OP: 「Oukaranman」 (桜花爛漫) by (KEYTALK)
“The Mysterious Classmate”
Takahashi Rumiko’s Latest Work:
Better late than never, Kyoukai no RINNE finally hits our screens, and even if it wasn’t extraordinary, it was pretty solid first episode. I think it’s fair to assume that those most looking forward to Kyoukai no RINNE would be fans of the manga, as well as fans of Takahashi Rumiko in general. She’s one of the most famous mangaka around (Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha), and this is her latest title. Funnily enough, I planned on reading the manga for Kyoukai no RINNE a while back, but never got around to it, so when the anime adaptation was announced I decided to wait until it came around before I experience my first Rumiko anime. I’ve heard mixed (but mainly positive things) about Rumiko’s previous works, so I was keen to see how RINNE fared, and I think this was a fairly solid first episode. It was nothing extraordinary, but it was never boring either. Brains Base have done a good job here; the animation may not be groundbreaking, but the visuals are pleasant and fitting to the tone of the series.
From reading the synopsis beforehand, and watching the episode now, it must be said how many similarities there are between RINNE and Bleach. Sure, Bleach itself is partially inspired by Yu Yu Hakusho, but this felt a little… too similar. The dynamic of goofy yet powerful shinigami and straight-talking human, the black cat character, a main character who can see spirits, spirits turning evil after too long, and another realm where those who have passed on are sent to; all these things are pretty much the exact same, and I don’t know how I feel about that. If I were to critique RINNE on one thing in particular, it would be that it doesn’t have it’s own identity yet. I feel like I’ve seen this done before, so things will need to shake up to keep the story fresh.
A Pleasant Duo:
I thought the two main characters worked well together (similar to how Ichigo and Rukia did in early Bleach), and their scenes, although not hilarious, were smirk-worthy. Mamiya Sakura (Inoue Marina) doesn’t leave much of an impression, but she’s likeable enough for now. Rodudou Rinne (Ishikawa Kaito) is a little more interesting, with a nice balance of serious and silly moments throughout the episode. I can definitely see this duo working nicely together. As for what they achieved in this episode, it was mainly to do with Sakura’s friend’s rogue calls, which led to the discovery that their teacher has a link with a deceased high-schooler who keeps repeating the same phonecall over and over. Cue some payments of yen, and Rinne pulls out some semi-intriguing spirit devices, and the problems are solved. Honestly, the results weren’t as satisfying, especially for a first episode. Thankfully, the scenes in the spirit world were much more appealing, so I hope that RINNE plays to its strengths that have been shown here.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I’ve heard that the manga takes a long time to get to a real storyline, which I think is worrying. This episode lacked any hint of long-term plot direction, but I’ll keep checking it out to see where it goes. This wasn’t a great first episode, but it was not bad by any means – it was just a solid introduction to a story that has yet to find what makes it unique.
Note: There are currently no plans to cover Kyoukai no RINNE weekly.
Full-length images: 14.
ED: 「Toki no Wa」 (トキノワ) by Passepied (パスピエ)