It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain (愛と憎しみの贈物 Ai to Nikushimi no Okurimono?) is the 16th true episode in the second season of Ranma ½, Anything-Goes Martial Arts, though it is treated as the 19th episode, and is the 37th episode overall.
Ranma's stomach becomes a prize as Akane Tendo and Kodachi Kuno go head to head, each determined to make Ranma eat her homemade cookies.
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
Home economics class is just drawing to a close at St. Hebereke's School for Girls, at which the students are baking cookies. Kodachi Kuno is part of the glass, but departs early, in her usual flamboyant style.
Meanwhile, at Furinkan High School, the girls' home economics class has just let out; they too have been making cookies. As a number of Ranma's male classmates, most notably Hiroshi and Daisuke, start teasing the girls about being given some of the cookies, Tatewaki Kuno appears with knife, fork, and piyo-piyo-embroidered bib. Declaring that it is true happiness for a woman to have something she made be eaten by the one she loves, he cries out for Akane Tendo to let him make her happy and charges at her, only to be brought up short when Ranma Saotome suddenly appears from nowhere on top of his head. Ranma's casual warning that he'd think again, as Akane's cooking has probably killed better men than Kuno, does not endear him to Akane, who angrily smashes a fire extinguisher atop Ranma's head, bringing both of them crashing to the floor. Thoroughly insulted, she admits that they may not taste very good, but insists he at least try one. Ranma's delaying tactic, attempting to identify each of the mishapen animal cookies, just makes her more and more frustrated until she is screaming at him to eat one before she gets mad.
Which is when a gymnastics ribbon suddenly snaps through the window, grabbing the cloth bag of cookies out of Ranma's hand and pulling them into the grip of Kodachi. Flirtatiously, she throws her own bag of cookies to Ranma, boasting that they were baked with love that very day. Ranma makes a show of misidentifying one of her animal cookies as a pentagram (it's a starfish), while Akane firmly asks for her cookies back. Disdainful, Kodachi promptly leaps out of the window and runs away, declaring she will never allow such things to touch Ranma's lips. Akane is aghast and, tears in her eyes and arms whirling frantically, yells at Ranma he should have been quicker to eat them. When Ranma protests gently that they would have made him sick, she asks in the same distraught tone how he can say such a thing to her without having even tried them.Feeling guilty, Ranma goes after Kodachi, making it quite clear when she reacts with delightful playfulness that he's only after Akane's cookies. The chase gets nowhere; Happosai comes through, leading his parade of outraged schoolgirls, causing Ranma to get knocked to the ground and then trampled. When he recovers though, he finds he has fallen atop of a similarly prone Kodachi, who is quick to reach up and embrace him lovingly. She coos to him in delight, even as Ranma's own face twists in horror, but the sound of Akane and several of Ranma's male classmates approaching causes them to seperate. Ranma backpedals frantically, while a blushing Kodachi whispers a flirtatious adieu to him before leaving. Catching up to Ranma shortly after she has left, Akane triumphantly offers her own cookies to Ranma, even as the male classmates eagerly polish off the very tasty cookies that Kodachi gave to Ranma. Ranma, still in shock, can only politely decline Akane's offer - before she can get too mad at him, Happosai pops up and wolfs down Akane's cookies himself. Her anger at this is quickly surpassed when he starts weeping in pain/disgust, asking why nobody told him that they weren't fit for human consumption. Meanwhile, the classmates have all fallen unconscious, with Kuno noting that, as he suspected, Kodachi has laced her treats with sleeping potion.
While all of this is going on, nobody is aware that Sasuke Sarugakure is nearby, chuckling over having caught an incriminating photo of Ranma and Kodachi lying prone against each other in a rather romantic fashion. Nobody save for Kodachi that is, who is excited to hear that the incident was caught on film and promptly steals it from her humble vassal.
On the way home after school, Akane is still fuming over what happened with the cookies, angrily recalling how Ranma refused them and declaring he has embarrassed her in front of everyone, vowing that she will make him sorry and bake the best cookies he has ever tasted. When she gets home, she shyly approaches Kasumi, who is all too happy to help Akane, excitedly talking about how she's been waiting for Akane to finally become ready to undergo bridal training. However, even with Kasumi in the background, gently pointing out what she's doing wrong, Akane proves she and the kitchen mix like oil and sparks. Working herself into a fury, she attacks the ingredients with such force that Ranma, Genma Saotome and Happosai can hear/feel her from the living room, sneaking up to eavesdrop as Akane mistakes salt for sugar and sesame oil for vanilla extract. Late that evening, Soun and Kasumi idly discuss what Akane has been up to, with Kasumi admitting that Akane has been baking non-stop in the kitchen all after afternoon - she keeps getting it wrong and having to start over.
