Genma's Daughter: Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor

By ClassicalGal

I can't remember why I did this, but it was one of the things that led me to write "Equal Halves."


"Well, of course it's true, Ranma. And I should know. Who else do you think Genma and Souun would come running to once they found out they'd never have sons to carry on the families' schools?"

All of the people in the room stared at Happousai in shock. Nodoka drew her katana in one swift motion and waved it threateningly. Suddenly, there was a thwack.

Nodoka looked over in horror at Ranko, whose neck the katana was in firm contact with.

"Eeep?", she offered, before toppling over. Nodoka gasped.

"Cut!" The director put her head in her hands. "Now do you see why we use props?"

Nodoka rushed over. "Oh, sweetheart! Are you all right?" She helped Ranko up into a sitting position.

Happousai bounded over. "I think she needs CPR!" He leapt, but fell short when a fist smashed him into the floorboards.

Akane, whose fist it was, glared at him. "Don't bury yourself in the part!"


Ranma awkwardly scooted over closer to Akane, and she looked at him briefly, and produced a teary smile. "It's… it's OK. It just caught me by surprise." Ranma nodded, and together, they watched the video as it played out before them. As the next scene started, Ranma's face turned ashen.

On the screen in front of them two little girls were having a tea party. One of them was the young Akane they had just seen in her mother's arms, and the other was… was a little girl with red hair, blue eyes, and an eerily familiar face: Ranko. Ranko-chan was wearing a frilly green sundress, her lush red hair done up in a loose ponytail. She had two flowers in her hair, doubtless in honor of her birthday. Akane-chan was wearing a yellow cotton dress, and the two of them sat at a small play table with their tea set. On the larger table behind them, Nabiki was playing shop with a toy cash register. Occasionally, a seven year old Kasumi would come in from the kitchen, where she was apparently helping her mother and Nodoka.

Suddenly, a black-haired boy darted into the picture, and yanked hard on the red-haired girl's ponytail. She screeched, and she and Akane set off in hot pursuit.

Ranma laughed. "Oh, geez, I'd forgotten about that." Akane glared at him.

"Cut!"

The director turned to one of the crew. "I thought you said you edited him out of that tape?" The man shrugged apologetically.


Akane was really worried; this wasn't like Ranma at all. "What is it, Ranma? What's wrong?"

Ranma looked to Akane, then to Nodoka, then down to the slightly worn cream-colored carpet, which he studied intently. It showed its age, but was spotless, no doubt thanks to his mother. "I… I…" he stopped, then tried again. "I… remember. Th-that c-c-cat. And the… dr-dress. M-mom was always tellin' me to not pick him up, 'cause I always got c-cat hair all over"—he swallowed—"my dress. That picture's the first thing out of all the stuff I've seen and heard that I actually remember myself. I guess… I was too young to remember very much, but I remember that." He shivered. "Oh… oh, Kami-sama, I'm… I'm… really a girl." He put his head down on his knees and hugged them, trying to curl into a ball.

Suddenly he straightened up. "Is it time to learn flower arranging yet?" He grinned.

"Cut!"

Akane swatted him on the head. "Baka!"

From off-camera, a red-headed girl moaned "Oniichan…"


The curse… it… it…" Ranma mumbled something inaudible and once again buried her face in her knees, trembling.

Akane was amazed. What could Ranma possibly be so ashamed of? "What did you say, Ranma? What did the curse do?"

Ranma slowly raised her head, still not looking at Akane. "It makes me want to paint sad clowns on black velvet." She turned away in shame.

Akane stared at Ranko for a long moment, before both girls dissolved into gales of laughter. So did most of the other people on the set.

"Cut!"

Akane, wiping her eyes, managed to choke out, "Oh, Sis, you have an evil sense of humor!"


The strange mood dissipated. Ranma looked down. "Yeah, Shampoo. We wanna talk to the old… umm, to Cologne."

