Kodachi Kuno

Infobox animanga character
color = SlateBlue
name = Kodachi Kuno
series = Ranma ½


caption = Kodachi in the manga
first = Volume 2
last =
creator = Rumiko Takahashi
voiced by = Saeko Shimazu (Japanese)
Teryl Rothery (English,1st)
Erin Fitzgerald (season 5) (English,2nd)
Sylvia Zaradic (Season 6-7) (English,3rd)
alias = The Black Rose
(Anime) Kochi, by her father
Crazy girl, by Shampoo
Pain-in-the-butt Rose, by Ukyo
age = 16
born =
occupation = Student
relatives = Tatewaki Kuno, brother
Principal Kuno, father
Sasuke Sarugakure, servant (Anime only)
Mr. Turtle, her pet crocodile
divider = yes
aux1 name = Curse
aux1 = unable to acknowledge that the "pigtailed girl" and her "darling Ranma" are the same person
aux2 name = Fighting style
aux2 = Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics

nihongo|Kodachi Kuno|九能 小太刀|Kunō Kodachi is a fictional character in Rumiko Takahashi's anime and manga series Ranma ½. "Kuno" means "nine abilities". "Kodachi" refers to a type of sword, smaller than a katana but larger than a wakizashi.

History

Kodachi, known as "The Black Rose" in the gymnastics community, is presented as Tatewaki Kuno's sister and a student at St. Hebereke School for Girls (St. Bacchus School for Girls in the manga). This is in contrast to several members of the regular cast, who attend Furinkan's mixed gender assemblage. As a master of "Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics" and captain of the school's team, she often preemptively attacks her opponents with various weapons, including swords or a giant mallet to cripple them, thus winning by default. She calls it "fighting in all fairness "before" the match." Kodachi had seldom, if ever, lost a match before battling Ranma, a result of this practice. When these failed, she has also resorted to the use of more devious methods, once attempting to shake her foe's hand with thumbtacks between her fingers. She is especially fond of using paralysis gas and sleeping powders on people, even when she has no apparent motivation to do so.

Kodachi becomes enamoured with male Ranma after the latter acts as her 'knight in shining armour' by saving her from falling off the roof of the Tendo Dojo after he accidently hit her with a tea kettle while chasing Ryoga (who was in piglet form at the time). Therefore, she is the only one of his suitors without some official or semi-official claim to him. Despite this, she considers him her lover and wants to make him her own through any means necessary. She and her brother have 'opposite' perspectives regarding this matter, since he despises Ranma's male form due to the latter's engagement to Akane and for 'enslaving' the mysterious 'pigtailed girl.' Correspondingly, Kodachi dislikes Ranma's female form, whom she believes to be a romantic rival. Regardless of his dislike for Ranma, Tatewaki has enthusiastically given them his blessing to go steady since this would free Akane for himself. He secretly imagines that they would have a miserable life together.

Character

Unlike his other suitors, Kodachi is not actually betrothed to Ranma. Since there is no formal engagement involved in her relationship with Ranma, he usually brushes her off more often than his three fiancées. She resents this and responds with more poisons and other foul tricks. Though she has stated that she's actually aware that Ranma doesn't love her, she simply refuses to let that get in her way. She thinks he will eventually give in if she continues to make an effort.

She is a good cook who prepares elaborate meals that seem to be based in French cuisine. In one story, students who consumed her cookies described them as delicious—before they fainted because she had laced them with sleeping powder. She uses her culinary expertise to her advantage by placing poisons, toxins, serums, and other strange substances in her victims' food to attain something she wants from them, especially when Ranma is involved. She apparently has a strong flair for the dramatic. When entering and leaving a scene or leaping throughout the city, she is regularly accompanied by a small stream of black rose petals billowing about her, complemented by a shrill, maniacal cackle that is one of her trademarks. But if she has to or otherwise feels like it, Kodachi is more than capable of acting like a perfectly well-mannered lady, and a first class host.

Like her brother, she is unaware of Ranma's curse and views his same-gendered form (in this case, the girl) as a rival for the affections of his opposite-gendered form (in this case, the boy). In the anime at least, unlike Tatewaki, this can be attributed to simple ignorance of Jusenkyo curses rather than outright denial, as she has not seen Ranma change forms in this continuity. However, in the manga, she has watched Ranma transform from male to female and not recognized what just happened, immediately asking "the pig-tailed girl" what she did with Ranma.

