Title: Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
Summary: Seven teenagers in 1955 have to learn to live together in the same hold in the reformatory of Shio. Confined in a hall where suffering and humiliation are daily, they are waiting for a ray of hope in a dark, incarcerating world. The story follows their life together and how they move on afterwards.
Review: Rainbow was one of those anime that get’s you hooked, but then loses your interest at the series comes to a close. When the teenagers were in the jail cell I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. They atmosphere while they were in jail was can probably be comparable to the inside of Pandora’s Box. Within all the darkness and hatred lied a small beacon of hope buried under the filth. Watching the teenagers band together to get their beloved Anchan out before he died was truly inspiring. A tight knit friendship that couldn’t be broken by the worst. However, this man-love grew stale halfway through the series. I feel that the series extended much longer than it should have. The message of true friends getting your back no matter the problem was like beating a dead horse. I understand that they wanted to resolve everyone’s ending to avoid any confusion, but it could have been done better. For one, a more open ending would be work. A quick short of everyone’s life five years later probably would have sufficed. Instead they took the six teenagers and created mini-arcs (2-3 episodes) to give detailed explanations on how everything panned out. These mini-arcs were interesting but not enough to keep my full attention. Plus the endings became predictable. Now that the story is taken care of let’s move onto the characters. The characters and character development were very well done. This is a pretty obvious thing considering the whole series is focused around how the characters grow up. They all had their own roles to play, but unlike many anime they were all rather similar. The personalities varied a little but no dramatic difference that would make you wonder how they get along. The art style also played a large part in character modeling. All of the villains were drawn in a similar fashion (specifically the eyes). They had spine chilling stares that gave you all the more reason to dislike them. Furthermore the atmosphere never really changed throughout the anime. Rainbow was constantly in a dark state, perfect for a drama. I also loved the still-state frames with narration. The art turned into an old style painting during these moments that looked beautiful. Finally, the soundtrack was another good section. I don’t only mean the hard rock opening, or soft sound ending, but the voice acting as well. Although I loved the opening, it was the voice actors for the American soldiers that takes the cake. Why? Well they were actually fluent English speaking actors. I admit that the quality of voice acting wasn’t the same (as is the negative of most dubs), but I’m glad they went the extra mile.
Final statements: I almost considered Rainbow as a great anime, but it is only a preferred watch because of the story. Everything else was fine, but the series just kept going past its prime.