New Rumiko Takahashi Manga RIN-NE Now Online

Rumiko Takahashi, the most successful manga-ka in the modern era, author of such classics as Maison Ikkoku and Ranma ½, has started a new series.


RIN-NE is being published simultaneously in the US and Japan. They get print, we get online. It’s about a schoolgirl who sees ghosts — a common manga concept, but one I’m sure Takahashi will put her own spin on.

At the new website The Rumic World, you’ll also get news on Takahashi’s projects, including information on Inuyasha moving to unflipped orientation in print form, beginning with July’s Volume 38. Plus, the series will be coming out monthly instead of quarterly.


  1. Timo Raittila

    Rin-Ne is not available in my region.
    Not fair!

  2. I’m sad to say that the further Rumiko gets in her career, the less I enjoy her books. Unless it’s the fault of translation, the storytelling seemed rather unclear and jumpy to me. :\

    I miss her horror stand-alones like “Mermaid Forest”. :\

  3. Rivkah, could you explain that more? I thought the storytelling was very straightforward. In fact, I thought is was in danger of being bland. Well, bland for Takahashi, since these were are all elements we’ve seen in her other works.

  4. It was unclear for similar reasons you state, actually: that it was overly simple. It’s very rare that I complain about lack of dialog in manga, but in this case, I felt that were too little exposition to explain what was going on and that the dialog could have been a little more complex. I wanted a clearer idea of who our characters is, her past, and the people she is interacting with are, such as the Auntie, the ghost boy who greets her every day, and the ghost-catcher boy. I actually didn’t get that she walked right through the ghost boy at the beginning until I reread it. I thought she passed BY him. It was an odd way of drawing a person passing through a ghost.

    Or another example: the exposition on the previous page, “I thought at least something would change.” Change from what? To where? Contextually, it’s out of place and makes absolute NO sense to me. She might as well have just left it out! And then why does her Auntie suddenly disappear then suddenly reappear again? It was a choppy transition. I actually thought maybe the online version has messed up the panels somehow and they were out of order. It was very bizarre.

    And then there’s the boy who’s supposed to sit next to her. How does she know immediately that it’s him when she’s never seen him before? And then neglects to explain why he’s conveniently chasing after the chihuhua ghost in the class he’s never been to. Maybe if there had been a girl in the background sobbing about how her chihuahua got run over during the weekend and how she misses it, then the scene wouldn’t feel so . . . contrived. Because the girl would be linked to the chihuahua, the chihuahua would be linked to him, and he finally linked to the main character. As it is, I feel like the chihuahua is out of place: there instead as visual shock candy just to put something weird and extraordinary in the scene. And I have no reason for believing why her red headed classmate would suddenly show up after having missed most of the year. There’s nothing tying them all together, little threads that makes the story believable instead of cliche.

    I’m actually a huge fan of Rumiko’s early works, so it isn’t that I don’t like her usual storytelling style. But like you pointed out: it’s incredibly simple, but because of that I personally find it confusing. Her earlier works had more emotional and character depth and better tied together plotting IMHO. She didn’t have to explain everything that was going on or way, but I feel that she managed to weave the threads of her story much tightly and eloquently together so that when events happened, it felt natural and well placed.

    Hope that makes sense? Having written plenty of contrived scenes myself–plot scenes that were there for the sake of moving the characters rather than the characters moving the plot, scenes that I still squeeze my head in consternation over–I guess it’s a bit of a pet peeve now. >_>;

  5. Rivkah, Thanks for the reply. I was also confused at first by her encounter with the ghost student. Like you, I though she was just rushing by him, then realized she was walking through him.
    Since this was the first chapter I assumed that questions about the background of the main characters will be answered over time. So that didn’t bother me as much.

    The Chihuahua scene seems like classic Takahashi storytelling. Use a strange non-sequitur event to introduce a new character. Ranma was good at doing this.

    I appreciate getting another perspective on this. Plus, I’m really enjoying the fact we get to read and analyze a manga story chapter by chapter like the readers in Japan.

  6. Rivkah, Sakura calls the ghost-woman “Auntie” as she’s leaving. The ghost actually comes back to tell her to call her “Miss”. This is the kind of thing that could use a cultural note. “Auntie” is just a polite term to use for an older lady–it doesn’t mean they’re related. But the ghost is angry and wants her to use “Miss” because that is what would be used for a younger woman. So even dead women are sensitive about their age!

    I actually witnessed a playful argument between my host family about just this thing: my host mom was trying to get a toddler to call her husband “Uncle” and he kept saying “Older brother” instead. And she was laughing and telling him he was too old to be “Older brother.”

  7. Susan Says:

    “This is the kind of thing that could use a cultural note. ‘Auntie’ is just a polite term to use for an older lady–it doesn’t mean they’re related.”

