It wasn’t looking good for Sakuragi last time and the preview suggested he wasn’t going to pull through either, so I can’t say I’m too surprised by how things unfolded. More than anything though, I’m just bothered by how it came down to this. An-chan, you idiot. Why god damn it? Why believe that Ishihara is worth saving and that you were going to be the one to do it? I would normally call this a tragedy, but I just couldn’t feel the least bit sad about Sakuragi getting shot to death by the American soldiers when he didn’t drop the knife coated with his own blood. Instead, it was absolutely frustrating to see because it was a stupid and meaningless death that could have easily been avoided. What’s even more annoying is that Sasaki arrived just in time to witness him getting killed to revel in the sight of it. Sakuragi paid the ultimate price for being too trustworthy and foolishly believing he could change even the likes of Ishihara. If there’s a lesson to be taken away from his death in this series, that would be it in my eyes. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for someone who put saving his friend’s killer before those that he’s now left behind, despite how much I like An-chan for everything he’s done for Mario and the others thus far. Then there’s Setsuko too, who he made cry her eyes out at the sight of his lifeless body. Sigh… Did the soldiers really have to unload that many rounds?

I was a bit surprised to see the story time-lapse to the promised day under the tree on June 6th of the following year, but relieved at the same time because I really didn’t want to see what Mario and Setsuko went through emotionally for the next while. Also, most of the others still had a fair bit of time to serve in the Shonan juvenile corrections facility, so I could only imagine their frustration being stuck in there and catching word that An-chan was killed. Now that they’ve been released and are back together, at least they can do something to calm the burning unrest they all feel. However, I can’t say I’m not too fond of them taking on murderous roles and plotting to kill Ishihara and Sasaki, the latter of which is running for mayor now. I did appreciate how Suppon and the others were quick to notice that Mario was planning to take revenge on his own and choose to help out, but I have to agree with Setsuko (in her lovely long-hair look) that this vicious cycle of hatred is not what Sakuragi would have wanted. Unfortunately, slapping Mario didn’t seem to be enough to get that point across; He headed off to Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture right after to kill a drugged up Ishihara, who’s deteriorated into nothing more than a mentally-scarred bum waiting for Sakuragi to come kill him.

Had Sakuragi actually survived, I think this would of been a rather befitting punishment for Ishihara, as he’s mentally unstable and delusional to the point that he thinks Mario is Sakuragi himself. I honestly don’t care what happens to Ishihara at this point should Mario decide to kill him or not, but I do hope that one of the many bullets pulled from Sakuragi’s body saves him from being consumed by hatred. It may already be too late though, as he gave Setsuko all the earnings he made from working as a bartender for rent and everything else she’s provided him with up until now and abandoned the idea of having a future for himself. In contrast, I’m not opposed to Baremoto devising a plan to smear Sasaki’s campaign and start it off by scaring him with a disturbingly warm welcome. At least this way they aren’t soiling their hands with his tainted blood. Ishihara has already gotten what he deserves whether he dies or not, but Sasaki still needs to be driven into a corner to the breaking point for being the true culprit in all of this. Seeing him run for mayor is even more of a kick in the face to everyone as well.

From a broader perspective, I love how this series continues to depict that the world isn’t as rosy as stories tend to be. Bad guys don’t just suddenly become good when you give them a second or third chance. Reality is cruel, harsh, and most of all unforgiving, particularly in the post World War II period they’re living in. With that said, next week is a recap episode looking back on the life of Sakuragi and everything he’s done for the other guys. It’s probably better to dwell on all the positive ways he influenced them rather than how his death has caused them to spiral down the path of vengeance.

* For those wondering how long this adaptation will run for, syoboi calendar has updated their schedule indicating that it will be at least 26 episodes. There’s always the possibility that it will run longer than that, but two-cour sounds about right for a MADHOUSE studio project.





    Urgh, I can’t believe Sakuragi died like that. Worse way to go out ever. Also, something tells me that Mario won’t go through with killing Ishihara, hell, Ishihara might as well be dead already.

    Anyways, it’ll be interesting seeing where the story goes from here, considering Sakuragi is dead now. I’m guessing it will just follow their stories of trying to fit in with regular society after their revenge is settled.

    As a side note, Setsuko looks really pretty with long hair. <3

    1. Oh, and I think they should’ve slowed down the pace for Sakuragi’s death a little. One moment Sakuragi died and the next the six of them are planning out their revenge. I just think they should have let it sink in more.

      Next week looks like a recap episode. Do not want. >.<

  2. Well, Sakuragi’s death definitely has a strong impact in terms of carrying through with his message and ideals. Now it’s just to see how things ultimately unfold. Will Justice prevail in the end? Will the young men carry on Sakuragi’s ideals or will they fall into the pit of vengeance?

