Hello and welcome to the G-Views, where creativity is respected and Dokuro-chan is rejected. My father is a professional casino dealer. So I know a thing or two about how casinos work. That was the main reason why this show intrigued me at first. What I saw was something that had little relation to being a dealer and more of a fanservice fest with an interesting plot weaved within. This is Rio-Rainbow Gate.
Theme: Ecchi, gambling.
Number of episodes: 12
To sum this show up in one sentence: Wacky duels with fanservice to determine the world’s greatest dealer, with a pinch of relationship issues between two women to spice things up.
Rio is a cool adult woman who’s good at her job, her female coworkers look up to her, her sidekick loli idolizes her, she has flashily animated gambling battles with her opponents, and she beats up thugs with her kung fu. That’s enough of a reason to have started it, and somehow it’s kept me watching even despite the service, which ranges from harmless to horrendous (the latter especially when the atrocious casino owner, Howard, is involved). Still, it’s not that bad for someone who’s used to watching this stuff. PG-13 level at best.
If you can stomach those elements (keeping in mind I’ve had long years of practice in stomaching the bad parts of anime) it’s actually a pretty entertaining show. Not to be taken seriously AT ALL, but amusing in its sheer ridiculousness.
Now here’s the thing about its ridiculousness. A majority of the Gate Battles have nothing to do with casino work or becoming a professional dealer. Tell me, what do for example, a water slide race or a virtual space shooter simulator contest have to do with becoming a dealer? These are only two of the strange battles Rio must participate in to obtain Gate Cards. The worst part is that she can’t refuse these battles according to Gate Battle rules.
To help understand things, here are some Wiki described terminologies:
One of the thirteen cards issued by the International Casino Dealers Guild (ICDG) to determine the strongest dealer in the world. The cards are arranged after a suit of cards (from ace to king), and people who own these cards are called Gate Holders.
A duel in which two Gate Holders wager their Gates. Gate Battles can be any game the dealer chooses, and the Gate Holder can add any rule or condition as he/she pleases. According to Tom Howard, Gate Holders cannot refuse a Gate Battle once it has been announced. He has also stated that continuous Gate Battles can easily wear out an individual.
A Gate Holder who can change the battlefield of a Gate Battle to his or her liking, the power depending on how many Gates a Gate Holder wields. There are three Roll Rulers in the series.
Now to the serious part. The relationship between Rio and Rina. It’s not complicated per se, but quite interesting because of how close they are to each other and how their closeness is affected as events unfold throughout the show after Rina’s introduction. It’s another factor that will keep anyone who can handle the fanservice somewhat interested.
The animation has some CGI elements added to it. It doesn’t falter the experience and actually makes it more pleasant to the eyes.
The music however, isn’t something to write home about. It does have an enjoyable jazz like feel to it sometimes but it won’t exactly stick to your head. They get the job done at least. The OP’s nice though.
The characters: a short sum up for each. Rio’s my 2nd fav character on the show.
Mint Clark: Token loli with an attitude whose main accomplishment is bossing around her future boyfriend, though she does get to show her skills near the end of the show. Bonus points for having a teddy bear.
Rina: Can’t say much about her other than being Rio’s childhood friend and more. You’ll have to watch to find out more about her.
Linda: Tanned robot babe whose running gag is her head falling off. Not much else to say other than she’s cheerful and one of Rio’s challengers later on.
Tom Howard: Pervy owner who often gets Rio to waer revealing outfits during both promotions and Gate Battles.
Rosa Canyon: Token Milf #1. A Hollywood movie actress.
Elle and Ille Adams: Elle speaks and Ille repeats the last words of Elle’s sentence in a monotonous manner, more robotic than Linda. I think Ille’s a robot as well…joking.
Tiffany Abbot: milf #2: woman in a revealing bunny girl outfit. That’s it. Compared to Rosa, Tiffany is the most pointless character on the show. She literally has no purpose other than fanservice. Oh well, at least she’s not annoying.
Anya Helsing: Adorable klutz. 3rd fav character.
Dana: #1 fav character. The magician of the Howard Resort and a fortune teller, using tarot cards to predict her customers’ futures. It takes a long time for her to do something other than the foreshadowing of events, but I love this woman nevertheless.
Clark: Mint’s grandpa. the 2nd most useless character on the show.
Other than these characters, there are Rio’s opponents. You can judge them for yourselves when you see them.
In conclusion: Provided that you can handle the fanservice and its randomness, it’s not half bad. It certainly satisfied my thirst for good fanservice anime this season. Not for everyone but not a bad show either.