    Good point, and it’s not only a Japanese thing either. The cultural notes in Aya, set in Ivory Coast in 1978, include it too (except this time the translator kept the terms in the original French, “Tantie” and “Tonton”). :)

  8. I’m not putting it past Takahashi-sensei to come up with other reasons for oba-chan to want to grind it into young Sakura-chan‘s head to call her o-nê-chan instead.

    I spent a good bit of Friday evening trying to compile my first impressions and thoughts — and send them in, as was apparently encouraged (maybe even requested). If anyone wants to look at my attempt to match imaginations with Takahashi-sensei, feel free to visit the Website linked above.

  9. […] the recent big manga launch of Rin-Ne has hit a snag… the next two chapters will be delayed due to Japanese holidays. […]

  10. Well, it’s a snag on this end, I guess. (I don’t know that people who get basically a whole week of holidays would count that as a snag. . . :] . . .)

    But now we’ve come to today/”2-Day” . . . and it looks like we’re playing another round of “Manga in Limbo”! . . . the online “you-call-this-a-game?” show which asks the burning question:

    How late can they go? . . .

    (Answer — 7:45pm EDT, as of this writing.)

  11. Ha ha! That must be it, I’m jealous of not getting a week off! And you’re right, I’m not seeing today’s installment yet, and it’s 9 PM Eastern.

  12. Well, it was about this time — er — last time . . . but if it’s going to be this late every time, or even if we should expect it to be,

    COULDN’T THEY TELL US?!? . . . :}

  13. So I went to the site and checked again (no dice). And then I went to the blog

    and typed in the following comment to the latest entry (the one titled “Thanks for Your Responses” and posted 12:36am on Apr 29 by editor Mike Montesa). . . .

    * * * * * * *

    I was cautiously excited rather earlier in the day, when I checked the _RINNE_ “Read Manga” home page and saw that it no longer said today was the day for the next episode to be posted. I figured that meant it was about to be.

    As I write, it is now 10:08pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4) on Saturday, May 2. And if Chapter 2 were up, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

    Even in San Francisco, you have less than five hours of today (“2″-Day) left to make your schedule. What’s up? Or, rather, why isn’t what’s supposed to be up already up?

    If there are problems, you could tell us . . . either here in the blog or on that same front page.

    If you’re always aiming for 9pm EDT/6pm PDT as the posting time, you could tell us . . . either here in the blog or on that same front page.

    And if you don’t tell us *SOME*thing, one of these moments the sheer number of anguished “waiters” checking and re-checking for the next chapter — and the bandwidth pressure they/we generate in the absence of information from you — may create the unintentional equivalent of a denial-of-service attack . . . and knock down your whole system along with the goodwill you’re trying to generate with this almost-approaching-simultaneous publishing effort.

    Don’t let that happen. Talk to us . . . please.

  14. Well, they made it — sort of.

    It was 2am EDT Sunday 5/3 when the pages were posted. A few minutes past 2am, actually. But hey, Viz is based in San Francisco — so they were still barely into the 11th hour of Saturday 5/2 there, right? . . .


  15. Hey, the newsletter worked to notify me, so I’m not going to worry about it. It’s free comics, after all.

  16. Oh? Hmm . . . I had “heard” that the newsletters were hard to dislodge once implanted, so I hadn’t signed up. But if they do provide this kind of information, that might well counterbalance the potential inconvenience. (They’d very likely be a net time saving for me right now, at least. . . :] . . .)

    Thank you for mentioning the possibility, Johanna. Can you provide a bit more help?

    If I may ask — and with apologies to former Senator Howard Baker — “What did the newsletter say and when did it say it?”

    The “Manga” page itself — the page from which we access the Reader — said Chapter 2 would be posted May 2. It now says Chapter 3 will be posted May 13. I think that same page could be used to give readers more specific posting-time information. But I can see Viz might prefer to use the newsletters to both distribute that information and gauge interest in the series.

    So has the newsletter been doing this already — giving more than just the date? Did it say, for example, that Chapter 2 wasn’t going to be up until 11pm PDT? Or that (until further notice, at least) we shouldn’t expect any new chapter to be posted before __pm West Coast time? If this kind of information is in the newsletters, they may be useful.

    OTOH, it wouldn’t help a lot to have a newsletter say “Today’s issue won’t be posted until 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific” if you don’t get the newsletter until 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. And it would help, but only a little, if you got that message at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific.

    So can you, Johanna, tell me/us — without violating any TOS agreement or suchlike — about what (and/or what kind of) posting-timing information the newsletters have been giving you?

    In any case, I do again offer my thanks for your helpful suggestion so far.

