That was another thoroughly delightful episode from Kyoukai no Rinne, but it almost got upstaged by the preview.
This show has been a great companion for almost a year – it’s going to be gut-wrenching to lost it. The tone here is just different than it is in any other anime comedy I’ve seen. Lots of shows do deadpan and many quite well, but the total buy-in to deadpan with Rinne is off the charts. Perhaps more than any series I can remember this one is far, far more effective as an anime despite being very faithful to the manga – it’s partly due to the amazing cast of anime legends, but also that this humor simply needs the dynamism of anime like humans need oxygen to breathe.
Those 170 Yen supermarket gyoza – how many have I eaten, nuked in the microwave? The homemade ones are definitely better (especially with a big bowl of ramen on the side to dip them in). It must be said that this episode focuses on perhaps the two most genuinely unlikeable characters in the cast, Renge and Kain. Kain especially sticks in my craw – the way he persecutes Rinne based on his personal animus and his conveniently flexible relationship with the principles he holds so high and mighty is especially galling. Renge is just more of a conventional selfish jerkwad, but she seems to lack the redeeming qualities of the many loveable scoundrels in this cast.
So I wasn’t all that sympathetic to Renge’s plight here (even though those two deserve each other). Still, it delivered up so many delicious Rinne-only comic moments. like this exchange:
Mamiya Sakura: Could it be you have a crush on Kain?
Renge: Mamiya Sakura! How could you know that?
Mamiya Sakura: You were talking out loud the whole time.
I also loved Rokumon’s “Nee?” when he was backing up Mamiya Sakura’s plan to try and get Renge to quit being a Damashigami and walk the straight and narrow path. Am I supposed to admire Renge for being willing to squander her 700 Yen “fortune” to bolster a lie to the guy she likes? Well, whatever – Rinne and Mamiya Sakura being resolutely decent is the gas that fuels the motor here. Rinne as usual proves himself both nicer than he should be and clever as hell, as he not only agrees top help Renge out but manages to craft a pretty clever ruse with her meager fortune.
What really put the cherry on the sundae here, though, was the preview voice-over. Mamiya Sakura noted that Sabato had “dog ears”, which prompted him to note that it was “nostalgic”. At this point Tamako-san nee Yukino Satsuki nee Kagome pops up to tell Sabato nee Yamaguchi Kappei nee Inuyasha to behave himself, asserting her control with a robust “Osuwari!” (“Why can’t I resist!?”). Seiyuu jokes are hardly a new thing, but somehow Kyoukai no Rinne manages to elevate them to high art…