April 03, 2011

Rio Rainbow Gate! ep13

Captive's Log Day 89:  It's been nearly three months since I was last free.  Nearly three months since the torture began.  Nearly three months since my sanity began to fade.  Nearly three months since I was first subjected to the nightmare that is Rio Rainbow Gate!.  How was I to know what that first viewing would do to me, both short- and long-term?  At first I resisted... I knew what the Production Staff was trying to do, and I refused to let them break me.  Slowly, however, they weaseled their way under my barriers and I began to... care.  Care about the show.  Care about the characters.  Care about the ultimate outcome.  It was Stockholm Syndrome, a classic case if there ever was one.  The bastards nearly had me then.  Somehow, I got through it with some shreds of sanity and human decency left.  Then I began to hate.  I nurtured that hate and rage and anger as a way to get me through whatever they decided to do to me.  It worked.  I've managed to make it to the end.  One last episode to go and then I'm a free man.  There's nothing they can do to me that'll make the pain any worse, for I can see the end.  I've done it.  I'll have survived Rio Rainbow Gate!.  Come, Production Staff, one last dance... for old time's sake.  Then I'll quit you forever.

We pick up mere minutes after the end of Ep12, with the final Gate Battle still in progress.  Our Heroine and her sister are locked in a cutthroat game of poker, the first to win fifteen hands is victorious.  The winner gets all 13 Gates, becomes only the second Most Valuable Card Dealer ever, and will get to "see the rainbow," whatever that means.  The loser?  We'd rather not think about that, but it probably involves holographic flying sharks.  When we last saw the game, Rina was up two games to zero.  The situation has changed somewhat.

The looks on the faces of the Usual Suspects says it all.  Stunned disbelief.  Growing despair.  A sense of loss, a sense of failure.  Depression.  Sadness.  Hopelessness.  In short, the entire Rio Rainbow Gate! experience, all in one screenshot.  Our Heroine has lost thirteen hands in a row, and as we watch, the fourteenth goes to Rina as well.

The amount of raw smug coming off of Rina is amazing as she mocks her sister's performance.  The culmination of her life's ambition is at hand, her vengeance nearly complete.

And yet, for someone about to be completely embarrassed, Rio seems to be remarkably unconcerned... almost like she knows something nobody else does.  In fact, her attitude begins to rankle Rina, who actually gets angry.  The Owner yells from the crowd that Rio doesn't need to throw the game to make up for her past transgressions against her sister, that it's all right to win... and Rina goes full psycho, screaming accusations across the table.  Rio just smiles and says something to the effect of "it's just the way the cards are falling.  Isn't that the way casino games are supposed to work?"  The final hand is dealt.



Infuriated, Rina sends out an immense wave of power, her roll ruler magnified a hundred-fold.  The table seems to warp under the force of the spell, potted plants behind Rio shatter and fall, and even the impassive Joker, dealer for this ultimate game, seems to back off a bit.

Rio discovers the massage feature of her chair.
The wave crashes around Rio, but never makes it to her, stopping short of her cards... which reveal an improbable victory.  She's won her first hand of the game, and we all know what's coming next, don't we? 

...a flying boat?  Erm... no, that's not what I thought was coming next, I have to admit.  I was expecting the inevitable amazing comeback, the sudden reversal of fortune from Rina to Rio.  Nope, we get a flying boat.  Then as suddenly as it appears, it's gone again and we're back in the casino.  Well, thanks for that, RRG!.  Random flying boats... did the Production Staff just go crazy then fall asleep, allowing an animator to slip something in?  Next up, another hand of poker, followed by the Montgolfier brothers wafting by on the breeze.  But no, nothing that interesting... Rio wins again and again, until the two sisters are tied 14-14.  The next hand will decide it all... and Rio's roll ruler bursts free.

Rio can do magic things!  Like make her mother stand on a wall!  No no no, the laws of physics don't apply inside a roll ruler.  A sappy family moment transpires, Rio reunited with her mother, Rina admitting that she loves Rio... and hates her too, for all the times she threw games as a child so Rina could seem to be her equal.  Rina's mother shows up for a brief cameo too, revealing that Rina's father was a high-ranking member of the Casino Guild's moderate wing, and was simply protecting the two kids from the more intemperate members when he and Risa went into hiding.  Ah, is that what they call it these days?  Back in my time, it was called "cheating on your spouse."  Kids these days, with their loose morals and short skirts and earrings and shrimp costumes and all....  The sisters reconcile, all is sweetness and light and unicorns farting Skittles ("Skittles, the official candy of Rio Rainbow Gate!.  Taste the Rainbow, then see it!"), then the final hand is dealt.

If you thought that Rina had any chance at all at winning, I'd much rather be watching your version of RRG!... it'd probably be a lot more interesting, and there's no way in hell that it could suck as much as the official version.  Unfortunately, you aren't on the Production Staff and the whole show is based on a character from a series of pachinko machines, the maker of which put money into RRG!'s production.  In other words, of course Rio wins. The crowd goes wild, except for evil Cartia and her henchmen, and even Rina is happy in defeat. 

