Given how people tend to say anime is always a rehash of the same stuff over and over again, I’m almost tempted to stop blogging all my other shows and only cover RAINBOW so that it gets the attention it deserves. This series is utterly awesome and if you still haven’t checked it out after I’ve been saying that week after week, I honestly think you’re doing a real disservice to yourself as an anime fan. This goes doubly for those who primarily watch their Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, FAIRY TAIL, and Fullmetal Alchemist shounen series. While those series definitely have their place, it always irks me when self-proclaimed fans of anime don’t expand their understanding of the medium beyond those horizons. There’s a reason why I’m continuing to cover 17 different series concurrently right now when it’s clearly obvious that the likes of GIANT KILLING, Sarai-ya Goyou, Senkou no Night Raid, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru, and RAINBOW are clearly a lot less popular. Those series alone are enough to comprise a full blogging schedule for the season, so I hope you’ll believe me when I say it’s not merely for the sake of proving that I have a diverse taste in anime. There are still plenty of shows that I’m not following, but these are the ones I felt deserved some much needed attention. Hakuouki should actually be among them as well, so I’m actually somewhat disappointed in myself for not trying to cover 18 shows. *rolls eyes*
Out of all the shows I listed however, RAINBOW warrants special limelight since the drama it portrays is so incomparable to everything else airing this season and seasons before. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the story really has the makings of a live-action drama if not a full-feature film. The reason for that is because it focuses on the characters themselves very closely without relying on a lot of shounen “fluff” (as I like to call it) in order to captivate the viewer’s interest. There is a lot of depth and meaningful development every episode, which you rarely see in all the stereotypical series pumped out factory-line style these days. To older viewers, this is a real blessing as the depiction here can be taken seriously all the time without any gag-like comedy to disrupt the mood. On the flip side, it may end up being a lost cause for younger viewers if they have one-track minds that can’t appreciate everything that’s done well in this series. Be that as it may, I actually hope to open a few eyes or turn a few heads in either age group, so that more series like this will be produced in the future. So hey, it’s as much for me as it is for everyone else.
Now for those of you already on board, this follow-up episode to the fire that Baremoto started last time and sold out his cellmates to was a jam-packed emotional roller coaster ride with huge ups and downs. As I mentioned last time, the only way Baremoto could have possibly redeemed himself in the eyes of Sakuragi (An-chan) and the others was to find the cell key that the warden Ishihara (Ishii Kouji) threw out the window. While charging into the burning building with key in hand was enough for Mario and the others to renew their faith in him, the real redeeming moment for Baremoto came when he admitted to Ishihara that they’re the first people he’s ever considered as friends, before enduring a beating to hang onto the key. With his sense of guilt far from fading even at the very end, it was nice to see Baremoto realize what it’s like to have real friends and act like one in return after seeing how Sakuragi will go out on a limb for anyone of them. Likewise, with how Sakuragi knew that Baremoto felt guilty about the whole ordeal, but wouldn’t let him go through the humiliation of admitting it in front of the others when he already suffered to correct his mistake. Now that’s what you call a senpai worth looking up to.
Aside from that, I found the sudden revelation of the backstory involving Sakuragi’s father a bit bone-chilling. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t know how to deal with a situation like that, where your father goes missing during the war, suddenly returns ten years later after spending a good eight of them as a prisoner of war, and is a now completely different person who’s no more than a violent alcoholic. With Sakuragi’s boxing career about to take off with the warm support of his mother, I imagine it was like having a long-forgotten family with a mental illness dropped back into your life. As such, I can’t really blame Sakuragi for venting out his frustration to his father for returning in such a state, but it still seems a bit much for him to feel responsible for it leading to his suicide afterward. Evidently, the regret over not trying to better understand his father’s situation and how he lost his five brothers during the war still weighs heavily on Sakuragi’s conscience even now, which just goes to show what a good-hearted person he is deep down inside. It also explained why he holds Mario and the others so dearly, which really cemented the foundation of his bonds with them.
Next time, it looks like An-chan’s close to being released from prison, but with the way the doctor was eyeing him at the end along with his evil-looking face in the preview, this is clearly not the last we’ll see or hear of the tyranny that stems from that hell hole.
* It’s worth noting that the nurse Koike was played by drama actress Kanjiya Shihori, with the other one talking to her off screen being voiced by Paku Romi (Suppon). In Shihori’s case, she was actually listed second overall in the cast credits, only behind Oguri Shun (Mario).