RIN-NE Manga Volume 04 Review

境界のRINNE/Kyōkai no RINNE
RIN-NE Manga Volume 04 Review

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*SPOILERS*

RIN-NE Manga Volume 04 ReviewRinne is targeted for assassination by damashigami and his bank account is drained.  This is all due to his father Sabato, a the head of the Damashigami Company.  His father wants Rinne to take over the business and even sets things up so that Rinne will marry.  However, everything Sabato does is to gain further control over Rinne and thus gain more financing means without having to do any work.  Thus Rinne has to avoid having his fingerprints taken from his trickster father and fight him in his own way to bring down the damashigami, aided by Sakura, Rokumon, and Tsubasa.   Despite everything, Sabato gets Rinne into a boxing ring and manages to score Rinne’s hand print on an IOU to give Rinne money instead of a marriage certificate.  However, Sabato doesn’t quit and it takes his mother Tamako to end things and state that Rinne is dating Sakura.

As Rinne cannot guess what Sakura is thinking, especially since she seemed to cast aside the notion of dating him, he is somewhat depressed after they return to Earth.  However, a new damashigami incident gets his attention as well as the attention of the teen female shinigami Ageha.  After initially mistaking Rinne for a damashigami, Ageha convinces Rinne to help her take down the Damashigami Company, which has recently reopened after Rinne and company caused it to shut down for a while.  Unfortunately, Ageha’s older sister is dating Sabato and Ageha has not made the connection to Rinne yet.  Ageha is happy to have Rinne as a partner but this causes Sakura to misunderstand.  When Ageha’s sister is dispatched with a mask to test Rinne and Sakura and attempts to give them an engagement ring, Sakura declines and Ageha attacks her sister without knowing it is her sister.

With volume 4, Takahashi-sensei feels comfortable enough to get into longer story arcs and then linked story arcs.  The introduction of Rinne’s father, Sabato, is not a good moment as far as I’m concerned.  Takahashi-sensei loves these idiot, worthless father types going from Fujinami in Urusei Yatsura (who as a single parent raised his daughter as a son and refuses to change) to Genma in Ranma 1/2 (attempted to betroth Ranma to countless girls as he grew up) to now Sabato.  Sabato is the worst of the lot because he’s an absolute leech who does nothing but act smug, surround himself with babes, and attempt to steal as much as he can from his son.  I don’t find it funny no matter how over the top the character is written.  I’m afraid that he’ll be too much of a focus for the series since he’s the president of the Damashigami Company.

While I like the fact that Sakura isn’t hot headed like Kagome (Inuyasha) or Akane (Ranma 1/2), she’s already going down the road of many of Takahashi-sensei’s female heroines when it comes to the romantic side of the story.   She pretty much rips Rinne wide open when she comes right out and states her belief that Tamako’s announcement that Sakura and Rinne were dating was a joke.  Then, when she sees a grateful Ageha holding Rinne’s hand in thanks for agreeing to help the shinigami, Sakura just assumes those two must have feelings for each other despite Rinne’s attempts to set the record straight.  Knowing Takahashi-sensei as I do, this will get old quick for me.

Of course, Takahashi-sensei loves her love triangles and it appears that Ageha is being set up to be in one with Rinne and Sakura.  Tsubasa is already in one with Rinne and Sakura and I’m trying to think if there are any others at this point in time.  I don’t suppose there are yet but given time, I’m guessing more characters will be added to have more triangles.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to that.

On the Viz side of the house, things are done fairly nicely.  The Japanese honorifics are still retained (yay!) and there are even a few translator notes at the end of the volume.  Yay!  I wish Maison Ikkoku would get a release with this kind of treatment.  ^_^;

So, while I can’t say this volume was not entertaining on some level, the beating I took reading Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha (and to some degree, Maison Ikkoku but that at least had a winning ending) means that I’m already weary of Sabato stories and this whole volume was centered around him.  Having Ageha and her sister, who’s apparently dating that scum Sabato, doesn’t help matters, nor does Sakura’s unintentional stabbings of Rinne’s heart.

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6 Responses to “RIN-NE Manga Volume 04 Review”

  1. O-chan says:

    Pretty much it sounds like you’re going through Rumiko Takahashi withdrawl. Thing is, I can’t help but agree with you. Each of her manga series seems to take her standard humor and storytelling and drag it more in the mud than the series that came before it.

