Six minors (16 or 17 years) answering to the nicknames of Joe, Mario, Suppon, Baremoto, Heitai and Kyabetsu are put into a reformatory for offences such as aggravated assault, swindle, flight, etc. Their stay in hell begins immediately. Accommodated by a doctor paedophile, they are placed under the monitoring of a despotic and brutal crew. Companions of cell of certain Sakuragi (called Anchan), the tension flares up between the band of buddies and their new "friend."
A brawl breaks out and our six prisoners are done rossés by mysterious young man thanks to his boxing talent.
The story will not only follow the lives of these seven characters surviving in their hellish environment, but also their disillusions due to the rejection by the outside world and by their close relations. This is about the extraodinary and invincible friendships between these young men.
In my opinion, Rainbow is not really a feel-good type of manga, so if you're looking for a good hero story to lift your spirits Rainbow isn't the story for you.
But if that's not what you're looking for I would say that Rainbow does have some of the best story arcs I have read in a long time. It's drama, mixed in with redemption, and A LOT of tragedy. It has it's really depressing moments, but the promise of a good story providing a consistent stream of adrenaline-pumping moments keeps the reader reading.
Artistically its also a beautiful manga. I can't get over the
awesome covers and consistency of the artwork through the whole series.
My only complaint is that the grungy tone doesn't change too much (hence my score of 8/10). As with most stories where there isn't much complexity in tone, it can get a bit boring.
Although the title maybe misleading, okay wait, it is misleading but guys, read the summary. I picked this Manga up, thinking it was worth a try and it really was worth a try.
We meet 6 inmates going to a reform facility (juvenile hall) in 1955, some innocent (in my eyes) others not so, however the horrors that lies ahead of them would make you shiver and shake.
Taking his time to flesh out his characters, the writer did a most outstanding job, he didn't rush and in doing so, you'll find complex personalities, realistic pasts and you'll see the characters as people. Not just characters
your reading about but actual people that you can relate to and connect with, walking a mile in their shoes is as easy as blinking your eyes.
The art was realistic, right down to the eyes. Proportionate without a doubt with detail deserving applause since stories with this much detail are few and far between. Almost like a painting, the art is noteworthy.
Two thumbs up, definitely not for the fainthearted; not anyone can stomach this beauty but it left a huge impression on me and I think if you have a chance to read it, do so and when your done you'll see what I mean.
As a fan of violent and tragic stories, I expected maybe a bit too much from this manga. On paper, Rainbow seemed to be on par with the type of manga I read and liked (like Shamo, Sidooh), but it turned out to be less believable.
The manga focuses first on the lives of youngsters in a juvenile prison, and later on how they cope with the hardships of the outside world. What confused me first was the way that the manga "switched" the main character, but as it went on, I got used to it. I think the manga is supposed to be read from
all the main characters' perspectives than just one's. This approach gives you plenty of time to get to know the characters individually, which I liked.
I assume the manga is based on a true story, since the commentaries make it appear so. However, the story, or rather the characters don't make it believable. The difference between the good and evil is just way too black and white. At first it was interesting to read about the cruel ward Ishihara, but later on his wrath became unrealistic. It might have been somewhat believable, had not the other villains used the same pattern. Thus, every time the manga introduced a new villain, you'd know he/she was a copy of Ishihara or Sasaki. Even the way they were drawn left you no doubt of it. I did like the development for a while, but when the villains' obsession over hurting the main characters went overboard, I lost my interest.
The good characters were supposed to be criminals, which should have made them "grey", but they were way too "white". Their crimes were just something they did for living, and the manga didn't really make use of the contrast of the characters' way of life and their righteousness. I think it would have brought more depth to the story if there had been moral dilemmas for the characters regarding their deeds. Now they made me think of "bad guys try to live like good guys, except that they were already good guys". If the intention was to make "good guys who get all the shit all the time", it turned out too shallow. Despite the hardships, the characters would not change that much, and by change I mean mentally. If you get abused, it should have an effect on you, no matter how cheerful and strong willed you are.
The camaraderie between the characters is the strong point of this manga. I actually liked to read the more relaxed phases the characters had, and how they would take care of some minor problems they encountered. The way they felt bad about hiding stuff from each other, and helping each other get over it was great. Also the differences between the characters was a good thing, from outside to the inside.
If the manga had had a more realistic approach to the difference between the good and the bad, and how the hardships affected the characters, it might have worked for me.