Manga: RIN-NE

The latest manga from the legendary Rumiko Takahashi, begun April 2009 in Shonen Sunday and licensed by Viz Media, who — in a first for manga — started releasing translated versions online at the same time that they came out in Japan. However, licensed online updates ended after the 2011 Tohoku region earthquake and tsunami.

The star of RIN-NE, known in Japan as Kyoukai no Rinne or "Rinne of the Boundary", is Sakura Mamiya, who has been able to see ghosts since an incident in her childhood. Now in High School, she views them as more than a nuisance than anything. One day, Rinne Rokudo, a student who has been absent since the beginning of the year appears in class, strangely-dressed and visible only to Sakura — yet after school, she finds him to be solid, unlike any ghost she has seen. Turns out he's a half human, half shinigami (or a grim reaper) whose job is to ferry souls to the afterlife, of which Sakura winds up accidently going to. Luckily Rinne is able guide her back, but it's not the last time she'll be seeing him.

What follows is shenanigans dealing with ghosts, yokai and fellow shinigami. Essentially InuYasha without the serious bits meets the comedic silliness of Ranma ½.

Now has an Anime adaptation by Brains Base that began airing in the Spring 2015 Anime season and has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for an American release.

Crunchyroll is also streaming the anime, which can be viewed here for people living in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.

Not to be confused with Re-Kan!, another show about seeing ghosts whose anime adaptation aired in the same season.


Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Rinne's father is a perfect example of financial abuse.
  • Accidental Pervert: Twice in the same arc. Chapter 100 continues an arc where Sakura has lost her ability to see ghosts, and just when a whole lot of them are after her for the A-1 Grand Prix. Tamako gives Rinne a gift of a doll that can take on the form of a given person, after achieving a strand of hair. The doll takes Sakura's form in order to redirect the ghosts to it, but Tsubasa thinks it's some kind of sex doll, and calls Rinne a pervert. Continuing from there, in chapter 101, Rinne, wearing his haori, slips into Sakura's room to check on her just as her mom is calling her for the bath. If the shinigami wasn't such a decent guy, he would've seen even more than he already had. This means that this is no longer the Rumiko Takahashi odd-one-out, in the respect that we finally see some cleavage. Not counting the Nirvana House oneshot chapter.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Jumonji's Power Stone, which changes color depending on how "pure" it is.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Rinne's father tells him to join him in the afterworld and come work for him as a damashigami. Rinne refuses, but his father says he'll come one way or another.
  • Art Shift: Page 6 of chapter 27 features some (in-story) drawings made by members of the art club. These have a distinctly different drawing style from Takahashi's usual style.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Rinne's job essentially consists of this, capturing loose spirits and helping them to find peace.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Rinne is unable to hit his father at all during their duel in episode 11, due to his wheel turning anything it touches into money. He then manages to use money to "hurt" his father, by tossing some expensive beef at it, then using his money attack to direct the cash at the debt collector. This seems to "hurt" his father.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: When dressed up as a French maid, Rinne makes for an uncomfortably attractive "woman" (he doesn't really have much of an opinion about it). Even the girls squeal at how cute he looks, and he wins a "Mr. Lady" contest.
  • Banana Peel: Rinne spots some free bananas planted there by Masato while running away from a demon security guard chasing after him. He eats several, then drops the peels, causing the guard to slip and cause some damage to the building.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Averted so far, which is odd for a Takahashi series. Rinne is turning out to be a stoic with only mild jerkiness (very little of which is directed towards Sakura) and Sakura has yet to show the slightest tsuntsun! In chapter 21, Rinne actually went speechless for a moment and inwardly admits that Sakura is cute! Later, Rinne is acting like a Kuudere (stoic and kuu- normally, but all deredere around Sakura), and Sakura is also a Kuudere for him, but her Selective Obliviousness makes her Innocently Insensitive at times.
    • Played straight in the story of the cursed sweet potatoes with Imoto as the Type B Tsundere and Tomoo Asatsuma as the Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Berserk Button: Tamako's reaction to being called old is humorous for us, not so humorous for the person who called her it.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Rinne does this on a regular basis.
