Rio Rollins Tachibana Is My Goddess
You are missing out if you did not watch Rio: Rainbow Gate!
I know what you are thinking: “That anime is the dumbest thing in history. It’s based off a pachinko game, is stuffed full with sleazy fanservice and all the characters are stupid, lazy moeshit.” All valid points. But those obscure the true brilliance of Rio.
A lot of shitty anime exists, but I don’t believe creators are stupid. They know a bad show — a bad idea — when they see one (doesn’t mean they aren’t cynical, though, but that’s a post for another time). Nobody in his or her right mind could look at the genesis of Rio and think that this series could even be average, much less good. And that’s where the genius of Rio comes into play: The creators don’t try to make something good; rather, they go the opposite direction. They make Rio into the goofiest, most god damn absurd show I’ve watched in quite a while . . . and some way, somehow, Rio is endearing in its utter awfulness.
Rio: Rainbow Gate! is not just bad — it is memorably terrible, the kind of show that Ed Wood might have created were he into moe anime rather than horror. Its logic is along the same lines as the recent Cobra TV anime, where it will toss whatever the hell comes to mind into the story no matter how ridiculous it is, but where Cobra‘s world seems specifically constructed for the oddities that inhabit it (jet piranhas!), the world of Rio comes off more like it was constructed from some bizarre moe nightmare.
Everything in Rio is just . . . off, somehow. There are ghosts with an insatiable desire for chicken wings. Flying space sharks who shoot lasers in games of space pinball. Magical twins whose magic works only on things crafted in China. Foreigners who speak heavily accented Japanese despite the fact that the series ostensibly takes place in America. A dealer who somehow has a job even though her claim to fame is that she gives luck to casino goers, so she actually loses the casino money. Red dots on everyone boobs that look like pulsating zits. Every possible situation where fanservice can be unleashed is capitalized upon with glee.
And on and on. What is this show? What could possibly have gone through the minds of the creators as they penned these absurd scenarios? I have to think this was cathartic for the creators. Anime folks have to work on a lot of crap. And Rio: Rainbow Gate! was just going to be next in line. It’s a character from a pachinko game, for fuck’s sake. There’s nothing to work with there. But that gave the creators ultimate freedom. They could do whatever they wanted, and who would give a shit as long as the audience got plenty of tits and ass?
If you think about it . . . is Rio really any less absurd than anything we watched as kids? Yeah, Rio isn’t anywhere near as smart as a lot of the great shows like Rocko’s Modern Life or Angry Beavers or whatever, but it has that insane spirit in the body of moe nonsense. Rio might be total shit, but when you watch it, you can kind of feel that the people behind it at least had some fun with it. I mean, how couldn’t they? Could you imagine being paid to put this insane shit on TV? I am legitimately jealous of the writers who penned this stuff each week. I’d be proud to have Rio: Rainbow Gate! on my resume, if only for the stories I could tell. “Yeah, I’m the one who wrote that episode where they went to the beach, met a bear on drugs and played ping-pong even though we were in the middle of a big storyline, and it was the second-to-last episode of the season! Also, I designed Rio’s heart ass bikini. Ah yeah.”
Rio: Rainbow Gate! exists in a bizarre universe all its own. It’s a special show. I’ve watched some bad anime weekly, but none was so memorably bad as this. I legitimately looked forward to each new episode of Rio, just to see what in the holy fuck the writers would pull out of their asses in the next episode. And the show never disappointed. There was always something crazy, something beyond the realm of logical thought, just around the corner. It’s a total piece of shit, but it’s crafted with such love and care that I could not help but love it.
And you all should love it, too.