No Rumiko Takahashi series would be complete without at LEAST two romantic rivals and/or love triangles. And "Rin-ne Volume 5" introduces a whole bunch of new problems for Rin-ne and Sakura, particularly a pretty but rather dim shinigami who seems to have a torch lit for the red-haired hero.
Ageha finally finds out what happened to her sister, and about the damashigami president's connection to Rinne. She reacts about as well as you'd expect, setting out on a supernatural journey filled with damashigami dangers -- and forcing poor Rinne to constantly dive in to save her. Needless to say, she interprets this ALL WRONG.
In fact, her romantic interest leads her to give Rinne a special lunch in an antique box... but of course, it's horribly cursed. And when Rinne starts hunting for a wandering spirit who needs to be reconnected to a spirit dog, Ageha is determined to assist him.
Then we take a little break from Ageha, with two more supernatural problems around the school. First there's a student being haunted by the ghost of his friend... who is still alive and well. And then there's a haunted tree being terrorized by the ghost of a yoyo-flipping bully, who inexplicably has a grudge against Sakura.
Sakura already has a guy who is obviously nuts about her, and now Rinne has an annoying admirer who just can't take a hint. It's pretty obvious that Sakura and Rinne are slowly falling for each other, but "Rin-ne Volume 5" is more entertaining because of the constant interference of the rivals.
And overall, this volume is a fairly even-handed example of this series' "Bleach-by-way-of-Ranma-1/2" type of fantasy-comedy. It's starting to feel as though it needs shaking up (how about a non-financial threat?), but the subdued comedy (Rinne being given dozens of bananas) mingled with slapstick is very funny.
And we find out a bit more about the dim, hotheaded shinigami Ageha in this volume. Well, she's dim and hotheaded, and she manages to completely misinterpret everything Rin-Ne says and does -- a standard rival. Tsubasa's unsubtle attempts to get Sakura on a date (while being shaken down by Rokumon) are much more entertaining.
"Rin-Ne Volume 5" is a solid round of ghost-banishing puzzles, plus another hopeless love triangle. Solid Takahashi, if getting a bit repetitive.