    • An overly helpful seal helps out Sakura and Rinne in episode 11 multiple times in order to help defeat his father Sabato in their duel. The seal turns out to be a costume worn by his grandmother Tamako, who was also getting tired of Sabato's greedy antics against Rinne.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Rinne uses this against Tsubasa in episode 4, after he successfully gets a stuffed dolphin toy out of a crane game for Sakura. Tsubasa warns him not to think that he somehow won, prompting Rinne to turn around and smile with a sparkly background.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Rinne requires people who wish their spiritual problems be solved must make a cash AND food donation at the school's utility shed. It gets turned on him in Chapter 9 when the client sticks him with some extra fees, under the threat of exposing his "scam". Of course, it turns out that Rinne has a reason to ask for such payments — it's the only thing he has to live on, what with his asshole father stealing every yen that Rinne gets and spending nothing on him.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: In a rare reversal of roles, Tamako announces Rinne is already dating Sakura to stop Sabato's plan to force Rinne into an Arranged Marriage. Sakura doesn't deny it at the moment because it will get Rinne out of the problem, but Rinne becomes disappointed when she denies it afterwards.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • "Kasha Retsudan!" (burning wheel vehement separation)
    • "Meido Shadan!" (underworld retreat interception)
    • "Devil Cash Card Cutter!"
    • "Stream of a Thousand Winds!"
    • "Bible Corner Crush!"
  • The Cameo:
    • A boat in chapter 4 looks like Genma Saotome (from Ranma ½) in his panda form. Pandas that look like him have also showed up in chapters 24 and 84.
    • One of the balloons Tsubasa carries in chapter 21 looks like Shippo's pink floating balloon form from InuYasha.
    • In the same chapter, one of the plushies Rinne wins looks like the panda drawing that escaped its frame Ranma had to date to get it to rest at a fair.
    • In episode 4 of the anime, one of the plushies in the plushy machine looks a heck of a lot like P-chan.
  • The Casanova: Sabato Rokudo. Though him being a money-grubbing jerk is kind of a turn-off to some people. Most certainly not the women he treats and spoils (using Rinne's money, no doubt), but to the outsiders looking in, he fits the negative tropes given to him very well.
  • Character Title
  • Cherry Blossom Girl: Sakura Mamiya
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Sabato Rokudo
    • To a lesser extent than his father, Rinne.
    • Sakura has become a Dude Magnet, too.
  • Chubby Chaser: The ghost in chapters 92 and 93 is like this.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Sort of implied when Tsubasa pulls out a Christian bible when fighting an evil spirit, who tells him he has "the wrong religion here" (though he had other uses for that bible in mind).
  • Cliff Hanger:
    • Episode 7 ends on one, with Masato escaping into Hell with Reiji's spirit while Rinne chases after him.
    • At the end of episode 10, Sakura and Tsubasa end up in a large banquet room with a sign mentioning Rinne's induction into their company, along with an engagement to be married. Sakura seems a little surprised when she reads it just before the credits roll.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Rinne is apparently a physically normal person, but becomes like a ghost when wearing a special cloak. However, if he turns it inside-out he can put it on a ghost and make them like a living person while they wear it.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After being informed by Masato that he can't hurt him with sacred ashes, Jumonji throws him a trash can. It works.
  • Comic-Book Time: It's spring. Now it's autumn. Now it's winter. Now it's summer again. The main characters are all still in tenth grade.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Averted, these characters are much nicer than those you'll find in most Rumiko Takahashi harem romantic comedies.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sabato. Without reading the series, you can't imagine how badly he financially and emotionally abuses his son. He quite obviously doesn't care, seeing as how easily he is willing to bill Rinne for one million yen. Jerkass.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Sakura's attempt to determine whether Rinne was a ghost or a living person resulted in this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Rinne easily defeats the Damashigami in their hideout in episode 12 after Ageha mentions that there is a bounty on shutting those places down. His speed in taking them down is one reason she's suddenly drawn to him as well.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Rinne doesn't just have red hair, but red eyes as well.
  • Custom Uniform: Rinne wears his tracksuit from junior high instead of the school uniform, presumably because he cannot afford one, but likely more from the fact that he feels he should never spend any money on "luxuries" for himself (which is everything) due to his debt.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: One ghost was a Cute Sports Club Manager for a baseball team. The captain of the team said he had something to tell her, right after the team wins this game. But they don't win, so he puts it off, and the team goes into a long slump. Finally, the team wins and the girl is so excited by the win and the captain at last completing the conversation that she leaps up and smashed her head on the dugout ceiling. She died, and the ghost has been holding out ever since waiting to hear what he had to say.
