Payback is normally a bitch, but Ishihara and Sasaki get off surprisingly easy after killing Hagino and putting Sakuragi and the others through hell. I’d like to believe this is the last we’ve seen of the both of them after Joe returned and blackmailed them with Hagino’s blood-stained suicide note that Sakuragi still has to this very day, but the preview suggests otherwise. Still, I took a lot of enjoyment from seeing those two sick bastards piss their pants when Joe let them know what it feels to be subjugated for a change. I just loved the attitude he showed there by kicking the interrogation table over, snatching the cigarettes right out of Ishihara’s breast pocket, and smoking them right in front of him while daring them and lay a hand on him. They couldn’t do crap to him out of fear that Sakuragi would pass on the note to the police or the press, so I took a great deal of enjoyment out of watching them give in to all of Joe’s demands. It couldn’t have come at a better time either, as Baremoto, Kyabetsu, and Heitai were getting the same sadistic water torture treatment that Sakuragi did.
Credit goes to Sakuragi for thinking up of this plan and asking them return to the reform institution voluntarily, but Mario, Suppon, and Joe deserve some too for showing what it truly means to be a friend by fighting over who gets to go back. That’s right, not who has to go back since they were all quick to volunteer to help their friends. In a game of rock-paper-scissors, Joe was smart enough to figure that Mario and Suppon were both going for paper in expectation that everyone would be gung-ho and go rock, so he smartly went scissors to take the win. I was actually moved by the sight of that, because whoever goes back will have to serve the remaining year of his sentence too, yet none of them were the least bit concerned about that fact. With Ishihara and Sasaki subsequently transferring away, I dare say that life is good in the juvenile reform institute, but I still feel that Sakuragi should get those two guys arrested and locked away regardless. There’s really no reason to show them mercy now, especially when they’re well aware they won’t hesitate to get back at them every chance they get. I would’ve really liked the story to move pass Ishihara and Sasaki as the main antagonists, but that was merely wishful thinking on my part given how much they’ve been developed as such.
As for Mario and Suppon’s situation, the former chooses to take up boxing as indicated in the preview last time. It turns out his reason for trying to earn some money isn’t for bail like I was suspecting, but so that they could stop relying on Setsuko for everything. Taking place at a U.S. military base where Americans pit themselves against Japanese contenders, the boxing ring is more or less an underground one for gambling purposes, but Mario participates out of the mere promise of $20 USD for a K.O., $10 for a decision win, and $5 for a loss. However, without the use of his right-hand that Suppon believed to be have healed already, it was more or less a completely one-sided thrashing where the referee wouldn’t even stop the fight for Mario’s sake. To make matters worse, Suppon unknowingly agreed to a “winner takes all” match so Mario doesn’t even see a dime for the beating he just took. Thankfully, the prostitute/escort Lily (Yamagata Kaori) who recruited them in the first place spoke up to put a stop to the fight.
Despite being with the Amercians, Lily’s also expressed how much she hates seeing the Japanese continue to lose to them even now. Given the state he was in, Mario may not have wanted to hear that, nor the cold hard truth she spouted out about him being a naive kid before tossing him money for a train ride home, but I actually liked how he was rejuvenated out of frustration and determined to step back in the ring and win. The preview suggests he’ll be doing just that next episode, except this time he’ll have An-chan in his corner as well. Wait a second, is this a boxing anime now?
* FUNimation picked up rights to RAINBOW and is simulcasting it with official subs on their website. U.S. region only. Their YouTube channel is a bit more region-friendly, but only episodes 1-4 have been uploaded there so far.