|Rumiko Takahashi is the richest woman in Japan. Financially and artistically rich. But that fortune didn't come without effort. Takahashi-san's manga output is prodigious and her ability to weave a complex story with personable, appealing characters AND then combine that with the wackiest, most off-the-wall humor you can ever imagine make her unique among all Japanese artists. Her winning formula has allowed her time and again to create some of the most popular anime and manga series ever sold, on both sides of the planet. Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2 and Inu Yasha are already legend. And she's not done yet. One can only dream what her next fantastic creation will be.
Death and reincarnation are aspects well noted within Asian cultures, so as a human life ends, according to Buddhist beliefs they are supposed to be reincarnated. Japan as an island nation has a historic background of adapting foreign culture aspects and merging it with their own culture. Shinigami (Grim Reapers), youkai (demons) and superstition is quite commonly referred in Rin-Ne. So before I go into a discussion similar to how I have experienced a Charles Dunbar's Shinigami and Death Gods convention panel. Just understand that Rumiko Takahashi's latest series is just beginning starting and a word of advice on taking this series slowly.
Sakura Mamiya is a girl who can see ghosts and spirits after an accident when she was a young child. One day, she discovers that her classmate Rinne Rokudo has a spiritually bound duty, so what can she do other than assist in her way? Rumiko Takahashi is a mangaka that is known to introduce many varied and colorful characters. She is also known the put the most interesting roadblocks in terms of relationship aspects in favor of comedy aspects. For this series there are currently five volumes in English and seven volumes in Japanese.
Now for a time before the Tohoku Earthquake earlier this year, Rin-Ne chapters enjoyed a simulcast publication in English around the same time as the Japanese release. Since the earthquake though, there has been a suspension with chapters still released in Japanese though. No word on when will there be more English future chapters available.
Rumiko Takahashi should not be an unfamiliar name to anime and manga viewers. In Japan, she is an author that has seen a majority of her work animated. She is an affluent creator. So never fear, fans of Inu Yasha, Ranma and many of Takahashi's other works may be interested in this series, since there are similar art styles. For the similar theme of a human shinigami, then Bleach readers would be interested. Comedy lovers would also find amusement in this series. This is surely a refreshing take on the ideas from beyond.
Reviewed by Linda Yau, August 2011
Below: A panel from the Rin-Ne manga.
Her career began in the late 1970's, and Rumiko Takahashi has became a beloved mangaka that has had nearly every series she has ever authored, get the anime treatment. Anime and manga fans should know who she is, and for many American viewers, being introduced to Takahashi title like Inu Yasha or Ranma 1/2 may have been their entry point into the world of anime/manga.
So Mermaid Saga originally published in the 1980's is definitely not unfamiliar to anime watchers of Mermaid Forest that was originally released in 1991, and then re-released in 2003. This is the source material for the anime OVA adaptation, therefore if there are parts that the anime skipped; consider reading the four volumes of this manga for the entire story.
You may have been exposed to either Takahashi's other works or the happy drawings of Disney's The Little Mermaid. So encountering this work is going to definitely widen your eyes. Mermaids portrayed in this title are not as beautiful or loving as Ariel was, but if humans eat their flesh then they can stand the chance of gaining immorality. Now, if you have the opportunity would you persist on obtaining this chance? Then if you are lucky how would you spend your life?
In the first volume of this Saga, the chapters were linked by two recurring characters: Yuta and Mana. They are both humans cursed with immorality, and seeking to regain humanity, Yuta it appears more so than Mana. The art of the Mermaid Saga is dated and typical Rumiko Takahashi style, with many drawn character similarities from InuYasha, or Ranma 1/2. While Mermaid is not as scary as other horror works, say Kazuo Umezu works, but the sadness and horror of what human greed is quite scary enough. Mermaid Saga has became a pretty short series to run through.
Reviewed by Linda Yau, July 2011
Rumiko Takahashi Anthology -
Anime DVD Review
Stress and duress can elicit strong reactions and push the average man or woman into extraordinary situations. From the brilliant mind of anime master Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of InuYasha, comes a series of "short stories" that are solid entertainment, as she examines the bizarre absurdities of the human experience with subtly and humor.
Comedic misunderstandings, hilarious coincidences, quiet romantic times, and bittersweet moments all combine seamlessly with the usual flair and panache that is the signature style of one of Japan's most celebrated story-tellers. The journey is the reward.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2005
Inu-Yasha - Down the Well (Vol. 1)
Anime DVD Review
This series succeeds on so many levels where all other anime fall flat. It sometimes feels like a cross between Ranma and Blue Seed, but Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura) once again blends interesting characters, the supernatural, comedy, adventure and romance into a winning story line that is entirely her own. The series is the rare kind of anime that appeals to many different types of people.
Of course, it seems to take the first half of the series to even assemble all the characters, but once they are all together, watch out! Combined with an amazing soundtrack ("My Will" being the most beautiful closing theme we've heard in a long time), Inu Yasha is yet another winner of a series from one of the greatest talents in Japan today.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, July 2003
Ranma 1/2 Digital Dojo -
The Complete First Season Boxed Set
Anime DVD Review
Rumiko Takahashi's most popular series since Urusei Yatsura is about a martial arts maven who has a slight problem — which he'd prefer to remain a secret that whenever he gets cold water on him, he turns into a girl! (The unfortunate result of a training accident.) And, if that weren't enough of a problem for the average High School boy, uh... girl, errr, boy, his father is a Panda, his nemesis at school is in love with his female form (not realizing that they are both the same person), he's been forced into a mismatched engagement to a hot-tempered girl, (Akane) and they immediately have a mutual hatred of each other (and every other male now wants to kill him), and there are long-standing rivals trying to take him down for other reasons. Now, if you think this is already too zany, this is only the first episode it actually gets more wacky by episode three or four...
Beware, many episodes to Ranma 1/2 are known to cause fits of hysteria. This boxed set contains the entire first season (18 episodes) of what may be the first ever "gender-bender" comedy. The series manages to poke fun at male/female stereotypes, martial arts, romance, sex, marriage, love/hate relationships, and just about everything you can think of (and some things you'd never think of) while at the same time it is pulling you into the story and characters. Ranma 1/2 has become one of the most popular anime series on both sides of the globe, with hundreds of episodes produced, OVAs, movies and plenty of other paraphenalia.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2002
Urusei Yatsura - Volume 1
Anime DVD Review
Known more commonly among fandom circles as "Those Obnoxious Aliens", Urusei Yatsura became Rumiko Takahashi's first mega-hit and catapulted her to superstar status in manga and anime. Highly regarded as one of the funniest and most original of all anime, the series sets lecherous Ataru Moroboshi into the arms of the one girl in the Universe he doesn't want an Alien Space Princess in a Tiger-Striped Bikini.
Hilarity, and potential intergalactic warfare ensue; with Takashi's now trademark bizarreness providing hours of fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Don't be fooled by imitations this series has more fun per square inch than just about anything else out there. And luscious Lum has gone on to become one of the most recognized anime characters of all time. There's something for everyone here, and Takahashi delivers with both style and comedic timing.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, January 2003