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Ukyo's Skirt! The Great Girly-Girl Gambit (右京のスカート大作戦! Ukyō no Sukāto Daisakusen!?) is the twenty third episode in the third season of Ranma ½, Hard Battle, and is the 63rd episode overall.

Relation to the Previous EpisodeEdit

None.

Plot OverviewEdit

Ukyo's PlanEdit

Ukyo shows Ranma brochure

Ukyo shows Ranma the brochure but Ranma doesn't give the reaction Ukyo wanted.

It is late afternoon at Okonomiyaki Ucchan's, and Ukyo has just seen off a pair of satisfied customers. Noting they've left behind a tourist brochure about fall tourism season in the mountains, she wishes she could go and starts idly flicking through the pages, looking up and brightening when Ranma comes in through the door, looking for a bite to eat. As he finishes off his meal, Ukyo shyly brings up the idea of them going away to the place advertised in the brochure, just the two of them together, and is excited when Ranma does express an interest... though her enthusiasm falls flat when she realises Ranma doesn't seem to realise the romantic implications of her suggestion, especially when he blithely asks her for a second helping.

Akane chooses that moment to storm in and take Ranma to task for stopping in to eat at Ukyo's place when she and the others at the Tendo Dojo are waiting for Ranma to get back with some nails to fix the leaky ceiling, storming off in one of her typical tempers with Ranma running along behind. Ukyo watches them leave, upset.

Ukyo wonders about her looks

Ukyo thinks about changing her appearance so it's more feminine.

She's still distressed by it when she closes up shop for the night, sitting in front of the small, mirrored desk and thinking to herself. She wants to get closer to Ranma, yet he only seems to see her as "one of the guys" and treats her accordingly. But that's not what she wants. Curious, she wonders to herself if maybe she should try dressing more like a woman - if she stops wearing the masculine clothing all the time, maybe he'll stop thinking of her as boyish.

Putting the Plan into ActionEdit

She puts her plans into action the very next day; at Furinkan High School, with the exception of Tatewaki Kuno, nobody recognizes her, even though all she's done is untied her hair and come to school in a Furinkan girl's uniform. All of the guys, though, have seen how good she looks and decide they want to get to know her better...

S03-23-Ukyo's-Skirt!-The-Great-Girly-Girl-Gambit-Ukyo

Ukyo wears the Furinkan High female uniform so she appears more feminine.

Ukyo, however, only has eyes for one person; Ranma, shyly approaching him before class begins. He doesn't recognize her at all until he spots the spatula on her back, asking her what's with the strange costume change. Ukyo isn't pleased at all to hear she forgot to leave the spatula behind this morning, but pushes past that to more important matters; asking how Ranma sees their relationship. Confused, Ranma states that if she's asking if they're friends, then yes, they're buddies.

This is the last thing Ukyo wanted to hear; aghast and hurt, she asks if that's all they are and then walks sadly past the bewildered heir to the Saotome school. Ranma's confusion does not give way to concern; by lunchtime, he seems oblivious to how Ukyo is feeling - even as Ukyo sits at her desk, deaf to the way the horny losers of their classroom are pestering her for dates, Ranma blithely fetches his lunch and wolfs it down, not even wondering why Kuno was hovering outside his classroom and in a position for Ranma to kick him down.

Only Akane notices the sad look on Ukyo's face and the way she keeps staring at Ranma, bringing this up to him on the way home. She is incredulous when Ranma admits that he hadn't really noticed or thought about why Ukyo was acting weird, and suggests Ranma may have done something unpleasant to her. Ranma is indignant by this, asking just what she means, to which Akane merely snaps back that he does have a lot of fiancees.

After the Failed First AttemptEdit

That night, mentioning it to Kasumi, Akane's eldest sister suggests that maybe Ukyo has decided it's time to start taking things seriously, asking if Akane really thinks a tomboy like her would suddenly start wearing skirts for her own sake.

Happosai hides magazine

Happosai hides his underwear magazines from Ukyo's view.

The next day, school is evidently closed, as Ukyo arrives at the Tendo Dojo looking for Ranma - much to Happosai's surprise, she is wearing a blue and pink pleated dress with a red bow, though he quickly learns she's the real deal when his attempt to peek up her skirt gets him introduced to her spatula. When Ranma arrives, he comments on her unusual get up and asks what she wants.

Stammering with nervousness, Ukyo tries to ask if they can go on a date, then, realising she can't get it out; changing tack, she firmly insists that there's something they need to talk about. Ranma is coldly, rudely, suspicious, until Happosai hits him and insists that when a pretty girl asks you to do something, you need to do it. Ranma doesn't understand at all what's going on, but gives in and accompanies Ukyo out of the compound and out into the city.

