Rio: Rainbow Gate! Review

This is review number one hundred and sixty one. It’s still part of the Winter 2011 lineup. It’s an anime called Rio: Rianbow Gate! It’s a decent show about a hot girl playing games and other stuff like that. The anime is thirteen episodes long and I think it’s pretty good. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about Rio Tachibana. She works in an island casino for an eccentric man that loves to put her in odd jobs to promote the casino and to attract guests. Rio is a huge attraction of the casino because she is known as the “goddess of victory”. Just merely walking past a gambling table and a player would get lucky then win big money. Her presence promotes happiness in the casino and makes it a stress free environment. She is a really good dealer that she has obtained a “gate” which are ancient cards given to the best dealers in the world. If you collect all 13 then you will be the greatest dealer ever. It’s something a lot of dealers want and they will do anything to gather all the cards even if it means going up against the “goddess of victory”.

Taking the Pants Off

This anime was adapted from a line of Pachinko games. The idea is pretty unique but what kind of anime can you possibly create from a gambling game? Well, something oddly written and laughable for one thing. I actually hate myself for finishing this anime because the entire set up of the show is a bit hard to take seriously. I’m a sucker for a good story though and Rio has a good story. If you can filter out the goofy duel battles, random chain of events and lack of focus on its actual premise then I’m sure you’ll like this anime too. The anime isn’t meant to be taken seriously though. I think it thrives on being laughable and a bit stupid, to be honest.

I actually like the premise of this show because a show about casino gambling is pretty brilliant. If you can incorporate mind games and heated rivalries to the casino games then you got yourself a pretty decent anime. I actually thought this anime was going that direction. It had everything that warrants that. Rio is a dealer in casino, the various “Gate Holders” are intimidating bunches, and luck is the ultimate skill in becoming the best dealer in the world. If you introduce an awesome antagonist, get them to fight Rio in casino games like BlackJack, Poker or Roulette then have a precise chess-like battle with a few moments where the antagonist plays dirty then you have a really great anime. It’d be like Phi Brain who manages to make something simple like puzzles become very Shounen with just the right execution. Think about it, a Shounen anime about casino gambling. Pretty exciting, isn’t?

I was excited too until I saw the anime. For one, the anime doesn’t want to be serious. It keeps doing dumb stuff to itself that keeps you from focusing on the games. The duels between the characters starts out simple with casino games but it goes bat sh*t crazy with the characters suddenly having super powers and scary aura that manipulates the outcome of the game. A poker game would devolve into a metaphorical game of volleyball where numbers are flying around and cards turning into bats harming the characters. You will definitely go “what the f*ck is that?” when you watch this anime and the funny thing is, the anime was setting everything up just for that kind of reaction. The casino games aren’t given much emphasis and you don’t really follow the games because the flow of the story is slowly going off the track.

The anime started with casino games but that also started going bat sh*t crazy when it started to stray away from casino games. As the anime progresses, we are introduced to a lot of really weird games that, apparently, a dealer can win at no matter the circumstance. There was a life size roulette game, a simulation video game and other kind of games that no longer resembles casino games. As if the games aren’t ridiculous enough, the opponents Rio faces also progressively got crazier. There are the typical eccentric characters but then there are also ghosts, psychics, robots and sharp shooters. The anime started to stray away from the original premise it started with and I honestly found it hard to keep watching the anime. I wanted a Shounen casino gambling anime not a weird combination of variety games and a hodge podge of nonsensical characters.

The appeal of the show is a massive eye sore but the anime had a really nice story. I mean, if you step back and piece everything together then the story is pretty nice. It’s about becoming the greatest dealer in the world. The reason why the games got progressively out of control is because a great dealer can become one with the game and she/he can ultimately control the outcome of the game. If they are in-tune with the game then they don’t need luck, they can literally win the game. In that regards, they can also literally win any game they play which was a point I wish the anime pointed out sooner. The anime had the very best dealers possess “gates” that proves they are able to win any game. Being a gate holder, it means that you are a very flexible gambler that doesn’t rely on luck because you can control the outcome of the game. It’s a very impressive story but one that won’t really understand because Rio is dueling her opponents in a shooting game where the loser gets to strip. Yeah, it’s pretty insane.

The main focus of the anime is to have Rio obtain all the gates. If she can collect all thirteen gates then something awesome will happen. I won’t spoil it because it’s pretty hard to describe. The direction of the anime is pretty easy to follow and the story does possess various elements to make it a really good one. It has a beginning, middle and an end so, despite the bat sh*t crazy aspects of the anime, there is something to watch for in this anime. Like I said before though, this show isn’t serious and it actually draw strength from its laughable elements. Not just the games Rio plays but some of the events of the anime are also pretty hard to take seriously. I have a personal gripe over the villain of the anime being constantly entertained by the characters and the Mary Sue attitude of Rio. I think deep down, the show is very stupid and you really are just watching it because its craziness is fun to watch. I do understand it if people react negatively to this anime. I kind of hated it at first too but its appeal is the over the top events Rio encounters and that is pretty fun to watch. Sure, I wanted a serious casino game centered story instead of this laughable anime but the positives are there and it’s really up to the viewers if they would accept the anime as it is.

