Divine Gate

July 10, 2016

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side. Can it hold true too when it comes to a big door or a gate? At least that is what I understood when I watch Divine Gate. In this sci-fi action series that is based on a mobile app game, people who cross over this gate will be given the power to get their wish fulfilled or change some sort of history or future. Therefore a group of people deemed ‘suitable’ to walk through this gate is gathered for this sole purpose. If it was only that easy… I suppose gate crashing isn’t the best solution, huh?

Episode 1
A train packed like sardine. Suddenly this mad guy starts burning things thinking he has the ability to change the world. He even bothers to tell us about how the 3 worlds merged and gifting them with 6 abilities. Such users are called to the Divine Gate where all wishes come true. If it sounds like a fairytale, it probably is in this anime’s setting because it is what mothers used to tell their children as bedtime story. So anyway, before this guy could murder this innocent girl in broad daylight, here comes this sad looking kid, Aoto, slashing him down with his water blade. The end. So much about his change, eh? In the next coach, a pair of World Council academy students, Akane and Midori rush to the scene and misinterpret Aoto as the killer. They think he is in possession of an illegal Driver but he notes he does not have one and then walks away sadly like a boss. Aoto has creepy visions of a kid who keep telling him the Divine Gate is within his reach but he just doesn’t want to reach out. And some traumatic flashback of his dead parents. At school, Akane and Midori’s pet, Metabon (is it a dog? A bat?) replays footage that shows Aoto is the saviour. His sadness is so obvious that they even notice it. Meanwhile the top dogs of World Council, Knights of Round (KoR) are discussing about Aoto. Each has their differing opinions but the big boss Arthur decides that he will enrol at the academy. Akane and Midori are called by their advisors, Ifreet and Sylph regarding Aoto. They want this guy to be their partner and thus they need to convince him to attend the academy. They have to act fast since that water fairy is already making her move. If Aoto’s name sounds familiar, it probably is because he was the kid that killed his parents 4 years ago and the media went frenzy about it.

Aoto is outside his home as Undine waits. She wants him to enrol at the academy but like for the umpteenth time he has turned it down. She claims Arthur needs his power to maintain world peace but personally, she thinks she can be of help to him. So Aoto at least have the decency to see Arthur who in turn gives him a Driver that is created especially for him. Arthur believes his power attracts other large powers. Aoto declines so Arthur will always be waiting for him. Once he is ready, he will tell nothing but the truth. Downstairs, Akane and Midori meet him and get to the point of wanting to recruit him. Not interested. Midori thought he would be interested when she mentions her own dreams to reach Divine Gate. Would he want to have his wish granted? Too bad, sad dude has got no wishes. Akane tells him straight he doesn’t believe about the rumours that he killed his parents but he tells him back straight he killed them. There. Again he sees this creepy kid who creepily tells him he knows all about him because he has been watching him like some sick stalker. Flashback shows Aoto’s parents extremely favours his little brother and shower him with love and gifts. Aoto on the other hand is so neglected that he lives in a rundown shed and his paltry meal is even stolen by a stray dog! Seeing how pitiful the dog is, he even lets it eat his food! No wonder he is so sad! He is so pitiful that you want to cry too! Then little brother came to tell him about the colour of his heart. It is ice cold blue. He wants to hate them but couldn’t. He wants to kill them but couldn’t. That is why little brother can save him but he won’t. WTF?! And if that wasn’t bad enough, creepy kid came to tell Aoto he knows he is always crying on the inside. I’m not sure if he is laughing on the inside with that creepy smile as he said that.

Episode 2
Akane is bugged by Aoto’s words. Because his father meant so much to him. Arthur is bugged by Loki. Because clown guy will like whatever big boss likes. Aoto is bugged by creepy kid. Because he is here to haunt him about his inerasable past. Does this kid have nothing else better to do? Akane and co are here again to bug Aoto and persuade him to join the academy. Sad boy continues to be so gloomy that it’s just annoying. Midori thought of breaking the ice by asking the stray cats he feeds. Akane didn’t like his answer of feeding them whenever he likes. Akane walks away as Metabon talks about his fiery temper. Yeah, flashback about his beloved dad. He was such a powerful guy holding more power than the council but one day he died rumoured to be from an experiment. It is of course something Akane won’t accept. Akane bumps into a poor kid, Hiroto. Seeing he wants money for food, Akane is about to donate but remembers his words to Aoto and becomes hesitant. Hiroto recognizes Aoto and wants to go buy bread together. Akane is not pleased Hiroto’s parents are not around. He wants to go tell them. How the f*cks is he going to do that? A patrolling robot passes by. It starts malfunctioning, shooting missiles in every direction. True to his name, you can bet Loki is the one behind this to see this ‘interesting show’. Hiroto is trapped by the flames. His father wants to save him but his trauma turns him into a coward. Akane not happy. Aoto no feelings. He accepted the fact his father couldn’t.