    Urusei Yatsura’s draw was the wacky episodic stories, evolving art style, and fun characters. I felt here she was at her best and she seemed more balanced as she was developing her style.

    Maison Ikkoku had its realistic setting and excellent character development. Even for standard Takahashi humor and repetition I think this is still hands down her best work. Short, simple, and to the point.

    Usually Ranma and Inuyasha is where the “get sick of” factor starts to set in.

    Ranma’s saving grace is while it had a filler-ish middle (Vols. 9-20)during its run it had a really strong beginning (probably because the series was more grounded in the first few volumes) and once a certain character tied to Ranma’s past appears the last 18 or so volumes of the manga have some really well written story arcs mixed with some very out there humor stories (Ranma falling in love with his rival, and female Ranma getting split from Ranma and trying to date himself). Even during the filler-ish middle the stories were still good fun.

    Inuyasha is where I personally got sick of Takahashi. She started the story with so much promise, then somewhere after the “Band of Seven” arc things just started to drag to a point where I summarize the last 20 volumes of manga as Tetsuiaga power ups/Naraku power ups and repeat.

    With Rin-ne, while it is a fun read, it is still standard Takahashi and nothing really draws me to this series like all her previous works did. Everything that came before (including her short stories and smaller series) had some type of spark. I’m not saying the series it “bad”. It’s just more of the same.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @O-chan

    Good analysis. Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the anime/manga world, because Tenchi Muyo Ryo-ohki! creator Masaki Kajishima, who has talked about Takahashi’s influence on him, has fallen into a very similar “more of the same” rut.

  3. arimareiji says:

    I might have misunderstood, but I kinda disagree if you’re saying Maison Ikkoku’s idiot, worthless father-type was in the same league as the others. Kyoko’s dad was an idiot, but he kinda redeemed himself.

    He wasn’t funny (which was Genma’s only saving grace), but he didn’t make me want to beat him to death with a baseball bat, unlike Fujinami. Not sure whether that was because he was less of an idiot or whether it was because we only got small doses of him… I’m going to go with “some of both.”

    (Or maybe it was a little bit of pity for him being married to Kyoko’s mom, come to think of it.)

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @O-chan — I really do wish that Viz would redo Maison Ikkoku because as you say, it is her best work and certainly the most adult work she’s done (that I’m aware of).

    I’ve never read the UY manga but it would be interesting to read because I’d like to see how much at variance with the TV series it is.

    I’ve been saying that I’ve read Ranma 1/2 and I have but I don’t remember Ranma being split and so it is possible that I didn’t read it all. ^_^;;; I’ll have to see if I still have it or not.

    I totally agree with you on Inuyasha. In the anime, the “Band of Seven” was just awful and in the manga, it was after this that the story began to feel like everything that could be done was being done to make sure the story didn’t end. The only good thing from that was the story of Sesshoumaru’s mother and maybe a few other bits and pieces.

    As to Rin-ne, even though Viz publishes current chapters on their site, I don’t feel compelled to read ahead or keep current.

    Still, I’ll stick with this for a while. If nothing else, I’ll give the manga away to my nephews. ^_^

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Anon — Kajishima-sensei does love to repeat certain types of jokes and yes those are not my favorites. However, unlike Takahashi-sensei, Kajishima-sensei has limited abilities to really make folks weary. Takahashi-sensei’s stuff is published weekly and has been going on that way (save for whatever breaks she’s taken) for decades. So that’s why I’m so weary of some of her stuff.

    But it isn’t just her. The folks at SHAFT love to inject a certain brand of humor and art style into many of their anime titles (if not all) and that’s something I’m tired of as well.

    Fujishima-sensei’s refusal to allow Belldandy and Keiichi to be anything more than distantly romantic is wearying too (but somehow, I put up with all that).

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    arimareiji said…

    I might have misunderstood, but I kinda disagree if you’re saying Maison Ikkoku’s idiot, worthless father-type was in the same league as the others. Kyoko’s dad was an idiot, but he kinda redeemed himself.

    Kyouko’s father wasn’t what I was talking about. I don’t remember him really annoying me like Fujinami or Sabato do. Even Genma was better than those to IMO. But Kyouko’s father, as I remember it, came off as just being overprotective of his daughter.

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