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?

He's moping, looking at the once-proud edifice of his own creation, Casino Island, the pinnacle of a lifetime's worth of work and effort, perhaps the greatest accomplishment in the field of entertainment the world has ever seen... now ripped from his hands by evil Cartia and the fickle finger of fate.  Oh, and the failure of Rio to win a simple hand of poker.  That too.  He's reduced to bringing legal action against evil Cartia to invalidate the outcome, but we all know that's doomed to failure.  Otherwise, we may as well be watching a game of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney or something.  Of course, that might actually be entertaining to watch, and this is RRG! we're talking about here; we can't have that.  And speaking of Rio...

Our Heroine is now a hollow shell of her former self, reduced to apologizing to the unused gambling tables in the empty casino while she polishes them.  Pitifully broken, she's taken to drinking heavily while recounting tales of past glories to the only people who'll listen to her, two kids who plan to rifle through her pockets once she passes out next to the roulette wheel, like she's done every night since that she lost her spark seven days ago.  Of course, that's also the last time they ate... after all, everybody's been fired and the kitchens are empty.  What food that remained went bad a few days ago.  And they're growing children, and they are so very hungry.  When Rio is unconscious, her pet Laser Weasel will be the first to be eaten  Then, they will turn their famished eyes on the woman that's caused them all this trouble in the first place, and they will plan... oh, how they will plan...

I'm not entirely sure what that semi is hauling away from Casino Island or what trucking outfit would be willing to haul something packed that haphazardly, but I can say that I really wish they made cars that looked like that.  Gotta love the sloping roofline, the enclosed rear wheels, and the multiple headlights.  That right there, that's exactly the sort of car I'd love to own.  Needs some tailfins though, and perhaps some pointless but stylish chrome, but it's near perfect as is.  Meanwhile, in evil Cartia's new casino...

...two guests complain that there's something missing from Casino Island.  The spark is gone.  It was more fun to lose there when The Owner was in charge than it is to win now that the evil Cartia runs the place.  We've seen these two before... they're two of Rio's past opponents!  The one on the left, Orlin, appeared in ep01, and the other, Elvis, was in ep02.  Alas, that was before these reviews took on their current format.  Sorry about that (really, I'm not, but it's the polite thing to say in situations like this).  Anyway, they come up with a plan of such cunning cleverness that... oh, who am I kidding?  Look at them... they couldn't come up with a clever plan if someone wrote it up for them.  Anyway, they've got a plan to bring the joy back to their miserable wasted lives spent winning and losing fortunes.

In another part of Casino Island, the alliance of the evil Cartia and the bi-color-tressed vixen Rina is showing signs of strain.  Rina knows she's being used, but there's little she can do about it, and heck, she got her revenge... and is near to becoming the second dealer to hold all 13 Gates.  To make matters more interesting, one of the remaining Gates is right there on Casino Island!  Evil Cartia has called in the Casino Guild to help track down the final Gate, but in the meantime they're also helping her in some other, unspecified, way.  For some reason, this is thought to be dirty pool by some.

Back at Sky Resort, Elvis and Orlin put their cunning plan into effect.  They miss the excitement they had playing against Rio, so they bring her a challenge: one game each, the loser must leave the Casino Business forever, to never take part in an organized form of gambling again.  The Usual Suspects are aghast at the prospect, but distraught Rio accepts.  She's already as low as she can go, why not remove herself from the only life she's ever known?  Then she'll quietly walk out of the casino and head towards a new life, doing something new... except she's forgotten that Sky Resort is currently floating in the middle of the ocean.  Head held high, she'd stride right over the side, fall into the water and be eaten by sharks.  Or perhaps that was her plan all along... it isn't an easy thing to have everything you've ever known taken from you, and I can't imagine Rio to have the strength of character to resist the temptation of removing the pain.  It's not like she has any family to call on for help, her best friend betrayed her, and the Usual Suspects are, after all, just co-workers who can't afford to own clothes that aren't their work uniforms.  No, if Rio loses these games, it's a good guess that the sharks will eat well tonight.  First up is Orlin, the man who the Queens love.  He throws away his first hand of five-card poker, as does Rio... leading us to another epic duel.

Um... yeah.  Thousands of spiraling cards, with each of them shooting their draw out of the sky?  That's the RRG! way for you.  Seems like there's too many cards out there to be legal, actually... how many decks are they using, anyway?

Still, it appears that Rio's made her peace with her decision.  Orlin of course ends up with four queens.  Rio managed to pull out a straight flush for the win... and then it's the turn of Elvis, the master of the roulette wheel.  Again, we end up in a fantasy world...

...Rio in a baseball uniform?  Swiftly and wholeheartedly approved by acclamation!  I already like this contest, to be honest, no matter how stupid it may be.

Yup, the imagery is pretty stupid to be honest.  Still, Rio in a baseball uniform... gotta concentrate on the important things.

