It’s something of a recurring theme of late, but Kyoukai no Rinne is another of those series that commits the “sin” of always making you want more. And again it’s very often related to the number of characters you’d just like to see more of, because RIN-NE has an impressive stable of comic horses it can ride to glory at any given time. If there’s an upside to the predominance of the three mini-episode format that’a dominated this season, it’s that it gives more characters a chance in the spotlight – though I’d still like to see a few more full-length stories mixed in.
This week’s first chapter was my favorite, featuring the esteemed Nakai Kazuya in a hilarious turn as a “wandering spirit stone“. He joins the party as the centerpiece of a necklace a suspiciously eager store owner offers to let Mamiya Sakura take for free. The reason, as it turns out, is that it contains a rather annoying little spirit stone that keeps demanding the owner make wishes until the “right wish” is asked. Poor WSS has no idea what kind of spirit he is, you see, and just wants to find a wish he can actually grant so he’ll get his answer. One of the positives here is that Jumonji gets a lot of gags for a change, though as ever they’re mostly as his expense (seriously – he can summon spirit stones, but only for 30 seconds?).
Next up is a classically inane Kyoukai no Rinne tale of a poltergeist which haunts the (again, suspiciously) cheap apartment Mamiya Sakura’s friend Kariya Yumi (Tomioka Misako) and her family rent near the station. We shouldn’t laugh at the idea of a young salaryman working himself to death (in Japan it happens a lot) but that he does just by stressing too hard getting ready to entertain at his welcome party is certainly laughable. The outcome of this chapter is one of the most tragicomic of a series that prides itself on mastering the form.
Finally, Kyoukai no Rinne’s baka maximus, Ageha, does what she usually does – cause a chain reaction of chaos by doing something stupid. In this case it’s throwing away an expired spirit collection house, apparently a no-no in the Shinigami world. Seriously, though – roach motels for wayward spirits? This show is deceptively dark, and it’s at times like this it really slips out. Oboro’s choice of where to dump the expired houses (and boy, Ageha’s manse was full of them) is fittingly dumb considering the source. But for a change things don’t all blow up in Rinne’s face (yes, he seems more willing to cast aside his ideals this season, driven by financial desperation) – he and Rokumon actually get their card stamped. With 10% off on Shinigami tools looming, can financial freedom be far behind?