Rio: Rainbow Gate! (リオ レインボーゲート) is an anime series produced by Xebec, based on Tecmo’s Rio Series of pachinko games (from Rakushou! Pachi-Slot Sengen), the series revolves around titular character Rio Rollins, a popular casino dealer working at the Howard Resort, and the thirteen cards called Gates which are used to determine the world’s most skilled dealer. The anime aired on Tokyo MX and related channels between January 4, 2011 and March 29, 2011.
In an island casino called the Howard Resort (ハワードリゾート), Rio Rollins is a popular casino dealer with the ability to bring good luck to gamblers just by walking past them, earning her the nickname “The Goddess of Victory”. Mint Clark, a young child, comes to the Howard Resort with her grandfather and encounters Rio, and the two become the best of friends. Rio’s life soon changes when it is revealed that she is a “Gate Holder”, a dealer who holds one of the 13 legendary cards called “Gates”, and whoever collects them all will be named “Most Valuable Casino Dealer” (MVCD). To collect all 13 Gates, Rio must take part in special matches called “Gate Battles” with other Gate Holders and gain their Gates to become the most valuable casino dealer in the world.
Rio’s story is, as expected, dreadfully terrible. Our leading character is Rio, a popular dealer and kind of the mascot of the casino she works in, Howard Resort. Apparently she has some kind of power that gives people luck and causes them to win when she’s around. You can understand why the casino patrons would enjoy having her around but I never could for the life of my figure out why the casino owner himself would. The setting in Rainbow Gate is a whimsical and over the top look into the casino world. Nothing in this anime is really meant to be taken seriously and everything, at least early on, revolves around putting Rio into embarrassing outfits and playing ridiculous games. Honestly, if the series had just stuck with this slice of life type formula it might have been tolerable to watch.
Opening Theme: “Sekai to Issho ni Mawarou yo! (世界と一緒にまわろうよ！)” by Love Roulettes
Ending Theme: Miracle☆Chance – ULTRA-PRISM
Rio – Rainbow Gate! Original Soundtrack: OST 1 / OST 2