Akane gives Aoto his Driver. It was his job here anyway. He takes it since he very well wants to save Hiroto. While Akane and Midori take down the robot, Aoto unleashes his water sword to douse the flames. Now Akane scolds Hiroto’s dad for not acting to save his own child. Aoto tells him about the conscious and subconscious effect. He consciously wanted to save him but his subconscious of fear exceeded that. Wow Aoto. You’d make a good psychiatrist. In short, father and son make up. Happy ending. Even Loki is pleased with the show. Now it is creepy kid’s turn to put some subconscious fear into Aoto by making him remember his past. Because of his fear of betrayal, it makes him afraid to move on and take action. We see how his parents begged Aoto to spare them but unfortunately death was their only fate. Not too sure if they really discriminate Aoto so much that they view him as the killer because from what it looks like, it is the younger brother who killed them. Unless he too is named Aoto. Aoto is left in shock and when the brothers touch, they see visions of Divine Gate. Because of that, younger brother believes they shouldn’t see each other anymore and leaves. Aoto goes to see Arthur for his enrolment. I think all that bugging had worked. Arthur relays the good news that recently he received a key that will guide and open the Divine Gate. Now everyone has their hopes up.

Episode 3
Arthur calls Oz just to tell him the truth he got the key. Oz has his concerns but Arthur will do what he needs to do and they can just watch him. While Midori is having a practice match with Ginji, she can’t help space out thinking about her old friend, Elena. She wanted to be Midori’s only friend forever. Like BFF? It was her wish for the Divine Gate. During Aoto’s welcoming party, that creepy kid continues to pop up. What the heck?! Cut that guy some slack! Midori seems pushy when she wants to know about the truth of Aoto (since Sylph doesn’t know how to ask properly how he ended up looking at the Divine Gate) but she brushes it off and jokingly proclaims she’ll be the first one to reach there. Akane notices her to continue spacing out so I suppose it is a cue for her flashback. Remember how good friends Midori were with Elena? When they entered school, Elena became jealous that Midori was mixing well with the rest. That yandere eyes… She even laid down the rules that she only wants her to be her only friend forever. But I guess that kind of heavy stuff was too restrictive for Midori so Elena didn’t quite like it. Midori wanted to make up and ask her out to the festivals but Elena left her last message that she is going to a place to get her wish granted. Where else but the Divine Gate? Midori has never seen her since and she believes Elena must be waiting for her at the Divine Gate. Arthur tells his KoR about the key. Some are quite enthusiastic but others like Lancelot is showing his foul mood which obviously means his disproval. Creepy kid continues to bug Aoto while he is training. He is certain Aoto has a wish and wants it granted although Aoto disagrees. In the others, Aoto seems like a mad man talking to his imaginary friend. Of course Midori is concerned and wants to help him. This means snooping around for details about his past. As he is about to input his name in the search box, suddenly the alert sounds and there is this big red restricted access across the screen. Wow. Is it that bad?

Episode 4
Arthur sees the development of the fifth version of an upgraded Driver. Well, it’s getting too technical for me. Akane and Midori went to tell Aoto straight what they were trying to do. No, they weren’t looking him up but trying to help him because he looks so much in pain. Yeah right. Midori sends Aoto a link to Friend Log where he can post stuffs like instant messaging but I suppose that guy isn’t interested. Later Midori gets a mysterious message that will guide her to read classified information. Prank? She opens it anyway and it leads her to ‘borrow’ Undine’s pass? At least this time they are able to access more information without the red alert. Looking through articles pertaining Aoto, they are perplexed that the Blue Christmas incident is also related to him. Digging further, they realize it wasn’t just a shopping mall accident but an incident of a blonde boy using a knife made out of water killing 666 shoppers! Aoto is a suspect but there was not enough evidence to charge him. This time the red alert sounds with robots surrounding them when they go deeper. Breunor, a secret military agency of KoR has been monitoring their illegal access. But guess what? He’ll tell them all about Blue Christmas! That was easy. Meanwhile, because Breunor left his surveillance seat, this allowed this weird masked guy, Schrodinger to hack into the system and send a creepy message to Aoto. This guy will also narrate what happened during Blue Christmas.

