Rin-ne (境界のRINNE Kyōkai no Rinne?, literally Rinne of the Boundary) (stylized RIN-NE) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It began serialization in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday manga magazine on April 22, 2009. The series follows Sakura Mamiya, a girl who gained the power to see ghosts after an incident as a child, and her classmate Rinne Rokudo, a boy of mixed human and shinigami heritage who helps lingering spirits finally pass on to be reincarnated. The manga has been licensed by Viz Media, who is simultaneously releasing the manga chapters online in English as they are serialized in Japan.
Rin-ne revolves around Sakura Mamiya, a high school girl who became able to see ghosts after she was "spirited away" for a week when she was a child, though she does not remember the details of the experience. Once in high school, Sakura wishes to be rid of her extrasensory perception, which is an annoyance to her. She meets a shinigami of sorts named Rinne Rokudo, a classmate of hers who was absent for the first month or so of school. His job is to guide spirits, whose regrets bind them to Earth, to the wheel of reincarnation so that they may be reborn. The wheel appears as a large red, spoked wheel revolving in the sky.
- Rinne Rokudo (六道 りんね Rokudō Rinne?)
- The main protagonist of the story, Rinne is a boy of mixed human and shinigami heritage residing in the human world, despite his grandmother's invitation to live with her. He used to live with his grandfather until he died and now lives in an abandoned club building of the school he attends. He performs the duties of a shinigami on behalf of his grandmother, though requires tools that a true shinigami would not need and that are quite inexpensive, often times equating to ¥500 or ¥1,000. He also has the expensive Haori of the Underworld (黄泉の羽織 Yomi no Haori?), a robe that allows Rinne to not be seen by ordinary living beings and, when reversed, turns a ghost into a solid being. As he is short on money, he is eager to pick up money, food, or any kind of offering made by the students; he also refuses to spend money on rent, uniforms or many other common necessities. The debt he is paying off is not because of his grandmother, but because of his father using all his money. Rinne's name is taken from "Rinne", the cycle of resurrection present in Buddhism, and Rokudo, the six paths that comprise it. As the story progresses, Rinne begins to develop some feelings for Sakura, although she may not feel the same way.
- Sakura Mamiya (真宮 桜 Mamiya Sakura?)
- Sakura is the heroine of the story and is the deuteragonist in the early part of the series. Sakura was spirited away as a little girl, but comes back with Tamako's help, and gains the ability to see ghosts and spiritual beings. Thanks to that, she is the only human to initially see Rinne and not to be scared by Rokumon's demonic appearance. A very calm girl, she does not hesitate to scold Rinne if she thinks he is creating problems for her friends. Also, she tends to let herself get into the mood of things, once coming into a line of old men and women's souls who had lived their lives to the fullest and almost getting onto the wheel of saṃsāra until Rinne rescues her. As the story progresses, it is hinted that Sakura begins to develop feelings for Rinne off and on. She never shows much jealousy, though, when Ageha gets close to Rinne.
- Tamako (魂子?)
- Tamako is Rinne's grandmother, a young looking shinigami. She becomes upset when referred to as "grandmother", instead insisting on being called "young lady". Fifty years before, she came to claim the soul of a young man in agony, with whom she quickly fell in love. She made a deal with the death priest who married them, promising to do ten times the usual shinigami chores in exchange for extending his life fifty years. Should she fail, her descendants would take on her burden. She tries to get her grandson to live with her, and helps him to get offers; she dons a scary mask and appears in Rinne's classmates' dreams, threatening them, much to Rinne's dismay.
- Rokumon (六文?)
- Rokumon is a black cat by contract. These cats form contracts with shinigami, aiding them in their job, eliminating evil spirits, but also bringing curses, threats, and ill omens. His appearance is that of a little black cat with a human face, changing into a demonic giant cat face to scare off humans. He can also transform into a cute faced kitten, and often does so in order to get food. He comes to the living world appearing as a demon cat, who scares Rinne and Sakura's classmates. He claims to have been sent by Tamako to form a contract with Rinne, to which the boy refuses, having no resources to support the helper. He then appears to Sakura and reveals to her the true reason of Rinne's shinigami duties, while Rinne finds a letter, discovering the truth about him: Tamako fired him and he came looking for Rinne's support. Eventually, the two form a contract, on the grounds that Rokumon covers his own living expenses. He does not seem to favor Tsubasa.
- Tsubasa Jumonji (十文字 翼 Jūmonji Tsubasa?)
- Tsubasa comes from a family of exorcists. Like Sakura, he can also see ghosts, but often brutally attacks them with "sacred ashes" instead of trying to put them to rest, which can serve to turn them into evil spirits. He initially met Sakura when they were in younger and he began to harbor feelings for her after he realized that she can see ghosts as well. Since his transfer into Sakura's high school, he has tried countless times for Sakura to return his affection and is jealous of the time she and Rinne have spent together, and thus begins joining them on their ghost exploits. Since joining them, he has realized that not all ghosts are evil and has been more lenient towards some. He tends to jumps to conclusions, especially when something concerns Rinne and Sakura's relationship. It is hinted that he is Christian.
- Ageha (鳳?)
- Ageha is a young shinigami who meets Rinne while investigating the Damashigami company. She initially looks down on Rinne, because he is poor and she comes from a wealthy and respected family, but begins to have feelings for him after spending some time with him. After finding out what that her sister willingly joined the Damashigami company and is Rinne's father's girlfriend, she vows to destroy the Damashigami company. She has since come to Rinne and his friends' aid on several occasions. She is often shown to be jealous of Sakura, because she believes her and Rinne have feelings for each other, though Sakura is initially jealous of her when she believes that Ageha and Rinne are dating.
The manga series Rin-ne is written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. The first chapter was published in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday manga magazine on April 22, 2009. The first two tankōbon volumes were released in Japan on October 16, 2009. The manga has been licensed by Viz Media, who publishes the chapters simultaneously online in English as they are serialized in Japan. On October 20, 2009, Viz announced that Rin-ne would be the first title to be released under their Shonen Sunday imprint.
During the week of October 12–18, 2009, the first two volumes of Rin-ne ranked at number 15 and 16 for the best-selling manga in Japan; combined, the volumes sold about 100,000 copies that week. The following week of October 19–25, 2009, the first volume ranked at 18 with over 44,000 copies sold, while the second volume ranked at 20 with over 41,000 copies sold in Japan. The third manga volume ranked at number 11 for the best-selling manga in Japan for the week of March 15-21, 2010.
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- Rin-ne at Weekly Shōnen Sunday (Japanese)
- Rin-ne at Shonen Sunday (Viz Media)
- Rin-ne (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia