Mousse (Ranma ½)

Mousse (Ranma ½)

Infobox animanga character
name = Mousse
series = Ranma ½


caption = Mousse and his cursed form in the anime
first = Volume 5
last =
creator = Rumiko Takahashi
voiced by = Toshihiko Seki (Japanese)
Brad Swaile (English)
alias = Mu-Tsu
Mu Mu-chan the duck
Stupid Duck-boy, by Shampoo
Mister Part-time, by Cologne
Moron, by Ranma
age = 16
born =
occupation = Waiter/Delivery Boy
relatives = His mother
divider = yes
aux1 name = Curse
aux1 = Human to Duck
Horrible eyesight
aux2 name = Fighting style
aux2 = Hidden Weapons

nihongo|Mousse|沐絲|Mùsī|or ムース "Mūsu" is a fictional character in Rumiko Takahashi's anime and manga series "Ranma ½".

History

Mousse is a male Chinese Amazon and a master of the Hidden Weapons fighting style who is desperately in love with his childhood friend Shampoo. He has been in love with her since they were both three and sees Ranma Saotome as the rival he needs to either defeat, surpass, or kill in order to win Shampoo's affection. According to Cologne however, Shampoo's rejection of his proposal at that time will still hold true regardless if he manages to overcome Ranma. He is also one of the few if not only (main) young male character not to be in love with Akane Tendo

He has extremely bad eyesight which requires him to wear Coke-bottle glasses, but he usually has them concealed within his robes (manga) or propped up on his forehead (anime), leading him to sometimes mistake people (or animals, sometimes even inanimate objects) for other people (usually Shampoo or Ranma).

Mousse fights using hidden weapons (Anki 暗器), which includes roped hooks, rope darts, iron balls, hidden knives, bombs, and even training toilets, all hidden in his long sleeves and robe. The reasoning for this is supposedly dark magic which in the Ranmaverse is hiding things where it is dark. Mousse has been shown though to not have an infinite supply of weapons in his cloak. Additionally, he's quite crafty, and is able to make complex fireworks or actually plan traps to defeat Ranma.

He was cursed at Jusenkyo to turn into a duck, having accidentally walked into the Spring of Drowned Duck due to his poor eyesight. According to the Jusenkyo Guide, he is the first person to ever fall into a spring after taking only one step. Even in the form of a duck Mousse can still make use of many of his projectile weapons, such as knives and bombs. Somehow he manages to hide the weapons in his feathers while his duck form, making him one of the very few cursed characters who is not completely defenseless while in his cursed form.

Mousse's vision appears to improve greatly while he is a duck, but this may be because when he is in his cursed form, he has to always wear his glasses, with which he can actually see well enough in both forms. However when a jizou statue blatantly disguised itself as either Shampoo or Ranma, Mousse failed to see any difference from the originals even while wearing them, (however lack of sleep could have contributed to this). Unfortunately for him - either on reflex or to appear cooler when making an important statement - he tends to take off his glasses and thus embarrasses himself when he talks to the wrong addressee.

Character

It is proven that, despite his obsessive behavior, Mousse truly cares for Shampoo's well-being. In the last story arc of the manga, Shampoo is trapped in a imprinting egg and as a result becomes enslaved by Kiima. Later in the arc, she gets trapped in one again, and Mousse is offered the chance to make her his slave. Instead, he places a mirror in her hand that makes the first person she sees herself when she emerges, restoring her to normal. Unfortunately for him, she doesn't even notice that he's there or give a word of thanks and immediately returns to glomping Ranma, leading Mousse to remark that he will be kicking himself over this decision for years.

This should be seen in relation to that Shampoo repeatedly attempted to enslave Ranma through a permanent love-inducing pill, and later casually confessed to him (during Akari's introduction story) that she would have used any similar magic long ago if she possessed any.

He hasn't been above occasionally using dirty tricks or traps to succeed, and in an early appearance he thoughtlessly almost skewered Kasumi when attempting to snare and kidnap Akane, as well as some children when aiming for Ranma, but he turns more considerate towards the end.

He's shocked at the prospect of 'just' running into some kids with his bike, although after he noticed that they looked exactly like Ranma and Ryoga, he reflexively bumped their heads together. He has apparently refrained from using dishonourable methods after they almost caused Shampoo to lose what little respect she had for him (his superior skill and enormous resolve to never give up), and Ranma embraced the practice to even sillier extremes. He has also displayed nearly limitless tenacity and dedication when fighting for the chance of 'winning' her affection, even if she callously sabotages his prospects, or Amazon law apparently doesn't grant him any automatic rights through overcoming either her 'groom' or herself. It seems more like a case of proving his worth.

Mousse dislikes Ranma with a great intensity, but at the same time seems to be developing a more relaxed rivalry with him, much like Ryoga did. He has gone as far as to help him on a few occasions, like during the fight with Pantyhose Taro, the confrontation with the Musk Dynasty warriors, and the final battle with Saffron.