Passing near a kid's playground, Ranma bluntly demands Ukyo tell him what the deal is. Embarrassed, Ukyo tries to rally, but for nought; a quintet of Furinkan boys spot them and attack, furious that Ranma would "sneak around behind their backs with their Ukyo". Hand in hand, Ranma and Ukyo promptly run for it, being too polite to crack the heads of noncombatants, even if they are being nuisances.

Ranma and Ukyo meet Ryoga

Ryoga finds Ranma and Ukyo together.

Just ahead of them, Ryoga emerges from some brush, confused; he was sure he was on the right track to the ocean. Seeing Ranma holding Ukyo's hand, and not recognizing her, Ryoga is furious that Ranma would cheat on Akane, vows he will pay for such a sin and attacks him. He promptly finds himself on the wrong end of Ukyo's spatula and gets knocked out.

Later OnEdit

That evening, Akane arrives home to discover Happosai unpacking a formal kimono - to her shock, Happosai proclaims he's getting it ready in anticipating of Ranma and Ukyo's upcoming wedding. She tries to avoid letting it bother her, withdrawing to the dojo proper to practice, but as time goes past and Ranma still isn't home, missing their usual practice period, she grows increasingly furious. Finally, she finishes beating up on a dummy and heads to the front gate, intent on challenging Ranma for his absence.

Sasuke informs Kodachi

Sasuke informs Kodachi about Ukyo going out with Ranma.

At around the same time, Sasuke Sarugakure makes his report to Kodachi at the Kuno Estate. She is quite naturally livid to hear that Ukyo has started trying to make Ranma see her as a girl and has actually managed to make Ranma spend an afternoon with her. Kuno, eavesdropping, is furious with Ranma for "interfering with the affairs of his betters", and both siblings promptly head to the Tendo Dojo to confront Ranma.

When Ranma finally makes it home, Akane immediately gets ready to chew him out, but is cut off as first Ryoga, then the Kunos arrive, all with the same thing in mind - not that Ranma can make heads or tails of it when they persist in trying to berate him all at the same time. When Ryoga and Kuno fall into an argument over who will get to fight Ranma first, Ranma slips past them.

Rival gathering

Ranma is faced with Ryoga, Kuno, Kodachi and Akane.

Cooling down, Kodachi tries to turn on the sweet talk, asking if she's been neglecting her wifely duties to Ranma and begging him to marry her, which Ranma immediately turns down in disbelief. When Akane angrily notes he missed practice, he flippantly dismisses her and walks off, to her fury.

Kodachi interrupts Akane's temper tantrum by declaring it's not as if this is really Ranma's fault - it's Ukyo's. Realising that Kodachi has decided to get serious too, Akane can only listen as Kodachi declares that Ranma will certainly come to her arms once he has sampled Kodachi's womanly arts, which prompts Akane to feebly laugh that Kodachi makes it sound like a contest. When Kodachi implies Akane would be too cowardly to enter, Akane immediately declares her acceptance, though she insists she has nothing to prove - after all, who would be interested in Ranma, anyway?

The Cooking Contest BeginsEdit

Shampoo arrives - Ukyo's skirt

Shampoo decides to join the cooking contest.

The next day, in the gymnasium at school, Akane really wishes she'd held her tongue. Kodachi has had a trinity of mini-kitchenettes set up and arranged for the three of them (Akane, Kodachi and Ukyo) to hold a cooking contest; whoever prepares the finest full-course dinner of French quisine, as determined by Ranma, will be the "winner" of Ranma's hand. Somehow, word of the contest reaches Shampoo, who immediately storms the gymnasium and demands to be included, to which Kodachi agrees.

Declaring himself the main judge, Happosai arrives and tells them to begin, hurrying off to the Tendo Dojo to get Ranma and bring him here, despite Ranma's own protests. Happosai points out that Ranma needs to attend, as he is judge and prize all in one, while Ranma merely wishes they'd leave him out of nonsense like this.

A great feast is laid before Ranma; several courses, each course comprised of four different dishes, ranging from Shampoo's unique blendings of French and Chinese cooking techniques to Akane's... less than stellar efforts, including cold tofu as an ostensibly French starter. Somehow, Ranma manges to finish the entire feast - he even manages to eat Akane's food without the slightest ill effect, despite the fact that every other time the taste made him want to gag and actually swallowing caused him pain.

Ranma under pressure

Ranma is pressured for an answer to who's food was the best.

