Story/Art: Rumiko Takahashi
Translation: Christine Dashiell
What They Say
The devil Masato was once Rinne’s classmate in Shinigami elementary school, and somehow he still holds a grudge against Rinne. What happened between them in the past? When strange things happen on Valentine’s Day and at the Doll Festival, poor Rinne never seems to have any free time!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
To start off, we get another chapter focused on the black cats, this time having them solve an obstacle course. It’s entirely flat and pretty much just runs through the motions, but isn’t the worst thing the series has done. Next up comes some bland one-offs centered around a ghost with a grudge regarding Valentine’s day, and then some Shinigami/devil colds being a thing. We then get a decent chapter about a group of dolls that at least feels like it’s more focused on the concept rather than just running through the character quirks, which may not be much but it’s something.
The next chapter is actually kind of fun, with a focus on Rinne’s scythe essentially magnetizing money. Of course Rinne’s dad jumps in to steal it and wackiness ensues, making for something at least a little bit enjoyable, though it definitely could’ve run with the idea a bit more. Also of note: this chapter shows that the character previously called Left is now being called Refuto which is… awkward to say the least, plus its still left as Left in the character summaries at the start. Not a big deal and hopefully it’s just a bizarre, questionable typo, but it’s definitely a bit of an oddity.
After a small story about a ghost obsessed with a boy’s second button, we finally get a character introduction. A strange boy appears with a bottle that can forcibly pawn people’s items, and using it he forces Rinne to come to a “Shinigami Elementary School Alumni Association Meeting.” It turns out this boy, Matsugo, was a wimp, but due to feeling betrayed by Rinne he reinvented himself to prep for revenge. Of course it ends up being a misunderstanding and the two make up, making for a pretty meh multi-parter.
As I’ve said over and over again, this volume continues the trend of the series pumping out bland junk that’s not really worth the time and certainly isn’t worth the money. Once more over half the volume is spent on one-off tales, and they for the most part feel like the same uninteresting and repetitive things that we’ve seen countless times in past books. And even though two have decent ideas, they don’t really take the time or push things enough to break through to anything more than “okay.” We do at least get a multi-part story here introducing a new character who fortunately isn’t yet another black cat. And yet, though he has an odd gimmick to him that may prove decent in the future… he’s just not that interesting here. So in the end, though there’s at least something of a bit of interest here (which is more than can be said for many past volumes), this remains yet another flat entry into a very flat series.
Content Grade: C
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 10th, 2015