May 01, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! The Lost Reviews: Ep03

So here we are: Episode 03 of Rio Rainbow Gate!.  The second and last of the "lost reviews" for the series.  Unlike the first of the lost reviews, for Ep02, Ep03 did get a little attention when it was first released, but nothing like what's about to occur.  As you'll soon see, this particular episode is actually pretty important to the overarching plot of RRG!, as thin and watery as that is.  The first time I watched it, I wrote it off as just another filler episode in a show chock full of them... now, with the benefit of knowing what happens, it becomes the catalyst for the rest of the series. 

Which doesn't make it any better, mind you.  It just makes it important that I inflict more psychic damage upon myself.  Great.  Well, without further ado, allow me to summon up the mind-flaying power of RRG! and Ep03! 

A beautiful day on Casino Island!  Quite the contrast to the constant thunderstorms plaguing the place in the later episodes, eh?  Entirely created and totally owned by Our Heroine's boss, The Owner, who has just purchased an abandoned casino on the edge of the island.  Wait, what?  I'm confused.  Casino Island and everything on it is 100% the property of The Owner, but he just bought a place that was there before the island existed?  Logic, meet Rio Rainbow Gate!. I'm sure the two of you will attempt to murder each other within seconds get along famously.

Misery Castle was owned by a young woman who loved only two things in life: gambling and chicken wings.  She ran a casino in the basement until she lost it all to a high roller.  Since then, the Castle sat derelict on Casino Island (wha?) until The Owner took it over and decided to make it another of his classic attractions.  The casino is in the process of being restored to its original condition, and he expects it to be quite the moneymaker. 

Rio objects, pointing out that she's already working seven days a week and can't be expected to work here and at the main casino and train Anya too.  No problem, because The Owner has hired another dealer, someone with experience.  In any case, it's going to be a while before the place is ready to go.  Our Heroine is somewhat taken aback... jealousy, Rio?... but doesn't complain.  Much.

Lady Misery herself.  Rio is told to stay at the Castle for the night for reasons unknown, and never mind about the stories about ghosts haunting the place.  Our Heroine freaks out just a little bit at the revelation that there's even a rumor of spirits infesting the Casino, but gamely agrees to spend the night.

Ah, there's the lightning we've all come to know and love.  You'd think The Owner would have built his resort island someplace where the weather wasn't quite so violent, but that'd be giving him credit for a level of intelligence that he's not shown in the past.  After all, this is the guy that's hired a dealer that has a magical power that makes everybody win.  There must be one helluva markup on food and alcohol, is all I've gotta say.

Our Heroine finds herself somehow in the casino, with a creepy lass surrounded by blue fire wanting to make a bet.  Y'know, methane burns blue, and we all know that cow flatulence contains methane... indeed, there are stories that cows are a major cause of greenhouse gases.  Now, I'm not saying that Creepy Lass has a terrible case of gas, heavens no... but if you want to go there, I certainly wouldn't disagree. Oh, the bet?  If Creepy Lass wins, she takes Casino Island.  Rio laughs it off, and...

...wakes up in her bed.  It was all just a dream... a smelly dream surely, but a dream nevertheless.  If only I could say the same, but no, I'm watching this show willingly. 

Lightning strikes the peak of Misery Castle, almost as if Zeus himself hates RRG!.  It's good to know that even the gods themselves dislike crap anime like this one almost as much as I do, for rest assured that if I had the ability to call fire down from the heavens, Xebec would be short one Production Staff, and I could rest much easier at night, knowing that I had done the world a great boon, and thus I bring this ridiculously long run-on sentence to an end.  Anyway, strange doings are afoot at Misery Castle.  After the lightning strike, one could almost think they had heard frantically triumphant screams of "it's alive" coming from the basement.  Alas, we must draw a veil across the pleasant potential of a patchwork creature rising from below, terrorizing Casino Island, getting locked into a death duel with its creator somewhere above the Arctic Circle then sailing off to oblivion on an ice raft, and move on.

The next day, Rio's soul is stolen Our Heroine is the featured artist in a poolside photoshoot.  Gotta admit, that's a photobook I'd buy.  I may not like her show, but Rio herself?  Yes, please.  Did I say that out loud?  Anyway, the proceedings are being watched by a sunbathing Movie Star Rosa Canyon.

Correction: Hollywood Movie Star Rosa Canyon.  Turns out she's been dieting, but not losing weight.  What this has to do with anything is unclear, but I'm sure all will be revealed by the Production Staff in time.  And unicorns farting rainbows will fly out my butt.  What is it about this particular episode that lends itself to flatulence jokes? 

Some time later in the main casino, Creepy Methane Lass makes a appearance in the flesh.  Anya, who used to live in Donetsk, the Ukraine, apparently had her nose desensitized to the odor.  As in Our Heroine's dream, Creepy Methane Lass wants to bet the Casino on one spin of the wheel... and, surprisingly or perhaps not considering who we're talking about here, Anya agrees.  Of course, Anya is in charge of the wheel, so you can just guess what's about to happen...

