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Fan Fic / The Key to a Successful Interview

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The Key to a Successful Interview Is a Good First Impression! is a Ranma ½ Fic written by The Sage of Toads.

As the Trope Codifiers of the Takahashi Couple and one of the oldest pairings in web-based fanfiction, Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo are best known as one of the most violent pairings in anime. The subtle nuances of their relationship have been explored and examined in thousands of fics since the mid 1990s, but in the majority of cases, their relationship remains a case of Belligerent Sexual Tension.


Interview on the other hand is a Satire/Parody/Pastiche story about what happens when Ranma gets the chance to meet Akane and reveal his curse under nearly-ideal circumstances, allowing them to strike up a functional friendship. Of course they still live in Nerima and Ranma is still going to have to deal with Kuno, Ryouga, and the Fiancee Brigade so it definitely isn't going to stay ordinary...

It has two Spin-Offs: Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon a Sailor Moon fanfic and The Merry Killers a Love Hina fanfic taking place in the same verse.


This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: While their bodies can handle poison hidden inside food, the mouths of those who practice the La Belle France School of Martial Arts Fine Dining are super sensitive to spicy stuff.
  • Adaptational Badass: Kasumi is an absolute beast in this fic, managing to wipe the floor with Shampoo.
  • Adaptational Curves: Played with. Akane starts out with a very similar build to what she had in the series, but she develops an impressive figure as the story goes on.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Nabiki is still a greedy schemer like in canon, but this version of her also shows a lot more heart.
  • Adaptational Villainy: A few:
    • Mousse is far more villainous, a consequence of using the Xi Fa Xing Gao on himself to forget his love for Shampoo.
    • In canon, Kaori Daikoku is just a one-shot character and possibly Ukyo's prototype. Here, being raised to become the bride of Genma's son gave her enough hatred to drive her insane and make her the Big Bad.
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    • Picolet and the La Belle France School of Martial Arts are pretty much scammers that paint themselves as martial artists, and Madame St. Paul is explicitly a cannibal.
    • Panthyose Taro is out to kill Genma and Soun. Still, considering they killed Happosai and left Taro stuck with his name...
  • Amazon Chaser: Akane's martial arts skill is a major reason why Ranma loves her.
  • And Call Him "George"!: Azusa of course, until Akane figures out that it's a facade to hide that she is a Broken Bird.
  • Axes at School: The JSDF fighter jet that is mentioned to have been stolen on an early chapter turns out to have been stolen by Shampoo, who removes its 30mm gatling cannon and uses it to demolish Furinkan High with gunfire in an attempt to kill Akane (the cafeteria because that's where Akane was, the rest of the building because she felt like it). Yes, Nerima is the kind of place where even school shootings go Up to Eleven.
  • Battle Butler and Ninja Maid: The Chardins have one butler and hordes of maids, all combat capable. The butler turns out to be an old friend of Kasumi's.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in the Golden Pair fight
  • Berserk Button: When Ranma insists the Akane isn't his girlfriend, Ryouga accuses him of being gay.
    Ranma's punch registered a 9.5 on the Richter scale in Switzerland.
    • A second one: Hurting Akane.
    • Akane completely loses it in Chapter 15 when Shampoo says that she and Ranma had sex while he was brainwashed.
    • Ranma doesn't not like it if you threaten Nodoka (as the Red Hot Teahouse made the mistake of doing in Chapter 34).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kasumi. And how.
    • Tofu as well.
  • BFS: Nanami Sakana has one of these, and she's trained in Yagyu Shinkage style. It's explicitly referred to as a zanbatou, and while it isn't precisely a sword, as Ranma notes that 'sword' implies a cutting edge and Nanami's has none, she still wields it this way. It even has a second hilt.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In chapter 19, Azusa saves Akane from Kaori.
    • In chapter 32, Shampoo saves the Kunos and the Golden Pair from the Good Ol' Days team. Turns out, it was all part of The Plan.
  • Bi the Way:
    • Kodachi
    • Also, more recently, Nabiki and Shampoo. Unless they're just messing with everyone.
