Chapter 6: The Ranma of the Opera
A Ranma ½ story
by D.B. Sommer
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.
All comments and criticisms appreciated. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Whatís gone on before: The Saotomeís travel to Jusenkyou and start fighting at the same time Shampoo and Mousse are having a dual there. One mid-air collision, and falling into Spring of Young Drowned Man later, we have a male Shampoo as well as a female Ranma. Shampoo travels to Japan with Ranma and is briefly engaged to Kasumi. After that is cleared up, Ranma becomes engaged to Akane. During the first day of school, water and confusion mix, leaving everyone to believe that female Ranma is Shampoo and male Shampoo is Ranma Saotome. Matters are worsened when Nabiki reveals that ďAll you need to do to date the handsome ĎRanma Saotomeí is beat him in combat.Ē [Sound familiar?] The girls have been attacking him before and after school ever since.)
Buy Ranma stuff. Not only is it low in calories, but also it can take care of that annoying money people keep giving you for work. Remember, Ranma is good food.
Andrew Lloyd Webber owns the Phantom of the Opera.
Act I: Casting Call
The scene is the Tendo household, in the morning before school. We see Akane is lying in her bed with Kasumi sticking a thermometer in her mouth. Nabiki, Ranma-chan, and Shampoo-kun are in their school clothes waiting for Akane. Kasumi takes the thermometer out of her mouth and gives the verdict.
Kasumi: (To Akane) You have a temperature of 101 degrees. You are staying home.
Ranma-chan: Lucky dog.
Akane: (Weakly) I donít feel lucky. I thought it was just a cold. (Sniffles)
Shampoo-kun: Shampoo take notes for Akane. No worry
The three head off for school. Akane lies in bed under the covers.
Akane: I got a bad feeling about today.
We cut to school where we see several female students are walking down one of the halls.
Girl #1: I heard Ranma was talking to you yesterday.
Girl #2: (Gets a dreamy look in her eyes.) He did.
Girl #3: What did he say?
Girl #2: He said, ďStupid Girl no use cattle prod again.Ē Then he belted me right to the front step of my house. (Sighs.)
Girl #4: I wish he would do that to me.
Girl #1: (Stops in front of a bulletin board. Reads something on it.) OH, NO!
The others hear her declaration and see what it was about. They read the papers on the board as well.
Girl #2: I didnít realize it was that time of the year.
Girl #4: See who the male lead is.
Girl #3: (Closes eyes) I know who itís going to be. (Looks) Yep. Itís him.
Girl #1: Has anyone signed on for the female lead yet?
Girl #3: (Reads) Nope. And you know what that means.
Girl #2: Why donít we just get Akane Tendo to do it again this year?
Girl #4: Sheís sick and not here today. You know if no one signs up by the end of the day heíll just abduct someone like he did the two years before we got Akane to do it.
Girl #1: Those two never were right again. I went with Yuka to visit a friend at Tomobiki. She saw that alien princess zap some guy and she freaked. Nervous breakdown, right on the spot.
Girl #4: Who can we get that would be stupid enough to sign up?
It is, of course, at this moment that Ranma-chan walks by.
Girl #3: (Calling out) Oh, Shampoo. Guess what? We have a favor to ask you.
Ranma-chan: (Irritated) I ainít putting any kind of drug in Ranmaís food.
Girl #1: Itís not about Ranma. Thereís this play the school is having, and we think you would be the best for the part.
Ranma-chan: Me? You gotta be kidding.
Girl #2: No. I agree you would be the best choice. You are one of the best actresses I have ever seen.
Ranma-chan: (Thinks) You donít know the half of it. (Out loud) I donít have time for that.
Girl #1: Akane did it last year, but I bet you could do a better job than her.
Ranma-chan: (Throwing her chest out.) Darn right I could. In fact, to prove it, I will sign up. Give me a pen.
Girl #3 gives her a pen and Ranma-chan writes down her name for auditions the next day.
Ranma-chan: (With a smug look on her face.) Iíll show them. Thanks, guys.
Girl #1: Hey, thank you.
Ranma-chan walks off.
Girl #2: What a dope.
Girl #4: She will never forgive us for what we just did to her.
Girl #3: Better her than us.
The girls walk away. None see the small figure that walks up to the female casting sheet.
Happosai: So Ranma is doing Juliet. Wait until she meets her Romeo.
The next day we see Ranma-chan and Akane walking down the same hall of Furinkan.
Ranma-chan: You sure you should be coming back to school.
Akane: Ub course. My nobe ib just stubbed ub.
Ranma-chan: (Hiding a smile) What was that?
Akane: (Louder) My nobe ib stubbed ub.
Akane: (Shouting) My nobe ib stubbed up! My nobe ib stubbed ub! BAKA!
Ranma-chan: I almost forgot to tell you, (smugly) I am the lead in the school play.
Akane: I didníb know ib wab thab time ob year. (Pauses) Waib a minube, whab play ib it?
Ranma-chan: Ummm, Romero and Jewels I think.
Akane: Do you mean, Romeo and Jubuiet?
Ranma-chan: Yeah, maybe it was.
Akane: Do you know whab it ib about?
Ranma-chan: Probably a gemologist or something.
Akane: (Smacks Ranma in the head.) No stoobid. Ibís aboub a lube story.
Ranma-chan: A lube story? Itís about cars then.
Akane: Not lube, lube, LUBE. (Makes kiss noises with her mouth) Kibbeb and stubb.
Ranma-chan: A love story? ALL RIGHT. I get to kiss the girl. (Starts dancing around.)