Cologne sighed and put down the chopstick she had been aiming. Why couldn't she just have said it like she always did? Just like Ranma to spoil her fun by not playing the game. She hopped into the dining area on her stick, which hit a wet spot and promptly rocketed out from under her.

"Great-Grandmother!" The three girls rushed over, and helped the older woman to stand up.

"Cut! Are you all right?"

Cologne rubbed her posterior and turned to the director. "You know, if you want me to do stunt work, you could at least pay me for it."


She walked slowly up to the mirror, never taking her eyes from the girl looking back at her. She had abused this girl almost as much as her father had; now, she had to face her as a real person, someone who had had her life taken away from her. "I'm sorry…" she said to her reflection. "I'm so sorry…"

As she approached the mirror, she lifted her arm and reached out her hand towards the reflection. The girl in the mirror did likewise, and their fingertips met at the glass.

"Who are you?" whispered Ranma.

"Cut! Great…"

"And why are you talking to yourself?" continued the redhead.


Akane noticed Ranma's quiet and pensive air as they walked to school, and decided to leave him to his thoughts. He had a lot to think about. Instead of trying to engage him in conversation, she just kept an eye on him as they walked, and smiled when he glanced her way.

In plenty of time (for there had been no arguments to slow them down) they approached Fuurinkan. As they passed through the gates, they both winced; Kunou was waiting for them.

He stepped forward, bokken raised. "Saotome! Where is the pigtailed girl? What unspeakable things have you done to her?"

Ranma scratched his head and thought. "Nothin' recently. Got any suggestions?" Kunou's jaw dropped.

"Cut!"

"Mommmmm!"

"Ranma, stop teasing your sister."


Ranma stepped out of the shower, and Ranko stepped in. The "change" would be added later through "morphing" on a computer.

"Action!"

Within a second the water turned to a cold trickle, and Ranma changed. The shock caused her to open her eyes, and she whirled around to face out of the shower stall. A couple of dozen boys were standing there, in various states of undress, and casually, slowly, taking a good long look at her naked body.

Her eyes swung wildly from boy to boy, and she looked to be in shock. Her small hands flew up to cover as much of herself as she could, which wasn't much. Her mouth hung open. A couple of the boys giggled nervously. She looked down at herself, then back at the boys.

Hiroshi turned to Daisuke. "You'd think these idiots would learn. He pounds 'em every time they pull this stunt, and they never remember." Daisuke nodded. They turned back to Ranma…

…who had slid down to a sitting position in the shower stall and was quivering, looking not at all ready to pound anyone. She looked around one last time, and a terrified look came into her eyes. She opened her mouth, and screamed.

"And…. cut! Great job everyone!"

Ranko looked out at the boys. "Uh… guys… you can stop looking now." No one moved. "Guys?"

"Hey, you perverts! Quit it!" Kami-sama, I hate shower scenes…


The door to his room slid open, and Akane was standing there in her pajamas. "Ranma, are you all right? What happened? Did you have a nightmare?"

Ranma hung his head. "I… I…" He swallowed. "Yeah."

Akane came in and kneeled by his futon. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Ranma looked away for a moment, then back at Akane. "I… guess so."

Akane put a hand on his arm. "What happened to make you scream like that?"

Ranma sighed, and put his hand over his eyes. "Pop came back with some Nanniichuan, and he dumped it on me, and my… my girl side was gone. Then I looked in the mirror, and… and she was there, dressed like a girl." He shuddered. "Her shoes didn't go with her dress at all."

"Cut!"

The girl in question stormed onto the set, fuming. "OK, Mr. Fashion Expert, just what do you know about shoes?"


"Ranko, what do you see? In the mirror."

Ranko was confused. "I… I see me…"

"Look closely. Is that really you in the mirror, or someone else?"

Ranko did as she was told. She examined the petite, pretty, redheaded Japanese girl looking back at her, and a wave of comfortable familiarity washed over her at the sight; she felt a little better. "Yes… Yes, that's me."

"Is that a boy or a girl?"

Ranko turned to Akane. "Have you had your eyes checked recently?"

"Cut!"