  • Black Comedy: Chapter 10 casually plays a murder/suicide by plane crash for laughs.
  • Black Comedy Rape: What Nabiki does to Ryouga.
  • Brain Bleach: The maids wear blindfolds because the sight of Chardins' stretching their mouths is horrific to look at.
  • Brick Joke: Akane's intent to "fuck Kodachi with a steamroller" during the Kodachi Arc.
    • During Chapter 15's epic battle, Shampoo threw a tugboat into the air that was never mentioned again... until Chapter 21 in an extraordinarily painful fashion.
  • Broken Bird: Azusa
  • Butt-Monkey: Ryouga gets no sympathy from anyone, and even Kuno gets more respect than Gosunkugi.
    • In Ryoga's case, things get better. By the Grand Prix Arc, he has joined a demolition crew of True Companions and seems happy with his marriage to Osaka. Additionally, he has given up on exacting vengeance on Ranma, and as a consequence he loses all interest in the martial arts.
  • Call-Back: Ranma's warning about getting too lax from mob fighting is brought back when Akane faces the assault of a hundred foes and she evades a sneak attack from Azusa thanks to it.
  • The Cameo: Naru and Kitsune from Love Hina make an appearance as a pair of Asuka/Dr. Akagi cosplayers at an Eva convention. Leeron also makes a few appearances but it's not clear yet whether he's also a cosplayer... or not.
  • Celebrity Power: Donny Osmond can fly.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Plenty of romantic comedy dotted with little horrible details like Shampoo being essentially an Outside-Genre Foe (thanks to having family in Roanapur).
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In Chapter 12, an A-10 Thunderbolt II and thousands of rounds for its main gun are mentioned stolen from an air base. It turns up soon enough.
    • Remember the pot of extra spicy curry Akane made and later sealed in the Nekohaten's freezer? They brought it out to bring down Picolet Chardin in Chapter 26.
  • Cool Pet: The Kuno Family's giant crocodile Mr. Turtle, who also gets a Big Damn Heroes moment alongside Kodachi in Chapter 19.
  • Cool Shades: Kuno in Chapter 20 shows up wearing the glasses he got at the end of the Take-out race. The results are... interesting
  • Covert Pervert: Akane, even more so than in canon. Even before getting together with Ranma, she subtly ogles him, fantasizes about eating off his naked body, and even masturbates while thinking about him.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: House Chardin's toughest fighter is a seven foot tall muscleman in a maid's outfit.
  • Crowd Song: the song in chapter 14. Ranma has no idea why he's singing to it.
  • Cute Bruiser: Akane more and more.
  • Darker and Edgier: A bit so. Still funny, but a lot more Black Comedy and vulgarity.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Kasumi hears Akane masturbating.
  • Death by Adaptation: Genma and Soun actually succeeded in killing Happosai when they were young.
  • Deconstruction Fic
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Akane starts undergoing this immediately thanks to their better first meeting. She's already masturbating to fantasies of him! Chaste Heroes are perfectly safe, after all.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: In Chapter 32.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Akane begins crossing it in wake of losing to Shampoo in 16.
  • Determinator: Neither a snowstorm nor a horde of security maids can stop Dr. Tofu from rescuing Kasumi.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Most of the maids working for the Chardins were actually there to Work Off the Debt they or their families incurred. When the Chardins are exposed as con men, the maids descend on them after Ranma and co leave.
  • The Door Slams You: At one point, Nabiki comes into Akane's room to ask about P-chan, accidentally slamming the door on Kodachi.
  • Do with Him as You Will: The Wrecking Crew leaves the Chardins to be set upon by their former servants.
  • The Dreaded: Sailor Moon.
  • Entitled to Have You: Gosunkugi feels this way to Akane.
  • Everyone Has Standards: To get an idea of how appalling the "Good Old Days" style is, even Happosai found it loathsome.