Akane: (Flatly) You are the girl. (That came out all right.)
Ranma-chan: Donít be stupid. Iím a guÖ (Realization sets in) Oh, no!
Akane: I wonder who the male lead ib. (Reads the sheet) HAHAHAHA!
Ranma-chan: Whatís so funny?
Akane: Your true lube. He ib gonna be bo habby.
Ranma-chan: (Reads) OH, NO! Not Kunou!
Kunou: (From out of nowhere, grabs Ranma-chan.) Shampoo, my Goddess. I see that you are becoming a thespian to bring yourself closer to me. I contend that we need not wait to take the stage to consummate the passion that stirs within us. We may date now.
Ranma-chan: Iíd rather date Mousse as a panda than go out with you. (Punches Kunou into a wall. To Akane.) There has got to be some way out of this.
Akane: Iíll do the bart.
Ranma-chan: Would you?
Akane: Yeb. Lebís go.
The two set off to go to the theater attached to the school. They arrive in the large but rather darkened auditorium.
Akane: A worb of warning. The director ib kind of ecbentric.
The overture to Phantom of the Opera suddenly blares out from hidden speakers. A figure descends from a guide wire from the ceiling. He is wearing stylish black suit, a cape with red interior and Director written on the back. Black hat on his head, and half-mask on his face. He makes it halfway down without a problem when the wireís descent changes into a freefall. The director hits the ground hard. The music stops.
Director: (Shouting into the rafters.) You insolent fools. You were supposed to set me down gently.
Stagehand #1: (Calling down) Sorry.
Ranma-chan: This guy is nuts.
Akane: He comes highby recommended. He ib baid to habe worked with Andrew Bboyd Webber.
Ranma-chan: The car salesman?
Akane: No stubid. The playwright.
Director: (Brushing himself off.) Greetings! You have come for the auditions, have you not? (Goes up to Ranma-chan) You must be Shampoo and (Surprised) Akane Tendo, so nice to see you again.
Ranma-chan: You know this guy?
Akane: (Proudly) Yeb. I wab the lead in the school play labt year.
Ranma-chan: What was it?
Akane: Suber Ninja Girl vs. The Muck Monbter.
Ranma-chan: A role you were born for.
Director: (A smile can be seen from the lower portion of his face not covered by the mask.) She was such a natural she required no additional training. Since you did such a good job last year, you will be allowed to go first, Akane.
Akane: Bank You. (She picks up a copy of the play lying around and reads.) Romeo, Romeo, bhere for art bou Romeo.
Director: Could you do that again? (Akane repeats. The director sighs and shakes his head.) Your skills have clearly atrophied since last year. I am afraid I cannot give you the part.
Akane: (Pleading) Bub ibís jusb a cobe. Iíbb be ober it boon.
Director: There is no time for delay. Shampoo, you win by default.
Ranma-chan: But I changed my mind.
Director: (Ominously) Once you have entered the stage there is no way out but to go forward. The show must go on. Look around you. (Waves his hand throughout the auditorium.) There is no one else. Besides, if you refuse I will fail you in theater.
Ranma-chan: You canít do that!
Director: I have the influence to do so. Just not the desire. You will accept, yes? (Ranma-chan reluctantly nods her head.) Good. See you tomorrow.
The music blares forth once again as the director runs into the darkness of the stage laughing maniacally.
Ranma-chan: There has got to be some way out of this.
Ranma-chan does not notice the depressed expression on Akane face.
Later in class Ranma-chan is still trying to figure a way out of the predicament.
Ranma-chan: It ainít like I mind beiní in the play. Itís just there ainít no way I am kissing Kunou, or any other guy for that matter. There has got to be some way out. Too bad everyone knows Ukyouís a girl, or I could ask her. Wait a minute. (Turns to Shampoo-kun) Shampoo could you do me a really big favor?
Ranma-chan: Would you try out for the lead in the school play? I gotta be in it as Juliet and there ainít no way Iím kissing a guy. But since youíre really a girl, itís O.K.
Shampoo-kun: (Pauses for a moment with an unreadable look in his eye.) Yes. Shampoo is willing to do.
Ranma-chan: Great! Youíre a lifesaver.
The next day the director is preparing the stage for the auditions. He is immersed in his work when his thoughts are interrupted by a perverted voice.
Happosai: You can relax now. Your Romeo is here.
Director: (Incredulously) You wish to audition? Are you a student?
Happosai: I am if it means a love scene with a Juliet by the name of RanmaÖ no, wait, I guess that itís Shampoo, here.
Director: Very well. You may try out.
Happosai gets on the stage and starts saying his lines, poorly.
Happosai: Now when do I get to practice the kissing scene with Juliet?
Director Actually I would like you to read one more scene. Could you do it over there? (Indicates an area on the stage with a big X on it.)
Happosai: Sure. (This time is even worse than the first.)
Director: I am afraid that that atrocity, which you insist is acting, does not qualify you to star in a kindergarten rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider. I must give you the boot.
The director touches a button on his belt which triggers a giant twenty foot high boot to descend from the rafters to drop right on Happosai, who is crushed flat. A hook then comes across the stage and takes the mess off.
Director: So is the fate of those that would act poorly. I hope it does not come to that with todayís duo.
Later we see the boot is gone but the X remains. Kunou, Shampoo-kun, Akane, and Ranma-chan are here to watch the auditions.
Kunou: Saotome. How dare you try to steal a kiss from the innocent lips of my beloved Shampoo? I would smite thee if I thought there was some obscure chance that you could somehow outperform me in acting.
