Ukyo has long black hair (brown in the anime) that she will usually either secure with a headband or bow, or hair tie if she is in school. She normally wears the attire of okonomiyaki chef, which consists of a short-sleeved blouse with the sleeves tied back (blue with white trim in the anime) and form-fitting black pants. This outfit is equipped with a bandolier holding several small throwing spatulas, while her larger combat spatula is worn across her back. After she began attending Furinkan High School, instead of wearing the girls' uniform, Ukyo wears the gakuran from her former school. This is a medium color in the manga and a medium gray in the anime. She has also worn a variety of other outfits.
Overall, Ukyo is charming, determined and reliable, getting along with Akane most of the time, including spending time socially independent from Ranma. However, she is not above trying to hurt Akane or guilt-tripping Ranma into being with her if it suits her needs. She frequently attempts to indirectly break Akane and Ranma's engagement, but with little success. To assist her, Ukyo will often get Ryoga to help with her schemes, but usually becomes infuriated with him given his lack of judgment, a sense of direction and general cowardice towards Akane.
Ukyo has shown charitability by temporarily hosting the Tendos (albeit unintentionally) and permanently providing room and board for the male "kunoichi" Konatsu, due to feeling empathetic when hearing about his horrible background. 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 they had been hurt by the Cursed Spatula.
Mostly likely due to her training as a child after being abandoned by Genma, Ukyo displays no fears in her hardworking personality, as shown by her being unfazed by the several ghosts which haunt the Tunnel of Lost Love. She is extremely principled and proud of her work, to the degree she felt compelled to devour a batch of okonomiyaki as punishment for it failing to ferment correctly. Ukyo is generally unconcerned about skipping school, since she learns more by visiting/eating at other restaurants. She appears very business-minded, being very excited at the opportunity to "make a killing", and strictly manages her finances, but occasionally feels the need to take a vacation from the "salt mines". Beyond her regular occupation she has been shown to work extra as a miko, and is allegedly a very talented artist.
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" is never expanded upon. It is somewhat noteworthy that the Iga clan of shinobi resided in Ukyo’s home area, Kansai.
Despite finding it embarrassing to admit, Ukyo has admitted to having strong romantic feelings towards Ranma and as such is willing to give up her business, even her entire lifestyle, for his sake.Unlike her relationship with Akane, Ukyo shares a rivalry with both Shampoo and Kodachi over who'll become Ranma's fiancé with the three of them becoming very possessive when the other's are around, resulting in several skirmishes. Despite this, Ukyo and her rivals also regularly team up against a mutual threat.
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 goes to extremes to get rid of her when she gets too close. Unlike Shampoo and Kodachi however, Ranma does not consider or treat Ukyo as a pest. He usually calls her "Ucchan" and she calls him "Ran-chan" ("Ranma-honey" in the english dub), the nicknames they used for each other as children.
Even though she moved to Furinkan, Ukyo continues to wear the uniform from the all-male school she previously attended. She does, however, choose to wear the female gym uniform. In spite of her short-temper and initially appearing rather masculine, Ukyo often displays more of a feminine demeanour, and becomes easily embarrassed when forced to talk about her affection for Ranma. That said, she has shown highly amorous desires towards him, as shown by her urging Genma to remove his fingers covering the crotch of a photograph of a nude adult Ranma. She also cheerfully entered the Tendo bathroom whilst Ranma was using it so that she may wash his back before offering they sleep in the same bed like they did during their childhood.
Ukyo appears to have some strict standards for masculine behaviour and has shown great derision towards Mousse for "disappearing" without her during the Hot Springs Obstacle race and, repeatedly, towards Ryoga's extreme shyness. Inversely, Ukyo found the discovery of Ranma's curse rather humorous and initially used him a play-thing after she first learnt of it.
Raised as an okonomiyaki chef by her father, Ukyo first met Ranma age 6 who subsequently fought her every day, receiving free okonomiyaki as reward for his victory (although Ranma always assumed he was just given the okonomiyaki out of good will). Despite her strong rivalry against Ranma, Ukyo did turn to him for assistance after losing to the Gambling King from which point the pair became more friendly towards each other; so-much-so that Ranma agreed to look after Ukyo for the rest of his life if the Sauce of Ten Years she made turned out to be good.
Seeing how well their children where getting on, Ukyo's father suggested to Genma that they get them engaged. Although initially against the idea due to Ranma's engagement to one of Soun's children, Genma soon agreed once Ukyo's father offered to throw in his okonomiyaki cart as a dowry.
