Canonically, Ranma is intended to be attracted only to Akane Tendo and Shampoo's feelings for him are supposed to be one sided. However, as the anime and manga both have little real romantic development for any of the various relationships, it is possible to see Ranma and Shampoo as a couple. The precise canonical details of their relationship varies somewhat between the anime and the manga, as the former characterizations are somewhat different from those of the manga. In this particular case, Shampoo is portrayed more sympathetically in the anime, and there are stronger hints that while Ranma feels some reciprocation for Shampoo's feelings, he is just more in love with Akane.
Shampoo's feelings for RanmaEdit
Shampoo's feelings for and interactions with Ranma differ slightly between the two versions, though in both cases it is hinted that she has very strong feelings of attraction to Ranma. She is always glad to see him and when she comes across him alone on the street, with invariably ask for a date.
She rarely hits Ranma directly when he angers her, though she is quite willing to get back at him when he does this by causing him problems, either by playing tricks that put him in a tight spot or threatening to do so, and is usually not very violent towards him. In a situation in which her rivals are involved however, she can grow blind to Ranma's presence and injure him unthinkingly.
Ruthless and even amoral in her pursuit of Ranma, Shampoo is convinced that he does love her back and is merely forced to keep away because of his duty to the Tendo family and, to a lesser extent, Ukyo Kuonji, as well as his shyness. Because of this, she is willing to try and take advantage of magical items if they are available and her cultural background (which may also place little stigma on usage of petty enchantments) means that she is the fiancee most willing to consider eliminating her rivals in order to secure Ranma as her one and only.
She enjoys playing tricks on Ranma, particularly preferring these as a way to punish him over physically hitting him, although she has hit him on a number of occasions, and in the manga is more vindictive. In the manga there is also a running gag of Shampoo running into Ranma with her bike, though there seems to be no actual malice behind this behavior as it is a a common entrance for her.
Shampoo is usually very affectionate towards Ranma and has little inhibitions about him, being quite willing to hold him whenever she gets the chance and is perfectly at ease at him seeing her naked. While Ranma is far too shy to take advantage of this, she makes it very clear she would be happy to let him have everything he wants of her. She also, particularly in the anime, tries to see the best of him and grows very excited when it appears that he is actually going to do something romantic for her.
Ranma's feelings for ShampooEdit
Ranma seems to care more for Shampoo in the anime than he does in the manga, though in both cases he has tried to avoid giving her any indication that he returns her feelings. That said, he does clearly worry for her on occasion and is quite willing to team up with her or ask her for advice, rather than shunning her the way he does Kodachi Kuno, the only other girl who makes him similarly nervous. He finds her physically attractive, but her overly enthusiastic approach to physical intimacy unnerves him, and her fondness for trickery and willingness to resort to violence makes him wary of her.
List of "moments" in canonEdit
This is a list of various moments from both the anime and the manga that have hinted at a romantic attraction between Ranma and Shampoo.
Kiss of Death Flashback (both): Female Ranma is shown in a romantic daze shortly after receiving the Kiss of Death for defeating Shampoo, though this is interrupted when the Jusenkyo Guide grabs and pulls her to safety, warning her about the nature of the kiss.
First talk (both): When Ranma tries to explain to Shampoo why she shouldn't have to marry him because he beat her, she simply hops up onto the birdhouse beside him and looks at him adoringly, Ranma growing more and more flustered by her until he forgets all about what he was saying.
Musing on the roof (both): Later that evening, Ranma sits on the Tendo house roof and admits to himself that Shampoo is really cute, he just hasn't noticed it due to her trying to kill him.
Revelation of the curse (both): Upon lying to Shampoo and claiming to really have been the "girl-type Ranma" all along, Shampoo initially attacks Ranma in a rage, then stops, weeping, and runs away after telling him "Bie Lao" (goodbye). In the anime version, Shampoo actually manages to overpower Ranma during her assault, knocking him to the ground and rendering him unable to defend as she prepares to strike before stopping.
What a waste (both): After Shampoo leaves, Ranma is confronted about just letting her go like that. In the manga, Ryoga Hibiki encourages him to go and make up with Shampoo, with Ranma thinking to himself that it does seem kind of a waste. In the anime, Akane sincerely points out that Ranma could still catch Shampoo, to which Ranma weakly tells her to leave him alone. Akane then fakingly taunts Ranma that he must be sorry about turning down such a cute girl, sarcastically asking why Ranma looks like he's going to cry when Ranma angrily retorts that he's glad Shampoo is gone.
Reversal Jewel (both): While wearing the Reversal Jewel, Shampoo's reversed love is stated to be well over 100 times more intense than her normal hatred for Mousse, which means that her normal feelings for Ranma are very strong and positive. Shampoo is also ecstatic when Cologne takes the jewel off and tells her that Ranma is coming to at last proclaim his love for her.
Warning against Ling-Ling & Lung-Lung (anime): Shampoo immediately races off to warn Ranma that her juvenile friends from the village have come to kill his female form, not knowing the whole story.
Protection (anime): When the twins try to threaten female Ranma, Shampoo blocks them from reaching her and tells them that she won't let them hurt him. When they persist, Shampoo gives them each the Kiss of Death and goes to fight them. Cologne, watching from a nearby tree, comments that even she had no idea that Shampoo loved Ranma that much.