The characters in the anime are all one dimensional. Even with the various predictable plot twists and conflicts presented by the anime, the characters stick to their weak personalities. Rio is this woman who pretty much enjoys being objectified and she upholds the idea that the customers get what they want. Even when the customer wants to play a game where the owner of the casino bets this royalty seven times, she would gladly play the game because the customer wants that. :/

The rest of the cast is one dimensional. They just have one thing that makes them stand out and the anime overdo it to make some characters stand out. Some characters are huge eccentrics though and I personally enjoy watching them in the anime. Some of the characters don’t even have a personality but they make up for it by having that one thing that makes any guy watch an Ecchi anime: boobs. As the anime progresses though, new characters are introduced and the interactions among the characters start to get pretty enjoyable. They’re hugely generic and annoying at times but they will grow on you so it becomes more tolerable.

Towards the second half, the anime does get a bit serious. It presented a decent story about the various shady people involved with the gates and the gate holders. Rio’s past is explored and various conflicts arises that set the anime up for its final showdown. It’s still pretty stupid and laughable but, I give points for trying. There were some enjoyable parts in the show if you don’t get repelled by its constant stupidity and I personally believe the show is pretty good. It’s not great but it’s good. I mean, I finished the damn thing so it had something to keep me watching.

Sight and Sound

The characters are also pretty generic. The girls all have big boobs and sexy bodies to them that they proudly flaunt. Some characters have the same body type and height. They only differ on the color of the hair and their various outfits. The outfit in the anime ranges from bunny outfits to skimpy skirts and I like that part of the anime. It adds to the bat sh*t craziness of the anime but the characters also cosplay so you’ll see them in various outfits like swimsuits and even a bridal dress. There aren’t a lot guys in the anime but they also look pretty generic. They stand out because of their eccentric personalities and their flashy outfits. I personally like this crazy afro samurai who has some dice in his neck and he carries around a sword.

RIO19

The characters are sexy and there is some decent fan service in the anime but, shockingly, the show isn’t Ecchi. No one grabbed some boobs, no one got on top of the other and no one had a wardrobe malfunction. No breast was exposed and the best the anime had was some sexy shots of the characters. The show doesn’t even have panty shots which is both good and bad. It’s good because the show doesn’t rely on weak characters exposing themselves to save the show, it’s confident that the content of the story is enough. It’s bad because the content of the story sucks and it really needed some flashing their boobs. Xebec is like that though. This studio just like having sexy characters as their main yet they never do anything dirty with them.

The animation is decent. There were a lot of over the top scenes in the anime and you can see the animation was able to deliver. From explosions to characters running around, the animation was able to shine through. The CG is pretty impressive as well. The cards in the anime are often CG and you can just see how detailed they look. It’s pretty awesome.

The anime’s OP is “Sekai to Issho ni Mawarou yo!” by Love Roulettes. It’s an upbeat song and a little bit catchy. The voices are all pretty great as it was able to make the song really cute and upbeat. The OP sequence introduced all the characters and a few scenes of Rio being cute/sexy. There were a bit of a spoilers in the OP cause it introduced characters that appeared pretty late in the anime. The show is pretty predictable though so that’s OK.

The anime’s ED is “Miracle☆Chance” by ULTRA-PRISM. It’s pretty much like the opening song. It’s upbeat and cute and a little catchy. The singer has a really cute voice and I love how she does some of the words. It’s really cute. The ED sequence features Rio being sexy and cute. Perhaps the only time the show offered some fan service with scenes of Rio in a bikini or in the tub or zoom shots of her bouncing boobs. It’s pretty awesome because if you want sexy fan service then it’s here. Who doesn’t want sexy fan service?

Overall Score

4/10 “The story is decentand the over the top nature of the show is pretty appealing.”

This show is not for everybody because it really doesn’t have much to present. The story had enough elements that you can watch it but the craziness in the anime is a bit hard to swallow. If you like hot girls in sexy outfits working in a casino then this one will work for you, I guess. If you enjoy simple shows that doesn’t require much thinking then this show is for you.

2 thoughts on “Rio: Rainbow Gate! Review

  1. While the show was not anything spectacular or memorable, the Casino challenges and the attempt at educating viewers in some real life casino games were enjoyable, especially since my father is a casino dealer. Plus, Rio’s fun and her subtext relationship with Rina gave me plenty to work with. Mint was an acceptable token loli and Dana was my waifu.

    Nothing amazing but fun.

Thoughts~

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