This summer’s crowd of anime shows has produced a rather unusual one. The Series is called Gate and it’s interesting on a bunch. of levels.
Unlike so many anime series Gate has a cast of adults. This is not yet another group of high school or middle school students. The main character is, for instance a 34 year old Lieutenant in the JSDF. With an interesting background. We are told by everybody, including the lieutenant himself that he is a slacker, yet time and again, when the rubber meets the road he acts as competent effective officer.
The story starts with a gate opening up in the middle of the Ginza and disgorging what appear to be Roman like leigionaries who start doing what conquering hordes do. After much panic and mayhem, where our hero stands out as having a cool head, the JSDF teaches the legions what happens when close packed soldiers meet machine guns. The JSDF then proceeds back through the gate where they instruct the oncoming reinforcements the same hard lesson.
The story isn’t rally about that. The story is about how our various characters deal with the new world they find themselves in. With a cast of characters that is surprisingly deep for an anime production where resorting to tropes is all too common. Gate tend to break tropes wherever and whenever it can, though the series is not above providing some fan service to play with.
But How can you say that the series plays the common tropes when the lolicon is over 900 years old and barely human, the elf is undergoing deep PTSD and the mage is strong and resourceful for a 17 year old. And our intrepid hero seem essentially uninterested in any of them sexually, though Rory tries really hard. None of the main characters are without flaws and all have complicated personalities that are outside the boxes that you might think they exist.
While the series is not all action, the story moves along at a fast clip without so far, any filler episodes. In fact, if the series has any flaws, it’s that it moves too fast and some things get jumped over. Much of this is a result of having to condense the light novels that are the source material. Still the series holds together very well. I do hope that the manga and light novels find a translator and get imported as well.
Here’s some screenshots:
Our main character, Lt. Itami running toward the trouble as the gate opens.
Now Lt. Itami is characterized by his superiors and himself as slacker just in the JSDF as a job to support his hobby. On the other hand throughout the series he does stuff like this.
Taking out an elite dragonrider, with the dragonriders own sword.
Once the JSDF through the gate and annihilates the Imperial army, the Empiror proceeds stab his vassal states in the back by committing them to battle.
With results that might be expected.
After things settle down a bit, Itami is placed in command of a Recon squad to reconnoiter the surrounding territory. Where they meet Checkhov’s dragon which will see more of later.
Said dragon creating a refugee situation. and some construction for the refugees to watch, said refugees being lelie the mage, Tuka the elf and Rory Mercury, the demigod of death, among others.
Our refugees see a commercial opportunity in all the Imperial dragons that encountered high velocity projectiles and to help out Itami and his intrepid squad go to the nearby city of Italica where they encounter princess Pina Colada, the first smart Imperial that we see.
And bandit problem which creates potentials for music and mayhem. With helicopters in the morning and little Kubrick touch.
Where the bandits encounter angels of no mercy.
Before learning to truly appreciate the Brrrrrrt and the fine products of the Bell division of the Textron company.
After cleanup, mishaps and fan service our intrepid character go to Japan for diplomacy, testimony, shopping and more mayhem on the part of various countries including the US with a rather Trump like President.
Rory discovers Takeshita St.
An operator discovers mortality.
And President Trump discovers what happens when a deal goes sour.
Our intrepid heroes return to the safety of the war zone on the other side of the gate using the power of the internet and otaku fanaticism.
Where princess Pina engages in high level diplomacy and preventing her relatives from getting the Empire destroyed from sheer stupidity.
And a new character enters the scene and makes yet another stupid mistake.
The second season is running now on Crunchyroll and I highly recommend it. Well worth the watch.
Gate on anime news network.
The second season, running now.
Looks like the manga has been picked up. From what I’ve seen it’s a gritty read, not for children, but a well told story.
As a bonus here’s information the JSDF could use. How to kill a dragon with a helicopter gunship.