February 27, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep08

I so very much want to inflict grievous bodily harm on the production staff of Rio Rainbow Gate! right now.  As I said at the end of Ep07's recap, "...I have this sinking feeling that Rina is going to have a heel turn in Ep08..."  Now, I am many things, but one that I am not is a plot prognosticator.  Usually when I take a guess about how a show is going to go, I'm about as far off as chalk and cheese.  Because of that, trying to figure out plotlines ahead of time is usually an exercise in futility, one that I avoid doing whenever possible.  Yet this stupid brainless pile of drek called RRG! has gotten me so involved that I not only made predictions, but I put them in print to boot.  It's one thing to get hooked on something good; having it happen watching a series that has all the depth of a playing card is just embarrassing.  So, grievous bodily harm it is!  There's quite a wide range of injuries one can inflict with just a playing card, you know.  Anything from a simple papercut, preferably with an application of lemon juice afterwards,  to ocular exenteration, preferably with an application of lemon juice afterward... the sky's the limit. 

And speaking of the sky:

We pick up right where we left off in Episode 07, with Rina bolted down to a roulette table and Rio about to go into her third Gate Battle of the day.  This one will be against evil Cartia's "King Strong Arm".  And what, might I ask, will be the game to be played this time?  I mean, considering some of the matches we've had in the past, I expect it to be something like a wrestling match between Rio and a remote-controlled bear in a swimming pool full of tapioca pudding and deadly holographic space cuttlefish.

Or a coin flip followed by a guess of which which hand the coin is in.  The stipulations are simple: King will flip it, grab it between his hands, then separate them.  At that point, Rio will make her choice.  Of course, it wouldn't be RRG! without there being something stupid involved, and that's certainly the case here.  Y'see, King Strong Arm isn't called King Strong Arm for nothing; he's got a strong arm.  In fact, he's so strong that he can crush a coin to powder in his clenched fist, which he does.  Voila, no coin (which looks like a euro, for you budding numismaticists out there) and no chance for Rio to win!


Of course, she wins.  As a skilled dealer, she's able to spot a cheat from a mile away... so she points at his right hand and says "that hand has no coin in it."  The rules didn't say that she had to choose the hand with the coin, after all.  Rina is hers!  Yay!  Her victory is short-lived though, as she suddenly feels very dizzy.  When she recovers moments later, Cartia, King and Rina are gone... and nobody saw where they went or how.  I think I want to visit Sky Resort and see how much I can steal.  I suspect I could probably walk off with two pockets full of gold, three ficus plants and a bargirl.

Rio wants to immediately start searching for her lost... friend *ahem*, but in her weakened state, she wouldn't find the floor if she fell over.  She's ordered to rest in her room... her lonely, empty room.  Heartbroken to find the pillow next to her unoccupied, she gets up.

When Anya brings dinner up to Rio's room, she finds both Rio and her Gates to be missing.  For a brief instant, I had hopes that the Laser Weasel had killed and eaten Rio, but no such luck.  I then had a few pleasant moments imaging the carnage a Laser Weasel set loose on a room full of the RRG! production staff would cause.  Alas, even such cheerful thoughts had to come to an end and the show had to continue.

Seeing brief glimpses of Rina in the hallways of Sky Resort, Rio stumbles her way into the resort's chapel, where she finds the evil Cartia.  Accused of lying, the evil Cartia says that she never agreed to give Rina to Rio, just to "release her."  Rio doesn't take the hint.

Yowza!  FINALLY, RRG! abandons all pretense of being anything more than a fanservice show and goes straight to hentai!  Play to your strengths is what I've always said, yes indeedily.  Where's my wallet, I know I've got a few singles in there...

Dammit!  Vivisection via playing card is too good for the production staff now, I'm moving right on to total trepanation using a rusty spoon, two nail files and a yak.  "You can have the Gates, just give me back my Rina." 

*bing* Ladies and gentlemen, we have a heel turn and I just blew a sphygmomanometer off my arm.  Rina's been working with evil Cartia all this time, for the sake of revenge.  Wait, what?  It turns out that Rio and Rina are even closer than we thought.  We already know that the two of them grew up togther, but what we didn't know is that Rio's mother, Risa Rollins, the only person to ever hold all 13 Gates, dated Rina's father before he married her mother.  Even after the wedding, Risa and Rina's dad continued their affair, and if you can't see where this is going you must have blood in your eyes much like I did at this point.

