When Ranma's continued defiance of his perverse reign becomes more than the malevolent Happosai can stand, he punishes his reluctant pupil... by stealing away all his strength!
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
This episode marks the beginning of the three-part Hiryu Shoten Ha or Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion arc.
It's a fine, sunny day in Nerima and all is peaceful... except for the horde of angry women chasing the dirty old panty-thief Happosai, that is. Ranma Saotome crosses path with this procession and disdainfully throws aside his barely-touched persimmon; as a scavenger by nature, Happosai is unable to resist this treat and stops running to wolf it down. This lets the women catch him and they promptly start beating on him fiercely, even as Ranma nonchalantly declares that this is Happosai's just desserts.
That night, Happosai returns to the Tendo Dojo, bruised, battered and utterly livid. Soun Tendo, alongside Genma Saotome, are both terrified; they well remember what happened the last time Happosai got angry with Ranma. Ranma, however, feigns obliviousness even as Happosai grows increasingly angry, until finally the outraged pervert hurls a glowing coal from his pipe at Ranma, which prompts Ranma to swiftly swivel in his seat and catch it with his chopsticks. But that was just a distraction to allow Happosai to leap over Ranma's shoulders and drop another coal roughly between the base of Ranma's shoulders, running off into the dark and taunting Ranma that this will be his punishment. Ranma complains to himself about Happosai, but Akane Tendo has no sympathy for him.
The next morning, the two teens head to Furinkan High School, Ranma complaining that his burn still hurts. Akane still has no sympathy, declaring Ranma got off lucky - this, Ranma agrees, is true; Happosai can be pretty whimsical and fickle, but he usually tries a little harder to "punish wrongdoings". They get distracted when Tatewaki Kuno suddenly comes running up to them, intent on challenging Ranma again, but Ranma promptly does a diving kick into Kuno's face, as usually happens. To their intense surprise, Kuno shrugs the blow off, whacks Ranma over the head, and proclaims it didn't hurt in the slightest. Ranma hits Kuno several more times, even delivering a Chestnut Fist attack to Kuno's sternum, but nothing he does phases the boy who is ordinarily the weakest of Ranma's rivals. In the end, Ranma is left lying stunned on the ground, Kuno barely stopping to let his victory sink in before glomping onto Akane and begging her for a date. She hurls him into the sky and several blocks away before asking Ranma in a mixture of irritation and concern how Kuno could defeat him. Ranma, aghast, proclaims that something has to be wrong with him, before screwing his eyes closed and dramatically hurling himself in a punch against a nearby wall... before a little kid on a tricycle comes pedaling in between Ranma and his target, Ranma's blow landing squarely on the kid's head. Both of them are terrified and aghast, but the kid isn't hurt or even ruffled in the slightest - in fact, he promptly flicks Ranma in the forehead and knocks him head over heels.
Stopping only to grab Genma, the teens immediately head to Dr. Tofu's Clinic, to have Ranma receive an inspection from the man himself. Confused, Dr. Tofu examines Ranma, then discovers the cause; where Happosai burned Ranma the previous night, is a small scar in the shape of kanji. Horrified, Dr. Tofu explains that this is an ancient and terrible moxibustion technique (translated variously as the 'strength sapping moxibustion' or the 'ultimate weakness moxibustion' - the anime leans towards the former) that renders the victim weaker than a baby. Worse, he reveals, there is no known cure. Ranma goes running off, deeply upset, and Akane & Genma beg Dr. Tofu to help him. He warns them that he can't guarantee he'll find a cure, but he will look into one, much to their relief.
Meanwhile, Happosai has been scattering letters revealing Ranma's weakness all over town. Mousse finds one outside the Nekohanten, while at Furinkan High School, both Principal Kuno and Tatewaki Kuno receive one. It is at Furinkan High that Ranma attacks Happosai, who merely laughs it off and then gloats that the best part of his revenge is that he won't have to lift a finger against Ranma now; all of Ranma's enemies will come after Ranma to take advantage of his weakness. Ranma promptly and hotheadedly attacks Happosai with the intent of defeating him and forcing him to cure the moxibustion. Naturally, by the time Akane has arrived looking for Ranma, stopping to retrieve P-chan and find one of Happosai's letters, Ranma has been soundly defeated and Happosai is out of the building. For his own good, Akane decides the only way to keep Ranma safe is to bind him, gag him and hide him in one of the equipment sheds before going to class herself.
