May 06, 2011

Let’s Duel!! I mean Gamble!!

Rio: Rainbow Gate is about Rio Rollins Tachibana, aka “The Goddess of Luck”, a female dealer who aims to be the best dealer of the world while she brings luck to the casino resort, Howard Resort she works for. However, it doesn’t end there. In addition, she specializes in every game there is to offer at a casino and even once she doesn’t know that exist. This is not the point because she has special power “Roll Ruler” to bring luck to others and control things... (kind of like Yugi and his dueling thing) which I’m sure would be considered cheating at by any gambling facilities. Anyway, it’s about how she battles others to collect these “Gates" cards to become the World Top Dealer or MVD (Most Valuable Dealer) or something like that.

What actually caught my attention is the basic idea of how they bring gambling into an anime, similar to an older series I watched a number of years back – Hikaru No Go, which was about an ancient Chinese game – Go. I loved Hikaru No Go. It’s something relatively simple yet it is quite complex to execute it well. In the case of Rio Rainbow Gate, it didn’t really. I did a bit of research so Rio is based on a gambling game – pachinko that Tecmo made. This is the same developer that brings us Dead or Alive and its other stuff like volleyball and what not. As illustrated above this is one attractive female character, which is fine as there are many series out there based on characters as such. So naturally they included lots of fan service as well which makes sense. However! There is actually a plot to it too. What I’m trying to say is that this series doesn’t have a clear direction with a lot of elements that are necessary. Examples: the extra number of side characters like Jack, or the Cowboy side character who don’t really serve much of a purpose in terms of the plot. This brings me to my next point. There is an overload of characters in this series, which is not bad to look at but there aren’t any character development for them so as far as the plot goes, they can be ignored.

If you were looking for fan service, I actually wouldn’t bother either because I’m sure you can find better stuff. So who are its target audience, which is something I have not really figured out. Again, I like how the series brings in the different gambling games for those who don't gamble and are interested the basic concept of games such as Black Jack, Poker, etc. Unfortunately, about half of Rio Rainbow Gate features actual gambling games while others are random stuff, so it’s not for everyone. In terms of the music, the opening and ending are pretty catchy. I haven’t seen any clips of the series for awhile and I still remember how it goes.

This sounds like a bad show. It sort of is and there is a second season. I am not certain why, unless the first season received a huge positive response, which don’t seem to be. I wouldn't say I wouldn't recommend to people but for anyone who is reading, this may not be your cup of tea. But, you might just be looking for something else. Hopefully, Rio can use some of her luck and make the second season better.

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