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The Sales Force (力ずく繁盛記 Chikarazuku hanjo ki?) is the 388th chapter of the manga it is also the first and only chapter of the Substitute Chef Arc.

Ukyo has been out sick for three days, so Akane and Ranma decide to pay her a visit. When they arrive at Okonomiyaki Ucchan's they find it covered in cobwebs and dust even though Konatsu has kept it open. They quickly realize that due to his years of living frugally he dilutes all the batter with water and is extremely skimpy on toppings for the customers, causing them all to stop coming by.

Plot OverviewEdit

Visiting UkyoEdit

Konatsu in charge of Ucchan's

Ukyo leaves Konatsu in charge of Ucchan's.

A very sickly Ukyo makes some Okonomiyaki dough and sauce, so Konatsu just has to cook it for the customers. Ukyo asks Konatsu if he thinks he can handle that, to which Konatsu declares he can. Ukyo then heads to her bed to rest.

Three days pass and, worried with Ukyo's absence from School, Akane and Ranma decide to pay her a visit at Okonomiyaki Ucchan's. At first Ranma notes it can't be that bad since the Ucchan's is still open. Suddenly, Konatsu is sent flying out of the entrance by an angered Ukyo. When Konatsu notices Akane and Ranma, he welcomes them into the store.

Inside, Akane and Ranma notice the change in decor (with cobwebs and dust having accumulated throughout the store). Ranma then asks why there's a lack of customers, to which Ukyo explains is due to Konatsu. This makes Akane ask him what kind of okonomiyaki he made, in response Konatsu shows them that he took Ukyo's dough; added 30 parts water for each part of dough; added very little topping and a single stroke of Ukyo's sauce.

As Ranma inspects the sticky dough, Konatsu asks Ukyo if she doesn't think that it looks wonderful. Ukyo, however, tells Konatsu to stop being so stingy. Just then Akane deduces that this must be because of the cooking habits Konatsu developed while he was just a poor Kunoichi.

Some time passes and the group are now upstairs in Ukyo's room. Akane and Ranma tells Ukoy that they're going to help so she can help (Ranma also comforts Ukyo by telling her he'll make sure Akane doesn't cook). Konatsu then, in a rather melodramatic fashion, notes how ashamed she feels with this being the perfect opportunity for him to repay all the kindness Ukyo has given. By this point Konatsu is talking into a microphone wondering in his suffering will ever end, Ukyo has had enough of Konatsu's antics so tells him to get back to work.

Boosting SalesEdit

Attracting customers

The trios first attempt at attracting customers.

In order to attract customers, Akane, Konatsu and Ranma (in his female form) dress in traditional waitress outfits and call loudly, telling customers to try their tasty okonomiyaki. This works and group of males decide to go in.

Once inside, Akane, Konatsu and Ranma put on a dramatic performance for the customers, with each of them taking a different role in the okonomiyaki preparation. At first things appear to go off without a hitch, unfortunately, half of the ingredients ended up on the customers faces instead, so they understandably get up to leave.

While Ranma desperately tries to get them to stay, Konatsu executes the "Kunoichi delaying tactic - Crimson Storm" technique, with which he quickly puts on some lipstick before kissing each of the men on the cheek. The technique works and the men sit back down, asking for more okonomiyaki. Ranma thanks Konatsu for his quick thinking. Akane asks Konatsu if that's alright since Konatsu's actually a guy, to which Konatsu just says that the Crimson Storm is just a peck on the cheek and men are so weak to things like that.

Customers flee

Akane unintentionally scares all the customers away, just before Ukyo reappears.

Ranma decides that it's her turn, so dresses in a more American-style waitress outfit. The sight of a waitress in a mini-skirt attracts lots of younger men to the store, where Ranma serves them the okonomiyaki that they order. Akane then protests, refusing to dress in a skimpy outfit just to sell some okonomiyaki. Ranma asks Akane who says they want her to, before she and Konatsu put Akane in the back so she can wash the dishes while they strut their stuff outside.

This angers Akane greatly, so she throws some hot water over Ranma while calling him and Konatsu a homosexual and a transvestite. Ranma protests himself, saying he's not homosexual, while Konatsu adds that Ranma is a straight man like he is. Unfortunately, this scene happens in front of the male customers who all quickly disappear at these comments along with seeing the now male Ranma in his waitress outfit.

