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Anime / Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live

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The main cast

Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live is the third anime series of the Pretty Series franchise, based on a tie-in arcade game of the same name by Takara Tomy. The anime series is set in a different setting to its predecessors, Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream and Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future.

In the world the anime takes place in, Prism Shows are the main form of entertainment. They are a combination of dancing, singing and ice skating. The main character is a 14-year-old girl, Naru Ayase, who can "see the colors of music" and has talent for decorating. The series follows her adventures when she meets a mysterious girl called Rinne, who has an unnatural skill as a Prism Star, and becomes the manager of a fashion shop that holds Prism shows.

It aired from April 6, 2013, to March 29, 2014, in Japan. An English dub aired in Animax Asia as well.


In 2016, the Rainbow Live anime received a Spin-Off film series titled King of Prism, which focuses on the male cast. King of Prism by Pretty Rhythm focuses on the male idol group Over the Rainbow and new character Shin Ichijo, and their struggle to win the Prism King Cup contest. It was followed up by the sequels Pride the Hero in 2017 and Shiny Seven Stars in 2019.

Tropes included:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Wakana challenges Ann to a Prism Show duel where the loser must quit Prism Shows forever. They first attempt to duel during Edel Rose's Rose Party, but after it was interrupted, they decide to settle it through the Dreaming Session. Ann loses, but Wakana tells her she doesn't have to hold up her part of the deal.
  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Bell and Wakana are the top two Prism Stars at Edel Rose and also receive good grades to match. However, they antagonize Naru and Ann constantly until their Character Development halfway into the series.
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  • Ambiguously Bi: Otoha greatly admires Bell and often blushes whenever she gives her positive attention. She also likes to imagine herself as the princess to Bell and Ito's prince. It's also of note that she rarely interacts with the boys, so much that she is the only girl of the main six that doesn't have an Audience Participation scene with Koji, Hiro, or Kazuki in King of Prism. However, in episode 27, Femini states Otoha likes Hiro the most out of the three boys.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: As Rainbow Live is set in a setting that is mostly disconnected from Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream and Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future, the art style received an overhaul, with Okama in charge of designing the female characters.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Naru is a huge fan of June Amou and Dear Crown. By the end of the series, she becomes a model at Dear Crown with June.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Some of the girls' coords reveal their midriffs, including Bell Rose's default uniforms and Ann's first evolved Seventh Coord.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Naru, Ann, and Ito. Bell, Wakana, and Otoha also count, but Otoha did split out for a while before reuniting.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Sparkles often accompany Hiro when he appears.
  • Bittersweet Ending: During the Over the Rainbow Session, Naru saves the future of Prism Shows by restoring the Prism Sparkle. This also leads to many other Prism Stars receiving their own Pair Friend and becoming able to perform Prism Lives. June is allowed to stay with Hijiri as a human; Bell and Hiro lead Edel Rose in a more positive direction; Ann and Wakana reconcile with their parents; Ito's family reunites and stays in Tokyo, with both her parents and Koji's mother finally accepting their relationship; Hiro's mom comes back to see him; Naru becomes Dear Crown's manager; Hiro, Koji, and Kazuki make their Prism Star debut as a unit called Over the Rainbow... but Rinne leaves forever, and the only thing she remembers about the girls is Naru's Catchphrase. Also, apparently Hiro is rejected by Bell.
  • Blue with Shock: Bell is appalled when Naru shows her the duck design she wants to wear for their duo at the Winter White Session.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Ito meets Koji when they crash into each other (boy meets girl). Ito breaks up with him halfway into the series (boy loses girl). Koji and Ito convince their parents to accept their relationship (boy regains girl). It's also the name of the first opening.
  • Calling Your Attacks: As usual in this franchise, the girls call out the names of the special Prism Jumps as they perform them.
  • The Cameo: The Prism Mates, who appear in the live-action segments as new trainees and Prizmmy's back-up dancers, appear at the Rose Party in episode 8.
  • Catchphrase: Several characters have a trademark phrase they use constantly in the series. Naru says, "Get happy!" ("Happy naru!", a pun on her name); Ann says, "Leave it to Ann!"; Ito says, "Hot!" or "Lukewarm!" depending on whether she is impressed; Otoha says, "Like a fairytale!"; Hiro says, "Good night"; Kazuki often says, "Freedom!" or "Burning!"
