March 28, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep12

There are times when I question my own sanity.  Like tonight, for instance.  It's the last night of a mini-vacation for me, four days away from the Duck U Bookstore.  On my DVR are three movies I really want to watch, I've got laundry to fold, and all in all there's plenty of things I could be doing.  Instead, I find myself watching Episode 12 of Rio Rainbow Gate!, a show which is really quite bad.  So this is one of those times when I question my obviously tenuous grasp on what remains of my sanity.  Why in the world do I subject myself to this? 

The virtuous answer would be "so you, my readers, don't have to," but honestly I'd prefer company in my misery.  Near as I can tell, I'm the only blogger regularly covering RRG!; certainly I've looked hither and yon for another and come up empty.  The selfish answer would be "to inflict this misery on others," but I try to avoid being sadistic usually.  The frightening answer is "I secretly enjoy this drek."  While there might be some kernel of truth to this one, there have been plenty of shows I like more that I've written about less... or at all, for that matter.  There's the historical answer: "I'm recording this for posterity, for the chance that future generations will see it and not make the same mistake," which, while admirable, is just bull hockey.  I'd hate to think that we're the only ones in history stupid enough to create a RRG!.   No, I believe there is only one true correct answer.

Two, actually.
Nobody is as saddened by this revelation as me.  I liked to think I had come somewhat farther than that in my thinking as I've gotten older, but apparently maturity has evaded me.  Sad, really... particularly because RRG! is pretty tame as far as fanservice shows go.  But yet, here I am, spending hours blogging about it.  Lord knows it isn't for the plot, the characterization, the action, the artwork or the humor.  So what's left?

We open sometime after the end of Episode 11, with a formal contract being signed by The Owner, evil Cartia, Our Heroine and Rina.  There's to be a final Gate Battle, winner takes all.  If Rio wins, she gets the Gates, The Owner gets Casino Island back and all is cotton candy and unicorn farts.  If Rina wins, she gets the Gates, her revenge on those who ruined her family, and evil Cartia gets to "see the Rainbow," whatever that means. 

But first, The Owner takes Rio and The Usual Suspects on a vacation.  Everybody wonders about the timing of this, and to be fair it does seem somewhat strange.  I mean, it's not like Rio is on the top of her game, even though she's managed a good comeback from her devastating loss some episodes ago.  Well, maybe this will refresh her.  My guess is that The Owner just wanted to see everybody in swimsuits.

Yes, just like that.  But the island they're headed to has a dark secret behind it...


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March 20, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep11

Say what you want about Rio Rainbow Gate! (and you'd best believe I will), say that it's nothing more than weak fanservicey crepe, say there's no characterization and a lame plot, say the artwork is poor to meh... you can say all those things, and I'd agree with you.  However, RRG! earned a place in anime history this week.  Following the horrible earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, most shows currently airing were either postponed until a future date or were broadcast with half the screen covered by governmental messages and warnings, as one would expect with a disaster of such wide-ranging scope and size.  But RRG! was one of the very few series to run at its normal time this week, with a screen clear of notifications.  Either the Japanese Authorities thought that what the nation of Japan really needed after such tragedy, such misery, was a brain-dead anime about young busty gamblers in stupid situations... or RRG! only airs on a small UHF station in a tiny fishing village in the far southwest of Kyushu.  Either way, it actually occurred and that's got to count for something in the grand scheme of things, right?  So it's got that going for it.  Which is nice.  It's probably the only way that RRG! is going to be remembered.  Except by me.  By me, this putrid mess will be remembered as a great source of elemental pain and mental anguish.  It tortures me.  Even with the worst natural disaster Japan has suffered since the 1920s, it still aired on time, which meant that I had to suffer through watching it as if nothing had changed.  Can't even give me a week off can you, RRG!?  No, you're too much the sadist for that.  "Production Staff, we've got one person out there reviewing us.  One.  Well, we'll make that one person feel such agony that it'll be worth it for us."  Bastards.  Have you no pity, RRG!?  Have you no shame?  No?  Fine.  But let the results be upon your head.

We open Episode 11 some amount of time after the ending of Episode 10.  The casino is quietly buzzing with happy people losing money, as casinos are wont to do.  Then interlopers are seen in the lobby.