  • Expy: Shampoo is basically Shenhua from Black Lagoon. Justified by the fact that Shenhua is both Shampoo's cousin and mentor.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Akane's extra-spicy curry is comparable to napalm.
  • Flat "What": Delivered by the Tendos and Ranma when the news of Genma engaging Ranma to Kaori is revealed.
  • Girly Bruiser: Kasumi is demure and feminine, and hands down one of the best fighters in the story.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Ranma and Akane have an active, fulfilling sex life.
  • Go Seduce My Archnemesis: Ranma figures out that Ryoga's Shi Shi Hodokan is powered by depression. So he sends Akane to go out on dates with him to make him happy to take the edge off the technique. It doesn't work, his ki attacks are fueled by strong emotion in general, not just despair.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Ukyo is shown to be this in chapter 19.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Used in the Rhythmic Gymnastics fight between Akane and Kodachi, as per canon.
    • It's also done unintentionally earlier on, when Akane throws Kodachi out the window, not knowing she'd hit Ryoga.
    • Temari-chan, being a Tyke Bomb Marionette Master, does this as well. This is an interesting case, however, in that the people she uses as puppets volunteer to be used this way, even when it leads to their bones getting broken.
  • Happily Married: Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Ryoga and Osaka manage to find bliss.
  • Heroic BSoD: Akane has one of these when she first hears about the marriage agreement. It's actually called a BSOD by the narrative.
  • Hot-Blooded: If Nanami Sakana is not a living embodiment of this, I just don't know who is. During her fight with Ranma, she breathes steam. For serious.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Gosunkugi delivers a series of cat puns in chapter 21.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Shampoo has no problem frenching an amnesiac Girl!Ranma.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The only combat technique in Fine Dining Martial Arts involves eating your opponent.
  • The Immodest Orgasm:
    • Chapter 5. Kasumi describes Nabiki's masturbation moaning as "theatrical".
    • Akane can also get pretty loud when having sex with Ranma, but she's not as melodramatic as her sister.
  • Implacable Man: Shampoo. When Akane finally has had enough and pulls all the stops (including a Training Montage) to fight her in a proper challenge, the Amazon turns out to be an Invincible Villain... at least to someone of Akane's skill level. When Kasumi (an even more powerful Retired Badass) fights her, she manages to win after a very extensive and destructive battle that wouldn't look out of place in more high-powered Shonen anime like Dragon Ball Z.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Principal Kuno's wardrobe has some incredibly gaudy Hawaiian outfits.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gosunkugi
  • Jerkass: Panthyose Taro is even worse than in canon. He has a Freudian Excuse, as Genma and Soun actually succeeding at killing Happosai when they were young means he's stuck with that name, but he's still a worse jerk than in canon.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: This version of Nabiki.
  • Karma Houdini: While Kasumi is able to defeat the up-until-then-Invincible Villain that was Shampoo and manages to force her to cool it with the sociopathic tactics and stop trying to get rid of Akane, Shampoo is never arrested for her crime of stealing government property and using said property to cause the worst (In-Universe) school shooting in Japanese history (even if nobody was killed), and she decides to (forcefully) become friends with the rest of the cast, saying that Defeat Means Friendship. Understandably, the rest of the cast remain apprehensive of her.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Akane says at one point that if Kuno's harassment of her keeps up, she'll become a man-hating lesbian. Guess what canon!Akane's Hatedom calls her?
    • Also, when Ranma reveals his curse, he wonders how it could've gone worse and then immediately thinks of the way that Ranma-kun and Akane meet in canon.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gosunkugi and Genma get what's coming to them in chapter 21.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Used by Shampoo, as per canon, in the Third Sino-Japanese War arc, in the chapter aptly titled 'Chemical Warfare'. Except, unlike in canon, the victim is Ranma, who forgets all about Akane, including that he was in love with her.
    • Brought back in the Grand Prix arc as a means of eliminating the Good Ol' Days school and their vile arts without violating the no-kill rule of the tournament.
  • Lethal Chef: Chapter 17 plays this straight with Akane, but she's more clumsy rather than a culinary-inept.
