A very strange thing happened to Mamiya Sakura as a child: She disappeared in the woods behind her grandmother's house. Of course, Sakura doesn't quite recall what happened next, but she's been seeing dead people ever since—ghosts at home, ghosts at school, and even ghosts on the street.
Now that she's in high school, another strange thing has happened in her life. A desk next to her that's sat empty all year is suddenly filled by an oddly-dressed boy named Rokudou Rinne. Rinne seems to be capable of seeing the same things Sakura does, and sometimes, other people can't even see him. What sort of secret is Rinne-kun hiding, and how is he connected to Sakura's strange power? In Kyoukai no Rinne, another world exists alongside the one we live in. Thanks to Rinne, Mamiya Sakura will get to know this world and the wacky characters that inhabit it.
When talking about any show, I often take extra precaution to avoid marginalizing the work by use of buzzwords. This isn't to say that the usage of certain words don't help others to understand where you're coming from, but rather, when a word is overused, it begins to lose value to many that have grown accustomed to it. After a while, it's desensitized to the point where people would write you off as just another "pseudo-critic" with nothing left to say, and understandably so. But sometimes, I find the aid of commonly used words to just be unavoidable. Sometimes, no other word works better to
describe the title at hand. And when it comes to Kyoukai no Rinne, no matter what angle I approach it from, no matter how much I try to better articulate what's the main issue at hand, the conclusion is always the same; the show is simply mediocre.
Following the comedic misadventures of a Shinigami named Rinne Rokudou, we're introduced to a world where the afterlife and the physical world intertwines on a constant basis. Performing his job as a Shinigami eventually leads him to befriend a peculiar girl named Sakura Mamiya, and the rest of the show is dedicated to seeing the comedic mishaps that the pair find themselves getting in. The setup is decent enough but the perpetual state it places itself in just turns it into amnesia-inducing content. A purgatory where every episode repeats itself. And no, I'm not joking, they quite literally repeat the same setup and comedic gags every time with only slight variations stuffed in:
Rinne and Sakura are going through a typical day--> some supernatural occurrence disrupts everything--> Rinne attempts to solve the issue--> problem solved--> rinse and repeat.
The show limits itself to the point where watching it feels like a massive case of groundhogs day, where nothing is moving forward, and you're simply stuck in a state of viewer's limbo. Everything that it tries to establish just goes nowhere. From the romantic subplot to even the character's issues. They're merely brought up, only to be left on the back burner, due to the show's overbearingly pronounced complacency.
The humor of Rinne was all over the place, but more often than not, it was lackluster and had little to no comedic impact to speak of. It tried to use a more deadpan kind of approach when dealing with the ghosts and conflicts that arise in the show. And while it did have its moments of effectiveness, those were usually sparse and drowned out by the many times it dropped the ball. Whether this type of humor will resonate with you or not all depends on your taste in comedy. As for me, It wasn't consistent enough to keep me amused for long, as I often found most of it to be NyQuil levels of sleep-inducing.
The characters themselves all felt like watered down versions of the ones found in InuYasha. Not surprising, though, given that Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of InuYasha, was also the one behind Kyoukai no Rinne. It almost feels like she's trying to ride off of the coattails of InuYasha to make Rinne relevant, and sadly the mark was missed by a long shot. It's hard not to look at Rokumon, Rinne's residential mascot, and not think about Shippo, a character with arguably more characterization and importance to the series he was a part of. Or to even look at Sakura and not feel like you're just looking at a more dull version of Kagome. This isn't to say that the characters of Rinne are an exact clone of Takahashi's prior works but that Rinne is engulfed by the shadow of its predecessor, both in terms of quality and relevance.
Almost like an attempt to match the quality of the script with the presentation, the art and animation of Rinne were painfully average. There were no visible attempts to stand out nor was there any proper use of lighting, shading, color placement or any other technique that could have been used to heighten the visual experience. It was generic across all fronts. This was also the case with the sound mixing, with background music that felt overplayed and lacking in variation or drowned out to the point where you don't even recognize it at all. If there was an attempt to make the presentation better in the show, it was never made visible enough for me to take notice.
And that's my experience with Rinne as a whole, too middling for me to ever take notice of anything it offered.
I wasn't offended by Rinne, but at the same time, I wasn't impressed either. It's a title that's almost predestined to be forgotten. And looking at the small reception it got from viewers, it seems like that fate will happen sooner than later. It had decent moments every now and then but was entirely too aimless for its own good.
Kyoukai no Rinne was a giant ball of "meh" that seemed to have set its bar low from the get-go. There was nothing here that I can say was satisfactory and with a setup that went nowhere, it's hard to recommend this title to anyone. It's a title that leaves no final impression and has taken its one-way ticket to obscurity before it could even plant its feet in the ground.
