Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri
February 28, 2016
When an alien civilization starts invading our world and committing acts of terrorism by slaughtering many innocent lives, what would the government do? Send in an army for retaliation! Okay, this was what I had in mind when I watched Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri. I heard that this was a military themed anime and such themes are ranked high above similarly with my ‘unfavourite’ genres like mecha and yaoi. Naturally I was going to pass this. Till that idea of venturing into another fantasy world tempted me. Ah, that is one of the genres that I totally love. So I’m caught in a dilemma. I guess the poster with a handful of cute girls from the other side of the world in seemingly cosplay-like outfits tipped the scale balance in favour of watching it. Sighs… I suppose I never learn. Ah yes. Once again, Japan is the hot place where invasions and disasters love to take place. You can’t have it anywhere else in the world because Japanese people are creative enough to come up with solutions to save the day. Why do this kind of sh*t things only happen in Japan? So from special people with special powers to normal people turned special people with their latent super powers, I guess it is the army’s turn to have a dig at this glory, huh?
Youji Itami is an otaku. He works because of his hobby and if he has to choose between his job and that, it will definitely be his hobby. So he is on his way to a special doujin sale when a strange structure appears right smack in town. Suddenly knights and monsters stream out and start killing the public. Itami sees this and feels the need to stop it or else his sale will be cancelled! A one man otaku stop this? Okay, so Itami isn’t just an ordinary guy seeing the way he skilfully killed an enemy. He takes control and command of the situation, having the citizens take shelter in the Imperial Palace and then calling the SDF and police to wipe out the menace. When it is over, her realizes the sale is over. Too bad. In the aftermath, Itami has been praised and commended. It seems he is from the SDF and was off duty at that time. He is also promoted to first lieutenant. But the most heartbreaking part is that his doujin event is cancelled for good! Subsequently with the recent event, the Prime Minister announces that there may be more of such Gates opening across Japan and they need to take action. The world that lies beyond will be considered as a special region of Japan. They will send the SDF to investigate and secure the ringleader of this terrorist incident. Itami is worried if he is going to get any off days. Sorry, but aren’t all leaves frozen in such times? Three months later and after the bill is passed, the SDF is ready to venture beyond the Gate. As they do not know what lies beneath, they must be prepared for combat at all times. The units move in and reach the other side of another world. It looks as though the enemy has been waiting for them as the SDF gets into position ready for combat.
At the Imperial Capital, Senate Marquess Casel address the king, Emperor Molto Sol Augustus about their embarrassing defeat to the outsiders. But his majesty will not blame anyone seeing that there will be losses in wars and only with wars will there be progress and advancement. Of course the important thing now is to take back Arnus Hill that the enemies have occupied and even set up base. Molto suggests sending men from his neighbouring countries for an allied assault. With different warlords arriving with high spirits, they even argue whose side is to fight in the frontlines. When the first group makes their start, they realize the Imperial soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Could this be a setup? Before they can think further, the SDF drops all the shells and ammunition on them. First offensive of the attack claimed 10,000 lives! The second offensive registered 40,000!!! Eventually around 120,000 enemies perished at the might of SDF! But this is no cause for alarm for Molto for his ulterior plan is so that his neighbours cannot threaten his empire anymore. He orders for all the villages to be burnt down, their waters poison and their food and livestock taken. Molto’s daughter, Pina Co Lada (wait a minute – is his supposed to be a pun?) is not amuse of the defeat so Molto suggests she take her order and scout the enemy’s position. Back on Earth, there are politics going on too. The Americans want to send in their army to secure its resources but Mr President is cautioned to let Japan take the risks. After all, everyone expects them to fail (multitudes of protests against SDF’s invasion) and America must not be seen as conspiring. To Itami’s dismay he is now made to lead a recon unit to make contact with the townspeople and determine their nature. He could have been at some anime event today if not for this. With his ragtag bunch, they make contact with the nearest Coda Village to get some information. As they drive forward, they see the entire forest in flames. At least they are certain it isn’t fire season because a lone dragon is causing it. They are suspicious about the dragon’s nature to burn down the forest without reason and remember the villagers telling them there was another village at this point. At daybreak when they investigate the charred village, there are no survivors and all buildings are burnt to the ground. As they try to raise some water from the well, they see an elf lady unconscious below.