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Ann and Kazuki have been friends since elementary school and they were in the same club in elementary school.
    • Wakana and Bell were friends since they were in elementary school.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character corresponds to a color to uphold the Rainbow Motif of the series.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Cosmo Hojo, a character from the Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live: Kira Kira My Design game for the Nintendo 3DS, appeared in episode 34 as an audience member who watches Naru's Prism Show.
    • Mion Takamine from Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream is seen on a billboard.
    • The Pair Cheers and Pair Charms from Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream and Dear My Future appear in Naru's dreams about the Prism World.
    • Penguin and Yamada from Aurora Dream also appear. Penguin first accompanies June when they enter Earth together, while Yamada was renamed "Tanaka" and is now Koji's friend from Kakyoin Academy. They reunite in episode 51. Penguin also appears in Kira Kira My Design.
  • Contractual Purity: In-Universe: Hiro has a Prism Jump titled "Absolute Idol: Love is a No Go", which he sometimes uses as a Catchphrase. Also, in episode 45, Jin threatens to sell a photo of him hugging Bell to the tabloids.
  • Crush Blush: Ann and Wakana blush when Kazuki's around or people talk about him, Ito blushes when she thinks about Kouji and Otoha sometimes blushes when Bell's near her.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:Edel Rose Team S scores 19000 karats, and the Prism Stone team loses with a score of 5120 karats.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Many characters, like Naru, Rinne, and Hiro, have eye colors that match their hair.
  • Drunk with Power: Jin Norizuki, the supervisor of Edel Rose, is obsessed with making Edel Rose the top Prism Star school by forcing all of his students to actively compete for top position, along with doing anything necessary to eliminate competition — including bribing mass media to publish exaggerated scandals and paying people to beat up his rivals. The result: he gets kicked out of Edel Rose before the end of Rainbow Live.
  • Elevator School: Le Seliana Girls Academy, the school Bell, Otoha, and Wakana attend, is an escalator school containing both a junior high and senior high school. Bell, Otoha, and Wakana are students in the junior high division.
  • Empathy Pet: The Pair Friends usually mimic their partners' speech inflections and expressions during conversation, so they end up being a Funny Background Event in addition to what's going on.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: The first episode is titled "I'm Naru! I'll Be~come the Shop Manager!"
  • Evolving Credits: Beginning with episode 18, the segment in the second opening where Naru, Ann, and Ito dance during the chorus is replaced with them performing as Happy RAIN with the choreography to "EZ Do Dance." Beginning with episode 19, the segment where Bell, Otoha, and Wakana dance are replaced with them dancing to the same choreography.
  • Fanservice: A bit for Over the Rainbow when they do their Prism Jumps. Hiro, for example, gets a close up of his toned stomach and hip bones during one of his jumps in the show.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the fourth opening, if you pause in the last line of the song when the colors of merge, you can see the words "Butterfly Effect" and "Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live".
  • Frilly Upgrade: The girls' default performing outfits, known as the Seventh Coord, eventually evolves into elaborate costumes once they do enough Prism Jumps.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The initials of the girls spell out the word rainbow: Rinne, Ann, Ito, Naru, Bell, Otoha, Wakana. In-Universe, Ito uses this as the basis to rename their team to "Happy RAIN" in episode 26.
  • Genki Girl: Naru often keeps a smile on her face and looks towards the world positively, encouraged by her Catchphrase, "Get happy!"
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Naru and Bell, June and Rinne.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Rinne has Rainbow Feathers, which show her status as a Prism Messenger. June has the dark purple Night Dream Feathers, which appear when a Prism Messenger defects from the Prism World.
  • Graduate from the Story: At the very end of the series, Naru, Ann, and Ito graduate from Prism Stone, finishing their character arcs. This is also one of the reasons why there is very little focus on them in King of Prism.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Bell had to work very hard to become the top Prism Star of the female division in Edel Rose, and she feels incredibly threatened by Naru's innate talent. The pressure on her gets worse after the Dreaming Session, when Prism Lives start becoming popular and she is forced to keep up despite not knowing how to do one.
  • Henpecked Husband: After years of enduring emotional abuse from Wakana's father and obediently going along with everything he says, Wakana's mother forces him to move to Singapore by himself when he is given a manager position there. It turns out that Wakana's father had been a Bumbling Dad the entire time and had only focused on his job just because Wakana's mother said she liked that best about him during her Love Confession that it eventually ended up being Becoming the Mask.
