Kyōkai no Rinne began serialization on April 22, 2009 in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday manga magazine, following nearly a year after she wrapped up her longest running series, Inuyasha. At that time, Weekly Shōnen Sunday was busy celebrating their 50th anniversary, and Takahashi herself was celebrating her 30th anniversary as a mangaka, two factors which both contributed to a significant amount of fanfair surrounding the debut of this series. The first two tankōbon volumes were released in Japan on October 16, 2009; and an animated commercial promoting the manga and Weekly Shōnen Sunday was shown. As of November 17, 2017, 39 volumes have been released.
See also: List of Volumes
An anime version was produced by Brain's Base, six years after the manga’s debut.
Sakura Mamiya, a girl who gained the power to see ghosts when she was a child, thought her life would change by starting her first year in high school. And it changes eventually, by meeting a red-haired classmate named Rinne Rokudō, who describes himself as sort of a Shinigami, a god of death who must help and guide lingering spirits to the otherworld until the wheel of reincarnation where their next lives await.
By getting involved in his activities, she meets his Shinigami grand-mother named Tamako, which allows her to learn the reason why she’s able to see ghosts, then learned that he’s a boy of mixed human and shinigami heritage and now lives in an abandoned building of the high school, ever since his grand-father passed away. Rinne formed a contract with a black cat named Rokumon, and keeps receiving Sakura’s support while accomplishing his duty, which means allow lingering spirits to fulfil their unfinished business and defeat evil spirits, in which the purchase of Shinigami Tools can often be necessary.
On their way, they will make many encounter, allies and rivals, who give more trouble, and experience many surprises. Also must they confront the Damashigami Company, which exist only to fool living beings and lead them to enter the wheel of reincarnation to fill their quotas.
Comparison to Other Rumiko Takahashi Works
Kyōkai no Rinne is a unique blend of the comedic stylings of Ranma 1/2 with the elements of the supernatural and the progressive continuity found in Inuyasha. This gives it something that is both historically Takahashi while also remaining new.
It continues the trend in Rumiko Takahashi's shōnen works of a more refined and less violent female protagonist. This trend began with Lum and continued through Akane Tendo to Kagome Higurashi and finally has resulted in Sakura Mamiya. Each iteration had an assertive female lead which has progressively become more calm and less prone to physical violence towards the male lead than her predecessor.
However, it doesn't just contain a mixing of old concepts and refinements of character development though. In this work, Rumiko Takahashi has also ventured into an as of before unexplored area in her shōnen works. In a sharp departure from most of her previous shōnen series, the male protagonist is not a kind-hearted jerk, but a somber character who sets out to do good.
The manga has been licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media, which published the chapters simultaneously online in English as they were serialized in Japan until March 17, 2011. Viz Media began releasing the volumes of Rin-ne on October 20, 2009, which was the first title to be released under their Shonen Sunday imprint; 25 volumes have been released as of November 14, 2017. Madman Entertainment published the first volume in Australasia on October 10, 2010.