Thursday, May 28, 2009

RIN-NE, chp. 5

In the future, I'd like to write and post these reviews on Wednesdays, since that's when the chapters are released. Since this week started with a holiday, I have to admit my "day of the week" awareness has been screwy.

The story: In this chapter, Sakura nearly dies after wandering around in the afterlife. But before she gets to the "wheel of reincarnation," she is saved by Rinne. Finally, the mystery behind Sakura's first "spiriting away" is revealed and the reader is introduced to a new mystery -- how Rinne is both "sort of" human and "sort of" a shinigami.

Reaction: Wow, so Rinne's heritage is like Inuyasha's -- half-human, half-shinigami? Way to be creative...Otherwise, my curiosity regarding how Sakura ended up in the afterlife as a child was satiated.

Deep thoughts: I find it interesting that Japanese culture (including Shintoism, the indigenous religion of Japan) has variations on anything spiritual, like a giant, evil, bunny-shaped shinigami. This is also seen when it comes to spirits, or kami, that live in everything. See Princess Mononoke for a better idea of all the different spirits that can inhabit (seemingly) inanimate objects.

Artwork: While the paneling seems very basic, it actually shows Takahashi's experience. The reader is drawn along in the story at a precise pacing that isn't too quick, nor too slow. It gives the reader time to consider the scene and any dialogue that goes with it, without dragging them along at a breakneck pace. The composition here is quite well done, even if the character design isn't particularly ground-breaking.

The verdict: Ah, after another cliffhanger that will hopefully reveal Rinne's secrets, I can't say I won't read next week. Takahashi has a knack for putting together characters and we're yet to see why Rinne and Sakura should team up in the long run. I'm interested in seeing what adventure(s) Rinne and Sakura will undertake, especially since it seems that they only work well together a la Zombie Loan. RIN-NE is serialized online by Viz and can be read here.

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