Monday, October 17, 2011

Manga Monday: A new rival for Rinne, and more souls to send on

Rinne battles soldiers, singers and a lovestruck teenager to put their souls where they belong in Rin-ne Volume 2.

Note:  Rin-ne Volume 2 is, of course, the sequel to Rin-ne Volume 1.  The review for Rin-ne Volume 1 is here.  Otherwise, read on!

Rinne and Sakura certainly have their work cut out for them this time!  Spirit catching is hard, and expensive, work!  Even as funds continue to dwindle, Rinne somehow scrimps by with his challenges.

First, we meet poor Kaori.  She's being haunted by an ochimusha, a defeated Japanese warrior who wants to marry her.  It turns out that he thinks that Kaori is the reincarnation of his betrothed.  Unfortunately, the type of mirror that would show her past lives is quite expensive.  Perhaps Sakura can find a deal on it.

Next, Rika was pulled underwater in the school's swimming pool.  Legend has it that a girl drowned there years ago.  Both the prettiest girl in school and an amazing singer, she died just before a big competition.  Is it the recital itself that is holding her back from the Wheel of Reincarnation, or is it something else entirely?

But our most complicated case is that of Suzu and Reiji.  Reiji had an accident walking his motorcycle home one afternoon, and now lies in the hospital in a coma.  His spirit has separated from his body, and has been attacking both his girlfriend Suzu and their mutual friend Tomoya.  It turns out that Masato, a demon with a grudge against Rinne, has decided that he wants Reiji's soul for himself, to take to hell with him.  He's been feeding Reiji lies about Suzu and Tomoya, to sever his link back to his body and turn the soul evil so he can claim it for himself.  But might Masato have other plans as well?

Though Rin-ne is in the modern style, it has Rumiko Takahashi all through it.  From always-starving boys to clever girl sidekicks to ludicrous situations, it has everything one would want from a shonen story, without the battle panels to take up storytelling time.

Highs:  Of course there'd be a circle in hell for debtors

Lows:  Not enough fighting  to keep fans of Dragon Ball-style shonen interested

Verdict:  The stories are coming together very well in this volume, with lots of promise for Volume 3

Further Reading:  Ranma 1/2, Dororo

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