Off-duty Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) officer and otaku, Youji Itami, is on his way to attend a doujin convention in Ginza, Tokyo when a mysterious portal in the shape of a large gate suddenly appears. From this gate, supernatural creatures and warriors clad in medieval armor emerge, charging through the city, killing and destroying everything in their path. With swift actions, Youji saves as many lives as he can while the rest of the JSDF direct their efforts towards stopping the invasion.
Three months after the attack, Youji has been tasked with leading a special recon team, as part of a JSDF task force, that will be sent to the world beyond the gate—now being referred to as the "Special Region." They must travel into this unknown world in order to learn more about what they are dealing with and attempt to befriend the locals in hopes of creating peaceful ties with the ruling empire. But if they fail, they face the consequence of participating in a devastating war that will engulf both sides of the gate.
#1: "Prism Communicate (ぷりずむコミュニケート)" by Rory (Risa Taneda), Tuka (Hisako Kanemoto), Lelei (Nao Touyama) (eps 1-11) #2: "GATE: Sore wa Akatsuki no you ni (GATE～それは暁のように～)" by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets (ep 12)
Gate could've been a story of modern vs old, with a bit of cultural exchange; instead it went down the otaku pandering route, combined with absurd amounts of right-wing nationalism.
It is a real shame, since there were some genuinely interesting comparisons, such as the difference of how prisoners are treated by the Japanese army compared to the medieval army, but these scenes are barely touched upon, as if the writer was only using the scenes to say "Japan is the good guy! Everyone else is the bad guy!"
In fact, that seems to be the running theme throughout the series. Japan is presented as the Good
Team 100% of the way. Everything the JSDF does is unanimously praised, while the Americans, the Chinese, the opposing medieval armies, and even the Japanese DIET that oppose the invasion are portrayed as being evil, greedy, or just plain imbecilic. As the show continued, it became more and more like Japanese military propaganda rather than a legitimate story. Any and all enemies are helplessly mowed down by the superior might of the Japanese Army and the immortal death god (who looks like a thirteen year old girl) that joins them. This doesn't exactly lead to tense battles, since it's quite obvious who's going to win every time, and the show doesn't even try to hide it.
As for the characters? Well, there is the protagonist, Itami, who is an otaku (who also happens to be a top-class soldier with a heart of gold), his squad, and a bunch of underage multi-color haired girls (except they're elves and demigods, so they're actually hundreds of years old!). None of these characters undergo any sort of development, and their personalities are practically non-existent. They exist to be cute girls, and that is it.
That being said, it was somewhat fun to watch the cultural exchanges that took place, and I cannot say in good conscience that I didn't enjoy myself. But I feel that Gate could've been a lot more than mindless entertainment, so I can't help but be disappointed.
A gate to a medieval fantasy land opens up in Japan, and this can only mean one thing: sword-wielding troops get mowed down by the glorious Japanese military in their attack copters with Wagner playing. And I mean that in-universe; the soldiers are literally playing a CD of Wagner in their copters.
Why, you ask? Because Japan needs more technology and minerals and such because nationalism says so. Oh, and some humanitarian reasons, but those aren't as important.
The plot kicks off when out of nowhere a gate appears and from it come a bunch of orcs and medieval troops that indiscriminately kill civilians, wreck the
place and interrupt the otaku event the protagonist was planning to visit. As so it happens, the protagonist is not only an otaku but also a member of the SDF (Japanese military), and once the initial attack has been dealt with, he joins the force sent through the gate.
This fantasy land is declared a part of Japan, named the Special Region, because why not? (Nice name, by the way; that's what I'd call a fantasy land too if I ever occupied one.) The Japanese constitution forbids (at the moment, anyway) deploying the SDF abroad, but I guess that's one way around it: just annex territory arbitrarily and suddenly it's all Japanese soil. Some fighting ensues, but no worries: their enemies are so outgunned they might as well be throwing rocks at them. Aside from the technology gap, these feudal lords also come from the Zapp Brannigan school of tactics with plans like:
1. Suicidal charge,
2. Suicidal charge, and
3. Suicidal charge under the cover of night (worth a shot, I guess?)
Actually, that was kind of the idea behind the original invasion into Japan: go to an unknown land without any intel or recon and slaughter everything for fun and profit. ...Yeah.