When the lights went out, the moon’s light reflected and made the surroundings look blue. Then Aoto materialized his water blades and start cutting everyone down. Schrodinger was there and saw how beautiful he was (gay love at first sight?) and wanted to join him. Aoto considered him his comrade but slashed his mouth first. Breunor was supposed to meet his father at the mall but only heard his last words describing the killer with blue eyes. An explosion occurred as Breunor was rescued by Arthur. Ever since, he has been trying to trace Aoto and get prove that he was the one who did it, albeit there was another unknown guy as his accomplice. Breunor wants their help to find proof. Although Akane doesn’t like the idea, Midori agrees because she wants to help Aoto. Breunor realizes his tracking on Aoto has ceased. But Midori can trace him thanks to Friend Log. He is at the ruins of Blue Christmas. Aoto meets Schrodinger who looks forward to their reunion. Although Schrodinger notes he looks a little different now. Breunor and co crash gate their lovely reunion. Breunor knows Schrodinger as one of the Geniuses of Divine. Midori believes he is the one who sent her the mysterious mail. Schrodinger sends his robot to stall them. Aoto clashes swords with him as he asks where did the other Aoto go. This makes sense to Schrodinger now as this Aoto isn’t the same one then. He sets loose some hot chick killing machine, Samidare to kill them while he escapes. Akane wants some answers on Blue Christmas. Aoto is about to admit he is the culprit but Breunor will just leave it there. They then pick up defeated Samidare who is requesting an order from her new master. Aoto? What should he do? Midori suggests posting this on Friend Log and he gets a thumbs up by Undine. Huh? Hey, at least Aoto smiled a little.

Episode 5
Aoto and co are joined by Ginji, Hikari and Yukari for a special training in the woods. You can’t blame them for not believing and taking seriously their trainer would be a woman wearing a horse head mask. Is this some sort of internet meme? Apparently Bedivere of KoR was tricked by fellow KoR, Ywain to wear it will make her recognizable from the organization immediately. How gullible… Oddly, the training consists of school sports festival games like sumo wrestling and quiz show. Is this really training? While taking a rest, Akane notices a girl watching him. They have no problems striking up a conversation like as though they’ve been friends for years. But when his pals arrive, the girl is nowhere to be seen. OMG. Is she… At least she is not a ghost. I don’t know how but she zipped back so fast into hiding back into the bushes where her other friends were waiting. Arthur and the other executives are monitoring the special training and his reason for the weird activities in it is because reaching the Divine Gate might not always lie in battles. After the trainees take their shower and freshen up, they head back to base but are set upon by Seconds, human-animal hybrids who will seek any powers to reach the Divine Gate but don’t hurt others. They claim they have trespassed their territory so Akane tells the team to run since their orders are to return base on not kill them. But Akane is forced to fight that girl who is also a Seconds. She adds they are all Defiers, people who are abandoned and forced into hiding after defying the World Council. Watching Arthur wants to see what the kids will do instead of sending reinforcements so as to know what kind of reaction they will do in such situations. Akane decides to go for diplomacy after Aoto hints him about using words. He tries to understand her plight but she injures him when he lets his guard down. I guess she was too tormented to give a sh*t about trust. Before she could kill him, Bedivere and the other instructors arrive to slaughter them all! As they are all important to the progress of Divine Gate, this is the only way left. Arthur seems satisfied in the path taken and playing the cold king. Because if the people is lost, all a king needs to do is decide on a path. In the aftermath, Akane cries and apologizes to the girl. And now she tells him to continue to be happy when a moment ago she was like b*tching you-don’t-understand-me?! Too late for realizing he is a nice person, eh? Hey Akane, stop dripping your tears on a dead girl’s face! And as gloomily noted by Aoto, he had the conscious and subconscious will but did not have the required powers to save her. Yeah whatever.

Episode 6
There is this flashback where young Arthur met a kid named Santa. No, he is not related to that fat red guy from South Pole. But just like Santa, he granted Arthur something good for Christmas. Now Arthur is before the council as he narrates a little history about when the first Divine Gate appeared and merged all 3 worlds and brought chaos. That happened because everybody cared only for themselves. He will prevent something like Blue Christmas from happening again and will do whatever it takes to reach the Divine Gate. So he gathers his KoR just to tell them it is time to go. He also adds his objective to rebuild the world into a happy one. Therefore he will claim the Divine Gate and become king. Aoto’s group is to see Arthur. And here I thought the creepy kid is gone for good but he pops up again to haunt Aoto about believing his wish would come true and pain awaiting him. Arthur tells the kids that they will be joining him for the expedition. They might have their doubts but he remains cocksure optimistic that they will get there. Because if you don’t have the confidence, that is like losing half the battle, right? Loki remembers meeting young Arthur. Captivated by him, he asked if Arthur wanted to become a god like him. Instead, he wanted to become king and bring peace to the world. Loki will do happy things that will make him happy. Like how the people need a king, a king will need a God. So he and his RPG-like comrades gather their Twilight Judgment. Aoto’s side continue to think over Arthur’s words of becoming king and correcting the world’s state. By doing so, his friend Santa will bring happiness to everyone. No, not that red guy. But just like the fatty, some question whether he exists or not. Arthur assembles his KoR as well as the selected few from the academy for the expedition. He introduces Oz and Loki to them. The creepy kid is up to his no good haunting again and thank goodness he is interrupted when Undine comes to talk to Aoto about Arthur wanting to see him personally. So it’s just to elaborate more on this Santa kid whom he wants to repay as gratitude for giving him a chance to start anew after losing everything? Aoto notes his wish is like a wish for himself but isn’t. Arthur points out Aoto is the same. Sacrificing oneself to protect something is more important. He knows he has been protecting his little brother by being his scapegoat. People become stronger when they have something other than themselves to protect.

