Rub-a-Dub-Dub! There's a Pervert in the Tub (幻の八宝大華輪を探せ Maboroshi no Happōdaikarin wo Sagase?) is the fourth episode in the third season of Ranma ½, known as "Hard Battle", and is the 44th episode overall.
Angered by Ranma's continued upsetting of his perverse schemes, Happosai decides to unlock his sealed technique, the Happo Fire-Burst. It's a race as Ranma, Genma and Soun try to stop the pervert from recovering his legendarily destructive move.
Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit
It is morning at the Tendo Dojo and Akane is getting ready to go on a trip with some female friends of hers to a hot springs resort out of town. While everyone else wishes her a happy experience, Ranma disdainfully asks why she wants to go to a place only "old fogies" go. Akane brushes this off and instead playfully teases him about the idea of using some real hot water for a change. This causes Ranma to blush and defensively ask so what if he's always having to use a tea kettle because of his curse, but as Akane turns to go he spots something very unwelcome and shouts at Akane to stop. She does, mildly disgruntled, and asks what the problem is, suggesting that maybe he now wants to come along with her. At this Soun excitedly asks why he didn't think of it and encourages Ranma to go along, even giving him permission to bathe with Akane. This, naturally, gets both teens yelling at him, Ranma repeating his usual insistence that Akane isn't "cute" enough for him to be attracted to her. Grabbing her satchel, he declares that where she goes isn't any of his business... and neither is who she goes with, once his shaking of it disgorges the perverted grandmaster, Happosai. The household is shocked to see he was hiding in Akane's bag - only the sight of his pipe poking out of it gave him away to Ranma - and Akane in particular can't belive she didn't notice he was trying to sneak along with her.
Happosai makes a show of cracking his joints and groaning about how therapeutic a soak in a hotsprings would be, to which Ranma scornfully declares that Happosai will be dead before he gets any worse. When the old pervert rounds on him in anger, Ranma bops on him on the head with Akane's bag and then grabs a bra from out of Happosai's shirt, scornfully asking if this is supposed to be more "therapy". Happosai protests that it's his, but Akane recognizes it and forcefully takes it back, screaming that it's not his when Happosai throws a childish tantrum - which gives way to equally childish sulking. Not that this prevents him from trying to slip along behind Akane when she heads off - though Ranma immediately grabs him by the shirt and starts tying him up, pinning him down under his foot. Happosai writhes and struggles, even as Ranma and Soun declare that Happosai is not to be let anywhere near the likes of a hotspring with a group of young girls visiting - but Happosai suddenly slips out of his shirt and the rope alike.
Clad in a swimsuit and carrying a plastic bucket full of bathtoys, he races up the stairs and heads for the window, hoping to leap out and chase after Akane - but Ranma, Soun and Genma are in hot pursuit. Genma, currently in panda form, hurls a sign bearing the kanji for "Repent!" on it at his master as he leaps for the window; it smacks Happosai squarely in the back of the head, then somehow bounces through the air so that he smacks squarely into its print-bearing side instead of going through the window. Seeing him apparently stunned, Soun and Genma leap at him, but he easily defeats them, smashing them into the wall and racing back off for the stairwell. But he sees a door has the sign declaring it to be a "girl's dressing room" and simply cannot resist the urge to go barging in... which promptly sees him get whalloped with a frying pan being wielded by a half-naked girl-Ranma.
Giving a mocking cry of "eek, a pervert", she summons the adults to her presence and they proceed to give Happosai a good kicking, only to realise he has slipped away at the last instant again and they have done nothing but kick his plastic bucket until it broke. Teary eyed, Happosai weeps over this and asks how he will be able to have a bath with Akane now. Ranma expresses nothing but scorn for Happosai's dramatics, which just makes Happosai mad; he whirls on the three in a rage, threatening them with a technique that he claims he had sealed away for the good of all mankind. Soun and Genma recognize what he's talking about, begging Happosai for mercy, but Ranma has no clue what's going on and, if anything, seems curious. With a dramatic gesture, Happosai weaves his arms together and unleashes a burst of fire... which turns out to be a tiny little whiff of ki that drifts harmlessly towards Ranma, who then blows it out like a candle. Happosai himself is bemused, unsure of what went wrong; he initially tries to cover, then admits he has forgotten how the move works.