Soon enough our merry band can venture further into this land while talking about their waifus and singing magical girl theme songs, eager to meet the local catgirls. In the process they recruit mages, elves and goth lolis. The writers thought the SDF wasn't overpowered enough, so the goth loli happens to be an invincible demigod priestess who effortlessly crushes everything in her path. The tone of the show is what you might expect, with slaughter and fanservice taking turns. What is a hot bath scene without people's arms flying off afterwards?
There is also a cultural clash going on, which is used for dialogue like:
"I had no idea our world had [insert everyday thing here]."
"Princess, this is another world!"
Repeat it a few times and you have comedy gold.
Some of the cultural misunderstandings actually make sense, such as the different interests of a feudal society and a modern country, the treatment of prisoners or the idea of throwing a half-naked woman at the protagonist to earn his favor. Actually, the last one just might have worked if he hadn't been distracted by all the animal girl maids already. And who can blame him for being distracted? Barely dressed girls keep throwing themselves at him out of coincidence or because he's just that awesome.
If it isn't obvious by now, the operation beyond the Gate is a one-country effort. Sharing resources with others? Don't be ridiculous. The US, Russia and China (the rest of the world doesn't exist) don't deserve their slice of the cake. Especially America. "A sky with no civilian or US planes in it is a dream come true" for Japanese fighters.
Of course, this is all run by the SDF. Civilian personnel? Media presence? Dream on. All we need is the SDF. Who else would defend Japanese interests? The Japanese government is corrupt and easily swayed. The parliament is a bunch of idiots who want to mess with the SDF's business for no reason. How dare they ask questions about civilian casualties under a media blackout? Eventually there is an entire town for the locals, with shops and everything. Would now be a time to bring in civilians? No, that could get in the way of the runaway militarism we have going on. To maintain order, some of the locals are actually given armbands with "Military Police" on them.
The visuals include machine guns, missiles, tanks, artillery, copters and fighters, which is nice. Sadly most of the soundtrack is not Wagner, which is a shame because that would be poetic justice.
By the way, it is never explained how the Gate was built. Did the Empire build it (which I kind of doubt) or just find it? Are there more of them? If you are after fantasy tech, shouldn't this be near the top of your list? Think about it: you could discover a Stargate network and explore even more worlds for even more glorious nationalism! But nope, never mentioned.
Now let's all take a moment and salute the Japanese flag flying in the distance.
Two worlds, different dimensions, one is fantasy and the other one are reality. If these two existences merge with one gate, what will the future hold for both worlds?
Gate: jieitai kanochi nite kaku tatakaeri or also known as Gate start the show with a bit unique performance and leave the viewers speechless while trying to grasp the situation. I'll admit, on the surface this series doesn't sound like it would make a good series. Add more with the main lead Youji Itami who’s already aged 33 years old. One of the most courageous steps I’ve ever seen. Anime industries have laid teenagers as the
main character for a long time. Gate on the other hand; put a matured and adult man as their main lead which is rather impressive. Unfortunately, our hero is kind of biased with the other main characters who have loved anime and manga deeply. However, I must commend this series because the producers have been doing a good job to develop those characters in series well along with communicating on a larger theme about humanity in general.
Gate: jieitai kanochi nite kaku tatakaeri will be one of the most popular anime soon enough and definitely for a good reason. The series start its pace rather slow at first but very effective, and refreshing for the better understanding.
The technical aspects of the show are really good. Though Gate never loses its character focus, the idea of spending a lot of time exploring political, economics, philosophical and a wide variety of subjects about the fantasy world can be very boring but important for us to understand the motivations of certain characters. As well it is necessary to understand the series better. In terms, the series try it’s best to describe the best path for humanity against this fictional world. It has its merits and its flaws, but above all it is not simple. This issue is rather complex to be discussing or used in anime series and yet Gate does a nicely job showing the themes.