After pulling her out, they return to Coda Village and explain what happened. They cannot put elf girl in their care because the village also needs to flee. Once a dragon starts burning down villages, it will continue to do so. With the SDF’s help, everybody gets busy packing their stuffs including the village’s old wizard, Kato El Altestan and his apprentice, Lelei La Lalena. Even in such world there are ‘traffic jams’. One of the villagers’ carriage broke down and is blocking the way. Lelei goes ahead to check things and sees a little girl wounded. When a horse goes berserk, an SDF soldier shoots it down. Lelei believes she was saved. Meanwhile a group of bandits that survived the SDF’s onslaught thinks of taking over some village and become mini rulers. However they are mercilessly cut down by this goth loli chick, Rory Mercury who is one of the 12 Apostles and the apostle to the Dark God Emloy. Does she need to overkill? The SDF continues to escort the villagers. Another carriage breakdown so Itami wants this family to take whatever they can and the rest of it is left to burn. His reasoning is because they have already passed the front line and if they go back and get a backup vehicle, the enemy might attack and more unwanted casualties and cost for the military. Rory now stands before them. The villagers are happy to see her and explain the SDF aren’t bad guys. She takes interests in their different uniform and humvee. She tests it out by sitting on Itami’s lap and teasing him, incurring the envy wrath of his fellow otaku maniac, Takeo Kurata. So unfair! As the journey continues, a mean red fire breathing dragon attacks. The SDF goes into offensive and probably for the first time their bullets can’t penetrate its skin. Elf girl suddenly wakes up to hint to them at its eye. They start firing there and the dragon becomes distracted and immobilized. With Rory’s flashy move and the RPG inflicting enough pain, the dragon flees. However there were many villager casualties and after laying them to rest, the village chief laments that they cannot take in kids who lost their parents as they cannot afford it. The villagers part ways with the SDF, thanking them for their help. So now the SDF is left with orphan kids, old folks, Lelei, Rory and elf girl.
A few days earlier, elf girl Tuka Luna Marceau was abruptly awakened by her father because a dragon was attacking their village. To hide her, he dumps her into the well. It was the last time she saw her father getting roasted. Rumours of SDF driving off the dragon spread. Many don’t believe it but Pina and her team are interested to get more information out of this. When Itami returns with the refugees to Arnus (now looking like a shuriken shaped Pentagon?), his superior isn’t so pleased about it but the high commander, Kouichirou Hazama allows it on reasons of humanitarian grounds instead of being seen as kidnapping them. And so it becomes Itami’s responsibility to look after them. Yeah… Somebody has got to look after them. Itami is confronted with officer Akira Yanagida who knew he deliberately turned off his communication after the dragon’s fight because they always had connection on. Because SDF would definitely turn away the refugees, the reason he did so as he can’t abandon them. Yanagida then tells him about the situation they are in now. The Japanese government doesn’t know how to deal with this new region or its special resources and there are lots of people against this. The question is, is turning this region worth half the world against them. Because Itami has established relations with some of the villagers, he is deemed the person closest to the most crucial information. Lodging, clothing and food are made for the refugees. Meanwhile back to more politics from our world. China’s president really covets the special minerals and will maintain friendly relations with Japan so they can send their forces too. Japan’s president is hounded with questions that there were reports of civilian casualties so he has to explain they were of natural disasters and not the SDF killing them. Pina sees Duran, one of the warlords who survived the offensive (but his limbs are blown off). He realizes the Imperial’s ploy to get rid of them and that they are the true enemy. Pina begs for any information about the enemy but he tells her to go to Arnus to find out herself. So she gives her team to head to Arnus to investigate but they have to pass through Italica first. When Itami hears Tuka is having some sort of problem (always requesting 2 sets of things, the other set is male and left untouched), he thinks it is her imaginary boyfriend! The ladies check out the dead dragons used by the allied nations during the offensive. Because the SDF doesn’t need the dragon scales that fetch a high price, they intend to pick them and sell in the next village. Itami is kind enough to play delivery boy since it will help them to understand this world’s trade system better. Tuka is troubled in going into an unknown land but Lelei comforts her if there is any trouble, these guys in green will save them. And off they go to Italica.
There seems to be a battle raging at Italica. Pina’s unit and the locals are engaging with rogue bandits although they barely drove them off. Pina is upset that she thought the enemy was those invaders in green and rushed here but ended up facing this. As she rests, she dreams of her younger days when she and the other nobles were trained to be knights. And when they were old enough and drafted as Molto’s Rose Knight Order, Pina couldn’t be more upset that they were treated as mere honour knights. So when will she get her first fight in battle? Well, this invasion seems to be the perfect start. Don’t tell me she is getting cold feet now. Pina is awakened when her team cannot confirm the SDF at the gates as enemy or ally. Slowly popping out of the vehicle are a mage, an elf and a Dark God! Wow. What terrifying combo. Pina is in a dilemma but she becomes rash in welcoming them and accidentally knocks the door open on Itami. Princess got scolded… Itami explains the history and fall of this town. From wars to in-fighting and with the recent case of the Imperial sending expeditionary force to the other world, many never came back. Therefore this town which was once a vibrant trading hub is now ruled by the youngest daughter, Myui. Oh, she is only 11 years old. Therefore Pina is taking command in her stead. Itami and his SDF are supposed to be the decoy of the south gate. They make it look defenceless so the enemy could attack here. Rory wonders why Itami agrees to help the enemy princess. He says it is to protect the villagers but more importantly, he wants to let Pina know that it is better to be friends with them rather than enemies. Rory starts laughing in delusion as she misinterprets his intention to terrorize her soul to the very core and will gladly help him. When night falls, the enemy ambushes the east gate instead. Other than having a spirit summoner on their side, the bandits seem to be happy to be killed. Once the bandits easily break through, they taunt and anger the villagers to fight them. Pina starts panicking that her plan is in shambles. Reality is so different from the plans, eh? What about the SDF? Hasn’t she called them for backup? She believes they won’t come because she sent them on a suicide mission at the south gate.
