I never really thought about it, but “so poor he doesn’t even have boiling water” is about as bleak as it gets in Japan. Hot tea, cup ramen – the ubiquitous Zojirushi electric boiler that’s as essential as a rice cooker in every Japanese kitchen is the key to all of it. If you don’t have the money for one, or worse yet for the electricity to run it – well, that’s Rinne-level poverty. Sleep well, Sabato and Grandma.
I’m not familiar with the legend of the Yatagarasu, the three-legged raven of the afterlife, but leave it to Rinne to get stuck with a mythological beast with a huge appetite. You know a character is bad off when you find yourself rooting for him to have a huge victory by getting to eat 150 Yen cup ramen, but that’s Rinne. As for the yaki-imo (“I feel like I need to give Rinne-kun food every time I see him” – bless you, Mamiya Sakura), I’m not sure if there’s a joke behind them costing 700 Yen apiece, but I sure never saw them that expensive.
Second this time (next week it’s another three-episode episode – they seem to be the norm this season) it’s the story of a “June bride”. It’s the first reminder in a long time that whatever town this is seems to have been built on cursed ground, but at least this time around the victim is an adult – the owner of a wedding chapel (kitschy Western chapels are a big thing in Japan) who gets hit by a car running back with a roll of film to get his photo taken in a wedding dress. That’s one of those sentences you never imagine you’ll have the chance to write, and the best argument yet for digital photography.
Finally we have an encounter with the one character who may be even more of a schlimazel than Rinne – Masato-kun. The little devil has decided to prank Rinne by dropping a safe made of ice from the deepest part of Cocytus in European Hell, with a fake 10,000 Yen note frozen inside it. This is as dumb-funny as it gets, with Masato delivering everything from a bazooka to “Hell’s hammer and chisel” to Rinne to trash his hovel while trying to liberate the bill. Only Masato is dumb enough to steal an item from Damashigami Co. and expect anything but disaster (well – Ageha certainly is to, but she doesn’t have the Devil’s luck like Masato).