Everything can change in an instant and the lives of the gang continues to go in very different ways.
What They Say
After Scam learns that Sasaki is running for mayor, Turtle and the gang begin a campaign of intimidation against Sasaki. Meanwhile, Mario deals with the harsh reality of Anchan's final fate.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sakuragi's encounter with Ishihara in the previous episode was definite a high point in the series as he coped with trying to settle things and get it so that everyone can just move on with no real worries. Ishihara being as nuts as he is at this point couldn't let it go and forced Sakuragi's hand. Unfortunately, his fate was decided by that act as when he moves just a bit further along, bloody knife in hand, neither the police nor the US military would take kindly to what they're seeing. Sakuragi's intent of getting to Mario and Sasaki's presence there cause it all to come to a violent end though, a sad one that you really don't want to see after all that he had suffered and gone through just to get to this point. It's a truly tragic moment that defines a large part of this series.
While Sakuragi's end is given a proper moment of reflection, as he views the lives of those he's just made such strong friends of, it's a quiet and somber piece overall in the first half. But that end of the first half marks the end of a large segment of the series as when it picks up, it's now a year later or so and the rest of the guys are out of the reformatory and meeting at the tree where they promised to go. All of them are there and wanting to know the details of what happened to Sakuragi, though Mario doesn't really know all that much of it since it all happened with the military. It's interesting to see the group in a bit more casual civilian mode, a bit older as well and especially with Turtle having hair, and it does a good job of setting up the second half of the series.
The six young men have an immensely strong bond between them that can't be broken easily. If anything, Sakuragi's death has solidified it in a way that has them casting caution to the wind in order to achieve what is their primary goal. And that is to exact a revenge of some sort against Sasaki over what happened, though they first have to stop Mario from killing him himself and getting into a lot of trouble. Seeing how everyone has grown since getting out is really heartening, as they've found places in their lives to be and have the potential to grow. But what throws it all into a bit of a tizzy is learning that Sasaki is working to become a local mayor, which is beyond the pale for those who have suffered on the good doctor's treatments and punishments. It's unclear if they truly know Sasaki's role in Sakuragi's death, but there's so much evil on Sasaki's shoulders that it doesn't even matter to them as they know what they have to do. Seeing the resolve in their eyes, eyes that have grown harder and older in the year that has passed, gives the show a very different edge.
If Rainbow had spent all of its time with the kids in the reformatory or some of them inside and some outside, it would have been an interesting show but would have become very dark and oppressive as it went on. With this new direction, the show starts to add more colors to its palette but there is definitely that big edge of darkness still in there. The group has aged a fair bit in the year or so they've had to finish out and the new look on them, with regular clothes, hair and so forth, can change how you view them. But at the core, they're who we saw before and now they're even more unified in following through on what happened with Sakuragi.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.