Previously Itami had called for backup so Hazama sent his air unit as time is of essence. More woes for Pina when one of her men is killed and the bandits making a big breakthrough. But why is Rory experiencing some kind of hentai orgasm at this point? Are we in the wrong show? Lelei explains that the souls of the death are being channelled to her by Emloy and this feed is like aphrodisiac. The only way is to let her fight. Don’t need to tell her that. Quickly she gets up and runs to the south gate. As she starts killing the bandits, laughing and relishing in all the blood, Shino Kuribayashi also enter the battlefield to take out some bandits with her bayonet and guns while Itami and the rest provide backup cover. The air units arrive and they blow away the bandits outside. No chance at all! Finally they are going to clean the entire area and want all friendlies to get out. I guess those enemies never really saw such big helicopters before. So they stood there in awe before the big wipe out. Everyone who saw this must be in awe of its awesome firepower. Including Pina who is just terrified at it all. She felt her side has lost and fears if the enemy demands their surrender, she might find herself begging for her life at their feet. Pina and SDF initiate negotiations. To Pina’s surprise, the SDF demands are minimal. It includes the rebuilding of Italica, the fair treatment of all prisoners and the abolishment of taxes. They are also leaving this place. Hardly believable that they barely gained anything out of this. Lelei and the girls complete their mission by selling the dragon scales to Lyudo the merchant. As there is shortage of coins, Lelei agrees for the balance to be compensated in the form of information. As the SDF make their way back to Arnus, they come into contact with the Rose Knight Order (Pina requested for their reinforcements albeit it will take them 3 days). Itami doesn’t want his men to show hostility and to refrain from violence but those beautiful babes start getting hostile once they learn they are the enemy from Arnus. With diplomacy failed, Itami orders his men to u-turn and retreat. This means he is left behind as their hostage.
Pina blows her top and chastises Bozes Co Palesti and Panache Fure Kalgi for Itami’s mistreatment. Oh God. See his badly beaten up face! This is clearly a violation in the treaty. Don’t worry. Itami has got 4 animal eared maids to take care of him! ITAMI YOU LUCKY BASTARD!!! SWITCH WITH ME!!!!! The SDF has been staking out Italica and when they can wait no more, they sneak in only to see Itami in good company. Worried for nothing? And Kuribayashi couldn’t believe Itami is a certified ranger. The toughest of the toughest. Think of it as Japan’s version of SEAL. Yeah, he sure doesn’t look the part. Pina told Bozes that she will have to pay with her body to appease him. So here she is, entering his room in her sexy gown and suddenly she sees the entire gang having fun talking to each other. Because she is ignored, she got so mad that she slapped Itami! WTF???!!! Clearly, you can see Pina stressing out on this!!! The looks on her face that just screams “Oh… My… F*cking… God…”. Pina is desperate to make up but the SDF have to leave because Itami has to report to the Diet. It is something similar to this world’s Senate. Pina fears that he could report what happened and use this to start a war. Holy sh*t! More stress! Therefore she is going back to Arnus to apologize to his superior. Upon arrival, she is flabbergasted to see the fire power of the army. From iron Pegasus (helicopters) to iron elephants (tanks), it’s that sh*t feeling if the SDF attacks the empire with this ‘magic’ force. Pina and Bozes are made to see Hazama and Yanagida. With Lelei as the interpreter, the more the guys ask for details, the more awkward and guilty the princesses feel. Especially the bruises on Itami’s face. Yeah, it’s like they’re on to them or something. Itami hopes Tuka can follow him to Japan as he wants her to be this world’s representative. Of course Lelei would also come as interpreter. Rory too wants to come as she doesn’t want to be left out of the fun. Next day before Itami and his harem leave for Japan, Yanagida surprises him that Pina and Bozes are coming along too. He has already got the approval so Itami now has to take care of them and show them their country.