  • Death Glare: Played for Laughs when Sakura does this towards Rinne in episode 13, pretty much anytime Ageha gets a little too friendly with him.
  • Debut Queue: In the anime, each of the early episodes introduces one or two new characters, such as Rinne's grandmother in episode 2, or Tsubasa in episode 4.
  • Deconstruction: Some aspects of Rumiko Takahashi's previous works get this treatment.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Rokumon sometimes uses his kitten form to get people to give him food.
  • Delinquents:
    • Rinne appears to be one.
    • Chapter 52 introduces a ghost who was evidently a sukeban during her lifetime.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Masato attempts to do this to Reiji to convince him there's nothing left to keep him bound to Earth, such as his girlfriend cheating on him with his friend. Though they actually aren't doing anything suspicious, Masato's lies causes him despair, making it problematic for Rinne to bring him back to his body.
  • Distinguishing Mark: "Hime's" petal-shaped birthmark, which somehow spans reincarnations.
  • The Ditz: Kain's mom. Seriously.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The entrance to Hell looks like the entrance to a JR train station.
    • The series as a whole: It stars a red-haired guy and a black-haired girl; one of them can see ghosts and the other is a Shinigami; the mortal then becomes involved in the world of Shinigami and helps the souls of the departed reach the afterlife before they become monsters... except the guy is the Shinigami, and the girl is the normal human. If this isn't apparent yet, one early translator put it as bluntly as possible:
      "This is Rumiko Takahashi-style Anti-Bleach!"
  • Don't Try This at Home: Rokumon and Tsubasa break the fourth wall to tell you not to headbutt rocks.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: One of few Rumiko Takahashi works to avert this.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Rinne displays some after Sakura says He Is Not My Boyfriend in episode 13.
  • Epic Fail: One occurs in the opening for the anime. In one scene, Rinne asks Sakura for money. She drops a 50 yen coin onto his hand. But the coin bounces off, then rolls into a sewer drain. Rinne sheds Tears of Blood as a result of this.
  • Equivalent Exchange: One weapon turns things into their cash value. No idea how that works. It then puts them in a safe; it's never been stated where the money comes from. (If it came from Rinne's account, Sabato wouldn't have coughed up blood when the guy was paid for the beef.)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Well, Tsubasa's not evil, but no matter how much he hates Rinne and yearns for Sakura's affection, he'd never go so far as to make a Deal with the Devil (literally, with Masato) and curse Rinne... Too bad circumstances keep leading him to keep doing so anyway, much to his horror.
  • Everyone Can See It: We're not thirty chapters in and Tsubasa already suspects Sakura of being in love with Rinne.
  • Evil Is Petty: Masato's reasons for hating Rinne is this, since the latter kept him from collecting souls for a summer project.
  • Evil Plan: Masato goes through great lengths to try and get Rinne arrested and sent to Debt Hell, where he could never escape due to Debt Hell never actually paying those stuck there, thus could never repay their debts. However, it backfires after the guards are more interested in who forged the fake money rather than Rinne's illegal entry and property damage.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's end credits sequence adds new characters as they are introduced.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Rinne's grandmother.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: When a case is solved, the end of the chapter usually reveals that Rinne failed to make a profit.
  • False Start: Tamako announces that Rinne is already dating Sakura in episode 11 to get him out of his father's plan to have him marry one of his damashingami girls. However, Sakura gives a nonchalant reply when Rinne presses the issue while traveling back to Earth, making it seem like she just went along with Tamako's plan. While Rinne is distraught, Sakura seems happy that Rinne didn't go through with an engagement.
  • Full-Name Basis: Rinne to everyone.
  • Funny Background Event: In episode 6, when Rinne talks to the boys about releasing the cat spirits, Rokumon can be seen grabbing the leftover tuna the cat spirits didn't eat.
  • Ghost Lights: Common around the standard ghosts.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Sakura has two braided, low-tied pigtails.
  • Hair Colors: Attention is drawn to Rinne's bright red hair.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Rinne is one-quarter shinigami and one-quarter human. The other half is unaccounted for. At some point, Kain does mention "Rinne Rokudo, who is only half shinigami". (Or something along those lines.) Kain could just be using that as a generalization, though.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Sakura says this in episode 13 when offered an engagement ring by various Damashigami, including several that wear an outfit resembling Rinne. The real Rinne suffers a brief Heroic BSOD when she says they're just classmates. Despite this however, Sakura also isn't happy to see Ageha getting friendly with him later on.
