As a child, Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma's house. She returned whole and healthy, but since then had gained 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!
Long ago in a mysterious world, a young girl named Sakura Mamiya witnesses a giant red wheel floating in the air, and an attractive gray-haired woman warns her that there is no turning back if she goes on it, then tells her she must forget what she saw before sending her back home.
Now a teenager, Sakura thinks about the changes she was expecting in her life since entering high school, but her unusual ability to see ghosts remains, since she can see the spirit of a schoolboy trying to get her attention on her way to school, and she quickly walks through him. At school, one of Sakura’s classmate named Miho comments about a male student who hasn’t attended class yet. Just then, that student named Rinne Rokudo appears, wearing a strange white cloak, and sits on the desk next to Sakura’s, but no one but her can see him, so she assumes he’s a ghost. Rinne rolls up a sheet or paper and uses it to produce dog treats, which brings a large chihuahua spirit named Chihuataro. Rinne tells him to abandon his regrets and “go to the wheel”, but the dog eats the boy and leaves the class.
The next day however, much to Sakura’s surprise, Rinne appears in class without his cloak and everyone can see him. When their teacher Suzuki questions Rinne’s middle school track suit, he cryptically answers that he’d fall to hell if he’d buy a high school uniform. Later, another of Sakura’s classmate named Rika talks about a strange phone call she’s been getting on her new cell phone, from a boy who demands to be behind the gym at 4pm, and she gets more upset when Miho tells her it’s likely to be haunted. Rinne overhears this and speaks of a legend about having a paranormal problem get solved by leaving a message describing the problem along with a monetary and offering in an old instrument shelter behind the school, which the girls promptly do. Sakura sees Rinne coming, wearing his cloak, and proceeding to take the money and food left in the shelter, which causes Miho and Rika to flee, as they don’t see Rinne and see the items disappear. Sakura picks up the cell phone Rika dropped in her panic, and she grabs Rinne as he starts to walk away. Surprised she can see him, Rinne explains that his clock called Haori of the Underworld is a high quality item that can give the wearer the same physical essence as a spirit and although he made up that legend, he was not trying to trick people for his benefit. He and Sakura go the gym at 4pm, but Rinne deduces the caller could not meet the person he had called for he eventually died, so he’s going to track the caller using a tin can phone, and Sakura follows him.
As Rinne and Sakura fly through a spiritual road to find the source of the call, they arrive at a street and see a male ghost making the phone call while riding his bicycle and it’s a flowerpot falling on his head that caused his death. Consequently, he relives that incident again, which explains his repetitive calls, so Rinne throws his cloak on him inside out to make him corporeal and allow him to move from where he died. However, due to the pot falling on his head, the ghost has amnesia, so Rinne and Sakura take him behind the gym and just as it looked like it’s gonna be difficult to make him pass on, Suzuki appears and gives Rinne a new track suit, which overwhelms Rinne, but the ghost reacts to it, and Suzuki reveals that this track suit belonged to a classmate who angrily told him by phone that he had taken it by accident since they both had the same name and to bring it back to him at the gym. Much to Rinne’s dismay, that classmate is the same ghost he’s dealing with, and in his bloody tears is forced to let Suzuki give that track suit to his former classmate so he can pass on.
Rinne and Sakura then meet both the spirits of Chihuataro and the schoolboy still longing to date Sakura. As the schoolboy sympathizes with the chihuahua, he merges with the dog and becomes an evil spirit, and he goes wild upon being rejected by Sakura, so Rinne puts his cloak and takes Sakura with him into the world she had been long ago, where she can see the Wheel of Reincarnation, in order to lure the 2 merged spirits there. As they avoid their attacks, Rinne asks for 500 yen and he tosses it down to a hut, which promptly gives him a fire wheel that divides the spirits back into their original forms. Rinne convince them both to ride the wheel of reincarnation, then apologizes to Sakura for bring her here and answers to her that he’s “sort of” a Shinigami, a reaper who has for duty to guide restless spirits with earthly regrets to the wheel or reincarnation.
The next day at school, Rika gets her phone back, and Sakura guarantees she won’t get weird phone calls anymore. The legend of the instrument shelter spread throughout school, but Rinne won’t accept students thinking they can leave only 1 yen in it.
Cast in order of appearance
- Sakura Mamiya
- Tamako (flashback)
- Ghost Boy with Unrequited Love
- Rinne Rokudō
- Wrong-Number Ghost
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- In the manga, Rinne deals with the Wrong-Number Ghost after taking care of Chihua-taro and the Ghost Boy with Unrequited Love.