I got more than I bargained for this episode after asking to see more of Meg for the past while. This episode only served as a setup towards her reintroduction next time, but proved to be a pretty pivotal moment in the series as a whole with the notable direction change. More specifically, this marked the sudden end of Mario’s relationship with Setsuko, which I was expecting to take off following his release last episode. I was a bit wary of the “Parting” title seen in the preview for this episode, but it still came as a shock that it was in reference to those two. Part of me didn’t want to believe what I was actually seeing midway through the episode, especially after Mario grabbed Setsuko and kissed her without saying a word. Looking back, I realize now that the stormy sky in that scene was ominous as hell, but Mario’s manly confession had a very good ring to it that had me thinking otherwise at the time. They did spend the night together in the nude after all, which speaks for itself about what likely took place off screen. Considering the post World War II Showa period this story takes place in (i.e. 1955 onwards), I’m not upset about Setsuko’s decision to go through with the arranged marriage and help save her father’s company though. She did mention that the guy treats her well and is likely going to be a good provider, so the fact they weren’t brought together by mutual feelings of love really isn’t that bad in that era.

Nowadays, the idea of marrying someone you don’t even love probably sounds outrageous, but back then most women would consider themselves fortunate to marry a man with a respectable job who will treat them well. This is particularly true in Asian families, where being picky about partners over the well-being of your family wasn’t a luxury most people had. As such, it was good to see Mario recognize that and respect Setsuko’s decision, even though I do feel it’s rather unfortunate they didn’t end up together. Given Setsuko’s tearful reaction to seeing Mario show up at her wedding and how she could only leave him the picture they took with Sakuragi and words of thanks and goodbye to them both, it clearly wasn’t an easy decision for her to make. In light of Joe’s insistence to not let things simply end this way, Mario deserves a lot of credit for taking the high road and not making things even harder for Setsuko than it already was. For that reason, this first half of the episode actually turned out to be the easier portion to swallow. It helped that the story changed up the mood a bit with Baremoto losing his virginity to a good-looking prostitute after Suppon set him up with an old hag first. There was also his premature ejaculation too, being the inexperienced youngster that he was.

Compared to all that, the second half with Joe finally catching a break and substituting in for a band as their vocalist was deceptively darker. Just when I thought he had finally caught his big break, the actual band that he works as an errand boy for and puts up with all the crap they gave him turned out to be a bunch of pricks jealous of his talent. The beating he got from them was a big enough shock as-is, so I was suspicious about their vocalist Mickey remaining behind to help Joe wipe the blood off his face. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt after seeing him show some remorse and understanding of Joe’s position — which had me going for a while — but somehow I couldn’t see him as a goodhearted person if he did step in earlier to stop the thrashing that Joe got. Seeing Mickey threaten to permanently destroy Joe’s vocal chords with the mercury in a thermometer soon after had me reaching for my throat and wincing at sight of it. It wasn’t so much the actual health-related issues that had me reacting as such, but the idea that Joe’s dream of being a singer was going to be cruelly snatched away from him right after he got his big break and made good on it.

Rather than witnessing Joe suffer such an ill fate, I was relieved to see him give in by saying he’ll never sing again, before running into some agency manager named Yamauchi Naoko (Koyama Mami) promising to make him a real star in three months. At that point, I was thinking, “Yes! Something going right for a change!”, but that too ended up being too good to be true as Naoko intended to get sexual favors out of Joe at the same time. The only saving grace is that she isn’t a completely perverted hag like the one back at the orphanage, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s in a sickeningly similar situation. Surprisingly, Joe decided to go through hell and back to reach his goal if need be after being reminded of how Meg did the same to survive, which I’m only okay with since it looks like it’s going to lead to their reunion next time when she attends one of his performances. I still hate seeing Joe go through this crap all over again after all he’s already endured.

On a separate note, I didn’t mention this back in the Spring 2010 Preview, but the RAINBOW manga actually concluded in February of this year prior to the start of this adaptation. In its eight year run, it amassed 22 volumes and 235 chapters, with the complete story spanning a thirteen-year time frame over four major arcs. The anime is currently in the second one taking place from Showa Year 32-33 (1957-1958) and will likely conclude in it if the series ends this season. I still haven’t seen confirmation on how long this anime will run for, but I was under the assumption that it’s going to be 26 episodes. I’m all for it being longer of course, should that be what MADHOUSE has planned.




  1. Another beautiful episode. Seriously, if there’s a definition of “underrated” then this should be it. The reunion between Mario and Setsuko was touching and sweet, but it sucks that she still had to go through with the arranged marriage. At the very least, Mario got one night to love her like a man. I’m glad he was able to hold his head high and move on with his life and didn’t get into a funk though, with the bar manager recommending Mario to go help his friend in Tokyo. I chuckled a bit when Cabbage realized that he never considered even moving to Tokyo with the other guys, I guess he really is a slow guy with a big heart.

    Baremoto’s antics were great, definitely a textbook virgin. I loved how Supon set him up with that old hag and claimed he needed “experience” first. You can give a man nightmares with that type of first experience (case in point, Joe :p). The girl he got to lose his v-card to was surprisingly good looking and filled out though, even if she is a “pro”. But hey, like Baremoto said “Pro or inexperienced, they both do the same thing!”.