In fact, at that very moment, Akane is discovering her efforts have failed again. The cinnamon and nutmeg is overpowering everything, the vanilla extract and garlic have completely obscured the watermelon and cherry, and the corn starch she dissolved in water and added to the flour has caused them to harden to a rock-like consistency. She notes in dismay that Ranma will never agree to eat them at this rate, then stubbornly refuses to give up. Even as the rest of the family sits down to dinner, pointedly ignoring the crashing, shaking and screaming coming from the kitchen, she keeps working. When everyone else has gone to bed, she is pulling out yet another batch of failures, refusing yet again to give up; this time, she decides, she'll try leaving out the japelenos.
The next day at school, the exhausted girl ends up sleeping through class, joining up with her friends Yuka and Sayuri at lunchtime to complain about how she spent all night baking and Ranma wouldn't try a single one... leaving out the fact that each and every last one she produced was so disgusting that she would never have eaten any herself. They naturally weigh in on her side of the argument, proclaiming her to be a sweet, sacrificing soul and Ranma a thoughtless jerk, whereupon Akane furiously screams that Ranma is going to eat her next batch even if it kills him, her friends encouraging her.
After school, Akane immediately heads to a bookshop, buying a wide assortment of recipe books in preparation for her final attempt. She is not happy in the slightest when she leaves the shop and sees Ranma and Kodachi talking, with Kodachi offering Ranma another batch of cookies that he politely tries to turn down. While she is unable to see her actually blackmail Ranma with a photo of the incident when they ended up in each others' arms, doctored to look like a snapshot of a romantic rendezvous, she is perfectly capable of seeing how Ranma starts wolfing down the large quantity of cookies moments later. This, naturally, just makes her more furious than ever, sending her storming home and into the kitchen in her worst temper than before.
Ranma arrives home shortly afterwards, sneaking up to his room and quickly shredding the photo, which would have destroyed his reputation. At first, he thinks that the problem is solved, but he quickly finds out that it's only just beginning. First Akane demands he eat the latest batch of cookies she has made, something that Ranma is not at all eager to do - not just because of fear of their nauseating taste, but also because he's eaten so many cookies already thank to Kodachi. Still, with Kasumi, Soun and Genma standing nearby and guilting him about how hard Akane has worked to make these for him and so he should be grateful, he can't refuse and slowly reaches out to take one.
Any relief he might have felt for the distraction when Sasuke throws him an envelope is quickly lost. As he suspects from the black rose on the envelope, the message is from Kodachi; it's an invitation to a homemade feast at her house. This makes Akane angry, though Ranma just spares the time to retort that she's one to talk about not knowing when to quit before reading on... revealing that she still has more of the same incriminating doctored photos and is threatening to distribute them all over town. Furious and desperate to protect his reputation, he darts off, running along a wall even as the furious Akane jogs alongside and demands he stop and eat her cooking, to which Ranma replies he'll take a raincheck before struggling to lose her.
He arrives at the Kuno estate just in time; Kodachi, standing on the wall in an elaborate kimono, has just tossed a great basketful of photos into the air above a curious crowd, which he just manages to snatch away before anyone can grab them. Growling over this dirty trick, he crumples them all into a tight little ball and then wolfs it down in an attempt to stop the blackmail once and for all, unaware that Akane has caught up again. It fails; Kodachi merely playfull comments that she didn't know Ranma enjoyed eating photos before presenting him with a huge pile of them. Realising in disgust that this could go on forever, Ranma declares he'd much rather eat the negatives, to which Kodachi plays along and directs him to a secured collar on the neck of her pet, Mr. Green Turtle, who lives in the nearby pond. In his eagerness to go after it, Ranma fails to heed Kodachi's faint warning that her pet isn't exactly a turtle...
Casting off his clothes, stripped down to boxers and singlet, Ranma dives into the water and goes searching through the depths. To her terrified surprise, Mr. Green Turtle turns out to be a giant crocodilian, but she fights it undaunted - until she seizes the collar and, in removing it, releases a tremendous shock that renders them both unconscious. Kodachi, hearing the sound of voltage discharging as she approaches, notes to herself in an abashed tone that she had forgotten that the high-voltage electrical security system in the collar was still on.
The cries bring both Kunos and Sasuke running, where they find the unconscious girl and gator floating belly-up in the pond. Kuno tenderly retrieves his object of allure, while Kodachi notes Ranma's garments are still warm and wonders in distress where he has gone.
