|Rainbow episodes 1-9 review||3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.|
In a show like Rainbow, the enemies are far more threatening to us viewers than an evil scientist or mystical beings. Rather they are the kinds of enemies that mankind has suffered either back then or even current times. Whether its an orphanage with child molestation, a prison guard who loves torturing, or someone with the social power to do whatever sick things he wants, there's nothing more terrifying in a story than the horrors that could've happened in the real world. And that is just what the seven boys that make up the cast of Rainbow have to suffer through in a brilliantly engrossing story where they have nothing to truly rely on but themselves in such a realistic living hell. It's an anime that just hurts too good to consider skipping.
Right from the beginning Rainbow shows what kind of predicament these boys are currently going through. It's Japan in 1955, after the end of World War II. The scars left after being defeated by America still run deep, resulting in a society that is in bad enough spirits to even treat some troublesome boys like absolute trash. The commoners on their bus bad talk one of the boys even when he picks up a toy dropped by a girl, and their initiation into their reformatory involves a medical check that'll probably make all viewers feel pain at their rear ends for a while. If your the kind of person who doesn't want a story with such mature negativity, you only need the first five minutes or so to tell if you can stomach Rainbow?
But if you do enjoy a mature story, Rainbow is one that'll hook you right from the start. The first episode shows everything you'll need to know including the boy's nicknames, their history, and just what they bring to the group whether it's the skills to fight or the voice of reason. It's crazy to think that the second episode is right when it goes into a character's backstory without bringing more exposition but you never think it jumps too fast. By the end of the first episode you get accustomed to all the characters and know full well that all they have to trust is each other.
And so begins the rest of the boys ongoing survival of their predicament through these first nine episodes. It begins with events that make the boy's friendship more powerful for the times to come and ends with a seperation that shows just why their unification of seven people is just like the seven colors of a rainbow - so yes there actually is a good reason why this anime is called Rainbow.
I've always been a fan of the manga adaptions from anime studio Madhouse like Nana, Death Note, and Monster, and they did not disappoint with their work in Rainbow. The animation is solid all-around with a particularly great style when showing still shots that end the episodes and the flashbacks. The soundtrack is also in excellent quality: the music keeps right on track with the various emotions felt during viewings whether it's the many moments of dread or the moments when things finally work out for the boys. The heavy metal opening just fits so perfectly that it makes the rather upbeat ending seem all the more out-of-place. It's a small blemish in such a fine presentation topped off with a fantastic voice cast.
I think I should also mention that Rainbow uses its mature content masterfully, without seeming too graphic to make its point. There are certainly a fair share of bloody and lewd things to see in Rainbow, but it never goes to a point where it gets obnoxious. You see just enough of the nasty to get its point and it drops off without ever getting showy. And in an era of anime where rampant naughty fan service is par for the course, the work done in Rainbow is like a breath of fresh air. The production staff doesn't even need to put a message in the beginning of the later episodes of this set saying all mature content is for the sake of the story, but the fact that they do shows just how much more effort was put here. Thankfully FUNimation also didn't falter with its online distribution with a subtitle job as great as their work has always been and even includes some foul language (again, without getting obnoxious with it) to fit the mood nicely.
It was nice for FUNimation to begin their distribution of Rainbow by releasing the first nine episodes at once before going into a simulcast release, but honestly I kinda wish they would've waited before plenty more episodes were out for that. I started with one episode, and before I knew it I had already watched five episodes in a row. It really is that good. If you're a fan of the mature-but-with-a-great-story like the manga adaption of Battle Royale, Rainbow will be the anime you'll never want to stop watching, no matter how many times it beats you down with such painfully great storytelling.