Ranma, however, won't stand for this, and manages to use a rake to riskily free himself. He sneaks out of the shed, only to be attacked by the principal, who is eager to take advantage of Ranma's weakness to shave him bald. Mousse attacks Ranma next, seeing a chance to finally beat Ranma and "claim" Shampoo's hand in marriage. Then Kuno joins the fray; he is certain that Ranma is not weak at all but merely lying to cheat Kuno of his victory. Soon, Ranma finds himself trapped against a tree, defenseless, as his three enemies close in...
When they suddenly get cast flying through the air, Ranma looking up to see a livid Ryoga has interposed himself between Ranma and his former assailants. Ranma feebly asks if Ryoga's come to take his pound of flesh too, to which Ryoga indignantly declares he would never pick on the weak. Infuriated, Ranma leaps up and instinctively punches Ryoga in the stomach... but the utter lack of force behind it makes Ryoga start to cry, right before he declares he'd rather see Ranma dead than alive like this and punches him through the air, Ranma protesting Ryoga said he wasn't going to hit Ranma.
At Dr. Tofu's Clinic, after school, the good doctor reveals to Akane and Genma that he's found word of a scroll that holds the secret to moxibustions that counter moves like the strength-sapping moxibustion. In fact, chief amongst them is the actual counter to the strength-sapping moxibustion. All they have to do is find that chart, and then they can fix Ranma with no problems at all. Jubilant, Akane goes running off to find him, having figured he escaped and went to hide himself someplace other than school.
Meanwhile, Ukyo Kuonji is just getting ready to open up Okonomiyaki Ucchan's for the afternoon when she discovers, to her horror, the unconscious Ranma buried in her trashcan. She hoists him onto her back and carries him inside, just as Akane comes onto the scene to see and decides to sneak inside. Laying Ranma down on his back on the grill/counter, Ukyo decides to fix an okonomiyaki for her fiance... not the smartest of ideas. Ranma wakes from a nightmare in which his enemies taunt him about his lost strength when he feels the hot metal burning his back, leaping off of the grill and asking how he got here. Ukyo explains she found him in the trash, and it looks like those rumors she's been hearing were true. Ranma hastens to explain, but Ukyo simply sticks the okonomiyaki in his mouth with a smile and insists he doesn't have to. Ranma excitedly asks if she knows of a cure, but Ukyo replies happily she doesn't and, honestly, doesn't really need one; she'll be perfectly happy to marry Ranma the way he is. He can look after the kids, and she'll sell okonomiyaki to feed them all; a perfectly happy ever after scenario. Ranma is not impressed, but Ukyo, still smiling, points out that with his strength gone, he can't take over the Tendo Dojo and so he can't marry Akane any more; the unspoken implication being that she's the only one who'll still want to marry him now that he's lost his strength. Ranma snarls that all he cares about is restoring his strength; he couldn't care less about that stupid dojo or that even stupider Akane... Who chooses that moment to pipe up and reveal her presence, mocking Ranma that she knows how he can get cured, then beating him up and sulking until he abases himself sufficiently that, while Ukyo thinks makes him look spineless, she decides to let him in on the secret.
Across town, Mousse literally crashes into the Nekohanten, calling out for Shampoo. When Cologne comes out to investigate, Mousse mistakes her for his "beloved" and claims to have beaten Ranma, getting knocked unconscious after he finally realizes his mistake. Unhappily, Cologne confirms that the rumors of Ranma's loss of strength are true.
Akane leads Ranma and Ukyo to a temple somewhere in a more mountainous part of the city, where the elderly head monk eventually explains to them that they did have the curative chart...but a thief stole it nigh on a hundred years ago. Ranma's first reaction is despair; if it vanished that long ago, with no clues... but then the monk reveals that they still have a likeness of the rascal who did it, which turns out to be a depiction of a younger Happosai. Ranma vows he'll defeat the old pervert and get the chart, with Ukyo cheering that she knows he can do it. Akane, on the other hand, isn't so certain... Happosai is too much for Ranma to handle with his strength.