Yup, exactly.  Y'know, for the most part the animation in RRG! was pretty decent all told.  Sure, it's not at the level of anything by KyoAni or SHAFT, but for the most part Xebec did a good job on what could have been a throwaway series, animation-wise (script-wise, I'm sure it was a throwaway series... as in, it was thrown away by everybody else before Xebec took the pachinko money).  All that being said, what in the name of h-e-double-hockey-sticks is up with the roulette ball in this scene?  It changes size a couple-three times over the course of a minute, from the size of a cue ball as Anya approaches the table (she actually holds in the palms of her hands), to the correct tiny size, to the ping-pong ball seen above.  Very odd blind spot in an otherwise solid series, graphically.  But then, having a pea-sized ball ricochet off Creepy Methane Lass' forehead isn't as funny as bouncing a golf ball off it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ruth Buzzi!  Creepy Methane Lass throws a fit and the entirety of Casino Island goes dark for a moment.  When the lights come back on, people are confused and Creepy Methane Lass (now a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes) is nowhere to be seen.

The next day, The Owner calls a meeting.  If anybody sees Creepy Methane Lass again, they are to immediately call security and NiCor.  It goes without saying that the Usual Suspects are to keep their eyes peeled for anything odd.  Of course, this is RRG! we're talking about here, so they immediately start speaking of the fact that they have no viewers, no plot, no script, a Production Staff that hates them, and how they all need new agents.  Later that evening on a hunch, Our Heroine takes Anya to Misery Castle and shows her the picture of Lady Misery.  Confirmed!  We have a ghost made flesh! 

Everybody panic in a cute and not-at-all-yuri-heavens-no manner!   Pandering, thy name is Rio Rainbow Gate!.

Meanwhile, somewhere on Casino Island, a chicken wing delivery truck is hijacked.  All right, hang on just a cotton-pickin' minute here... in what world are chicken wings so popular that there's entire fast-food chains devoted to just them?  Pizza, sure.  Subs, okay.  But chicken wings?  I can suspend my disbelief only so far before I go off the rails, and I refuse to believe there's such a thing as a chicken wing delivery service.  But no, in the RRG! world there's a place that makes nothing but chicken wings and is big enough to employ a full-size panel truck for delivery purposes... and it was just hijacked.

Like the trained hunters they are, Ella and Illa track the hijacker by following a trail of discarded wing bones.  But even they are unprepared for the horror they are about to face... indeed, we all are. 

Dear lord in heaven.  What sin could a mortal man commit in a single lifetime to bring this upon himself?  No, not devolving into a wing-eating beast... me having to see such a image.  Haven't I suffered enough?

Ella and Illa flee, but are quickly run down by the wing-eating Creepy Misery Methane Lass.  What happens to them is unrevealed as the screen quickly fades to black, but one can't imagine it's anything good.  On a completely different topic, that screenshot above is probably my favorite image from the entire series.  Indeed, it was the wallpaper on my computer for about a month; considering that I change wallpapers every couple of days, this is a long time.  Something about seeing two bunnygirls cowering (cutely) in fear (Illa) and disgust (Ella) when I turned on my monitor in the morning tickled me.  Yes, I'm well aware that probably says something about me, something grim and disturbing.  Then again, look at the show I'm reviewing.  THAT speaks to the base problem involved much more than two frightened female lagomorphs.

Somewhere else on the Island, Our Heroine has been doing some research on the history of Misery Castle.  See, I knew she could read!  It turns out that after Lady Misery lost her casino, she died penniless, unloved and forgotten.  The high roller that won it from her tried to run the place, but reports of ghost sightings drove away all the customers.  [keanu] Whoa. [/keanu]  The Owner, showing more intelligence in one sentence than he does all series, asks Rio "fine, there's a ghost.  Why is a non-corporeal spirit need to eat chicken wings?"  Our Heroine has no answer and slinks away with her tail between her legs.  At least, I hope that's a tail.  Meanwhile...

...Hollywood Movie Star Rosa Canyon, unable to sleep, discovers that her makeup skills are really quite poor.  Actually, she realizes that she's hagridden by Lady Creepy Methane Misery Lass... but there's nothing she can do about it.  An attempt at calling Rio fails miserably, with only a choked-out "help" making it to Our Heroine.  Rosa runs out into the world, heading... somewhere.  Local exorcist, I suppose.  Truth be told, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that there is an exorcist somewhere on Casino Island.  Perhaps Dana the Magician has that as a sideline.  Or the chicken wing delivery company.  Speaking of which...

While she struggles with Lady Methane Creepy Misery Lass, a chicken wing delivery person recognizes the great Hollywood Movie Star Rosa Canyon and asks for an autograph.  This inopportune appearance of chicken wings ends up being the straw that breaks the chicken's back.  Lady Lass Creepy Methane Misery takes total control, mugs the delivery person, takes the basket o' wings, and runs off into the night.  Didn't even leave a tip... oddly, the chicken wing delivery person doesn't seem to mind this rude treatment very much. 

