Ukyo Kuonji

Ukyo Kuonji

Infobox animanga character
color = CornflowerBlue
name = Ukyo Kuonji
series = Ranma ½

caption = Ukyo in the anime
first = Volume 8
last =
creator = Rumiko Takahashi
voiced by = Hiromi Tsuru (Japanese)
Kelly Sheridan(English)

alias = Ucchan, by Ranma
Spatula Girl, by Shampoo
Darling Ukyo, by Tsubasa
age = 16
born =
occupation = Okonomiyaki Chef
Miko (manga only)
relatives = Mr.Kuonji, father
Great grandfather (Anime only)
divider = yes
aux1 name = Curse
aux1 =
aux2 name = Fighting style
aux2 = Okonomiyaki Martial Arts. Possibly "ninjutsu".

nihongo|Ukyo Kuonji|久遠寺 右京|Kuonji Ukyō is a fictional character in Rumiko Takahashi's anime and manga series "Ranma ½".

Her name is derived from Ukyō-ku, the western side of Kyoto. The name Ukyo is composed of the kanji for "right" and "capital city". "Kuon" means "eternity" and "Ji" means "temple."


Ukyo Kuonji is an okonomiyaki chef who is Ranma Saotome's oldest known friend. She apparently hails from Osaka, as she speaks in the Kansai-ben dialect of Japanese. When he was 6 years old, during his at least 13 year long training trip, Ranma met Ukyo, who was with her father, an okonomiyaki vendor. During the time they lived in the same neighborhood, they had a game in which they play-fought every day. If Ranma won, he got a free okonomiyaki from Ukyo's father. Needless to say, he managed to defeat her every time.

Eventually, Ukyo's father suggested to Genma Saotome to engage her to Ranma, and to throw his okonomiyaki cart in as a dowry. Genma agreed. Unwilling to let go of the okonomiyaki cart, but not wanting to break the conflicting promise he made to his friend Soun, Genma asked little Ranma which he liked better, Ukyo or okonomiyaki. The young boy, eating an okonomiyaki at the time and unaware that his friend was a girl, quickly chose the food. Thus, Genma stole the cart and left a furious Ukyo behind. The other girls at her school mocked her for not being feminine enough to keep her fiancé with her. Because of that, she decided to give up on her feminity and learned to act as a boy. She then spent the next ten years training in the martial art of okonomiyaki to prepare for her revenge against the Saotomes.

Ukyo caught up with Genma and Ranma ten years later, at Furinkan High school. Ukyo, still posing as a boy, beat up Genma, and then transferred into Ranma's school. Ranma remembered 'him' immediately, and had a hard time understanding 'he' wanted revenge. Akane believed that Ukyo was Ranma's brother for a while after hearing and misinterpreting a yelling match between Ukyo and Genma. Finally, Ranma and Ukyo dueled on an enormous okonomiyaki grill. During the bout, Ranma discovered that Ukyo was a woman and why she hated him. Ukyo finally stopped fighting when Ranma said she was "cute." However, this in turn angered Akane Tendo, the daughter of Soun engaged to Ranma. Upon seeing the two quarrel and Akane "congratulating" Ranma on his "cute" fiancee, Ukyo forgave Ranma and re-established their engagement the next day.

Later, Ukyo made a plot to have Ryoga date Akane. Ranma tries to break her plot, turning into a girl and disguising himself as Ryoga's "fiancee". Ukyo gets angry for interfering and removes Ranma's wig. Afterwards, she discovers Ranma's curse but thinks it is amusing and keeps pouring cold and hot water on Ranma to change him back and forth from boy to girl.

Near the end of the series, Ukyo meets Konatsu, a crossdressing young ninja who falls in love with her. While Ukyo has no actual feelings of love towards Konatsu, she still allows him to live and work (for only 10 Yen an hour) as a waiter in "Ucchan's", the okonomiyaki restaurant she owns, but she was very annoyed when his naivete caused great losses for her business.


Overall, Ukyo is a charming, determined and reliable girl and gets along with Akane most of the time, apparently including spending time socially independent from Ranma, given that they've been shown to skip school and eat at a restaurant together with some of Akane's friends. However, she is not above trying to hurt Akane or to guilt-trip Ranma into being with her if it suits her needs. She often tries to break Akane and Ranma's engagement indirectly, but they are mostly unaware of her plotting because it generally backfires before it gets anywhere. Ukyo has dragged Ryoga Hibiki into her plans a few times, but is constantly infuriated and whacks him due to his lack of judgment, direction sense and shyness/'cowardice'.