Ranma-chan: (To Shampoo-kun) Ranma, I know this a bit late, but are you any good at acting?
Shampoo-kun: Ranma not know. But willing to try.
Kunou: He cannot even refer to himself in anything but the third person. I shall win easily. (He starts laughing maniacally. A sweatdrop forms on the back of Ranmaís head.)
The music begins and once again the Director appears out of nowhere.
Director: It is time for the auditions. Kunou, you may begin.
All the Shakespeare Kunou blurts out is not wasted here. His poise is confident and supreme. His skills at sounding like a Shakespearean actor are brought to a head.
Director: (Impressed) That was excellent, Kunou. I have every bit of confidence that the role of Romeo will be in good hands this year. Your turn, Ranma.
Shampoo-kun: (Steps forward) Romeo thinkÖ (Clears throat nervously.)
Ranma-chan: (Looks up to the ceiling). I am so doomed.
Director: Before you begin again, please stand on the X over there, would you? (He moves his hand closer to his belt.)
Shampoo-kun walks over the X and begins to clear his throat once more. As he finishes his posture suddenly changes and he exudes an air of confidence. He begins to read in perfect Japanese. As he finishes everyone stands with their mouths agape at his performance. He has acted on a level none thought possible (especially when one considers he has never spoken anything but broken Japanese). It is perfection. The Directorís hand moves away from the button on his belt.
Director: That was easily the most magnificent performance I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. I have a great feeling about this play. This may be the one to let the world acknowledge my greatness once again. (To everyone) Enough for today. It is decided. Ranma Saotome is Romeo.
Ranma-chan: (Whispers in Shampoo-kunís ear.) Howíd you do that?
Shampoo-kun: (Quietly) Shampoo rent ďHow to do Shakespeare in Ten Easy StepsĒ last night.
Kunou finally manages to react.
Kunou: But you cannot. I was born for the role.
Director: Ranma is better. You shall be the understudy in case something happens to Ranma.
Kunou: (Thinks) That I can guarantee.
Later in the day the Director is ordering his stagehands to prepare some props.
Stagehand #1: Sir. Where do we put the tumbleweeds for the shoot out scene?
Director: There are neither tumbleweeds nor shootouts in Romeo and Juliet.
Stagehand #2: (To #1) Right, you dope. Those are for My Fair Lady.
Director: (Shakes his fist) All of you leave before my rage consumes you.
Everyone scatters. Several moments later a group of about forty girls come into the auditorium.
Director: What are you doing here?
Girl #1: Sir. We are here for the part of Juliet.
Director: Auditions were yesterday. Why didnít you come then?
Girl #2: Ranma wasnít Romeo then.
Director: (Shakes his head.) It doesnít matter. Shampoo already has the role. I have a good feeling about her.
Girl #3: There must be some way we can get Ranma to kissÖ I mean, we can win the role of Juliet.
Director: (Jumps up, and poses. His voice booms out dramatically from the speakers.) If a disaster beyond all imagination were to occur to Shampoo, then I would use an understudy. (Speakers cut out and the Director sits down.) But it would have to be something truly terrible. Dismemberment, decapitation, dysentery, that sort of thing.
Girl #4: (Smiling) I think something can be arranged.
The next morning we see the girls in class are talking amongst themselves. Shampoo-kun, Akane and Ranma-chan are not present yet. Sayuri comes up to the door and walks up to the desk where Godai-sensei is sitting.
Sayuri: Sir. There is a telephone call for you.
Godai-sensei: Who is it?
Sayuri: (Panicking) Your wife?
Godai-sensei: (Thinks) I wonder what Kanrinin-sanÖ I mean, Kyoko could want. I canít believe I still think of her as Kanrinin-san. I wonder if it was about last night. Neither of us got much sleep. Heh, heh.
Godai-sensei gets up to leave with thoughts of last night in his head. So lost in thought is he that he misses the door and walks into the wall.
Godai-sensei: I canít believe I still do that, either. (Walks out.)
Sayuri: I thought he would never leave. (To the girls) The target is coming.
All the girls in the class, except Ukyou, pull a variety of weapons from concealed spots on their person. They line up next to wall by the door, ready to attack Ranma-chan, when she comes through the door. They hear footsteps coming. All tense up to attack. Suddenly the wall next to them shatters, burying them in the rubble. Shampoo-kun has entered the room in his own unique way.
Ranma-chan: I told you to let us open doors.
Shampoo-kun: Sorry. (Looks down and notices the girls buried in the rubble.) Wonder what stupid girls up to now. (Steps on several as he enters the room.)
After class Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun go to rehearsal. Both regular actors and understudies are present. Shampoo-kun leads off in the readings for the Director. He has nothing but good things to say about Shampoo-kunís job. Ranma-chanís turn comes. It is an uninspiring performance.
Director: (Sounding concerned.) Next line.
Ranma-chanís next line is as bad as the first.
Director: I was afraid of this. I was fortunate last year that Akane Tendo was such a natural in her role. You, however, need my special acting training. The rest of you continue.
The Phantom of the Opera starts blaring out over the speakers once again as the Director quickly grabs Ranma-chan and hoists her over his shoulder. She is so surprised that she doesnít get a chance to resist as he laughs maniacally and runs down a secret passage in the stage, which leads to the sewers under Nerima. There is a waiting boat that he throws Ranma-chan into. He then jumps in, grabs a pole, and starts pushing them down a passage. Ranma-chan finally recovers.
Ranma-chan: What are you? Some kind of pervert?
