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Anime / Rio -Rainbow Gate!-

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The Howard Resort and Casino is a lavish entertainment venue, where Hollywood stars and people from the upper class gather to place their bets. The motto is "It's all for the customer." One of the celebrities of this casino is Rio Rollins, a female dealer known as the Goddess of Victory for her superhuman luck. Rio's congenial nature makes her a target for manager Tom Howard's titillating ways of promoting the casino, and drawing new friends to her side, including a new trainee from Russia, the granddaughter of a wealthy businessman staying at the casino, and her childhood friend. There are 13 Gate Cards, and one who has them all will hold the title of Most Valuable Casino Dealer. Rio and her friends engage in elaborate casino games to win the cards so Rio can find her mother, with hijinks ensuing, of course.

A series of pachinko games, Rio was adapted into an anime by Xebec titled Rio -Rainbow Gate!-, which aired in the winter 2011 season.

Not to be confused with Blue Sky Studios' Rio.

Tropes in Rio -Rainbow Gate!- include:

  • Action Girl: Rio who can hold off five men without breaking her smile in a Meido outfit pretty much qualifies.
  • Alliterative Name: Rio Rollins. Her mother Risa counts too, and is even known to have gone by the nickname "Double R" for this bit of alliteration.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: Yang-Yang & An-An. Both are dresed as a pair of Chinese Vampires. Although An-An is really Choco, disguised as a girl by Yang-Yang.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Elvis, though if he gets one little thing wrong, he falls to Rio as easily as the rest.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Special mention goes to the Sky Resort, a building that flies without any visible propulsion, defying all kinds of physics and gravity laws.
  • Big Bad: Cartia.
  • Big Eater: The ghost of Misery loved to eat lots of chicken wings when she was alive, and still does so as a ghost, making Rosa do so while possessing her. Rosa ended up wondering why she didn't lose weight while trying to go on a diet.
  • The Brute: King. Couples with Book Dumb as he only knows the alphabet up to Q and can count to 28.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Rina's father is apparently Japanese. He's also Rio's father, acknowledged in the last episode where she's called "Rio Rollins-Tachibana".
  • Carrying a Cake: Episode two ends with Ania bringing in a victory cake for Rio. Given Ania's nature, it was only a matter of time.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Worn by most of the female main cast during the game of "Concentration Bomber".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The fact that Choco is made in China becomes important later in the series.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Also overlaps with What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?. Yang-Yang's magic can only be used on things made in China. This gives her a wide range of objects, but an obvious weakness.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Played with. Elvis and Orlin both end up helping Rio to regain her confidence. And Misery doesn't exactly hang out with or help Rio and her friends, but she does warn Rio about part of Cartia's plans. Played more or less straight with Jack and, in the end, with Rina.
  • Demonic Possession: Rosa gets possessed at a couple points by Misery.
  • High-Class Glass: Mint's grandfather goes all out on the rich guy look, having a top hat, monocle, cane, three piece suit, the works.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Ille and Elle remark on the oddity of the hacked Linda repeating everything she says twice, while half of Ille's dialogue is just her repeating whatever her sister says.
  • I'm Thinking It Over!: In an early episode, Howard is threatened with death if he does not allow Rio to wager ownership of his casino resort. He gives Rio several conflicting answers as the Death Trap gets closer and closer to killing before Rio decides to go through with the wager.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: When Howard changes Rio into her Barely-There Swimwear, she only realizes this after she's magically changed into it.
  • The Klutz: Ania Helsing, whose hobbies include falling down a lot and playing dominoes with slot machines.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Two mysterious figures are standing on the top of Howard's Resort at the last few minutes of the final episode: a caped man and a young blonde girl, both with sinister smiles, possibly suggesting a second season to come.
  • Losing Your Head: Linda the Robot Girl is prone to this due a loose locking device after impact damage to her back. This contributes to her loss when she challenged Rio.