Unfortunately, Genma forgot to take Ukyo with him, leaving her to be mocked by the other local girls. Infuriated and devastated, Ukyo decides to throw away her femininity so that she may train to become the greatest okonomiyaki chef in the world. Some years later Ukyo enrols in an all-male school where she meets Tsubasa Kurenai who soon falls in love with her, although Ukyo finds Tsubasa as nothing more than a nuisance.
Having trained for ten years, Ukyo finally tracks down Genma in Furinkan who initially recognize the teenaged Ukyo; until her declaration as the "child he forgot". By the next day, the newly enrolled Ukyo prepares some okonomiyaki for the other students. Once Ranma finally remembers "Okonomiyaki Ucchan" from his childhood, Ukyo proceeds to write a challenge to Ranma using okonomiyaki sauce.
During lunch period of the same day Ranma and Ukyo prepare for their fight. Although she initially gets the upper-hand, Ukyo soon begins to struggle against Ranma and decides to flee, only for Ranma to follow and demand she finish the fight like a man. Enraged, Ukyo turns to face Ranma again, resulting in her giant Spatula being twisted by Ranma along with her shirt being sliced in half. Whilst Ranma continues regardless, Ukyo begs him to wait for a moment (all the while trying to keep her shirt closed). Eventually Ranma slips, dragging Ukyo with him through the roof of the school supply shed, where Ranma accidentally grabs Ukyo's breast when she (presumably) tries to escape.
The next day Ukyo encounters Ryoga, who she prepares to fight against upon seeing him attacking Ranma. Their fight is cut short, however, as Ranma opens up Ukyo's shirt (much to her embarrassment) to convince Ryoga of Ukyo's gender, immediately forcing Ryoga to stop himself immediately.That afternoon, having learnt of Ryoga's feelings for Akane, Ukyo devices a plan where Ryoga will date Akane so that Ukyo herself is free to date Ranma and eventually become his only fiancé. After Ranma confirms for himself that Ukyo hasn't become female from a Jusenkyo curse, Ukyo reminds him of what happened ten years ago when his father took her family's okonomiyaki cart; only to leave her behind. Sorry for what his father did, Ranma untwists Ukyo's spatula, only for Ukyo to take advantage of this and begin attacking him again. However, upon seeing Ranma acting so coldly with his other fiancé, Akane, and his earlier comment on how cute she was, Ukyo decides to let bygones-be-bygones and leaves Ranma with a special heart-patterned okonomiyaki before running off happily.
When Ukyo next sees Ranma she makes sure to explain her plan of setting up Ryoga & Akane together, but is surprised by Ranma's (exaggerated) description of how unfeminine Akane is. This leaves Ukyo hoping that Akane will still take the bait even if she (Ukyo) is the cuter fiancé.
Seeing how irritated Ranma is at Akane dating Ryoga just to get at him, Ukyo offers to date him, an offer which Ranma accepts. The pair then head to the park where they see Akane and Ryoga and decide to continually pester the pair. Ukyo then watches as "Ryoga's fiancé" returns after Ranma is knocked into the park's pond before unintentionally removing her wig, thus revealing Ranma's disguise to Ryoga. Ukyo then proceeds to help search for the fleeing Ryoga before moving on to ask just who this red-haired "Ranma" is. By that evening Ukyo learns of Ranma's Jusenkyo curse and playfully changes Ranma from his male and female forms. Fortunately for Ukyo Akane does show up, but believes the invite was a challenge okonomiyaki instead due to it getting damaged before she could read it. Ukyo swiftly puts this idea of Akane's aside and assures her that this isn't the case before inviting her to sit down as they wait for Ryoga to arrive. Once Ryoga does arrive Ukyo observes how well the date is going and decides to quietly sneak away, only for Ryoga to demand to stay moments before Ranma storms in disguised at Ryoga's "fiancé". When Ryoga and his "fiancé" leave her restaurant Ukyo quickly gives chase until she loses sight of the pair in the local park before eventually seeing a badly beaten Ranma later that afternoon.
Some time after this Ukyo received a letter from her former admirer, Tsubasa Kurenai, forcing Ukyo to send a reply wherein she declares the female Ranma to be her fiancé given how Tsubasa believers her to be male. Once she learns of Tsubasa's arrival in Furinkan, however, Ukyo immediately tries to get of him but to little avail.