Episode 7
The expedition finally begins. But Arthur shocks his team by telling his real goal: To destroy the Divine Gate. After the chaos that merged the 3 worlds, it created a world that only rulers understand and covered up dirty secrets. Therefore he is going to destroy it to return the world to its original state. Making their way in, they are set upon by many robot drones sent by Loki. He won’t give Arthur an easy way there. Once inside the tower, they are besieged by… Scandinavian Gods?! I thought those were Japanese cosplayers with powers!!! Arthur has his KoR fight them to buy time while he and the kids head straight to the next door. How do humans fare against Gods? No chance. And so our first victim to die… The little ‘daughter’ of KoR, Gawain whom nobody really cares. Eventually one by one the KoR gets killed off by the Gods who don’t even need to exert so much as a sweat to dispose them off. Apparently these Gods are sent by Oz who thought those puny humans would lose hope and pull back. Now he blames himself for the massacre. WTF. Midori can’t understand why so much has been sacrificed for this. Isn’t this what you were all prepared for?! Now Arthur claims he is a sinner. A sinner who will bear this great sin to change this world. Then he moves on like as though he felt nothing from all those deaths. WTF. The last ones standing are Breunor and Lancelot. So blonde guys only get to live? They look like they did a little yaoi thing before Breunor bites the dust. Lancelot is prepared to sacrifice himself but at this point the Gods just didn’t bother with him and disappear. Arthur is before the Divine Gate when he is attacked by this super mecha girl, Replica from the lab. The kids are sealed off outside as Lancelot joins them believing Arthur won’t die this easily. After Arthur destroys Replica, Loki appears before him and Arthur realizes he had Geniuses of Divine working under him. With no more strength left, Loki gives him 2 choices: Pick up this sword and be his personal king or die. Since Arthur won’t be manipulated by him, I guess you know what he chose. But it seems Arthur leaves something behind and picks up the sword. When the door reopens and he reunites with the others outside, Arthur stabs Lancelot. So he has decided to become Loki’s king after all? The door shuts, the place crumbles, the kids fall into the abyss and a new dark tower springs up. Oh boy.

Episode 8
Arthur is trapped inside his own conscious. Hey, at least Loki kept his word on his physical being to become a king of this tower, right? The World Council imposes a curfew on the world. Oz is interrogated before them about Arthur’s betrayal but since they don’t find his answer satisfying, Loki confirms that everyone has died. Later Oz talks to Loki about what he said. Loki says they are now conspirers against the council. It was his idea to unleash the Scandinavian Gods so his hands are as dirty as his. Loki returns to the Geniuses of Divine. The opening show has ended and now the main show of Twilight Judgment will begin. He hopes Shakespeare can come up with a good tragedy. Apparently the kids are still alive and hiding in a secret hideout. Ifreet, Sylph and Undine go visit them to give supplies but can’t stay long or they will be suspected. Also with the kids is Santa. He was the one who popped up during the tower collapse to save them. He explains how the council kept the truth from Arthur. They are hiding everything thanks to Loki. Conspiring with the Geniuses of Divine, he controls the council. Therefore there is more than meets the eyes of Akane’s father’s death and Midori’s friend’s whereabouts. Loki’s wish is to perhaps open the Divine Gate and start fresh with the world. He loves to see people struggle for the Divine Gate. That is why Arthur decided to destroy it after Santa told him about Loki’s plan so the world will get its peace. He wants their help to save Arthur and follow him back to the Divine Gate again. Why them? Because Arthur chose them. However Ginji’s side decides to go back to the council thinking they can’t be forever hiding in here. They think Arthur is the bad guy for betraying and this Santa dude might be lying. They are just victims caught up in this. But Akane wants to return to the Divine Gate. He wants to know the truth. Midori and Aoto side with Akane’s view so both sides go their separate ways. Ginji is interrogated by Loki as he puts it in nice words to lure out his friends. They are forced to bring him to the hideout but apparently they got the place wrong. Santa has replaced their memories when they left. But Ginji has an idea. He goes to warn Ifreet and co that Akane’s hideout has been discovered. Unknowingly they lead them to the real hideout and instantly Loki sets his ambush. The robots set to attack if they don’t come out. Santa distracts them with his flashy explosions to let the rest escape to an underground passage that is believed to lead to the Divine Gate. Loki signals to Shakespeare for her debut so with the stroke of her pen, Akane, Aoto and Midori suddenly vanish from plain sight.

