RIN-NE 2 by Rumiko Takahashi: B

rinne2From the back cover:
After a mysterious encounter in her childhood, Sakura Mamiya gained the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! Then one day she meets Rinne Rokudo, a boy who is far more than what he seems.

Sakura and Rinne deal with the ghosts of an ancient warrior and a girl who drowned in the school swimming pool, but that’s just a warm-up! A wandering spirit leads them to a surprising confrontation, one that takes Sakura and Rinne on an even more amazing chase!

When RIN-NE first debuted, I used to read the chapters on The Rumic World faithfully, but after a while my interest waned. I had, therefore, already read the first few chapters of this second volume—those pertaining to the ancient warrior and the ghost of the drowned girl—and found them just as uninspiring on a second read.

The portion that I hadn’t read previously fared a little better, though. It’s the story of a high school boy named Reiji who’s traveling on his motorcycle to deliver a birthday present to his girlfriend when he runs into a telephone pole. He’s not dead yet, but his spirit has left his body and is thus vulnerable to Masato, a devil with a grudge against Rinne and the ability to corrupt Reiji into a vengeful spirit. Although Masato is unfortunately rather incompetent—the gags involving the traps he sets for Rinne are woefully unfunny—this story is still the most interesting of the volume and also provides Sakura with the opportunity to do some investigating on her own. She’s so essential, in fact, that Rinne compliments her awesomeness quite genuinely, which is kind of rare for him.

Although this volume is a quick and generally pleasant read, I’m a little disappointed that the story isn’t showing any signs of going anywhere. I know this is an unreasonable expectation: this is Rumiko Takahashi, after all, and I really shouldn’t expect movement for thirty more volumes or so. I like the characters, I like Sakura’s increased motivation to get involved, but in general, stories about helping ghosts pass on will get old after a while. A peek at forthcoming chapters shows that a new character will arrive in volume three, however, so perhaps the plot will perk up a bit then.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. I had similar concerns after reading Book 1; the positions Takahashi puts her characters and their ghost friends in doesn’t really fit an episodic format well enough. I was left looking for more of an over reach story arch.

    Interested to dig into Book 2. Overall, good review!


    • Thanks! And yeah, I think I tend to like episodic series better when there’s an arc somewhere that they can at least touch on briefly from time to time. Inuyasha has one, for example, and so do Cheeky Angel and Case Closed, two other episodic series (also from Shonen Sunday) that I’m reading.


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