Rin-ne Volume 2
By Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Price: $9.99/Free online
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
It’s more ghostly hijinks with Rin-ne and Sakura, as Rin-ne works to pay off his grandmother’s debt to the spirit world. The stories get longer in this volume, with more multi-chapter stories, but that doesn’t mean they get any better. More of Takahashi’s formula kicks in as a new character are introduced with some petty motivations.
In this second volume, a new character is introducted; Masato. He’s a demon from Rin-ne’s happier, wealthier past, and he has a grudge against Rin-ne. Back in elementary school, Masato was attempting to temp the soul of a bunny out of it’s body fro a class assignment, and Rin-ne ruined it. So now, of course, he has spent the intervening years plot his revenge against Rin-ne. Basically, Masato is Rin-ne’s adversary for the series.
There was some improvement with Sakura in this volume. She still too stiff for my liking, but she does do the one thing I do like about Takahashi’s female protagonists; she doesn’t listen to Rin-ne. As the stories become longer, Sakura is shown taking more interest in helping. She acts more like Rin-ne’s partner and less like a by-standard. Rin-ne tries to chase her off, telling her he doesn’t need her. Lucky for him, she ignores his protests. He’d never make it without here, dumb luck or not.
I’m still not impressed with Rin-ne. Rin-ne hasn’t shown much in the way of smarts, getting out of jams more often due to dumb luck than any planning. The constant reliance on Rin-ne being poor for most of the humor wasn’t funny in the first volume, and still isn’t in this one. And Masato is so stereotypical for a Takahashi adversary, it isn’t funny either. He’s upset over a trival matter from elementary school and comes up with an overly-elaborate plan for revenge. It’s too much “by the book”.
Over all, Rin-ne is still a good series to kill time with, but it’s not something I have to run out and buy. I’m getting used to the characters, but I still don’t really like them all that much. They’re not interesting or engaging, and the humor falls flat more often than not. This series needs to find a direction soon. This “ghost of the week” format will wear thin real fast.