Ranma promptly kicks him through the nearest window.
Downstairs, both Saotomes returned to their original form, Soun warns Ranma that they really were close to death, insisting that when Happosai declares it to be a "secret technique", you have got to listen! Genma, after countering Ranma's skepticism by insisting that, yes, blowing them all up is exactly what Happosai could do with the Happo Fire Burst, goes on to explain that they themselves have only seen it once, but it has left an indelable impression in their minds. After one session of pilfering and plundering from a mountain village, they were riding a giant boulder as it rolled down a slope, only to encounter a trap left by the villagers; a bra had been placed in the boulder's path, Happosai unthinkingly diving down to retrieve it. Realising what had happened, Happosai then disintegrated the boulder with his Happo Fire-Burst technique... but in the process, he burnt the bra he had been after to a charred mess of fabric. Vowing that he would never again allow it to damage one of his precious pieces of women's lingerie, he buried the only copy of the scroll detailing how the move worked under a boulder, and then forgot all about both technique and scroll.
Happosai's voice then rings out to taunt the three that now he remembers all about it, and he's going to go after the scroll and come back to use the move on the three of them. Soun and Genma immediately fly into a panic before Ranma snaps them out of it, pointing out that if the three of them recover the scroll first, even suggesting that they can turn it on Happosai. At once the three of them get ready, following Soun and Genma's memories out of Nerima and into the countryside, ending up at a cliff somewhere in the forests of Japan by some point in the night. Looking down, they can make out the boulder beneath which the scroll is sealed and they leap from the precipice to recover it... only to be struck in mid-air by a flying barrage of bathpails, which cause them to crash into the woods nearby.
The boulder is now surrounded by a hotsprings, currently occupied by many young girls, all of whom will defend their privacy with all due violence. Immediately, the three start brainstorming - Genma promptly announces he has a plan, only for Ranma to immediately refuse, pointing out that the hot water would just turn him back on first contact anyway. To his surprise, though, it turns out that Genma wasn't thinking of sending Ranma to recover it; his plan is to assume panda form, get painted up to resemble a grizzly or black bear, and then scare the girls away. Ranma is proud of Genma, and joins Soun in shouting warnings of the "bear attack"... but it turns out to be a complete bust; Genma's paint is pure white, and the girls, skeptical of the idea of a polar bear roaming Japan, promptly drive them all away. Once they are a safe distance away, though, Happosai reveals himself by attacking them; as Genma feared, he did indeed tag along by hiding inside Genma's pack. He is disgusted that his students would forget all of his lessons on evading the attention of angry women, and promptly decides to show them how it's done.
Dressing up in a monkey suit, he leaps into the water and goes amongst the girls openly, as they mistake him for an ordinary monkey. Somehow, he silently communicates back to the impressed Soun and Genma that this is the true secret of voyeurism; to imitate the chameleon and blend in with your background. Ranma snaps the men out of it by pointing out that if they let Happosai reach the scroll first, he's going to go with his original plan and blast all three of them; they promptly douse Ranma with cold water and demand he go and get the scroll herself. Ranma represses the urge to point out how stupid an idea this is; they have no choice - she's the only one who has a chance of getting close now, and they don't have much time before Happosai recovers the scroll.
Unfortunately, something they all forgot to think about was the reaction of Ranma, mentally a healthy heterosexual boy no matter what body he's in, to suddenly being confronted by around a dozen attractive girls close to his age, all totally nude and none of them objecting to his presence. Ranma freezes up (like a deer caught in the headlights, Genma observes), instinctively holding her bathpail over her crotch despite having nothing there to hide, and then squats down and fakes like she is washing her back. Mentally, she chants a mantra of seeing nothing, trying to persuade herself that, since she has a girl's body right now, it's okay. She stops when she realises that Happosai has latched onto her naked breasts, slapping him off in disgust. Happosai promptly grabs several bathpails, fills them with hot water and starts throwing them at Ranma; if she turns back into her real body in front of all these girls, then they'll tear him apart. Ranma, however, outsmarts Happosai into revealing his nature as a dirty old man in a monkey suit and then makes for the island on which the boulder rests. Happosai, however, throws a bathpail and knocks Ranma clear over the boulder and into the hot water on the other side before burrowing into the earth upon which he is being beaten. He surfaces right in front of Ranma, but his initial volley of monkey-like slaps and scratches is disrupted when he hears Akane's voice; to the shock of all the other residents of the Tendo Household, this is the hot springs that Akane has come to visit.