  • Henohenomoheji:
    • The members of the school choir other than Misora Utagawa are depicted this way in a flashback in chapter 11.
    • When Tsubasa volunteers to draw what appears to be a faceless ghost girl so he can get close to it, we see this is what he's really drawing.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: Sakura says this to to Rinne in chapter 6 when Rinne asks why she's in the club building.
  • Hidden Depths: Sakura sure was good with yoyos in fourth grade.
  • Hime Cut: Kaori Himekawa
  • His Name Really Is Barkeep: Turns out Ageha's sister, who up until now had only been referred to as "Beautiful Secretary" (美人秘書/Bijin Hisho), really is actually named "Beautiful" (美人/Bijin).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Masato's plan to get Rinne into Debt Hell backfires after Rinne uses his forged money as a weapon instead of using it in the demon shopping floor. Then when the guards ask Rinne who forged the money, he claims he doesn't know, and tells them his "friend" Masato will pay for the damages. He briefly reconsiders it when the guards tell him they'll drop the other charges if he reveals who forged the money, but Masato immediately agrees to pay.
    • Sabato's wheel turns anything that touches it into cash. Rinne later uses this against his father, by throwing some expensive beef at it, then using his money attack to pay the debt collector, which shocks his father enough to "hurt" him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Rinne's father shows up at his apartment in episode 10, apologizing for using up all of his son's money in his bank account. He then sees the decrepit room Rinne is using, and asks why he's so poor.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Rinne wishes he could pass his cold to Tsubasa. (Of course, there's also the problem of only spirit beings being able to contract it...)
  • Invisible to Normals: Most Shinigami, ghosts and spirtis, as well as Rinne with his haori on.
  • Iron Buttmonkey: As of the latest chapters, Tsubasa indefinitely qualifies. Chapters 82 and 83 have introduced a ghost girl named Yayoi, who needs the feeling of being loved in order to pass on. However, Yayoi's true intentions are to have Tsubasa join her in the afterlife so she can be loved. It doesn't help that Tsubasa looks like the boy she had a crush on. At the end of the arc, after having gone through the perils Yayoi put him through, he is admitted to the hospital; but only "for a little while". It was lampshaded twice when both a student and the doctor say that an ordinary person would have died from what he went through.
  • I See Dead People: Sakura, of course.
  • Jerkass: Rinne's dad Sabato seems to have studied at the Genma Saotome Anything Goes School of Parenting, take the lessons Up to Eleven, and then invented some more techniques of his own to enhance his massive jerkass status. Let's see... Daddy's been stealing Rinne's money for years, crushed his hope of seeing his mom as a young boy, forced him to take on his debts, and is trying to get him married to take over his failing company... probably to force even more debt on him while he gets to go off skipping. The only Pet the Dog moment he had so far is when he object against Kain's hostility towards Rinne...for a problem he caused himself, and there may have been ulterior motives there too.
  • Killer Yoyo: A giant one with blades, in chapter 47.
  • Kotatsu: Ageha is tricked into buying one thinking it has Love Potion-like effects and will help her get closer to Rinne, but ironically enough, despite it having no such ability, the kotatsu does help all the main characters bond with each other.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: On their first encounter, Ageha jumps to the conclusion that Rinne is the damashigami that gave out the cursed pencils.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Rinne only ever wears the tracksuit from his middle school. If he were to buy a new one, he would "plummet into hell."
  • Loan Shark: Toichi (see Meaningful Name below) loans power to ghosts, and when they can't pay it back, they get assimilated into Toichi.
  • Love Chart: Played for Laughs and used to help the reader understand the very simple, would-be Love Triangle involving the still-alive ghost of the week, his girlfriend, and his best friend in chapter 13, and again in chapter 16.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Tsubasa, who is in love with Sakura, who may or may not be interested in Rinne.
    • Once Ageha shows up, she forms one with Rinne and Sakura.
  • Lucky Translation:
    • When Tsubasa tries to refresh Sakura's memory of him, she calls him "Oreda-kun" in response to his "ore da." Fortunately, "Itsumi" ("It's me") works too, even though it's a girl's name.
