Cats and mushrooms – how can you possibly go wrong?
It’s easy to lose sight of how much I’m going to miss Kyoukai no Rinne when it’s gone (as I assume it will be after this season). I have tremendous affection for its effortless wit and balance of cuteness and blackest comedy. Sometimes when a good series ends you have a sense that something will come along on the next season’s schedule that can fill the gap, but it’s hard to see that happening with Rinne because there’s really nothing much like it out there.
Equally adept at full-episode or even carryover arcs, Rinne returns to the three mini-episode format this week, with the always-welcome theme being the black cat contractors. First off we have Rokumon nursing a bad tooth (he’s even cute doing that), which is a real problem when the mere mention of a trip to the dentist makes Rinne-kun cry blood. Returning for a visit here are Refuto and Raito, the scamtastic scythe smithing twins, hawking their usual defective infomercial product line. This time it’s a “restoration cream” that also, as it happens, has the ability to restore a full (and evil) version of Rokumun after coming in contact with the tooth he’s pulled Three Stooges style. Fortunately as with all of Migatsukidou’s products it has no practical use, its impact being completely nullified by water. I kind of like the idea of an evil Rokumon lurking around, though.
Next up is a topic near and dear to Kyoukai no Rinne – money. I don’t think anyone would dispute that Rinne and Rokumon have a healthy and mutually caring relationship, but the idea that Rokumon would want to stash his meager treasure of 10 Yen coins somewhere out of Rinne’s reach isn’t unreasonable. It’s the execution of the scheme that’s a problem, as hiding it in a locker in a faculty storage closet has lured in the spirit of a teacher from a neighbouring high school that jumped from the third-floor window to avoid the creditors chasing her for the shady loans she made to buy designer bags and suits. If these are the people the fate of the local children are placed in, it’s no wonder so many of them end up as premature spirits.
Finally, it’s time for a mushroom hunt – with all the local black cats as the hunters and Rinne and Kain as the organizers. Lots of old furry friends like Oburo, Suzu and Kuruso stop by for this one (though they don’t really need the money) and it turns into a hunt for the 100,ooo Yen Kuekuedake, a mushroom-like thing that eats other mushrooms and tastes like crap. There seems for a moment to be a heartwarming ending in store here as the Kuekuedake lead Rinne (who’s joined the hunt, lured by the massive reward) and the cat quartet to a field of Matsutake (much revered in Japan). But this is Kyoukai no Rinne, so I think we all know how that’s going to turn out…