Despite what I’ve said, the realistic way the Gate tries to show sometime can be frustrating with lack of the deeper themes. The plot is actually quite smart but also a little complex than it seem. Still, the developments in the series just makes you want to dive deeper and deeper into the series. The interaction between all the characters is well managed as for the feel of the show.
The art and animation of this series is very nice indeed. Gate background has been designed with the best effort, vivid colors and lines to stylize the characters in a way. The art has been nicely drawn with a lit bit of different style to makes more realistic. Either way, both the art and animation is incredible created for the Gate series. The high-end action is carefully placed and definitely top notch. The value of background is clearly be valued by Gate series.
The soundtrack is really cool, with the outstanding Op and Eds, capturing the viewer’s eye within the series. This is really stunning aspects. Not to mention the sound effects, adding with the previous two, this takes the series to a new stage of fantastic and admiration.
In a sense, Gate is one of the best shows I've seen in a while. I’m not particular boasting about this series. Because Gate is an excellent and enraging works that’s doesn’t lose the main theme focus, the characters never lost their main aim and building up a good relationship among each others. While on the other hand, Gate also focusing a number of high class issues and problems that chained this world for a long time. Gate is definitely a brilliant piece of surreal fantasy fiction that works on nearly every level. If you against the idea of political or philosophical exploration just skip those episodes but it will be a great loss and definitely will affecting your view of the series. Honestly, I can't complain about this series at all. On a purely level, this piece of series was impressive.
GATE, a simple 4 letter word that can release so much potential with its premise. The idea behind GATE is that of a series about modernized humans clashing with fantasy (warriors wielding ancient armor, elves, dwarves, dragons, etc). By clashing, it doesn’t entirely mean a total war between the two sides. After a while, both sides begins to establish a diplomatic relationship with one another. Sounds strange right? It also kind of goes in a two-fold. Fantasy enters reality and reality enters fantasy. Both worlds are separated by a gate and at the center of it, there’s a man named Youji Itami.
Gate - Jieitai
Kare no Chi nite Kaku Tatakaeri (Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There) or simply known as GATE is a television series that adapts the light novel of the same name. It was originally serialized online on a novel website called “Arcadia” but later got published as a book in 2010. The series also has a manga that is based on the story with the same main characters. Speaking of which, Itami is the main male protagonist of the show and it’s easy for us to get familiarized with him. Despite being a soldier, he’s actually quite more like an otaku with his fascination for fantasy. This lands him in a position where he happily investigates the fantasy world beyond the GATE. Little does he know that is more than what he can bite off.
The show itself adapts many elements that blurs between lines of fiction and reality. The fiction part obviously comes with the fantasy creatures like elves, dragons, and even a demi-god. JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Forces) has more of the reality role. Their military is equipped with high level technology and hence were able to fight against the fantasy world in the beginning. There was even an infamous event known as the “Ginza Incident” when monsters appeared in the Ginza, a real world location and made a memorable massacre. Of course, JSDF responded fiercely and showed that humanity is a doorknob to absolutely nobody. By establishing such a premise, it’s no wonder that the show has a lot of potential. Think about it really, when you have a war that is more than just about imperialism, it shows how much it can evolve. Throughout the story of GATE, we see much of that with cultural, political, and military themes.
GATE’s characters are highly diverse not just because of personalities but by races. No, I’m not just talking about nationalities but also non-humans. The main core consists of three girls – Tuka Luna Mareau (a 165 year old elf), Lelei La Rellena (a 15 year old human from the fantasy world), and Rory Mercury (a demi-goddess who is apparently over 900 years old). These characters have different personalities but also creates fascination as they enter the real world. What we witness throughout the story is how they adapt with real world concepts such as modern life technology and politics. Additionally, a plus side about the show is that the human characters are fairly mature. Itami is an older male (as opposed to the high school teenagers you’d commonly see these days) and has a strong interest in otaku. His military experience also gives him an edge when negotiating with certain parties and we see a lot of what he is capable of throughout the story. His relationship with co-workers from the Third Recon unit also gives us a firm idea of his personality – a casual guy who is kind at heart and easily able to make friends with others.