Director: No. We are going to a secluded training facility. There I will train you to become a magnificent actress.
Ranma-chan: In the sewers?
Director: Forgive me, but old habits die hard.
Ranma-chan: How come the music is still playing? (The song can still be heard clearly.)
Director: I had them install speakers down here to set the mood.
Ranma-chan sighs. After a little while they arrive in a chamber recently added to the sewer. The music finally stops. Ranma-chan gets out of the boat and looks the place over. It is made if stone and is musty, but out of the raw sewage. The Director gets out of the boat and walks over to Ranma-chan.
Director: Wear this. (He snaps a metal bracelet on Ranma-chanís wrist, and then walks to the far side of the room.)
Ranma-chan: Whatís this for?
Director: It will help your performance. Now speak for me, my angel of acting. (She reads from her copy of the play.)
Ranma-chan says her lines with little enthusiasm.
Director: Say it with more feeling.
He pushes a button on his wrist. About a thousand volts of electricity shoot through Ranma-chanís bracelet and into Ranma-chan. Her hair sticks straight out as the current passes through her and we can briefly see her skeleton in the flash.
Ranma-chan: (After recovering) Whadí you do that for?
Director: It is part of the special conditioning.
Ranma-chan: Iíll show you special conditioning. (Walks over to hit the Director.)
Director: Thatís no way to talk to your acting coach. (Pushes the button again. Same results.)
Ranma-chan: (Thinks) Great. I canít even get close to him.
Director: Next line.
Ranma-chan says something wrong this time. The Director pushes the button again.
Director: Donít lose hope. We will work on this even if it kills you.
Ranma-chan: I wonder what odds Nabiki would give on that.
Director: That wasnít in the script. (The button is pushed again.)
Much later in the evening Ranma-chan finally shows up at the dojo. We see Ranma-chanís hair is sticking straight up from all the amperage. She has a distant look in her eye. She knocks on the door, Kasumi answers.
Kasumi: I love what youíve done to your hair.
Ranma-chan: (With a far off glassy stare.) Thanks. (She goes into the house where Akane and the TV are and sits down.)
Akane: What kept you?
Ranma-chan: (Still in a far off voice.) Special coaching.
Akane: Figures, youíd get some kind of inside deal. Whatís that on your wrist? (Points to bracelet.)
Ranma-chan: (Still in shock.) A device to make me a better actor. It shocks you when you screw up.
Akane: How many times did you get shocked?
Ranma-chan: I heard him complaining about having to hook up to the Tokyo main power grid.
Akane: Why donít you give up and let me do it?
Genma: (Comes into the room.) Ranma. Youíre late for practice.
Ranma-chan: (Distantly) Sorry. (Gets up to go into the backyard.)
Genma confronts his son. It only takes one powerful blow, which he doesnít even try to defend. Ranma-chan ends up in the drink.
Genma: I was afraid of this. The play seems to be sapping your strength boy. Why donít we take this bracelet off? (Tries to pry it off.)
Ranma-chan: (Starting to come around.) WhÖ what? No! Donít!
Too late, Genma tries to pry it off and causes both of them to receive a thousand volts.
Ranma-chan: (Muttering.) Tried that. Tamper proof. (Passes out.)
The scene is the next day at rehearsal. The focus is on the dozens of girls, reading over manuscripts. Kunou and Shampoo-kun are fighting in the background, running back and forth as one gets the advantage over the other.
Kunou: Have at thee Saotome. (Runs him off screen swinging the bokken.)
Shampoo-kun: (Comes back chasing Kunou off, the opposite side of the screen, with bonbori in hand.) You go away, Stupid Sword Boy.
Girl #1: Think we should help Ranma?
Kunou: (Comes back bearing a giant pole arm and chases Shampoo-kun off screen the other way.) Your lips will never touch those of my love goddess.
Girl #2: Nah. Itís just Kunou. He can handle him.
Shampoo-kun: (Returns bearing a running chainsaw and hockey mask. He chases Kunou off screen.) Shampoo not want to kiss you.
Kunou: (A gout of flame preludes his return. Shampoo-kun runs away from a flamethrower wielding Kunou.) The very idea that you could out act me is enough to make me cry, were it not so laughable.
Stagehandís Voice: (From off screen.) Quit playing with the props for West Side Story
Shampoo-kun: (Returns bearing a handheld unknown object. He uses it to block the flames until Kunou runs out of fuel, and then smacks him in the head with it, knocking him unconscious. Looks at the object.) Akane lunch good for something.
Girl #3: Whereís Shampoo?
Girl #1: (Enviously) Sheís getting special training from The Director.
We see the lights dim and hear a loud scream from somewhere underground.
Girl #2: Lucky dog.
The scene opens to the Tendo house. Ranma-chan is staring off into space sitting next to Nabiki. Her hair is sticking straight up once again. Akane enters the room.
Nabiki: Hey Akane, this is so neat. Watch.
Nabiki uses a stun gun she has in her hand on Ranma-chan. (Zap) Ranma-chan says a line from the play. (Zap) Says another line from the play.
Nabiki: Talk about well conditioned. I wonder if I can buy the method off of that director?
Akane: Stop that, Nabiki.
Nabiki: Donít worry. Itís at the lowest setting. He doesnít have enough brain cells left that I would fry too many more of them.
Akane: (Takes the stun gun.) Ranma has had enough electricity for one day.
Nabiki walks off disappointed. Akane looks sympathetically at the charred Ranma-chan.
Akane: Why donít you just let me take the part?
