First Look: Rin-ne

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Alternative titles: Kyoukai no Rinne
Manga Adaptation by Brains Base
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Mamiya Sakura is able to see spirits, though she doesn’t mention her strange power to her friends. Because of this, she’s often seen as easily distracted or deep in thought, when really she’s watching something no one else can see. Rokudou Rinne, the mysterious student who doesn’t often show up to school, seems to be a spirit. But is he?

Euri’s verdict: An Adequate Offering

First of all, I absolutely adore Natsume’s Book of Friends, and that I’ve left this episode under the impression that Rin-ne is a more action-focused variant is certainly more than I could have hoped for. Perhaps it’s just because of the shows I’ve been forced to watch seen lately, but the sigh of relief after watching Sakura fly through the sky with Rinne without there being a panty shot or two was definitely audible.

There was certainly a lot crammed into this first episode, but while it was working at a fast pace to get from one plot point to the next, there didn’t seem to be a lot of substance to it either. I’m know this is just because we’re seeing a glorified character introduction, and we’ll start to see something more substantial in the coming weeks, but I’d definitely have liked to see something a bit meatier. For now, we get to see a demonstration of both types of demon, and how Rinne deals with them. We also learn a little about Sakura and her past, but not enough to fill in the whole puzzle.

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Rin-ne has some pretty funny moments, mostly stemming from Rinne’s perception of worth. He doesn’t do anything for free, but at the same time seems to justify his requests for money with the service he gives in return. This is taken up a notch when we see both his telephone and fire wheel have particular costs, with Rinne asking Sakura to loan him the money. The money he asks for is completely insignificant given the jobs he is doing, but it’s quite funny seeing him overreact to 1500 yen. It’s an interesting quirk for an already quirky show, and I like it.

The opening sequence seems to tell us that there will be something of a plot showing up, rather than a ‘ghost of the week’, so I look forward to seeing what kind of an antagonist shows up, and their motivations. Rinne seems like an unselfish guy who aims to help all that he can, but I’m sure we haven’t seen all there is to him yet. Also, I’m curious to know what the average person in this world thinks about spirits, as while the schoolgirls ran at the thought of a ghost, their teacher seemed completely unfazed to be talking with a fellow student of his who had long since passed away. I’m certainly sure that it won’t be too long before we meet someone else that can see spirits, so maybe their existence is just widely accepted?

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Jel’s verdict: Beyond the Boundary

I had a hunch Rin-ne would have a more traditional, old fashioned feel to it and while it does feature a lot of Japanese afterlife concepts we’ve seen before, it was definitely more creative than I was expecting. Certain moments are just plain weird, like when Sakura just casually watches Rokudo get eaten by a giant floating chihuahua, and I mean that as a complement. It makes Rin-ne far more funny and interesting than I could have hoped, playing out like a simpler, more understated version of last year’s Noragami. The big difference here is the characters, which are likable enough but not nearly as interesting. As a result I might be interested in watching Rin-ne in a slower season, but at this point it’s going to take more than a few solid ghost stories and decent gags to lock me in.

Marlin’s verdict: The Return of Tsundere-Boys

Ah, to be a teenager again, waiting ’till the late hours of Saturday Night to watch Inuyasha on volume 7 so nobody could hear it. Of course, apparently I had always been terrible at covering the tracks regarding my anime fandom, just that nobody seemed to have the heart to tell me. Inuyasha is certainly a show for teenagers, and something tells me Rin-ne will be much in the same vein. It does at least have one edge on Inuyasha by having its male lead not be a total asshole from day one. Instead, he seems to be perfectly willing to cooperate with the girl. It’s kind of funny that her main contribution this episode was giving him financial support. Knowing this author I can’t imagine that’s all she’ll have going for her. Niceties out of the way, it seems to be playing things a bit too safe for my tastes. I imagine this could be a cute show, but it’s just not doing it for me.

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