RIN-NE Manga Volume 02 Review

境界のRINNE/Kyōkai no RINNE
RIN-NE Manga Volume 2 Review

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RIN-NE Manga Volume 02 Having both enjoyed volume 1 of RIN-NE and wanting to know the resolution to the final story arc in that volume, I went ahead and picked up volume 2 of the manga. Seems that Takahashi-sensei is falling into old, predictable things but so far that doesn’t matter.

The ochimusha story continues with the soldier telling of his story of not wanting to go to the afterlife without his Hime and his subsequent long search. However, the portrait he has clearly shows that Kaori is not his Hime, but he wants a wedding ceremony with Kaori before passing. He renegs on this and attempts to take Kaori to the afterlife before Rinne can show him the real Hime’s reincarnation — the male P.E. teacher Suzuki-sensei.

This was a fun story as a whole. I loved Rokumon’s scam as a kitten to get free food. *lol* The fun continued with the looks at the previous lives of Kaori (who was a sea turtle in the 1500’s) and another teacher. Having Suzuki-sensei be the reincarnation of Hime was not completely unexpected, but still amusing. The interesting part is the look at how we remember things in a more positive light as the years pass. ^_^ Also, I liked that Sakura decided she’d make meals for Rinne since this job ended up costing him a lot of money.

The next story covers two chapters and deals with the ghost Misora, who’d drowned in a swimming pool over ten years ago but had not passed on. Rinne and Sakura attempt to find out what is keeping her on Earth and discover that this popular girl had drowned while looking for her false tooth, which she’d lost just before she was to sing. While set up as a mystery, the story offers us no real clues as to the fact that Misora was missing a tooth. The after-the-fact analysis made me go, “Oh. Yeah, I suppose so.”

The final story takes up the rest of the volume. When a student named Reiji has a motorcycle accident, his spirit is still hanging out at the spot of the accident even though his body is still alive in the hospital. A rich devil named Masato has decided to take advantage of the situation and turn Reiji’s ghost against his girlfriend Suzu and his best friend Tomoya. Masato’s plan is to take Reiji to hell, then trap Rinne there, all because Rinne had thwarted Masato when they were kids. Before Rinne can be snared, Sakura and Rokumon come in with a bunch of counterfeit bills, courtesy of Masato, allowing Rinne to use them as a weapon. Since the police of the underworld don’t take kindly to this, Rinne covers for Masato in exchange for Masato paying for the damages Rinne was responsible for while trying to save Reiji.

The character of Masato has Takahashi-sensei going back to the well of male foils for her male lead. As such, Masato is a bit of Shuutaro from Urusei Yatsura; a bit of Shun from Maison Ikkoku, a bit of Ryouga from Ranma 1/2, and a bit of Kouga from Inuyasha. That means that the two don’t really like each other but will use each other if needed. The only thing missing from Masato is him falling in love with the heroine, but there’s plenty of time to introduce that element, depending on how frequently Masato is brought back into the manga. Takahashi-sensei may fool me, but she does have a long history of doing things a certain way.

The only thing against Masato going for Sakura is that I don’t see any chance of her going for him since he’s a devil. So as a character device, I’m not sure it would really work, at least not as things stand now.

The Reiji-Masato story was OK. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really anything special either. I think the highlight for me on the humor front was when Masato snared Rinne with a bunch of snakes, only to have the snakes turn on Masato and help Rinne avoid Masato’s attack. It was unexpected and the look on the snakes’ faces made me chuckle.

The other highlight was Rinne’s remarks to Sakura at the end, telling her that with training, she’d make a good shinigami. She turned it down, but it did make me think that just maybe, Sakura might become something more. I like Sakura pretty well, certainly much better than Kagome (Inuyasha) or Akane (Ranma 1/2). I guess I’d like to see Sakura keep her same personality, but have more power.

Viz includes some translator notes at the end, which is a very good thing. However, after an entire book of going right side to left side, Viz switches to left side/right side for the columns in the translator notes, making it a jarring change. Just because you have pure text doesn’t mean you suddenly switch to western style. As I see it, the right column should have had the first notes, then we move to the left column and continue the pattern that has already been established.

While this is certainly no Negima! or Hayate the Combat Butler, RIN-NE is an OK manga so far. Since Viz is doing the manga pretty right, I’ll keep supporting that effort.

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2 Responses to “RIN-NE Manga Volume 02 Review”

  1. BlackSun88 says:

    well u cant compare rinne with negima or hayate. Rumiko takashi mangas always has her special charm and i think her mangas are in their own genre.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t know about their own genre, but they do hold a special charm…mostly. *lol* At least here, she doesn’t have some big over-arc story to keep putting off an ending, like she did with “Inuyasha.”

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