Herb is a Prince of the Musk and a descendent of a dragon. As such, he behaves in a way to be expected of old timey royalty: he is haughty, disdainful of those he believes to be his inferiors, and does not hesitate to use his enormous powers to inflict pain on any who annoy him. He is a reflection of his upbringing, his cultural heritage and his genes. Dragons are infamous for their personal vanity. Those that offend his pride are summarily punished by death. He is a throwback to less civilized and far less liberal times.
During a flashback, Herb is shown in a throne room with a young servant girl, and a chamberlain or vizier advising him about making a marriage interview. He decided that he should see what a naked girl actually looked like first, so he took the Ladle of Locking and a monkey to Jusenkyo. There, he dunked the monkey in the Nyanniichuan, where she emerged looking almost identical to Ranma's female form (Herb notes that this is sheer coincidence, but he still hates Ranma for the resemblance). While Herb was awestruck by his first sight of real, nude, female flesh, the irritated monkey grabbed the Ladle of Locking and used it to splash him with water from the Nyanniichuan, simultaneously cursing him and locking him in cursed form. Though Herb retrieved the Ladle, the Kettle of Opening was somewhere in Japan and, so, disguising her newly acquired sex from his people, he took two of his followers, Mint and Lime, and set out to retrieve the Kettle of Opening and be cured.
After they came to the Cat Café to speak with Cologne about the location of the kettle, she told Herb that it was on Horaizan or in English, "Treasure Mountain'." As he was about to leave, Mint and Lime came back with Akane Tendo and Shampoo, but Herb told them to abandon the girls because they were about to leave. Herb treats Akane roughly by taking her away from Lime and tossing her across the Cat Cafe, making Ranma Saotome very angry. Ranma fights Herb despite Cologne's warnings, only to be easily beaten. Having defeated Ranma, Herb intentionally trapped Ranma in his female form by splashing water on Ranma from the Ladle of Locking. Ranma comes after Herb in hopes of finding a way to regain his manhood, and exact some revenge in the process. The three Musk men arrive at Horaizan or Treasure Mountain, and rapidly reach the boiling wall of water where the kettle is stashed. Herb regained his male form (but still changes to female when doused with cold water), much to his satisfaction and Lime and Mint's disappointment, since they had marveled at Herb's breasts. Takahashi uses the Musk's fixation on breasts to mock the more general run of males' fascination with that part of female anatomy.
When Ranma arrives at the mountain, Herb engages in a massive battle and consistently outmatches his opponent, despite female Ranma repeatedly distracting and enraging him by baring her breasts to take advantage of his weakness, and being explicitly stated to have his aim thoroughly destroyed in his fury. He also demonstrates his ability to create or counter Ranma's Hiryû Shôten Ha, and assumes his enemy has been beaten, but is taken by surprise when a now male Ranma descends from the tornado (due to being cured by Ryoga), having collected the excess chi from Herb's wild blasts and funnels it into a single concluding attack to smash Herb into the ground. The already crumbling mountain is given a final push and collapses, but Ranma rescues the unconscious Herb and carries him to safety. Herb, Lime and Mint are later seen on a ship heading back to China, and Herb reassesses his opinion of Ranma as a man who might be worthy of respect. Although he remains afflicted by his curse, he may have been able to cure it later, given his apparent relative proximity to the Jusenkyo area.
Fighting Ability Edit
Herb is an immensely skilled, swift, dangerous and ruthless martial artist and consistently outmatched Ranma in direct combat. However he is easily distracted or infuriated by being shown breasts, and is arrogant enough to be taken by surprise attacks, when assuming a premature victory or underestimating a physically overmatched but more creative opponent using a move he is not familiar with. The combined effect from extensive usage of all his attacks, during his prolonged final confrontation with Ranma, is shown to directly create a 2m-3m wide, deep chasm in Mount Horaisan, with a shown span of at least 14m, but which stretches off page. Herb commented that the mountain was crumbling under the force of his attacks, and later Ranma, funnelling the spent energies from Herb's earlier blasts, gave it the final push. However, individually his shown abilities have been far more limited in power.
Special Techniques Edit
Flight: Herb has been shown capable of flying for at least brief periods, but has never done so for an extended time, and preferred to spring when racing Ranma for the kettle.
Supersonic Fist: An unnamed, almost indiscernible, barrage of incredibly swift blows, apparently exceeding the speed of Ranma's own supersonic strikes.
Ki-blasts: Herb can project and mould wider, 'regular' chi-blasts, shown capable of making a roughly 1m x 1m x 12m path through solid rock, and were implied to have destroyed even the magic metal ladle itself. They've also proven enough to briefly stun female Ranma.
Ryu Sei Hisho ("Soaring Dragon Spirit): While using his ability to fly, Herb dive bombs his opponent one-handed while firing ki blasts that bounce off the ground to catch his opponent off guard. Capable of knocking out female Ranma for 1-2 minutes, when struck from all directions at once. The blasts cannot bounce off water, however. It is also one of the few moves that Ranma failed to develop a counter or a defence for, even after he learned how it worked.
Hito Ryu-Zan Ha ("Flying Sword of the Dragon"): Herb's most dangerous attack. With this move, he creates blades of ki that can fly through the air and effortlessly slice through dense objects, shown to include a 4m-5m diameter mountaintop, but his aim is also completely ruined when enraged. While similar in appearance to the Yamasenken's "Demon God Multiple Strike" move, the blades are made of ki, not vacuum.
Ki-sword: Herb can also create a sword of chi with his hand, and has claimed that this is powerful enough to cut female Ranma's head off.
Hiryu Shoten Ha: Being a dragon descendant and chi-master, Herb was familiar with this move and managed to both counter and use it against Ranma.
Characters Aware of his Curse Edit
- Ryoga Hibiki
- Herb is similar in appearance to Kirin from Big Trouble in Nekonron, China as well as Ryūra and Sesshōmaru from InuYasha.