Wow! Awesome buildings that reach the sky! Welcome to Japan, girls! Itami is greeted by Hideyo Komakado from intelligence who is here to escort him. Komakado has done his work on Itami’s background. A slacker who barely passed his training and all but that incident propelled him to where he is today. Although Komakado respects him, Kuribayashi literally cannot believe it all! She’s screaming about it! They stop by a clothes store to get Tuka proper clothes (can’t enter the Senate in jeans, right?) and then they get to taste the great Japanese food. Itami and his harem are before the Diet. The coverage is live. It seems a Diet member is calling the girls as witness and trying to fault the SDF for any poor handling of refugees and blame them for the deaths of the civilians during the dragon attack. She thinks Rory can be a good excuse thanks to her mourning-like clothes. To everyone’s surprise, she fires back about the stupid question she asks. Rory describes how the SDF fought bravely and from a distance. I mean, if they died needlessly, then who else would protect their sorry asses? She finds it funny that they are not praised for their efforts. Instead of looking at 1/4 of civilians died, it is an actual fact they saved 3/4 of them. Because the Diet woman is trying to be provocative about respecting elders, Rory is about to show her weapon. Itami quickly retires her and mentions she is the oldest member here. How old is she? 961 years old!!!! Tuka? 165! Lelei? Only 15. End of deliberation. Meanwhile, during the deliberation session, the princesses who are not supposed to be in Japan are instead taken to negotiate with the Prime Minister’s advisor and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Something about a negotiation to release the 6,000 prisoners of their world in exchange for something. At the end of the day, the press of course hounds the bus they were on. But that was only a decoy as Itami and co are travelling via subway train. I guess going underground is very scary for them. Especially Rory who is clinging to Itami because this reminded her of some Hardy guy who wanted to force her into marriage 200 years ago by dragging her deep down into the earth. As Komakado meets up with them, he tells of the success of the decoy but it’s not over yet because they have also staged some accident to stop the train service. It’s a warning sign to say they can hit them anything. All that is left is for a direct attack. One seemingly tried to steal Rory’s scythe but he didn’t think it was heavy and it collapsed on him. Komakado tried to pick it up but he hurt his back. Itami brings the gang back to the home of a woman living an extreme otaku life. Who is she? His ex-wife. NO WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This guy just surprises you every time, eh?
Creepy dolls. Reminds Rory of Hardy. BL magazines! The princesses are hooked! Akira Tomita can’t understand why Itami had to return to his ex-wife Risa’s place seeing they can’t involve a civilian. Something about to check whether if Komakado is leaking information on them. Risa would really appreciate she has nothing to do with this since her deadline is tomorrow! Next day, Risa takes Itami’s harem for shopping while Tomita accompanies the princesses to the library because they want to ‘research’ more on ‘art’. Yeah… Rory who said she didn’t want any other clothes eventually succumb to the temptation of other cute goth loli outfits. Just like woman anywhere in the galaxy, they succumb to shopping spree and buying too much. Only the princesses are left disappointed as they didn’t get what they want. Wrong place, ladies. Itami gets his chance to visit Akihabara and also meet Defence Minister, Tarou Kanou. They’re like good friends. There is a special mission that Kanou has of him. Itami takes the gang to relax at the hotspring. Kanou has his special team discreetly guarding the gang. Just like any woman anywhere in the galaxy, bath times are times to talk about your secret crush and love, right? They learn about Risa’s relationship with Itami. They knew each other since school days and since they’re both weirdoes, they hit it off. Actually, Risa was quite the poor girl so Itami’s stable salary was strangely appealing. Their divorce was due to the terrorist incident. He assured her that some insurance will be left for her if anything happens. That was the reason they separated. It was like he didn’t understand anything. She thought it would be good for them to start over. It seems there are foreign mercenaries in the area and the secret Japanese unit skilfully takes them out. Till the US president personally calls the Japanese PM about the list of bribes and scandals on his cabinet ministers. As a sign of friendship, he would like his agents to come pick up their special guests. The PM agrees to that after being assured if the guests escape, Japan cannot be held responsible. So he calls Kanou to stop guarding them. It’s just that. He hasn’t agreed to hand them over. Kanou fears this will be end of his political career but he doesn’t mind. He is willing to go down. So both sides stop and withdraw before the casualties rise. Rory couldn’t sleep that night because the souls of the dead are being channelled through her. It’s that ecstasy feeling. Can Itami do something about it if she can’t go out and kill? I suppose as compensation she starts seducing him. Tempting, eh? Remember, she’s not a child so he isn’t breaking any pedo law.
Itami’s handphone rings. This upsets Rory. Now she is in a foul mood. Because of that, she goes outside to start killing all the foreign operatives. Not only there are Americans but Russians and Chinese military dudes. In the confusion, they fire at each other but Rory slices all with ease. The bullets do hit Rory but she regenerates. Demigods cannot die. Itami and co change and move out. Everyone hounds Itami for what is going on because they’ve been doing things so secretive. Too bad he too doesn’t know. Kuribayashi really wants to kill him. Pina deduces that there might be factions that are against this peace negotiation. Risa uploads to the social media how the special guests are going to make their appearance at the memorial before returning. This would increase the number in public and harder for foreign agents to move in. Next day, the PM has resigned and suddenly hospitalized. Kuribayashi’s sister, Nanami is a rookie reporter trying to get the public’s opinion but they don’t really care and her superior is telling her to shape up. True enough, the American CIA agents are waiting. They plan to cause some minor disruption to throw the public into chaos and abduct the special guests after cutting the TV connections. But the problem is there are just too many people today. This also means Itami and co are stuck in a traffic jam as the more-than-expected crowd is shutting down the city.
