The arrival of Rina as a dealer at the resort adds a new kink to the show, especially when it opens on her and Rio in bed together.
What They Say:
Rio's childhood friend Rina arrives at Howard Resort as a new dealer. Delighted by their reunion, Rio shows her around the island. While taking in the various sights together, Rio recalls the time they spent together as children... After spying on the pair get along so well, Howard creates a new event to bring excitement to his resort: a disc shoot out between Rio and Rina!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Howard Resort certainly knows how to hire its dealers as the arrival of Rina brings a bit more of a buxom hourglass beauty to the show. With the show being more aimed at guys, which means we get hardly anything with male dealers, building up the harem-style cast without any actual male lead to focus on is actually a welcome little trick. The focus on Rio and her life as an expert deal with seemingly goddess like abilities, and the proof to back it up with the special cards that she has, allows things to have a very different feeling. The show continues to have a sense of fun about it and the addition of more characters has not harmed it so far.
With Rio and Rina being childhood friends that have been separated for awhile, putting them together as Rina gets acquainted with the place works nicely as we can see there's not exactly tension or jealousy between them, but a little sense of unease from Rio's part because of the way Rina talks and nudges things in certain directions. It's all pleasant and friendly, but it has a little undercurrent of distrust in there as well. The show does play things up a bit as it progresses in the first half with a gambler that tries to challenge Rio, which lets Rina get a look at how Rio operates but also the general nature of the Resort. It's sadly a bit over the top, similar to what we saw previously with the dealer that came to challenge Rio, so it's not all that surprising.
Where the show goes after this isn't a surprise either, but it makes sense considering what we've seen of the resort owner at this point. In an effort to make a really popular attraction, he whisks away both Rio and Rina to a large scale event where the two have to face off against each other in a game of skeet shooting. Where things get really interesting for the audience is that when the shooter misses a target, a piece of their clothing gets loose and falls away. So the one who does the worst will end up naked in front of everyone. Pitting Rina and Rio against each other in cowgirl outfits really sets things just right and with it being a show that deals well with fanservice, you know that they have to rig it a bit with a lot of wind and skimpy outfits. The competition is certainly cute and doesn't diverge much from how the series has handled things from the start.
Rio - Rainbow Gate doesn't challenge itself much here, but that's pretty much to be expected because the show is designed around having fun and keeping things light and simple. This episode brings the focus on the newly arrived Rina and pits the two of them against each other as the owner knows exactly what his audience, and himself, want from these ladies. The episode is exactly what I wanted out of it as it lets the girls shine and throws them into a few different outfits and situations. It's simple and straightforward with a sense of fun that I really find appealing. Combine all of it with some really great character designs and solid production values while largely dealing with a cast that is nowhere near high school age and it's something that I can enjoy.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.