Hearing from the other girls about the perverted peeping toms running around, Akane vows to protect them. Unbeknownst to her, heads concealed by bathpails, Ranma and Happosai are drifting through the water towards her. Happosai tells Ranma to beat it, even declaring he can wrap a fish in the scroll for all he cares about it now that Akane's here. While initially tempted, Ranma can't let Happosai try something on Akane and goes swimming after him. When the bathpails drift near her, Akane's suspicions flare - likely a result of prior knowledge about Happosai. She shatters both of them with a pair of lightning-fast karate chops, but nothing is revealed. When Happosai pops up nearby, wearing a deer suit and smoking his pipe, though, she isn't fooled for a second and boots him clear out of the springs, the other girls declaring that there is a second pervert who still needs to be found. Ranma, having quickly hightailed it back to the boulder, starts frantically trying to dig the scroll out so he can escape before Akane or any of the other girls find him. However, Happosai suddenly returns in a flying squirrel suit, diving down upon Akane in a blatant attempt to assault her. This, Ranma cannot stand, and blind to the "thanks" he is certain to receive, he dives through the water, springing out in front of Akane and knocking Happosai from the air with one swift punch. He basks in this petty triumph as Akane grabs the boulder he was digging under and, in a fury, begins to beat him over the head with it. While Ranma shouts that he can explain, Happosai recovers, grabs the now-revealed scroll and flies off, taunting that he has it - it is the sound of this that causes Akane to stop hitting Ranma. Fortunately for Ranma, Happosai isn't looking where he's going while mocking Ranma, and flies straight into a tree, giving Ranma the chance to grab the scroll.
On shore, dried off and clothed, Soun and Genma try to decipher the scroll, while Akane feebly says that Ranma could have just explained himself. To this, Ranma sarcastically yet pointedly asks Akane since when it's been that she's ever heard him out before hitting him. As they make plans to catch Happosai and have him translate for them, Happosai watches, brooding, vowing that they won't get the better of him.
The next morning, Ranma, in female form and wearing a tennis uniform, leads a reluctant and similarly-clad Akane out to the tennis courts of the resort. Akane protests being asked to help, only for Ranma to point out that so long as Happosai is around these parts, no girl is safe. Her plan, she then explains, is to take advantage of Happosai's perversion and the fact they will be the only girls on the court at this time of day to lure him out and catch him. Akane tries to point out a problem in Ranma's plan, but Ranma just won't let her finish, and Happosai then leaps out to grab Ranma - and is promptly grabbed by Soun and Genma. As they force him to decipher the scroll of the Happo Fire-Burst, handing it to him to start translating, Akane finally asks; if they let him read it, then won't he just use it against them once he's finished refreshing himself as to how it works. Soun and Genma erupt into a panic, even as Ranma chews Akane out for not pointing this out sooner and Akane chews Ranma out for not letting her point it out, and then grab their respective children and run for cover. After a few moments, they pop their heads back out; Happosai is still studying the scroll intently, and, curious despite themselves, they creep up on him... just in time to hear him admit that he can't read his own handwriting!