  • Heroic BSoD: Naru blanks out and crumbles during her Prism Show at the Dreaming Session due to Performance Anxiety, competing right after Bell's impressive Prism Show, and an overall lack of experience. She manages to get over it thanks to Rinne and Koji. She later experiences it again during the Winter White Session, but not because of any Performance Anxiety — it's because Rinne suddenly stops meeting with her and tells her goodbye, causing her to think she hates her. It gets to the point where Naru temporarily loses the ability to perform Prism Lives due to the Prism Sparkle disappearing from her heart.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 39, the New Years' episode, is set at a hot springs inn.
  • Image Song: All the main characters are given a character solo song, including Hiro, Koji, and Kazuki, which are known as "My Songs." In-Universe, this is because all of them are Prism Stars and are expected to perform to them during Prism Shows.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The English dub produced by Animax can't decide whether "Prism no Kirameki" is translated as "Prism Sparkle" or "Prism's Sparkle." The subtitles were also inconsistent, spelling Bell's last name as "Renjouji" at times and instead of the official romanization "Renjoji."
  • Improbable Hairstyle: June's hairstyle consists of two large Regal Ringlets from a tiny ballerina bun.
  • Jerkass: Jin Norizuki is pretty much the Big Bad when it comes to the Prism Tournaments, as he often encourages Hiro and Bell to stop focusing on friendship and having fun. He also regularly threatens his students with ending their Prism Star careers if they disobey or fall under expectations. He's also done pretty shady things to his rivals, such as bribing people to set up a trap that would eventually damage Hijiri's leg, getting Rei Kurokawa disqualified, and blocking Happy RAIN and June from entering the Prism Queen Cup in order to keep the title to Edel Rose students.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The first promotional visual spoils Bell, Otoha, Wakana, and Rinne getting Pair Friends, even though they show up after the first quarter of the series.
  • Love Confession:
    • Koji gives an Anguished Declaration of Love to Ito in episode 26 after she confronts him for reworking the song she wrote for Hiro into their group song. He becomes more direct about it when she chases him to apologize.
    • Wakana slowly realizes she's in love with Kazuki and tells Ann that she plans on confessing him after the Winter White Session in episode 39. This causes Ann to have a Green-Eyed Epiphany, and they try to confess their feelings to him in Episode 40. They mistake Kazuki's cousin for her girlfriend and end up not confessing to him. Both of them confess their feelings to Kazuki in episode 51, but Kazuki is too embarrassed and faints. Even in King of Prism, he still hasn't responded to their confessions.
    • In episode 49, June professes her love to Hijiri through her Prism Jumps during the Over the Rainbow Session. Hijiri realizes he loves her as well when she starts dying, giving her an Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Naru, Koji, and Ito were revealed as a type 5 love triangle after it was resolved.
    • Ann and Wakana both realize they have a crush on Kazuki, and he ends up choosing no one. In King of Prism, he still hasn't said anything and ends up running away when they try to get an answer out of him.
  • Makeup Is Evil: Ritsu Renjoji wears purple eyeshadow and heavy red lipstick. While it's later revealed that she's misguided rather than malicious, her perfectionism has brought a lot of problems to her daughter, Bell. Perhaps symbolically, she lacks her make-up both when they had a better relationship and in her reappearance after their reconciliation.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Although Rainbow Live doesn't blatantly show off its merchandise excessively like the previous series, there are several items seen that can be purchased in real life.
    • A real-life Prism Stone shop opened in Harajuku as a tie-in to Rainbow Live. Since 2016, it has become the main Prism Stone shop for the Pretty Series after the original flagship store in Yokohama closed.
    • The girls' Prism Stone cases and music players can be purchased in real-life.
    • Naru's specialty is decorating Prism Stones. In the first opening sequence, she is seen using the Prism Stone Maker to decorate. The first set of Prism Stones containing Naru's outfit set was also offered with stickers to decorate.
    • Ann's Snow Cookie Dress from episode 9 was offered as a Prism Stone through McDonald's with purchase of a Happy Meal, and the episode was released around the time the collaboration took place.
    • Despite Prism Stones not being the prizes in tournaments, the outfits that the girls wear are still available as Prism Stones in the arcade game, and sometimes episode plots focus on them. Episode 21, in particular, talks in detail about the Black Ribbon Pumps, which Otoha keeps as a Friendship Trinket from Bell.
