December 03, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep14

After I escaped from the clutches of Rio Rainbow Gate! episode 13, I thought I was quit of the whole thing.  After all, the series was over... it was done, and though they left a small window open for a second series, nobody in their right mind would ever authorize a sequel, right?  Right.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself... it helps me sleep at night.  Then in Japan, they began to release the DVDs and BDs and my heart sank.  There were to be seven discs, with two episodes per disc... but there were only thirteen episodes released.  That meant there was going to be an extra episode made... and I was going to have to return to my worst nightmare.  There was still hope, though: no fansub groups seemed to be interested in doing the BD releases.  When the release date came and went for the final disc with no sign of Ep14, I rejoiced.  Maybe it wouldn't have to happen after all!  But as time went on, I began to... worry.  I became nervous.  I jumped in my seat a little bit every time I saw the letter "R" on a torrent file at the usual sites.  I stopped eating.  My hair began to fall out.  My eyebrows grew at a furious rate.  A visit to the doctor returned the expected diagnosis: I was suffering from excessive stress.  Since everything else in my life was going more or less as normal, it was obvious what was causing my problems... the tension involved with the non-release of the bonus episode was at fault.  Days and weeks stretched to months.  Time seemed to slow down, every minute feeling like an hour.  A gray pall fell over the world, though to be fair that was because I neglected to clean my glasses.  I began to haunt the three fansub groups that had broken down and released some BD subs, alternately anticipating the notification that they'd completed the extra episode and hoping that they hadn't.  Sleep became difficult to achieve.  What remained of my hair turned white.  I realized that the lack of RRG! was killing me even more effectively than its presence would.  When the episode finally came out, the release of the tension caused me to pass out.  I awoke hours later with the notification that the download had completed shining on my computer monitor.  With trembling fingers, I double-clicked the file and settled back into my computer chair, and much to my surprise, I smiled... and at that moment, I realized something important.  This is my destiny, my fate.  I must do this, just as a lemming must execute a forward triple-somersault with a twist from the pike position off a cliff in Norway.  

The city of Townsville!  Casino Island, how I've missed you with your towering skyscrapers that we never really saw in the original thirteen episodes.  It's good to be back... it's like coming home and finding a fresh cup of hot chocolate waiting for you in the kitchen.  Until you realize that you live alone and you have no idea how the hot chocolate was made, until you see the burglar come out of the connecting hallway with a bag full of your stuff over his arm.  Yeah, it's exactly like that. 

A brisk morning ocean breeze blows over the Island, wafting a discarded eggroll wrapper towards the Casino that gave the island its name... and didn't the casino rise directly over the water before?  Ah, Rio Rainbow Gate! Production Staff , it's been much too long.  I've missed your lack of attention to detail, much like I miss a painfully decayed tooth that's been pulled out of my head by wrapping a string around it and attaching the other end to the back of a Top Fuel dragster.  Yeah, it's exactly like that.

Actually, the discarded eggroll wrapper was last seen in Ep11.  For those who don't remember, and how I wish I could be counted amongst your number, that's the episode that saw The Usual Suspects attempt to break Evil Cartia's grip on the "stolen" Casino Island by gambling and winning away all her fortune.  Realizing that this was only a minor challenge, she called for "Ten," a young girl who had the power to control anything, as long as it was made in China.  In that episode, she turned Mint's bear, Chocco, into a real girl named An-An.  I don't believe I just typed that from memory. 

Meanwhile in the slums of Casino Island, a terribly late-running Anya makes a vow: to get out of this horrible show as soon as she can, maybe land in a Noitamina production... heck, she'd sign up for a guest appearance in Ben-To right now, that's much better than being in this mess to go an entire day without tripping over her own feet.  While for you or me this might not seem like so much of a much, for our Russian dealer this is akin to saying "I'm not going to breathe at all today."  That's right: impossible.  I'm sure our favorite Production Staff won't disappoint.  Unfortunately, they're not working on this show, we're stuck with the ones for Rio Rainbow Gate!.  After a brief glimpse of all the Usual Suspects as they get ready to greet the day, we're off to the races.



