The first thing I thought when I heard that the "manliest of all tough and badass MAN shows" coming out in Japan last season was called RAINBOW was that there had to be a mistake. A rather large mistake. Even in another language and culture, I thought, there is no way in hell that anybody would think that a pretty, multicolored rainbow was manly, brutal, or even tough. Then I actually sat down to watch the show in question, and the opening animation caught me off guard, what with its screaming heavy metal anthem that sounded like something off a Linkin Park album. It wasn't bad, and I was hopeful that it was a good indication of the mood and testosterone to come, despite the series' title.
Noooooooooope. I should have stuck with my initial judgment. There would have been a lot less heartbreak that way. Sometimes a book's cover can tell you all you need to know about the story within... Especially when that proverbial cover has a FABULOUS rainbow painted on it by some dude's dick in bright pastels, and signed with a smiley face sucking on a horse cock.
RAINBOW's not dramatic. It's not manly, nor is it a rip-roaring roller coaster ride of testosterone. I don't care HOW many fanboys are squealing over how awesome this show is, I am here to tell you that it is not good. It's so over the top MELOdramatic that it felt like it was the direct sequel of Gekigangar III (the fake send-up show of overly dramatic 70s series featured in the actual anime Nadesico) — lots of burly men screaming, crying (oh yeah, they cry all the goddamn time), and telling the saddest, laughable sob stories you've ever heard. You simply can't take any of the characters or situations inside this fucking thing seriously. I just kept waiting for a character to bellow out "JOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEE!" for 30 seconds in between snortles of choked tears. I'm deadly serious here: the characters in Rainbow cry more than all the wimpy chicks in Clannad. It honestly plays like a really shitty parody of The Dirty Dozen. A really, really shitty, bad, horrible parody featuring stupid namby pambies instead of uber tough guys. A parody along the lines of how Epic Movie or Meet the Spartans can be considered a parody of anything (which they can't, they suck so bad).
What's RAINBOW all about? Crying sissy boys and men... I thought I just told you. Beyond that, it's all about 7 Japanese teenagers who are sent to the worst juvie boy-raping reform school in the world about a decade after WWII ends. Well, they keep calling it a "reform school," but it is nothing but a hardcore prison, what with 7 boys being confined in one small 12X12 room, the small, shitty portions of food they're allowed, and all the solitary confinement they get for just looking at a guard wrong. The sadistically gleeful (and always Joker-smiling) guards beat them regularly, and the prison doctor loves to give all his charges prostate exams and check their temperatures anally (using his own personal thermometer), but the 7 youths all band together in order to tough shit out, because they're all that they've got, dammit! JOOOOOOOOEEEEEE!
Anyway, to give you an idea about just how dumb this whole thing is, I'll tell you all about the second episode (and really, there are more aggravatingly stupid eps out there, but they would require too much back story for you to understand what the hell I'm talking about, and I don't want to waste either your or my time any more than I have to). The very second episode is all about the yellow-haired gaijin orphan kid who finds out that his younger sister is going to be adopted from the sex-trading orphanage they used to live in together. So he breaks out of the reformatory with the help of his new friends and runs over to see her, only to be caught right at the threshold of the orphanage by the police. The director of the orphanage is a fat ugly woman who used to rape the blonde boy, and she's selling his sister to a toothless, eyes-bulging pedophile for a shit ton of cash. And as the blonde boy is telling the cops who just caught him all about this, and is about to get the fat whore-pimp investigated, and possibly become reunited with his younger sibling, his dumb little sister comes out and tells him to shut up, and that she doesn't need him or his help anymore, thus making the cops think he made it all up... The reason she did this? Because she wanted him to live a good life without her.... In the boy-rape reform prison. She then runs to her room and cries out loud like the mongo she is (knowing she's going to get ass fucked that night by her new "daddy"), and her brother is promptly beaten and his spirit is crushed when he gets back to the reformatory. Then he's shoved into solitary for a few weeks. Yay... Happiness for all...
See, this kind of stupid storytelling bugs the shit out of me. I DETEST when retardation is what propels a plot forward. The sister's going to be raped by a hideous fat man every night, her brother is going to be beaten every day, and the orphanage director is going to get away with fucking children and then selling them to the highest bidder on the pedo sex trade market.... All because the sister is a dumb fuck who thinks she knows best, but is really just a giant waterhead who can't figure her own life out, let alone help anybody else. Christ... Oh, and let's not forget the boxing wannabe Mario's reason for getting sent to juvie for two years. Holy fuck... He went to child butt-fuck jail so that a female classmate of his wouldn't have to report that a teacher raped her. I... Wow. No, that's true; I can't make crap like that up. I'm just not that stupid. This... This show is so moronic it hurts. And my GOD do the writers love rape. Rape rape rape rape grape ape rape. RAAAAAAAAAAAPE!