  • Multiethnic Name: Mary Fukuhara has an English name and a Japanese name.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Meganee returns as the Prism Show navigator. Prism Stone and Dear Crown shops also appear.
    • Along with new Prism Jumps, several old Prism Jumps from the early Pretty Rhythm arcade games return, such as "Lovely Rainbow", "Happy Macaron Spin", "Poppin' Candy Rocket", "Heart-pounding Experience", "Stardust Shower", "Sparkling Future Star", "Golden Star Magic", "Fresh Fruits Basket", "Heartbeat Memory Leaf", "Bloom-Bloom-Blooming Love Flowers", and "Aurora Rising."
    • In episode 29, Bell's "Dream Phoenix" Prism Jump reveals her wearing some outfits shown in the previous Pretty Rhythm series. The outfits include the Nadeshiko Kimono (Aira's outfit in episode 18 of Aurora Dream), Pure Premium Wedding Dress (Aira's Prism Queen cup outfit); the Hip-Hop Casual Mini T and Hip-Hop Dancing Pants (P & P's Road to Symphonia outfit); the Dance Butler Jacket, Dance Butler Long Pants, and Dancing Cat Onepiece (Sprouts' Road to Symphonia outfit).
  • No Antagonist: For some time, until Jin Norizuki shows up.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: DJ Coo is based off DJ Koo from the dance music group TRF. Interestingly, DJ Koo himself sometimes DJs at Pretty Rhythm-related events.
  • Ojou: Otoha is a bit of this, Bell fits this completely.
  • One-Gender School: Koji and Hiro attend the all-male school Kakyoin Academy. Bell, Otoha, and Wakana attend Le Seliana Girls Academy. Both schools are connected to Edel Rose.
  • Performance Anxiety: During the Dreaming Session, Naru can't "see the colors of music" because of the pressure, and starts crying. Wakana is also bad under pressure when doing Prism Shows, which Kazuki helps her overcome.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Mary Fukuhara is an American with blonde hair and blue eyes, the latter of which her son and granddaughter inherit.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Pair Friends can only say their name, but in episode 27, there's a segment where they have a shared dream and talk to each other in human speech.
  • Privileged Rival: Edel Rose is a prestigious dance school for aspiring Prism Stars where students train rigorously in the most top-of-the-art facility. Meanwhile, Naru, Ann, and Ito don't have access to training with professionals, as Prism Stone is just a basic clothing store, and must rely on themselves in order to practice.
  • The Promise: Ann tries to teach Rinne the importance of keeping promises when she unknowingly promises to perform a Prism Show at a kindergarten. Wakana later turns Ann's words back on her when she reveals Ann had broken their promise when they were friends, and she had even tried to stand her up on a meeting just to get back at her.
  • The Quiet One: Rinne is often very quiet when not performing due to being an Emotionless Girl. This is because June prevented her from merging with her, and two Rinnes cannot exist in the same world.
  • The Reveal: Quite some: Chisato Ibara, owner of Prism Stone is actually a Pair Friend named Momo, DJ Coo is actually a former Prism Star named Rei Kurokawa, Kouji's father was the man killed in the incident Ito's father had, Rinne and June were messengers from the Prism World, and Ann and Wakana used to be friends.
  • The Rival: Naru and Bell, Wakana and Ann, Otoha and Ito, and Kouji and Hiro.
  • Recap Episode: Episode 14 recaps the first 13 episodes and reintroduces Naru, Ann, Ito, and Rinne, while episode 27 recaps the events leading up to the Try Groovin' Session.
  • Red String of Fate: Ito's name means "string", as her mom says that she is what "ties the family together." One of her Prism Jumps, "Red String Summer of Love", is based on the idea of the red string.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: The opening song changes in Episodes 14, 27 and 40.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: All the Pair Friends are adorable and engage in Funny Background Events. The girls immediately welcome their Pair Friends upon first greeting, save for Ito, and sometimes cuddle with them in appreciation for their help.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Ann defers to Kazuki as her senior, as he was her mentor at their Prism Show Club in elementary school.
  • Sequel Escalation: Rainbow Live explains more about the Prism World and how Prism Shows work.
    • The first two series focus more on achieving legendary jumps/Prism Acts, with characters performing at most two jumps in a show. In Rainbow Live, the focus is more on being able to chain multiple jumps in succession with characters building their way up to a seven jump chain.