Back at the Tendo Dojo, Kasumi Tendo is burning some trash and asks if there's anything Happosai wants to get rid of. He goes through some random junk before finding the very chart Ranma needs, decides it can't be important if he can't remember it, folds it into a paper airplane and then sends it flying out to the eldest Tendo. Fortunately for Ranma, he manages to arrive just in the nick of time to snatch it from the air - but hearing his excitement is all Happosai needs to dart over, knock Ranma aside with a jab of his pipe, and then snatch the chart back, declaring he'd better keep onto it if it's the only counter to his strength-sapping moxibustion.
As Akane and Ukyo arrive, Ranma tries to fight Happosai for the chart, but it's no use without his strength; even turning into a girl and opening her shirt does no good, as she doesn't have the power to harm him while his guard is down. Happosai finally slams her painfully into the garden wall, so hard it craters, then taunts her that she's defenseless now. Akane and Ukyo have had enough by this point and angrily confront him, with even Kasumi getting in on the action, but he leaps onto the roof, shouts that Ranma can stay a weakling forever for all he cares, and then runs away. Clumsily, Akane tries to comfort Ranma, but she just coldly tells her to stop it and slouches off towards her room, Genma watching all of this from the window with flinty eyes.
Akane's concern for Ranma gives way to anger over the way she spoke to her and she goes to bed that night still brooding over it.
When she wakes the next morning, though, it's to unpleasant news; Kasumi tells them all that the Saotomes packed up and left in the night, suggesting it might be because Ranma is now too weak to carry on the dojo. Akane insists, all but crying, that Ranma would never run like a coward, and her teary-eyed father agrees. Akane, despite herself, heads to school, trying to convince herself that she isn't hurt that Ranma would do something like this. Trying, and failing miserably.
Cast in Order of Appearance Edit
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Richard Cox|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Tatewaki Kuno||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Tofu Ono||Yūji Mitsuya||Ian James Corlett|
|Mousse (duck, human)||Toshihiko Seki||Brad Swaile|
|Ryoga Hibiki (piglet, human)||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Donovan|
|Principal Kuno||Tatsuyuki Jinnai||Scott McNeil|
|Ukyo Kuonji||Hiromi Tsuru||Kelly Sheridan|
|Cologne||Miyoko Asō||Elan Ross Gibson|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
- The subtitles specify that Shampoo has gone back to China for "a visit", but the dub never explains why she's absent.
- In the manga, the chapters equating to this episode are the very last appearance of Dr. Tofu.
- In the dubbed version, the name of the strength-sapping moxibustion is left in Japanese, and while kanji for its name appear on screen, no "automatic translation" is given, despite this normally happening.
- In the dub, after getting beaten up by Happosai at school, Ranma makes the "which way did he go?" gag popularized by Looney Tunes. In the subs, he sticks with the more manga-accurate claim that he'll "let Happosai go this time".
- The dub has a second piece of gratuitious Japanese when Ryoga uses the Japanese word for Ranma's condition.
- This episode highlights the different attitudes of Ranma's rivals very well. Ryoga truly considers Ranma a rival and is deeply upset by the idea of him being so weak that it wouldn't be fair to fight him. Kuno doesn't really care about Ranma so much as how he can make himself look good by beating Ranma - he joins his father and Mousse in attacking him because he considers the letters Happosai spread to be lies and slander Ranma is trying to use to cover up Kuno's "rightful" victory. Mousse is so determined to defeat Ranma he has no qualms whatsoever at attacking Ranma while knowing he has been rendered too weak to fight and then (technically) lying about beating him to Shampoo.
- Precisely how/why Akane thought to look for Ranma at school is never explained.
- While Ukyo is normally portrayed in the English dub as having a sort of Southern/Western US accent to her voice, in her little daydream, she, Ranma and their kids are all portrayed with a "hillbilly" sort of accent.
- In the dub, Kasumi declares that "even Ranma deserves to be treated like a human being", while in the sub, she threatens Happosai with no dinner that night.