Rin-ne: Vol. 1, by Rumiko Takahashi

Rin-ne is the fifth major series from manga great Rumiko Takahashi, following InuYasha, Ranma ½, Maison Ikkoku, and Urusei Yatsura. Rin-ne launched in the popular magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday on April 22, 2009, and (judging by Takahashi's previous series, which ranged in length from 15 to 56 volumes) it could run for a very long time.

Takahashi's current heroine is Sakura Mamiya, an easy-going, mild-mannered high school girl. Sakura was "spirited away" as a child, and has been blessed with the (totally unwanted) ability to see ghosts ever since. So when a red-haired boy named Rokudo Rinne turns up in school and no one else can see him, Sakura figures he must be a ghost... but when he sits down the next day and everybody can see him, that theory goes straight out the window.

While both series deal with Japanese spiritual beliefs, Rin-ne is more lighthearted than InuYasha, and features more of Takahashi's signature blend of slapstick and deadpan humor. Rinne spends most of his time fighting (although his opponents tend to be things like gigantic undead Chihuahuas and the ghosts of would-be high school Lotharios) and worrying about money. There are constant jokes about Rinne's stinginess—jokes that would probably make more sense if Takahashi's publisher stuck in a few explanatory notes. (For example, when Rinne charges Sakura five hundred yen to get rid of an evil spirit, he's desperately worried that she won't be able to pay him. Five hundred yen, for those of you who aren't great at currency conversion, is currently $5.45. Would it have killed 'em to stick a little sign reading "About $5" in the margin?)

Rumiko Takahashi is world-famous for a reason—namely, her overwhelming awesomeness—but if you're the kind of person who prefers to try before you buy, you are in luck, dear reader. Viz Media is currently hosting this series on their Rumic World website, and ongoing chapters are released simultaneously here and in Japan every Wednesday—chapters that you can read for FREE. We don't know how long they're going to keep the old chapters posted (not much longer, we expect), and we definitely encourage y'all to buy the actual print copies (which are much more pleasant to read), but this is still a great opportunity to test-drive one of Takahashi's delightful comedies for an equally delightful price.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.