Kyoukai no Rinne – 01 (First Impressions)

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Sakura-chan is a freshman who can see ghosts. Rokudou is the frequently absent student who sits next to her in class. He’s poor and can turn invisible to everyone except Sakura when he wants to.

Together, they resolve small time between the living and the dead.

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The premier introduces us to Rokudou’s weird life, which includes sending a gigantic Chihuahua to the afterlife while only Sakura can see them in in the middle of home room.

Later, they exercise a fellow student’s cell phone, which is being called by a 7-years-dead student who they discover was a classmate with their homeroom teacher and died before he could get his beloved track suit back behind the gym and… and the whole story plays like a run on sentence.

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All the elements of humor are here: the weirdness, the Sabagebu style narrator, the misbehavior only one character can see being done in front of (or to) her friends. Unfortunately, it’s not very funny.

There’s no punch to joke delivery or the micro-drama. There’s barely any sound design (let alone music) playing behind it too. KnR is just a quiet, mildly weird, string of stuff happening inoffensively for 24 minutes.

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It actually reminds me of community theatre, in that budget stage work often involves an actor to be on stage where we can see them, even when the other actors must portray characters who can not. We see Rokudou, as Sakura does, and their is no special effect to visually separate his spirit-state that makes him invisible to the other students.

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You may like it: if you set your expectations low. The humor really is here, it’s just so dead pan and the characters are played so unemotionally, that I found it hard to laugh with OR at.

You may want to skip it: because it’s unremarkable on every level. KnR is not ugly, but plain and discount quality animation and has no audio presence. It’s not dull either, or not funny. Rather, the lack of excitement and simplicity of the visual elements snubs the delivery.

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I’m definitely not going to follow this show but I am curious: was this a manga that converted very poorly to Anime? Or am I totally missing something that should make this special?

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9 thoughts on “Kyoukai no Rinne – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. The “special” element probably comes from the source material being a manga written by the creator of Ranma 1/2.

    1. You know… I had no idea but that totally was in the back of my mind. Weird that the budgetness of Rinne reinforces the datedness of Ranma too…

  2. So so sad day for Rinne… it’s very similar to Re-Kan, plot and theme wise but has none of the Re-kan’s skill in telling a joke, nor as much love for its characters. Double extra mega dropped…

    1. To throw Rinne a bone, there’s a huge difference between a 4-koma seinen and a throwback shonen. Rumiko Takahashi’s style itself has always been divisive, as it straddles the line between shonen, shojo, and generally has a “Well, that’s nice,” feel to it.

      I was thinking maybe Preston or Zane might like this series, since her work can so often resemble shojo. But then I saw Ore Monogatari and realized that comparing this to shojo ignores how sharp modern entries into that genre have become.

      1. I have a long history with Takahashi’s work. While I grew up with Macross in the ’80s, Viz’ distribution of Ranma 1/2 was the title that truly got me into buying anime. I loved the show, clunky art and all.

        Over the years I came to enjoy Maison Ikkoku and Urusei Yatsura as well, though Yatsura never ‘clicked’ as much as Ranma before it. Then InuYasha started airing in the USA and… ugh.

        To its credit, Rinne isn’t structured like InuYasha at all. (which obnoxiously was designed to begin and end episodes at the middle point of a normal story) Still, and as you said, this has a slight retorts to it that isn’t that appealing. None of Ranma’s heart is really in this, nor InuYasha’s glossy presentation

  3. >There’s no punch to joke delivery or the micro-drama.

    To be honest I find that almost alarmingly refreshing, actually. I utterly despise anime’s tendency to spell everything out, especially with jokes and drama, and leave nothing to the imagination. I’ll take a show that lets me get the joke and smirk mildly to one that would have made me bust a gut laughing, had they not immediately spoiled the joke afterward, or one that doesn’t even know what a punchline is.

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