However during the first two occasions he initially planned to betray him, and the third time he was largely motivated by the draining Jusenkyo springs and (later) to free Shampoo from their slavery. Regardless, he did help to save Ranma's life in the latter two instances.

Towards the end of the manga, when both Ranma and Ryoga were turned to kids by a magic mushroom, simply seeing their likeness maddened him enough to reflexively slam their heads together, so he apparently holds an antipathy towards Ryoga as well, perhaps due to his constant defeats at his hands. However, they initially collaborated to get a cure for themselves only during the initial Musk chapters, and he was briefly upset when he and Ranma thought Ryoga had died in a fissure caused by Herb. Here he also saved Ranma from one of Herb's killing strikes to repay his debt for Ranma's assistance to unlock his duck curse. During the Saffron arc he Ranma & Ryoga also all watched each other's backs through collaborative teamwork.

His first objective remains to win Shampoo, but not necessarily by going through Ranma. Mousse was enthusiastic at the prospect of seeing Ranma and Akane get married. In the final season of the anime ("Let's All Go to the Mushroom Temple!"), he pitted himself against both Kuno and Ryoga to prevent them persuading Ranma & Akane to take the antidote to the love-inducing mushrooms they had eaten.He hasn't interacted with Kuno in the manga, but they accidentally allied against Ranma during the Hiryu Shoten Ha story. In the separate anime continuity he and Ryoga teamed up against Ranma once, although this was mostly Mousse's idea. Here, he also trained together with Ranma, Ryoga and Kuno to beat copycat Ken, and initially allied with Ranma and Ryoga in the episode "Back to the Way We Were ... Please!". However, even here Mousse apparently isn't a good acquaintance of either Ryoga or Kuno, and the episode "Back to the Way We Were ... Please!" noted that Mousse is too occupied with training to have made any friends.

Romantic Prospects

There are hints in the manga/source material that Shampoo's feelings for him are not restricted to contempt, loathing and annoyance. For instance she beat him up in the regular manner while wearing the Reversal Jewel incorrectly (which turns love to hatred - and possibly hatred to love, but this was never implied), which Cologne commented on by saying that 'It seems as if Shampoo does not hate you as much as before'. She also agreed to go on a date with him, when he eventually abstained from using magic apology-inducing glasses during his duels with Ranma, while the latter retaliated by using any petty cheats available. However the goodwill from appearing in a better light than his nemesis was eradicated when Mousse took her to a zombie-demon show, which she found disgusting and not romantic in the least. Later, when Mousse was almost drained of life while enchanted into dating a jizou statue he believed was Shampoo, she initially didn't care and stayed home to play video games instead, but eventually reluctantly gave him a scarf she was making for Ranma to wake him from the trance.

Nevertheless, it always takes extreme circumstances for her to give him any leeway whatsoever, while she more generally treats him in a cold, cruel and derisive manner. For example, she was gladly willing to thow bombs at him, since she didn't want to give him a promised date if he prevailed against Ranma, and while she temporarily felt bad about it and cradled his beaten duck form, she quickly got over it, tied him with a chain to the neck and taunted him by holding his food out of reach. Another seemingly two-sided occurrence happened when she saw his beaten (by Taro) duck form on the road. She casually ran him over with her bicycle, but seemed either curious, concerned, or both, afterwards. After Ranma pinned Mousse's duck form to a wall and said "If you weren't such a moron I wouldn't have Shampoo pestering me all the time", she did turn into a cat and began to chase Ranma, but not to save Mousse, but because she was maddened by the statement. In Shampoo's defence, Mousse is very clingy. He often tries to glomp her, and refuses to take no for an answer. Then again she behaves exactly the same way towards Ranma, to an even more severe degree, and has been repeatedly depicted as far more inconsiderate towards him than Mousse is to her. Though she refrained from beating him up after one of his fireworks blew up in her face, it was only because she saw it as returning a favor for accidentally destroying his entire glasses collection while washing his clothes.

In the largely independent anime, there are hints that Shampoo actually does hold some love for him, despite vehemently professing the contrary. In the later part of the series Shampoo was the one who convinced him to stay in Japan rather than go back to China (the episode "Mousse Goes Home to the Country!", though it is implied that she and Cologne simply needed someone to look after the restaurant and found it more convenient to get Mousse to do it than to hire someone else), and she saved his life after he saved her but was almost killed in the 'Nihao, My Concubine' movie, and in the OVA "Oh, Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever", both he and Shampoo managed to make it through the cave of Lost Love without getting separated.Here he was also shown as unable to give up on Shampoo even for a day in the episode "Mousse returns to the country", and once threw knives at someone who flirted with her

Fighting Ability

"See also Mousse's techniques."

