Story & Art Minami Mizuno
Translation & Adaptation by Max Greenway
Touch-Up Art & Lettering by Inori Fukuda Trant
Design by Shawn Carrico
Edited by Nancy Thistlethwaite
Rainbow Days centers on a group of four high school boys, each of whom have very different habits and romantic interests. When one of the boys, Natsuki Hashiba, is dumped on Christmas Eve, he immediately falls in love with a girl named Anna Kobayakawa after she hands him a box of tissues. Once he learns that Anna also attends his high school, Natsuki starts his new pursuit of love with both the help and hindrance of his friends.
Rainbow Day’s biggest strength is the friendship dynamic between Natsuki and his three friends. While Natsuki is a romantic, this is not a mindset shared by his friends. Tomoya Matsunaga is a playboy, Keiichi Katakura is a sadist, and Tsuyoshi Naoe is an otaku. This leads to them all having drastically different approaches to how Natsuki should pursue Anna, leading to some hilarious interactions between the boys. That said, there’s a strong sense of brotherhood within the group. Natsuki’s friends genuinely want him to succeed in love, and while not all their ideas are ideal, they help Natsuki make small steps towards getting closer to Anna.
Compared to the other characters introduced in this volume, Anna is easily the most quiet and soft-spoken. She maintains a calm and neutral expression in most of her appearances, making it difficult for the reader to know how she’s truly reacting to the situations around her. That said, this also makes her moments of clear emotion far more impactful. Throughout this volume, Anna only smiles when talking to her close friend Mari and with Natsuki. This allows for Natsuki’s key moments with Anna, such as her laughing when they’re walking home from the study session, to provide a sense of development in their relationship. It will be interesting to see how Anna’s character is explored further as the story progresses.
Minami Mizuno’s artwork is solid throughout this volume. Rainbow Days’ best qualities are supported by its comedy and gag conversations, but the manga never feels visually cluttered in order to facilitate this. Mizuno’s panel composition is especially standout, making great use of the page layout to emphasize jokes. One of my favorite moments was during the end of chapter 2, where at the bottom of one page, Mari starts crying after Anna tells her that she “likes her too” and that they should eat the chocolate gifted from Natsuki, only for the next page to have Anna yell “That’s Garbage!” as a reply. It’s moments such as this that make Rainbow Days work so well as a manga, enhancing the series as a whole.
Rainbow Days is an enjoyable read that will provide you with some good laughs alongside its romance elements. The manga has some great character interactions and it’s easy to become attached to the cast thanks to their entertaining antics. If you’re looking to check out a new series, this one is off to a promising start.