Ukyo has shown charitability by temporarily hosting the Tendos (as a favor to Ranma when they lost their house to the Gambling King), and permanently providing room and board for the poor male "kunoichi" Konatsu, due to feeling empathetic when hearing about his horrible background, but the latter also serves as an extremely cheap workforce. She generally seems dependable to her friends, as she turned very concerned and immediately ran to the aid of her fellow okonomiyaki cook 'Occhan', when she thought the latter had been hurt by a 'cursed spatula'. She is extremely principled and proud of her work, to the degree that she got sick and felt the need to devour a poisonous jar of okonomiyaki sauce, which had fermented since she prepared it as a child, as self-punishment when it turned out horribly (due to Ranma's accidental interference). She has been rather unconcerned about skipping school, since she learns more by visiting/eating at other restaurants (The 'Delinquent Teacher' story). She seems very business-minded, being very excited at the opportunity to "make a killing" ('Tsubasa Kurenai' & 'Onsen Race' arcs), and strictly manages her finances (second Konatsu story), but occasionally feels the need to take a vacation from the "salt mines" ('Tunnel of lost love'). Beyond her regular occupation she has been shown to work extra as a shinto temple priestess ('Trouble with Emas'), and is allegedly a very talented artist (same).

She has no shown 'feminine weak spots' in her mostly resilient/tough, hardworking character. Unlike Akane, she was completely unfazed by a cave full of ghosts, and likely against similar traditional 'female' fears.

Her style of fighting is a legacy style from her father based on their food preparation, and vaguely reminiscent of ninja patterns, but this status as an apparent "ninja-cook" has never been expanded upon. It is somewhat noteworthy that the Iga clan of shinobi resided in Ukyo’s home area, Kansai.

Ukyo is technically a loose rival of Shampoo and Kodachi, and has had a brief skirmish with Shampoo during the onsen race, against both of them when their attacks against Nabiki accidentally hit Ranma, and possibly when attempting to force Ranma into eating their Valentine's chocolates. However, she has more recurrently allied to battle a mutual 'threat'. In the aforementioned Nabiki situation, against Miss Hinako, to gain a fake 'engagement ring' from Ranma & Genma, or interrupt Akane's wedding. While the latter two have explicitly murderous intent, Ukyo has been left more ambivalent, likely simply intending to beat her targets unconscious, as she simply wished to scare Nabiki into giving up her and Ranma's temporary engagement. In the anime they fight each other much more frequently.

She has stated outright that she feels a strong romantic attraction/love towards Ranma ('Reversal jewel' arc), and has been willing to give up her shop ('Gambling King' arc) and almost rescind her entire lifestyle ('Secret Sauce' arc) for his sake, and to be a good wife for him. Though, while Ranma has shown concern about her feelings and considers her a good friend, he has also made it clear that he does not feel the same in return, and went to extremes to get rid of her when she got too close (also 'Secret sauce' arc). Unlike Shampoo and Kodachi however, he does not consider and treat her as a pest. He usually calls her "Ucchan" and she calls him "Ranchan" ("Ranma-honey" in the English dub), the nicknames they used for each other as children.

Ukyo still wears a boy's school uniform (from her old school in the manga) to Furinkan High even the other students know that she is a girl. She does, however, wear the girls' gym uniform, and she's not particularly masculine in her overall behaviour, beyond a brusque and short-tempered lack of patience, and has both behaved like a demure dedicated wife against her fiancée and used 'feminine allure' to get 'aloha virus' infected classmates into a hot spring containing the antidote. She's easily embarrassed by affection and has reflexively whacked Ranma when pushed to declare her love or if he calls her cute, for example during her introduction and the "Reversal Jewel" storyarcs. Though it should be noted that in all recorded instances (her introduction and the Reversal Jewel, which occurred in both canons, and the anime-only episode "Ukyo's Skirt! The Great Girly-Girl Gambit"), she was previously angry with Ranma before he called her cute or asked if she loved him: in her introduction, she was in the middle of physically attacking Ranma and screaming about how he abandoned her, in the Reversal Jewel, she had just attacked him after finding out about his plans to declare his love for Shampoo, and at the end of the Great Girly-Girl Gambit, he declared that her food was the tastiest, even though he had refused to give an answer at the end of the contest held earlier, which was intended to decide once and for all which girl was Ranma's true fiancee.

That said, she has shown highly amorous desires towards him. She eagerly urged Genma to remove his fingers from the crotch of a photograph of adult Ranma ("Weakness moxibustion" arc), unashamedly/cheerfully entered to 'wash Ranma's back' when he was nude in the bathtub and yearningly urged him to join her in bed 'just like when they were children' (another "Secret sauce" arc), as well as having romantic/amorous daydreams in the anime take on the "Master and Student" story (which turned to horror as she realised what impact Happosai being permanently stuck to Ranma would have). She also considers herself more feminine and physically attractive than Akane.

