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A set of Ranma ½ spamfics
by Larry F

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ is owned by Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. I'm just playing with the characters and setting.

Impression One:

"…and I do too try to pay attention in class," said Ranma Saotome as he was walking home from school. He was accompanied by his fiancée, Akane Tendo. "Can I help it if old man Okamura has a voice that would make a monk reciting mantras sound exciting?"

"Point," Akane said, "but you have to try harder. You'll never get into a good college if you don't learn that stuff. It'll all be on the entrance exams."

"Like I really care about college? Once I'm out of high school, I'll probably go off on a dojo tour to learn more styles and make a name for myself. I'm not so stupid that I don't know that you or Nabiki both would be better at running the business side of the dojo. I just need to concentrate on learning to be a good teacher."

"But that's the idea. Who's going to take you seriously these days without a degree? Remember that disaster when you tried to reopen the dojo back when we were broke?"

"Well, I'll think about it. But I still say that I can wait a while before I worry about it. It'll take Nabiki years to get her business schooling done, and the same for you to get into whatever you want to do. There's no hurry."

The two teenagers reached home and passed through the gates to the walkway leading up to the front door of the Tendo house.

"Anyway, I'm gonna go see if Kasumi has any snacks. I'm hungry," Ranma stated.

"Okay, I'll see you at dinner. I've got a ton of homework to do, and I want to be done with it all tonight," Akane replied.

After kicking off his shoes in the entrance, he turned right, following the hallway leading towards the kitchen. Akane began climbing the stairs to the second floor.

As soon as he turned into the kitchen doorway, Ranma immediately noticed that the table which held Kasumi's microwave oven was tilted at a precarious angle. A brief look was all that was needed to see that one of the legs that supported the appliance's weight was a few inches shorter than the rest, having somehow been broken off in the past, judging by the weathering.

Ranma was a bit startled that he hadn't noticed that before, and paused a moment before greeting Kasumi. She stood at the sink, drying a bowl she'd just washed.

"Hey, Kasumi. What's with the table? How come I never seen that it was broken like that?"

"Oh, welcome home, Ranma. The table? I usually have a book under the leg to keep it level, but I had to return it earlier today."

"Return it…? What do you mean, return it?"

"I borrowed it from Doctor Tofu last week, and it was time to take it back."

"…Uh… That's what you use those books you borrow from Doctor Tofu for?!"

"Well, of course, silly. You didn't think I actually read those dry, dusty old things, did you?"


Impression Two:

Ranma was bored.

Bored, bored, bored.

There was nothing on TV but soap operas and gossip shows, and none of his friends or rivals were anywhere to be found. He had nothing to do but homework, and he was darned if he was going to do that if he could possibly avoid it.

While lying on his back next to the table in the Tendo's tearoom, he swept his eyes across the room, looking for something, anything, that might promise a little fun. As he did, he spied one of the books that Kasumi regularly borrowed from Doctor Tofu.

Well, I got nothing better to do. If Kasumi thinks those things are interesting, maybe it'd be fun to leaf through it. It might have good pictures or something, he thought.

Putting action to his thoughts, he flipped to his feet and retrieved the volume. Laying it on the dining table in the center of the room he opened the cover to the title page…

…and felt his jaw drop. Then he fell over sideways onto the floor and laughed until his stomach began to ache.

"Oh, my god," he gasped as he desperately tried to quell the guffaws that were threatening to do him in. "A hardbound edition of the 'Harlequin Romance Anthology, Volume Twenty'? Who'd have ever pegged the doc for the trashy romance novel type?!"


Impression Three:

"…and we have to find out how to cure it, doc! Akane's life depends on it!" Ranma gasped.

"So Cologne thinks that a pressure point controlling breathing was hit by accident? That is serious," Doctor Tofu said with a frown of concentration.

"Yeah. She has to think about breathing all the time, because she can't do it unconsciously." Ranma pounded on the doorframe a few times, trying to release a little of the stress he was feeling. "What a stupid thing to happen! Slipping while trying to help me get out of the pond and falling on a rock!"

"Well, I'm sure we can fix the problem. I know for a fact that one of the books I have in the waiting room has information about the chi pathways that control breathing. I left it on the shelf in there just the other day."

"Thank God! I dunno what I would have done if you didn't know what to do." Ranma's feeling of relief was palpable as the doctor walked through the door leading to the front room of his clinic.

