Name: Kuon-ji "eternal (Buddhist) temple" U-kyo "right of the capitol (or Kyoto)"
Entrance: Nettouhen episode 23 (end of season 2). Volume 9 part 5
Sex: Female (well duh)
Hair: brown (black in the manga)
Martial Arts: Okonomiyaki-style Master (unique art)
Distinguising features: bandoleer, chef outfit, giant spatula
Weapons: giant combat spatula, spatula-darts, flour bombs
Aliases: Ucchan to Ranma, the Spatula-girl to Shampoo
Loved by: Tsubasa (sort of), Konatsu
Friends: Ranma, Akane, Konatsu, almost anyone else
Enemies: Shampoo, Kodachi, Tsubasa, Principal Kuno, Gambling King, Konatsu's stepfamily
Voice: Tsuru Hiromi (Japan), Kelly Sheridan (US)
This 16-year-old Japanese chef of okonomiyaki calls herself "Ranma's cute fiancee." Ukyo is Ranma's childhood friend, as they met when they were six. Today, she runs her own restaurant, Ucchan's, selling okonomiyaki and trying to become more than friends with Ranma. Most of the time she appears with a bandolier of spatula-darts with a giant spatula strapped to the back, used for combat.
Ukyo's my favorite character in Ranma 1/2. How can you not like the "Spatula girl?" Her voice, the personality.... too bad Ranma'll end up marrying Akane, he won't know what he's missing (and still doesn't know).
Long story short: Ukyo fell in love with Ranma while they were children, so Ukyo's father asked Genma to allow Ranma and Ukyo to marry. Genma said no at first, remembering his promise to the Tendos, but when Ukyo's father threw in his food cart as a dowry, Genma accepted, slave to his stomach. Of course, to shift the blame on Ranma, Genma asked Ranma (while eating an okonomiyaki) what he liked better: Ukyo or okonomiyaki. Needless to say, the Saotomes ran off with the food cart, leaving Ukyo behind. Ukyo swore to get revenge, practicing her own okonomiyaki-style martial arts. Seeing as how being a girl caused her problems, Ukyo renounced womanhood. (ouch)
And of course she shows up trying to kill Ranma. And the whole time Ranma thought Ukyo was a guy (Ukyo is a guy's name, after all, and they were only six, remember? Of course it didn't help that Ukyo never wore feminine clothing around him), until a rather sudden encounter.... And of course when the mess got sorted out they became friends again.
Unlike Ranma's other fiancees, Ukyo only tries to indirectly separate Ranma and Akane. Also, she isn't as obsessed as some of the other characters are, and thus is more down-to-earth, not to mention friendly and cheery to others.
Ukyo speaks the Kansai/Osaka dialect (Southern in the dub; ex- "da" replaced with "ya", "-sen" ==> "-hen", uses "uchi" instead of "watashi", says "ooki ni" for thank you). She's so friendly that she always gives the "-chan" extension (a sign of familiarity) to complete strangers.
What Ukyo expects out of her friends is loyalty and honesty; due to her childhood experience with Ranma and Genma, she doesn't take lies or betrayal well, and often acts incredibly violent toward the offender. This reinforces the idea that Ukyo is one of the most dutiful and honorable characters in the series.
Personality-wise, think of a cross with Kasumi and Akane, and you've got a pretty good picture. She can cook, she's usually cheery (but sometimes gets really angry), and is a tomboy. (although to a greater extent than Akane, as Ukyo doesn't wear strongly feminine clothing; she even goes to school in a boy's uniform)
Her full name can translate as "right of the capitol of eternity." In a Buddhist temple, 'eternity' is the center, and thus she is always right of the center. Taking that further, it is on the groom's side in a wedding ceremony. So, making the connections, Ranma as the groom, Ukyo would be the one standing next to him, and thus he could only see her as a friend. Sad, but true (thanks to SoulDrake for that one).
New: As a sort of tribute, okonomiyaki, meaning "as you like it," may refer to Shakespeare's play, As You Like It, where the lead character is a girl who dresses and pretends to be a guy.
