To sum up Gate you only need one phrase, DAMN that was a lot of wasted potential! Godfricking DAMMIT, get your shit together Japan!
On the other hand it was totally expected.
Otaku pandering powerfantasy #militarypropaganda/brainwashing - Gate
Story, Character - 3, 2 (potential 7, 7)
Worlds and culture collide isn't a new idea, disney did it, James Cameron did it, warhammer did it, toaru did it. So really Gate isn't that original on this front, no matter how many times it is done, it is still interesting. A clash of technology and magic, two different worlds, guns vs magic, it makes my inner 10 year old very excited. And if you treat it maturely, the change in culture, the advancement of technology, the political intrigue and all that stuff paired together with a competent MC on a journey and a quest. OH I'm getting excited just thinking about it, imagine all the awesome...
Wait...what? This sack of unoriginal otaku self-insert is our MC...Well, Sh*t
That's right all potential poof went up the air, when the show showed its hand in the opening 5 minutes, a otaku soldier talking about otaku sh*t. You know I remember long time ago, there were MC's with so much charisma and character that you can't help but love them where papers could be written about their development. These days I wish I could just take up a chainsaw hammer and smash the MC's face in, but they are so flat I doubt there is anything to smash.
Our MC Youji is an current JSDF soldier who also happen to be an otaku, and while fulfilling his hobby, another world attack. Our MC "bravely" dealt with it like a soldier. Afterwards we are told that a gate leading to a magic world appeared in Japan and the JSDF is sent in, and etc. (which you can just see the anime to learn about)
Back to ranting about wasted potential. Why was the military sent in like that? Aren't the JSDF about defending Japanese territory not invading someone elses? Where are all the other countries armies? You would think that the knowledge that another world exist would send the world into a frenzy with every country scrambling to get in, but nope only japan goes. (And have any succeed with the locals but this part is spoiler for the anime) Seeing this basically convinced me that the author is jerking off to his otaku patriotism at this point.
And through the gate we reach a generic fantasy world which is even more obvious pandering. I mean loli-gothic-catgirl(?)-wielding a halberd who is attracted to the MC and turned on by killing? Big tities blonde elf? When you have seen a lot of fantasy you know this is elementary stuff that is overused every where, for once I would like to see a fantasy world that is more fantasy, something like Monster hunter, giant mountain like monsters, creepy forest that suck out your soul, terrible extradimensional diseases that turns people into abomination. You know the kind of stuff you expect military man to face in a hostile unknown world and die by droves as mankind struggle with both the benefit and terrible cost of accessing an unknown world.
But that would make too good of a story, instead of that have some more none PTSD soldier MC having hijinks with hot fantasy waifu. There are some actions, the helicopter bits were good, and there were some good military tactics and things. But it could have been so much MORE, having soldiers as a MC is suppose to take us out of the otaku comfort zone and show some real hardcore things, like killing alien abominations, tragic lose of human lives during wars, people unable to get over their PTSD as memories of their died comrades hunt them for decades of their life, and scientists around the world using knowledge from this new world to make discoveries that are both beneficial and terrible. World in a frenzy as countries tear each other to shreds to get a piece of the pie or to get as far away as possible.
But nope, it is the same old pandering thing, I mean we have an otaku MC, waifus, "JSDF is never wrong" mentality, light-hearted fun mixed with pointless edgy (which have no effect on our MC's mentality). This is an author jerking off to his patriotism and fetishes and I'm so sick of it!
Go watch log horizon or western media if you want to watch a better clash of culture.
Art - 7
Clean, it is okay, nothing bad, but nothing awe-inspiring either, but that is just what A-1 is like.
Sound - 8
Okay, but it doesn't make the show any more suffer able.
Enjoyment - 2
Every second I spend on this show was a reminder that Japan couldn't get its sh*t together and how the medium is pandering more and more to the lowest denominator. With the tide of adaptation moving more and more to the WN shows like Overlord and Gate, I fear for the future of anime that is going down the toilet right now.
Now I'm going to play Witcher and Touhou for a while to wash this bad taste of fantasy from my mouth.