Review: Rin-Ne Part 2 (DVD)

Sakura Mamiya’s ability to see the spirits stuck wandering the earth has made her life complicated, and the complexities continue as she and her half-human, half-Shinigami classmate Rinne Rokudo help these lost souls find their way to the next world. But it’s not all supernatural ghosts and spooks, as Sakura and Rinne attempt to figure out how they truly feel about one another and whether their relationship is founded on friendship or romantic interest. To make matters even more complicated, Sakura’s childhood friend Tsubasa Jumonji is struggling with feelings of his own for Sakura, and Rinne seems to find himself in all sorts of compromising situations with the love-sick Shinigami Ageha. Unfortunately, love will have to wait as the gang attempt to exorcise their way through a variety of supernatural conundrums.

The second half of Rin-Ne is much like the first. The show hits the usual slice of life beats, with an episode taking place at the amusement park and a Christmas episode packed with misunderstandings and drama. Like the first season, problems of fellow students also take a backseat and the premise of people bringing offerings to Rinne to solve their supernatural related problems only comes up once or twice as the gang is busy with their own adventures. One of these adventures introduces Kain, a shirushigami who has a grudge against Rinne and Rinne’s father Sabato due to a series of events that led to Kain’s family becoming poor. Outside of Kain, most of the characters in this half of Rin-Ne are familiar faces, but Kain’s inclusion is good as he adds another antagonistic element to the show without being downright villainous.

Sakura, Rinne, Tsubasa, and Ageha make a surprisingly interesting if not always effective team as well. All four of them, including the cat demon Rokumon, mostly tackle spirit related problems together and although they usually don’t agree or have different agendas, they have good chemistry. This became more apparent during the Christmas episode when I realised how much I liked seeing these characters interact with each other as friends, even if they were attempting to usurp each other as part of their relationship goals. Tsubasa and Ageha feed off each other’s competitive nature, which goes largely unnoticed by Sakura and Rinne. It’s very trope-like but still fun to watch. Sakura and Rinne’s relationship with each other in contrast is quiet, but I appreciate that given the often loud and comedic nature of the show. They’re still trying to figure out exactly how they feel about the other and this leads to some nice moments of reflection. Nothing too intense, but the slow pace of their relationship balances out the otherwise fast nature of Rine-Ne.

This half of the series had me laughing much more. There was a joke I particularly liked during the first episode where Tsubasa is holding Sakura’s hand and he is so elated that his soul starts to leave his body. Since Sakura can see spirits, she notices this and is rightfully confused. There was more comedy like this which I really appreciated, but the situational comedy surrounding Rinne’s financial and living situation was also quite strong in these episodes too.

The best way to describe Rin-Ne is that it is truly a solid anime. This is something I’ve stated in my first review of the series, but it bears repeating because it is the most apt description I can give.  It’s not overly complicated, but it has its charm and this coupled with generally good character chemistry carry it along. The final episode doesn’t go out with a bang, but it does nudge characters in the right direction and leaves the series in a place where it can easily continue forward. There’s still a lot of things to wrap up in the series, but nothing as frustrating as plot holes or loose ends, merely character arcs that have a lot more to give.

Radness scale:

A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.