Dammit, it’s like some sort of conspiracy – every season it airs, Kyoukai no Rinne seems to do so at a time when the schedule is absolutely slammed. And because it so eloquently speaks for itself, it’s hard not to shortchange it when it comes to writing about it – it doesn’t demand the sort of follow-up many other shows (even some comedies) do. I know the Western audience for this one is pretty limited, but I hate to give the impression that it’s in any way undeserving of full and undivided attention – it’s a rare comic gem.
Rinne eps tend to be even more self-explanatory when they go the mini-episodic route, as this one did. First off we had a ghost story that wasn’t (we had two of those this week, actually). A young first-year on the track team seems to be clumsily tripping on his own feet a lot – prompting his sempai, the captain, to submit a request for aid in Rinne’s offering box. Things start out predictably (if zanily) enough – an invisible hand is reaching out and tripping the first-year up. But eventually it becomes clear that the hand doesn’t belong to a ghost, but to the captain – who’s spirit is leaving his body.
Leave it to Kyoukai no Rinne to get the most out of a banana peel gag, but Rumiko is shameless – thank goodness. My favorite part of all this, I think, are to cuts to Rinne and Rokumon feasting on the convenience store delicacies Mamiya Sakura has brought them for breakfast while they work on the case. As usual, Rinne-kun comes out in the red – but thank goodness, he at least gets far more bananas than he can eat out of the occasion. Is the lack of a refrigerator going to be a running gag this season?
Next up is a Rumiko take “Kono Bijutsubi ni wa Monday ga Aru” – namely, a girl ghost is showing up and demanding that boys draw her. The problem? She has no face, so the guys have to improvise – and the angry ghost ends up blacking out their faces in addition to the one they drew. This isn’t a ghost either, though – it seems to be a sort of obsession personified, all tied into an unrequited romance between the former and current president of the art club. You don’t get much more spiritual power than unfulfilled adolescent longings.
Again, this stuff pretty much speaks for itself, but the interaction between Tsubasa and Rinne is great here. We also get a reoccurrence of the classic “expository monologue” gag (at least Rumiko is honest about it). The whole thing seems to boil down to the girl not liking the fact that the boy drew her with glasses, which hardly seems like such a big deal. But hey, who said teenage impulses have to make sense?