Rin-Ne is Takahashi’s latest work, that she has been releasing, after Inu Yasha. It has been available online legally and simultaneously as the Japanese chapters are released. (Unfortunately, since the Tohoku Earthquake, the site had apologized and said that they were pausing on this simultaneous release. Reading comments on the site. I definitely know that when it comes back on there are still fans to read Takahashi, and to be eternally grateful for this service). There are five volumes in print, which is how I got into the series.
This story centers around the story of Rinne, a pseudo-shinigami, and Sakura, a girl that can see ghosts. Sakura ends up following Rinne around his cases, as he works, fulfilling missions that purify demons, and earn a meal. There are many parts that deal with Japanese folklore, on what comes after death, and elements of this story definitely has the Takahashi stamp all over it. I cracked up when I saw that scene with Rinne kicking off (cat).
Rin-ne has qualities and similarities to several other “ghost” or “youkai” type stories like Bleach, D Gray Man, or GS Mikami. I really enjoy reading stories like this, since there aren’t as much stories in English, where the story is entertaining as a slice of life merged with a spiritual atmosphere.
One story that definitely made me want to read more is the story of the ghost of the pet that waited at the library, turning into a demon. I definitely teared up slightly when I realize his past. Not to spoil much of other parts in the story, but Rin-ne definitely has parts that stand out as common Takahashi quirks. Such as the never ending debt, the constant rivalry, the misunderstandings between the main couples, and the other people that get in the way.
Romance is actually written into the storyline, but with how Takahashi writes romance. I normally don’t expect as much serious romance to be written in this story. I look at this story as a “feel good” relationship story. Mostly from what I have seen so far, I see Rin-ne as a story with unrealized potential. I am not bored, and in fact look forward to reading the print or catching up with the online copies.