...and she sticks the landing!  Chocco the bear has turned back into An-An, and the first thing she wants to do is get into a different anime her owner Mint a birthday gift, but she does have one problem: she's in Rio Rainbow Gate! unlike most people who just appear out of nowhere, she knows she's going to startle Mint.  I mean, when Mint left the room, there was a teddybear in the chair.  When she returns, she's going to find a mute Chinese girl in its place.  I'm sure some people would find that a fair trade, but probably not Mint.  But she has a plan, which is pretty good for someone who a few moments ago was a teddybear.

Yes, she'll give Mint the digital camera she wants so badly (because it's cute.  It's also priced at over $500.  For that amount, the darn thing better dispense ice cream cones upon demand, too).  That way, Mint will be thrilled to see the girl that was an ally of the evil Cartia, faced off against Rio and Mint in the fabulous exploding Concentration Bomber arena, and made everybody wear ridiculous suits of armor and caused them all so much pain and agony when they were attacked by men wielding RPGs and Godzilla.  Yeah, that's just what would happen all right.

Via some miracle, Am-pan manages to latch onto Illa, the secret power behind the throne of the Howard Empire (as she's about the only person on the Island who has two synapses to rub together), who agrees to help her.  One problem: no money.  She was a teddybear a few minutes ago, y'know.  Meanwhile, Anya makes her way to work... without tripping over her own feet.  I can only imagine that the guy with the phone winds up with some interesting photos to share with his friends, photos that will eventually come back to haunt Anya around the time she becomes the leading lady in the third series of K-On!!!.  Scandal erupts, she's forced into hiding and ends up back at the Casino, a broken and bitter former actress forced to make a living as a chorus girl.  But that's far in the future.

I know I've mentioned this numerous times in the past, but for a vacation resort Casino Island's weather is simply horrible.  Half of RRG! takes place in the middle of a raging thunderstorm, for heaven's sake.  And Ampad's attempt to win money in the casino seems to draw in the storm once again.

Of course she fails... like a teddybear is gonna hit a jackpot, right?  But hey, Illa in her bunnygirl outfit!  Far as I'm concerned, that's a win right there.  Did I say that out loud?

As bunnygirl Illa returns from a nearby fast-food joint with a beverage for our crushed and defeated teddybear-girl (and if she turns back to a teddybear after drinking, where does the liquid go?  Is Chocco going to be damp?), high above a UFO goes screaming by and I realize that yep, I'm once again watching RRG! and what in the blue hell is going on, show? 

Ah, not just a UFO, but a poorly driven UFO.  An alien race comes millions upon millions of miles to visit our planet, loses control and crash-lands into Rio Rainbow Gate!.  Perhaps the unimaginative people are correct and there really isn't any intelligent life in the galaxy. 

As the aliens descend from their poorly parked vessel, three members of the Usual Subjects are on hand to witness this historic moment.  To whit, Mint (sans Chocco nee Aslan), Mighty Jack and Linda the native-island-girl-robot with a penchant towards having her head fall off.  Dear lord in heaven, First Contact is about to be made by members of the cast of RRG!.  Just for that, the human race deserves to be obliterated on general principles.

D'awwwwwwwwww.  Cute widdle wobot aliwens!  Who can't dwive for shiwt!  How do you accidentally hit a planet?

Linda, realizing that the cute widdle wobot aliwens are cousins of a sort, runs out and unfscks their spaceship for them.  Gosh, that's swell!  Now they can begin the scourging of the planet if that's their plan... thanks loads, Linda you traitor!  We created you and this is how you repay us?  Though to be fair, we created you to be in Rio Rainbow Gate!, so I suppose destroying us is fair dinkum.  I just wish you could have done it before the show aired in the first place.

The cute widdle wobot aliwens, happy to have found a relative with mechanic skills, offer (in cute widdle wobot aliwen-ese, which Mighty Jack understands somehow) to give her her fondest wish: to dream... presumably of electronic sheep.  I wonder... does Linda have a Tyrell Corporation construction plate somewhere on her person?  Speaking of which, I picked up a copy of the Director's Cut of Blade Runner on DVD for $4.99 at Walgreens yesterday.  $4.99 for one of the greatest science-fiction movies of all time, while each individual BD of Rio Rainbow Gate! is selling for $99.00 in Japan.  Really now, does that sound right to you?  Linda enthusiastically agrees and the cute widdle wobot aliwens beam back up to their ship...