Episode 9
Akane and co are running away from Loki’s drones. Then they fell through a hole that lands them on a stage. Loki is going to have Shakespeare write out a tragedy for each of them. At first she summons a twisted version of Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet but Loki finds it boring and wants her to rewrite a familiar story with a surprising twist. The trio are separated into their own plays. Akane is a girl! He is Cinderella being brutally beaten up by his stepmother and stepsisters. Midori is in prison for a failed assassination attempt and Aoto is a sad gloomy bedridden boy who can’t even f*cking cry. Like in Cinderella’s story, Akane is invited to the ball and it seems the prince is his father! Midori somehow breaks out and keeps running. And running and running and running… Aoto still stuck in bed… Loki finds the story boring so Shakespeare drops her pen. The play freezes for a while. Akane’s dad takes this chance to take his son away to a place where Loki can’t reach. Akane punches him! That’s to see if he is real. And oh, for faking his death and abandoning them. Midori runs into Elena. They made up and continue to be best friends. Aoto finally gets up and goes to his old house. He sees his younger brother there. Brother explains why he did that horrible thing that night. He claims they only understand each other. It broke his heart to see his parents torture him so much that is why he eventually acted. Had he reached out in time, this tragedy could have been prevented. But Aoto is not moved and wonders who the f*ck this guy is. As Akane play catch with his dad, the latter mentions he regrets everything and would do anything to start again. That is when Akane felt something wrong. He believes this guy is an imposter because he knows his dad is the kind who would abandon his own kid to achieve his goal. That is why if he loses everything, he can’t throw away his dream. His dad turns into Hamlet and laments his failure. As for Midori, she knew this isn’t her Elena when she doesn’t even know what those matching handphone straps are. Yup, Macbeth in disguise. Failed. And as you would have guessed, Aoto’s brother is Hamlet. Shakespeare is shocked that they defied her writing but Loki is very impressed because the best plays are those that don’t follow the script. Just like their lives. Making it even more ironic is how he mentions those actual characters will be making their appearance. Reality is stranger than play. So it is not fiction? He puts Shakespeare to rest while he waits for his favourite drama to unfold.

Episode 10
Aoto meeting that creepy kid. Not a fake definitely. Akane is attacked by drones and when he is surrounded, somebody blew them all away. Hey look, it’s his father! Is this another trap? Father shows off his awesome fire fist that destroys the rest of the drones. Now you believe? Not yet? When he mentions about some birth secret, Akane realizes this is his real father. He wants his son to go back and will talk to the council. As this world has changed the Divine Gate, the disaster claimed many lives. Now people cannot maintain the balance with the Divine Gate anymore. That is why some are here to research it. The drones carry all that data. The Divine Gate cannot be destroyed to but they will try to keep the casualty minimum. Akane is not impressed with his answer of sacrificing for the greater good. He will reject everything that is him and go to the Divine Gate and change this world. I guess an inevitable showdown between father and son. Meanwhile Midori stumbles into Elena and thinks she is fake too. Time to fight? Okay. Then when she sees her matching handphone straps, she realizes she is the real deal. Well thank goodness. Meanwhile Loki is talking to Arthur. Loki claims that the Adapters cannot reach the Divine Gate without the key. Although one already has, the other 2 need to obtain despair as the key. Loki is sure he had put a curse on Arthur to make him his but he knows his real heart is not here since Arthur was able to resist him. Ginji is being questioned by the council. He remains cautious but they assure him they don’t trust Loki anymore and Oz is just useless. They claim he is an important person because he is the only human who can reach the Divine Gate. So I’m guessing Hikari is the princess of the Celestia world and Yukari for Hellistia since they are being picked up by their respective people. I am sure Midori and Elena would love to continue making up and chat but time is short. Because it is like Elena is saying goodbye to her since she has got a new life and new name: Dorothy (which is the name of Oz’s assistant). Before they can wrap up, they are attacked by a Scandinavian God. Another of those Gods interrupts Akane’s fight. Father programs the drones to take his son away. Second time trauma? Then he gives the God a run for his money before getting stabbed. But what makes him scarier is how he is going to do suicide bombing with the God. Yeah, even the God is freaking scared! Boom! Poor Akane. Despair mode awakened. Elena uses her body to protect Midori. Another awakening of despair. Oz is sad too but I’m sure he is irrelevant to it. Undine reunites with Aoto. She can see the creepy kid. Before the door, Aoto is surprised to see his little brother waiting.