Ukyo knows the basics of fighting, but what makes her special is her unique "okonomiyaki-style" martial arts. This mainly involves attacks with a giant spatula (strapped to her bandolier) and several small spatula-darts that can be thrown with deadly accuracy. Try playing darts with her; you're guaranteed to lose :)
Typically Ukyo writes a challenge on an okonomiyaki before a fight (message written with sauce).
At various other times Ukyo had used flour-bombs (used almost like a smoke bomb), special pepper grenades, yakisoba (fried noodle) rope and other foodstuffs/cookingware in combat.
If you compare relative ability of the main characters, given overall ability, Ukyo's probably at about the same level as Kodachi, between Shampoo and Akane. Her art, like Kuno's, depends heavily on weapons; disarm her, and she's about at Akane's level (read: typical martial artist with no special abilities). Of course, if you consider ability in chosen art, Ukyo is a master; then again, she invented the art herself.
Her most powerful asset is focus: there's almost nothing you can do to distract her, which makes her a deadly opponent indeed. Like the rest of Ranma's fiancee's, she gets distracted when Ranma's around. At least, until Ranma gets her mad, in which case her opponent is in even deeper trouble-- hate and anger fuels her focus. Therefore, unlike other fighters, Ukyo doesn't lose focus when angry (and thus tactics designed to make an opponent angry don't work on her). Plain and simple: she fights better when she's mad.
Ukyo's one of the most honorable of the fighters in the series-- read: she won't cheat in battle. Of course, in the case of the fight against Miss Hinako, it didn't matter to her all that much, as she wanted to avenge insult to the point of 'gangbanging' on Hinako.
Ranma. Ranma and Ukyo have been friends since childhood, and treat each other as such, although Ukyo loves Ranma and wishes to marry him. Ranma seems oblivious to this fact, as Ukyo is too shy to admit her love. Ranma calls her 'Ucchan' and Ukyo calls him 'Ranchan,' naming conventions not uncommon to childhood friends even when they grow up. Most of Ukyo's schemes backfire before Ranma realizes her intentions. Unlike the other fiancees, Ukyo's love for Ranma is unconditional; she'd willingly give up everything for him.
There is much debate whether or not Ukyo is Ranma's 'best friend,' but, considering that Ranma has very few, and he's quite dense about her, she's probably the closest it'll get. Ranma's so stupid that he might even consider her his best friend, even though he doesn't know her well enough. Ukyo obviously considers Ranma more than a friend.
Akane. Friendly to each other at best, rivals at worst. Akane is very much aware of Ukyo's feelings toward Ranma. If given time, Ukyo might be able to help Akane with her cooking (Kasumi's too nice to Akane to be an effective teacher). In sum their relationship is rather shakey, but they hardly get mad at each other. Perhaps a grudging respect for each other, as Akane sees a perfect wife in Ukyo, and Ukyo sees love from Ranma in Akane; somehow I think they might want to be in each others' shoes. Before the 'Secret Sauce' story, Akane treated Ukyo just as she would Shampoo or Kodachi, but after that the two reached an understanding; Akane realizes that there's some things between Ukyo and Ranma that she can't come between.
When Ukyo set up Akane on a date with Ryoga, she thought she was doing her and Ryoga a favor; the idea that this would help separate Ranma and Akane didn't enter her mind, as she thought Ranma hated Akane at that point.
Ukyo is effectively the 'Ryoga' of Akane's life-- the chief rival for love (as Ranma and Ryoga compete for Akane, so do Ukyo and Akane compete for Ranma).
Shampoo. Hostile. Most of the time the two don't get along, but sometimes they collaborate on plans to separate Akane and Ranma. They worked together when they thought Hinako was trying to steal Ranma from them.
Kodachi. Hostile. Kodachi is direct competition for Ranma, and the two hardly get along. They have worked together against Hinako when they thought she was trying to steal Ranma away from them. Of course, Ukyo might be the only one that could potentially be friends with her, given the two get pass Ranma.
Kuno. They never met in the manga, despite the fact they go to the same school (rather convenient, isn't it?). In the anime episode where Ukyo went to school in the girl's uniform, Kuno couldn't help but drool over her :) In fact, he was one of the few students to recognize her on the spot.
