This show doesn’t cease to amaze me week after week, as I was moved by An-chan’s loyalty towards his cellmates more so than Key’s attempts in Angel Beats thus far. I trust that Maede Jun will get through to me eventually, but RAINBOW is already managing to do so with powerful scenes that depict a bunch of guys supporting one another through a very abusive and tyranny-filled prison life. There are no girls to help leverage sympathy nor any sympathy to be had within the show itself if one of the characters were to die.
Here, friends are pitted against one another because of a personal dilemma that the sadistic warden has with An-chan, and unfortunately, Baremoto is quick to call out his senior cellmate upon hearing that he supposedly killed his own parents. Needless to say, I didn’t buy it for one minute, but it was obviously all a ploy to get An-chan riled up so that the warden would have an excuse to beat on him. It turns out this unwarranted abuse has been going on for over a year too, with the warden still scared shitless of An-chan because he’s told him he’ll return the favor one day for himself and one other — likely a friend who died in this hell-hole at the warden’s hands. Whatever the case, seeing An-chan take that abuse without a word sends chills down my spine even now, as I still find its unrelenting depiction difficult to watch.
On the other hand, watching Baremoto get coaxed into pinning the blame on An-chan for a hidden stash of cigarettes in the library pissed me off, especially considering that An-chan overheard it all. As such, I was overjoyed to see his look of shock when he found out the warden planned to let everyone in Block 2 Cell 6 get burned alive by the fire that broke out due to the stub he tossed out the window. You could just see the overwhelming sense of guilt consume him when the warden suggested that the key to their cell was simply missing right after he tossed it out the window. That feeling then compounded as soon as Baremoto found out that An-chan wasn’t even in the cell at the time and that he just left Mario and the others for dead. Quite honestly, I don’t see how the others could ever forgive him for selling them out in this fashion, but judging from the preview it looks like he’ll end up retrieving the cell key in the nick of time. However, the moment of truth came down to An-chan as he didn’t blame Baremoto at all and simply told him that he considers Mario and the others his friends, before darting right back into the burning building.
Wow. Just wow. I’m totally blown away by how powerful that scene was and can’t even properly convey all the emotions that I felt while watching it. It’s just something you have to see for yourself to understand, especially with the way the music added to the overall effect. I still get goosebumps and feel a bit choked up even when I watch it now. The theme in this series is friendship and courage as I mentioned before and this episode exemplifies that and more. I find that I’m always emotionally involved in some way while watching this show, either pissed off at the tyranny or moved by the acts of friendship, which in my mind means the drama is really well done. Simply awesome.