Episode 11
Aoto and his brother were once both abused by their parents. Despite all that, Aoto continued to have clear eyes. Little brother didn’t like that because it is as though he didn’t feel anything. We go deeper into their past before they became Adapters. They took turns getting abused by them so that they could become Adapters. I don’t understand the logic in this… Little brother believes Aoto always wanted to protect him. Then there is something about Aoto seeing the Divine Gate before him first. Those who do would pass out due to its overwhelming force but Aoto didn’t. It proves he is stronger despite Aoto claiming his brother is the stronger one. When little brother set fire to the house, Aoto took the blame that he did it. The parents claim all the abuse was so that they could be part of World Council but Aoto believes it is only for their own benefit. Father beat him up and locked him away. Aoto thought this kind act was protecting his little brother but the latter only felt worse because it was as bad and painful watching him being abused. The night before little brother went to kill their parents, he went to see Aoto and tried to strangle him. He got scared by his clear eyes and ran away. That is when he saw the Divine Gate and became an Adapter. To little brother, those eyes felt like looking down on him. He is disappointed Aoto never brought up the suggestion to run away and for the brothers to live alone together. That is why he calls him a hypocrite for wanting to see him suffer. This is of course wasn’t Aoto’s intention but little brother has become so fixated in not accepting him in his life, it is time for punishment. Yeah, after half an episode of drama, it is time for the brothers to fight. However Aoto will not fight him and is only reduced to dodging. Meanwhile Oz thinks he can atone himself by ridding the Scandinavian Gods via using his own life. Whatever. We don’t care anymore. The siblings’ battle ends when Undine uses herself to protect Aoto. Instinctively, Aoto draws his sword and cuts his brother when he goes in for the attack. Little brother is glad he has shown his true feelings in wanting to kill him. So he takes his leave into the Divine Gate and says as long as he continues to protect him, they will move forward. Aoto, Akane and Midori move into the Divine Gate since they are told they have the right. Before them is the creepy kid who shows them the Divine Gate’s true form: A large scale that balances hope and despair and watching over their conscious and subconscious. Aoto wants creepy kid to answer a question he never answered: Who is he exactly. He is the key that guides people who have experienced despair to the Divine Gate. Whether it is the past or future they want to change, they have that ability to choose that answer from the Divine Gate as they have the right.

Episode 12
There is something that makes Santa feels grateful about Arthur, the reason he is going to save him. Geez, you don’t have to scream his name. So here he is facing off with Loki and mind controlled Arthur and talking about some cap about the freedom to choose. Not that I care. Santa purposely gets stabbed by Arthur so he could get connected into his trapped mind. He meets the real Arthur and knows he has kept his real heart hidden in some item. He wants Arthur to come back with him but he has already decided to stay and protect the world the bring everyone happiness. Santa is forced out and left pondering if this is the path Arthur wants to take. Meanwhile Aoto and co are ready to walk through the Divine Gate. But before they could take a step, the Scandinavian Gods stop them. They have survived Oz’s stripping of their Drivers which made him all shrivelled up. The Gods are against them using the Divine Gate as they feel changing fate is too much for a human to bear. So Gods could only do it? But creepy kid sides the humans, believing they have the right to do so and change all that crap. Creepy kid even tells the kids not to listen to these Gods and probably incite hatred in them reminding how they were the ones who killed their father/friend/brother (okay, so Aoto didn’t exactly lose his brother to death). Creepy kid pushes them out, making those loser Gods hate humans and their selfishness even more. Just when you think it is all clear to head in, here is Ginji. Not so fast. The council has sent him after realizing Loki has betrayed them. But what does this guy do? Well, he tries diplomacy despite looking like a guy who lets his fists do the talking. So he is trying to talk them out not using the Divine Gate and is only for the council and rulers of this world to use.

Although Aoto and co’s wish will not change something drastic like that, it will still change. Order will disappear. Because life is unfair. No matter how much effort you put in, at the end of the day only the chosen ones rule the world. That is why the council is needed to make the chaotic world look like a normal one. Creepy kid argues that is why these kids have the chance to do away with all that. Become Gods and control the world they see fit and desire. All this made Aoto realized important things Arthur told him and the way he lived his life. In the end, people won’t change even if they rely on Gods’ powers. They have to change themselves. And thanks to this ‘brainstorming’, our heroes forfeit their right to enter the Divine Gate. So abandoning their wish for a current crappier world is better? Creepy kid is disappointed but since this is their decision, this is also their fate to choose. The Divine Gate closes as Aoto thanks the creepy kid who feels happy this is the first time somebody does this to him. Yeah, who would ever want to thank that kind of creepy face? But now they are faced with Loki and Arthur. They make a run for it when Arthur destroys the tower. Arthur gives Loki a pep talk that he cannot wipe hope away from this world. Loki thinks despair will only be there but Arthur is fine if it is the path they choose. Aoto and co return to the real world and they are surprised Lancelot is alive. In fact the entire KoR survived thanks to some greater power.

