Welp, I got in the mood to read one of them ‘manga about making manga’ earlier this week. Just something to get my blood boiling as a creator… It worked, and I read through the whole series of Rin by Harold Sakuishi. If you’re familiar with him, he’s the author of Beck. I haven’t read Beck but I did watch the anime years ago and loved it, so it was a pleasant surprise. I went into the manga not knowing he was the one that made it and Beck’s songs make often cameos and near the end of Rin the protagonist actually goes to a Beck concert and the whole band makes a cameo which was really nice. But hey, we aren’t hear to talk about how good Beck is (although I should really read the full manga of Beck sometime…), we’re here for me to go on about Rin.

Rin was good. But it was a lot more than I bargained for. I went in knowing it was about a kid who wants to make manga and he ends up meeting a girl, Ichidou Rin, who has psychic powers. What I expected was a cool Bakuman-esque story but sillier, but what I got was a weird, trippy reincarnation story with Donnie Darko style spirit guides in full Crow costume. The main character also does manga stuff too and meets lots of fun and interesting people in the manga industry. Rin felt a lot more like a wilder take on Billy Bat than it did Bakuman, but like 60% of it was still all about manga and the manga industry, I just really wasn’t expecting the weird and trippy reincarnation plotline. It was still pretty intriguing though and the psychic aspects of the series were pretty interesting, especially the lead character’s interactions with a fraud fortune teller. I really liked her for some reason.

One of my favorite things about this series was the lead character’s hilarious taste in the manga he creates… they are really, really weird and I love it. Like when he wrote a harem series he made the main character a 17 year old who physically looks like a balding, fat, middle aged man. It’s really hard to pinpoint all the reasons I love the main’s mangas but all of his early works have this goofy ass charm to them similar to this. They’re so juvenile yet self aware, it’s great. Seeing him struggle to get his work published was good, just like any series in the same vein as this. I found his editor character to be sort of a gigantic tool, a far cry from the endearing editors from Bakuman… He was ok but just so damn arrogant and I felt like he mistreated the hero quite a bit.

There’s a good deal of mystery that keeps you reading Rin, and I found that I desperately wanted to read just a little further each time so I can learn the secret of ‘Torus’ or just what the hell is going on with the reincarnation. At the center of everything is a pretty decent romance story, although I would have liked if they had more time to develop everything. Rin and Fushimi (I have read so many manga I end up forgetting lots of character’s names… All I remember is this dude being called Fushimi-kun all the damn time) have pretty decent chemisty together and I enjoyed seeing their interactions. There was supposed to be this big love triangle though and I don’t think it resolved that very well at the end of the manga. It was built up so that there would be hell if he chose one of the girls, but it just sort of got brushed aside kinda. It’s weird, I am pretty sure Rin was cancelled but it ended really, really neatly. Like almost all of the mysteries were solved just in time but I feel if the manga had even just another volume it could have fleshed out the tiny pieces that were a little off.

I also felt that the manga he serializes at the end is really damn interesting, it’d make a cool actual story if someone were to use it as a basis. Anyway, those’re my thoughts on Rin! I recently finished Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer/Hoshi no Samidare, so you can expect a blog about that in a day or two. I have a lot to say about it.