When the others notice the customers have left, Ukyo reappears. Ranma asks her how she's doing and tells her he thinks she should get some more sleep since she doesn't look so good. Ukyo, although still appearing feverish, says that she's fine. She then proceeds to prepares to take in the sign from outside the store, while saying that she was a fool for entrusting her restaurant to someone else while she was sick and that it looks like Ucchan's will be closed for a while.

Change of DemographicEdit

Desperate, Konatsu tells Ukyo that he won't accept defeat so easily and asks her to give them one more chance. Ukyo looks at Konatsu and notes the determination in his eyes. Konatsu then makes her "okonomiyaki-with-an-insane-amount-of-toppings", which are actually very small okonomiyaki which have only enough room for one piece of topping on them. Ranma and Ukyo are less than impressed, causing Konatsu to explain that he wanted to cover to entire okonomiyaki with topping.

Wanting cute Okonomiyaki

The female students arrive at Ucchan's and begin to buy the small Okonomiyaki.

At this moment, a group of four female students arrive and see the okonomiyaki. Loving the small, cute size of the okonomiyaki they begin to order more. Ukyo, Ranma and Akane look on in surprise that girls actually want them. Akane then sudden declares that she's had a great idea.

Some time later and more female students enter, wanting to see the "hunk" of a chef. The "hunk" turns out to be Konatsu dressed in an elaborate, over-the-top outfit. Konatsu asks why he has to wear this, to which Akane explains that girls love guys in uniform. Ukyo, meanwhile, has returned to her bed thinking that she shouldn't have doubted Konatsu and now she can sleep without worrying about her restaurant.

With the female students having left, the trio are glad with how well they did, having sold over 200 okonomiyaki. Ranma then asks Konatsu how much they made, to which an overjoyed Konatsu reveals that made ¥400 (roughly ¥105 = $1 US). This means that each okonomiyaki sold for just ¥2 each, which devastates Akane and Ranma. Seeing no other way for them to break even, Ranma tells Akane that she can cook now.

Ukyo collapses - Sales Force

Ukyo overexerts herself and collapses, so is taken back to her room.

Later on, some males notice a sign outside Ucchan's advertising the "okonomiyaki of Death", which has a ¥1,000,000 prize with an entry fee of ¥100 but is they fail there's a ¥5,000 penalty. The prize money convinces the males to try their hand, but are unable to stomach Akane's horrible okonomiyaki so collapse on the grill.

Ukyo happens to walk in on this scene and angrily demands to know what they're doing. Having given the trio enough chances, Ukyo puts on a disposable mask so she can cook the food herself. Ranma and Konatsu disapprove of this and tell Ukyo not to overwork herself and just let them help. However, Ukyo shouts at the the three, telling them not to touch anything before she suddenly collapses on the floor.

Konatsu's VowEdit

As evening falls, Ukyo is taken back to her bed and is also given an icepack to try and get her fever down. Konatsu decides that this is all his fault, so vows to Ukyo that he'll bring back all of Ukyo's usual customers and more. Konatsu declares she'll bid farewell to her stinginess and for Ukyo's sake he'll make the perfect okonomiyaki and charge an arm and a leg for it.

Money in Okonomiyaki

Ukyo discovers the real reason why people are buying Konatsu's Okonomiyaki.

Next morning, Ukyo awakes hearing lots of noise coming from customers downstairs. Akane asks Ukyo if she's feeling better. Ukyo then quickly heads downstairs and sees the large queue of customers waiting desperately for okonomiyaki. Konatsu tells Ukyo he's glad she's better and offers her some of the okonomiyaki which everyone seems to love. At first Ukyo can't see anything special about the okonomiyaki, but when she tries to eat it, Ukyo finds a ¥500 coin in the dough. It then soon turns out Konatsu has been putting different amounts of money into the dough, which is what is really attracting all these customers. Ranma says there's no more money in the Cash register, while Akane just says that at least the restaurant is crowded.

After business hours have finished, Ukyo has begun promoting stinginess over luxury. She tells Konatsu that until they can get some money back, they'll only have rice with one sliver of yellow radish. Konatsu, however, still sees this as very luxurious.

Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit

QuotesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Okonomiyaki recipe typically calls for between ½ and ¾ cup of water to 1 cup of flour.
  • This is the last chapter and arc before the final story.

ReferencesEdit


See AlsoEdit



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