2011 was the year of terribad for me. I made a new years resolution to watch more dreadful anime, and I have stuck to that task quite proficiently if I may say so myself. But my interest in the dreadful may have never flourished if not for two reasons. The first is due to my weekly terribad viewings with a few friends on skype, which I’ll get to in a different post. The other is all down to this utterly brilliant little anime that sparked my interest at the start of the year: Rio ~Rainbow Gate~
Rio was based on a pachinko machine character. The general gist of the story is that Rio is a dealer in a casino and is infused with such good luck that her powers of luck spread to those around her. What this means is that, whenever she steps on the casino floor, everyone on the slots or the roulette tables instantly start winning. In short, having Rio stride across the casino floor once per day would single-handedly put the casino out of business. At yet she’s the casino’s most prized possession. Welcome to the logic of Rio Rainbow Gate.
There are many other pieces of utterly bizarre, often contradictory logic that surrounds this creation. Chicken Wing bats flutter around the so-called Hollywood Actress. Characters play bowling on a giant roulette board the size of a football stadium. Armoured bikinis are worn to protect the characters from mine blasts. Robot girls have swimsuit tan lines. An American character dressed as a cowboy speaks in garbled and heavily accented Japanese despite the fact the show is meant to be set in America. The Queen of Spades is subjected to jiggle physics. But the highlight of the entire series came in episode 6.
Let me set the scene. The casino had just transformed into a vehicle capable of flight and was now soaring high above the ocean, so the characters decided to have a game of holographic pinball. In this, they get into a pod and fly around this holographic space, bouncing off targets that get them more points while avoiding rocks that damage them and slow them down. One of the big showdowns of the series take place in this game. Rio has to face off against a kid with telekinesis. Sorry, actually it’s MIGHTY POWAH that he has, not telekinesis, even though they do basically the same thing.
Anyway, so the two get into these pinballs and start the battle. Unfortunately, the robot controlling the game goes out of control and the battle gets dangerous. A holographic rock hits the observational window and smashes it. Let me just stress that this was a real, physical window being broken by a holographic rock. This causes a little girl to be sucked into the holographic vacuum. So Rio digitises herself (at least, I think that’s what she did) and jumps out of her pinball to save the girl.
By this stage though, things are going crazy. Not only are there holographic flaming meteors flying around, but also holographic space sharks. Rio jumps onto one of these space sharks to save the girl. The boy Rio was facing off against wants to help save the little girl, so he uses his telekinesi-sorry, I mean he uses his MIGHTY POWAH, to fend off the flaming meteors so Rio can fly on her space shark, save the girl, dump her back to safety, and go on flying around on this space shark to win the game.