During a heavy rain, Ginko meets a man carrying a basket which he claims is going to be used to take a rainbow back home. Apparently this man’s father got excited whenever he felt a rain coming, and went outside to run around in it. It apparently made him the laughingstock of the town. The father told his son that he found a rainbow the day before the son was born, by a riverbank after a flood. When he touched it, it seemed to attach to him and stayed with him until sometime after the son was born, though no one else could. The father eventually got sick and became bedridden, but still wanted to go outside whenever he felt a rain was coming. He also wanted to see the rainbow again, and so the reason the son is traveling now is to find it. From what he heard, Ginko concludes that the father found a rainbow serpent.
The two travel together, and find a mountain range where it’s about to rain. They spot several rainbows, but none of them are the rainbow serpent, which can be identified by its reversed rows of colors (compared to a real rainbow). After taking refuge in a cave, the man confesses that at his village, he is called Kourou. He left the village in search for the rainbow because he was a poor bridge carpenter (because of an injury), which is family profession that’s now being carried on by his elder brother. Part of the reason he’s searching now is because he want to prove himself and his father to the rest of the village.
They finally find their target one morning, and it’s quite a sight to behold. Kourou reaches in to grab it, but Ginko quickly pulls him back out. Ginko explains that the rainbow serpent is a type of stream of life, and is a phenomenon that’s created similarly to how rain and light form a rainbow. It’s only purpose is to flow. After that, Ginko doesn’t know what happens to Kourou. However, its rumored that there is a place in the west with a fierce river and a special transforming bridge that does not break – one based on the idea of a flowing current.
Overall a pretty good episode, though I didn’t like it quite as much some of the previous ones. The first half feels a bit more drawn out than it is in the manga, but that’s not really a complaint. The ending is a lot more positive than last week, with it being implied that Kourou returns to his village and designs a bridge based on flowing, which is probably a direct result of his experiences. The reason this episode doesn’t rank as high as the others is simply because I don’t enjoy the story itself as much.
Animation for this episode is about as good as I had expected, with all of the pretty shots focused on the rainbow serpent. The final minutes have a lot more visual impact on me in this animated form than in the manga, since it’s hard for the manga to portray a colored rainbow in black and white. I have similar expectations for the animation to show the blue sea for next week’s episode, 「海境より」 (From the Sea Boundary).