  17. (I should mention one reason I am being, um, cautious about relying too much on the kindness of Viz is that the comment I copied above still hasn’t been posted at the blog entry it was trying to reply to. I don’t know if that means the people at Viz wants to post only favorable comments, or only comments from newsletter subscribers — or only comments they’ve had a chance to look at after the all-nighter they just pulled to post this chapter which Shôgakukan didn’t get to them until late . . . or what. But I think it may help explain my uncertainty.)

  18. The newsletter said that chapter 2 was now live and provided additional links to the editor’s blog. It also reminded readers of the schedule for chapter 3.

    If you’re that concerned about knowing when new chapters go live, you definitely need to subscribe, because then you won’t have to bother checking on it until you get the email.

    If I got your comment stuck in my spam filter, I might think twice about posting it, too. It reeks of entitlement and paranoia.

  19. Thank you again, Johanna. And “Hmm” again.

    So Viz is using the newsletter itself to announce posting of the latest episode. That is very good to know. Unfortunately, it’s also the first I’ve heard of any way to find out a chapter is posted other than by checking and re-checking the site. (Or hoping that you see a notice from somebody else on some fansite who’s in the know and mentions it.)

    I could wish Viz had mentioned *that* somewhere. But at least you have, Johanna, and once more I thank you.

    I hope you wouldn’t mind if that news was spread. (I’ll hold off on spreading it myself, though — until I hear from you, either here or directly.)

    Paranoia?! . . . I may be “louder” than some other fans — maybe even louder than the average fan. In my other life I encounter a lot of situations where “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” is the rule. So I’m not reluctant to ask questions — and to look for if not expect answers, even if only the courtesy of “we don’t know yet” or “that answer is here, stop bugging us” or some such.

    But I can’t believe I’m the only fan who’s been frustrated by the tail-end-of-the-target-day postings. Or the only fan who’s been repeatedly visiting multiple pages of the RumicWorld site looking for more information. And I think it would benefit both us and Viz if we knew the option of receiving notice of chapter postings via newsletter (or any other methods Viz offers that wouldn’t risk clogging up their Website) was available.

    How would it benefit Viz? Well, they have been promoting this offer of free reading now in an attempt to build an audience/customer base for the future, and to gauge its size. To accumulate what you don’t have to be an accountant to call “goodwill”. That’s what they want to get in exchange for the promise of same-day other-language posting. Viz didn’t have to make that offer — there’s no constitutional right to freedom of manga . . . :] . . . but it did — and I’m glad. I’m good and willing to make that exchange — and so, I’m sure, are you.

    But once Viz offered so clear and specific a promise, yeah — that did and does entitle us somewhat. To the promise, or to some explanation if there’s a problem in keeping the promise at times.

    (Likewise, if Viz sets up and offers ways to receive and share comments from the general reading public, those ways should be equally open to comments regardless of whether they are positive, negative, neutral, or mixed. If they only wanted to post rave reviews, again, they could say so.)

    I was not, and am not, talking about suing Viz. Nor was I threatening a denial-of-service attack. I was just trying to identify some problems, in terms clear and penetrating enough to have a chance of convincing Viz that they were problems. And to do that early on, so maybe things would be made better sooner and stay better longer. (I would tend to prefer sending actual e-mails over using form pages or blogs for such a purpose — if e-mail addresses are available. I know they’re not always going to be available, though — so I use what’s offered.)

    In other words, I’m trying to help Viz keep earning and gathering up that goodwill — from me and you and other fans like us. I want to improve everyone’s understanding of what the deal is — so expectations match the deal, instead of soaring too high above it and then crashing.

    Granted, I’m not much more shy about suggesting ways to share that information than I am about asking for the information in the first place. To mention how I might do it if I were them. But I’m not them, and I know it. And, as mentioned above, I’m also not reluctant to accept the ways they’re using to share the information . . . if I know about those ways. (As now I do for one way. Thanks to you — not, alas, to Viz.) And I’d accept it with even more of a good will the more courteously my ideas and I are treated.

    Anyway, you get to decide whether all this is (in the immortal words of archy the cockroach) “just an explanation not an excuse”. But I hope you can at least believe that I have intended good — and that I do appreciate your help and information — and that I will be looking for your message about sharing the news of the newsletter-as-chapter-posting-notice option.

  20. I’m pretty sure Viz did mention the newsletter would have updates, or I would never have subscribed. Sure, go ahead and tell other people that, although I have no idea why you’d need my permission.

  21. I may just have missed that — or I may have read “updates” and not interpreted it as meaning “notices that new chapters had been posted”. Anyway, I’ll go back and look one of these moments . . . and I’ll probably sign up, if only to see how that works and be able to tell the news to others that much more thoroughly.

