Not much to say apart from broken record time: that was a really, really funny episode. I think Kyoukai no Rinne must be one of the elite candidates to be poster child of overlooked and underrated anime, because it seems as if almost no one is paying much attention to it at all. I do like the fact that Takahashi Rumiko is in a position to write a series like this one where she clearly doesn’t give a fuck about sales, but I definitely wish this show (and the anime is definitely funnier than the manga) would get some credit.
One thing I especially want to point out is that Kyoukai no Rinne makes better comedic use of the narrator than any show I remember. Genda Tessyo is obviously a guy with great comedic chops and a jillion years of experience, but the way his dialogue is written has a lot to do with it, too. I mean, that whole “It’s a kotatsu” bit had me rolling on the floor. Especially when he said “This is important so I’ll repeat it again – it’s a kotatsu” (and then repeated the line later just for good measure).
The other comedic highlight of the episode was of course Ageha being Ageha – which is to say an idiot of historic proportions, even by anime standards. From getting suckered into buying a “friendship square” to consistently getting skunked by a cat at Old Maid (“Boku sugoi desu ka!”) so badly that even the cat felt guilty about it, Ageha is a world-class boob (with world-class boobs) any way you slice it. Things got so bad for her this week that I came very close to feeling sorry for her for the first time, but fortunately I managed to hold it back.
I think a Rinne take on a Christmas episode was just about what you’d expect – unabashedly sardonic and silly, with only just a dash of sentiment. First a house desperate to have a Christmas party despite having been abandoned, then a real one where everyone piles underneath Ageha’s friendship square (it’s a kotatsu) and foils her plan to play footsie with Rinne. I especially loved Rokumon’s frank admission to Ageha that he’d “treating her like kind of an idiot” and Rinne-kun’s desperate attempts to hang on to his precious ¥150 konbini cake. And thank goodness for afterlife extension cords – I guess no adapter is required.
In the end, after her deep humiliation at the
hands paws of Rokumon and frustration over losing out on her alone time with Rinne, Ageha does get some sympathy from the rest of the group (again a brilliant use of the Narrator here – “It’s actually a gaze of pity”) and a fuzzy green muffler from Mamiya Sakura’s mom. But to the end, Kyoukai no Rinne never lets itself slip into fuzzy green sincerity – it remains true to its deadpan, snarky self. And that’s why I love it.