The story is not really original or complex, it is another Rumiko Takahashi works, and that is the best and maybe the worst you can say about this anime. If you enjoy Ranma, Inuyasha or Maison Ikkoku then you would probably enjoy this new work, otherwise better try to look for something else. It has the same kind of comedy, similar drawing style, similar kind of romance... this anime make me feel like watching a 90s anime, I mean the drawing style is old, characters as well give me a feel of old style (that do not correspond to the typical cliches that we
find on 80% percent of current anime) and besides it lacks of recurrent ecchi and fan service, (which is for me a good point but I think many people disagree about this). I personally find the characters very cool and funny, story is very slice of life so most of time every episode is a new story and general development is very slow.... but come on is a comedy, ¿what are you hoping for?. I am a bit old generation and I find Rumiko style very enjoyable, but maybe new generation are not fit for this old style and probably that explain why Rinne is so poorly rated by the community in MAL, but if you are not a Rumiko hater then you should give it a try, Rinne and Mamiya deserve it.
In all honesty this series is about as basic as it gets. Its an episodic comedy anime. And just from that you pretty much know exactly what to expect.
As far as story, the series is....pretty mediocre. As I've already said, the series is very episodic. This can be fine in shows like Mushishi or Death Parade where you have an overarching character story that shows the progression of each character throughout the series. However, no such story is present in Rin-Ne. Or at least its not all that prominent. Sure there is sort of a romance plot, but by the end of the first season
it's pretty much stayed in the exact same place as it has been for the entire series thus far. For the most part you could watch episodes out of order and get the exact same experience. The show is episodic down to a formula at times. At first everything is normal, then someone puts in a request to the prayer box or a main character comes across a spirit or a character from the other world comes in and causes chaos, Rinne and Mamiya try to resolve said problem (or Rinne tries to do it on his own), while Juumonji and Ageha try to interfere because they don't want Rinne and Mamiya to get too close, and then at the end all is resolved and in the next episode we're right back in the same place. Now this isn't to say that this show doesn't have at least some continuous episodes, they're just few and far between.
As for the comedy, it can be pretty hit or miss. The series has some decent jokes, particularly in its rare moments of slapstick. My favorite episodes have to be the ones with Masato because his reason for hating Rinne and the ways he tries to get back at him is hilarious! But unfortunately a lot of these jokes are often ruined with this narrator that always has to explain the joke, even going as far as to explain plot elements that we already know about (seriously how many times do you need to say that normal people can't see Rinne when he's wearing his jacket?). In the end this becomes really annoying and often feels like the narrator thinks the audience is stupid and can't figure things out on their own. There's also a runnng joke where Rinne's grandmother doesn't like being called a grandmother and does this ear thing to any character who calls her that or does something to remind her of her age. Moderately funny at first, but incredibly overdone by the end of the season.
Apart from Rinne, characters are either 1 note or entirely bland. Although not perfect, Rinne has an alright amount of personality. The series does a deent job of capturing the duality of his life through his constant struggle to maintain a normal student life and how his job as a Shinigami is a constant deterrant to any form of normalcy and how this "job" is so demanding that he can barely afford to live. How he is affected by his relationships with others is handled fairly well as well. His resentment towards his father is more than understandable because he's a neglectful crook who steals from his own son at every chance he gets. His feelings towards Mamiya are totally reasonable because of how her mere existence plays off of his duality. It's easy to see how she can be attractive to him because he can relate to her as, due to the fact that she can see spirits, she (sort of-ish) is going through the same duality as him. Therefore she can both be an escape for him as well as a way of remaining connected to his life in the other world. Bottom line, he doesn't have to hide anything from her. He understandably wants to be connected to both his human and Shinigami side, as these are integral parts of his very being and Mamiya is his only option for retaining both connections simultaneously without alienating anyone.
As for the other characters, the majority of them have "personalities" that are based solely on a few running jokes.
Kyoukai no Rinne is an episodic supernatural comedy which is quite funny and enjoyable if you dont go in with too many expectations
Kyoukai no Rinne follows
Mamiya Sakura (the best Sakura ever), a first year in high school who was spirited away as a little girl and after being saved, she was left with the ability to see ghosts / spirits
and also follows Rokudo Rinne a really broke half human, half shinigami who works hard as a shinigami inorder to get paid but is met with slight mishaps here and there
It very much reminded me of Noragami and Inuyasha but more comedic and not
at all serious
Mamiya and Rinne become friends and there is romance elements to the story but Rinne is extremely poor while Mamiya Sakura is not easily amused (nonchalant). She is calm and level headed. The interactions between the two is most of the time very funny.
It is very episodic and I recommend taking break between episodes (dont bingewatch the whole thing at once because it will get annoying)
Each episode brings in a new short story (the narrator explains at beginning) with a little bit of linkage between episodes, like new characters remain but there is little progress if any at all.
The art and animation was okay, it was not amazing or bad but it does its job very well. The characters looked really nice. No complaints there
I loved the opening and endings. the were absolutely wonderful. They had a relaxing yet upbeat fun feel to them. They did a great job of preparing one for what they are about to watch. just fun. I never skipped any. They were quite enjoyable. Overall the sound on the show was more than great.
Characters: Very good
Many characters are introduced during the show and we get to know their qualities and goals very quickly. Each character and their relationships with one another is very easy to understand. There is an adorable cat, members of Rinnes family, demons, and more.
I really enjoyed watching Kyoukai no Rinne, its a very relaxing and moderately funny show.
it is FAMILY FRIENDLY everybody.
I would have liked if there was more progression but i was happy with what i got nonetheless.
I recommend this to anyone looking for a light hearted relaxing comedy with supernatural and romance elements to it