Change The World, Maybe?
Well, I’m glad this mess is over. The more this series runs through its course, the more confusing it gets and thus the least enjoyable it has become towards the end. Because I am still not really sure what the f*ck is happening and going to happen. Especially with that foreboding ending that something darker might be lurking but I just couldn’t care anymore. I just wanted it to end. And thank goodness it did. To be fair, this series is adapted from a mobile game app so there might have been potentials not developed yet, the plot still ongoing and maybe the players haven’t reached that far in the levels. Or if this is just one of the many routes and endings. I don’t know, I can’t say as I never played the game. So it sucks because things haven’t finished yet but as far as this season is concerned, it fails to address lots of things and only serves to raise more questions than answers.

Firstly, the plot itself is already in a mess. It seems it is something more than just a simple adventure to head into the Divine Gate. The first half of the series feels like introducing the main characters and trying to give them a little background and such. The second half deals with the so called journey to get to the Divine Gate. It feels just odd thinking that getting there looks tough but on the other hand, it also feels somewhat confusing. I don’t know what the criteria is for one to reach and even enter the Divine Gate seeing that despair is one of it but I myself is totally unsure. Sometimes the first half feels like wasting time to journey towards the Divine Gate because you will keep wondering what is it that is preventing Arthur to just gather a freaking team to head there. Does he need chosen ones like Aoto and co? I don’t get it. Maybe that is why Arthur is so bent on waiting for Aoto to join because that creepy kid is the key to the Divine Gate and without a key, you can’t open the door, right? Okay, now I get it. But I’m still not impressed. Also, I am assuming Arthur’s expedition is illegal because there are top wigs and Gods who don’t want to use it and thus this so called mission to destroy it.

Another disappointing thing is the characters. Firstly, there are too many of them and too little screen time for them to make you even want to care about them. Even our main protagonists fail to give us a reason to why we should support them. For a long time they have been wanting to change the world and get the truth and all of a sudden, it took a mere secondary character to convince them of discarding that goal of theirs and settle for whatever it is now. Be grateful for what you have now. Changing everything could be a lot worse. Yeah, it is like saying they don’t want to take full responsibility when everything turns out wrong after they become Gods. Look at it this way. Aoto and co become Gods, change the world only to find that it isn’t really to what they wanted all along. Despair? You bet. Couldn’t they just undo everything since they are Gods? Guess not. Might as well give the current big bosses the power to rule everything since it is a big responsibility that they don’t want to shoulder. They think they don’t want to be selfish to change the entire world just for their wish but if you look it from this perspective, aren’t they the same? Yeah, humans. So complicated.

Aoto, Akane and Midori each have their own tragic past to deal with but it isn’t something deep enough to care about. Akane wants to know the truth about his dad. Too bad he is dead after they meet. Midori wants to reunite with her friend. Too bad she is dead after they meet. Aoto wants to reconcile with his brother. Too bad still not done. So what is left of them now seeing that their wishes are unfulfilled, they decide to accept this fate and continue with their miserable lives? I don’t understand indeed. Creepy kid is just creepy, sometimes I feel he is like Aoto’s personal stalker with that eternal smiling face, trying to remind him about the choice he should be making. Whatever. At least he is on your side. This kid can even best the Gods if you oppose him!

If that was just the main characters, it is even worst with the secondary characters like Arthur and his KoR, Ginji and his other 2 lady friends and even Loki and Santa themselves. I was hoping everybody would just be killed off in the end to save the hassle of worrying about them but when you have KoR, a group filled with bishonen and bishoujo, the power of lame excuses are used to bring them back to life. Didn’t we see them die? Arthur is a mysterious man whom you’ll never understand till the end. Looks like he has his own agenda by falling into Loki’s trap but could it be he is also walking into his palm? Or is there some sort of dark collusion between them? Not that I care anyway. Loki is amusing as an antagonist only because he is playing the role of an antagonist. Who wouldn’t be f*cking bored in this world and that is why he wants to see players and pawns change the world. At least he is much better than Oz who is just a freaking wuss. I don’t even know how he is God. And Santa? I don’t even know how he fits into everything and I am not even sure of his fate at the end. Did he die after Arthur stabs him? So Ginji’s entire role other than betraying his friends at first is to become an ambassador to give those friends a pep talk and change their mind? Hell it worked. If Gods can’t do the job, a fellow human could. What? And Hikari and Yukari are whisked away to their respective worlds becoming queens for who knows what. Even if the World Council are supposed to rule the world their way, they can’t even do sh*t and need others to do things for them. All they could do is give lip service. This is especially when Loki makes his move and they just didn’t do anything. So much about being at the top, huh? Thus, no need for Aoto and co to worry about them being chased by the World Council (as warned by Ginji) because I’m sure we all also forgot about Seconds and Defiers, right? Yeah…