It is too dangerous for them to go outside but Rory couldn’t care less and goes to seek for directions. Those who recognize her start to be in awe as the crowd paves a way for them. Itami has to take this chance for them to walk through or else the PM and Risa’s plans are futile. Itami leaves the van in Risa’s care to dump it somewhere. But she can’t drive! She’ll figure it out. She asks if they’re getting back. He will be away for a while but he is more concerned about the money she owes him! Take care. Nanami gets the fright of her life when her sister gets defensive after she calls out to her. Kuribayashi then uses the broadcast to say hi to mom and complain about some other things. Meanwhile Komakado sees the CIA agents and threaten them about being unable to tell agents from other countries apart so they have no choice but to call Mr President about their entire team being arrested and force him to withdraw. China and Russia also do the same. After they make their prayers at the memorial and before heading back, the crowd gives them a rousing applause. And it was the end of Itami’s tiring ‘vacation’. Rory is glad to try out her new clothes. Lelei got a new PC (Kato freaking amazed). Tuka thinks her dad went off on his own. So return trip when? Pina notes the overwhelming power and technology the other side has and if the empire starts a war, they will definitely lose and be destroyed. She needs to prepare for peace talks as soon as possible and hopes to end this war.
The Arnus refugee camp is now like a mini township with people around coming in to trade stuffs with Japan. Pina and Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kouji Sugawara go off to negotiate with other noble clans. Pina explains about their Senate is split in going to war and peace. Those against those are trying to limit the emperor’s power as he was the one who recklessly started this war. This faction also wants Japan to return to the other side peacefully and is willing to help them. First stop is Lord Cicero. After Sugawara shows his finest Japanese arts and he is interested, the moment he hears he is from Japan, Cicero becomes cautious. But they ‘blackmail’ him to help out with the release of his nephew who is held prisoner in Japan. Cicero agrees to accompany Pina who will negotiate with another clan, the Dussie family. Tuka has been wandering aimlessly looking for her father. Mari Kurokawa feels bad for her so Itami paints a situation that all of them gather to tell her that daddy is dead. If she cannot handle the truth, is she willing to take care of her for the rest of her life? What happens if they have orders to withdraw? They are not in a position to be her pillar of support forever. If you can’t see something to the end, don’t do anything. They have to let her be. Rory seems to be flirting with Itami when this dark elf, Yao Ha Ducy chides him for serving alcohol to a child! Rory is not happy for yet another plan ruined. She planned to get drunk, have him take her back to her room where she will stay with him till dawn. Rory then screams Itami forced her to drink! As she cowers behind Yao, dark elf is going to kill him but Itami has run as fast as he could. Rory has also escaped during that distraction. Yao sits down as she explains she is looking for those green people (she didn’t know she just met one, eh?). She has a favour of them and has prepared a big adamantine rock as payment. If that is not enough, she’ll offer herself. The other guys are interested to take on the job but she believes they aren’t up to it. The job is to slay a wounded fire dragon. Oh… If that’s the case, maybe never mind. Those guys have no balls… Later as she sleeps, she dreams of her village being ravaged by the dragon months prior. She hopes her people can hold out while she brings their saviour. Her hope rises when she sees the magnificent jet fighters in a mock dog fight. Itami and his men prepare to leave for the capital with Japanese goods for negotiations.
A few months ago after Yao’s village was razed, the elders gather and gave Yao the important mission for help or their clan will be wiped out. She promises to come back with help from the green people. Now that she has arrived at Arnus, she excitedly explains everything. Only 1 problem: They can’t understand a word! Seems these green people didn’t make use of their spare time and learn the local language as many (in fact, all if I should say) cannot speak the language decently. Furthermore, local thugs try to con her by they always end up being beaten up. When she picks up a dropped pen, this leads her to a store. She notices the storekeeper, Meia fluently conversing in Japanese. Yao learns that those who work here get a book that teaches them the language. Sorry, Meia can’t sell this to her. Yao becomes desperate to talk to the green people when a couple come in. You can’t imagine how freaking happy she is but it seems they take her in for questioning after they get a series of reports that she is a mugger! Thus, Lelei is called in as translator since her story doesn’t quite match with the report (those thugs report her). After clearing her name and the thugs arrested, finally Yao gets her chance to talk to a green people. She is sent to talk to Hazama but he cannot help her. Because her home, Schwartz Forest lies beyond the Imperial’s territory, to an army that crosses the border without permission means a declaration of war. Yao only needs a dozen or so but still, Hazama will not order his men to their deaths. She is left very disappointed as Yanagida notes, perhaps Itami could have done something if he was here.
