tl;dr fantastic manga about dealing with a toxic friendship with realistic, down to Earth drama
Time for a review from someone who has finished the series (I just finished it but MAL hasn't updated the manga as completed - the chapter number is taken from the Japanese wikipedia). This will be completely spoiler free! Promise.
We all know how romanticized and unrealistic anime/manga school can be. This one is the opposite. This is the single realest portrayal of a school that I've found. And most of all, an extremely down to Earth abusive friendship.
"Abusive friendship? How can a friendship be abusive?"
Being emotionally abused and manipulated, often guilted
too, that's what makes an abusive friendship. A friend who makes you feel bad for speaking up against them, or following your own will. Why are you letting them do that? Because they're your friend. Because you blame yourself. And because you don't have the confidence to realize you're being toyed with.
And because your friend most likely doesn't actually mean to harm you.
Rainbow Revolution is the story of one of the most complex emotional problems a person can face: Fighting an abusive friendship. And it has no trouble picturing all of the complexity too. Everyone who knows what it's like to have low confidence will be able to relate to the main character Nana, and everyone who has experienced a friendship (or even relationship) that was toxic will find an eerie reflection of it in this story. It's not drama written for the sake of a happy ending. It's drama the way it happens in real life. I've always had a hard time finding anime and manga that depict bullying the way I experienced it at school, but this manga had scenes that could have been straight from my own memories.
All in all:
- Very well written characters
- Not black and white at all, everyone has feelings they deal with
- Down to Earth
- Realistic depiction of a toxic friendship and a manipulative person
- Good art
- Romance isn't really the focus
- An ending that hits the nail on the head
This is the first time I've found a story that understands how toxic friendships work. It didn't just "give me the feels". It made me rethink aspects of my life and experiences I've had. Don't be fooled by the cute looks and school setting. This manga is anything but adorable.
WARNING~ This WILL include SPOILERS from chap 1 to chap 14~. ALSO if you are planning to read this manga, have some tables with ya, you'll need them to flip them whenever you get upset about one particular character ;).
The story is not the most unique, but damn. This one is has MANY but MANYYYY plot twist that will make you "Wait, WHAT!?" and will also make you grow on your tender heart a hate for Yuyu.
CHARACTERS (main); 9
YUYU- Hate her. She's she most deceitful and smart antagonist I've seen. Bullying her BFF? Seriusly? She just is an obsessed yandere over Nana. However, I
DO REALLY like her.
NANA- Classis cry-baby, too emotional and not able to say no character, BUT, she grows and grows more with the help of Shioka (btw Shioka is a GUY), AKA. her role model i guess XD? At first I didn't like her much, but character development came iN REAL FAST xP.
SHIOKA- Cute little cinnamon roll. Oh- nvm. He is the popular type of guy, good at sports and he took Nana's chan heart and Himari's heart as well. He is also a "toy" for few chapters of Yuyu to bully Nana. I'd say classic male shoujo MC, but I guess he's more dense?
HIMARI- Nana's nw bestfriend. Himari si a loner just like Nana. They both are friendly towards each other. She soon realises Yuyu's true nature. After that, she falls in love him Shioka. She's soo cute! I totally love her hairstyle, is it even possible to do it irl!?
The art is amazing, it's very cute and fitting for a shoujo manga, it might be the most pleasant art I've seen. It is also very clean, if you know what I mean xD.
The proportions might seem off, but look, I'm the one that's talking , a person who doesn't even know what anatomy is ;P.
So far, it always makes me think "WHAT WILL NANA DO NEXT?! WILL ANYTHING HAPPEN WITH SHIOKA?! WHAT WILL YUYU DO?!", and the plot twists are always there so surprise you!
My first impression, the art is cute, as shoujo typical cute. But as I progress, I realized, that the art, the story, the characters, the emotion, the moral value, are not just cute, they are mindblowing. "Don't judge a book by its cover" is maybe created for this manga.
Art: Actually not only cute, the drawings are drawn so well, the emotions are real and we can feel it. I like how the author, rather than by words, put more clues on the drawing. On top note, this manga has the most bone-chilling smile ever in shoujo manga.
Story: Many people got
irritated reading as the story progress, some drop it out of frustration, and some, even still frustrated, like a curse, can't help but to keep reading. Why? Because it is irritatingly addictive. The flow and pace is good, making us always curious what the hell will be happen at the next chapter.
Character:There is always problem in each chapter, but Nana, though weak at the start (typical Shoujo MC), keep growing strong through all the problems, making us pride of her. Her character growth is real. Yuyu, the antagonist, the source of all problems, is the best antagonist ever. She successfully make so many readers flipping table in their heart and hating her to dead. She is wickedly genius, that we can't help to respect her for that. As the story progress, more reader understand her reason and even come to like her. Shioka, might not the kindest lead male ever, but he is one of the rightest lead male ever. He understands Nana well. Because of his words, Nana can be strong by herself. He even understands that Yuyu too, as he is the only character that Yuyu can't manipulate.
Enjoyment : The romance moments are rare, but that's what make they are so precious, "kyuuuunning" our heart tightly. The girls friendship and sympathy value of this manga amaze me, they are deep. Moreover, the author choose to not put that deepness into words. We can't simply read it, readers have to really thinking to understand that deepness, having us, understand what is the real friendship and sympathy, their forms, and what lies beyond that. As it claims by itself, it really is no. 1 friendship story. It really is standing out where all other shoujo manga are mainly about romance and romance and romance and just then the other thing.
Overall: For me, it is really the best shoujo ongoing, and even in Japanese, it is the most popular title in Ribon Magazine since its debut for 2 years straight (2014 and 2015), I greatly wish for its 3 years straight
The kind that want you to look like them and have all the same interests as them. The kinds of friends who want you to practically be them!
Welcome to Nana's problem. She's fed up of being like her friend Yuyu and having said friend dictate how she should look, dress, act and like. So this is a story of wanting to break away and become an individual.
Let's stop here for a moment, from this premise I was all for the plot - I love individuality and the notion that everyone is unique - so a girl wanting to
venture out from the safe haven of her friends grasp and find who she is - You go girl! I started reading this series with heavy optimism.
That's where this ends. The story begins to focus on the backlash of this and the heroines inner strife with dealing with her friends opinions, bullying and is it worth it to try be herself. The majority of the story from here on out is a viscous cycle of the heroine being bullied by someone and her complaining for a few chapters before she decided to take some kind of action all for it to start again.
It dragged on, it made it lack luster and it got to a point where I've now had to drop this because I literally cant stand to read any further.
Again I started the first chapter being optimistic - I was fully behind this heroine. I couldn't wait to see her journey of self identity and stepping out from the shadows of a friend. Nana (our MC) tries to do this but she self doubts and is practically useless like most shoujo heroine's. The character development is painful to watch.
Our antagonist is Yuyu - Nana's sometimes-ex best friend (more like frienemy). In any series I've ever read she is the MOST annoying character I have ever met. She's insufferable and has no redeeming qualities. She is cunning and will try anything to bring Nana back and put her on a leash. Yuyu is the reason I dropped this. She was so infuriating I couldnt bear it anymore. Kudo's to the mangaka though for making a character that could invoke such a strong hate.
Possibly the only redeeming quality - it was lovely. Nice and crisp and just what you'd expect from a shoujo manga.
This is a series that originally had serious potential. However after chapter 1, it all went downhill. The plot makes roll my eyes and grit my teeth and the characters make me want to bang my head against the wall.
Do I recommend this series?
Don't let that discourage you, my opinions are my own. Give it ago - you may like it.