Kuno takes Ranma to his room to recover, then spots the collar she is still holding and leaps to the conclusion it's a belt she's bought as a present for him, happily strapping it about his waist and noting how incredibly handsome he is. He is then distracted by the sounds of Akane's angry demands for Ranma's presence from outside, eagerly running out to meet her. Still holding her cookies, she angrily dismisses him, turning her attention to Kodachi, who taunts that Akane will want to have these photos she's carrying now that Ranma has come to see Kodachi of his own free will. As soon as she flings them at the youngest of Soun Tendo's daughters, though, Ranma awakens and comes flying out, repeating her rapid-fire mid-air snatchfest, much to Kuno's admiration. Wolfing down the photos, she snaps at Akane to go home, much to Akane's irritation, then turns her attention to the collar's whereabouts. Seeing it's around Kuno's waist, she immediately grabs it in an attempt to remove it, only to subject both her and him to a powerful electric shock. Kodachi softly taunts that the only way to deactivate the security system is to douse the collar in hot water. Ranma immediately offers to take a bath with Kuno, who promptly snatches her up and, in a stunning display of his usual hypocrisy, goes racing off to the baths even as he rants about how improper mixed bathing is, especially between two teenagers, only to end up screaming in frustration as he can't undress due to the collar, which Ranma snaps serves him right.
Having been left alone, Kodachi taunts Akane by asking if she has had a chance to kiss Ranma yet, smugly declaring that she can't have done so. Akane coldly tells her to get some help, whereupon the younger Kuno flicks her a copy of the photo Ranma has been trying so desperately to hide from her. Akane's reaction, needless to say is apocalyptic.
In the baths, Ranma swiftly tires of Kuno and hurls him into the bath, knocking him out and retrieving the collar. Even as she proclaims that now she has nothing to fear, the furious Akane comes storming up behind her and kicks her into the water, brandishing the doctored photo and then storming off. Ranma can only watch her go in dismay, even as Kuno regains consciousness and starts upbraiding him, demanding he return "the pigtailed girl".
That evening, as the sun sets, a distraught Akane wanders the streets, mentally sobbing to herself about how Ranma never even dared to try her cookies, no matter how hard she worked on them. As she wipes away tears, Ranma appears and convinces her to look at the negatives, explaining that he only ended up falling on Kodachi because of an accident and Akane has no reason to be jealous, so she can calm down. When Akane angrily protests that she's not jealous, and gets ready to storm off again when Ranma asks why she's so mad if she isn't jealous, he brings out the big guns. Revealing he still has the cookies she baked, he makes a show out of eating them and claiming that he actually likes them, which not only chases away all of Akane's anger and sorrow, but puts a beatific smile on her face.
Of course, that evening, Ranma pays the price for such nobility. Dosed to the gills on herbal stomach remedy, he can only lie curled up in his futon, groaning in pain as a concerned Kasumi tends to him. Even Genma is sympathetic in his own rough way, wondering just what on earth Ranma could have possibly eaten to upset his notoriously cast-iron stomach. Akane, eavesdropping on all this, wonders why Ranma is feeling so sick, then nonchalantly shrugs it off as something having been wrong with the recipe.
Cast in Order of Appearance Edit
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Kodachi Kuno||Saeko Shimazu||Teryl Rothery|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Yuka and Sayuri||Masami Toshima (Yuka)|
Yoshiko Kamei (Sayuri)
|Angela Costain (Yuka, s.2)|
Willow Johnson (Sayuri)
|Hiroshi and Daisuke||Kōji Tsujitani (Hiroshi)|
Takehito Koyasu (Daisuke)
|Terry Klassen (Hiroshi)|
David Kaye (Daisuke)
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Sasuke Sarugakure||Shigeru Chiba||Robert O. Smith|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- There are several dub/sub challenges here. Most notably, Ranma calls Akane's racoon cookie a tiki in the sub and a Power Ranger in the dub, while in the sub Akane mistook chili oil for vanilla extract.
- This episode reveals why Akane is such a terrible cook; she is easily excited into emotional frenzies, in which state she lacks any sense of patience or gentleness. Even when not so frantic, she pays no attention to what she is adding, is prone to ignoring the recipe entirely to go with her own conclusions about what to add, and will pay no attention to anyone who may be trying to advise her.
- When the Kunos find the unconscious Ranma-chan in the pond, they both quote from the ending of Romeo & Juliet. Kuno speaks the "the honey from thy lips" line, while Kodachi wails the "leave you no friendly drop to help me after" line.
- In the subtitles, Genma asks if Ranma has been eating "road pizza", i.e. sun-baked roadkill when asking just what Ranma could have eaten to upset his stomach so badly. This is a pretty nasty dig at Akane's lack of cooking talent.
- This story is a lot shorter than the original version from the manga, which among other things includes a more extensive tour of the Kuno Estate.