That's right, Rio and Rina aren't just... friends *ahem*, but sisters as well, which puts a completely different spin on what was going on in Ep04.  RRG! has suddenly become a taboo fanservice show.  Strangely, I'm okay with that.  But wait, it all gets worse!  It turns out that, when Rina's mom got sick, Daddy just up and left, leaving nobody to care for the ill wife... and evil Cartia saw Dad and Risa driving away together.  B-b-b-but, what was evil Cartia doing there?  She's the sister of Rina's mom, making her Rina's aunt... and coincidentally, Rio's half-aunt.  When evil Cartia told Rina the truth of what went down, our bi-colored-tressed beauty vowed revenge against Risa.  When she mysteriously disappeared, she set her sights on the only other Rollins available: Rio.  After all, Henry Rollins Rainbow Gate! would be too epic for this small world to handle.  The best way for her to accomplish this task?  A knife in the back?  A bullet in the gut?  An ice axe to the cranium?  Nope, she would be the second to accumulate all 13 Gates; indeed, she's proven to be quite capable of this task, as the Gates held by Jack, Queen, King and (presumably) Linda were all hers to begin with... and she still holds five others.  Go ahead, guess what's coming next?

Yup, our fourth Gate Battle in one day.  Not only that, but one of the infinite monkeys writing this series randomly typed the word "poker" into the script!  Finally, a Gate Battle that actually involves a game you can actually play in a casino.  It doesn't help the blood squirting out of my pores, but it does show a brief flash of sanity by the production staff.  Rio is sluggish, lethargic, and slow to pick up her cards... a handful of garbage. 

Soon enough, the reason for her lethargy becomes apparent: she isn't the only Roll Ruler in the room, and Rina's power seems to be a heckuvalot stronger than Rio's.  A flash of power, and...

...she's out in the woods?  After a moment of confusion, she realizes she's actually "in Rina's heart; what a cold, lonely place it is." And not a ventricle or tricuspid valve to be seen.  I think it would be quite inefficient at moving blood around Rina's body, but who am I to judge?  Shortly after she makes this statement, a black tower of liquid from the pool in front of her climbs into the sky, then swallows her whole.

"Down goes Frazier!  Down goes Frazier!  Down goes Frazier!" 

Rio's out, face down on the floor, her cards face-up on the table.

And Rina, knowing she has her revenge in hand, throws her cards down.

"I win."  Fade to black, roll credits.

I shouldn't let Rina's heel turn annoy me so much, but be darned if it didn't.  The pair of Rina and Rio actually worked well together as characters, something not-so-common in anime, and anything working well in RRG! is a miracle akin to talking donkeys, catching 153 fish, or multiplying bottles of oil.  Bah.  Now suddenly, Rina's the Big Bad, Rio's got no Gates, and has no way to get one that we know of.  Welp, that's about it then, show's over.  And no silly clothing choices in the last episode either... not even a shrimp costume sighting.  That's quite the downer ending, actually.

What?  It's not over?  DAMMIT!

next episode: we learn that The Owner can dislocate his jaw, much like a snake, as he attempts to swallow Rio whole for losing.  I'm probably making that up, but I'm no longer sure.


Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:30 AM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 1536 words, total size 11 kb.

1 This is the first ep recap I've read, but it sent me off to Netflix, where I discovered.... no Rio Rainbow Gate! available there. *wah*

Posted by: ButMadNNW at February 27, 2011 02:12 AM (YbiO2)

2 But then, my housemate has exposed me to Excel Saga and we watched beyond the first episode, so it should come as no surprise that weird is okay with me. ;-)

Posted by: ButMadNNW at February 27, 2011 02:13 AM (YbiO2)

3 RRG! is airing in Japan on Tuesdays, Hamlet, which is why you can't find it on NetFlix: it's not available on DVD yet anywhere.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 27, 2011 02:27 AM (W8Men)

4 Ahhhhh! I suppose if I had gone back in time to previous posts, I would've discovered this.

Curse my being in the wrong country yet again!