Ranma-chan: (Distantly and staring off into space.) No. I gotta see this through.
Akane: But you canít take much more.
Ranma-chan: I gotta do better. I can do this.
Akane: (Tearfully) You are so stupid.
Akane ups the power on the stun gun and shocks Ranma-chan, and then runs off. Ranma-chan continues to sit there unmoving. Kasumi comes into the room, cleaning. She unplugs one of the lamps, intending to clean it.
Kasumi: Ranma, hold this, would you?
She places the lamp in Ranmaís hand and starts to clean. The bulb comes on when Ranma grasps the base.
Kasumi: Oh, how nice. You want to help us with the electric bill. Ranma, you are so thoughtful.
She unplugs the television, a radio, a microwave, and the spotlight on the top of the roof, and gives all the cords to the motionless Ranma-chan to hold. All the appliances come on.
The scene changes to the next morning before school starts. We are in the homeroom and see several girls fooling around with Ranma-chanís desk.
Girl #1: Are sure this is going to work?
Girl #2: Yes. The chemistry club promised me this contact poison will make Shampoo sick as a dog for a week.
She pulls out a brush and coats the entire desk with the poison. The girls then sit down and giggle to themselves. This incident has not gone unnoticed by Ukyou.
Ukyou: (Thinks) I canít let them do that to Ranchan. Shampoo, yes; Ranma, no.
Akane, Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun, race into the room. They are followed by Godai-sensei. They quickly run to sit down at their desks. Ranma-chan is about to put her hands on it when Ukyou slides her combat spatula under the legs and flips it in mid-air. It flies over to the two girls who poisoned the desk, who catch it reflexively. They then fall over and pass out.
Godai-sensei: No napping in class. Report to the principleís office. (They donít move.) Someone take them down to the principleís office. (Two boys get up and carry the girls down to the principleís office.)
The scene changes after school at the Tendo house once again. Ranma-chan comes into the house smiling. Her hair is only sticking up a little. Akane sees her grin.
Akane: (Suspiciously) What are you so happy about?
Ranma-chan: The Director says Iím getting better. He shocked me only half the time he usually does. I think Iím getting used to the electricity, too.
Akane: (Dryly) Great.
Ranma-chan: Why are you so angry?
Akane: (Snapping) I have no idea what you are talking about.
Ranma-chan: Youíve been acting really mean since I got this part.
Akane: (Yelling) I have not! I donít care what you do! Win an Academy Award! Fry! I donít care! (She stomps off into the kitchen where Kasumi is cooking.)
Kasumi: (Stops cooking) Whatís wrong?
Akane: (Snapping) Nothingís wrong. Why does everyone keep asking me if anythingís wrong?
Kasumi: Itís about the play, isnít it?
Akane: (Sits down and speaks in a more even tone) I want to be Juliet. I have always wanted to be Juliet. Now that jerk is. Heís not even a girl. It just isnít right. And worse yet, he acts like he wants the part now.
Kasumi: (Sits down as well.) Maybe he does.
Akane: He asked me to take his place. Itís not my fault I had a cold. I should be Juliet. I want it so bad, I would kiss Kunou if I had to. Heís just doing this to spite me. He knows how much I want the part and he wants to keep me from it.
Kasumi: Ranma is not that way.
Akane: (Growling) Yes he is. You just donít know him like I do.
We see Ranma-chan sitting in her room reading a book by lamplight. She is holding the reading light by the base. We can see the lamp is not plugged in. There is a knocking on the door. Ranma-chan lets Shampoo-kun in.
Shampoo-kun: Shampoo want know if Ranma want practice lines. Play coming up soon.
Ranma-chan: Yeah. Thatís a good idea. Letís go up on the roof where we can have some privacy.
The two head up to the roof and start rehearsing their lines. Shampoo-kun can see that Ranma-chanís acting has improved a great deal. They eventually get to the marriage scene.
Ranma-chan: (Finishes her line) Ummm. This says we kiss.
Shampoo-kun: Yes. (Shampoo-kun draws closer.)
Ranma-chan: (Smiling) You arenít gonna give me a Kiss of Death or nothiní, are you?
Shampoo-kun: (Chuckling) No, Shampoo not do that.
Ranma-chan: (More seriously) Well, are you sure you want to go through with it? I mean, after all, I will be a girl.
Shampoo-kun: Shampoo know. Not stupid. (Draws closer.)
Ranma-chan: And you will be a guy.
Shampoo-kun: (Stops moving forward.) Ranma not want go through with it?
Ranma-chan: (Quickly) No. I mean yes. (Calms down.) What I mean is, we gotta do it. (Proudly) Itís for the show.
Shampoo-kun: (Proudly as well) Shampoo like play. Like acting. Shampoo want to do even if Ranma girl.
Shampoo-kun moves closer again. Ranma-chan notices Shampoo-kunís breath on her face. She looks into the boyís eyes.
Ranma-chan: (Voice starting to sound far away.) You know, I never noticed it before, but your eyes donít change like the rest of you.
Shampoo-kun: (Voice starting to sound far off as well.) Ranma eyes no change either.
Their lips are about an inch away, and still getting closer, when they are interrupted.
Demon form of Soun: (Shouting) WHAT DO YOU TWO THINK YOU ARE DOING?
Both of them are so frightened they fall off the roof and land on their heads in the backyard. Genma is sitting there, on the porch, with a copy of the play in hand.
Genma: (To the two still upside down.) Ranma, it says here you have to kiss Romeo.
Ranma-chan: (Picking self up) Yeah. So?
Genma: Romeo is a man.