    • This may not be the case in other languages, however. The Indonesian translation gives his name as Akulo, from "Aku, lo" ("It's me")... which may make sense if he's some kind of corny Evil Overlord.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Rinne" (輪廻) means "transmigration of souls", and "rokudō" (六道) means "six paths", referring to the Buddhist six realms of existence (for the record, the term "rokudōrinne" is indeed uned for this concept).
    • "Tamako" (魂子) means "soul child", an appropriate name for a shinigami.
    • "Rokumon" (六文) means "six mons" (mon being an obsolete currency unit), referring to the fare for crossing the Sanzu no kawa (a Japanese Buddhist equivalent of the River Styx).
    • "Kaori Himekawa" is a reincarnated "Hime". But not really. The name was probably meant to fool readers. Himekawa can mean "river princess". Given what she's actually reincarnated from, this name actually is both meaningful]] and hilarious.
    • "Misora Utagawa": this character's given name and surname both refer to her being a singer. "Misora" (spelled in hiragana, みそら) is part of the solfège for a major pentatonic scale: do, re, mi, sol (or "so"), la (or "ra"). (Rinne mistakenly calls her "Doremi Utagawa" once.) It might also be a reference to singer Hibari Misora. The first character in "Utagawa" (歌河) means "song", and the second character means "river" (possibly referring to the way she died).
    • "Tadano Tomoya" (只野トモヤ): "Tada no tomo ya" (ただの友や) means "I'm just a friend."
    • "Masato" (魔狭人): Masato himself states that his name is written to mean, "an evil, narrow-minded person" (VIZ translation). This translation is pretty accurate. "Ma" (魔) means "demon, evil spirit", "Sa" literally means "narrow, cramped", and "To" means "person".
    • "Jumonji" (十文字): Means "cross", which fits in with Tsubasa Jumonji's exorcist "side-job". Tsubasa also means "wings".
    • "Toichi" (トイチ): An abbreviation of "tooka de ichiwari", which means "10% interest every 10 days".
    • "Imoto": This character is a member of the horticulture club, and "imo" (芋) is a suffix used in the words for several types of root vegetables. The name is also plot-relevant — see below. note 
    • "Asatsuma Tomō": This horticulture club member's name contains "satsuma", and "satsumaimo" (薩摩芋) means "sweet potato" (which is what the club is currently growing). Also: "ASATSUMA TOMOO" → erase part of it → " SATSUMA I MO ". Might also qualify as edible theme naming along with "Imoto".
  • Mega Neko: Rokumon, but only part of the time.
  • Meido: Sakura and her female classmates wear maid uniforms during the School Festival. Also, Rinne wears one to fool a damashigami.
  • Midseason Upgrade: Rinne gets his scythe back from the pawn shop in episode 5, after having pawned it a while back due to needing money. Once he gets it, his ability to exorcise spirits is greatly enhanced.
  • Miser Advisor:
    • Rinne is sort of a subversion, being very conscious of his spending and trying to get whatever money he can, but he's never an outright jerk about it.
    • His father Sabato plays it straight though, being so money-grubbing as to steal from his son's account, steal from his son's piggy bank (which had the money Rinne wanted to use to visit his mother), use a weapon that converts whatever it touches into cash, and vomit blood when he gets tricked into actually paying for something]].
  • Missing Mom: Rinne's mother has yet to be seen.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Rokumon immediately assumes that Sakura, Jumonji and Ageha have killed Rinne after seeing his body on the ground. The true culprit is Kain.
  • Monster of the Week: This is the basic structure so far, starting with the Kaori Himekawa arc. Most cases take two or three chapters to solve, suggesting that they'll come out to an episode each in the inevitable anime. Most of the exceptions so far have been character introduction arcs, like the Reiji Todoriki arc (Masato's debut). Rinne's father will be the main villain in two consecutive arcs. In Kain's arc, he's a minor villain. Sabato is the one behind everything, unsurprisingly.
  • Mr. Exposition: Rokumon when he explains the purpose of various devices used by shinigami.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Tsubasa has this revelation once he realizes that Hanako was actually a fairly harmless spirit, and his actions against her caused her to seek power from an evil spirit, who was going to devour her and add to its collective strength.
    • Suzu has this reaction when she sees the matching rings that Reiji bought for her birthday. This helps to convince Reiji to return to his body once he sees that she put the ring on his finger at the hospital.
