A powerful drama that nothing else can even compare to this season. If the sound of that interests you, then make sure you check out this second episode of RAINBOW. With subject matters on runaway criminals, vicious prison beatings, and even child molestation, you’ll likely second guess yourself about this being just another anime. I hate to sound like a movie critic, but I can’t help but describe this series as riveting and highly emotional. It doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything and portrays those difficult-to-watch scenes vividly in order to convey the harsh premise set before us. This is definitely not for the feint of heart, but as someone who was engrossed by how powerful the first few chapters of the manga were and how different the dark setting is compared to the usual stuff, I’m glad I took the time to look into this series while writing the season preview.
I don’t care for the whole prison setting to be honest, but it definitely sets the tone of the series and allows it to touch upon subject matters that most people would want to turn a blind eye to. The character interactions that result from them are the really captivating part, and this episode reemphasized that notion with a look into Joe’s past at an orphanage with his sister Meg (Toyoguchi Megumi). To that end, it also reiterated the theme of courage and friendship, with Joe’s friends helping him escape on complete impulse after seeing an opportunity to do so. The dark part on the other hand is the sexual abuse Joe had to endure at the hands of the perverted hag orphanage director when he was a child, and how that same hag is now selling Meg to an absolutely repulsive man who’s obviously going to sexually abuse her.
The scene where Meg put up a tough exterior in front of Joe, telling him that as orphans this is the life they have to endure, left me at a loss for words when Joe broke down in tears right after. This feeling of uneasiness then quickly turned into strong feelings of sympathy as Meg cried alone afterward, thanked her brother for coming to see her one last time, and bid farewell to him as a scene of their happier days was shown. Admittedly, the song that started playing as Meg cried her eyes out got me choked up a bit, and the sight of the beating Joe had to endure in his depressed state only compounded that feeling. The music was used really well throughout this entire episode and really brought out the mood in each of the scenes, but the timing and emotional impact of that song at the end was something else.
Compared to the manga, they actually changed things up a bit here by not having Suppon (Paku Romi) escape as well, but I actually like how this change allowed things to focus entirely on Joe. The next episode looks like there’s some mistrust from Baremoto (Fujiwara Keiji), which I suspect means he’s going to sell out his friends to the wardens. It should be intense. I can’t wait.