    • However, that pot of curry she made? It was still bubbling despite being in a freezer for two months!
  • Lightning Bruiser: Invoked by Ranma, who stops one of Ryouga's punches with two fingers and then points out to Akane how much muscle power it takes to be as fast as he is.
  • Made of Iron: The Golden Pair.
    • Principal Kuno to a ridiculous degree.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Ranma and Akane have sex at school quite frequently.
  • Mama Bear: Nodoka to Tsubasa and Ranma in Chapter 34, Guns Akimbo once Shishioh's gun has its final flash.
  • Marionette Master: Temari-chan of the Good Ol' Days school. Uses the string variant, combined with Razor Floss. Interestingly enough, the puppets here are used voluntarily, not even seeming to mind when they acquire broken limbs in the process.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Akane mentions to Ranma that she'd like to have six or seven children with him.
  • Medium Awareness: When it appears his defeat is nigh, Principal Kuno complains that it was too easy for the protagonists to win and the readers are going to call it anti-climatic.
    • Happens a lot in chapter 21.
  • More Dakka: Shampoo starts out using just grenade launchers (and who would think you'd ever say that?) and moves up to stealing a Thunderbolt II just to use its Avenger cannon to level Furinkan High School.
  • Mythology Gag: In the manga Ranma once pretended to be Ryoga's sister, adopting the alias 'Yoiko', so he couldn't enjoy any alone time with Akane. Although this incident never happens in this story, Ryoga and Osaka name their daughter Yoiko.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Shampoo suffers this at the hands of Pantyhose Tarou in Chapter 27.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Ranma does this while training with Akane
  • Only Sane Man: Nabiki appears to be the only one left, now. She's the only one who actually breaks down and cries in the face of overwhelming stupidity and/or insanity, complete with a Thousand-Yard Stare.
  • Paper Tiger: To stop Kasumi's assault on the guests, the Madame St. Paul summons a seven foot muscular male in a maid's outfit to deal with Kasumi. He's gets knocked out by Dr. Tofu Ono with just one punch.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: They're not married yet, but Ranma and Akane's engagement goes over a lot better here than in canon.
  • The Power of Love: The basis of Ranma's Ki attack.
  • Pregnancy Scare: Ranma and Akane have one in chapters 23 and 24.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Of the building variety, which starts with a period, then italics, and bold with exclamation point. "Do not. Ever. COME NEAR MY MOTHER AGAIN!"
  • Quip to Black: Nabiki keeps a pair of sunglasses in her pocket and this as her ringtone. She loans them to Ranma on occasion.
  • Re-Cut: As of May 8, 2011, the author condensed and rewrote several chapters up to the takeout race arc. Notable changes include Shampoo's claim of screwing Ranma not being used to get Kasumi involved.
  • Red Baron: As in canon, Kuno's "Blue Thunder" nickname. This gets him mocked mercilessly by Akane.
    "Oh brother, last week he was the 'Sword that Cleaves Evil', and before that he was 'Walking the path of heaven, he who will rule everything'."
    • He adopted the title King of Heroes after Ranma casually referred to him by it.
    • Akane has become known as "The Worldwide Roadroller" thanks to "fucking" Kodachi with a steamroller.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Ryoga, after he's dragged off to marry Osaka, became a family man, using his skills as a construction worker. Not even the Billion Yen Grand Prix can coax him to return to the battlefield, but that won't stop his friends from fighting in his name...
    • Turns out that Kasumi was a martial artist of levels equalling a Physical God when she was younger but she decided to quit for various reasons, including a Heroic RRoD. After Shampoo turns out to be an Invincible Villain for someone of Akane's fighting level, she decides to face off against Shampoo for the sake of her sister. The resulting battle achieves a level of epic destruction not unlike that of the Dragon Ball shows.
  • Rule of Funny: The story runs almost entirely on this and that other rule.
  • Rule of Three: During "The Third Sino-Japanese War" Arc, Kasumi is aware of this trope, and suspects a third tragedy is coming, far worse than the previous two (the first two being Ranma losing his memories of Akane and Gosunkugi assaulting Nabiki).