Back to the less than masculine boys and their goal of "getting out of juvie and making it big some day with hopefully at least 20% less butt raping!!! LOLZ! YAYZ!!" They all do goofy, gay things like carving their names and dreams into trees amidst over the top, wannabe uplifting music (that makes one cringe instead of get inspired), they cry all the time, they make up really lame nicknames for each other (like "Turtle" and "Cabbage".... Cabbage), and they give each other fellatio every night after lights-out until they all spew at once, covering the whole crowded room in man-spunk and collapsing in one tired, naked pile of boy-flesh before falling asleep in bliss. Well, maybe not that last one, but if they did it really couldn't make this series any more "what the fuck IS this?!" than it already is.
And really, I don't care how poor life was really like in 1950s Japan, there is NO WAY IN HELL that a boy's juvie hall would get away with all this ass-raping and open beatings that this show insinuates was allowed. I mean, ALL the boys in this prison see it/experience it, all the guards are aware of it (even if they don't do it themselves)... You're trying to tell me that not ONE government inspector has come through in the whole time this pedo-homosexual doctor and these sadistic guards have been in charge of this place? It's 10 times worse than that hell-hole orphanage in When They Cry 2! The doctor at Boys Rape Prep even had the evilest guard KILL another guard who was partially sympathetic to the battered kids.
I'm actually laughing while I describe the shit these doomed kids go through. It's hilarious! This is the exact opposite of Grave of the Fireflies (where when terrible shit happens to kids who don't deserve it you pity them and hope they survive it). Here, though, instead of any sympathy, you just wonder what kind of bizarro world this thing takes place in. It's the Shawshank Redemption written by people who love child rape and who think that nobody is accountable for anything they do in the real world. Seriously, do they not believe that there are any psychological evaluations for the prison guards and doctors of teenage penitentiaries? I think the very first question a government psychologist would ask before these freaks got their jobs is "Do you enjoy beating children or sucking on their dicks?" The doc would have salivated at that question, and the cruel prison guard would have gotten that crazy-mad look in his eye (like he always does when he even just THINKS about bashing in a boy's head with his night stick) and started giggling. Christ, if they actually DID get evaluated and were allowed to get their jobs after that, well, I think we need to nuke Japan again...
The whole reformatory portion of RAINBOW was just the first half of this limp-dick show though. The second half is all about the 7 crying sissies as they try to make their way in the real world and make their pathetic dreams come true after they get out of that hellhole. Unfortunately, the second half is even more uninteresting than the first. After the whole prison-movie vibe of the first half, the second half is just an even bigger "let's shit on our main characters!" scat-fest. Honestly, the only narrative this whole show has going on is "horrendous stuff happens to these poor, stupid fucks who kind of don't deserve it... Let's watch them wallow in pain and cry about it!" It gets old fast, and you just smack your forehead with your palm way too often because of their idiocy (especially how so many of the guys turn their backs on their blood brothers to either be in a lame band or borrow/steal money to fuck a whore they're in love with). It's very difficult to get through this series, but not because it's dramatic, but because it's cringe-worthy and stupid.
I've since read many things about RAINBOW from otaku who were so drawn into it, so infatuated with it, that they just could not see this show for what it really is. They call it "tragic," they say it's "pure testosterone," and they claim that it's "awesome storytelling." I do not think those words mean what they think they mean. It's only tragic in the sense that I wasted 13 hours on it that I could have instead been using to look up some good pr0n or rewatching Ergo Proxy. Pure testosterone? I think they meant "pure estrogen." Real men don't cry three times per episode, ya Mary. And as for "awesome storytelling," well, fuck me, I don't know. I guess that some people think that plot holes the size of Texas, and characters doing really stupid things, and LOTS of rape to advance the tale are Emmy worthy... Who am I to argue that?
My bottom line is this: If you're going to make a nancy-boy show about a bunch of sissies who do stupid things to fuck up their own lives and then cry and cry about it, fine... Just don't try and convince the rest of us that it's a MANLY show. It isn't. Anything that has over 7 instances of MAN RAPE is not a manly anything.
Whooooa there, Wilbur! Um, I'm sorry, I guess I'm not strong enough in my own masculinity to think that a show about reform school doctors ass-raping their charges is a good way to spend a week's worth of evenings. I bailed after 4 episodes, and I can STILL see the man-rape when I close my eyes... And no, that is not a good thing in my book.
Holy schnikies! I'm gettin' some major flashbacks here, bunky... I... I didn't even remember that I had gone to juvie at all, but this show brought back some painfully deep and buried memories, mothafucka. They say you don't forget man-rape, and I almost did... I almost did. The screaming, the clinching, the biting, the fighting, the crying... And then the sad resignation. It's all coming back to me! I... I didn't know I had it in me to take another man as my bitch like that! I... I don't want to talk about it... I mean, why didn't I rape that cute teenage nurse in the hospital wing instead? Oh, wait... I think I did. Wow, I'm gonna need a ton of mothafuckin' therapy over this revelation, G. And maybe a partial lobotomy.