  • Narrator: In the form of speech bubbles that are not connected to any of the characters, and have a different border style and font.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • One of Rinne's grandmother's conditions for extending the life of his grandfather was that she was to collect a large number of spirits. If she failed to do so, her grandson would be responsible for it. Since that's exactly what Rinne is doing, it's easy to see she failed to do her part. A Flash Back in episode 10 reveals that she actually managed to do that. But then Rinne's deadbeat dad ended up putting him into massive financial debt, hence Rinne's current situation.
    • Tsubasa's overzealous attempts at trying to exorcise Hanako causes her to seek power from an evil spirit in an attempt to get some revenge against him. He does at least suffer a My God, What Have I Done? moment once he realizes it however.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Misora Utagawa does this in chapter 12, including the hand gesture. Which hides the space where she's missing a front tooth.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Rinne puts a temporary halt to his father's Damashigami Company's antics at the end of episode 11, partly by recovering some stuff his father stole from him, and by also passing his flu to his father. Then in episode 12, his father sends him a bill for lost revenue due to said illness. He also starts spying on Sakura as a result of Rinne "clinging to the human world" due to his interest in her.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Rokumon, to Rinne. In fact, it seems that every shinigami has a Black Cat by Contract.
  • Not So Stoic: Rinne appears cool and unfazed by anything supernatural... though the emptiness of his wallet never fails to bring him to absolute despair.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Every time that Rinne gets in a compromising position with a girl (most often Ageha, although it also happened once with a one-shot character), he'll be quick to distance himself and inform Sakura that it's not what she thinks:
    • Tsubasa also accuses him of this in episode 10 after a group of girls in his father's mansion swamp him, wanting to marry him.
    • In episode 12, Sakura walks in on his room just as Ageha holds his hands as a result of him agreeing to help her take down the Damashigami company. Ageha screams then runs through a portal, and Rinne tries to explain this trope to her. Sakura says she saw a girl holding his hands, prompting him to reply with this trope again. Though she acts like it's not a big deal, Sakura keeps thinking back to it.
    • In episode 13, Ageha gives Rinne The Glomp from behind after he saves her from a damashigami that overpowered her. Unfortunately Sakura just happened to show up, and saw the whole thing. Rinne attempts to explain that he saved Ageha solely for the 1 million yen bounty the damashigami had on him, but Sakura leaves right before he finishes.
  • Oba-san: It's a Running Gag for Tamako (Rinne's grandmother) to punish people for calling her "Oba-chan" or "Oba-san". She's also happy when Sakura comments on how young she looks. Which leads her to her Crowning Moment of Awesome when she takes out a dozen damashigami girls with a single punch for calling her old.
    Tamako: Call me ONEE-SAN!!!
  • Oh, Crap: In episode 6, Rokumon attempts to use his other form to try and scare the two cat spirits into submission. Unfortunately the two then go into their beast form, and are even larger than him. He ends up getting batted around by the two until Rinne shows up.
  • Older Than They Look: Sabato looks more like Rinne's older brother than like his father.
  • Only Six Faces: Sakura and Rinne look suspiciously similar to some of Takahashi's earlier characters.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Tamako, in chapter 31.
  • Parental Abandonment: Rinne has lived with his grandfather his whole life. His dad, at least, is alive... and an asshole. His mother was claimed by his father to be dead, but that may or may not have been a lie. With Sabato, you never know.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Rinne is living in an abandoned club building so he doesn't have to pay rent, can't afford to feed a black cat spirit, makes artificial flowers for money, and asks for food offerings and cash at the weather hutch. This is partially because as a part-human, he needs to pay for the tools to use abilities a full-blooded Shinigami naturally possesses. Said poverty is not the result of his grandmother's debt, but his father's.
  • Pointy Ears: Masato
  • Pull the Thread: Sakura does this on various ghosts and Rinne disguises in episode 13. They almost seem convincing at first, until she notices the zippers behind them and unzips them.
  • Pun:
    • The ateji in chapter 5. The same pun shows up in chapter 52.
    • Chapter 8 features a bottled drink called "MEGA サメ・ル". This is pronounced the same as "目が覚める" ("me ga sameru"), which means "wake up" (literally, "eyes awaken"), but the "目が" ("me ga") part is written as the English word "mega".
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Three are shown in episode 12, when Ageha innocently holds Rinne's hands, with Sakura seeing it when she opens his door:
    • The first is with Ageha recalling the moment with Rinne. He looks a lot more handsome in her memory, prompting the narrator to state that her memory is slightly off.