    • She's right. The third tragedy is Akane's loss to Shampoo in their fight for Ranma.
  • Running Gag: After a fight, Gosunkugi runs up to the loser and yells "You got knocked the fuck out!" in a reference to Friday.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Ranma's the victim of this gag in chapter 5, after thanks to P-chan, he ends up getting chased by one angry mob.
  • Setting Update: The original series supposedly took place in the early 1990s. Interview clearly takes place in the Present.
  • Shipper on Deck: Nabiki shipped Kasumi and Dr. Tofu.
  • Shotgun Wedding: The Azumanga Daioh girls have force Ryoga to come with them, as he got Osaka pregnant!
  • Shout-Out: At least a few per chapter once things get going.
    • Ranma has a Newtype Flash just before Ryouga makes his first appearance.
    • Ranma finishes his fight with Ryouga with a flying kick from above that carries them both into a water fountain before jumping out of the ensuing geyser of water and landing in girl form. Akane, watching this, can only think to say:
    • Akane one-ups him in her match with Kodachi by quoting a few lines from Baran Doban's theme song while swinging Kodachi around like an Epic Flail.
      • That, AND she beat Kodachi with a Za Warudo impression, steamroller and all.
    • Kodachi's dialogue is almost line for line Ali al-Saachez's dialogue during Exia's first Trans-Am sequence when Akane goes all out.
    • Three words: TANKER LORRY DA!
    • The sponsors for the match between Kodachi and Akane. Including Xanatos Enterprises, Kaiba Corporation, The Speedwagon Foundation and Stark Industries.
    • Black Lagoon has gotten some love, in the form of how Shampoo speaks, as well as being where she learned to be as ruthless.
    • In chapter 13, Mousse does Light Yagami's famous "potato chip" bit, and has a Light-style internal monologue. Considering who his English voice actor is, this makes sense.
    • There're a horde of shoutouts in Chapter 10's Dead Baby Comedy bit, and this is lampshaded right after that.
    • The montage scene in Chapter 14, as well as the song that goes with it, serves as shout out to the montage scenes in both Team America: World Police and Mulan.
    • Shampoo's final attack is a nod to Ialdabaoth's Shinha Mougeki Reppa
    • Kasumi's sole named attack is another direct homage to another attack of Apothesized Ialdabaoth'
    • In chapter 13, Cologne is mentioned as working with Takeshi Hongo, the first incarnation of Kamen Rider.
    • Chapter 20: "Everyone began filing into the school, now filled with despair that even Nozomu Itoshiki could not fathom."
    • From the same chapter, when Principal Kuno's goons start taking clothing that doesn't fit into the school uniform regulations:
      One girl spoke up. "They stole my scarf!"
      Another cried. "And my earrings!"
      A rather short, stout girl roared. "And my axe!"
    • When Ranma delivers a beating to Principal Kuno, he does it Kenshiro style.
    • In chapter 3, after Kuno declares his love for Ranma-chan, Ranma is so pissed, he delivers a damn good impression of a Shun Goku Satsu.
    • Shampoo listens to Lady Gaga
    • Chapter 21 has quite a few:
      • Ranma's cell phone has its ringtone the Sailor Moon theme song. "Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon" chapter 14 reveals that Natalie Adams wrote the song after seeing the Senshi's heroism first-hand.
      • The line "Nobody dies when you kill them" is referenced a few times.
      • "That's a boat."
      • After Gosunkugi gets hit by a tugboat, Nabiki delivers a Horatio Caine one liner, complete with the sample of We Won't Get Fooled Again from her cell phone.
    • Akane's powerpoint presentations utilize artwork "drawn by another graduate of the Kuchiki School of Art"
    • When Ranma and Ryoga are about to begin fighting in chapter 24, Akane yells "Are you daft, punk?" Which is a double shout-out. The first being, obviously, to the electronic band, but a slightly lesser known one is to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Abridged, which used the same line in the comment special. Given the other shout-outs to JJBA, it's probably intentional.