After beating him up, they force him to try and figure it out, but he gets so flustered by their pressure that he ends up tearing the scroll to pieces. Dark and triumphant, figuring that this means that Happosai will never be able to hold the terror of the technique over them again, they begin beating him savagely. When Soun struggles to raise aloft a concrete lawn roller in preparation to finish the job, Akane protests that they are going too far, only for Happosai to declare he has no reason to live if he can't bring back his Happo Fire Burst. As he's saying this while clinging to Ranma's breasts, it is no surprise that she promptly punches him skyward while shouting that she can certainly think of something for him to live for - her being allowed to kill him all over again. As Happosai taunts her, Ranma then throws the concrete roller at him, smacking him fair in the face. As he reels, stars whirling in his eyes, he suddenly snaps back to his senses - more importantly, he realises that he now recalls the secret of the Happo Fire Burst!
Shortly afterwards, or perhaps that evening, as the sun stains the horizon pink and yellow and orange, Soun and Genma muse to themselves that they would have liked to learn the Happo Fire Burst themselves, but perhaps it's for the best that it is now lost forever. At that declaration, Happosai emerges from hiding and attacks them with it. Their screams draw Ranma and Akane running from the tennis courts, where they find Happosai standing over the charred forms of their fathers. Happosai taunts Ranma that he has now recovered the Happo Fire Burst, and launches his first attack... lighting the fuse on a ball-shaped paper bomb that he then lobs at Ranma. Ranma idly knocks it back with her tennis racket, causing it to hit Happosai and explode, then scornfully asks if that's really supposed to be the technique that Soun and Genma have been so terrified of. A second bomb is dispatched just as easily, whereupon Happosai runs off... and then returns propelling a huge bomb, several times bigger than Ranma is, causing her to go running off in fear of the lunatic. Regaining consciousness, dumbfounded that they have been living in terror of a firecracker with a fancy name, Soun and Genma join Akane in racing to help Ranma.
Seeing that Happosai is driving her towards the edge of a cliff, recalling what happened the last time the Happo Fire Burst was unsealed, Ranma throws a bra into the giant bomb's path and then leaps aside; as she expected, Happosai leaps from his perch atop the bomb to grab the bra, only to then stop the bomb with a simple touch of the finger. Akane, Soun and Genma are awestruck by this, and even Ranma expresses admiration... not that this stops her from walking forward and giving the bomb the last push it needs from her foot to roll over Happosai and carry him over the edge, falling to the ground far below and then exploding like a giant firework. Both Soun and Genma salute to Happosai, while Ranma says, "Hasta luego, pervert!"
But that night, as the group returns home, Happosai is the one who has the last laugh. Having smuggled himself home in Akane's bag, heavily bandaged, he tricks Ranma into receiving one of his lit Happo Fire Bursts, then uses his pipe to send Ranma flying through the roof as it explodes. Soun and Genma immediately start grovelling in humility before their master, while Akane can only collapse onto her back in disgusted disbelief.
Cast in Order of Appearance Edit
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Ranma Saotome (male)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Genma Saotome (panda, human)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Happosai||Ichirō Nagai||Paul Dobson|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Sayuri||Yoshiko Kamei||Willow Johnson|
|Shikako||Naoko Matsui||Janyse Jaud|
- In this episode, Happosai acquires the Happo-Fire Burst technique, which will become his favorite means of attack throughout the rest of the series.
- Happosai's swimsuit and the bathpail of toys first appeared in Bathhouse Battle! We're in Some Hot Water Now.
- In the manga, the hot springs apparently sprung up around the hiding place of the Happo Fire-Burst scroll after Happosai concealed it, while here in the anime, it was here all along - Happosai merely buried it here because it appealed to his perverted instincts.
- In the manga, this story takes place after the manga-only Yoiko Hibiki story, which comes after the events portrayed in the episode I Love You! My Dear, Dear Ukyo.
- This one of only a small number of episodes in which a mallet appears. Genma is shown wielding one when Happosai first declares his intent to unseal the Happo Daikarin.
- In the subtitles, Happosai boasts that the Happo Daikarin reversed the flow of the Yangtze river in one blow.
- When Happosai unleashes his "faux" Happo Fire-Burst, it looks something like a Hadoken.
- When Ranma pulls out the bra she uses to defeat Happosai at the episode's end, it is uncertain if she was merely smuggling it around in the front of her shirt or if she was actually wearing it.
- In this episode, the Happo Fire-burst bombs explode into fireworks. In all other episodes, they merely explode.