She has been romantically pursued/stalked by Tsubasa Kurenai, whom she considered a nuisance that should repeatedly "be given a few hard whacks" to be discouraged. More importantly, she has housed the effeminate, subservient, and generally inept Konatsu who deeply loves her. But despite his loyalty she merely feels sorry for him. The "Memorial Book"/"Art of Ranma ½" described it as a completely one-sided, unrequited love.

Ukyo is one of a somewhat rare type of character in Japanese media, a female to male crossdresser. [] In the anime, she wore a girl's school uniform twice. The first time she was wearing it, which was because she was depressed at how Ranma always treated her as simply a friend and she was hoping that it would make him start looking at her in a more romantic light, many guys at school promptly fell in love with her, thinking her to be a new student even though she still carried her trademark spatula. Ironically, the only male student besides Ranma to immediately recognize Ukyo that day was the usually clueless Tatewaki Kuno, who was completely smitten as well. The second time was during the Master and Student story, where for some unexplained reason she came to Furinkan in a female sport's uniform.

Ryoga and Ukyo as a couple is joked about in the anime (primarily since Ryoga ended up defending her during the second movie, in order to get help to find Akane), but this pairing seems unlikely, given her general annoyance with his shyness and somewhat bumbling nature, as well as Ryoga's implied preference for girls who are gentle and kindly natured. They were also implied to have been cursed to permanently loathe one another, and never become a couple in the "The Tunnel of Lost Love" story.

Oddly she seems to have some strict standards for masculine/'real man' behaviour and has shown great derision towards Mousse for 'disappearing' without her during a race and, repeatedly, towards Ryoga's extreme shyness, despite that both technically are far sturdier/tougher than herself in several respects, but on the other hand thought Ranma's curse was funny and doesn't seem to mind Konatsu all that much.

Fighting Ability

"See also Ukyo's techniques."

Ukyo is a talented martial artist, with her art based on cooking okonomiyaki. She uses food-based techniques to stun, restrain or confuse opponents in somewhat archetypal 'ninja' reminiscent patterns (shuriken, confusing fog, blinding flash etc). She also uses a large spatula as a two handed weapon and has a bandolier of smaller spatulas she uses as thrown projectiles. She is strong, agile, and has a versatile range of attacks, making Ukyo a force to be reckoned with, and undoubtedly one of the most skilled female characters in the story. She has apparently received training in an inherited style, but also seems largely self-taught, through childhood wandering and "training by the sea".

In the manga, exactly how she ranks is debatable. During her introduction, Ukyo gave Ranma more trouble than Shampoo ever managed, hitting him with two restraining attacks he was unable to break out of, despite his attempts to avoid them, and afterwards knocking him down on the ground, striking him with her explosive tempura flakes, making his body sizzle in considerable pain, but Ukyo's better performance is at least partially due to being surrounded by a hot grill and that Ranma initially held back. Although he's consistently restrained himself against Shampoo as well, with the latter's full prowess while unarmed once shown as completely helpless before him in spite of this.

However, when he turned furious and highly motivated Ukyo too was shown as ineffective, not landing any offensive attacks beyond a flour bomb when they were falling together, and being easily disarmed, but she managed to avoid a spatula swipe and a kick. Ukyo also managed to fight and parry with Ryoga for a brief time before being overcome, but once again did not catch him with any attacks beyond a flour bomb, which proved ineffective. In this continuity Ukyo only had one visibly shown, very brief, skirmish with Shampoo, during the onsen race (beyond a couple of very brief or off-page team-ups/free-for-alls with her and Kodachi, assaulting Ranma or each other), but it was interrupted before it had time to start. The only shown interchange consisted of Shampoo being kept busy deflecting Ukyo mini-spatulas, while their feet were tied to Ranma and Ryoga's respectively, although Ukyo refrained from using her more powerful special techniques, and Shampoo didn't use her bonbori. They have also been involved in some very rare, indistinct 'free-for-all dust-clouds' with Kodachi.

In the anime continuity they fight each other quite frequently but mostly off-screen. However, in the Episode 'Ranma the Lady Killer' Shampoo and Ukyo fight for hours to the point of exhaustion, showing them to be equals. This battle occurs directly after Ukyo trained to fight Crepe King Joe, but it is unclear whether Shampoo used her chúi, or either used any signature moves.

While Ukyo is seldom seen fighting without her giant spatula, she has occasionally blocked projectile attacks unarmed without much effort, like casually snatching the Gambling King's cards out of the air with a single hand, deflecting Kodachi's clubs, or several shuriken using only a small bowl and towel, and has had enough force in her punches to cause Ranma pain at times when she's turned heavily embarrassed.


* [ Absolute Anime profile]
* [ Ukyo at AnimeInfo]
* [ Ukyo at]
* [ Crossdressing in Anime]

See also

* [ Cross-dressing in Film and Television]
* [ Cross-dressing]

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