All paths must come to an end and Rainbow is one that leaves you wanting more.
What They Say:
Hoping to return to the ring, Mario starts training at an American boxing gym, pushing himself harder than ever before. He's ready to fight again, and with Anchan in his heart, he's definitely a contender.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the boys all move firmly down the paths that their lives have been taking since getting out of the reformatory, it's little surprise that Mario is essentially the central focus of it. They've all come in and out of each others lives over the course of the series but Mario has been more consistent than others. And with the things he's been through, he's taken on the role of Sakuragi himself as he's gotten older, becoming the reliable and steady one whose heart is there to help his friends at any time. He's got his wounds as well, physical ones as well, and that's where the focus turns to as Jeffrey is doing his best to get Mario back into the ring.
Even with it being three years since his hand was broken and left in the state it's in, boxing coach Jimmy Brown sees a lot of potential in him if it can be fixed. The doctor he's sent to is amazed that his hand even functions at this point and only gives him a thirty percent chance of being able to fix it. Sakuragi's words ring loud in his head though in that if there's even a one percent chance for something, you take it and do all that you can. The bonds of friendship come back into play to try and help Mario find his real path again and they all work hard at making sure that he can get the operation. These kinds of bonds have been common throughout the series, but each time it comes up with the swelling of the music, it still works very well. These guys are like war buddies who have been through so much together that they'll do anything for one another.
Mario's story touches rather well on Sakuragi himself as he ends up meeting his mother when he visits the grave. There's a certain bond that you can feel between the two of them as created by Sakuragi himself that is really heartwarming as they talk about the way their lives changed because of him. Mario's growth into the role of being the Anchan of the group is really cemented here at the end and it's perfectly suited to happen. When he's given a pair of boxing shoes that Sakuragi had used himself, it's the clearest passing of the mantle that you can get as Mario is now literally filling his shoes. It's poetic in the end that he's come to this after doing so much for Sakuragi to in a way carry on that young man's dream, making it his own and discovering that it's something that he is perfectly suited for. He hasn't subsumed his life in favor of Sakuragi's, but he's honoring it and taking it where he could not in a very beautiful yet manly way.
Life has moved forward for all the young men of the reformatory who had their lives changed and turned around by meeting Sakuragi. The series follow the injustices placed upon them in the reformatory and how they coped and dealt with it. Then it showed them moving forward with their lives, the way they strengthened the bonds of friendship and how they found their places in society and with each other in an adult setting. Sakuragi has always been in the background since his death and we've seen the impact of it on all of them, but none more so than Mario. Ending the series with Mario's story is simply perfect and leaves you feeling just as inspired and moved as every other story in this series has done. Rainbow is one of those truly rare series that stands above the majority of what's out there because it does just that. It moves you. And that's powerful stuff. Rainbow is a powerful series.
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.