What They Say:
Mario looks back on the harrowing realities of life behind bars as he tries to make sense of Anchan’s murder. Until he uncovers the truth about his friend’s final hours, the young fighter will find no peace.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The halfway mark of a series is often the place where two very different things can happen. Typically it’s seen as the place to start in on the new story, the larger aspects of things by tying it all together or getting serious after some lighter moments and character introductions. Other times, more rarely these days compared to years before, it’s the period where we get a recap episode that talks about what has happened to date in order to give everyone a mild break as well as providing an easy jump on point for new viewers that may be swayed by such things. Rainbow unfortunately goes for the recap episode as it focuses on Mario remembering everything that’s happened which lead up to Sakuragi’s death, with Sakuragi being the main focus throughout.
Which isn’t a surprise. Even though this is largely an ensemble cast, Sakuragi dominated the series almost from the start with the way he befriended everyone by showing that he was the real power in cell block six. But even as he did that, he made them friends rather than have them cower in fear, he just wanted to make it clear where he stood and what he was capable of. Going back to those early episodes is a bit disheartening considering his fate, but it shows well how everyone came together over time and the bonds that were created are strong and powerful. Mario in particular, with him telling the tale, becomes a bit of a focus on things since it was him and Turtle that lasted the longest on the outside with Sakuragi, along with Setsuko, and that gives it all a bit more special meaning.
Recap episodes can be done well, we’ve seen them before in other series with a creative approach to things, but Rainbow goes for the tried and true form of making it an emotional appeal. Using Mario as the center point to it, highlighting his relationship with Sakuragi from when they first met up through his death, gives it some nice weight and some of his commentary on its is decent with the introspection on how others have acted and felt. But in the end, we’ve seen it all and it still feels too raw considering how we just lost Sakugari as a character to see him again like this, especially as we had similar moments around his death. This isn’t a bad recap, but it’s one that doesn’t do anything to really make it work better than any other. The core material is good, but it’s something that really merits watching the full episodes rather than catching up in this form. If anything, it reminds us just how much more to these characters there is since so much is missing from this and that makes the series far more valuable.
Originally Streamed By: Funimation