"Beautiful". That is how one would describe both a seven-colored rainbow and the anime Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin. How corny was that opening? But, honestly, it is the only word that I can think of to describe this breathtaking show about the beauty of true and everlasting bonds of friendship even during the darkest of times. This show is about the way seven teenagers (the "seven-colored Rainbow") condemned to the living hell of Shio Reformatory can withstand and survive horrors and pain that were beyond my wildest imaginations. Madhouse (god do I love them) created a masterpiece with this one and it got me addicted right from the start.
Both the story and characters are the main crux of the show, and they drive this emotional piece right through to the end and never let go of the viewer (no matter how hard we want to look away at times). And this is one dark and grim show. This is 10 years post-WWII Japan where the country is in shambles with starvation, crime and corruption rampant everywhere. The seven main boys are literally the lowest on the totem poll of society and are thrown into Shio to be used and almost disposed of, and the situations and events that are presented in this show represent those very thoughts. Rape, murder, betrayal, torture. You name it.
There were so many times that I wanted to just rage or was cringing during this show because of how unfair, despicable and disturbing things were at times. However, good things do eventually happen!! Rainbow gives us the light at the end of the tunnel at just the right times and the strength of the friendship and bond between the seven boys powers the viewer through all the despair. It connects us to the characters even more and you truly end up sympathizing and rooting for these guys throughout the show. It truly is awe-inspiring how the guys kept a positive outlook even in the worst of circumstances.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin is brutal to watch at times due to its highly graphic nature and mature themes, but the payoff in story and character development is unlike any other that I've seen in anime. More people need to see this show!! Madhouse created a masterpiece and if you have the stomach for it, I highly suggest that you watch this ASAP. It will not disappoint. Do it for An-chan.