    • The second occurs with Sakura recalling when Ageha was holding Rinne's hand. Except she imagines it as him holding her hands rather firmly, as if they were lovers. Like in the previous example, the narrator states that this is not what happened.
    • The third one is from Rokumon's point of view. He recalls it as Ageha and Rinne sharing a somewhat intimate moment together holding hands. Sakura then shows up, and both girls enter a hilarious staring contest at each other. The narrator once again states that this is totally wrong.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Tamako, being a shinigami, looks like she's in her 20s despite being Rinne's grandmother and may well have lived for much longer before she got married.
  • Reincarnation: Souls who go through the Rinne no Wa get reincarnated. But for souls who end up in Hell, they don't get the same privilege, and instead are stuck there doing menial things for eternity, such as washing dishes.
  • Reincarnation Romance: A ghost of a soldier tries to go after a girl he assumes is the reincarnation of a woman he loved. Subverted when it turns out that the woman looks nothing like Himekawa, as he just built up his image of her until he just decided she must be his princess's reincarnation simply because she's beautiful. As it turns out, though, the person who really is the princess's reincarnation doesn't closely resemble the princess either; it's Suzuki, the (male) PE teacher.
  • The Rival:
    • In love as well as in business; Tsubasa Jumonji is a Van Helsing-style exorcist with a highly obvious crush on Sakura.
    • Also, Ageha is a romantic rival of Sakura... Well, Ageha thinks of them as rivals (even going so far as to compare chest sizes, in chapter 61). Sakura doesn't seem to notice.
    • Ageha and Renge both consider each other this, if for different reasons.
  • Schmuck Bait: Masato leaves some cash cards, and later some suspiciously free bananas as well as a baseball bat with some baseballs, while Rinne is pursuing him. Rinne even realizes it's an obvious trap, but feels he has no other choice but to use said items, such as using the banana peels to lose the demon guard chasing him. And the cash cards were an attempt to get them to use fake money, but Rinne doesn't fall for that.
  • School Festival: In chapter 25 and 26.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Rinne's grandmother was supposed to collect his grandfather's soul since he was on his deathbed. Instead she fell in love with him, and pulled a lot of strings in order to allow him to live another fifty years.
  • Serious Business: Rinne not paying for entry into the Hell building prompts a large security guard demon to come chasing after him, breaking through the wall in the process.
  • Sexy Secretary: Sabato's secretary is actually introduced as "mysterious hot secretary".
  • Shape Shifter: Rokumon has three different forms: tiny kitten with green eyes, anthropomorphic cat, and giant bakeneko.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend:
    • Narrowly dodged. Rinne and Sakura are regularly mistaken for a couple, but they don't bother to correct anyone. Sakura mostly just shrugs it off. (In Tsubasa's case, Rinne seems to know that he wouldn't believe it anyway.)
    • Rinne keeps insisting to Sakura that he isn't even friends with Ageha... yet. At this point in the story, Rinne only likes her enough to put up with her. Takahashi has even stated, in-chapter, that to the people who can see her, she's "terribly annoying".
  • Shinigami:
    • Rinne's grandmother. He also refers to himself as such, "sort of", because he's part human.
    • There are also "damashigami"; shinigami that went rogue and decided to fill their quota's by kidnapping still living people.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Rokumon is apparently a fan of Rinne×Sakura, as he shouts at Rinne when Sakura is alone with another guy.
    • Add Tamako to the list.
    • In a more malicious way, Sabato as well.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Sazae-san, in chapter 7 and to the love triangle in InuYasha in chapter 8, when a Reincarnation Romance with a ghost is introduced. ("These relationships are the worst kind!")
    • Also in chapter 27, when given a look inside the anime club's room, there is a poster that features a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Sailor Moon and Luna. Also, one of the figurines looks like Shampoo, and another like Hatsune Miku.
    • This one might or might not be meant as a reference: In chapter 51, when Tsubasa summons the spirits of the power stone, he says "Light, come forth!"
  • Sick Episode: Rokumon catches the flu from one of his bosses, and he accidentally gives it to Rinne as well in episode 10.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Done by ghosts in chapter 61.
  • Smoke Out: Masato does this to escape a beating from Rinne.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's "Rin-ne" in the English version so we have a chance of pronouncing it correctly. Keep in mind, though, that "RIN-NE" is the series! When referring to the character in the actual translation, it's still written "Rinne".