Mousse. No comment.
Ryoga. Generally neutral, although they've cooperated on several schemes. At best Ukyo sees Ryoga as a tool for her needs, and generally doesn't think highly of him. They're pretty much kindred spirits, as both seek love from a person they can never marry.
Although there are many parallels between Ukyo and Ryoga, they are nothing alike. Where Ryoga is shy and unsure, Ukyo is decisive and confident. Where Ryoga is strong but stupid, Ukyo is... not so strong, and quite intelligent (more so than most of the Ranma cast, actually; she actually USES her head). Where Ryoga couldn't bear to live knowing Akane knows about his curse, Ukyo would willingly give herself to Ranma without condition (the question is, how long would it last?). Both, however, serve as chief rival in the love between Ranma and Akane, and both could easily take their respective loves with little imagination (Shampoo, Kodachi, and Kuno don't stand a chance, despite what you rabid fans think; Ryoga and Ukyo have the 'state of being friend' edge).
Genma. Hates him for leaving her ten years ago. And can easily beat him up, too. Genma likes her for her cooking.
Tsubasa. Hates him. Tsubasa is a stalker, although he seems to have given up on Ukyo after Ranma beat him up.
Konatsu. Generally neutral, Ukyo took him in out of pity. This one seems like a master-servant relationship. While Ukyo tolerates his presence, sometimes Konatsu gets on her nerves.... Konatsu is in love with Ukyo, but she doesn't share the same feelings, taking advantage of the male kunoichi's (they're typically female ninja) devotion by putting him to work at Ucchan's. Incidentally, he was raised and dresses as a girl, and is incredibly weak-willed.
As you can see, Ukyo has very few friends (I think only Kodachi has less; that would be zero!). Basically her life is devoted to okonomiyaki and Ranma. Taking one away results in disaster for those around her (as seen in two cases: the Secret Sauce story and Ranma's wedding).
Last note: for some odd reason people like to 'pair up' the Ranma characters with each other, and I have to say it doesn't work that way. Ryoga and Ukyo? No way, Ryoga's got it good with Akari, and Ukyo doesn't think of him as a person. Konatsu? No; not that I don't like Konatsu, but how often do you see a servant marry their master? Also, Ukyo wants a man, and she can't find that in Konatsu (in that case Ukyo would have to be the 'man'). Tsubasa? Nah, she thinks he's an annoying little twerp; Tsubasa is also the playboy-type, going after any girl he likes on a dime. Ranma? Never, he's got Akane. In conclusion, nobody. I'm not being cruel, that's just how I see it.
Ukyo bears the traits of the ideal Japanese wife; too bad there's no man for her. Oh well, there's always being a professional chef. (how's THAT for a tragic story, Jusenkyo guide?!)
From the depths of the Takahashi Love Polygon emerges the most prominent of the polygons: the Ranma-Akane-Ukyo triangle. Why? Because all three of them are friends, for one thing. Ranma and Akane obviously love each other, but its not apparent on the surface, or to others. Ukyo herself doesn't know that Ranma's heart lies with Akane, as Ranma's reluctant to express himself, but she is aware that Akane loves Ranma. Akane knows Ukyo loves Ranma, but doesn't know where Ranma's heart lies. Ranma loves Akane, but doesn't know that Akane and Ukyo both love him. The funny thing is, all three of them are too shy to admit their feelings to the one they love.
The tragic part of this is, someone's going to get the short end of the stick. And that's going to be Ukyo.
Note: the love triangle formed by Ranma, Akane, and Ukyo is very similar to that of Final Fantasy 7: Cloud, Aeris, and Tifa, where Tifa was too shy (like Ukyo) to admit her feelings for Cloud. And heck, the only way you can resolve this without killing Akane was to let Ukyo accept the facts that it'll never happen. (As another note, Cloud is unaware of the feelings Tifa has toward him; not to mention they're childhood friends). (Of course, by the end of the manga, Akane did admit it, if only to herself.)
Ukyo's Entrance Story. This 'yet another fiancee' is introduced; Ukyo becomes much more than she initially appears.
