Rio – Rainbow Gate!
Considering Koutaro’s art of the shapely Rio is quite appealing, decided to check out this series as I was curious how they would build an entire show around her.
While the first episode of “Rio – Rainbow Gate!”was entertaining, don’t think I will keep watching this series as frankly I am unsure of what this series is trying to be, it seems to struggle with its identity.
The many fanservice scenes focusing on Rio’s busty bosom and buxom tush adorned shapely body would indicate it is an ecchi series. Yet, the casino poker or other game show downs, complete with mental imagery scenes and Rio’s tremendous powers, might suggest it is akin to shows like “Saki”.
The friendship between Mint and Rio, with Rio looking after her in a role similar to that of a maid complete with facing off kidnappers reminded me of “Hayate No Gotoku!”.
Seems like this series is either an amalgam of elements from so many genres, it may risk lacking a core identity if Rio’s character alone cannot carry the show.
Wasn’t very impressed by the animation quality delivered by Xebec in this first episode. While the colorful casino and resort island settings may distract the eye and give off an impression of a lavishly, well animated show, the character animation and scene renderings are never really good and sometimes even mediocre.
The few alternatively rendered mental image scenes during Rio and Queen Killer’s poker game were nice but not enough to elevate the rest of the episode. Also do lament how Rio herself is animated, in the transition from illustration to animated character something in her facial features was lost and her smile sometimes comes off as a sneer.
What was most interesting about the series to me was Inoue Marina’s voice work as Rio, you may remember her from roles as Natsuru in “Kämpfer”, Kana in “Minami-ke” or Matsurika in “Maria†Holic” .
Of course Mint being voiced by Taketatsu Ayana who also did Azusa in “K-ON!” is quite appealing, as well as Chihira Minori voicing Dana, whom you of course know as Yuki from “The Melancholy Of Suzumiya Haruhi”.
Whether this will be enough to sway me to keep watching is uncertain though.
Am curious to see what the other new series this season will be like, hopefully they’ll be better!