These next two episodes of GATE give us a pretty good impression of exactly how this series is going to pan out. Since the rest of the world seems content in leaving Japan to deal with the GATE and what might potentially lie on the other side.
Things heat up as the Allied Kingdoms declare war on the present day army that transverse past the Gate. Naturally, traditional methods of warfare are no match for the advanced technological developments in military weaponry since the 1900s. As a result, the main kingdoms are doing everything they can to swarm the modern army in numbers. However, the difference in firepower is too great. Arnus Hill is thus taken by the modern army.
To be honest all the military talk isn’t quite as engaging in the second episode but the story seems to be aiming for a heavy political focus and requires a lot of plot-point setting to establish the tensions of the world beyond the Gate before we narrow in on the main characters. The King ends up deciding to burn and poison every village and town from Arnus to the Imperial City so that the enemy forces will have no resources to scour. At the same time, the Senate is quite uncomfortable over the King’s dispositions.
Itami himself is tasked to lead his own team and they travel farther into the world to meet with native villagers and gather data on the area. They stumble upon a village that has been ravaged by a fire dragon and save an elf girl from a well.
I’m surprised the Japanese defense forces are so friendly and peaceful with the natives. I initially thought they would be met with a lot of resistance because they were outsiders that barely spoke the language. The villagers decide to abandon their town after hearing about the fire dragon rampage. In this little town we’re introduced to Leilei, an apprentice mage. She herself seems quite intrigued with the modern technology and language of the newcomers.
Meanwhile, an oracle named Rory Mercury stumbles into the refugee migration. Intrigued and amused, she seems inclined to help and later plays a vital part in pushing back the fire dragon. However, crows trail over her when she travels. Despite her friendly nature, death clearly follows her. She herself must be a powerful individual in this world.
As the day comes to a close, the survivors of the attack and the rest of Itami’s men gather to mourn the dead in a peaceful but quiet reprieve.
Overall I thought the first three weeks of Gate started strong. I’m curious as to how much conflict they’ll run into. As of right now there is a lot the Japanese army does not know about the world beyond the Gate. There also happens to be a pretty big language barrier and some technology versus magic semantics to work out. How can a world beyond the Gate even exist? It literally feels like the modern army has stepped into an RPG fantasy game. Itami himself seems quite flexible, taking each situation as it comes and processing it with a cheery manner. He surely isn’t as concerned over his otaku activities in the midst of this adventure which leads me to wonder how serious of an otaku he was in the beginning.
Gate isn’t really my taste, it’s a bit too military and patient in that respect. I prefer more action and fantasy, less practical elements The series seems quite adamant in grounding the storytelling in realistic details. For example, we even see the man fire the bazooka, conduct a shoulder spot check before firing. Also, much of the immediately addressable political perspectives are provided such as that of the United States of America as well as the main kingdom leaving the audience with quite a large number of supporting character faces to process. Gate doesn’t seem so focused on actual character development. Rather it will probably tease out the main conflict between the two nations of people and their two worlds, perhaps showcasing how different races of people and creatures can still learn to co-exist.
I’d recommend the series for any military anime or shonen fans. If you’re into fantasy and looking for something totally unconventional in the fantasy genre, you might also give this a try. However if you’re into sparkles and beautiful scenes with dramatic dialogue and a heavy magic-reliant world system, you might want to skip this series.
What are you pondering today?