  • Lost Technology: The Gates are magitek artifacts from a precursor civilization, tarot and playing cards are based on the 13 Gates.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Rio's abilities cause extreme luck. Subverted differently: the first episode has her winning the big hand with a pair of twos over queen-high.
  • Male Gaze: Tom Howard tries promoting the resort using as much Rio-centered eye-candy as possible.
  • Mind Control: What the roll ruler power is about, the probability manipulation/luck power is just a subset of this ability. Roll ruler can also be used to create illusions and influence living things (Rina used it to make a hungry bear leave her and Mint alone).
  • Monster of the Week: Really, take away any adult content and this show would be a straight Saturday morning cartoon.
  • Mascot: Rio herself, having started out as a mascot for a series of pachinko machines in Japan.
  • Missing Mom: Rio was abandoned by her mother, Risa Rollins, who had to disappear to protect Rio from the Casino Guild (which plotted to kidnap Risa after she won all the gate cards). And she also happens to be good friends with Tom Howard.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Happens twice. The Howard team wins back 15% of the money of their ex-casino, that's enough to fill their bathtub in large bills. And they lose it seconds later to the wizard Yan Yan. Rio beats Yan Yan, but all she bet was for help in getting Mint's teddy bear back. The second time is when Rio wins all 13 Gates, the prize money for becoming the new MVCD is $100 million. All that money got sent to Tom Howard instead and he pockets every penny of it. The lost riches doesn't bother the characters at all as they love their jobs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In episode 5, Howard tries to come up with some fancy name for some (no doubt lewd) event to commemorate the opening of the Sky Resort. One of these names is Dead or Alive Paradise, which may also double as a Mythology Gag, given that Rio ran the casino and was an unlockable character in the PSP game of the same name.
    • Jack Mighty, a kid whose family specializes in disarming bombs, is a reference to Mighty Bomb Jack. Jack's medallion even has a design on its face that resembles Bomb Jack's helmet. Jack later wears the complete outfit when getting Mint to the resort.
    • Perhaps the least subtle is where the program controlling the barriers around Linda is represented by a game of Star Force.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Misery did not plan for Ania's clumsiness when she tried to take over the Howard Casino.
    • Nor did she plan for Rina spiking her favorite Chicken Wings with super hot chili peppers when she challenged Rio.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Tiffany is easily the tallest woman in the crowd and she's a blonde beauty in the skimpiest uniform.
  • Stripperiffic:
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Concentration Bomber punishes the players with an explosion if they don't find matching cards, but due to a programming error, if played, the entire complex the game is located in also explodes.
  • Tarot Troubles:
    • The show pulls the typical "the Death card was drawn" played-for-drama bit during a reading for Rio and Rina. Whether or not the Lovers card drawn at the end will be relevant in the next episode or not...
    • And later comes to fruition when Risa reveals her true plan.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Carlos Tanaka, who does so rather dramatically by swiping at the antagonists with a katana, and destroying their weapons in the process, before showing his badge.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction:
    • Rio's wedding dress gets ripped at the skirt by Mint after the latter trips and grabs it at the end of episode 1, much to the delight of Tom Howard. Gets followed by a Scream Discretion Shot by Rio.
    • Teased with Rio during the virtual beach volleyball game in the giant roulette challenge in episode 2, when the top of her bikini gets undone, but somehow it gets fixed shortly after.
    • One instance borders on Clothing Damage, where Rio and her childhood friend Rina are pitted battle of skeet shoot where they shoot coins. A miss by the shooter (when it's her turn) results in her (already skimpy clothing) getting undone piece by piece (in fact the first one results in a Navel-Deep Neckline). And at the end of that challenge which resulted in a draw, Rio, whose hotpants were undone in the match, ends up absentmindedly dropping them in full view of the spectators, much to her horror.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Not only does Rio have extraordinarily good luck for herself, she changes the environment so everyone gets some of that luck when she's in their presence. Apparently, they call it roll ruler.
  • World-Healing Wave: Once Rio becomes the MVCD, her roll ruler power is augmented by the 13 Gates and she creates a global wave of good fortune to the point of granting some peoples wishes (one man's thinning hair becomes a massive shock of hair that headbangers would envy and a 30 year civil war ends peacefully).