Fighting Style: Mousse is an extremely proficient martial artist and is skilled in several systems, presumably including the acrobatic and flexible Joketsuzoku style used by the other two Amazons, Shampoo and Cologne. He is a master with practically any weapon, and is very agile. His hidden weapons techniques allows him to often overwhelm opponents with the sheer number of items he can produce. Although he is a highly talented hand-to-hand fighter, Mousse prefers to use his mastery of the Hidden Weapons style to fight at a distance, where his naturally expert marksmanship can be put to better use. By using his full arsenal in combination with his considerable speed, he has managed to compete even with Mint, who may be the swiftest character in the entire series, although he had to use trickery to actually prevail. Physical Power: Towards the end of the manga, he also received a remarkable strength boost through constantly dragging around a heavy sentient jizou statue, and afterwards managed to split a large iron bell with a single barehanded blow, which was enough for Ranma to apparently view him as considerably physically stronger, but it likely still doesn't compare to Ryoga, who can throw a few hundred tonnes with ease. It is unclear if this strength remained afterwards, but given that similar power-ups for Ranma and Ryoga did, it seems very likely.

Limitations: His greatest weakness, despite his remarkable abilities, may be his own eyesight. Even with his glasses he was unable to discern the blatant disguises of the sentient statue. Despite this, his aim has proved sufficient to intentionally hit female Ranma's entire outline, when the latter was tied up in a circus, and even without them he managed to snare the Kinjakan in mid-flight. Through the use of his unique fighting style, combined with the ability of flight, his duck form remains quite formidable in combat as long as he keeps his distance, and attacks with blades, chains or bombs from afar.

Strictly speaking of their comparative mettle in serious battles with Ranma, he appears vastly more dangerous than Shampoo herself. When sufficiently motivated, he has displayed highly dangerous prowess. In his first battle with (female) Ranma he had the upper hand despite severely limiting the use of his arsenal. In his second major battle with (male) Ranma he came extremely close to prevailing, despite the handicap of being assaulted by Shampoo's explosives from the sidelines, and barraged his nemesis with an arsenal of weapons, to the point of making the latter fear for his life. He also reached a draw in staff fighting during the onsen race, and seemed to have the upper hand despite being exhausted during the referred jizou story. However, he does not seem to be quite as swift or skilled in unarmed combat as either Ranma or Ryoga, and has been consistently beaten despite the advantage of using a barrage of bladed weaponry against mostly bare-handed fighters. He has repeatedly been overcome by the former, and when confronting the latter during the onsen race, Ryoga easily waded through his barrage of weaponry, and swiftly prevailed.Three-leg scramble; Volume 16, chapter 3] When Mousse was teamed up with Tatewaki and Kocho Kuno, Ryoga also effortlessly simultaneously parried their attacks, disarmed and defeated them all in 1-2 seconds.The world's weakest man; Volume 13, Chapter 2]

Regardless, one hit from a sharp sword might be all it would take to win permanently (at least in Ranma's case), and he has not been truly tested since apparently turning physically stronger than Ranma himself.

Stamina: He has also displayed impressive endurance. As mentioned above, he continued to fight until his last breath, despite being caught in numerous explosions, to the point of being immersed in a smoking crater. Like Ranma and Genma he also just caught minor bruisings from falling many hundred meters into solid stone (Ryoga apparently received none whatsoever), and he's been stated to possess a much stronger tolerance to blunt impacts than Saffron, since the latter had been pampered all of his life, while Mousse has honed his stamina through constant sparring. In the anime, during his fight with Torristan, he was able to expand his muscles to remove many steel knife-like feathers from his body and defeated his opponent with a single punch, despite being so exhausted that he collapsed immediately afterwards. In the episode "Mousse Goes Home to the Country" he beat Tatewaki Kuno barehanded in 2 seconds, while Ranma and Ryoga usually take a few minutes to prevail in this continuity.

Trivia

* Despite the fact that Mousse's parents are never mentioned in the manga, in the anime his mother once sent him a letter asking how his progress with Shampoo was going.

* Because of his mastery of the art of Hidden Weapons, he is sometimes credited as one of the few males with access to Hammerspace.

* Mousse speaks with a Tōhoku accent in Japanese.

* Hsien-Ko, from the Darkstalkers series, has a fighting style similar to Mousse, from Hammerspace concealment of objects to throwing such objects. Judging from their fighting concepts and design, it appeared that Mousse somehow was an inspiration for her creation, though Capcom has never confirmed nor denied this. The only difference is that she is a Hopping corpse, while Mousse is a living person with a Jusenkyo curse.

* He is called Muso in some foreign language dubs.

References

External links

* [http://www.animeinfo.org/featured/ranma/ranmapeople/mousse.html Mousse at AnimeInfo]
* [http://www.furinkan.com/ranma/characters/mousse.html Mousse at Furinkan.com]


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