The strength of one man, inward and outward, can go only so far before it reaches a breaking point.
What They Say
Anchan knows he can take whatever harsh treatment Ishihara throws at him, but when the guard turns his attention to the other inmates, Anchan finally snaps and ends up locked in solitary confinement.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The push to get Sakuragi to play ball with them has the warden and the main evil guard, a man who is bad just for the sake of being bad which makes him a caricature, has had them putting Sakuragi into a cell with men older than him with the intent of destroying him, possibly even killing him. Sakuragi has suffered through a lot of abuse from the men and went through it quietly in order to get closer to being free and making his way in the world after the pact that they've made. What changes his approach with the thuggish men is that they start to threaten his former cell mates who are trying to find out what's going on. That has Sakuragi taking things far, so far that the men that were behind Ishihara are now afraid of Sakuragi more, and for good reason.
With just three weeks until he's set free, Ishihara has to work harder now to get Sakuragi to screw up so they can keep him there longer. Since they haven't been able to do anything through the forceful side, they're now looking at other options to draw him out into breaking the rules so they can throw him back in the cells, keeping their secrets a little longer. Sakuragi is intent on bearing everything that's thrown his way but he wants to make sure nobody else gets caught up in any of it, telling them all to keep their distance from him. But they can't avoid Ishihara who has a real grudge against them all now and is even more violent than before. But to help Sakuragi get out, they have to be quite submissive to Ishihara so they don't draw any further issues to Sakuragi.
Ishihara's cruelty even goes so far as to extend to other guards, such as Kumagi who doesn't believe what's going on is right. It's a cold moment when Ishihara strikes him out in the rain in front of the kids as they spend their time bowing towards him. Ishihara's such a force of will though that he's able to stop Kumagi from stopping what's going on. It's a long slow slog towards provoking Sakuragi so they can bust on him for something and the kids have to suffer quite a lot because of it. It's a moment that shows just how far these kids will go for him in order to see all their dreams come true some day. The bonds we saw grow recently have become even stronger from the distance that has been put between them.
A good chunk of this episode is dedicated to flashback material that shows us what Sakuragi knows and why he's so important to being kept there past his release date. It's a brutal story that shows what happened a year ago to his cell mate Hagino with Sasaki giving him an examination that pushes him past his breaking point. Sakuragi makes out really good in these episode as a character by showing what it is that makes him so strong and appealing. His approach to getting past it all is an admirable one, if one that he won't really survive, and seeing the dedication between the boys is powerful. The only downside continues to be just how evil Ishihara comes across as since it feels like it's simply too much sometimes. But beyond that, Rainbow manages another impressive and powerful episode with this.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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