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Manga: RIN-NE
aka: Kyoukai No Rinne

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 earthquake in Japan.

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.


RIN-NE provides examples of the following 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 Discussion: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Full-Name Basis: Rinne to everyone.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Narrator: In the form of speech bubbles that are not connected to any of the characters, and have a different border style and font.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!!!
  • 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
  • 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".
  • 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 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.
  • School Festival: In chapter 25 and 26.
  • 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!"
  • 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".


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alternative title(s): Kyoukai No RINNE; RIN-NE
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