Just as the good doctor was picking up the rare volume that contained the information he sought, there came a sweet voice from outside the clinic.

"Hello? Ranma? Did you find the doctor?"

The sound of that voice caused Tofu's glasses to immediately fog over. "K-K-Kasumi?!"

Ranma, peeking around the door from what he hoped was a safe position, watched the pages of the book being reduced to their component fibers. A flurry of minute paper shreds flew through the air and out the open front door of the clinic.

"…well, damn…." was all he could think to say.


Impression Four:

A Ranma ½ spamfic
by Joe Fenton

Foreword: Reading Larry F's spamfics inspired me to do one of my own on the same subject. Idea is his… I'm just adding my own idea to the mix. :)

Kasumi glanced over from the cutting board as Ranma grabbed a carrot.

"Ranma! I'm glad you're here. Can you do me a favor and return this book to Tofu-sensei?"

Ranma finished the carrot, then took the book she proffered. "Sure thing, Kasumi." He glanced at the cover and grimaced. Sure looked like the insides of something dead to him.

"You know, Kasumi, you ought to go to college or something instead of just borrowing Tofu-sensei's books."

Kasumi gave him a blank look.

Ranma waved his hands. "I'm not trying to be insulting. It's just that you should be doing something more than just cooking dinner and cleaning up after all of us."

Kasumi smiled in what Ranma could swear was a patronizing manner.

"Ranma, look at the book."

Ranma glanced at the cover. "Forensic Studies of Ancient Preservation Techniques."

"Look again."

Ranma sighed and looked again, then grabbed the book in both hands and stared in amazement.


Kasumi nodded. "I graduated medical school at twelve." She stirred a few vegetables into the soup. "Poor Ono-san could never reconcile himself to calling a thirteen-year-old girl 'sensei'. It's why he gets all flustered around me." She covered the pot. "I'm just taking a sabbatical at the moment, but I return to my teaching position at Todai in a couple more months."

Ranma was totally flabbergasted. "Then… then… why are you always borrowing his books? Uh… Your books?"

Kasumi giggled slightly. "I'm not borrowing them, silly! He keeps asking me questions about certain passages, so I make additional notes that I send back with the books."

Ranma stood staring with his mouth hanging open.

Nabiki came up beside him and noticed the blank look.

"Hello? Anyone home?"

She glanced over at her sister. "I think you broke him. Good thing you're a doctor."


Impression Five:

"Going out, Ranma? Will you be passing by Doctor Tofu's clinic?"

"Yeah. Was there somethin' you wanted, Kasumi?"

"Yes. Please take this back to him. If it's not too much trouble, I'd also like to borrow the next book in this series," she said as she handed Ranma a heavy brown tome.

"Sure, no problem." Ranma accepted the book and went to put his shoes on.

Ranma walked into Doctor Tofu's acupuncture clinic and called out for the proprietor. "Hey, doc? You here? Here's your book back. Can I get the next one?"

The doctor came out of a back room and took a look at the title. "Oh, sorry, Ranma. To tell you the truth, that isn't my book. I borrowed it from Cologne. If you'll take it back to her, I'm sure she'll let you have the next volume."

Cologne came out of the kitchen of the Nekohanten when she heard the chime of the door opening. To her amazement, it was the last person she expected to see there voluntarily. "Hello, son-in-law. I'm surprised to see you here on your day off. Did you come to ask Shampoo out?"

Ranma blanched. "Er… Nah, nothin' like that. I just brought back the book you loaned to Doc Tofu, and want t' know if I can borrow the next one for Kasumi."

Cologne glanced at the title of the book. "Oh, that isn't my book. I got that from Happi last week. Sorry, but you've made the trip out here for nothing. You'll have to see him and find out who he stole it from to see if there are any more."

Oh great. Now I gotta go all the way back home. Talk about runnin' around in circles!

Happousai wet the tip of his index finger, and then touched it quickly to the bottom of the iron. Perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. He began to press a delicate bit of lacy lingerie.

"Hey, you in there, old geezer?"

Happousai frowned at the flippant tone of the boy's voice. "Show some respect for your betters, boy."

Ranma slid open the door to the master bedroom of the Tendo home, and stared at the piles of stolen ladies' undergarments that surrounded the ancient pervert. "Gah. That is wrong on so many levels, y' know"

Happousai glared at the impertinent youth. "Don't knock it if you haven't tried it, whelp. Now, if you've nothing else to say, the door's behind you."

