My very over-due [Manga Talk], this time on Niji no Densetsu (虹の伝説) or Legend of Rainbow by HARA Chieko, a true classic shoujo with a “historical” western settings and a lovely artwork which resemble fairly to Igarashi’s Candy Candy (except for the heroine’s long silky hair of course!)….
Story: Finnie and Adrian spent a sweet but brief childhood together, until the poor little Finnie was casted away from Adrian by the misfortune of class difference; Finnie was the daughter of a fallen aristocrat family but Adrian an heir of the Duke of Glen.
Adrian grew up becoming a handsome Duke, but still heartbroken by Finnie’s departure in the past thinking that she has deserted him, leaving him behind lonesome and unloved by his family….
When Finnie and Adrian met again, Finnie was courted by the spoiled Grand Duke of Karl….
By now, Adrian was still bitter, yet jealous of another man being in love with Finnie; he loved her, yet wanted to drive her away unable to forgive her for the bitterness (… man man, typical man! ^^)
As anyone can imagine, the two protagonists would eventually end up to be together again…. but “HOW?” one may ponder. Well, for anyone who is interested in the “how”, you can have a peep at the pictures for some spoilers at the end of this post – It will not be hard to guess what really happened 😉
To conclude, the pair of our protagonists still being fond of their childhood memories of the Rainbow Valley and its beautiful folk tale (aka the Legend of Rainbow), decided to return to the place together…. and the story ends.
My say: These days, the mangaka can be widely recognised for her work in romantic josei (or in particular, Harlequin comics so to speak). Fairly or unfairly, a lot of comparison has been made between Igarashi Yumiko and Hara Chieko in terms of their styles of drawings and stories. Although not as commercially successful and popular as Iragashi’s work, namely Candy Candy, Hara has managed to deliver a simple romantic story through her Niji no Densetsu that was nicely balanced with a tint of 70’s shoujo-art of maidenesque.
Digress: When a friend of mine, who is equally a shoujo-manga enthusiast, told me she had not heard of any other work of HARA Chieko prior to her Senya Renka (alongside a couple of her recent Harlequin-style josei), I was taken a little by surprise.
… Back in t-h-o-s-e days (*ehem*), HARA’s popularity arose through her remarkable work of Fostine (フォスティーヌ), Kaze no Sonata (風のソナタ), Akage no Cupid (赤毛のキューピット), and etc. But amongst all, besides Niji no Densetsu, Mittsu no Blanco no Monogatari (三つのブランコの物語) has to be my other “most favourite” by HARA Chieko.
Mittsu no Blanco no Monogatari, its cover as shown on the left, is a collection of three romantic short stories based on the three sisters with extremely different personalities. The collection is short, simple but sweet, i.e. just lovely :
=== Spoilers (Legend of Rainbow) ===
Having discovered an assassination plot, Finnie rushed to adrian’s aid…
Relieved to see Adrian was not hurt, Finnie fell into his embrace…
….. but still managed to catch a glimpse of someone trying to kill Adrian.
So, in a typical 70’s shoujo way, our heroine threw herself at the killer instead, in order to save her loved one from being hurt….. Everyone, including Adrian of course, shouted whist in shock: FINNIE!
In the next scene, at Finnie’s bedside, we see Adrian loaded with guilt realising Finnie’s importance to him….
As Adrian continued to sulk, the princess woke up…..
and then…… Happy end.
ps. There are already many descriptions/synopsis about the manga being available online. So yes, I am feeling rather slack to type up a long summary here, whilst someone else has already done the hard work…. ^^: