Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: RIN-NE Volume 18

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RIN-NE Volume 18 focuses on Rinne Rokudo, a boy who is half-human and half-shinigami. He becomes friends with Sakura Mamiya, a high school girl with an ability to see ghosts. They find themselves investigating strange happenings alongside Rinne’s Black Cat Contract, Rokumon, and Tsubasa Jumonji, a young exorcist who has strong feelings for Sakura.

RIN-NE Volume 18

RIN-NE Volume 18

Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 14, 2015

Volume 18 places a bit of its focus on the Black Cats. The first chapter sees Rokumon and the other cats going on a mushroom hunt, with an emphasis on Rokumon’s group. Instead of trying to find mushrooms, they decide to hunt down Eat-Eat Shrooms because they’re worth more. The humor in this chapter derives from Rokumon and his friends trying to capture the Eat-Eat Shrooms and not succeeding. This story falls into the realm of the light-hearted tales that don’t have as much focus on Rinne and don’t truly progress the story. Admittedly, I’m not as big of a fan of these stories in RIN-NE as I am of the stories that focus on Rinne and Sakura and their interactions.

Near the end of the volume, the reader is introduced to Sansei Kuroboshi, the grandson of Tamako’s Black Cat Contract. Tamako has asked Rinne to help train Sansei to work for her so the elder Kuroboshi can retire. As can be imagined in a series like RIN-NE, the results of the training are on the humorous side. And the humor with the training is accentuated by the twist that Tamako reveals at the end of the story. While the reader finds the ending funny, it’s safe to say that Rinne himself doesn’t appreciate it.

Volume 18 also sees some one-off stories, such as a ghost who refuses to leave a bed in the school nurse’s office, an adventure with a pot magistrate found in a pot that Ageha brings over, a story about a haunted coat and a mannequin, Rinne and Sakura helping Tamako to clean up her home in the spirit world, a mystery surrounding a haunted snowman, and Masato trying to trick Rinne with a lockbox made of ice.

Of these one-off stories, my favorite was the one where Rinne and Sakura help Tamako with her cleaning. I liked getting to see the photos in Tamako’s photo albums from when Rinne was younger. But it was amusing when pictures of Rinne’s father are mistaken for Rinne, because the behaviors shown in the picture are not what a reader would associate with Rinne. My least favorite story in the whole volume was the one with the haunted coat and the mannequin, because it was just strange, even by RIN-NE’s standards.

There’s also a two-chapter story that focuses on Renge, a girl who works for Rinne’s father’s Damashigami Company and has a crush on Kain, a registrar in the afterlife. Rinne’s father is trying to give her a bonus, but Kain and Rinne are both after him. Matters are made worse because Renge hides the fact she’s a Damashigami from Kain, so it looks like she’s being a double agent. As we’ve come to know in the series, Rinne’s father, Sabato, is a real jerk, and he lives up to that reputation in this story. And as I’ve come to expect from RIN-NE, there’s a twist at the end that brings about disappointment for at least one of the characters.

At this point, I seem to have become accustomed to the character designs in RIN-NE, because I didn’t find myself thinking that certain characters looked similar to Takahashi’s other characters. As I read this volume, I only thought of each character as looking like a character from RIN-NE. Perhaps watching the current anime adaptation of the series has helped me with that perception.

RIN-NE Volume 18 continues the light-hearted and episodic feel that this series has become known for. Readers who have been following RIN-NE will find the humor, plot twists, and themes that they’ve come to expect.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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