    (And I asked your permission, Johanna, because you had seen a problem — with my comment — that I hadn’t. I wanted to address you and your suggestions with respect. And I figured that if neither one of us, looking from different points of view, could see any problem with my idea of spreading the news . . . then it was that much more likely to be okay with others. So I asked. And you answered. And yet once more, I thank you.)

  22. Update: Viz did get my comment up on the RumicWorld/RIN-NE blog. A few days after the fact, and no particular answer to it that I’ve seen yet — but they have a *few* other things to do than just respond to me. . . . :]

    So I’ll see how signing up for the newsletter works this time — and how patient I’ll manage to be on Wednesday if I don’t see something from them in my Inbox.

    Thanks for your patience. . . .

  23. Johanna, have you received a newsletter yet today? I haven’t — but I’m not positive my confirmation of subscription worked. At least, I’ve not heard back from Viz yet on that, either.

    I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to keep track of this “experiment” with the newsletter . . . and I hope you don’t mind being a sort of control group of one for it.

  24. I got the newsletter about 20 minutes ago, announcing the new chapter 3. Did you?

  25. Yes, thanks! Timestamp 8:37pm — and since then I’ve been trying to spread the word in other places where I’ve mentioned your suggestion.

    (So now I have to let folks know it worked. And then go enjoy it myself!)

  26. And remember to thank *you* once again. . . . :]

  27. In the past day or two — and in the back of my mind — I’ve mostly been pondering over quaint and curious pieces of forgotten lore from Chapter 3. What did Rinne-kun think of Sakura-chan‘s idea of whipping the “reversible” haori back onto ghost-Suzuki so Suzuki-sensei could see him? (And did he brood about it more after it wound up costing him his in-kind pay for the job? Will he hold that against her?) Was there some off-panel hypnosis? Or can Rinne-kun only hypnotize people to forget — and is he reluctant to do that because it would leave Suzuki-sensei with the mystery of what happened to that old jersey he used to have? (Or why it’s not where he thought he was going to leave it?) What does this bode for Suzuki-sensei as an ongoing character? If he is going to play a bigger role, which other Takahashi adult[s] will he remind us of? And so on.

    But last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I suddenly had a flashback — all the way back to the beginning. (Yeah, yeah, it’s not that far back — but it was a flash.)

    Oba-chan (a/k/a O-nê-chan) was wearing her haori when we met her — however briefly — and Sakura-chan could see her.

    That incident didn’t give Sakura-chan the power to see ghosts. She already had it!

    Maybe she was born with it, maybe not. But she had it before she got hypnotized — or lost. Though maybe she got hypnotized into losing her memory of how she got it . . . or when. After all, she’s the one who said (well, thought-ballooned at us) that she started seeing ghosts about that time — so she definitely doesn’t seem to remember that she had the power/ability/talent/whatever before then.

    Anyway, it’s a point to ponder — for . . . well, maybe only the next five days now! . . . :]

  28. Oh, by the way, another cultural note: the school year in Japan is April to April (or maybe to March). So Rinne-kun only missed about a month of the first term of the first year of high school. (Only?!)

    And one more: high school isn’t required in Japan; in fact, you have to pass an entrance exam to get into high school just as you do to get into college. (Even for some private junior high schools, I understand.) Almost everyone does go to high school — but it’s not required. Entering high school is a somewhat significant life step/stage, so it wouldn’t be all that strange for Sakura-chan to hope/expect that something might change at that point in time. Even if she isn’t a mutant. . . . ]

    And one not-necessarily-cultural note, too. I assumed that Sakura-chan was presuming that previously-unseen boy was Rinne-kun in part because he was coming to sit in the seat assigned to that previously-unseen Rokudô Rinne-kun. Of course, she didn’t know at first she was the only one who could see him — and he wasn’t there long, was he? . . . :]

    (I suppose one could put that down to a cultural expectation that everyone would be polite enough to sit only in their own seats. On the other hand, if he hadn’t been there before, how did he know which seat was his? Unless it was the only one open.)

  29. […] launching Rumiko Takahashi’s new series Rin-Ne online (with simultaneous publication to US web and Japanese print), Viz has now created an entire […]

  30. […] when she started a new series, Rin-Ne, and even more so when Viz announced that it would be published simultaneously: when a new chapter appears in print in Japan, the same translated chapter is put online for the […]

  31. I have to say, i absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE rin-ne already. There’s been 41 chapters so far, and i don’t know if this series will surpass my love for Inuyasha, but it is so promising and I have faith in Rumiko Takahashi! I think rin-ne is one of my favorites!

  32. David Findlay

    I just finished inuyasha I can’t believe it’s over it makes me so sad can’t Rumiko at least add a bit to the ending I thought that kagome was going to be a hanyo and they would have a litter

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