Rio Rainbow Gate is one of the first new TV-anime of 2011 (yayy!!), but after watching its premier episode for 22 odd minutes, I can only hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come. You see, Rio Rainbow Gate, unsurprisingly, is seeping with mediocrity.
This episode was basically what I expected after reading its origin story and glancing at its design work. This anime is based on a series of pachinko machines (Japanese slot machines), and revolves around an idolised female dealer at a large and exotic casino, Rio, who’s called the goddess of gambling. There are a few other characters thrown in for shits and giggles, but that basically sums up RRG in a nutshell. The animation studio is the underachieving Xebec, and its core staff include director Takao Kato (inexplicably still employed), and an unknown chief animation director, Hisashi Shimura. On the upside, the writing staff shows some potential with Mayori Sekijima (script of Petit Cossette) handling series composition. The first episode didn’t really show any spark of creativity or depth in the script though. All these people and circumstances have convened to create Rio Rainbow Gate, and the result is thorough mediocrity. The designs are poor, the colouring and background art bland, the animation weak and the dialogue is pretty dumb.
However, mediocrity isn’t necessarily a bad thing; at the very least it implies that this isn’t an outright BAD anime. This anime is definitely watchable, and it even has a petty decent amount of entertainment value if you can look past its average exterior. Most of this entertainment value comes from the fanservice, almost all of which is featuring the titular character, and which is cleverly spaced throughout the episode to keep your attention
aroused for its full length. To her credit, Rio is almost as sexy as she is apparently rumoured to be (confusing sentences ftw!), and she isn’t afraid to flaunt it! Well, actually she is pretty coy about the whole thing, but her boss takes every opportunity to get her into some kind of revealing and erotic situation (thanks, man). Oh, there’s also a cute loli character!
Beyond the characters and fanservice, the show plays on the idea of Rio being a gambling goddess. I’m not sure what that really entails, but she has some magical gift for gambling (a ‘believe in the heart of the cards’ kind of thing), which she seems to use to strategically humiliate her opponents. More on that later I guess. I don’t really know what direction this show will go in, or if it will ever even feel the need to have a direction, but for now I can say that it is a distinctly average yet somewhat fun ecchi anime. But a picture tells a thousand words, so I uploading the screencaps below instead of writing the 18,000-word review I originally had planned!
OH, there’s also a ferret!
A visual guide to the week in anime/otaku news and distractions! Hopefully this new post format is useful and fun for people. Please comment to share your thoughts, observations, additions, corrections, et cetera! Let’s get a discussion going! I really want to know what people think of this post format, so I’m encouraged to continue doing them every week.
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When the next of these posts is completed, it will be 2011! Looking forward to what a whole new year will bring!
I won’t hesitate to call this the best episode of Star Driver yet! It could just be that it’s coming off the bank of last week’s pretty silly offerings, but I found the characterisation and story this week to be much more compelling than it has been. My reaction to Star Driver has generally been a dull bemusement, but, even if the plot backbone is as confusing as ever, I actually found myself compelled this time around. And, of course, BONES added their usual high-grade flavour of great production qualities. Overall, it was great fun.