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"We'll spend our time against these walls
We'll fight this fight forever more
If there's a place inside this world
Where we must go back to once more
Until the day
We find that place
We're not alone"
-- "We're Not Alone", Cold Rain
A manga by George Abe and Masasumi Kakizaki, Rainbow tells the story of six teenage inmates of a post World War II prison in Japan, and the hardships they struggle to endure within the living Hell they have been placed into.
It was adapted into an anime by animation studio Madhouse.
Rainbow Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: The only good adult is the ineffectual warden Kumagai, otherwise they are all pretty useless or much worse.
- Badass: Sakuragi.
- Beauty Equals Goodness
- Berserk Button: Anchan doesn't mind getting himself beaten up if that's what it takes to get him released, but if someone harms anyone of his brothers and smashes their right hand and with it their dreams and he WILL One Hit KO you.
- Big Brother Mentor: Sakuragi Rokurouta, who's even called 'Anchan' (Bro) in-story.
- Big Good: Anchan.
- Bishonen: Joe, Anchan, and Mario.
- But Not Too Foreign: Joe Yokosuka, the half-foreigner.
- Cluster F-Bomb: It's set in a prison, so it's not exactly surprising.
- Crapsack World: In the inmates' world, there's almost nothing but Complete Monsters in high places as far as the eye can see.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Anchan manages to pwn the 6 newcomers on the first day and this sparked the formation of the Nakama.
- Determinator: Pretty much the only thing that the inmates can rub in the faces of their sadistic overseers is that they won't give up. Ever.
- Dirty Coward: Ishihara.
- Driven to Suicide: Hagino, Anchan's former cellmate who was sold by Ishihara to Sasaki as a sex slave.
- Eagle Land: The Americans in the nearby base are rude, and arrange boxing matches where untrained Japanese fighters get more or less slaughtered in the ring.
- Engineered Public Confession: Year after the six get out, they find Doctor Sasaki is running for mayor. They threaten him into confessing all he did in prison (but let him wake up thinking it was all a nightmare), and at a public debate before the election, play out the tape of him admitting raping inmates and orchestrating murders.
- Eye Scream: Mario's left eye, in volume 22. Presumably the result of being trapped in a burning building two volumes beforehand.
- Five-Man Band
- Gentle Giant: Cabbage.
- Gonk: Ishihara and Sasaki, to the point of being caricatures.
- He Knows Too Much: Revealed to be the reason why Ishihara wants to make sure Anchan never gets released.
- Heroic BSOD
- Hey, It's That Voice!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Anchan. Of course, it's revealed at the end of the first episode that this is actually a Jerkass Facade he put up to help the other members get a taste of prison life early.
- Jizzed in My Pants: Scam did this right before having his first time with a prostitute in Episode 17 and its corresponding manga chapter..
- Justified Criminal: Most of the six have some justification for the crimes they got sent in for. For example Mario beat up a teacher that raped his classmate and both Scam and Turtle stole and scammed to survive after orphaned.
- Karma Houdini: Ishihara. While he does end up as a pathetic and somewhat insane drug-addict, some feel it's not enough to make up for everything he's done such as being responsible for Anchan's death. After the latter basically erased the reason Ishihara harassed him in the first place.
- Kick the Dog: Between shamelessly beating the prisoners for shits and giggles, depriving Sakuragi of food, forcing them to stand out in the rain for what appears to be hours, and selling prisoners to Sasaki as sex slaves, Ishihara has established himself as a professional puppy punter.
- Killed Off for Real: Anchan.
- Manly Tears
- My Greatest Failure: Granted he didn't really kill anybody, but Anchan always blames himself for the death of his father. Which brings up the question on why he really was arrested in the first place.
- Revealed in volume 21, He voluntarily took the blame for a friend who shot a GI in the shoulder. Hence the scene from the anime OP, with the gun.
- Nakama: Definitely.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Several times, to the point of being Nightmare Fuel.
- Out of the Inferno: The seven prisoners themselves came out of a burning prison. Happens again with Mario and Setsuko in volume 20.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Joe, who has blonde hair and blue eyes.
- The Power of Friendship: Basically the whole point.
- Rape as Drama: Several times--this is a prison after all. These poor kids get molested before we even learn any of their names!
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Kumagai.
- Shmuck Bait: Does putting "Explicit" in bright red in the disclaimer before every episode qualifies?
- Shout-Out: Chapters from the manga are all named after songs, with everything from "Born to Be Wild" to "My Immortal." Artist credits are given at the end of each tankoubon; the mangaka seem particularly fond of Helloween.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Despite the harshness, it's quite an idealistic series about the indomitable will of the human spirit in the face of almost unbearable cruelty.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: A variation, since it's a Japanese wedding. Joe implies that Mario should do something about Setsuko's upcoming marriage before he develops any regrets. In response, Mario defies and subverts this trope, only witnessing her wedding from afar and smiling to give her his best wishes.
- Spoiler Opening: Anchan is noticeably absent in the above pan shot, which has always been a part of the opening. It was fairly obvious that it was a shot of them after the inmates of 2-6 were released even before the second arc, and by consequence, it strongly implied that something happens to him - which eventually turns out to be his death.
- Stepford Smiler: Dr. Sasaki.
- Supporting Protagonist: Mario is the main character, despite Anchan being The Hero and Big Good. An alternate way of seeing it is that Anchan is the main character at first and the role later shifts to Mario.
- Surprisingly Good English: The Americans seem to be voiced by native speakers.
- Tattooed Crook: Cabbage
- Took a Level In Badass: It at first seems that Joe is going to sleep with Sasaki so as to retrieve the keys to help the prisoners escape from the cell. Instead, he chokes the guy, ties him up, and leaves him there naked, taking the keys with him! Joe, the delicate bishonen from earlier who would let anyone walk over him!
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Towards the end of the first half of the series, the main characters are shown leading their own lives after their escape from the prison and Anchan dies: Soldier joins the military, Joe works as a band's assistant while struggling to become a singer himself, Turtle sells various items on the black market, Cabbage works for a construction company, Scam goes to high school, and Mario works as a bartender. This happens again at the series' actual end. Soldier is married to Meg and becomes a guard at the Shonan reform school, Joe is a popular singer running from screaming fangirls, Turtle has his own business, Cabbage is living in Hawaii with his wife Ruriko, Scam seems to have successfully become a lawyer, and Mario is in America, driving down Route 66.