Title: Rainbow Days Vol. 3
Author: Minami Mizuno
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
The third volume of Rainbow Days kicks off summer vacation which means we have a few options here when it comes to the trope department… or do we because our gang is stuck taking make-up classes because of their poor grades!
Nope. Misdirection… there’s the beach episode.
Of course, Anna is in a bathing suit and someone just happens to be embarrassed to look at her in it! In fact, Natsuki is about to pop the question when he gets beaned in the head with a ball. Poor guy. What makes matters worse is that when he returns to school, he discovers that he has a love rival! I won’t reveal who but Natsuki knows him quite well. This forces Natsuki to put the pedal to the floor and speed up his confession to Anna… except in typical Natsuki fashion, he has no idea how to even deliver it. After some fun roleplaying to get Natsuki some ideas, it’s time to take a bit of a detour… Happy Birthday, spit girl!
The events leading up to the eventual birthday party were quite hilarious but… something might be happening there as well! We’ll find out next time.
Spit girl (Tsutsui) is starting to show some cracks in her ultra tsundere armor. Not anything major, mind you, but they are starting to form. In fact, she becomes an unlikely ally of Natsuki when his love rival tries to wedge his way into Anna’s life. When I say that, I don’t mean that she’s trying to help Natsuki, it’s just that her hatred for men is helping stave him off long enough for Natsuki to try and make a move. It’s more indirect than direct when it comes to her “helping” him out.
The Anna x Natsuki relationship had some great teases in this volume but Natsuki is still too pure and innocent to have the testicular fortitude to make the move. Although everyone is doing their best to help him… I just don’t think that any of their… *ahem*… unique advice… is going to be of any benefit here. Even with the rival in play, I don’t think that Natsuki has anything to worry about. It’s pretty obvious that Anna likes him and she admitted that she was only interacting with the rival because they talk to her and she just didn’t want to be rude and ignore him. If only Natsuki knew how she felt… or only if he could squander up the mustard to say it himself. One day, though… one day.
This was a pretty good volume of Rainbow Days. The beach episode felt so trope-ish but what do you expect in a shonen/shojo series centered around high school life? A beach episode is right up there with a cabin retreat, cultural festival (complete with fireworks), hot spring, camping trip (would that also count as a cabin retreat?), field trip, amusement park, or any other overplayed and over-repeated scenario all high school manga/anime kids eventually find themselves in.
I do feel that the rivalry aspect is forced drama. Had they not made Anna out to have a crush on Natsuki from the very beginning, I could have bought this plot point a bit more. Even here, Anna seemed keener to talking with Natsuki over the rival (maybe I should have spoiled it… it’s weird just saying “the rival” all the time haha). It just doesn’t feel as if there is any danger here. Plus, if Anna did choose him over Natsuki, that would kind of destroy one of the main points of this series. I think the plot armor on Natsuki is too thick for this rivalry to have any meaning to it. What would really be a shock is if Natsuki loses and this arc suddenly comes to a halt. That would be a turn no one would see coming.
Spit Girl is really starting to grow on me. Her over-the-top reactions to whenever Tomoya tries to interact with her is great. He keeps trying and trying to break through her shell! It’s at the point where you’re actually rooting for him to succeed! Makes me wonder if it’s worth him succeeding though. Tsutsui is pretty deeply rooted in her character. What she’s doing now makes her unique and causes her to stand out in a good way. If Tomoya gets his way and ends up breaking the shell, how does that change her? Does she just become background fodder after that? I can’t really see much of a direction her character can go in that would be considered interesting so I hope it’s just a cat-and-mouse game for the whole series then MAYBE ship them in the final volume when there is no more story to tell and her archetype’s usefulness becomes a moot point.
We’ll see, though! On to Volume 4!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media