As the theme song to The Magnificent Seven begins to play in the background, Elmer Bernstein begins to spin in his grave Our Heroes, determined looks upon their faces, gaze upon what will soon become their hunting grounds.  Their goal?  Nothing less than to win enough to break Casino Island and buy it back from evil Cartia's clutches.

Men want them.  Women want to be them.  They are...

...The Usual Suspects.  I guess they decided that the bunnygirl outfits weren't classy enough.  It's almost like the Production Staff read my complaints about the idiocy of Our Heroines wearing their old uniforms even though they were no longer employed by a casino.


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March 13, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep10

We open Episode 10 of Rio Rainbow Gate! pretty much where we finished Episode 09, inside some Gate Holder's roll ruler... essentially their magical power.  Casino Island is deserted except for Rio and Dana, The Owner's magician, with no clue what's going on and no way to get out.  And then the Laser Weasels come.

Instead of lasering up and turning Rio into a flaming pile of ash, the Laser Weasel begins running away.  What sort of Laser Weasel runs away?  He's a disgrace to the race is what he is... he's even wearing a frickin' bow tie!  Who would have ever thought there'd be such a thing as a Laser Weasel Nerd?  I'm so disappointed.  Rio and Dana follow the Laser Weasel, and he leads them right to the Casino.

And in the casino?  The Owner, tied up, and some dork in a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras costume... who calls "him"self Joker.  I put "him" in quotes because while everybody is calling Joker "him", "his" voice is so obviously female that I'm wondering about the intelligence level of everybody involved in this scene.  Joker harangues Our Heroine and challenges her to a game of blackjack.  They both end up with the same score: a push.


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March 12, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep10 will be delayed

With everything that's going on in Japan following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, I just don't find myself much in the mood to be clever about a lousy anime.  Maybe Sunday.

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March 06, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep09

I'll admit to a general reluctance to recap this episode of Rio Rainbow Gate!.  Let's face it, there's pretty much no way to describe the series as good, and after last week I feared what the production team would bring us.  Our heroine defeated by the forces of evil, her Gates gone, and only two remaining that aren't in the clutches of Cartia?  What idiot would bring themselves anywhere within range of Rio?  Even this production staff couldn't come up with a way to pull that one off.  So what could RRG! bring us this week that would be exciting?  Go ahead, try and figure something out, I'll wait. 


Yeah, exactly.  Which explains my reluctance to watch this episode.  It appears even the production staff had problems with it as well, as RRG! ep09 had some technical difficulties that delayed it a day.  Still, I've come this far, I can't exactly quit now.  Y'all can thank me later.

It is a week after the events of last episode.  Rio lost her not-so-epic battle against her turncoat half-sister Rina, losing her Gates in the process.  It also appears that one of the stipulations from an earlier Gate battle were still in effect, so The Owner has lost his Casino Island to the grasping claws of the evil Cartia.  She let him keep Sky Resort, but he's lost his mooring rights to the Island.  No mooring, no resupply, no guests, no business, no money.  Well, at least he managed to set the thing down in the ocean, where it floats quite nicely.  Evil Cartia has also fired everybody who used to work for The Owner.  Oddly, nobody blames Rio for this turn of events, but The Owner.  To be fair, it was pretty stupid to agree to such stakes.  But then, this IS RRG!.  You've gotta expect such things.  When the Usual Suspects confronts him, he's strangely silent.  Another of those remarkable coincidences sends the clumsy Anya sprawling, and...

...his head comes off?  Seems he's been getting so much crepe from the Usual Suspects that he made Linda take his place.  But where is he?  And, if the Usual Suspects have lost their jobs, why are they still wearing their casino outfits?  Couldn't they afford off-duty clothing?  Heck, we know Ella and Illa have regular clothes, we saw them wearing such things back in ep01...

...I guess the production team had a budget to work with back then.  Well, RRG! is hardly the first show to blow their wardrobe budget on ep01, then have to struggle on for the rest of the run with nobody changing outfits.  It's only been recently that we've seen characters actually wearing different clothing every day, after all.  But I digress... where in the world is The Owner?

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