Kodachi seems to enjoy spending time in the extensive gardens of the Kuno estate, particularly near the large pond, where she keeps her giant pet crocodile, whom she has lovingly named Mr. Turtle (or Mr. Green Turtle in the anime, occasionally referred to as "Mr. Scaly Green" in some episodes of the dub).

As her brother has expressed, Kodachi's manga incarnation is shown as quite twisted. She's been more than willing to ambush and beat up rival schoolgirls, and use potentially lethal weaponry during her matches. She also enthusiastically attempted to murder Nabiki or Hinako, when Ranma was engaged to the former (though this never occurred in the anime version of that same story), respectively suspected he was attracted to the latter, and was completely unconcerned about killing an innocent bystander on the off chance that he'd be Asuka's 'boyfriend.' She's been relentlessly vengeful against her brother. Simply for destroying one of her many Ranma posters, she paralysed him, then tied him up and threw him into a basin containing her crocodile. She's repeatedly attempted to use similar anaesthesia against male Ranma, in order to force her attentions on him, and also assaulted a crowd of romantic couples in this manner, with the stated reason being simple entertainment and because she viewed them as "bugs".

However, her anime counterpart isn't completely heartless. In "Genma Takes a Walk" she provided Ranma and Genma with free room, board, and food when they were kicked out of the Tendo house, and in "Dear Daddy...Love, Kodachi," she was also shown to truly care for her brother and father. The former used to be a stand-in at her school parent's meetings, and she was anxious to meet the latter when informed that he had returned from his long trip abroad. Curiousley, she never shares a scene with her father in the Manga.Of interesting note is that Kodachi has been bitter rivals with another girl, Asuka Saginomiya, AKA the White Lily, since they both were six years old, and violently assaulted each other's claimed 'boyfriends' until only one of them was conscious. Since Kodachi 'won' the competition they agreed to compete again 10 years later. Asuka has a largely similar personality, being haughty, eccentric, showy and ruthless, but seems somewhat less extroverted and more refined, if a bit snobbish. She also enjoys using explosives to defeat her foes. In their most recent battle, Akane allowed Ranma to pose as Kodachi's beau, since she was insulted by Asuka's dismissive attitude towards him. The match ended in a draw, as it was revealed that Asuka's more handsome date was simply someone she struck down just previously.

Fighting Ability

"See also Kodachi's techniques."

Kodachi is an expert in Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, making her skilled in acrobatics and weapon use (in the form of balls, clubs, hoops, ribbons, and ropes), and she is incredibly agile. A very cunning individual, she is not averse to using unorthodox methods in combat such as rigged weapons, explosives and various poisons. In competition, certain techniques of hers were construed as cheating, like using hidden spikes in her club. But she used them so skillfully that the judge couldn't notice them when pointed out. Her teammates also had to leave after being discovered to be helping her move the arena. On the other hand, disguising a steel rod as a rope, or throwing her brother at Ranma, were within the main framework, which simply prohibits barehanded attacks. Kodachi has been shown to wear her characteristic leotard under virtually all her clothing, presumably because it permits a superior range of motion while in combat.

Compared to the rest of the regular Ranma cast, Kodachi has apparently been treated as roughly equivalent to Ukyo or Shampoo during free-for-alls gang-ups aqainst Ranma, Hinako or Genma, outside of "Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics" tournaments (within these constraints she came close to defeating Ranma, as he/she was early in the series, before Cologne's power-up, and limited to non-barehanded attacks), and seems to have superior recovery time, as the latter two took considerably longer when drained by Miss Hinako. However, any actual semi-confrontations during these situations have been limited to a few panels, alternately been completely off-screen, so it's very hard to draw a conclusion on these merits alone. More importantly she has also been able to fight / parry with Tatewaki on even or slightly superior footing, but it's unclear whether he held back or not (as he seems inclined to do against females).

Trivia

* Her distinctive maniacal laugh is similar to the following anime characters: Naga the White Serpent of Slayers fame, Ayeka of Tenchi Muyo, Nanami Kiryuu of Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Zoycite, Green Esmeraude, Kaolinite, and Fisheye of Sailor Moon.
* She bears a superficial resemblance to the demon bird Abi-Hime from "Inuyasha". Both have long black hair (although, Kodachi wears hers in a side pony tail), and possess similar facial designs. Both characters also have identical shades of lipstick, and the same voice actors in both the Japanese and English language versions of their respective anime series.
* She is somewhat similar to Ryoko Mendo from Urusei Yatsura. They are both rich, have annoying older brothers, long black hair, and can act proper and sophisticated, while also possessing a sadistic, murderous streak. However, Ryoko is far more manipulative.

External links

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


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