...and return with what looks like a mega-laser-rifle-type-thingy!  Mighty Jack wets himself in terror, Mint wonders who'd name their kid "Mint", and Linda just stands there.  Meanwhile, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping beyond hope that one of my fondest wishes will come true. So far, not one of the things I wanted to see out of the extra episode has come through: no holographic space sharks, no shrimp costumes, no sign at all of Rina, Sky Resort hasn't crashed into the ocean, nothing!  Bonus Episode, I am disappoint, but you have a chance to start redeeming yourself.

YES!  YES!  YES!  OH GOD YES!  Violence is perpetrated upon some of the Usual Suspects!  Mint, Jack and Linda are turned into tiny piles of ash or metal shavings, depending on which one you're talking about.  The cute widdle wobot aliwens return to their ship and begin their systematic destruction of Casino Island, beginning by destroying the causeway linking the mainland to the resort, thus trapping everybody.  Then the heat rays come out and I'm enjoying this train of thought waaaaaaay too much.

Alas, that's not what actually happened.  Somehow, Mint and Jack find themselves... not in the forest anymore.  And everybody around them is wearing Greek tragedy and comedy masks.  Except none of the masks have expressions, so they'd be more like Greek απάθεια masks.  Plenty scary, that.  I have a thought here... Casino Island is supposed to be a vacation resort, right?  Then why in the world are so many of the visitors wearing suit-and-tie?  I mean, yeah, there's support staff for the Casino, sure, but they'd mostly be caterers, laundry staff, blue-collar type jobs, right?  I don't think The Owner would have all that many accountants on staff, and if he did, why would they all be conveniently located right in this shot?  No, I'm forced to think that these "vacationers" are all "idiots".  The masks, however, I understand... would you willingly admit that you were in Rio Rainbow Gate!, even as an extra?.

Then the masks fall off, revealing that everybody is a robot!  My god, the Production Staff is stealing ideas from Westworld now!  They've gone completely insane!  Why does this surprise me?  The robots close on the shota and the loli, and rip them to pieces, leaving only a bloody smear on the ground where two vibrant human beings once were.

...or they wake up and find themselves back in the forest, one of the two.  Make up your damn mind, show, will ya?  Conveniently, The Owner finds them out in the middle of the woods and takes them back to the Resort... where they realize that they're all alone.  The entire city is deserted and even The Owner has disappeared.  While I approve of this in theory, in practice I have to repeat: "What the hell, anime?"

And then the giant robot native genki girls come.

Well, so much for sleeping anytime soon.  I'm sure the two kids will be mentally scarred for life... hell, I'm 43 years old, and I've been mentally scarred by this show.  I can only imagine what sort of nightmare their lives will be from now on.  And to be honest, I'm okay with that.  Whatever sort of vengeance I can claim, y'know?  At least I'm not in the show; I can always hold onto that thin reed.  Though considering that I'm the only English-speaker (and possibly the only sane person) who blogged the series, I'd've liked to have gotten a small amount of love from Xebec.  An arrow-shaped sign in a park reading "To The Duck Pond" would have been nice.  Is that too much to ask?

Wha-huh?  Now they're in the Giant Waterslide Of Doom from Ep05.  Which means they're now on Sky Resort, and I'm beginning to wonder if I've had a major stroke and am bed-ridden in a hospital somewhere, making all this up.  Or if that accurately describes the way the Production Staff worked on the series.  In any case, Mighty Jack is spat out of the waterslide, falls for an indeterminant distance...

...and winds up in Episode 12, staring at the towel-clad bods of the Usual Suspects.  Of course, Mint takes exception to this and begins chasing him around the hot springs resort while Mint watches, and if you're confused by that sentence, how do you think I feel, I'm the one who typed it.  I just noticed something that's actually fairly clever, which I'll mention a few entries from now.  That's called a "teaser" in the business.