Speaking of him, he rendezvous with Pina and her order to give the goods. There is one goods that she is really looking forward to. Don’t say you forget because she’ll blow her top if you really didn’t bring it. What is it? Yaoi doujinshi!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!!! She really loves this ‘art’! However it is revealed that it is just the cover. Inside are articles about Itami’s heroic deeds. Lelei accompanies Yao drinking tea. You can see the defeat on her face. All hope is lost. Everything has been a nightmare to her. So sad for her… It even made Lelei think perhaps Itami could have done something. Next table, another group of combat unit eavesdropped on them and also feels bad about Yao’s case. They really want to help but their hands are tied. They cannot do anything that would give the enemy the slightest ammunition. They too wonder what Itami would have done. I guess if they can’t do it, might as well talk about it on how they would tackle and take down the dragon. Yao is feeling desperate. If she could just get one on her side. Maybe she will have to use her body… Then she remembers about the people talking about Itami. Yeah, maybe this guy… Itami on his way back learns that the orphans from Coda Village left a message in Japanese to thank him for taking them in. This makes him feel good and he hopes peace will come fast to this place.
Glory! Glory To The SDF!
I didn’t expect this to be this interesting! OMG. I couldn’t believe I said there. Here I was at the beginning, didn’t put much hopes up on this series and when the action itself gets started in the first episode, I realized I am already hooked on it. It goes to show you just can’t judge a book by its cover and you’ll never know it till you try it. So it was a good thing I checked out this series? Yup. Definitely. As every episode is as exciting as the last even during those drama and political manoeuvres, the only downer that killed my enthusiasm was the ‘final’ episode. I said ‘final’ because this isn’t really the end yet. I knew that this was going to be 2 cours as announced but I didn’t expect them to break for a season before resuming the second half of the series. I guess even the military needs a break, huh? Because of that, the last episode of the first season feels very much boring as everything is left hanging as the first half of the series comes to a close. Maybe because Itami was not around when it matters and thus gone with him are the usual excitement.
The one thing that had me thinking whether or not if this is a good or bad thing is perhaps the way they glorify the SDF. I don’t know if there is some subtle message to have the public have a better image of them but from a casual viewer’s point of view, I feel that they might be glorifying the heroic deeds of the SDF. I’m not talking just Itami alone but the entire force. Because you see how mighty and great the SDF forces are. You see how strong and resilient they are because they can even defeat the mightiest creature in the creature that is probably feared and considered as god by locals. You see how impenetrable and solid their defences are that not even an enemy could scratch them even if they used magic. You see how resourceful and helpful they are because they can just do about anything and everything. You see how noble and righteous they are in dealing with their enemies, the defeated enemies and treating everyone as equal, heeding to their strict military protocol and etiquette. Wow. Too good to be true. Like an ideal army of a fantasy world, eh? Uhm, what is this genre again? Definitely there is some temptation of making you want to join the army, right? I mean, they even showcase Itami’s otaku personality so it can’t be that bad, right? The SDF is freaking liberal, right? Unlike in the past and in some countries where gay soldiers have been persecuted just for their different sexual orientation… So what do you say? The SDF is the best force there is in the world? You bet… Viva SDF! Banzai SDF! Yeah…
Now, when you see alien and monster invasions on Earth and then the army taking on them would all but fail badly. Thus the other reason why the SDF seems so great and powerful is by the only fact that the inhabitants of the other world are such a primitive force, the land is so backwater and technology is close to nothing. Their magic is not even great enough to put up a decent fight. This is a reason why the SDF is able to flex their muscles and maintain their superiority over them. More importantly, the reason why Earth is able to maintain superiority over them with this muscle flexing method. It makes us seem like big bullies considering the vast difference in strength.
Because as you have seen in countless movies, humans fall like flies when they take on a much higher alien civilization and their super technology that none of us can match. That is the same here in this anime as we are like that superior alien race with superior alien technology. The SDF bullets and ammunition can even kill smaller dragons and wipe out an entire clan with their artillery fire. If it was those Hollywood movies, I think dropping an atomic bomb is akin to a mosquito bite on advanced aliens. To give another example closer to home, it is like sending the current generation army back in time to the Roman era. Get the idea? Yeah, difference in military strength, weapon and technology are what sets the game. Checkmate.
Furthering enhance the image of the SDF guys is the fact that the politicians in our world have some sort of ulterior and sneaky motives. As seen in the Diet questioning. Whatever political motives were just shot down perfectly. I don’t know why some people are so against the other side. Nothing better to do, maybe. Then there are those foreign governments also seen as sneaky people trying to get their hands to control the Gate and whatever goes on in this other world. I guess now I know why many sh*ts only happen in Japan. Because Japan and namely the SDF here are the only impartial gatekeepers to a better future for both worlds. Hah!
