It’s official – Ageha is officially the anti-Mamiya Sakura. Whereas our heroine is cynical, unflappable and emotionally closed off, Ageha is everything Mamiya Sakura is not. She seems never to have had an unexpressed thought or emotion, and let’s be honest – she’s dumb as a stump. But her presence – in addition to providing the catalyst for some of the funniest comedy in the series so far – is complicating things considerably, because she’s obviously fallen for Rinne.
Humor will seemingly always be in the driver’s seat with Rinne, but romance is definitely becoming a major factor. It’s crystal clear how everybody feels about everybody else – and that includes Mamiya Sakura, who would hardly be so vexed by what she saw in her mind’s eye if she didn’t have strong feelings for Rinne. She won’t admit that even to herself, though, which is the primary difference between she and Rinne – he’s at least done that much, if not confessed his feelings openly. And when she refuses to accept an engagement ring because she and Rinne-kun are “just classmates”, he takes it pretty hard.
The occasion of that event is yet another ludicrous scheme by Sabato to rope Rinne into joining the company, and the ring is a ¥1 million part of it (charged to his son, of course). Sabato is also of course shacking up with Ageha’s older sister, whose official title with Damashigami Company is “Hot Secretary”. Needless to say, Ageha’s inability to recognize her own sister until her cosplay glasses are broken is further evidence of her utter cluelessness.
All of the schemes in Kyoukai no Rinne are pretty dumb in fact, which is of course the point of the joke. Sabato’s master scheme to keep the location of his company hidden? An arrow which he spins around to point in a different direction. And Ageha is the perfect subject because there’s no trap too cliched or stupid for her to fall for it – trap doors, tickets on sinking boats, ¥50,000 life preservers. Unfortunately for Rinne, he’s simply too much the gentleman to allow this dim bulb to get taken for ride after ride, despite (or perhaps partly because of) his irritation at seeing someone being so cavalier with what to him seems like a fortune.
Unfortunately for Rinne (again) his good boy genes lead to yet another case of misapprehension on Mamiya Sakura’s part after she catches Ageha hugging him from behind after he’s saved her for the umpteenth time. Please note the fact that while both Rinne and Ageha are unable to sleep in the aftermath of all this – for very different reasons – Mamiya Sakura peacefully dozes away. She may be in love with Rinne, but she still has the demeanor of a sloth.
One last note, on the usage of “Kudoi” – the term Mamiya Sakura dismissively applies to Rinne after he insists over and over he and Ageha aren’t even friends, and to Rokumon when he persistently tries to find out what she thinks of Rinne. The subs translate it as “naggy” but that’s just not quite right. Sometimes words just don’t neatly translate into single words in other languages, especially with languages as different as Japanese and English. In fact I have to go to Yiddish (another language full of words that don’t neatly translate to English) to find a word that matches. And that word is “Noodge” – one that can be either a noun or a verb, depending on the context (in this case, a noun). CR tries to turn Mamiya Sakura’s “kudoi” into an adjective, but for me she’s really saying “You’re such a noodge!” – and when I hear her saying that, it’s both funnier and more accurate in the moment.