That stuff about Japan being the safest country in the world? It doesn’t seem to apply to whatever town Kyoukai no Rinne is set in. And the funny thing is, we never get to hear the cause of death for the seemingly endless string of children and teens who met their premature ends in this town, we only get to see them in their afterlife form. – it’s always “an accident”. Has it occurred to anyone that these might not be accidents? Maybe there’s a government conspiracy at work here – or else someone in town who really doesn’t like kids.
This week’s episode marks an appearance by anime royalty – Youta is played by Takeuchi Junko, who was anime’s (and the stage’s) original Gon Freecs as well as Naruto (she’s also done digital paint work on several series). Youta is another sad victim of whatever curse haunts this town, this time at Mamiya Sakura and Tsubasa-kun’s old elementary school. That school featured a giant Japanese Cedar known as “the haunted tree” – though Mamiya Sakura seems to have nothing but warm memories of it.
We get a little break from uber-baka Ageha this week, but the romantic hijinks aren’t totally on hiatus. That’s because Tsubasa has decided to invite Mamiya Sakura back to their old school to dig up the “power stone” he buried there as a kid. He sees this as a shared memory Rinne is excluded from, and though he won’t quite admit it’s a date he does crow “Time to get closer to Mamiya-san at our special place!” out loud – which struck me as quite hilarious just before the two guys in the background muttered “You said that out loud, you know.”
It turns out the haunted cedar is a whole lot colder than Mamiya Sakura remembered it, and that seems due to the presence on an evil spirit in the form of a little boy. Mamiya Sakura recognizes him as Youta-kun – an old classmate who was a whiz with his yo-yo (though not as big as she was), and a naughty scamp who nevertheless had a good heart. You know certain things are going to happen here – Tsubasa will overreact, Rinne will show up in the nick of time, Mamiya Sakura will stare. As is so often the case it’s Rinne who saves the day – he figures out that Youta is actually being possessed by another evil spirit and manages to split them apart with “Separation Incense” – a bargain at ¥20 a can. But when Tsubasa needs some to try and separate his power stone from the real evil spirit, Rokumon charges him ¥200.
We haven’t seen the last of that power stone, it seems – though we have of Youta-kun. Turns out he was stuck in this plane because he was worried that he was never able to give Mamiya Sakura back the yo-yo he swiped and his under the tree, and he’d spent the last five years or so confused because Tsubasa made a marking on the other side of the trunk to mark where he’d hidden his power stone. The last few moments of the ep are actually rather sad, though Rokumon provides a couple of comic highlights with his digging skills, and his reaction to getting that ¥200 from Tsubasa…