  • Staring Contest: Rokumon's version of Ageha holding Rinne's hand in episode 12 includes this, where Sakura jealousy stares at the two through the door, with Ageha staring back. The narrator and Rinne both state that this version is totally wrong.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The evil spirit that attacks Shōma with a knife seems to be one of these.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • The Student Council President apparently looks exactly like her mother (and thus her mother's twin sister) did when she was her age.
    • Except for Sabato having a longer nose, he and Rinne are pretty much mirror images of each other, height notwithstanding.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Rinne and Sakura.
  • Tears of Blood: Whenever Rinne has to spend a lot of money and fall even further into debt, he cries Tears of Blood.
  • Tempting Fate: In episode 12, Rokumon worries that Ageha might want half of the bounty Rinne collected from shutting down an illegal damashigami operation earlier that day. Shortly after Rinne says he'll never even see that girl again, Ageha then opens a portal into his room.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Ranko & Rinko.
  • Those Two Girls: Sakura's friends Miho and Rika.
  • Throw the Book at Them: "Bible Corner Crush!" — for some reason Jumonji claims he can only do this once a week.
  • Tin Can You Hear Me Now: And it's coin-operated. Well, how else would you talk to a ghost haunting a cell phone?
  • Troubled, but Cute: Rinne is constantly in debt, his father is impossibly greedy, any profits he makes are immediately taken, and he is now dealing with new emotions he didn't know he had. His dad alone is enough to give him trouble; he's basically the cause of everything else mentioned above.
  • Twice Shy: The two presidents of the art club.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Sakura is exceedingly nonchalant about everything, even the paranormal weirdness that goes about in the series.
  • Unfinished Business: And if they don't come to terms with their regrets, they can become evil spirits. It's not all bad, though; Sakura's saves her life.
  • Unwanted Harem: Rinne is exposed to one briefly during episode 10 when a bunch of girls in his father's mansion chase him, with all of them wanting to marry him. Tsubasa unknowingly saves him from it when he accuses Rinne of chasing after women, and tosses a holy ash ball at them. Rinne escapes from the girls in the confusion.
  • Upper-Class Twit:
    • Kain's mom, again;
    • Ageha
  • Villainous Rescue: The snakes that Masato used to trap and hinder Rinne's movement end up saving him from Masato's attack. When he protests how Rinne was able to move, he tells him the snakes did it, then warns the snakes that it'd be problematic if they continued to stay on his body. The snakes then leave his body, allowing Rinne to evade Masato more easily.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Rinne is faced with one in episode 10 and 11, when several female damashigami's attempt to woo him.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Rinne + Moving vehicles = TERRIBLE idea.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ageha essentially says this when she meets her sister in episode 13, and finds out she fell in love with Rinne's father and went to work for, instead of putting a stop to the Damashigami company as she had promised to do earlier.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Averted in the case of Tsubasa Jumonji; his response to anything supernatural is almost always to throw sacred ashes, and it's seldom effective. He also tries to use the corner of a Bible, but it's not that effective either.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Rinne in chapter 26.
  • Wingding Eyes: Suzuki has star-eyes.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Rinne's scythe gets broken in episode 6 after he attempts to use it on some cat spirits. A Flash Back reveals it had been chewed on by some scythe bugs while sitting in the pawn shop. Rokumon attempts to fix it with some tape, but it doesn't hold very well, requiring him to pay to get it repaired later on.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Sabato tries repeatedly to screw Rinne over in episode 11. First he uses his wheel weapon which turns anything that touches it into cash, such as Rinne's scythe. Later he repeatedly tries to get Rinne's fingerprints one way or another so he can forge more loans and load Rinne up on even more debt. Fortunately Rinne is Genre Savvy enough to realize his father's plan, and doesn't fall for any of them despite his repeated attempts.
  • You Can See Me?: Sakura is able to see spirits, and Rinne while wearing his cloak. Oddly enough, she doesn't seem too scared of the supernatural stuff going on around either.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Rokumon claims Rinne is doing this during his recollection of Sakura seeing Ageha hold Rinne's hand in episode 12, with the two girls entering a staring contest with each other. The narrator and Rinne both state that this is not what happened.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Ageha sports these.
  • Zigzag Paper Tassel:
    • An exorcist in chapter 12 has an ōnusa.
    • The Tosa dog in chapter 43 wears a shimenawa.
    • In chapter 86, a shimenawa is used to tie shut the theater doors during the rehearsal.