Shampoo-kun: (Picking self up.) Shampoo Romeo. So not really boy.
Genma: Still, Tendo and I think it would be a far better idea for you to be Romeo and Akane to be Juliet.
Ranma-chan: It donít work that way. Even if I could somehow convince the Director to change, Iíve been studying Julietís lines.
Shampoo-kun: And Shampoo want be in play.
Genma: Well then, you should at least rehearse with Akane. It will give you practice. Try this part. (He points to a scene with kissing.)
Ranma-chan: Why would I want to rehearse kissing with an uncute tomboy like that?
A dresser drops from a second story window and lands directly on Ranma-chan.
Akane: (Looking down from the window.) I am glad you would much rather kiss a guy than me, you pervert! I wouldnít let your lips near mine anyway!
Ranma-chan just groans under the dresser.
Shampoo-kun: So much for rehearsing.
Act II: Opening Night
The day of the play finally arrives. In the hours before the actual opening we see the Director is having his stagehands set up the stage.
The crew moves at lightning speed, finishing the job in a matter of seconds.
Stagehand: What do you think?
Director: MagnificentÖ (We can see a ship that looks like it is sinking into the stage and a giant iceberg prop) Öif we were doing Titanic. However, we are doing Romeo and Juliet.
Stagehand: There arenít any icebergs in Romeo and Juliet?
Director: (Angrily) NO! NOW GO GET THE RIGHT THINGS! (The crew moves like lightning once again.)
The play finally opens. We see a full house, including Genma and the Tendos, waiting for the curtain to rise. Backstage Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun arrive and move to get into costume. Kunou is waiting with bokken in hand.
Kunou: Now is the moment of truth Saotome.
Shampoo-kun: Ranma tired of fighting Kunou.
Ranma-chan: Let me handle this. (Slides up to Kunou.) Close your eyes, and I will give you a big surprise, my darling.
Kunou: (Grinning obliviously) You called me darling. Very well.
He closes his eyes. Ranma-chan grabs a rope and ties it around Kunou. She then throws the rope over a rafter and hoists him up. He finally opens his eyes.
Kunou: What is the meaning of this? Foul Saotome! How dare you take advantage of the moment of passion Shampoo and I were about to share to prevent us from becoming one. (To Ranma-chan) Let me down, dearest.
Ranma-chan: Maybe later, like when Hell freezes over. (To Shampoo-kun) Youíd better get changed.
Ranma-chan goes to her dressing room. As she enters the room she sees about a dozen girls waiting for her.
Ranma-chan: What are you doing here?
Girl #1: (Closing door) We just wanted to tell you to break a leg, Shampoo. (The girls pull hidden weapons.) Literally.
Several moments later we see the Director checking on his Juliet. He knocks on the door and Ranma-chan comes out wearing her acting garb. The Director can see the carnage in the room and a dozen girls, with broken weapons, littering the ground.
Director: What happened?
Ranma-chan: They wanted to wish me luck. (Closes the door behind her.) Letís get going.
The Director takes his chair in front of the stage and the play begins. The curtain rises and the first scene unfolds. Surprisingly, Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun are both performing like professionals. The Director speaks to a stagehand beside him holding a camera.
Director: You are certain you are taping this?
Stagehand #1: Hey. What could go wrong?
Director: You could use the wrong film like last time.
Stagehand #1: It could happen to anybody.
Director: (Voices rising.) You could hold it backwards like the time before that.
Stagehand #1: Both ends looked the same.
Director: (Voice rising higher.) You could try using duct tape on the set like you did the time before that!
Stagehand #1: I just misunderstood what you meant when you said, ďtape the playĒ.
Director: (Now shouting.) A CHIMPANZEE COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB THAN YOU! Nothing had best go wrong this time. I feel this is the production I have been waiting for.
Stagehand #1: Donít worry. Nothing can go wrong.
The play goes beautifully. Everything is fine until the balcony scene.
Ranma-chan: (From the balcony.) Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Shampoo-kun is about to speak up when he is interrupted by a newcomer on stage, Kunou.
Kunou: I am here, my pig-tailed love goddess Juliet. Fear not. This foul impostor Romeo will never touch your lips. (He draws his bokken and attacks.)
The Director starts to move to stop the newcomer when he halts. He then slowly sits back down.
Director: What improvisation! Two Romeos battling it out for the right of Julietís hand! Now this is acting!
Shampoo-kun draws his prop sword and says his line.
Kunou continues the line as he swings at Shampoo-kun who blocks with his sword. They continue that way, with each one saying a line when they swing. Ranma-chan inserts her lines when needed. Surprisingly, all actors are performing at a professional level despite the action. Shampoo-kun appears to be evenly matched with Kunou.
Ranma-chan: Wonderful. That jerk is such a great actor, heís fooled himself into believing he can beat Shampoo. (Hears a sound behind her.) Whatís that?
Ranma-chan sees a saw cutting from underneath, working its way across where the balcony attaches to the back of the stage. She barely has enough time to jump before it comes crashing down on top of the two girls that were sawing it. As Ranma-chan lands she says a line. Head cheerleader, Capt. Ai then appears, cartwheeling onto the stage.
Capt. Ai: Ranmaís lips are mine, Shampoo. Pom-pom attack! (Tiny explosives start firing out of the pompom.)
Ranma-chan dodges out of the way. She senses something above her and barely has time to get out of the way of a falling sandbag. She looks up to see a girl had cut it loose.
Director: (Unable to see the girl from his position. He speaks to Stagehand #2) Why didnít you secure those before the start?
