This is an interesting publishing experiment from VIz. RIN-NE, the new manga from Rumiko Takahashi, is available online for free. Sakura is a high school student who sees dead people. A classmate named Rin-Ne Rokudo who is assigned to the seat next to her is always absent. One day he shows up to school wearing a strange outfit. Rin-Ne has fire engine red hair. Sakura comments about him to a friend, but quickly realizes that she’s the only one who can see Rin-Ne. He starts throwing around dog biscuits in an attempt to control a giant floating ghostly chihuahua dog. Rin-Ne allows himself to be swallowed by the dog, which departs the school.
Sakura runs into Rin-Ne outside of school and ends up hiring him to save him from a ghostly stalker who keeps trying to walk her home from school. Rin-Ne’s fees are ridiculously cheap. He starts attending school in visible form. It is clear that Sakura and Rin-Ne will have plenty of ghostly adventures.
While the story follows a fairly typical shingami type plot, the imagery Takahashi uses is entirely unique. I certainly haven’t seen a manga that features a giant chihuahua in spirit form before! I also appreciated Takahashi’s mix of humor and action. I’ll definitely be following this manga online.