Joker gets the pleasant duty of sticking the badge of Most Valuable Card Dealer on Rio's uniform ("No, it's not quite straight, let me try that again... hmm, this time it's not high enough, one more time...").  But just then, from out of nowhere, a flying boat crashes into the Casino, showering the assembled crowd with flaming debris. 

Wait, no, that's not what happens... unfortunately.  No, instead, the Gates begin to glow.  They're reacting to the newly-crowned MVCD, to give her her reward.  You see, the Gates are actually OOPARTS (wha?  dammit, where's wikipedia... oh.  "Out Of Place ARTifactS"), powerful technology of an ancient civilization, and the forerunner of all playing cards.  Uh-huh.  Oookay, Production Staff, what the heck are you guys smoking?  Maybe that's the secret to understanding RRG!, maybe you have to be ingesting the same hallucinogenics the Production Staff did.  It'd explain a lot, to be honest.  Urged on by Joker, Rio steps forth and places her hand on the Gates.

Is it too early for a Fukushima reference?  Yes?  Okay then.
The combination of Gates and MVCD fills the casino with a blinding light that shoots into the sky.  Rio disappears into the "rainbow" while everybody stares... and the truth is finally revealed.  The Gates allow the MVCD to be granted one wish.  Oh no... no, no, nonononononononononono...

Hai guize, whatz goin' on in diz show?
We're doomed.  Rio is going to become a magical girl, defeat the coming of Walspurgisnacht, then become even more powerful... and destroy the earth when she is corrupted by her power. 

Oh thank heavens!  Homura-chan has arrived.  She shoots Rio, putting an end to all the grief before it can even begin.  We're saved... wait.  That's a different show.  Dammit!!!

The gunshots herald the arrival of the militant wing of the Casino Guild, here to kidnap the MVCD with the aid of the evil Cartia.  My immediate reaction was open laughter and derision... how in the world do they see through those helmets?  Unless they've got eyes in their nose, they can't even see!  Yet everybody in the room reacts as if they're a serious threat.  Evil Cartia explains their plans: use the power of the MVCD to take over the gambling community... nay, the world itself!  So that's what the flying boat was for...

The blind soldiers of the Casino Guild move in, automatic weapons at the ready.  Probably set to spray-and-pray, which is practically the only way a man with his eyes covered with a faceplate would be able to hit anything.

Inside the Rainbow, Rio's gone full buy the BDs! fanservice buy the BDs! on us, experiencing powers beyond those understandable by mere mortal casino dealers.  She seems quite unconcerned about the arrival of the armed blind men threatening The Usual Suspects.

With a flash of light, Rio's roll ruler bursts forth, amplified by the power of the Gates.  The soldiers react, throwing their arms over their faces, which makes a grand total amount of zero sense, since there's no way they can actually see anything through those stupid faceplates.  Swear to god, am I the only person who has any involvement with this show, however tenuous it may be (and blogging about it is about as tenuous a connection that one can have, even if you're the only person blogging the show), who has more than two neurons to rub together?  Okay, maybe the soldiers have just had their noses blinded, and that's a shame, but otherwise?  While the bad guys are distracted by having to rapidly blink their noses (which is not a sentence I ever would have thought I'd have to type), something truly remarkable occurs.

Afro Samurai, long the butt of gags highlighting his hopelessness at casino games, springs to action, splitting all the blind Casino Guild soldiers' weapons in twain with a single swing of his katana.  It turns out that he's actually a very high ranking individual in the moderate wing of the Casino Guild, operating undercover in the eventuality of just this very event.  No, I'm not making this up, there aren't enough drugs in the world to alter my brain enough to come up with something like that.  He orders them to stand down, just as Rio's powers reach their maximum potential.

Are you sure I can't make a Fukushima reference yet?  Still too early?
The Lens Flares of Power spread throughout the sky, propelled by the Gates/MVCD fusion, awaiting only the desire of Our Heroine to spread death and destruction upon the helpless world below and then to fulfill her wish.

The wish is made and the incredible power of the Gates is released... and all over the world, happiness spreads.  Gamblers suddenly hit the jackpot!  A forest fire is extinguished by a sudden rainstorm, much to the delight of the smoke-eaters fighting the blaze.  A delivery truck turns over in downtown Unnamed City, spilling its contents of fresh fish into the street where missing cats start feasting, until their owners run forward, crying at finding their missing kitties.  The truckdriver is unharmed and is approached by an angry young woman, intent on berating him for scratching the paint on her car... until both realize that the other is their long-lost love!  He asks her to marry him, she agrees.  The stock markets go through the roof!  Peace breaks out in the Middle East!  A housewife finds two yolks in a single egg!

Everybody is happy!  The world is suddenly a better place, and nobody really knows why, though that doesn't stop the news pundits from taking wild guesses about the reasons.  Heck, one of them discovers that his thinning hair has suddenly filled in, live on camera!  I swear, I couldn't make this up... and indeed, I wouldn't want to.