"Ranko, what do you see? In the mirror."

Ranko was confused. "I… I see me…"

"Look closely. Is that really you in the mirror, or someone else?"

Ranko did as she was told. She examined the petite, pretty, redheaded Japanese girl looking back at her, and a wave of comfortable familiarity washed over her at the sight; she felt a little better. "Yes… Yes, that's me."

"Is that a boy or a girl?"

Ranko looked again. "It's… I… I'm a girl."

Akane grinned. "You're sure now?"

"Pretty sure."

"Really?"

"Maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?"

"Looks like a girl to me."

"Looks like two, actually."

"Pretty cute, too."

"I like to think so."

"Cut!"


"Ranko, what do you see? In the mirror."

Ranko was confused. "I… I see me…"

"Look closely. Is that really you in the mirror, or someone else?"

Ranko did as she was told. She examined the petite, pretty, redheaded Japanese girl looking back at her, and a wave of comfortable familiarity washed over her at the sight; she felt a little better. "Yes… Yes, that's me."

"Is that a boy or a girl?"

Ranko and Akane looked at each other, and broke up into helpless laughter.

"Cut…" whimpered the director.


Ranko shouted "Ryouga, please listen to me! This is senseless! I don't want to fight you!"

Ryouga opened his eyes wide in mock surprise. "You don't? Too bad. I want to fight you!" and with that he leapt again.

Ranko tried to dodge, but didn't move fast enough, and the two of them went rolling in a ball until they came to a stop, Ryouga lying on top of her.

"Cut!"

Ryouga's face turned ashen. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Are you OK, honey? I'm sorry!"

Ranko reached an arm up around his neck. "Well, aren't we being forward. We should do this more often…"

Ryouga smiled nervously, and suddenly slapped his hand over his nose.

"Can you guys wait until you're somewhere private, please?"


Akane had already finished breakfast and was sitting in the living room, while Nodoka worked in the kitchen cleaning up. Ranko's breakfast still sat on the dining table. Akane looked up, and dropped the book she was reading; she felt like she had seen a ghost coming down the stairs. A black-haired ghost. Somehow, she had not expected to see him again.

"Cut!"

Ranma and Akane swung around to face the director.

"Huh? What is it this time?"

The director shook her head. "You're still walking like a guy. You're supposed to be a girl in this scene!"

Ranma growled. "Hey, it's hard, y'know? I'm tryin'! Sheesh, why do I gotta act like some dumbass girl anyway?"

Akane's book sailed through the air and bounced off Ranma's head. "'Dumbass girl?'"

Ranma glared at Akane and was about to reply when they were both interrupted by a loud crunch.

A painful silence fell over the set, and all eyes turned to the petite redhead who was sitting in a director's chair off to one side. She was holding a crushed soda can, which was dripping, adding to the little puddle of Diet Coke on the floor.

"Oniichan, do you remember just which 'dumbass girl' you're supposed to be acting like?"

Ranma swallowed. "Heh… I… I didn't mean it that way…"

Ranko got up and stalked over to where Ranma stood. "So you just can't bear to play me! Do you know how much I had to play you? Do you?"

Oh man, here it comes. "Thirty-eight manga volumes and four seasons of TV"…

"Thirty-eight manga volumes and four seasons of TV! I had to pretend to be you, be all macho and talk like a dockworker! In every chapter, in every episode! How many times did you have to pretend to be me? One measly TV episode and a handful of fanfics! And you can't handle that?"

Ranma sighed. "Yeah, yeah… whatever."

"Is it that much to ask to have a story once and a while about me?"

Ranma looked smug. "It's me that people wanna hear about."

Ranko fumed and looked him up and down. "You just don't want to admit you can't do it."

Ranma blinked. "Can't do it? Whaddaya mean?"

"Just that. I can play you just fine. You can't play me, though. You aren't a good enough actor to play a girl. That's why you're making such a big deal out of it."

Ranma's jaw dropped. "What? Me, not a good actor? You just watch! I'll do this scene so good you'll think I was born a girl! Just watch me! Get ready for some serious girl!" He turned around. "Where's my mark?"