"You think I want to be here in the first place? I just need to find the next book after this one for Kasumi."

"Then you're wasting my time. I don't have any of those books."

"Well, why'd Cologne say she got it from you?"

"That depends on what you mean by 'got'. She took it out of my bag when I was resting after a bunch of naughty ladies beat me up. Such bad girls. All I did was liberate some lovelies from captivity on a clothesline at the university dorms."

"What was it doing in your bag, then?"

"It might have somehow ended up in there when I passed through Jimbocho. My memory is a bit hazy because so much has happened since then. I'm not sure, but I may have gotten it from a lovely young woman I met on Yasukuni Dori. You'll have no problem recognizing her. She's about a 'C' cup, and all of the bookshops have pictures of her."

They all have pictures? Huh. Wonder if she's an actress or singer? As Ranma slowly walked up the hallway towards the front door of the house, he realized glumly that what he thought would be an easy errand was turning out to be anything but.

Hours later, an exhausted Ranma arrived back at the Tendo home, metaphorical tail dragging. Man, oh man, Ranma thought to himself. That was one crazy broad. And the way she was doin' that crazy dance around the bookstores on Yasukuni Dori! If Doc Tofu liked to dress in drag, I bet he'd act like that.

He examined the damage to his clothing. That had to be the weirdest martial arts technique I ever saw. Man, I hate paper cuts.

Trudging to the kitchen, where he could hear the sounds of pots on the boil, he prepared to face Kasumi and own up to his failure to carry out his errand. "Kasumi…?"

"Welcome home, Ranma. How has your day been?"

"Kasumi, I'm sorry, but nobody seemed to know whose book this is, so I couldn't return it or get the other one."

Kasumi gasped, and then turned around to face the tired teenager. "Oh dear. I'm the one who should be apologizing, Ranma. That book belongs to me." She picked up a black-covered book from the kitchen counter. "This is the book that I meant to return. I only noticed that I'd given you the wrong book after you left."

I'm a man, mustn't cry. I'm a man, mustn't cry. I'm a man, mustn't cry….


Author's notes: These spamfics started as a reaction to the fanon stereotype, "Kasumi must be a genius because she borrows books from Doctor Tofu." It's a fallacy that I fell into myself a long time ago when I was still working on Ranma's Angels, but it lives on and I've seen it in dozens and dozens of fan fiction stories lately. With that in mind, I felt inspired to present an alternative look at the idea, and since Ranma ½ is first and foremost a comedy, I think I'm making a valid point.

The first two stories are variations on one basic idea: What if the reasons Kasumi borrowed the books had nothing to do with wanting to be a doctor or nurse?

Impression One: she never wanted to actually read them at all. She just couldn't afford a new table. Oh, the beginning of this was "slice of life" stuff. No, it's not part of the story, really. Just a little stab at all those stories that portray Ranma and Akane as constantly fighting, which is another fanon stereotype.

Impression Two: the good doctor has a little secret; he's the best source of b-grade romance novels in the neighborhood because he buys them by the boatload. Joe Fenton's comment was "He gets them strictly for the patients in the waiting room. ;)" Yeah, ri-i-ight. ^_^

If these two fail slightly in execution… What can I say? I wrote them in something like fifteen minutes. ^_^

Impression Three: this one goes off in a new direction, and if I write any more of these, they'll probably do the same. The theme is vignettes based around Tofu's book collection.

Impression Four: Soon after I wrote the first three, Joe was tickled enough to write one of his own. Drat if the guy didn't do one that might just be better than mine all put together! Aargh! Posted by permission, of course.

Impression Five: The travels of the book — The book was in Happousai's bag all right, but that was because he stole it from Kasumi thinking it might have secret pressure point information. Knowing Happi's light-fingered tendencies, Cologne took it from him when she found him, after the girls from the dormitory got done with him. Tofu borrowed it from Cologne, and then Kasumi found it at his clinic, thought she'd loaned it to him, and took it back home with her along with the book she went to borrow. Happousai's mistake was because he remembered that the woman in Jimbocho and books somehow went together. After the beating he got from the irate college girls, his short-term memory got jumbled — Not that it mattered much. He never really remembers where he steals things from anyway. This isn't really a mystery fusion. The clues to the unnamed girl are so heavy-handed that most of you shouldn't have any trouble catching on to who she is. ^_^


Ja mata,
Larry F

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