Transfer student from hell!
Story/Art: Rumiko Takahashi
Translation: Christine Dashiell
What They Say
Renge Shima, a hot transfer student, is Rinne’s new classmate. But whose spirit is that hovering over her shoulder?! As if that weren’t enough, Rinne also has to deal with a Black Cat elder, a Nine-Tailed Fox and a visit from a demon of Hell!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As is now the norm with the series, this volume starts off with a number of short stories. First off, Rinne and company must deal with an evil spirit camping out on a tiring hill. Next up, Rokumon attends a party for the elder of the Black Cats. This is followed by a Setsubun story that at least has an amusing little twist, which is more than can be said for most of the series’ one off chapters. Finally, we get a two part story in which Tsubasa is possessed by a Nine-Tailed Fox, which in turn actually makes him into something of a threat.
We finally reach the meat of the volume when a mysterious transfer student named Renge Shima appears. At first the setup appears typical, with Renge seemingly possessed by a spirit that causes boys to lust after her. However, when she visits Sakura’s house our heroine realizes that the “spirit” is a fake, forcing Renge to reveal herself as a Damashigami. Apparently she was using a tool that mimics a spirit in order to trick do-gooders who can see spirits. With this revelation, the battle begins in full.
Will Rinne and company be able to deal with the threat of a Damashigami with a work ethic? Or will they fall prey to her plotting ways?
As usual, the bulk of this volume is filled up with useless little one off stories that hardly feel worth the effort to read, constantly recycling similar gags and tropes. However, at least the Setsubon story is rather cute, which is something. The big factor here, though, is Renge’s introduction. It’s nice to see a character finally do something, and her introductory arc isn’t too terrible. She’s sure to fall into the same rut as the rest of the characters as she continues to see use, but fortunately she at least saves this volume from being a complete bore. Hopefully the series will learn from this and try and move into longer arcs, but more likely it’ll just return to the same endless, dull cycle.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: March 4th, 2014