As Ranko walked back off the set, she and Akane looked at each other, and exchanged winks.


The director rubbed her eyes. "OK, everyone, I think now would be a good time for lunch." There was a chorus of assent, and the cast made its way over to the chairs scattered around the set.

The director walked over. "I'm going to that sandwich place that Ryouga-san mentioned and bring stuff back. What would everyone like?"

Ranma boggled. "You… you mean lunch ain't gonna be catered?"

The director looked at her feet, blushing, and didn't speak for a moment. "Guys… this is a fanfic. I… don't exactly have a big budget, you know. And… Takahashi-san doesn't even know I'm using you guys—I don't want to attract attention, if you know what I mean." She looked down again, and bit her lip. "I'm sorry."

Ranko looked back and forth between her brother and the director. "It's… it's OK, Debbie-san. We don't mind. Right, everyone?" There was a somewhat lackluster chorus of agreement.

The director looked up, still embarrassed. "So, uhhh… what would everyone like?"

Ranko piped up, "I'll have a Chinese chicken salad."

Akane added, "Me, too."

The director looked around. "Ranma-san?"

"Meatball sub."

"Ryouga-san?"

"Ham and cheese sandwich."

"Saotome-san?"

"I'll just have a salad, Dear."

She looked to Ranma's father.

"Whatever they have that's vegetarian."

After collecting the rest and getting everyone's drink orders, the director headed for the door, looking a little depressed. She stopped at the doorway. "Ryouga-san? How do you get to that place again?"

"Out the front door, turn right and go one block, turn left at the corner with the mailbox, past the subway entrance, right at the light. You can't miss it."

The director nodded to herself as she ticked off the directions on her fingers. "I think I have it." She turned and left.

Ranma sighed and slumped in his chair. "This sucks."

Everyone looked at each other, then at Ranma. Ranko came over to sit next to her brother, and took his arm. "Oniichan…"

Ranma snorted. "At least she's buyin'. One guy asked us to brown-bag it!" He put his head in his hands. "What's happened to us?" Suddenly, he grew angry. "Why the hell did Takahashi have to cancel us? We were doin' great! We were on top! What's Inu-Yasha got that I ain't got? Is half-dog better than half-girl? It ain't fair!"

He shook his head. "Everyone loved us! We were big time! Now look at us… the only work we can get is these damn fanfics! We're so typecast, none of us can get another role!"

"Oniichan… I know it hurts… but nothing lasts forever. We had a good, long run. Urusei Yatsura got cancelled, too. And Inu-Yasha won't last forever, either. Look at it this way… the fans still love us, and at least we're still working as actors in these fanfics. There are… worse things, you know."

Ranma snorted. "Like what?"

Ranko smiled. "You saw 'Galaxy Quest', didn't you?" Everyone laughed.

Ranma chuckled in spite of himself. "I guess you're right… we could be openin' shoppin' centers instead. Maybe fanfics ain't the worst thing we could be doin'." He smiled. "Hey Ryouga—could you see us posin' in parkin' lots, shoutin' 'Shi Shi Houkoudan' and 'Mouko Takabisha'?" He and Ryouga shared a laugh.

He gave his sister a squeeze. "You're right, kiddo. Thanks."

"Anytime, Oniichan."

A few minutes later, the director returned, struggling with a couple of huge paper bags. Ranma jumped up and ran over. "Here, let me give ya a hand with those. Sorry, I shoulda come with ya."

The director's face lit up. "Thank you, Ranma-san."

Nodoka and Ranko smiled quietly.


The director walked onto the set, and looked around. Akane and Ranko were chatting quietly, drinking their morning coffee. Ranma was munching a donut and reading Variety. The twins' father was working on training his pet panda.

He'd hand the panda a sign via sleight-of-hand. The panda would hold up the sign, and Mr. Saotome would feed him a sugar cube. They practiced every morning.

The director shook her head and smiled, before calling out "Good Morning, everyone!" She was greeted by a chorus of responses.

