Cover of volume 1.
|Genre||Action, Jidaigeki, Romantic comedy, Science fiction|
|Written by||Mitsuru Adachi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||1990 – 1992|
Niji-iro Tōgarashi (虹色とうがらし?, literally "rainbow-colored chili powder") is a manga series with elements of science fiction and jidaigeki written by Mitsuru Adachi. The series ran in Shōnen Sunday from issue 4/5 in 1990 to issue 19 in 1992. The story is set in a place very similar in appearance to Earth in the Edo period. However, Adachi regularly reminds the reader all throughout the series that the setting is another planet in the distant future which just happens to look like Earth.
After the death of his mother, Shichimi sets out to join his half-brothers and -sister who live together in Karakuri Tenement, a place provided by the father they have never met. He finds out that each of them had different mothers (all of whom have died), but were fathered by the same man. Not long after Shichimi's arrival, the siblings decide to journey to visit the graves of each of their mothers. On this journey, they encounter many dangers.
The names are puns on Japanese spices, each one being an ingredient in shichimi tōgarashi, also known since the Edo era as nana-iro tōgarashi, a seasoning made of seven ingredients including chili powder.
- Goma (胡麻?)
- Goma is the oldest of the siblings at 22 years old. He's a rakugo comedian; his stage name is Hirateigoma. He gets along very well with the third brother Keshi, sharing many habits including feasting, drinking, shogi and go. Goma means sesame in Japanese.
- Asajirō (麻次郎?)
- Asajirō is the second oldest, 20 years old, and a wandering artist. He frequently takes long trips for inspiration, occasionally briefly stopping by the tenement between trips. He holds the record for being the youngest to achieve the rank of master in the Haniwa-style sword technique. He has the ability of foresight. The first character of Asajiro's name means hemp. He inherited his premonition from his father.
- Keshi (芥子の坊? Keshi no Bō)
- The third oldest, 18 years old, and raised as a monk in a Buddhist temple. He is an extremely strong martial artist, though he is weak when it comes to alcohol and dealing with women. It seems he was a bully when he was a kid, seen from the attitude of villagers (and his friend) after they hear his name. Keshi means poppy seed.
- Shichimi (七味?)
- The main character in the series, the fourth oldest, and 15 years old. In his hometown, he was a fireman. He is an expert at using a fireman's pike, and he uses a telescoping one – created by Chinpi – as a weapon. He is the only one of the siblings who openly dislikes their mysterious father. Unexpectedly strong, he is the second strongest fighter (or may be the first), behind Asajirō, in their family. Shichimi cannot swim, and fears open water, ships and islands.
- Natane (菜種?)
- The only girl among the siblings, Natane is 13 years old. She's learned her swordcraft and painting from Asajirō, and has become very skilled. She is constantly bickering with Shichimi. Natane means rapeseed.
- Chinpi (陳皮?)
- Chinpi is a brilliant inventor despite being only 10 years old. He wears glasses, and is the second youngest. He is also shown as a skilled craftsman, making various tools and weapons, including Shichimi's pike, explosive ammunition, and even a helicopter. Chinpi means citrus peel.
- Sanshō (山椒?)
- The youngest, at three years old, Sanshō possesses amazing ninjutsu abilities due to his frequent training with Hanzō, head of the ninja clan under the shogun's command and came from a ninja village. Sanshō mean Sichuan pepper.
- "Niji-Iro Togarash". AdachiFan. Retrieved 2007-07-19.