Okay, wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here.  I don't care if this is a fantasy sequence, this is baseball we're talkin' about, and there's so many things wrong in the above screenshot that I can't let it slide.  First off, nobody has a windup with that high a leg kick... not even Bullet Bob Feller in his youth had a kick that ridiculous, and he once threw a pitch at 107mph.  Secondly and more importantly, what the hell is with the arm being outside the leg?  The whole point of the leg kick is to get the body's momentum moving forward, and the arm in that location just means that she's blocking that momentum shift from occurring.  Of course, the kick being straight vertical doesn't help much either.  All she's doing is auditioning for the Rockettes here.

To make matters worse, once the ball gets to Elvis, it hits his bat before he swings... and he pulls it high and hard to left field.  I'll say that again: he isn't swinging yet, and he still pulls it.  There aren't enough steroids in the world to make that happen, even in a fantasy sequence.  Even better worse, the pitch is above his head!  If he can generate enough power to hit a home run from that stance, without swinging until the ball hits his bat, with the pitch above his head, and pulling it to left field to boot, then this guy is in the wrong line of work.  Then again, maybe he is, because he loses the roulette game by picking red when the ball lands in black.

And they're proud of themselves!  They lost, but they got that spark back into the game.  Of course, they'll never set foot in a casino again per the terms of a bet, but they felt the spark again.  Rio has a bit of her self-confidence back and all is right with the world, right?  Well, no... seems Mighty Jack used his telekinesis to affect the outcome of both games.  Okay, the roulette wheel I can understand, but how in the name of all that's wrong with this series does TK change the way the cards come out of the dealer's hand?  Anyway, Mighty Jack fesses up, but nobody really seems to care.  Rio won again!  No more long nights crawling into a bottle to forget her miserable stinkin' life again!  Until she's dragged in front of evil Cartia by some of her thugs to hear a proposal: work for her at Casino Island as manager.  She can hire anybody she'd like, everything would be hers to control, it'd be perfect.  Rio refuses, saying "No thank you, I dislike you." 

On her way out, she runs into her sister.  A brief staredown occurs, then Rio walks away with a warning: "Beware the Ides of March evil Cartia."  But then, she's approached by someone wearing a joker's costume... a flash of light, and suddenly Rio's... somewhere else?

It looks like Casino Island, but there's nobody there... anywhere.  No guests roaming the streets, nobody in the casinos, the theatres, nothing!  Except for The Owner's magician, Dana... she's there.  She's been a very minor character in the show up to now... so minor that I haven't bothered to screencap her, despite the great costume and hairstyle.  Oh, and she's a real magician, too... as in, real spells, not the David Copperfield crepe you see in Las Vegas.  She says that they're inside the opponent's Roll Ruler.  Um... but a Roll Ruler has to have a Gate, and the only Gate holder on the island is Rina, and this looks nothing like her power.  Ahhhhhh, but there is another, remember?  Evil Cartia said so.  Fade to black, roll credits.

To be blunt, this episode was not entertaining.  RRG! is a bad series, but it's been fun-bad up to this point.  This one, though... it was a struggle to come up with a coherent storyline for this post, the episode was so all over the place.  Sure, it may be important to the overall plot (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!), but it was also... dull.  Say what you want about the series, but it has had an energy around it that has kept me coming back, which is more than I can say about allegedly better shows this season (Fractale, anyone?).  Not this episode.  Still, there's signs that next week will be back to the over-the-top ridiculousness we've come to expect, so we can but hope and see you for Ep10!

...more holographic space sharks!  YAY!!!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:46 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 2255 words, total size 16 kb.

1 Think the car is a Citroen DS19, vintage 1965 or so. . . .

Posted by: go-daigo at March 06, 2011 02:33 AM (9zEsE)

2 I'd say it's based on the Citroen DS19 for sure, but animefied.  I don't want the DS19, I want that car.  Still, nice job on the identification go-daigo!  I sure didn't expect that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 06, 2011 07:53 AM (W8Men)

3 I have an alternate caption for that last picture:  "In Rio Rainbow Gate, the shark jumps you!"

Posted by: Siergen at March 06, 2011 11:13 AM (Gqqsw)

4 You know that the Citroen SM was the perfect car & I hold it above all others. The 19 was a great one leading to this car of perfection. Wiki has a OK overview on the SM & I just wish I could afford the overhead to keep one running.

Posted by: von Krag at March 06, 2011 02:26 PM (VGXAE)

5 To ease your pain, I offer Rio cosplay.


Posted by: J Greely at March 06, 2011 03:47 PM (2XtN5)

6 You're very, very kind, J.

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 06, 2011 06:02 PM (W8Men)


I didn't think Rio was actually pitching - I think she was just trying to simultaneously smell her armpit while licking the top of her sock.  It's probably considered common courtesy in casino baseball leagues.

I did like the ultra clandestine way that Dana caught Rio's attention on the street and explained that she was "disguised as a customer".  While wearing her exact same magic outfit getup that she always wore while working in the casino.  She could have at least put on a nondescript baseball cap instead of her witch-hat-meets-Legend-of-Zelda thing.

Thank goodness next week looks like they'll be shooting off parts of Rio's clothing again.  It's about time we get back to the basics, here.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at March 07, 2011 03:55 PM (r4uXE)

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