Ukyo vs. Ryoga. Ryoga meets Ukyo for the first time. Ukyo, recognizing that Ryoga loves Akane, sets him up on a date. In the end Ukyo discovers Ranma's curse, but thinks it's funny.
Tsubasa Kuranei. A hated nuisance from Ukyo's old school reappears and harrasses Ranma, Akane, and Ukyo, until his terrible secret is discovered.
Hiryu Shoten Ha Story. Ranma was given a cautery by Happosai that made him weak. While Ranma's enemies, the principal, Mousse, and Kuno, gathered to take advantage of the situation, his closest friends also gathered: Ukyo, Akane, Ryoga.
The Gambling King. An enemy from Ranma and Ukyo's childhood reappears to claim the Tendo dojo. The extent of Ukyo's devotion to Ranma is revealed.
The Secret Sauce. Ten years ago Ukyo made a batch of sauce; now, discovering the sauce a failure, she loses her will to cook. In truth, Ranma accidentally destroyed the sauce, and feels guilty. Ukyo ends up staying at the Tendo dojo, making Akane jealous. Eventually the Tendos try to get rid of her, even going so far as having Ranma and Akane pretend to be married. Akane develops a new respect for Ukyo.
Hinako's Entrance Story. Don't watch the OAV! In the manga, Ukyo, Shampoo, and Kodachi teamed up to take out the new teacher, but time and again they fail, until Ranma takes their place in the fight. At one point, Hinako was prepared to drain Ukyo's 'bad aura' down to 'its roots,' meaning that she was ready to really hurt her (maybe kill, if you take it to be that the absence of chi can destroy one).
Tunnel of Lost Love. Ukyo and Ryoga scheme to break-up Ranma and Akane in the cursed tunnel; however, their plan backfires horribly, as the spirits attack them instead (Ranma and Akane were arguing, and Ryoga and Ukyo were holding hands at the time).
Hayato, the Takoyaki Chef. Ukyo is challenged by an old foe, a takoyaki chef seeking revenge.
Konatsu's Entrance Story. Ukyo takes in a pathetic Konatsu from his abusive step-mother.
Ukyo's Skirt. Anime-only. Ukyo tries to dress more feminine to attract Ranma's attention. This ends up causing a lot of problems for Ranma with the others, as nobody recognizes her!
Ukyo vs. Crepe Chef Joe. Anime-only. Ukyo's customers are stolen by the new crepe shop. After a battle, Ukyo realizes she lost her fighting spirit, and trains in the mountains. She returns to challenge Joe, and emerges victorious.
Well, since that page seems to be gone, I thought I'd reproduce it here... BEHOLD!
10. Ukyo never had to trick Ranma into going on a date with her.
9. Ucchan has a much cuter voice actress.
8. Ukyo looks good in either men's or women's clothing.
7. Ukyo has the money just in case Nabiki decides to hold any auctions.
6. Anyone can cook ramen: recipe: a) boil water b) add noodles. Ukyo cooks the best okonomiaki in the world.
5. Ucchan is a much "cuter" name than being named after a substance used to scrub your hair with.
4. Ukyo OWNS her restaurant, Shampoo is just the waitress and delivery girl for Cologne.
3. Ukyo has enough perception and intelligence to a) find a door and b) know what it is used for.
2. Tho only one who is truly pursuing Shampoo is a myopic, lonely boy, who has no family (Keep in mind I didn't write this myself, and I happen to LIKE Mousse. Not to mention what's going after Ukyo... Tsubasa IS worse than Mousse)
1. That big spatula. How can you not like that big spatula?
Ukyo Image Gallery, Page 2, Page 3.
The Punny Nature Behind Ukyo; Lost in the translation to Western audiences was Takahashi Rumiko's numerous puns she put into the character of Ukyo. From the Fanfiction Mailing List comes that which the non-Japanese may have missed from our spatula-wielding heroine! Link is now fixed; REALLY!!
Ranma Fanfiction This goes to a page of my series of fanfics, based in particular around Ukyo.
Fan Artwork. Several depictions include our Spatula Goddess!
Go back to index.
You are visitor: since 12/14/97.
Click here for webrings
This site best heard with Crescendo.