Rio: Rainbow Gate is an anime that was originally aired in the early months of 2011. One of the shorter series, airing a total of 14 episodes (13+1 bonus episode), the anime had a unique concept, combining the trope of Powers in the New Episode with a new theme: casinos.
The series tells the story of Rio Rollins, a casino dealer who brings good luck to customers she interacts with or even just walks past, earning her the nickname, “Goddess of Victory”. Surprisingly, it turns out that her effect on players comes from a card in her possession. Apparently, she possesses a “Gate” — one of thirteen rare cards that are wagered in battles with other “Gate Holders”. Collecting all thirteen Gates grants the dealer the type of Most Valued Casino Dealer (MVCD), and unlocks a Rainbow Gate that grants the MVCD one wish.
Gate Holders face each other in Gate Battles for Gates (what a mouthful), but not all Gate Holders are equal. There are also characters called “Roll Rulers”, who have the ability to change the battlefield of a Gate Battle to their liking. In the series, there are three Roll Rulers: Rio, her mother Risa, and her childhood friend Rina.
Throughout the series, Rio discovers more about her powers as a Gate Holder, eventually collecting all thirteen Gates. She enters the Rainbow Gate and spreads good fortune throughout the world.
The innovative use of different casino games as venues for Gate Battles is entertaining enough to watch. The series has Gate Battles in the form of poker, pinball, and even blackjack. For all the popularity casinos experienced in the last few years, more players have started flocking towards online casino games. Bwin.party claims that their acquisition of online gambling site www.gdcasino.it was the reason for a 43.5% increase in revenue the following year. More people have begun playing casino games online, and the brick-and-mortar casinos may soon fade out of existence. Seeing such an innovative use of the casino environment is refreshing and entertaining, and it may be the last anime we see featuring a live casino instead of an online one.
But the anime is chock-full of clichés, starting with how the main character mysteriously has a power she has never heard of — and as though this wasn’t enough, she also happens to be incredibly talented at this new power — more than other, more experienced individuals are with theirs. Rio becomes something of a Mary Sue, and in the few episodes of the series, she doesn’t encounter any real problems.
The art also doesn’t stand out, and it’s quite generic. Characterization was lacking in the series, as none of the characters undergo any changes throughout the series, even in the bonus episode.
Please note this was a Sponsored Ad to help fund and Support the Site