Stagehand #2: They are secure, sir. We attached them all to this rope here.
He unties the rope to show the director. Fifty sandbags fall down on the stage simultaneously. Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun dodge out of the way. Kunou and Capt. Ai are not so fortunate. Both are knocked out by falling sandbags. Ranma-chan starts to breath a sigh of relief when a suit of armor on the stage attacks with its halberd.
Ranma-chan: What the?
Chisa: (In armor) Nothing personal Shampoo, but I will be the one to kiss Ranma.
Ranma-chan: In your dreams. (Kicks Chisa away.)
Director: (Shouting gleefully) Now this is a play.
Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun fight off all other attackers, never missing a line nor sounding badly. The only scenes that are messed up are the ones in which Romeo and Juliet are supposed to kiss. The sheer number of girls attacking at those times prevent them from actually kissing, lest the timing of the play be thrown off. Eventually the final scene approaches with Romeo standing over Julietís coffin. Shampoo-kun says his lines and is poised over Juliet when both he and Ranma-chan notice all the attackers, including Kunou have gathered to for one final assault.
Kunou: Saotome, we will stop you.
They charge as a group. Ranma-chan starts to sit up when the Director finally steps in.
Director: (To the charging group who arenít paying any attention to him.) As much as I appreciate the enthusiasm with which you have performed, Romeo must kiss Juliet at least once.
He touches a stud on his belt, which activates two huge trapdoors in the stage. Everyone charging falls into the pit below. Ranma-chan lays back down and Shampoo-kun hovers over her once more. Just as he is about to bend over he feels a powerful tugging on his long hair. Despite all his resistance, his head is slowly bent backward away from Ranma-chan. He turns his head over enough to see it is Soun and Genma who are pulling back.
Shampoo-kun: What you think you doing?
Soun: (To Shampoo-kun) I could ask you the same question. I take you under my roof and you repay me with treachery.
Genma: (To Ranma-chan) Boy, how dare you try to kiss another woman when you already have a fiancťe.
Ranma-chan: Geez Pop. Itís just a play. It ainít for real.
Director: I said they will kiss. (Pushes a stud on his belt and the twenty-foot boot drops on Genma and Soun, flattening them.)
Shampoo-kun: Now where were we?
Shampoo-kun bends over again and is nearly struck by Akaneís fist as she buries it in Ranma-chanís face. He holds his head in disgust.
Akane: (To Ranma-chan) I canít believe you would stoop this low.
Director: I am reluctant to move against one who performed so admirably in a production of mine. Perhaps I will not take action against her.
Ranma-chan: (Talking through a fist) What do you mean?
Akane: (Practically crying) I wanted this part for myself. I have always dreamed of being Juliet, ever since they made me play Romeo back in grade school. And now youíre taking away that dream. Why are you doing this to me?
Ranma-chan: (Knocks away her arm and sits up to yell in Akaneís face.) Why does everything always gotta be about you? What about my feelings? Maybe I didnít want to do this at first, but now I do. I finally discovered something Iím good at besides martial arts. Sure, maybe it took a couple million volts, but Shampoo, Kasumi, Mr. Tendo, even Pop and Nabiki think Iím really good. Well, I had to pay Nabiki for her honest opinion, but it was honest. (More softly) Donít you understand? Thatís why I have to see this through. Not just because itís a challenge, but because I worked hard at it, and I enjoy it. I gotta do it for me.
Akane: (Softly) It really means that much to you? (Ranma-chan nods her head) Fine.
Akane quietly runs out of the building, tears flowing from her eyes. Ranma-chan looks softly at her fleeing form. Kasumi gets up from her place in the audience, bows before Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun and rushes out to catch up to Akane. Ranma-chan lies back down and Shampoo-kun hovers her once again.
Stagehand #1: I feel like I should try to stop them.
Director: (With a look that could kill even through his mask.) Donít even think about it.
Shampoo-kun and Ranma-chan look around for anything that could stop them again. Except for a sudden case of the bubonic plague, there is nothing.
Ranma-chan: (Quietly) Well, this is it.
Shampoo-kun (Softly) You sure you want do this? We could pretend again.
Ranma-chan: No. The audience would realize it was fake. Besides, you know what the Director would say, ďThe show must go on.Ē
Ranma-chan relaxes back again. She looks a little scared. Shampoo-kun looks a little nervous as well. Shampoo-kun finally starts to bend forward again. Both pucker up and seem to visibly relax as though they have made up their minds. Their lips are now no more than a centimeter apart.
Off to the side of the stage, we see two stagehands next to a detonator box with wires leading from it to the stage underneath.
Stagehand #3: You think itís time?
Stagehand #4: I guess so.
Stagehand #3: You sure thereís supposed to be an explosion at the end?
Stagehand #4: I donít know what difference it would make if there wasnít one.
Stagehand #3: Sounds good to me.
Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun are about to kiss when he pushes down on the detonator. We see two huge explosions on both sides of the stage, shattering both ends. The middle, where Ranma-chan and Shampoo-kun are, folds like a piece of paper and both fall into the hole that is made by the collapsing stage. The dust starts to settle.
Director: Tell me you got that all on tape.
Stagehand #1: (Smiling) We got it. (Pats the tape player.)
The Director grabs the recorder and examines it.
Director: The lens cap is still on.
Stagehand #1: (Still smiling) Of course. I didnít want the lens to get dirty.
The Director begins strangling the stagehand, until he realizes someone else might have recorded the play. He starts making his way through the crowd in search of a tape. At the bottom of the hole in the stage, Shampoo-chan and Ranma-kun are sitting at the bottom of the debris. A hot water pipe has burst and it is pouring all over them.