The other thing that makes this series works is the lively and unique characters. Take for example the SDF and particularly Itami’s little unit. I can’t blame you if you think that every army unit is just some strict and lifeless pack, only adhering to orders and carrying them out. Then you get this guy who was probably at the wrong place and at the wrong time. He gets more for what he bargained for after saving the day and before he knows it, he gets promoted and has to lead his unit to venture into the new world. There goes his otaku hobby… Itami’s out of the box thinking is probably what makes him a great character. When I say out of the box, what I meant was that he thinks and takes actions that are usually rare in the military. Maybe he gets his creativity from his otaku side but you can see that the decisions he makes are the road less travelled in the military world. Because of that, he makes a long term impact on the locals, his unit and probably our world. He is such an interesting guy and isn’t it no wonder why girls from the other world start taking some sort of interest and hanging out beside him? Oh yeah… I was wondering when this anime would turn into some sort of harem. I was waiting for it seeing the tempting and ambiguous opening credits animation. Maybe it is a good thing that it was never materialized at least for this season or else it would just dilute and ruin everything that made this season enjoyable so far. When you have a death god, elf and mage as your harem, it is like you’re telling other envious f*ckers not to f*ck with you! Oh yeah. Who is da man? Perhaps the military should have more guys like him (can’t imagine the SDF sending an entire platoon to Akihabara for ‘training’). His name has spread so much so he is the guy to go to when there is some sort of issue.
Although Itami has like around a dozen men under his unit, not all of them get the spotlight. Heck, I don’t think some even have dialogues. So we are focused on a few and they too are interesting themselves since well, many don’t have that strict military expression. Like Kuribayashi, I am starting to think that she would become a little running joke of the series. Especially when she learns more about Itami. The more she discovers, the more shell shocked she is. It is like her role to put on the most ridiculous flabbergasted reaction each time something about Itami pops up. Sarcasm? She just cannot believe that this guy is all that and is a slacker at the same time. Yeah. Believe it. Then there is Kurata who is also another fellow otaku and his role kinda reminds me of ‘the other guy’ roles like you see in romance and harem animes. Always envious for Itami getting the good parts… Not everyone in Itami’s troop is like wackos because Tomita brings us back to reality with his typical strict and no nonsense military outlook.
As for the rest of the main characters, as this is just the first half, I suppose it is not fair for me to say that some are not fully developed or fleshed out yet. For example, Tuka and Lelei’s presence just feels wasted considering that they are the main characters. While Lelei is not that bad although she is relegated to somewhat translation duties, it is worse for Tuka as I don’t see the point of her role in this season. She is just a lost elf girl experiencing the trauma of her village burnt down, still in denial that her father is around and loves to wander about as he likes. So for a big part of this season when she settles into the refugee camp, her main job function is just to act as the dorm keeper. The only odd thing about her is that she is wearing plain t-shirts and jeans. I know she is some rare elf. Doesn’t she have any other ‘cosplay’ costumes to wear? I understand the dragon burnt down every damn thing in her village. So I’m presuming she’s not wearing any pantsu too? ;p. So I take it that she is the last of her clan that she can’t get any of her local clothes anywhere? Wearing our human clothes makes her feel so out of place and quite odd to look at. Rory is a much more fun character here. A goth loli death god carrying an overly huge scythe is no laughing matter. Making her interesting is her bubbly personality that at the same time hides a devilish heart that is just itching to kill. Even if she is an immortal, she’s still a girl so I guess living for 900 years without any true romance must have made her life a very dull one, eh?
Lastly about Pina, with a very suspicious name that you can’t help but make puns of or stop that song that is playing in your head right now (~if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain~), I thought she was going to turn into some joke character after battle at Italica. The way you see this princess stressing out is hilarious! And then her blooming fetish for yaoi fetish and I fear what would become of her order if she spreads it to the other ladies. Oh yeah. Ladies, a new wave of fetish is going to hit your kingdom so watch out! Jokes aside, Pina is a responsible princess trying to work out the best ways for a win-win situation for both sides. I don’t know what happened to her father king because that stubborn old mule must have his pride so high that he is willing to sacrifice more to prolong this war instead of working together.
This season itself has amazingly a lot of characters and although it is great that it means there would be a lot of colourful characters, it also means that many are just playing minor supporting characters that would hardly have anything more about them fleshed out. Like that old fart wizard Kato. Seen him doing anything useful? Yao only made her debut in the penultimate episode. So there are still lots of potential about this dark elf. My guts had me feel that she too will be inducted into Itami’s harem. I have a feeling that Nanami has a more prominent role to play in the next season and thus her unimportant cameo here. But that itself might be just a red herring. I hope Risa comes back the next season. She is as interesting as her ex-husband is. Having an otaku as your waifu is equivalent for a gamer guy to have a gamer girl as his wife. The ultimate match make in heaven. Ultimately, many of the characters that appear once or twice for a short while may or may not appear again the next time like Pina’s maids, that merchant guy, that afro intelligence guy, the SDF higher ups, people from the Senate, the nobles, the warlords, the politicians and everybody else I missed out. Good luck remembering all of them when the next season airs. I hope I won’t have to scratch my head thinking what happened to that character when the time comes.
