  • In the subtitles, Kuno names Musashi's opponent from Ganryu Island as "Kojiro Sasaki", while in the dubbed version, he calls him "Sasaki Kojiro".
  • This is the only time Ukyo calls Ranma by his last name.

See AlsoEdit


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