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...


...Then I ram my ovipositor down your throat, and lay my eggs in your chest! But I'm not an alien!
Facehuggers!  The whole vacation island is a breeding ground for Aliens!  Soon the entire planet will be overrun by creatures with acid blood, armored exoskeleton, double-mouthed, violent and very hungry.  And then there's the alien part, too.  Ha ha, no, I kid, that's just an octopus!  Bet I had you going, didn't I?  No, the dark secret will be revealed in time... but first, it's time for hot springs ping pong!

Yes, that traditional game played at hot springs all over the world... okay, what the hell, Production Staff?  You couldn't come up with something less likely?  Hot springs bowling, perhaps?  Hot springs croquet?  Maybe hot springs jai alai?  Oh, I know, hot springs ice hockey!  Yes, everybody's playing Ice Hockey when they go to the hot springs, it's all the rage these days.

Rio's competitive, I'll give her that.  I suppose it's pointless for me to mention that her form with the paddle is nigh-on perfect, but that the slam she's about to hit has no chance of being as powerful as it is in the episode because of the lightness of the ball?  Physics just doesn't work that way.  Or would you rather I mention that her towel is about to fall off, leading to the "net shot" used in the previews at the end of last episode?  The latter?  *sigh*  Okay, her towel falls off from the force of her swing, but we don't get to see anything... and probably won't, even when the DVDs come out.  It's just not that sort of a show.  See what I mean about the fanservice being tame?  Still, a perverted guy can dream. 

I'm sure Akari, Aika and Alice will appear at any moment... no, wait, that's a good show.
After the games are over, Rio disappears into the depths of the island.  It's a pretty small island as these things go, and nobody's particularly concerned... except for Mint.  She's kinda like a lamprey, needs to be suctioned to the side of her host at all times ere she die of starvation... and there's a mental image for you that won't go away, no matter how hard you try.  Anywho, Mint goes looking for her meal friend, searching the town below.  She discovers that Rio and Rina came here once as children; their family had a summer house here.  She goes off to find this mysterious location... and finds herself lost.

Just how does one find themselves lost?  Doesn't the very definition of "lost" mean that you can't be found?  The English language serves my purposes quite well, but I'll be darned if it doesn't confuse the hell outta me sometimes.  Anyway, Mint is lost in the woods, night is falling, and there's a bear in the forest... and it's hungry.  Of course, it finds Mint... if the bear has found her, does that mean she's not lost anymore?  Hooray!  But she's about to be dinner for a big hungry bear.  Um.  Y'know, I have to admit that I'm pretty much okay with that.  Just as she's about to become a dinner Mint (do you have any idea how long I've been sitting on that joke?), she's rescued by...

...Rina?  Yep.  She came to the island to visit her old summer home, too...in fact, only the missing Mint prevented Rina and Rio from bumping into each other at the house.  Anyway, Rina discovers that her roll ruler works on animals as well as people, and the bear trundles off, probably to terrorize the fishing village nearby.  It'll surely eat a small family, probably savage a few people, drag one or two off into the forest to eat later.  Eventually there'll be no other choice but to send in the military to hunt it down with heavy firepower.  Good job, Rina... by saving Mint, you've doomed many people to a horrible death.  Mint passes out from fear and exhaustion. 

Knowing that she can't leave the kid there because the bear could come back, she picks her up and carries her back to town.  Oddly, when Mint's hand is resting on Rina's chest, the little girl mumbles "Rio...", much to the bi-colored-tressed lovely's exasperation.  Once in town, she leaves Mint on a park bench and calls The Owner.

Once he arrives, he tries to tell Rina that Rio's mother, Risa, didn't run off with her father... that evil Cartia's story is all a pack of lies.  Problem is, Rina already knew that.  She figured it out some time ago, but she held onto it as a way to give her strength... the strength of hatred, so as better to defeat Rio.  She's gone over to the Dark Side, I guess.  I'm okay with that, too... she's a much better character than Rio because of it.  I'd like to point out that The Owner has ridiculously hairy legs.  There's another image you won't be able to get out of your head.  You're welcome.

There's something about this picture, when combined with Mint muttering "Rio..." when fondling Rina's chest, that's just so very, very wrong.  I can only hope that the Production Staff didn't mean to imply anything like what I'm thinking, but you and I both know that they probably did.  That's the way they work... bastards.  Anyway, vacation time is over, and everybody goes back to Casino Island.

