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Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo? (バトルロイヤル・ロミオ Batoru roiyaru Romeo?) is the 74th chapter of the manga and the first chapter of the Romeo and Juliet Arc.

While cleaning up the classroom one afternoon, the directors from the Furinkan High drama department approach Akane to star in one of their plays. Akane, assuming it's a macho role immediately turns it down. The directors tells her they wanted her for Juliet and she accepts without hesitation.

Plot OverviewEdit

Convincing AkaneEdit

The Furinkan High School director and assistant of the school's drama club ask Akane to be the lead for their next play. Akane initially outright refuses to take part, but the pair continue to ask her. Eventually Akane's friends tell Akane that she should just try it at least, especially since she should be flattered they asked her. Akane then suddenly has an epiphany as to the solution of the problem.

At that moment, Akane heads towards Ranma (who's playing cards with Hiroshi and Daisuke) and throws some cold water over him to turn him into his cursed form. Ranma angrily asks Akane what she did that for, but before Ranma gets a reply, the director and his assistant recognise Ranma instantly and ask him if he's Ranma Saotome - the legendary king of cross-dressing! Ranma tells them that it isn't cross-dressing, causing a slightly surprised but sceptical reaction from Hiroshi and Daisuke.

Akane offers Ranma for role - Wherefore Art Thou

Akane attempts to make the Director pick Ranma for the lead.

Akane then tells the director and his assistant that Ranma does aerial flips; crushes rocks with his bare-hands and learns new tricks even quicker than Lassie. Akane's friends again ask her why she won't take the role, and the Director tries to tell Akane what the role is, but Akane tries to guess herself and comes up with the suggestions of "Queen of Karate", "Samurai Sweetheart", "Amazon Avenger" and "Lady Sumo". Ranma then tells Akane to go for it as she would be perfect for those roles, prompting Akane to begin to attack Ranma with her broom.

As the pair fight, the Director and his assistant talk amongst themselves and see that they have no other choice so declare to Ranma that as of today she'll be their Juliet! Hearing this, Akane stacks the desks into a pile and sits on top of them while saying "Oh, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" which the Director as Akane agreeing to take the role after all.

Kuno joins Troupe

Kuno hands the Director a slip of paper which gives Kuno permission to join the Troupe.

Suddenly Kuno appears and quotes the next line of "It is the east! And Juliet is the Sun!". Akane then lightly punches Kuno in the nose and tells him that she doesn't need any coaching from him, but Kuno tells her that he is the Romeo to her fair Juliet. The Director then angrily asks Kuno who cast him, to which Kuno throws a piece of paper which gives Kuno permission to join the Drama Club. Kuno then proceeds to ask the Director that if someone such as him is join their little troupe then shouldn't he be given the finest role.

Gosunkugi then appears behind the Director wielding his mallet, but the Director moves a desk in the way so that Gosunkugi nails another permission to join the Drama Club slip onto it. Akane's friends are off put with the idea of Gosunkugi being Romeo, but Gosunkugi just thinks to himself that as Romeo he'll be able to talk to Akane. Suddenly Happosai appears as well and notes that it won't be easy being Romeo at his age, and although his pulse pounds with embarrassment, but if he gets to play Romeo... then he gets to do a love scene with Akane!

Akane's Juliet role reaction

Ranma is set aback by Akane's reaction to being chosen to be Juliet.

Happosai then jumps towards Akane, but is stomped on by Ranma (who's turned back into his male form). Ranma notes how popular Akane appears to be and so wishes her the best of luck. Akane, however, puts her hands together and notes that she finally gets a chance to play Juliet and will give it everything she's got. This confuses Ranma who's set aback by this comment.

That EveningEdit

Ranma reveals the Kasumi about Akane being chosen to be Juliet, to which Kasumi happily notes that she's going to be Juliet this time. This causes Ranma to question Kasumi about what she means, to which Kasumi takes out a photo album and explains that in elementary school Akane had a part in their production of Romeo and Juliet, only she was cast as Romeo. As Ranma looks at the picture he notes that Akane really looked the part.