The Jack and Mint chase takes them into a... room populated by dozens of saturation-challenged men and dear heavens is that Rio?  Nice of her to finally show up in the extra episode of HER OWN ANIME!  She slams down a dice cup, Jack and Mint make their calls...

...yup, 100% Nightmare Fuel right there.  Dear Production Staff: you're being really damn-ass creepy here, would you please stop it?  Signed, All of Humanity.  Then a giant hand smashes through the wall, grabs Mint, and...

...two Panavia Tornadoes sweep in, missiles blazing off the rails, and I'm either drinking too much or not enough.

Meanwhile, two Type 90 main battle tanks open fire at some unseen target.  Dear heavens, please let it be the Xebec offices.

No such luck!  They're firing at the Giant Robot Native Genki Girl, who is rampaging through the (deserted) city.  Though you can't see it in this screen shot, she's got Mint in her right hand, King Kong style.  I swear to god, if she starts climbing a skyscraper I'm going to shut down my computer, fly to Japan and burn Xebec's entire building to the ground.

Annoyed by the pinpricks of the puny humans, Giant Robot Native Genki Girl kicks one of the tanks into the air, perfectly aimed at one of the attacking Tornadoes.  To give the animators their due, if you watch this scene frame-by-frame like I did, I feel so incredibly sorry for you she stomps on the tank's gun barrel, which flips it off the ground, then kicks the tank at the airplane.  That actually makes some sense, which might be the first time I've ever used that phrase in relation to Rio Rainbow Gate!.

Down goes the Tornado, and if you don't think I was hoping it'd hit her right between the eyes, you haven't really been reading this post, have you?  That's too bad, because I think I've said some clever things so far, maybe you should go back and reread the post.  I mean, I've put a lot of effort into it thus far and it'd be a shame if it went to waste.  Don't worry, go ahead, I'll wait.  What am I gonna do, make fun of you while you're gone, shrimphead?

All that's standing between the Giant Robot Native Genki Girl and destruction of Casino Island is a shota.  Needless to say, GO GO GIANT ROBOT NATIVE GENKI GIRL!!!

Even though Trumpy Mighty Jack can do magic things, Giant Robot Native Genki Girl swats him aside like Rio swats aside a drunken patron pawing her roulette wheels if you know what I mean.  Eventually though he manages to get in one tiny little blow, which absolutely isn't code for anything. 

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die...

...and all three of them wake up in the forest again.  The cute widdle wobot aliwens gave Linda her wish of dreams and somehow, someway, Mint and Mighty Jack got caught up in it... too bad Linda doesn't remember any of it!  *cue sad trombone*  Okay, time for the fairly clever thing I mentioned a while ago: in the scenes where Mint and Jack were inserted into past episodes?  In the two shown, Linda was originally involved: she was a participant in the Great Waterslide Race and played ping-pong in the hot springs.  In these dream sequences though, she doesn't appear.  Is that because she's dreaming and inserting the kids into the dream in her stead, or because her dream form is busy destroying untold millions of dollars worth of real estate?  Either way, I didn't notice it until I started doing the writeup here.  Pretty good thinking on the part of the RRG! Production Staff.  I don't believe I just said that.

Back in the "real" world, and I bet you completely forgot about this storyline, didn't you, Illa and Anbesol are heading towards an electronics shop when zOMGSHRIMPCOSTUMES!!!  YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!  Actually, this scene answers a question I had regarding the translations I've seen.  Ever since the shrimp costume made its first appearance, I wondered if the fansubbers had confused "shrimp" for "lobster." I mean, the costume does look kinda like a lobster... but the booth behind them clearly would read "Shrimp Fair" if Rio (making another appearance in her very own extra episode!  Hi, Rio!) would move her fat shrimphead out of the way.  While they're heading to the electronics store...

...oh heck, my mute Chinese girl appears to have sprung a leak.  That's just shoddy workmanship, I've only had her for a few hours!  Man, I hate it when that happens.  Do you have any idea how much a plumber charges to work on a mute Chinese girl?  That's a rhetorical question, by the way; if you do know how much a plumber charges to work on a mute Chinese girl, don't tell me, and whatever you do definitely DO NOT tell me how you've acquired this knowledge.

