A funny thing happened this week – Kyoukai no Rinne landed in the Top 10 in Japan’s animation TV rankings. I won’t swear it’s the first time that’s ever happened but I sure don’t recall any earlier instances of it, and it’s just so rare for this series to get any kind of mention whatsoever that it was a bit of a shock. The series will be ending in a few weeks and an occasion like this doesn’t mean much in the big picture, but it was still nice to see. Maybe some anime fan will read that, ask what the heck this “Rinne” show is, and give it a watch.
We are indeed a few episodes from the finish line, and that does make you wonder when someone from the wonderful supporting cast appears whether this will be the last time. I suspect we’ll see Tamako again – she’s integral to what passes for a recurring plot – and mostly like Sabato too, and it’s they who were the main guest starts this week. Along, of course, with the Kurogitsune – the black fox youkai with the 50,000 Yen bounty on its head that Tamako is hoping to catch with her fancy scythe, the Oihagizuki.
Clever old bird she is, Tamako has Sabato-proofed this valuable scythe (valuable because it can separate possessed victims from the spirit possessing them without the aid of separation incense) with a kind of spiritual electric fence. That doesn’t stop Sabato from trying to nick it (several times, as Rokumon-chan wryly observes) before it winds up in the hands of Mamiya Sakura. She’s immune to the trap because it’s triggered by males only, and she triggers the other special feature of the Oihagizuki (though whether it’s factory-installed or a mod I don’t know) – it registers the first person to successfully wield it as its owner. And that can’t released until Mamiya Sakura has successfully purified seven spirits.
It’s kind of fun seeing Mamiya Sakura try out her Shinigami skills, with Rinne as her willing coach (obviously a dream scenario for him). There’s some funny stuff here, like the old man spirit who presents himself to be purified with “I don’t have much of a monologue, so just get on with it please.” But I think the best stuff comes when the Kurogitsune possesses Sabato, because that means we get to hear Yamaguchi Kappei do his fox impression for most of the B-part. Renge is on-hand too, chasing the 50,000 Yen reward (though she won’t be able to use the Oihagizuki to claim it).