Watching this series somehow reminded me of another anime with a subtly similar theme: Outbreak Company. Noticed that both have an otaku as their lead, his possible romance among the few female leads, there is great military presence in the other world in which they invade it in which this other world is vastly inferior to ours that is also practising some sort of feudalism, and the inhabitants of the other world is trying to learn and absorb our culture. Or at least Japan’s otaku culture. And yeah, who could forget animal eared maids… I can imagine the chaos if this world is hooked on BL and then our world starts restricting them… Then our world will know the true power of girl power! Haha!
Art and drawing seems pretty fine. The fantasy isn’t what I imagined it would be because of the world’s primitive setting but it will still do. While female inhabitants of the fantasy world look like cosplay girls, I just keep wondering why older guys from both worlds have this realistic old guy look. Is it me or do I noticed that the presidents of the other super power countries like USA, China and Russia, how come they have this gangster look! Holy sh*t! True! When I first see them, I thought they were some yankee mobster, triad boss or communist mafia head trying to make their move but then I realized they are their country’s top leader! So again, why does Japan’s premier have to be decently good looking and the rest look like thugs? I hope there is nothing political here… Because you know, in the anime they also sound like sneaky bastards having their ulterior motive to usurp Japan for the Gate…
With a myriad of characters, the cast list is a long one containing veteran, new and old seiyuus. Familiar voices from the industry include Junichi Suwabe as Itami (perfecting his carefree-like voice for his character like Undertaker in Kuroshitsuji), Haruka Tomatsu as Pina (reminds me of her other strong female lead characters like Elen from Madan To Ou No Vanadis), Nao Touyama as Lelei (minus the tsundere attitude), Risa Taneda as Rory (she’s getting a lot of anime roles lately, isn’t she?), Hisako Kanemoto as Tuka (the more I hear her, the more I forget that she was once that squid girl…), Hiroki Yasumoto (this guy can only make Bleach’s Sado’s voice because every anime I hear him, he sounds exactly the same), Koji Yusa as Yanagida (that sneaky-like voice – yup, definitely him), Cho as Kato (that gay-like old men voice – yup, definitely him), Youko Hikasa as Yao (is it really her?), Maaya Uchida as Kuribayashi (after all these years I still can’t recognize her voice. Too generic?), Yoshino Nanjou as Risa (I thought she was going to burst into something like Kokoro from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Kaito Ishikawa as Kurata (Tigre in Madan To Ou No Vanadis) and Yumi Uchiyama as Bozes (Momiji in Binbougami Ga).
The opening theme is Gate ~Sore Wa Akatsuki No You Ni by Kishida Kyoudan and The Akeboshi Rockets. The ending theme is Prism Communicate by the voices behind Rory, Lelei and Tuka. This is something trivial: I may be wrong on this but despite the overwhelming military theme of this anime, I believe I have not heard any military type of music or even the marching-like brass band songs. Not that I noticed of (perhaps it is because I was too engrossed in watching the plot and the likes). Maybe they don’t want it to sound out of place like as though it is some sort of parade. Yeah, it may look like fun the SDF gunning down bandits with ease and raking up the body count but I don’t think it is even funny despite we enjoy that kind of bloodbath scene.
Overall, I should have just waited for the next season to run and then watch it at one go to have a better overall perspective of the series. But I guess that is what happens when you are impatient. Therefore as far as this season is concerned, it may look like some run of the mill fantasy series and nothing ground breaking. In fact, this series could be as typical as the abundant of seemingly animes with similar cliché. Well, if you have got a taste that high… But to me since this series is interesting and good, I’ll prefer to keep things that way. Not because the SDF is an invincible all mighty do-gooders. Not because there are cute chicks in cosplay outfits running all over this world. Not because of the interesting cast of characters, the action, the drama, the politics and everything else associated with it. Okay, I lied. Maybe it is all of that. Yes it is. And somehow I get this disturbing feeling that a civilization and kingdom’s fall is not because of the prolonged effects of a ravaging war, but the spread of yaoi doujin… Girls will be too hooked on them to do anything else. Guys will be neglected and slowly die out or kill themselves in view of this. Oh yeah. Yaoi doujin… Fear thy true silent enemy of death! Maybe those Hollywood movies should learn a thing or two and give those advanced aliens a taste of yaoi… Yeah… It might open a new gate to a whole new experience.