As a child, Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma's home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then, she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura's has been empty since the start of the school year. Then one day, her always-absent classmate shows up, and he's far more than what he seems!
I love Rumiko Takahashi and I love this so far. I have also seen Maison Ikkoku, Ranma1/2, Urusei Yatsura and Inu-Yasha. Any one of you who love Ranma1/2 and Inu-Yasha, you'll love this. Many of the chapters remind me of Inu-Yasha, when Kagome was solving cases at her home in the present. Since this is more school-based, it also gives the Ranma1/2 feel with the slapstick and comedy (which is funny, as always). The main characters do take some getting used to (especially Sakura). She is, how you say, not your typical heroine and is more calm than Kagome, Akane, and Kyouko (like she doesn't
get insanely jealous). Overall the characters are like this:
Rokoumon=Shippo (from Inu-Yasha)
Masato=Pantyhose-Taro (from Ranma1/2)
Tsubasa=Ryoga Hibiki (from Ranma1/2)
Tamako=Nabiki/Kasumi (from Ranma1/2)
Overall, the art, characters and story is a bit similar, but still fun for all Takahashi fans. I have read up through book 11, Keep it coming! ^_^
Takahashi-sensei's works are a bit of a hit or miss for me. I loved Mermaid Saga, Inuyasha was okay, and Ranma was some of the stupidest drivel I've ever read. Rinne falls somewhere around Inuyasha on the continuum, I would hazard.
I've finished nearly one hundred chapters of this manga, and I'm still looking for a plot. Thus far the series has been completely episodic: a supernatural problem arises, and the main characters deal with it within, maybe, five chapters tops, and it is forgotten. There have been an endless number of characters introduced to bring these problems to the
cast's attention, and then they're gone. They're plot devices, nothing more.
As for the main cast, they haven't grown much over those hundred chapters. Now, they are interesting characters, with strengths and foibles and problems, but none of those problems seem like they'll be solved anytime soon, or that they are even trying to overcome them. Rinne is still broke, and the love polygon is rather stable.
The art is instantly recognizable from the author's other works. While unique, it's not spectacular.
This isn't to say the manga isn't enjoyable. It's a pleasant enough diversion, but like cotton candy, it's lacking in substance. At the same point in Inuyasha we knew many of the major plot points of that manga. Rinne seems to be here for a long haul like so many other Takahashi works. It's certainly worth a little light reading, but you might find yourself wanting something with a little more meat.
I am just disapointed with the manga. I read over 45 chapters to see if anything good is going to happen, and Nothing happened. The story was dull and boring which made me belive Takahashi is running out of ideas. However The artwork is more improved by the artist once you compare her previous work on Yatsura to Rin-Ne you'll see an improvement as the artist now in her early 50's has improved her style.
But the story is still mediocre to me because I am pretty much dispointed.
I'm a huge fan of Rumiko's work and I would say Rinne is a return to the style of Ranma and Urusei Yatsura. Which, depending on if you liked those works, could be a good thing or bad thing.
Personally I'm a huge fan of Ranma so I'm really enjoying this series! Just like Ranma, it has a unique and likable cast of characters and lots of comedy/hi-jinks. However, there's not much plot or character development. Don't expect much to happen with romantic development or any over arching plot lines. There's a lot of ghost-of-the-week type stories, and a couple recurring storylines about Rinne's father or
some other characters but no major developments really.
But I don't expect Rinne to be more plot heavy like Inuyasha. It's definitely a comedy series first and foremost and it succeeds at that. I find it very funny although it may not be funny to everybody.
Last comment that I'd like to make is that I've also seen the first season of the anime adaptation, and imo the anime is not as funny as the manga and a little more boring so don't let that stop you from reading the manga! I think it's a lot better and the pacing is not as slow.