The stage is set.  The audience awaits only the players.  History will be made, one way or the other.  Tonight, only the second Most Valuable Card Dealer ever will be crowned.

In a suite somewhere in the Casino hotel, The Owner tells Rio that Rina is "okay," that she's fighting against evil Cartia and her plans, but that Rio must win.  Meanwhile, in evil Cartia's office...

...Rina is confronted by the knowledge that she went to the vacation island.  Rina blows it off, saying that she went there to "build her hate" from the memories there, but it's clear that evil Cartia doesn't much buy it.  She points out that she must have the Gates, and she'll stop at nothing to possess them... any sign of subterfuge on Rina's part, and she'll send out the Goon Squad, consequences be damned.  Rina assures her that won't be needed... she'll defeat Rio because she wants to, on her terms.

Finally, the big moment has arrived.  The Epic Staredown between the two competitors, the two sisters, begins.  All that's missing is the dealer.  The Owner had asked Elvis to preside over the contest, but he's nowhere to be found.  And then...

...the Cheerful Reaper arrives, coming for all who ate the fish Joker appears and volunteers "his" services.  The Owner vouches for "him," and makes it plain that Joker is perfectly acceptable as far as he's concerned.  Rio agrees.  Evil Cartia throws a fit, but is silenced when Rina also says that Joker is fine, adding that "he looks trustworthy."  Yes, that's the first thing I would think when someone shows up wearing a clown mask and a goofy costume while carrying a scythe made out what appears to be killer whale hide: "trustworthy."  IS EVERYBODY IN THIS SHOW CLINICALLY INSANE???  There's many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate, a $100 million dollar prize purse and the title of MVCD riding on this card game, and some yahoo with a sword and harlequin outfit who just appears out of nowhere says "I'll be the dealer", and you accept him sight unseen? 

Apparently the answer to that question is "yes."  The game is poker.  The first to win 15 hands gets the Gates.  What, no water slide filled with holographic sharks in a shooting gallery?  Production Staff, I am disappointed in you.

The cards are dealt.  Immediately, Rina activates her roll ruler and as before, Rio appears to have no answer.

She loses the first hand.  The cards are dealt again, and again, Rio loses.  Two games down, and it's not looking good at all for Our Heroine.

Rina smirks.  It's gonna be a pushover, she'll win the Gates and have her vengeance on Rio and her mother.  The culmination of her life's dream is at hand... even though she knows that it's all been a sham based on a lie told to her by evil Cartia.  It's all over.  And yet...

...Rio smiles.  Fade to black, roll credits.

I need to go bleach my brain now.  I never imagined a filler episode could cause such damage, yet there you are.  Next episode is the last one, and the suffering will finally cease.  Peace, blessed peace, will come over yours truly for the first time in months.  The albatross will be lifted from my neck.  All will be right with the world... until the BDs come out, that is.  I'll have to watch those, to see what they do with the fanservice and the omakes.  Dammit.

Next episode:

Please let them be here to arrest the Production Staff for crimes against humanity, please...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:09 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 2029 words, total size 15 kb.

1 I'm just here to thank you for the MST3K: The Movie shout-out.

Posted by: GreyDuck at March 29, 2011 07:35 AM (7lMXI)

2

I'm sure Akari, Aika and Alice will appear at any moment... no, wait, that's a good show.

Man, I would have paid to see the Aria gang get out of their gondolas and beat the hell out of everybody with their oars, yakuza style.

WDuck, again, thanks for your service.  I too have watched this show religiously- no, make that "stupidly"- and am often shocked at how little real fanservice there is for what should be a fanservice-oriented show.  The little swimsuit (literally) vignette was actually an exception compared to a few of the episodes, most of which were utterly forgettable.  Although I seem to recall the Rio/Rina bathing episode pretty well, for some reason.

It actually angered me that this gate battle didn't involve betting of any sort.  Isn't that like 90% of the game of poker?  Why couldn't they have been given a stack of 15 chips, and bet accordingly?  It would have been much more exciting. 

I'm taking this damn show too seriously again.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at March 29, 2011 10:58 AM (r4uXE)

3 I've been wondering for some time if you'd return to normal after this series ends, but I fear that Rio is just a symptom of a deeper problem.  Looking back, I think you've been showing signs of insanity ever since the Super Bowl...

Posted by: Siergen at March 29, 2011 04:09 PM (t1yG0)

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