There were still a few minutes left before they got started, so she wandered over to join Akane and Ranko. The two teenagers were quite a bit younger, but she enjoyed their company.

She was chuckling as she sat down. The two girls looked at each other. "What is it, Debbie-san?" asked Ranko.

"Your father and that panda of his. They make quite a pair." She shook her head. "You know, I still can't believe you're all different people. You and your brother, your father and his panda, Ryouga and that trained pig." She frowned. "How many of those did you say you've gone through?"

"I think we're on P-chan number six at the moment. Those cute little piglets get to be big old porkers really fast."

The director laughed. "Just like Lassie. Who would have thought it?"

Ranko sweatdropped. "Ummm, Debbie-san… it's not like Rumiko-san didn't give everyone enough clues."

The director looked puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"Well… I mean, she put us in pictures together constantly. Especially me and Oniichan. We did shoots together all the time. There must be a zillion pictures that have both of us in them. There are plenty with Ryouga and P-chan, and Daddy and his panda, too. How could we be the same person if we appear in the same picture at the same time?"

The director was thunderstruck. "I never thought of that…" she whispered.

"My favorite is the one where Oniichan was in his Mao suit, and he was carrying me on his back. I really love that red silk Chinese dress; it has gold flowers and it really looks nice on me. It is slit a little high, but…"

Akane cleared her throat. "Sis, you're getting a little distracted." She grinned. "Rumiko-san let her keep the dress after the shoot. I think that's why it's her favorite picture." Ranko grinned too.

"The shoot was fun, too. We tried all sorts of different poses, and the photographer finally hit on the idea of me being on Oniichan's back. It came out really well.

"Anyway," Ranko continued, "Rumiko-san really made it as obvious as she possibly could. I always wondered why no one ever picked up on it."

The director nodded, a little shell-shocked. She glanced at her watch. "I guess we should get started."

A voice drifted over from the other side of the sound stage. "Hey! Who said you could sit in my chair?"

All eyes turned to Mr. Saotome, who was talking to his panda. The panda held up a sign: "Who said it's your chair?" Mr. Saotome fed him a sugar cube as everyone laughed.

Ranko shook her head, grinning. "Daddy really gets carried away with that sometimes."


Cologne hopped down off her stick and sat. "Let me think for a few moments. I've never seen this before. I've never seen a normal Jusenkyou curse act this way, even with the Chiisuiton involved." She thought furiously. "I wonder… maybe that's it…" She hopped over to the shelves where she kept her books, selected one, and started browsing through it. The three teenage girls watched her, wondering what she could possibly have thought of.

Cologne nodded, and closed the book. She hopped back over to where the others were standing. "I think I understand what's happening. Let's go sit in the office. This may take a while."

A minute or two later, they were seated in the restaurant office, crowded around a small table. Cologne winced as she heard the sound of…

A 747 taking off in the restaurant.

"Cut!"

Mousse's voice echoed from backstage. "Sorry! Wrong tape."

"We guessed."


Cologne hopped down off her stick and sat. "Let me think for a few moments. I've never seen this before. I've never seen a normal Jusenkyou curse act this way, even with the Chiisuiton involved." She thought furiously. "I wonder… maybe that's it…" She hopped over to the shelves where she kept her books, selected one, and started browsing through it. The three teenage girls watched her, wondering what she could possibly have thought of.

Cologne nodded, and closed the book. She hopped back over to where the others were standing. "I think I understand what's happening. Let's go sit in the office. This may take a while."

A minute or two later, they were seated in the restaurant office, crowded around a small table. Cologne winced as she heard the sound of…

The bells of Notre Dame ringing out in the restaurant.

"Cut!"

"I'm sorry! The labels on these tapes are nearly illegible!"

"Try your glasses, Mousse-san."

There was a long pause.