This fact sticks in Ranma's head; he becomes so fixated on trying to puzzle out why it is that he could eat Akane's food without being sick that he gets all muddled up in the flavors, even wondering if maybe confusion over what he was eating may be why it didn't affect him, that he can't remember who made what or how their efforts tasted. Before he can actually reveal this, though, Ryoga and Kuno lead a charge of Furinkan boys against Ranma, outraged that he would allow Ukyo (and presumably Akane and/or the other girls) to cook for him. They dogpile him and viciously beat him before leaving him battered and bruised on the floor.

As Shampoo, Akane and Kodachi all go to Ranma's side in concern, the latter two getting into a violent shoving match over their right to be there, Ukyo is gripped by guilt. She berates herself that this is all her fault; that she couldn't be happy with the way things was and now she's gotten Ranma hurt. That makes her decide it's time to put an end to the "great girly-girl gambit". She heads back to her home, puts the skirts and dresses in the back of her closet, and returns to her masculine uniforms and casual gear.

After the Contest EndsEdit

That afternoon, as Ranma and Akane head home, Akane insists happily that her food was really the best and pesters Ranma to admit it, growing irritated when he insists that he sincerely can't remember whose food tasted like what and demanding he "be a man" and "tell the truth", much to Ranma's irritation.

Ukyo hits Ranma - Ukyo's skirt

Ukyo hits Ranma with embarrassment at his comment of her looking good in her work uniform.

The scent of delicious cooking coming from Okonomiyaki Ucchan's draw's Ranma's watery-mouthed attention, much to Akane's annoyance given the vast quantities of food Ranma ate only a little while ago. He won't be detered, though, and takes his seat at the counter, requesting a squid okonomiyaki. Akane joins him, asks for a deluxe combination, and flatly tells Ranma he's going to pay for it. Putting on an air of happiness, Ukyo dishes up their orders, with Ranma enthusiastically declaring her food is delicious and she's the best okonomiyaki chef he knows, something that appears to make her very happy indeed. When he leans in to whisper that he actually thinks she looks pretty cute in her work uniform, though, she blushes, declares he's embarrassing her and swings her spatula one-handed into the side of Ranma's head.

Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit

Character Name Japanese Voice English Voice
Ukyo Kuonji Hiromi Tsuru Kelly Sheridan
Ranma Saotome (male) Kappei Yamaguchi Sarah Strange
Akane Tendo Noriko Nagai Myriam Sirois
Tatewaki Kuno Hirotaka Suzuoki Ted Cole
Hiroshi and Daisuke Koji Tsujitani (Hiroshi)
Takehito Koyasu (Daisuke)
Terry Klassen (Hiroshi)
David Kaye (Daisuke)
Kasumi Tendo Kikuko Inoue Willow Johnson
Happosai Ichirō Nagai Paul Dobson
Ryoga Hibiki (human) Koichi Yamadera Michael Donovan
Sasuke Sarugakure Shigeru Chiba Robert O. Smith
Kodachi Kuno Saeko Shimazu Teryl Rothery
Shampoo (human) Rei Sakuma Cathy Weseluck

QuotesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • This episode shows that Ukyo Kuonji really does want Ranma to fall in love with her.
  • Despite that, she is willing to sacrifice attempts at securing a more intimate relationship with Ranma if she perceives them as causing him too much distress.
  • In the dub, Kodachi refers to Ranma by the name "Don Juan".
    • Don Juan was a famous fictional womanizer from 14th century Spain, renowned for his many conquests, the story of which evidently first appeared as a Spanish play in 1630. The basic legend portrays him as seducing, coupling with and then discarding many women, sometimes dozens or even hundreds, before his irreverence to the dead spirit of the father of one of his many conquests calls the man's ghost up. The ghost dines at Don Juan's house, then invites the lecher to dine with him in the graveyard the next night. Don Juan foolishly accepts this offer, and is then dragged to hell for his lust and pride.
  • Precisely how Shampoo heard about the contest is never explained.
  • Though no insight is given into why Ukyo slapped Ranma, a most likely explanation is a combination of embarrassment and irritation. As flattering as Ranma's comments were, if he had said them a few hours earlier, she would have been able to call herself Ranma's one and only fiancee - but he couldn't say something like that until it meant nothing would change.
  • When Kodachi serves up her first course to Ranma, she states that it's a Kuno family recipe. This implies that she deliberately set the terms as French cuisine in hopes of gaining an unfair advantage... perfectly normal for either Kuno.

ReferencesEdit


See AlsoEdit


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