  • Spear Counterpart: The movie series King of Prism by Pretty Rhythm, which centers around male idol groups entering in the Prism King Cup with Hiro, Koji, and Kazuki as the main characters. It's also a sequel spinoff, taking place 1.5 years after the main Pretty Rhythm anime ends.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Ann's name is spelled "Ann" on her Prism Stone name tag and official merchandise, but a magazine spread shown in King of Prism by Pretty Rhythm spells it as "An." Koji's name is spelled "Koji" in Rainbow Live and official merchandise, but his autograph shown in the PriPara movie reads "Kouji."
  • Spoiler Opening: The fourth opening, "Butterfly Effect", shows Koji, Hiro, and Kazuki in matching idol outfits, which pretty much hints that they'd become a unit, which was supposed to be a surprise in the final episode.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: After Ito and Koji first get together, their fathers' past friendship catches up to them and their parents refuse to let them see each other. Ito's father relents after seeing how much they loved each other, while Koji's mother finally accepts their relationship after facing the truth.
  • Tagline: Every episode preview ends with the line, "With our rainbow hearts, get happy!"
  • Technician Versus Performer: Jin values getting as much points as possible through chained Prism Jumps, and, as such, thinks Prism Lives are a waste of time.
  • To Be Continued: Every episode ends with the caption "The session continues..."
  • Tournament Arc:
    • Episodes 10-13 focus on the Dreaming Session, a tournament where each member of a team competes individually and scores are totaled for the team.
    • Episode 20 focuses on the Heartbeat Days Session, though Hijiri proposed it as an unjudged exhibition rather than an actual tournament.
    • Episodes 21-26 focuses on the Try Groovin' Session, a tournament where teams compete in groups of 3. This is also the first tournament where Prism Lives can be officially judged.
    • Episode 32 focuses on the Heartbeat Session, an unjudged exhibition.
    • Episodes 35-43 focuses on the Winter White Session, a tournament where teams compete in groups of 2.
    • Episodes 44-50 focuses on the Over the Rainbow Session, the name of the current Prism Queen Cup tournament.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ann loves sweets and becomes the designated staff member in charge of the sweets bar at Prism Stone. Otoha loves tea and prides herself in her knowledge on brewing it. Rinne drools at the mention of Genghis Khan.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Prism Stones allow the characters to change
  • Tsundere: Ito, especially towards Kouji.
    • Her brother Yuu also qualifies.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ever since their first meeting in episode 6, Ito and Koji become attracted to each other, but their own personal issues prevent them from acting on their feelings honestly. On Koji's part, he is still dealing with trust issues after cutting off ties with Hiro, while Ito is just a misunderstood Tsundere with family problems. They eventually get together halfway in the series.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Pair Friends aren't seen as unusual, and the girls immediately accept their Pair Friends when they approach them. Normal people can also interact with them, such as Hiro with Ethni. Nobody questions their presence — Ann's father does get mad when he sees Poppun for the first time, but it's only because he thinks Ann isn't focusing on helping out at the senbei store.
  • Urban Fantasy: The influence of the Prism World allows pretty much any place in the real world in the series to become an ice rink and inexplicably adds ice blades to every shoe. It also allows people to perform magical jumps.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Hiro has a breakdown every time he finds out Koji has given a song to another person and performs the song successfully, since he's rather possessive about Koji's songwriting talent. On one instance, he convinces Naru to participate in the Dreaming Session just to show Koji that he wasted his time giving his song to her — only for her to end up performing one of the most talked-about performances in the tournament. Another instance is when he finds out Koji wrote "Freedom" for Kazuki, and he becomes so overwhelmed by Kazuki's performance and the message of the song that he forfeits their dance battle.
    • Prior to her Break the Haughty Character Development, Bell flips out and even has an Anger Montage from not knowing how to do a Prism Live.
    • Jin completely loses it when Hiro sacrifices his career to expose him and when both DJ Coo and Chisato reveal they have evidence showing him bribing the media.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Koji and Hiro were friends when they were in Edel Rose together, up until Hiro took credit for the song Koji wrote when he debuted solo.
    • Ann and Wakana used to be friends in elementary school, though Ann doesn't remember this due to them being so young and Wakana attending her school for only 1.5 months.
  • Wham Line: Episode 39, when June reveals her partner for the Winter White Session: "My partner is... Rinne Ibara!"