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RIN-NE Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 8, 2009 by  



Popular mangaka Rumiko Takahashi (“Urusei Yatsura”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Ranma 1/2”, “Inuyasha” and many more) is back with a new manga series that will be released concurrently with the manga release in Japan.  The first volume is quite entertaining so far!  Definitely worth checking out.

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Image courtesy of © 2009 Rumiko TAKAHASHI/SHOGAKUKAN.  All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: RINE-NE Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Story and art by Rumiko Takahashi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Released: October 2009

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year, then one day her always-absent classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

Sakura’s curiosity about the mysterious Rinne draws her deeper into an amazing world on the boundary between the living and the dead.  Helping Rinne is one thing, but will tagging along with him leave her trapped in the afterlife?  And does Rinne really know what he’s doing?  Dealing with the afterlife isn’t easy, especially when you don’t know all the rules.

Rumiko Takashi, probably the most well-known mangaka in the world is back with a new manga titled “RIN-NE” (known in Japan as “Kyoukai no RINNE”) and is currently published in Japan in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday and now available in the US courtesy of Viz Media’s new imprint “Shonen Sunday”.

Known for popular hit manga (and anime series based from her manga) such as “Urusei Yatsura”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Ranma 1/2” , “One Pound Gospel”, “Mermaid Scar”, “Inuyasha” and many more titles.

In “RIN-NE” vol. 1, we are introduced to a high school teenager named Sakura Mamiya.  What we know about her is that when she was a little girl, she saw a ring in the sky and an older woman.

Flash forward over a decade later and Sakura is a high school teenager and she has the ability to see ghosts.

One day during class, she sees for the first time, the boy named Rinne Rokudo who has been absent from his class for a long time, finally making it to class.  But when the teacher starts calling out his name, everyone acts as if he’s not there.

But as Rokudo is in class throwing out some tiny dog snacks, Rokudo thinks no one can see him but Sakura sees everything.  Sakura sees a big Chihuahua materializing in the classroom and suddenly swallowing up Rokudo.

Sakura then wonders if this boy is a ghost.  So, she sees him again walking down the road and suddenly lunges at him but she is shocked that he is for real.

A ghost that constantly follows Sakura on her way to school then asks her who is the guy.  And to her surprise, Rokudo answers the ghost and telling it that he needs to rest in peace.

Automatically, the ghost chihuahua ends up combining with the ghost boy and starts attacking Rokudo.  Rokudo tells Sakura that he needs to send the new combined ghosts towards a huge red wheel in the sky but to make it happen, he needs money.  Once she makes the payment, she watches him send the ghosts off to where they are supposed to be.

Afterwards, Rokudo tells her that he is sort of a “shinagami” (death spirit) and then he hypnotizes her to make sure she doesn’t remember a thing.

Unfortunately for Rokudo, Sakura remembers everything and now the two become partners in taking on spirits that are stuck in the world of the living (especially those haunting the school and the students) and sending them off.

In this first volume, we see the two working together and taking on a few ghosts but also learning how Sakura is able to see ghosts and we are introduced to Rokumon, a cat spirit that can change to a “bakeneko” (a cat monster) and we also learn why Rokumon is always wearing the same tracksuit every day.

The first volume of “RIN-NE” was entertaining but yet different from other past manga series from Rumiko Takahashi, who tends to utilize a lot of characters in her series.  Similar to “Inuyasha”, most of the storyline focuses on the two main characters Sakura and Rokudo.  We are introduced to Rokudo’s grandmother and the cat spirit Rokumon but it will be interesting to see where Takahashi takes this series.

In a way, this manga release is quite interesting because it just started in Japan back in April and Viz has been releasing each chapter as it comes out in Japan via the website www.therumicworld.com.  So, it’s somewhat a manga simultaneous release (a three month wait after its release in Japan) for the US market which is very cool!

So far, so good with the first volume.  It’s too early to tell if this is going to be an awesome release but going with Rumiko Takahashi’s manga track record, I’ve literally been hooked with each manga release (including the anime based from the manga) so far and I have no doubt in mind that “RIN-NE” is going to be an enjoyable release as well.

There are a total of two volumes that have been released in Japan and the second volume is being planned for a January 2010 release.    So, I definitely look forward to reading more of Rumiko Takahashi’s latest manga series!

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