Posted by: ButMadNNW at February 27, 2011 04:00 AM (YbiO2)

5 Did that little girl from the first episode end up being a regular character? (Think they'll do an Aria on us with her?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 28, 2011 08:23 AM (+rSRq)

6

(note: there was a lot of Microsoft cruft in wahsatchmo's original comment.  This is his comment with the cruft removed -Wonderduck)

I thought about warning you in a comment to the last review about this episode, since I watched this shortly after commenting on episode 7.  But misery loves company, so sorry about that.  I was flabbergasted that a fan service show would air an episode without any fan service, and a show known for its ridiculous gate battles would settle for the dullest battle ever with the sub-boss:  one hand of five freaking card stud.  Which ended with Rio’s mommy issues.

Bring back my Australian sugar glider!  Bring back strip skeet shooting!

Luckily, the episode did indeed answer two questions that I wasn’t clear on:  if you lose a gate battle, you lose all of your gates at once, no matter how many the other gate holder has.  Rio owns her gates (or did), not Howard, even though as her employer he can accept gate challenges on her behalf.

Steven - that little girl is a recurring character (I keep wanting to call her “Newt” because of Aliens), and she seems more competent than most of the casino staff.  I think I know what you mean by “an Aria”, and it would be plausible at the end of this show if the writers had not already shown signs of partaking in too much Salvia while snorting crushed Mentos.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at February 28, 2011 07:16 PM (W8Men)

7 Steven, while Mint has shown up in every episode, she's fallen from her previous status of "driving force" to minor character, mostly cheering section for Rio.  In the "Rio's out, facedown on the floor" screencap, that's her running in from the upper right.  The production team appears to be pairing her up with Mighty Jack, who's kinda become a good guy.  She's been part of the team trying to get Linda unborked... mostly not doing anything. 

As far as them "doing an Aria" with her, aka "Hi, my name is Ai," it's not impossible.  If there's a second season (AIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!), it's almost a given.  But if there's only one, I don't see it... they'll be too busy trying to wrap up the Gate Battle arc first, and I don't know that it'll leave enough time.  I am certain that the production staff will stick her in a bunnygirl costume, at which point I'll have to gouge out my eyeballs.

wah, please, no hints, no suggestions, no teasers about what's coming up.  While the show runs on Tuesday, I intentionally wait until the day that I'll have the time to give it the bollocking it richly deserves... and that's Saturday.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 28, 2011 07:27 PM (W8Men)

8 Ha ha! I got it! Mint is Rio, as a young girl, and will eventually travel in time!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 28, 2011 11:00 PM (+rSRq)

9 For just about any other series, Steven, I'd point at you and laugh derisively.  For RRG!, though... well, hell, I'll go with Mint is Rio from the future, sure.  It can't be any dumber than what the production team has come up with, and it's likely to be a helluva lot more interesting.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 28, 2011 11:35 PM (W8Men)

10
Ha ha! I got it! Mint is Rio, as a young girl, and will eventually travel in time! 


Very possible...but with the bear she reminds me of that girl with the plushie from Paranoia Agent.

Posted by: Brickmuppet at March 01, 2011 12:15 AM (EJaOX)

11

Duck, apologies about the MS crud, I tend to type up posts in Word so I don't make as many stupid mistakes.  Obviously that only gets one so far.  I shall also refrain from spoiling this show-cum-acid-flashback, for I truly understand the endurance training you must have completed to sit through each and every episode for that one moment of joyful discovery.

But they'd better do something ridiculous gate-battle-wise this next episode or I may go back to working on my Kimi ni Todoke/Freezing crossover fan fiction on Tuesdays.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at March 01, 2011 10:12 AM (r4uXE)

12 I tend to compose longer things with an external tool, mainly because I've lost too many things when composing within a browser by mistyping and hitting a key that the browser interprets as a "back". And when I go forward again, the contents of the entry box are gone.

But I use FrontPage, which doesn't create the kind of cruft that Word does. Word is a dreadful tool for creating HTML.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 01, 2011 01:07 PM (+rSRq)

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