  3. ;_______________________________________________________________; NOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    That’s the worst way to go out omg ;A; Why T_T
    But I do wonder how the story goes on from here. We’re about half way now. I like everyone’s hair now that it’s grown out, esp Setsuko’s :]

  4. Out of all the RAINBOW episodes this had to be the worst. I mean, Sakuragi’s death was an epic failure and I hated how a year passed so suddenly. I wish they showed the faces of the other 5 friends as they heard the news of how Sakuragi died… I don’t think there was enough drama.

    There’s also potential questions that I wish they covered, such as as how Mario made through the year without getting caught (lol are they even looking for him?), why Sasaki didn’t try to kill off/torture the rest of the group (at least Joe because he knows the truth of Hagino’s death although there’s no evidence anymore thanks to ..), and how Ishihara quit being a guard and became the state he is now (we know why but I can’t believe he just got off without anyone suspecting him after his bizzare behavior).

    Ever since the escape this anime has been going downhill for me and I can’t imagine this to get any better (it’s actually getting worse). I’m pretty sure Mario isn’t going to kill Ishihara in the next ep (probably say something like you’re not even worth killin or that bullet Setsuko gave him will stop him from doing so).

  5. ah…. I knew this is gonna happened (because I read some parts of the manga) and damn it… I feel like crying again….but next episode, it’s about Sakuragi’s past?! already?! I thought Mad House was going to animate how the boys plotted their revenge and then how Mario grown up to look more and more like An-chan and then there’s Koike and then Joe meeting someone from his past etc Oh well, honestly I don’t mind if this anime gonna last for more than 20 episode. Although I’m sad that An-chan left the stage already.

    I like how you phrased this episode “I love how this series continues to depict that the world isn’t as rosy as stories tend to be. Bad guys don’t just suddenly become good when you give them a second or third chance. Reality is cruel, harsh, and most of all unforgiving, particularly in the post World War II period they’re living in.” (nods nods)

    I don’t really blame An-chan, well, probably being too forgiving(?) is one of his flaw. And I believe An-chan is one of those heroes that probably one of the ways to break the cycle of hatred is through sacrifice… even if it means to sacrifice oneself. And the story goes on even if the main character passed away (now the spot light is focused on Mario……..urgh… his resemblance to An-chan kinda make me have mixed feelings….)

  6. Mario doesn’t do anything stupid in future events, nothing to worry with that. (spoiler tag’d below due to minor manga spoilers)

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of Mario here, but I’ve read nearly all the volumes in the manga, it’s easy for me to say Mario starts doing way cooler stuff soon enough.

    Mario’s perosnally one of my favorite characters in the manga. He’s sort of irrational in v1-6 but after that, he’s pretty much Sakuragi v2 (especially after v12 of the manga or so).

    1. yep, I read parts of the manga as well (and kinda skipped a few volumes to read the ending to see how this story will end) and I don’t know why the authors drew Mario….. like Sakuragi… hm…. If I didn’t watched the anime since episode 1, I would have thought Mario was Sakuragi’s younger brother or something (and then there’s Setsuko with Mario too….)

  7. Eh… So opening was true – in the beginning of it we can see all the boys, except of Sakuragi T_T Geez, WHY?!?! It’s too cruel :< But I love this show after all.

  8. So the creator just killed Sakuragi off without even telling us why the heck he had been thrown in the “school”? And I’m sure his mother is still alive but why did she never visit her son? Was Mario recaptured during the time skip or he got away that easily? Those questions are still left unanswered.

    On a side note, Joe and Mario look so hot with their hair styles :’> :’>

  9. Love the fact that this series will be a two-cour, despite the harshness of how this episode turned out to be. Life : the moment you think you got it all figured out, it turns into something totally the opposite. Shinjitsu wa zankoku da.

    Lil' Lilly
  10. Well it was hinted already in the scenes of the opening song but yeah seeing Sakuragi die in such a unworthy way from our point of view is so disappointing. Though it’ll also be interesting to see how the bond Sakuragi formed with the other six will end up deciding their futures. As mentioned, they cant move forward until they settle their “debts” with the villains. Hell, everyone wants Ishihara and Sasaki to get their retribution, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that happens as well. There goes the death of another GAR anime character. I wonder how much influence Sakuragi’s way of life will continue to have repercussions on everyone. I’m glad that its 26 episodes as well! Let the epic tale of brotherhood continue to unfold. =)

  11. loves the episode.. i like the fact that the story keep going and its not a “yay we are free! now happy ending for everyone!”,,, good to know is 26 episodes..

    but my god.. WHAT AN STUPID DEAD… why he didnt just drop the damn knife! .. god Sakuragi…


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