After Tsubasa reveals that he knew of Ukyo's true gender all along, Ukyo decides to assist Ranma and Tsubasa in their contest to decide who's cuter by supplying them with a large amount of okonomiyaki to sell to the male students of Furinkan as it would help her own business. Having watched the proceeding challenge between the pair, Ukyo finally intervenes by purchasing Ranma's last okonomiyaki, upsetting Tsubasa greatly.
With Tsubasa's feelings for her well and truly finished, Ukyo spends the following days watching with Akane as Ranma tries to get Tsubasa to like men (believing him to be female based on how he dresses) only to finally mention Tsubasa's true gender to Akane moments after Ranma learns of it himself.
After heading an operation to track down the apparent ghost haunting Furinkan High, Ukyo notices a brochure in her restaurant and attempts to use it to perk Ranma's interest, with poor results. Once Ranma leaves, Ukyo heads upstairs where she decides to act more feminine in the hope of getting Ranma's attention.
The next day, Ukyo arrives at Furinkan High in the female uniform and immediately gets the attention of the male students, although Ranma still recognizes her due to her still carrying her large spatula on her back and continued to treat her simply as friend. Undeterred, Ukyo waits until after school to ask Ranma to go out with her. When Ukyo tries to confess her feelings, however, Ryoga arrives and begins attacking Ranma for (seemingly) cheating on Akane, much to Ukyo's annoyance.
With Ranma's other fiancés becoming irritated at Ukyo's attempts to become more serious with Ranma, a cooking contest is devised where the winner will be Ranma's sole fiancé. But once Ukyo sees how much pain Ranma's been put in due to her wanting things to change, she decides to return to her usual attire and put her more feminine clothes back in her closet.
Several days after helping Ranma and Akane deal with Furinkan High's returning principal, Ukyo prepares to open her restaurant when she finds a badly beaten Ranma in a trashcan. Seeing his current state Ukyo wastes no time in taking Ranma inside until her regains consciousness. Once Ranma wakes up, Ukyo comments of the rumors she's heard of Ranma becoming weak and decides that they must be true, leading her to imagine Ranma living with her as husband and wife; with Ranma playing with their children whilst Ukyo continues her okonomiyaki business. She later travelled with Ranma and Akane to try and retrieve the Moxibustion Chart, only to learn it was stolen by Happosai during his youth.
Following the arrival of Cologne, Ukyo, along with Akane and Genma, help with Ranma's training to master the Hiryū Shōten Ha. Once Ranma prefects the necessary spiral, however, Cologne tells Ukyo and Akane they won't be of any further use as neither of them has any will to hurt Ranma, which is required for the Hiryū Shōten Ha. Despite initially refusing, Ukyo and Akane soon give in and watch as Ranma's training continues with Ryoga assisting him instead. Upon her return to Furinkan, Ukyo watched with Akane and Kausmi as Ranma tries, and fails, to retrieve the Moxibustion Chart from Happosai. Subsequently Ukyo went with Ranma and Genma to the Yomogi Valley so that she could prepare food for the pair.
Having observed the devastation the Hiryū Shōten Ha caused Ryoga, Ukyo and the others return to Furinkan where they watch as Ranma's initial attempt to get revenge fails before learning that Happosai already knew about the Hiryū Shōten Ha due to Cologne using it against him during their youth.
After watching Ranma try and fail to build up Happosai's Battle Aura for most the afternoon, Ukyo heads to Furinkan High where she provides okonomiyaki for the hungry audience who've also gathered to see Ranma fight Happosai once more. Once the fight finishes Ukyo looks on as Ranma leaves out of the belief he'll never be strong again due to the Moxibustion Chart being destroyed, prompting Ukyo beat up the already unconscious Happosai for all the trouble he's caused, until Ryoga points out the vital piece of the chart is stuck to Happosai's forehead.
Shortly after this Ukyo hears news of the apparent return of Ranma's mother and participates in Happosai's "bridal training" with Kodachi and Shampoo in the hope she'll be chosen as Ranma's future wife. She later got caught up along with the rest of the Furinkan High students at the arrival of Higuma Torajiro, where she was subjected to a home visit by him; driving away all her customers for the day in the process.
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. Of course she was also trying to cover her chest so this may apply to why she didn't fight back much. 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 chúi. 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.