Ranma: Figures. I wear a dress and get splashed with hot water. Weíd better leave before someone sees us.
Shampoo nods in agreement and both make their way to the secret passage in the sewers and come out in the middle of a park. Both are dirty and unkempt. They start to make their way home side by side.
Ranma: Well, in the last week I have been electrocuted, beaten, attacked, nearly poisoned, and used as a battery. (Shampoo looks hurt at Ranma.) And you know what? (Shampoo shrugs.) I wouldnít change it for the world. Doing that acting stuff was fun. (Ranma gives Shampoo a big grin, and then it fades. He looks down at the ground.) Iím just sorry I dragged you into it.
Shampoo: (Jumps in front of Ranma to show him the big grin on her face.) Shampoo enjoy, too. Not ever do anything like that in village. All Shampoo do is fight. If Ranma had no asked, then Shampoo not know how fun acting is. And acting with Ranma make Shampoo happy, too. So no frown for Shampoo when Shampoo so happy.
Ranma: (The grin returns to his face.) All you did was fight, too, huh? I think we got more in common than either of us realize.
They walk a ways when Ranma starts laughing.
Shampoo: Why laugh Ranma?
Ranma: I just realized how ironic this is. The whole point in me asking you to try out was so I could kiss you. That was the one thing we never did.
Shampoo starts to open her mouth to say something when Ranma continues.
Ranma: It donít matter though. I enjoyed working with you more than I would have with anyone else. No matter what Pop and Mr. Tendo might have done if we had kissed. (Turns to her.) Thanks for being there for me.
Shampoo closes her mouth and smiles back at Ranma. They start walking again. After a few moments she looks back at Ranma and starts humming a tune.
Ranma: What is that?
Shampoo: Just some song Shampoo learn from Director.
Ranma: Itís catchy.
After a few moments he picks up the melody and hums along with her as they continue along. Two people necking off the path look to see the newcomers as they pass.
Man: Thatís sweet. Two cross-dressers walking together.
Woman: They make a cute couple. I wonder what tune that is.
Man: I think itís from a gaijin play. Itís called ďAll I Ask of You.Ē
The scene is the Tendo household some weeks later. Nabiki rushes into the room with a soda pop bottle in hand. Everyone else is already gathered around the television.
Kasumi: Hurry, Nabiki, or youíll miss it.
Nabiki: (Sits down in a chair.) Iím here. This better be good.
Announcer: And now for this special announcement. A volcano suddenly erupted in Hawaii today. Disaster was narrowly avoided, however, when an unidentified girl and her pet panda rescued the citizens of a small town from the encroaching lava flow.
The scene cuts to a Kodachi in a sarong, bikini top, and lei, on the back of a panda with glasses. The Mousse-panda is running with a cart trailing behind him. He is moving at a good speed, even though a bunch of people are in it. They are barely ahead of a lava flow. Kodachi is using her ribbon to grab people and throw them into the back of the cart as they speed by.
Ranma: Nice to see theyíre keeping busy.
Announcer: And now we return to the Tony Awards. The next presenters for the category for Best Play are last yearís co-winners of the best actor award for their work in Porgy and Bess. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Bulk Bogan and Mr. T-Rex.
We see a huge gentleman with a massive frame under his suit and a line of blond hair around his skull. He is otherwise bald. His partner is smaller, but we can tell under his suit he has a massive frame as well. He is black, with a mohawk.
Bulk Bogan: (The huge one, excitedly) First off, I want to tell all the Bulkamaniacs who missed the Bulkster and Mr. T-Rex this year, that we are returning to the stage. We are going to be in the upcoming musical adaptation of Thelma and Louise.
Mr. T-Rex: (The mohawk one) I pity the fools that have to act against us next year.
Bulk: Now for the presentation of the award. (He pulls out an envelope.) And the winner for Best Play isÖ
He suddenly tears off his jacket and shirt and starts flexing for the crowd. They Ďohí and Ďahí. He then tears open the letter with the same enthusiasm he ripped off his shirt. He pulls out the letter and hands it to his partner.
Mr. T-Rex: The Furinkan High production of William Shakespeareís ďRomano and Juliard.Ē (He and the Bulkster look at one another.) Must be one of his more obscure works.
The Directorís theme music suddenly blares on the speakers at the auditorium. The Director descends from a wire from above the stage. He lands gracefully and runs to the podium. He tears the letter out of Mr. T-Rexís hand and reads it.
Director: (To self) Those insolent fools. They misspelled Romeo and Juliet. The stage crew will pay for this folly. (He steps to the microphone) I would like to thank the Tony Award Committee for acknowledging my greatness. I knew from the beginning that this was the production to get me the recognition I deserve. And I have a special note of thanks to my Romeo and Juliet. As for the rest of you in the audience, I have but one thing to promise, and I know my Romeo and Juliet will join me in this endeavor. If you thought this was great, just wait until you see what we do next year!
Everyone at the Tendo household facefaulted.
We see a boat pull to the shore from a river in Nerima. Two young girls, about fourteen, one with red hair and one with green, disembark from the boat. The green one bears a trident. The red one has a staff. They step in front of Cologne, who is waiting for them on shore. The two bow.
RanRan: (<> In Chinese) <We are here, Great Grandmother.>
LinLin: <What is it you wanted us to do? Japan is a long way from home.>
Cologne: <I am afraid it involves your sister, Shampoo. You must brace yourselves for the worst.>
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