In a world where most of the earth has become a harsh desert, the Rainbow Council of the Peace Corps has a growing crisis on its hands. No. 5, one member of a team of superpowered global security guardians and a top marksman, has gone rogue. Now the other guardians have to hunt down No. 5 and his mysterious companion, Matryoshka. But why did No. 5 turn against the council, and what will it mean for the future of the world?
Matsumoto (Ping Pong) employs his experimental, artsy manga style to contagiously fun effect as he concocts a bizarre far-future world. No. 5, a superhuman soldier gone rogue, kills his comrade No. 9 and kidnaps a strange young woman known as Matryoshka (who is beloved by all creatures and endlessly eats). The other members of their Rainbow Brigade, an elite group of internationally celebrated supersoldiers with unique skills and powers, get tasked by their leader with hunting down No. 5 and bringing him to justice. Frequent references to ancient human history imply that this universe is a potential future of Earth, which Matsumoto renders in vivid detail through whimsical architecture, landscapes, and hybrid animals, as well as diverse societies that have popped up around this world. The art shows evident influence from Moebius and Katsuhiro Otomo; its gloriously detailed panels will make aspiring cartoonists want to doodle their own dreamscapes. Since it's the first volume of a longer saga, many questions are left unanswered, but the mysteries that emerge are substantial enough that fans of Matsumoto's idiosyncratic style will want to be in for the long haul.