"Ohhhhh…"


Cologne hopped down off her stick and sat. "Let me think for a few moments. I've never seen this before. I've never seen a normal Jusenkyou curse act this way, even with the Chiisuiton involved." She thought furiously. "I wonder… maybe that's it…" She hopped over to the shelves where she kept her books, selected one, and started browsing through it. The three teenage girls watched her, wondering what she could possibly have thought of.

Cologne nodded, and closed the book. She hopped back over to where the others were standing. "I think I understand what's happening. Let's go sit in the office. This may take a while."

A minute or two later, they were seated in the restaurant office, crowded around a small table. Cologne winced as she heard the sound of…

Crockery breaking out in the restaurant!

The cast and crew gave a standing ovation.


Ranko spoke. "Cologne, I came to return something." She reached into her purse and drew out the spell jewel, holding it out in her hand. It was dark.

Cologne nodded, and took it from Ranko's hand. "I see. When was the last time you changed, child?"

"Last night, in the bath. It took ten minutes, and a couple of times I went almost all the way back to being a girl before I started changing again. I could only see the glow of the jewel if I turned out the lights in my room. This morning, when I took a bath after our workout, nothing happened, and the jewel was dark. I even shut myself in the closet to make sure it wasn't glowing…" She trailed off, a sober look on her face.

Cologne scrutinized her carefully. "And how do you feel about this?"

Ranko pursed her lips. "I… I don't want to be that black-haired boy ever again, but… but it's strange. It's strange that my boy side is gone; that's the face I saw in the mirror for twelve years. It's strange that I'm just an ordinary girl, when… when I didn't even know I was a girl at all. And… it's scary. There's no turning back now. But…" She paused, and a smile crept onto her face.

A voice floated over from off-camera. "I'm not dead yet."

"Cut!"

"Oniichan!"

"I'm getting better!"

Akane stalked off the stage, and there was the sound of a mallet being applied and an "Owwww!"

She walked back on, smiling. "He's dead now."


Ranko faced her class, and blanched. She felt as if thirty pairs of eyeballs were searing her, probing every inch of her body and her soul. Had she known about the crowd in the hallway, drawn here through the grapevine, she probably would have turned and run. She swallowed, and tried to speak, but nothing came out. She started trembling, and looked down.

Her mother came over, and put her hands on Ranko's shoulders. She whispered, "Don't worry, sweetheart. I'm right here."

Sayuri turned to Yuka, and whispered "Let's do it now. She needs it."

Ranko looked up, and tried to find her voice, when she saw a motion at the back of the classroom. Yuka and Sayuri stood on two chairs, and unfurled a homemade banner, which said "Pod Racing on Bunta's Eve!" They looked back at her with affection, and she burst out laughing.

"Cut!"

Ranko, her mother, and the teachers were in hysterics, as were the crew. The students turned around to see why, and soon everyone was laughing.

Yuka and Sayuri looked bewildered, then looked down at their banner and turned bright red.

Yuka glared at Sayuri. "I told you we should have checked that we had the right one before we left the prop department! But nooooo, you were sure!"

Sayuri smiled sheepishly.


"Who says you're a girl? You're just fakin' it, like you always do."

Ranko was about to earnestly defend herself and launch into the whole explanation about birth certificates and her mother, when inspiration struck. Hirota wasn't looking for proof, not really. He'd been in the classroom that morning, after all.

She fluttered her eyelashes. "Why, Hirota-kun, I'm shocked. I would think you're old enough to know the difference between boys and girls." She drew herself up. "Surely you're not expecting me to educate you?" She hmphed. "I'm not that kind of a girl."

Somewhere, someone snorted.

"I heard that! You take that back! I am not!"

"Cut!"


The End… for now

Sunday, January 14, 2001

Copyright Notice

The characters and stories of Ranma ½ are Copyright © Rumiko Takahashi, and are used here without permission or license.

No claims to the above copyright are made by the author of this work.

This work is for non-commercial use ONLY, and is produced for the enjoyment of fans only.

This work is the expression of the author and the depiction of the Ranma ½ characters herein are in no way represented to be a part of Ranma ½ as depicted by the original author and copyright holder(s).