| The Mysterious Classmate
|Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Volume||21/22 (double issue)|
Nazo no Kurasumēto
|No. of Pages||40|
|Publication Date||Apr. 22, 2009|
|SS Tankoban / Viz Manga|
As a child, Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma's house. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura's has always been empty since the start of the school year. Then one day her always-absent classmate Rinne Rokudō shows up and he's far more than what he seems!
The story opens with a flashback of a young Sakura Mamiya in the land of the dead looking at the Wheel of Reincarnation with Tamako (whom she calls "Auntie"). When Sakura asks to ride on the Wheel of Reincarnation, Tamako tells her that there is no coming back from that ride and that the little girl should go home by following a path. However, upset about being called "auntie" instead of "miss", Tamako gives the little girl a noogie and makes her forget everything she saw in the land of the dead.
The second scene features the present day teenage Sakura walking to school and lamenting about how she thought things would change when she entered high school, but they didn't. As she makes her way to school a young man calls out to her, but Sakura isn't happy to see the young man and speeds up to run right through him. The young man is actually a ghost.
The third scene set at school and has Sakura reminiscing, with a flashback, about how when she was little she experienced a spiriting away in the mountains behind her grandma's house for a week. When she returned, she could see ghosts and other spiritual beings.
The fourth scene is set in Sakura's classroom. As the Homeroom Teacher starts to take attendance, Miho turns to Sakura and mentions that the kid who sits next to her didn't show up again. When the teacher reaches his name in the roll call, Rinne Rokudō shows up and takes his seat. However, when Sakura mentions to Miho that he made it today the teacher asks if Rinne was absent again. It soon becomes clear to Sakura that nobody else can see Rinne, so she concludes that he is a ghost.
Shortly, Rinne starts digging around in his desk and pulls out a tube. As he is fiddling with it Sakura stares at him, and Rinne catches her. Ignoring Sakura's reaction he sets off the tube and scatters dog snacks all over the room. The scattered dog snacks make Chihua-taro, the ghost of a chihuahua, appear. Rinne tries to convince Chihua-taro to let go of his lingering attachments to this world and move on, but the dog ghost bites and then swallows Rinne whole, before running away.
Scene five is set with Sakura walking home with Miho. Miho mentions that Sakura seems to stare off into space at times and asks if it is an odd habit. Sakura agrees that it is and states that she can't seem to break it, referring to her ability to see ghosts. The two eventually go their separate ways home.
Scene six is a continuation of Sakura walking home from school, where she again meets and runs through the ghost of the young man from the second scene. After running through the ghost of the young man Sakura sees Rinne walking down the street carrying a chihuahua with several bumps on its head. Thinking that Rinne is a ghost, Sakura speeds up and tries to run through him, like she does with the ghost of the young man. Unfortunately, Rinne is not a ghost and so she simply runs into him and sends the chihuahua flying. Sakura apologizes in embarrassment and continues on for home, but Rinne stops her and asks if she was watching him before in class. Realizing that she could they each ask each other who they are. At the end of the conversation the ghost of the young man interrupts and Rinne offers to help the ghost pass on if Sakura will pay him fifty yen.
The seventh scene features the young ghost boy talking to Chihua-taro about his past and includes a flashback about how when he was alive he did nothing but study for tests. He regrets the fact that he never once talked to a girl. So, after he died he would try talking to every girl who crossed his path, but Sakura was the only girl who responded to him, which made him fall in love with her.
Scene eight returns to the earlier scene as Sakura and Rinne join the conversation between the young ghost and Chihua-taro. Sakura states that the only reason she talked to him was because she didn't realize he was a ghost and it was just reflex. Finally, fed up with the ghost boy Sakura pays Rinne the fifty yen to help the young ghost pass on. However, before Rinne can help either ghost pass on they merge and become an evil spirit.
The evil merged spirit asks Sakura out on a date, but she turns him down. When Rinne tries to help them let go of their lingering attachment and move on the evil merged spirit becomes upset.
Scene nine has Rinne acting quickly to don his Haori of the Underworld and take Sakura to the land of the dead so that the evil merged spirit would follow and be dealt with. Once in the land of the dead, Rinne asks Sakura for 500 yen, the cost of dealing with an evil spirit, and spends the 500 yen on a flaming wheel used in the Kasha Retsudan technique.
The ghost boy is still hesitant to pass on until Rinne tells him that there are girls on the other side. Once the ghost boy realizes this he and Chihua-taro ride the Kasha Retsudan wheel to the Wheel of Reincarnation together.
Scene ten takes place in the land of the dead after the ghost boy and Chihua-taro pass on. Rinne tells Sakura that she shouldn't be there. When Sakura asks him who he is Rinne replies that he is a "shinigami, sort of". Then he uses a coin to try and hypnotize her into forgetting all about the trip to the land of the dead.
Scene eleven is a single panel of Sakura eating a breaded porkchop at her house not remembering anything after Rinne hypnotizing her.
Scene twelve is back at school the following day. As Sakura is reminiscing about what had happened with Rinne, Miho comes up and tells her that Rinne actually showed up for class. Upon seeing Rinne, Sakura calls him a shinigami and he's suprised that his hypnotism failed.
Cast in order of appearance
- "I'm a shinigami... sort of..." (死神...みたいな...) - Rinne to Sakura