Or she wants ice cream, one of the two.  Which she's never had, though Mint has told Chocco that it's really good in the past.  Of course, in the past, Chocco was a teddybear and there's that whole problem with digestion that teddybears have.

Eventually Illa and MANPADS get the obnoxiously overpriced digital camera thanks to The Owner giving the mute Chinese girl a $100000 check earlier.  You don't want to know why.  If you don't know, you won't have to explain it to the appropriate authorities in the future .  So you've got a teddybear earning a hundred-grand in a brief time, and I work my tailfeathers off writing up this show and what thanks do I get from Xebec?  Nothing but SAN check after SAN check, that's what I got.  Well, at least the Sky Resort flies by, Giant Invisible Engines™ kicking out quite a downdraft.

...and away goes the eggroll wrapper.  Well, at least Illa gets a digital camera out of the deal, right?  It's the least she should get for shepherding a mute Chinese girl that's actually a teddybear around town all day.

But no, she's too good a person for that.  She brings Chocco and the birthday gift back to Mint, who coincidentally is showing no sign of any ill effects stemming from the horror she just went through.  I suppose being in RRG! will put enough scar tissue on anybody's psyche given enough time.  She also isn't wondering why Chocco is soggy and smells of melted ice cream; probably used to it by now.

D'awwwwwwwwwww.  Meanwhile, the Usual Suspects get a montage as they wind down after the long day of work they've just put in. 

Hey look, we finally get a Rina sighting!  Too bad it's the absolute least that the Production Staff could do: a still picture of her.  I'm a little confused by the badge, though.  It's hard to tell, but it looks like they're both wearing the same badge; it's not the badge of the ICDG police force.  In fact, it looks an awful lot like the Most Valuable Card Dealer award given to Rio in Ep13.  Does this mean that Rina managed to acquire all the Gates too?  How did that work?  And most importantly, what did she wish for when she saw the rainbow, and why do I suspect it involved evil Cartia being eaten by giant holographic space ocelots?  Or is that just what I want?  I can never be sure anymore.

In the end, Rio (thanks for phoning it in, Star of the Show!) bids the picture goodnight, turns off the light, and blissfully the extra episode of Rio Rainbow Gate! comes to an end!

Except it doesn't.  No, we cut to Anya, who has successfully managed to get through the day without tripping over her feet even once!  Hooray for her!  A hearty round of congratulations from all of us here at The Pond!  Too bad about your future starring role in K-On!!!, but you'll get over that.

Except, of course, she trips over her powerbrick and crashes into her bed.  Her head jerks back upon impact with the box spring, neatly causing a basilar skull fracture.  Life-threatening at best, instantly fatal at worst, either way her only chance is for someone to call the Casino Island version of 9-1-1.

Except in her clumsiness, she's managed to black out the entire slum area of Casino Island.  Fade to black, roll credits, the end.

I hope.

Actually, this was a really enjoyable episode, though very very strange, even for Rio Rainbow Gate!.  I certainly appreciate that the minor characters got an episode to themselves, and while it doesn't really fit into the (alleged) continuity, that's okay too.  RRG! works best when it's being flat-out ridiculous. 

So that's it.  That appears to be the final new bit of RRG! we'll ever get to see.  This makes me sad, though there's really no way the show could really continue the storyline; Rio's won the most prestigious award she possibly could, the only thing the Production Staff could do is threaten Rina and Risa with harm, and that'd make the show too darn dark for it to work.

Yes, I said that the end of the RRG! series makes me sad.  What, you've never liked a bad anime before?  Yep, there's a lot of stupid in this show, but there's a lot of fun to be had if you turn off your brain and just enjoy it.  It's entertaining, and what more could you ask for?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:08 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 4132 words, total size 31 kb.

1 Finally.
Perhaps now you can find closure.

Posted by: brickmuppet at December 04, 2011 04:30 AM (EJaOX)

2 Dear God save us.....

Posted by: The Old Man at December 05, 2011 07:05 AM (TcNy+)

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