Akane remembers Elementary School

Akane thinking back to Elementary school, where she was chosen to be play Romeo.

Meanwhile, Akane is on a balcony at the Tendo Dojo and thinking about how her Elementary school class cast her as Romeo. Akane then thinks to herself that none of them knew that in reality she wanted to put on a pretty dress and be Juliet. She then thinks back to the rehearsals and how everyone told her how strong and masculine she appeared.

Akane continue to think about how she couldn't tell them then, but now she has a chance to wear the clothes and play the role of the most beautiful girl in... However, before she can finish Ranma says "Oh, Romeo" into her ear, angering Akane greatly so she sends Ranma flying into the air.

RehearsalsEdit

Akane on Balcony

Akane on the balcony, ready for rehearsals.

The next day and Akane is ready for the rehearsal of the famous balcony scene, while Ranma eats crackers on a nearby branch. The Director declares that they're ready to start and Akane quickly has had enough of all the noise Ranma's making from his eating so throws the script at him. The Director puts a hold on everything and asks where his Romeo is, but quickly notes that his three wannabe Romeos all have to completely wrong idea about the story.

This sight causes the Director to sadly tell himself that he can feel the Community Theatre prize slipping through his fingers. The Director then has a talk with his assistant about how now their poor students will never enjoy the invitation to see China. Ranma hears this and it quick perks his interest and it'll give him a chance to go to Jusenkyo and cure himself.

Four Romeos

Most of the possible Romeos agree to fight to see who'll get the role.

Akane then shouts down to Ranma and tells him he's not taking the role of Juliet away from her. Ranma shouts back by calling Akane stupid for thinking that he'd want to play a girl. This causes the other wannabe Romeos to realise that Ranma wants their role. Ranma then asks them if they should settle this here-and-now to which Kuno and Happosai agree, while Gosunkugi quietly panics since he can't beat any of them in a fight. Gosunkugi then tries to end the madness by pushing a stake into Ranma, but is stopped by Ranma grabbing it and asking Gosunkugi what he thinks he's doing.

Panicking, Gosunkugi declares that as this is a play then they should settle this on the stage. Kuno finds this thought amusing and so declares that whoever is the last on standing on the stage will be the one, true Romeo. Ranma also agrees that a battle royal sounds more interesting than auditioning so goes along with the terms as well. Akane then angrily comes down from the balcony set and hits Ranma over the head with a rolled up script. Teary-eyed she tells Ranma that they're supposed to be doing a play, not a massacre before running away crying and telling Ranma that now he's ruined everything.

As Akane runs, Happosai follows her saying "My poor Juliet". Ranma, meanwhile, tells Akane that the play was wrecked before he got here so don't pin all the blame on him. Kuno daps his tears and asks for forgiveness from Akane as all he does is for her love. Ranma then wonders why Akane's so hot under the collar to do this role anyway, so later that day he goes to his father to ask him what he knows about Romeo to which he says that he's (Romeo) is from the planet Krypton. Akane, meanwhile, is on the Dojo's balcony looking at this scene and repeatedly tells herself that they're doomed.

Cast in Order of AppearanceEdit

QuotesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • This is probably one of the best known story arcs of Ranma ½ amongst western fans.
  • When Gosunkugi, Kuno and Happosai appear for their audition they're dressed as the Queen from Snow White after she disguised herself as a witch, Tōyama no Kin-san and the fisherman from the Japanese Urashima Tarō legend, respectively.
  • In the Viz translation of this chapter, when Ranma asks Genma about who Romeo is, Genma's sign says that Romeo's from Krypton (a fairly obvious Superman reference). In the original, Genma says that Romeo was born from a Peach, referring to the Japanese tale of Momotarō.

ReferencesEdit


See AlsoEdit



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