Our Heroine makes it to Hollywood Movie Star Rosa Canyon's hotel room, and discovers that it looks like just about any other coked-out movie star's hotel room.  Except that the kitchen is filled with boxes of chicken wings!  It's a given... Rosa's been possessed by Lady Lass Methane Creepy Misery!  Then a message comes in: The Owner's been kidnapped by Ella and Illa!  With pretty much the entire cast of RRG! suddenly missing, Our Heroine takes the only option open to her: she goes to the hotel bar and begins drinking heavily.  Deal with the undead?  Oh heck naw.  She's a casino dealer, not a member of TAPS.  Within an hour, she's dancing on the bar for dollar bills and casino chips.  No wait, thats going to be in the omake... I hope.  I've got a lot of very high hopes for the omake, truth be told.  In the actual episode, Rio knows where everybody is and charges off to Castle Misery.

Yup.  Hollywood Methane Creepy Star Canyon Misery Lass Rosa is behind it all, and all she wants is to gamble.  Just a simple roll of the dice, literally, even or odd.  If Star Lass Rosa Methane Hollywood Canyon Misery Creepy wins, she gets the casino, Rosa's body, and who knows what else.  Our Heroine is understandably reluctant: 50/50 odds aren't the sort of thing you want to bet a life and a lot of megabucks on unless you absolutely have to... so the ghost ups the ante.

Yep, it's a clown-based power saw guillotine thing with The Owner locked inside, run by Elle and Ille.  Rio takes one look at the device and The Owner screaming to be released and walks away.  No more skimpy costumes and perverted bosses for her, heck no!  *sigh*  No, no, no.  She reluctantly accepts the bet. 

Yup, chicken wings and antebellum-era dresses, that's my idea of gambling right there.  Rio is handed the dice and told to roll... and Canyon Lass Rosa Methane Hollywood Misery Star Creepy reveals that she's got what we've come to know and love as a Roll Ruler... sorta.  See, it's kinda limited in its effects, but what it does is pretty devastating.    

Suddenly, FLYING CHICKEN WINGS!  Chicken wings with bat wings, no less.  Actually, this is a very good thing that Misery (just Misery) is doing, giving these amputated poultry limbs a taste of what they were bred to do, not that chickens have ever been known as great fliers.  Our Heroine is understandably perturbed by the sudden influx of self-propelled snacks bouncing off her face.  Rosa Methane Star Creepy Misery Canyon Hollywood Lass laughs... cackles, really... and takes a bite of one of her non-flying chicken wings... and gags.

Wha?  The chicken wing delivery babe?  What's she doing here?  More importantly, how'd she know to come here at this time?  It's not like Misery Castle is right on the main street of Casino Island or anything.  "Y'know, I stuffed those wings with habanero."

Misery (yes, just Misery) screams in agony as her mouth blows up, which has the added effect of dispelling her hordes of bat-winged chicken wings in the process.  I wonder what buffalo-style bat wing would taste like?  Would it taste like chicken?  Leather?  Y'know what, never mind, just... pretend I didn't ask that question.  I think it's best for all involved.

Our Heroine rolls, the dice come up in her favor, meaning that Hollywood Star Rosa Canyon is released from Creepy Methane Lass Misery's control!  Hooray!   But what of Elle and Ille?

How, exactly, did Ille end up passed out and draped over the top of the box... so far across it that her feet are off the ground?  Not that I mind, I'm just wondering, though I'd prefer the camera to be stationed on the other side of the box..  Alas, the sawblade is unattended so it cuts The Owner in half, sending a spray of blood and shredded flesh across the room.  The perfect result for everyone, to be honest.  No, no, no... the chicken wing delivery girl turns the machine off and leaves while Rio checks on Rosa.

A few moments later, Our Heroine chases after her mysterious benefactor and gets a surprise... shes' not just a chicken wing delivery babe, she's also the dealer The Owner mentioned hiring way back at the beginning of the episode!

Her name is Rina, and Rio seems to know her quite well... and is both surprised and pleased to see her!  Fade to black, roll credits.

I hope you, my readers, have learned a lesson from all of this... choose your anime wisely.  Finally, I'm clear of this thing!  That's it, I'm out.  Rio Rainbow Gate!, everybody.  Give it a big hand.  Me, I'm off to the therapist to see if I can get any of the psychic scarring fixed.  I'm hoping for shock therapy, though a lobotomy isn't beyond the realm of possibility.  I do have problems with needles coming near my eyeball though.

Oh, wait... the omake.  Can't forget those... I guess I'll have to review them, too.  See you then! 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:39 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 2833 words, total size 21 kb.

1 You asked about a chicken-wing delivery restaurant chain?And as for the possible future omake that you keep mentioning, perhaps you should produce it yourself as part of your therapy!  You can write it (you certainly have enough plot ideas), then find someone else to animate it...

Oh, an an unrelated note, any chance of another ship identification contest?  I've come up with another post idea (assuming I can win again).

Posted by: Siergen at May 01, 2011 03:12 PM (6c1Mp)


Posted by: Brickmuppet at May 01, 2011 09:00 PM (EJaOX)

3 Obviously those wings were spun in Red Bull-infused sauce!

Red Bull gives you wings! (tasteless here, extremely tasteless when you just showed her Mark Weber's accident last year)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at May 02, 2011 12:16 AM (mRjOr)

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