RIN-NE: Episode 2 – “Memories of the Red Ring”

RIN-NE focuses on two characters: Sakura Mamiya (a girl who can see ghosts) and Rinne Rokudo (a boy who can guide restless spirits with earthly regrets to the Ring of Reincarnation). These two keep finding themselves teamed up to take care of issues that involve ghosts and spirits.

In Episode Two, Sakura and her classmates all have the same dream of a woman wearing a kimono and a mask telling them they will be cursed in three days unless they leave offerings at their school’s instrument shelter. Sakura sees Rinne taking the offerings and confronts him about the dream. As he insists he’s not responsible, the woman from the dream comes out of a nearby portal. It turns out that she is Rinne’s grandmother, who is worried about him and was trying to help him out.

We learn rather quickly that Rinne’s grandmother has a quirk of rubbing someone’s temples when she’s frustrated with them. This shtick appears at least three times during the episode. While it was amusing the first time we saw it, it wore out its amusement factor by the third time. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of the temple rubbing whenever Rinne’s grandmother makes an appearance.

When Rinne’s grandmother returns to the other world with Rinne’s offerings after he refuses her help, he goes after her. Sakura grabs on to Rinne’s haori and goes along for the ride. Unfortunately, the haori rips, and causes Sakura to fall. Rinne is unable to locate her, and she is instead found by a strange rabbit. Sakura’s adventure with the strange rabbit ultimately leads her to remember what happened when she went into the other world. It turns out Rinne’s grandmother has a connection with this event as well.

Episode Two still focuses on getting the basics established, so there’s more here in the way of exposition than there is in actual plot and progression. While it was nice to finally get the explanation as to what happened to Sakura as a child and how she is able to see ghosts, it made this episode more of a boring watch. I noticed that once again, whenever Rinne took out a spiritual object, the action would pause and a narrator would explain what the item was and its purpose. While this was still on the annoying side, I realize that this is probably being done to add a little more character to the episode with the hopes of helping to make it a more interesting viewing experience.

I was glad to see that the “Rinne is broke” jokes were nowhere near as prevalent in Episode Two as they were in Episode One. This episode only had Rinne make one off-hand comment about how much it cost to rescue Sakura while they were in the other world.

At this point, there’s still not much to make Sakura an interesting protagonist. Sure, she wound up in the other world as a child and can now see ghosts, but that’s all there seems to be to her at this point. So far, she’s a rather dull protagonist, and I’m hoping there will be some more character development for her. As for Rinne, an interesting hint was dropped at the end about who and what he is, and hopefully that hint will lead to some development for him. At this point, between these two characters, Rinne is more interesting.

I’m hoping that RIN-NE will end up being a “slow burn” series and that it will get better as it progresses.

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