Spatula shuriken: Ukyo carries several smaller spatulas in a bandoleer and uses them as shuriken to attack from a distance, throwing them with great precision. On occasion they are shown to spin like buzz saws, or been fastened in entangling wire. Battle spatula: She also carries a large spatula on her back that she uses as a sword or club. She is highly skilled with it, but Ranma has been able to bend it enough to become unusable. Flour Bomb: A bag of flour used for a smokescreen effect, to hide her movements or distract her opponents. It has a small range and can be overcome by jumping above. Tempura flash: By mixing tempura flakes with gunpowder, she creates a cloud of explosives to blind and stun her opponents. It was potent enough to pain Ranma to the point of sizzling. Yakisoba Rope: Large ropes made of rubber Yakisoba (or fried noodles), used to tangle or restrain her opponents to make them easier to hit with her spatulas. Ranma proved unable to swiftly break free. Later in the manga, it is also used like a whip and a rope to swing across gaps.
Adhesive Batter: A special batter made with rubber cement, used mainly to slow her opponents down to smack them with her spatula or other techniques. It takes a while to harden from fluid state, possibly requiring the heat of her grill, but once it did, it seemed to have similar tensile strength to her rubber noodle rope. Okonomiyaki bombs: Okonomiyaki explosives. When Ranma was struck with one, together with Shampoo's dumpling bombs, in the final story this proved enough to momentarily stun him, though he was taken by surprise so his guard wasn't up. Super-sized special okonomiyaki: A 4m diameter giant version. Ukyo's final attack during her battle with Hayato Myojin, which she was able to create in (at most) a few seconds. Apparently simply a blunt force restraining manoevre. Batter Dragon: An anime only attack she used to defeat the Crepe King. In the attack, Ukyo creates a huge dragon made of batter, which fuses all of her attacks. It also traps her foe as an ingredient in a giant okonomiyaki. Dairokkan/Sixth Sense: Like several other martial artists in the series, Ukyo has displayed a certain extrasensory awareness, warning her for incoming danger. For example when sensing the Gambling King's ambush attack.
- Main article: Ranma-Ukyo Relationship
Ukyo and Ranma were friends during their childhood, despite the latter thinking she was actually a he. Their parents engaged them sometime after they met, but only so Genma Saotome could steal the Okonomiyaki Cart that was offered to him as a dowry. When they meet again in Furinkan, Ukyo tries to defeat Ranma in a fight, but loses to his superior skill. Ranma never figured out why she was mad until the end of the fight, where he accidently gropes one of her breasts, and gets slapped across the face for it, finally realizing she was a girl. Her attitude towards Ranma turns around after he tells her that she's cute and they reconcile and rekinlde their friendship. Ukyo then attempts to prove that she is the most worthy fiancee to marry Ranma. Nonetheless, he only sees Ukyo as more of a friend and doesn't seem to be as irritated whenever Ukyo tries to make a move like he does with Shampoo.
Despite both being fiancees of Ranma, Ukyo and Akane seem to get along on friendly terms, though they still share a rivalry much like Ranma and Ryoga do. Akane even stops by Ucchan's (usually with Ranma) to grab a bite of okonomiyaki, and Ukyo isn't hesitant to help Akane when the time comes.
Shampoo is Ukyo's fiercest rival due to also having her own restaurant and being another of Ranma's fiancees. Shampoo rarely gets along with Ukyo as they tend to fight over the smallest thing, no matter how trivial, and trade biting insults at times. Nonetheless Ukyo tends to team up with Shampoo and Kodachi when there is a joint threat to their chances of snagging Ranma.
- Main article: Ukyo-Ryoga Relationship
Ukyo and Ryoga are friends to an extent, and are (in the anime continuity) joked about as far as being a couple. Ukyo seems to be able to tolerate Ryoga's shyness and stupidity when it comes to girls (specifically Akane) but nevertheless helps him since they have a common goal, split Ranma and Akane up.
- It is never revealed why Ukyo never told Ranma she was a female in the first place despite dressing up as a male and having a male name as a kid.
- She calls him Ranchan in the manga and a few times in the anime. In the anime she calls him Ranma-Honey and at one point calls him Saotome.
- Ukyo bares somewhat of a resemblance to the character Sango from Takahashi's later work InuYasha. They even share the same English voice actress, Kelly Sheridan.
- "Ukyo's the name, okonomiyaki's the game!" - Ukyo introducing herself.
- "Were you born stupid or did you grow that way?!" - Ukyo insulting Ryoga.