    As for Joe, looks like he’s back to playing manwhore. It’s unfortunate really, we went from having such a lighthearted first half to a really brutal second; guess it just shows how life really is. For a second I thought that other vocalist was really going to burn that mercury in Joe’s mouth, but I’m relieved he let up at the last second. Personally, I didn’t really like how Joe sounded on stage even if he did captivate the audience in the show, but maybe that’s just my taste. Hopefully that lady will see out her promise and make Joe a star within three months (which it looks like she does if the PV is any indication).

    That said, it looks like next week we’ll finally be able to see Joe’s sister again after, what has it been, 15 episodes now? Judging from the preview she looks a lot better than I thought she would after probably getting raped repeatedly, even if she does look a little bit tired. I’m looking forward to seeing if Joe keeps his fame or if something goes terribly wrong. Of course, the latter is the most likely route with this show, but that’s why I love it.

    In regards to how long the series will for, I’m hoping that MADHOUSE will do a second season. I’m a bit worried since they aren’t known for doing sequels of their series, but it would be a shame to leave half of Rainbow unanimated. I actually came across the RAW volumes of the manga (1-20, so I’m only missing 2). I wasn’t able to read much of them without getting a headache, but you could probably read it haha; I could send them to you if you’re unsatisfied with where the anime might possibly end.

    1. I can’t agree more with you. I always spend a lot of time re-watching, discussing, predicting, ranting, praising, and analyzing the plot and the characters to return the effort the creators have made to show us such a realistic series. But this anime is so underrated it makes me depressed. Nowadays people would prefer big boobs and panty shots 😛

      Awwwww poor Joe. The creators seems to have a habit of screwing up his miserable life with women wanting to take sexual advantage of him.

      1. Agree with you there. The unfortunate thing is, half of them don’t have any incentive to think.

        Nice thoughts btw Suzuku. Joe just really really needs and opportunity to shine. The lack of it, coupled with his childhood with the old lady of the orphanage really does not help his case.

        Go Mario though… a true man, who knows how to let go and still be supportive. Some fights aren’t worth winning. I just hope that the guy really is a good guy though. I have second thoughts about this whole marriage… even if it is good for Setsuko and her family, some men don’t show their true color until after marriage. Hopefully later on in their life, Setsuko and Mario will be together again, or atleast Setsuko will love her husband and Mario will fall in love with someone who loves him for who he is, past, present and future.

        Sora no Kaze
    1. I’m with you on that one. Rainbow has intrigued me for quite some time and having seen the first couple of episodes (until Meg being sold out), I’ve been thinking this is going to be one great experience. The reason why I’m not going through each episode right now is much like Clannad or any strong emotional series, I want to be able to gulp it all(and be tearful)in just one powerful shot.

  2. I doubt Setsuko ever loved Mario at all. It was all the Sakuragi obsession that made her spent the night with Mario. And the smile she gave him when she saw him on the bridge didn’t show bitterness she was supposed to have, if you say she had to give up her true love to go through the arranged marriage.

  3. In relation to my previous comment, I just read over the chapter that this episode occurred in (well, what I could read, which is a lot more than I thought I would be able to) and I found it funny how MADHOUSE changed the dialog between Baremoto and the prostiture a bit. In the anime when they’re walking up the stairs and Baremoto has his little “mishap”, the woman laughs and only says he’s still young. In the manga however, Baremoto says he “came” rather than just apologizing, and the women laughs and replies “But… you can still do it, right”. Haha, just found that a little funny.

  4. This series is just top notch. Setsuko looked great on her wedding dress! The kissing scene was nice (still my vote is for Misaki and Takumi for kiss of the year). The naked room shot was powerful and in great taste without hitting vulgar. She made the right choice even though I don’t agree; but her true love was dead and she also needed to move on. The photograph was a nice closure. (Please Kami-sama make her a young widow!!)
    Joe and the thermometer scared the s… out of me. I hate band life after finishing Kira Kira. So all the pain was still fresh in my head. Selling your body for favors a la white album, well the manager does looks better than the first woman or for that matter the doctor. So rock ‘n roll…

    Island Esper
  5. omg… give them a break pleaseeeeeee.!

    i was all happy with Joe’s “Debut” lol.. i seriously though “man at least something good is happening to one of them =)”

    its was a very sad ending for this episode.

    i love this anime

  6. This episode was hard to watch (well, the second half) Poor Joe. 🙁

    I found SOME of the manga online but the only torrent I found of all 22 volumes (raw) wasn’t alive. 🙁 Anyone know where I can find some raws?

    Skins Thunderbomb
  7. Nooooo Sexsuko is getting married and I thought she would end up with Mario.
    With the end of the first part of this, I really thought things would be a lot happier now but seems like they’re not finishing showing us how much life can suck sometimes yet.

  8. The part with the mercury scared the hell out of me.
    I was so relieved when I saw the manager, even if it turned out to be sexual favors she was after. I still sat well with me unlike what happened with his sister. Aside from the woman being much better than the man his sister Meg was sold to, I have a harder time coming to terms with “surviving” by getting used for sexual favors. Meanwhile, Joe could see it in a different light. It’s not about surviving. It’s about using her to reach his dreams. In 3 months when he’s a star, that thing will not matter anymore. If people intent to use you, use them back to reach the dream. And that’s okay with me unlike being used for basic survival.

  9. thought the animation can give me something out of fantasy (mario and setsuko run away), but instead, this just dropped me hard on the floor… making me realize how cruel can life be, not to mention sometimes things are just not in your hand… This whole series is amazing. I now come to a full realization that what I have done for my friend, is just the least of what friendship means…. The bond between the 7 of them… is simply beautiful.


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