    • Chapter 26 has several of note as well:
      • When Madame St. Paul revealed the M5, Kasumi was disappointed that it was just a cheap knockoff of another legendary male maid.
      • The opening the curry pot sequence for Ranma and Picolet's Fine Dining Duel is referred to as "FORMATION C!"
    • Chapter 30 has Akane threatening Grand Prix entrants like a Dalek cutting down Cybermen.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Invoked in chapter 14 during the arrival of the Grand Master who will train the Kunos, Ryoga and Mousse, Donny fucking Osmond. Let's get down to business!
  • Stealth Pun: Occasionally throughout the fic, Ryouga alludes to a nasty incident in which he wound up in Osaka. Chapter 24 reveals that he literally wound up in Osaka. Sexually.
  • Stepford Smiler: Asuza
  • Teen Pregnancy:
    • Ryoga got Osaka pregnant, and ends up being forced to marry her by her friends.
    • Subverted with Akane. It seems like she got pregnant, thanks to her and Ranma having unprotected sex after running out of condoms and her subsequently missing a period, but Dr. Tofu's examinations reveal that she was just having a shift in her menstrual cycle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everybody, especially SHAMPOO. The martial arts as a whole are taken Up to Eleven, and pretty much everybody could mop the floor with, or at least be equal to, canon!Ranma. Shampoo has More Dakka, Stuff Blowing Up, and is Nigh Invulnerable. Akane learns the Umisenken and absurdly sharp Razor Wind. Ryoga uses his rarely-seen bandanna-blades to great effect, uses his umbrella more (and more effectively) in his fighting style, and overall kicks more ass. He also learns both the Shi Shi Hokodan and Moko Takabisha (which both become seemingly twice as strong), forcing Ranma to use a new Hokodan variant based on The Power of Love to beat him. Then he stands up and uses the perfected Shi Shi Hokodan. Only the Author Can Save Them Now... and he does . Mousse decides to declare Did You Think I Can't Feel?, uses Laser-Guided Amnesia on himself to rid himself of his infatuation with Shampoo, and says Let's Get Dangerous!. Kuno gets Cool Shades which make him act normally, and actually decent fighting skills.
    • Contrary to the claim above, the one who gets the most impressive power-up is Kasumi. She acquires a fighting style that, while not as suitable to constant combat lifestyle, manages to outperform Shampoo at her strongest after years of lack of training (and therefore, being rusty).
  • Training from Hell: Once again, The Golden Pair.
  • Tranquil Fury: Kasumi's fighting style of the "Gentle Sieve" is based on bottling up emotions and converting them to stored energy for relatively short bursts of extreme badassery.
  • Traumatic Haircut: What Shampoo gave Akane after her hard fought win in their battle for Ranma.
  • Tyke Bomb: Temari-chan, the reluctant young student/ secret weapon of the Good Ol' Days school of martial arts.
  • Unexpected Character: Vice-Principal Okamada from the the recent Broken Base making Live-Action Adaptation.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Averted in Chapter 7.
  • Up to Eleven: Everything has been getting crazier and crazier since the introduction of Ryoga.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Azusa after Akane calls her out not being able to act upon her love for Mikado.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Golden Pair quickly shift from joke characters who will unquestionably be destroyed by Ranma and Akane, to pushing Ranma and Akane harder than anyone before.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 12, when Shampoo erases Ranma's memory of Akane instead Akane's of Ranma,
    • Chapter 15.
    • Chapter 23. Ranma catches Akane holding a pregnancy test.
  • Wham Line: At the end of chapter 12, after Shampoo's attack on the high school...
    Ranma: "She keeps saying I'm her fiancé, who is she?"
  • The Worf Effect: Shampoo increasingly suffers this as the story continues. She even lampshades it as she attacks Octopus Mask.
  • Worthy Opponent: Shampoo considers Akane this.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Directly invoked by Ranma, but only if they're crazy. Invoked by Azusa but immediately subverted.


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