From the fantasy world, there are also other regions that establishes the clever creativity of this how. For instance, there’s the special region that is composed of an empire with a diverse cast of characters. Pina, the princess of that empire, hopes to establish peace with Japan. There are obvious reasons for this but the show also affirms her personality as a proud princess who is caring towards her people. Furthermore, the show has a strong emphasis of its world fiction. Landscapes and towns are built with resourceful elements of fantasy to make the other world look legitimate. Similarly, there’s a creatures that show their menacing presence while establishing dominance in their world.
An interesting idea about the show also comes from the political affairs of the story. In the second half of GATE, we get politics as there’s some strong indication that not everyone is in favor of the “special region” idea. So in essence, the show plays its part with conflicting affairs that argues about political principles. The show also has some sense of nationalism although is vaguely portrayed and restrained to Japan, as other countries are pursuing their own interest. To say the least, GATE knows its principles and invests time to show ideologies from various parties.
On a more military aspect, I think the show is also aware of its modern technological capabilities. The military reveals a strong degree of realism with its arsenal of weapons throughout the show. We have aircraft such as the Kawasaki OH-1, AH-1 Cobra, and other artillery that makes its presence well known. Soldiers (known to some in the fantasy world as “Green Men”) also demonstrate their degree of professionalism and ethnics. While the series isn’t entirely built about military, it certainly has an appeal to this side. I will also say that GATE’s author did a fairly decent job at demonstrating the firepower and capabilities of the JSDF’s military. The battles have cinematic sequences and is well animated on most parts especially during mid-season.
While the show has lighthearted comedy from all sorts of angles, it also should be realized that its intentions isn’t a parody. Sure, the series makes a bit of fun at otaku culture such as Itami’s knowledge or the character designs of the main girls. However, there’s legitimacy with the war. The first episode easily establishes that JSDF is serious about their counterattack. Furthermore, Itami knows the stakes of war as lives are lost. Unfortunately, it doesn’t capture all the violence and more mature content of the original story. Certain contents are omitted from TV that are deemed controversial and violent. Fan service is also shortened although still exists in a few forms such as with Rory’s teasing and the bath scenes. However, the adaptation does expand on certain parts of the story, especially with events from the manga.
Impressively, A-1 Pictures actually manages to capture the art style of the story. Their work can be a bit of hit or miss in terms of fantasy shows but I do give them some praise for adapting GATE. The character designs of characters from both the real world and fantasy world evokes interest. Military technology looks and feels real with their modern looks. Japan also has a good degree of realism with its modern cities and technology. From the fantasy world, the main female characters are distinctive with their design ranging from Rory’s goth dress to Pina’s medieval style battle gear. And like I mentioned before, the world fiction of GATE stands out as a fantastic feature with what is shown. To further enhance the experience, we get epic battles that almost always reveal the potential of certain characters and weapons.
Soundtrack is powerful but not the type of mind-blowing you may expect. The OP and ED theme song has a catchy tone to it with a modest style of storytelling. What makes GATE perhaps more noticeable is the dialogues that are spoken with sharp tones. And by sharp, I mean the type that clearly defines what kind of characters’ personalities are capable of. Rory’s sarcastic and curious voice is perhaps one of the most noticeable while Pina’s voice shows a sense of her patriotism. On most parts, the OST works well enough to match the intense atmosphere of the action and lighthearted moments.
When it comes down to it, GATE is a show that opens a gate with wealth of interests. There’s the certain “it” factor that makes this show stand out with both sides of the world. It blurs between the lines of fiction and reality with what it has to offer. And to be quite honest, GATE does it quite well on most parts with its creativity. This show is definitely not one that matches anyone’s tastes though. Certain audiences such as those interested in political or military affairs may find this more enjoyable than others. For action junkies, GATE can appeal to that side as well although it’s not a main investment of the story. When it comes to characters, there’s a colorful range of them and by the end of the season, there’s likely one or more that you may like to find out more. The first season is set as 12 episodes but many of the ideas and concepts opens up potentially for more.
It doesn't matter where you look, you're bound to bump into a couple of anime elves. Some of them are mischievous, others are kind and a few of them are just magical. They come in all sizes and live in diverse worlds. Come on in, it's time to meet some interesting characters!