Jusenkyo (呪泉郷 Jusenkyō?) (Zhòuquánxiāng in Mandarin) is the legendary training ground of "cursed" springs, located in the Bayankala Mountain range (Bayan Har Shan), south of Mount Kensei, in Qinghai Province, China. It is maintained by the Jusenkyo Guide.
Many sad stories have happened in Jusenkyo, mainly that people and animals have drowned (in Japanese, 'immersion' was closer to the actual wording, but it was translated as strictly 'drowned') in the various pools hundreds or thousands of years ago. Legend has it that when something is immersed in one of these pools, the pool becomes cursed, and anyone falling into that pool will become whatever first fell in or drowned there, although, unless specified, they retain their mind, personality and skills. The cure (albeit temporary) is to be splashed with hot water. Then the victim would remain in his or her natural form until again encountering cold water. While the curses themselves happen instantaneously, with no "in-between" shots of cursed characters partially transformed in the manga (in the anime there are occasional transition shots), they do take a while to activate, with the cursed character usually standing dumbstruck for a second or so after being splashed.
In the world of Ranma ½, Jusenkyo seems to sometimes serve as a "training ground" for martial artists, who seek to train through vaulting and dueling atop the bamboo poles that jut out of the many springs. Precisely what this seeks to train or how effective it is happens to be unknown; no trainee has ever been seen to complete their training at the springs without being cursed. In one anime episode, a version of Ranma & Genma who complete their training at Jusenkyo without being cursed leave in disappointment, expressing the opinion that it was really not that interesting a training site at all -- Jusenkyo seems to attract interest nowadays almost solely due to its curse-bestowing status rather then any actual benefit to be gained from training there.
Despite its obscure status, Jusenkyo does have a devoted caretaker, the Jusenkyo Guide, who lives in a small house on the outskirts of the valley, well away from the cursed waters. He is married with a young daughter named Plum who is being taught to eventually take over the springs. In one anime episode there is also the secret organization slash cult known as "The Jusenkyo Preservation Society". Precisely who they are is never clarified, but they seem to regard themselves as guardians of Jusenkyo and responsible for seeing that those who acquire Jusenkyo curses do not "abuse" their transformational powers.
In the series people have, among other things, accidentally fallen into the springs of the drowned girl, panda, duck, piglet, and cat, and at least one character chose to voluntarily bathe in one of the springs. However, most characters featured who have the curse find it to be obstructive and would rather be rid of it.
The information about possible cures seems conflicted.
It has been shown that instant nannichuan/"spring of drowned man" powder, which renders the subject immune to its effects after one application, temporarily cured Genma and Ranma, and the true spring has been stated as a working cure by the author, which was also heavily implied in the end chapter.
However, it has also been found that bathing in two springs can also mix the curses rather than switch them. This was demonstrated in the manga when Pantyhose Taro bathed in the Spring of Drowned Octopus, and found that his cursed form (a minotaur with wings and an eel for a tail) had sprouted tentacles and gained the ability to squirt ink from its fingers.
There are three logical deductions that can explain away this apparent conflict.
The first possibility is that "template" springs will cure if applied to a cursed victim, but other springs will fuse their curses to the victim's existing curse. So, for example, Ranma would become male if exposed to Nannīchuan, but if splashed with Maonīchuan, would have his cursed form change into a catgirl-type form, due to the fact that neither cat nor girl is what his original form was. This is demonstrated by the recorded facts of what has been seen of curse applications in the series; Ranma's Instant Spring of Drowned Man did temporarily make him immune to cold water before it wore off, yet Taro permanently added octopus tentacles and ink to his body.
The second possibility is that the fusion effect is something unique to Taro, and happens because his existing cursed form is already a physical hybridization of four separate creatures (yeti, crane, eel, ox) that drowned in the same pond. This is demonstrated by the fact that Taro's spring is explicitly called out as having contained four seperate creatures, yet his cursed form is a blending of the four.
The third possibility is that replacement vs. fusion is determined by how much is applied; a Jusenkyo victim needs to apply a large dose of a different spring to replace this curse (or to completely affect an uncursed victim), but a small dose will only add certain traits to an existing curse. This is demonstrated in that, in the same manga story that introduces the octopus-upgraded Taro, a single drop of Spring of Drowned Twins water is only enough to double one bump on Happosai's head. Furthermore, every time that a potential cure has appeared, it has always appeared in sizeable quantities; the anime-only out-of-service Japanese Nannīchuan and converted Tendo Dojo koi pond were both more than deep enough to fit multiple people, whilst the large cask of Nannīchuan water that the Guide sent in the final story was explicitly stated as only holding enough water for a single person.
After the fierce battle against Saffron, heavy rains caused the waters of the cursed springs to overflow and intermix, temporarily combining the curses into an unpredictable and possibly dangerous mixture, preventing the cursed individuals from being cured. By the final chapter of the manga, however, the flooding had receded and the springs were back to normal. As gratitude for Ranma's efforts in trying to save his daughter, the Guide sent a cask of Nannīchuan to the Tendo Dojo for Ranma, but it was stolen by Soun Tendo in an attempt to use it to blackmail Ranma into marrying his daughter, and subsequently drunk by Happosai.
List of known cursed springsEdit
Manga and Animé appearances Edit
- Spring of Drowned Panda (Shonmaonīchuan; Mandarin Xióngmāonìquán)
- Cursed: Genma Saotome
- Spring of Drowned Girl (Nyannīchuan; Mandarin Niángnìquán)
- Cursed: Ranma Saotome, Herb (manga only) and a monkey (manga only)
- Spring of Drowned Man (Nannīchuan; Mandarin Nánnìquán)
- No one cursed
- Spring of Drowned Black Piglet (Heitowennīchuan; Mandarin Hēitúnnìquán)
- Cursed: Ryoga Hibiki
- Spring of Drowned Cat (Maonīchuan; Mandarin Māonìquán)
- Cursed: Shampoo and Arisa Nanjo (games only)
- Spring of Drowned Duck (Yazunīchuan; Mandarin Yāzǐnìquán)
- Cursed: Mousse and a tiger
- Spring of Drowned Yeti-riding-Bull-carrying-Crane-and-Eel (Niuhōmanmaorennīchuan; Mandarin Níuhèmánmáorénnìquán)
- Cursed: Pantyhose Taro
Manga only Edit
- Spring of Drowned Octopus (Shanyuinīchuan; Mandarin Zhāngyúnìquán)
- Cursed: Pantyhose Taro
- Spring of Drowned Twins (Shuanshontsūnīchuan; Mandarin Shuāngshēngérnìquán)
- Cursed: A duck, a crow, (and a bump on Happosai's head)
- Spring of Drowned Pious Man (Shannannīchuan; Mandarin Shànnánnìquán)
- No one cursed (mentioned in manga)
- Spring of Drowned Child (Tontsūnīchuan; Mandarin Tóngzǐnìquán)
- Cursed: Rakkyosai
- Spring of Drowned Warrior Goddess (Asura) ( Ashiuruonīchuan; Mandarin Āxiūluónìquán)
- Cursed: Rouge
- Spring of Drowned Akane (Akanenīchuan; Mandarin Qiànnìquán)
- Cursed: Kiima. Originally a "blank" cursed spring, Akane was thrown into this spring and allowed to almost drown due to her lack of swimming skill, whereupon it "picked up" her form. As a result, anyone who falls into this spring now takes on the physical appearance of Akane Tendo, and Kiima used it to replace her original Nyannīchuan curse in order to spy on Ranma.