Afro Samurai, now supported by his own facemask-wearing goons (though these have a horizontal slit at eye level, so at least they can actually see) tells the other faction to vamoose... and they do.  As they leave, evil Cartia tells their leader to follow through on their agreement.  He tells her to get out of his way, it's no business of his anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, the only unhappy person in the world: evil Cartia.  The Owner, ever sympathetic to others, gloats and rubs in his victory over her.  Casino Island with all its attendant properties and places are his again, leaving evil Cartia as nothing more than an empty shell, her plans crushed.  We never see her leave, but it's hard to imagine anything good occurring.  She probably returns to her suite and jumps off the balcony into the ocean, never to be seen again.  I know the feeling, I've felt it many times while watching RRG!, I can only imagine the temptation for someone actually IN the show must be off the charts.  The Production Staff is simply too cruel.

Rio powers down and steps out of the light, greeted there by her sister.  No longer is there any animosity between them, once again they are family.  Suddenly, Rio looks around, sees the departing soldiers and asks, quite reasonably, "what happened?"  Pretty much the same question I had, actually.

The party is just beginning! 

...but unnoticed by anybody but the director, Risa Rollins leaves quietly, once again abandoning her family.  One wonders what's going through her head; her daughter has just joined her in the heights of their shared profession, the bad guys are defeated, and she should be enjoying the moment, yet she walks away. 

Everybody loves them some Rio!  To be honest, I'd probably have an expression like Mint's on my face if I dove headlong into Rio's chest, too.

Fade to black, roll credits over a montage of what occurs to the Usual Suspects, Our Heroine and Her Sister immediately in the wake of Rio's victory.

Captive's Log Supplemental: I've made it.  I've come through Rio Rainbow Gate! bloodied but unbroken, despite the best efforts of the Production Staff.  Even though this, the last episode, tried me to my limits, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to beat me down.  No more will I have to suffer at the hands of this show, I'm FREE!  I'm free, and there's not a damn thing they can do to change that anymore.  I won!

Er?

No.  Please, no.

GYAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  DAMN YOU, RRG!, DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL!  How dare you leave a hook open for a second season!  Do you know what this means?  Now I'll have to live in fear, sweating blood until the inevitable announcement.  For a few seconds there, I was at peace with the world, content in the future, knowing that RRG! was over and I could put the past three months behind me, but no.  No, you couldn't be satisfied with that, could you?  You had to leave a virtual Sword of Damocles hanging over my head.  I won't have it, do you understand?  Bring it on, Production Staff.  I'll take on your second season and defeat that, too, or die trying!  I'm not afraid of you, you bastards!

Help me... help me... make them stop... please, make the bad anime go away... *sob*

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:40 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 2553 words, total size 20 kb.

1 At was Post twice looked.
I fear you not are going want to them like brain dangerous is stress.

Posted by: Brickmuppet at April 03, 2011 04:28 AM (EJaOX)

2

Point of contention:

Evil Cartia can't drown, because her uni-boob clearly would function as a floatation device.

And a question:

Was Risa's mother all better in the end?  I saw that scene where she's still in bed hugging Risa, but the fact is she's still in bed.  That means either she only wished to see her daughter happy before she kicked the bucket, or that Rio simply half-assed the wish fulfillment.

I'm going with the half-assed theory, since everything else about this show is half-assed.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at April 03, 2011 12:57 PM (r4uXE)

3 Crap, I meant "Rina", not "Risa".  Like it matters.

Posted by: wahsatchmo at April 03, 2011 12:59 PM (r4uXE)

4 Apparently the new girl, Nina, has her own line of Pachinko machines, so it's a battle of the all-stars!

On a related note, as the world's most devoted fan of Rio, it's clear that you need to own the art book. Or maybe a 3D mousepad (I would not suggest the Mint hug pillow).

Some tangible reminder of the anime which has so enriched your life...

-j

Posted by: J Greely at April 03, 2011 01:25 PM (2XtN5)

5 Apparently the new girl, Nina, has her own line of Pachinko machines...

No, no, no, I didn't need to hear that... that just makes it more likely that there'll be a S2.

As far as the merchandise goes, I don't think I'd complain about owning this... or this, though the hair is the wrong color.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 03, 2011 04:22 PM (W8Men)

6 Your reaction at the hook for a second season was almost as enjoyable for me to read as when I was watching Mike Roe vs. Lake Erie Water Snakes on Dirty Jobs.  Now I'm actually looking forward to the 2nd season....  

Posted by: Siergen at April 03, 2011 04:44 PM (K28tn)

7 Nnnnnnnrrrrrrrrrruuuugggghhhhhhhh...

THUD

droooooooooooooooooool...........................

Posted by: Ben at April 03, 2011 10:37 PM (gze3w)

8 Yeah, how do you think I feel, Ben?

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 03, 2011 11:02 PM (W8Men)

9 You are a better duck than I; I couldn't finish the series.  I'm not sure I finished the third episode.  I spent a week watching it in two-minute bursts.

And I really liked the first episode.

Mostly.

Posted by: Ben at April 04, 2011 01:11 PM (gze3w)

10 Thanks for viewing and reviewing what the rest of would rather not....

Posted by: The Old Man at April 05, 2011 09:53 AM (TcNy+)

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