And you do remember that there are a handful of other side characters that come and go, right? Remember Schrodinger? What the f*ck is his role supposed to be? Looking for the other Aoto so he could have gay time with him? I am not really sure to add just an episode for him to appear and after that you never hear from him again. Whatever happened to Shakespeare? Did Loki forget he left her sleeping? I guess he was even bored of her writing style that he decided to ditch her talent eventually. Sleep forever playwright beauty… You will only be awakened when your next script is needed. There was a killing machine too, right? Don’t remember? Never mind… Even with the spamming of Aoto and his estranged brother from time to time, eventually I don’t even know what the hell is going on between them. So Aoto’s brother who doesn’t even decently have his own name we could all refer to, just walks away to where? Into the Divine Gate? So if Aoto is not going there anymore, does this mean he will wait for eternity and Aoto will never show up? At least better than the case of Ifreet, Sylph and Undine whom I am not even sure why these characters exist. Metabon is supposed to be this series’ mascot but he is always missing in action. Where the hell are you at times? Oh, I don’t even know what this weird animal’s role is in this anime.

I am sure this anime is trying to talk subtly about freedom, consciousness, subconsciousness, making choices of your own will and even about the fate of your future entire depends on yourself instead of Gods and whatever unknown variables. Hey. Remember this is sci-fi. So f*ck logic and please give us a decent story. No? Too bad. I guess this must be fate too. And I suppose the biggest one is that there will always be hope no matter how desperate the situation. But hope and despair are just like light and darkness and exist side by side. You cannot have one without the other. Therefore the ever perpetual argument between Arthur and Loki regarding this matter. We get it already!

There are a handful of recognizable seiyuus lending their voices to this mediocre anime and unfortunately still couldn’t save it. From Yuuichi Nakamura as Arthur to Kana Asumi as Sylph, there are also Tetsuya Kakihara as Akane, Kanae Itou as Midori, Ami Koshimizu as Ifreet, Ayana Taketatsu as Hikari, Aoi Yuuki as Elena/Dorothy, Takahiro Sakai as Santa, Koji Yusa as Loki and Akira Ishida as Oz. Also, there is Rie Kugimiya as that creepy kid. I’m not sure if she is trying to sound creepy because it is like she’s trying to put on her tsundere trademark but at the same time not. Get it? Therefore you get this seemingly creepy impression coupled in with the fact that the creepy kid already looks creepy. At first I had this impression that Aoto and the narrator were the same seiyuu but I was wrong. Aoto is voiced by Souma Saitou (Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill) while Megumi Ogata (Itona in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) is the narrator. Heck, I even thought Aoto was voiced by a girl since he sounded almost like a girl with his gloomy voice. Rest of the casts that are Hiroyuki Yoshino as Ginji (Inumuta in Kill La Kill), Sora Amamiya as Yukari (Elizabeth in Nanatsu No Taizai), Mai Fuchigami as Undine (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) and Yuri Yoshida as Metabon (Mashiro in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei). I know there is a bunch of those from the KoR but I left them out because I’m lazy and they don’t really make an impact since I don’t care to remember them.

Something about the opening theme that just makes it sounds weird. One Me Two Hearts by Hitorie had me wondering if the singer voice was actually like that or they enhanced it with some voice synthesizer or just plain lazy. Plain lazy? I don’t know. Hearing this song feels like the singer felt lazy in singing the piece as the lyrics are mumbled in a lazy manner. Like as though the lyrics weren’t memorized in time so they thought they could get by just by muttering it in this ‘unique’ way. It could be the song, it could be the voice but I didn’t really like it. The rock based ending theme is Contrast by Visitlip isn’t that bad when you compare it to the opening theme.

At least the art and drawing looks okay and pretty standard with your typical anime bishonen and bishoujo. Despite the gloomy background and dull colours of this futuristic sci-fi world, at least the characters themselves are colourful enough in literal sense. Heck, you have the main trio with names that took after colours. In a way, it draws your attention from the dull background because our characters have such colourful hair and eyes that are just much more pleasing to look at. Except maybe for KoR because they wear the same white uniform. So glaring the whiteness that I thought the producers forgot to colour them in. Really… The character designs are rather okay but I still couldn’t get over the fact that Scandinavian Gods look more like Japanese cosplayers with super powers. Heck, even Loki and Oz who dress like some stage play even look more convincing than this bunch of Gods. CGI is also employed that is mostly for the drones and oddly enough they are also colourful but only a patch of it.

I was hoping for better fight sequences but with all that drama especially stemming from Aoto’s gloominess, it just feels mediocre. There is nothing special about the moves the characters make that would make them memorable. This makes their Drivers which are supposed weapons for them to fight even forgettable because it just feels like extra tools needed so that they can enhance their power or whatever. Each character is supposed to have some sort of element like Akane’s fire and Aoto’s water but I could hardly see how this impacts the overall except giving the characters some diversity. Although the designs of each of the character’s weapons are commendable, it is just about that. More of the aesthetics than practical use.

Overall, this is a real disappointing and mediocre series. One that should have at least given some signs of potential and development but turned out into a mess that would only make viewers feel relieved that the season has ended. And with the narrator at times in every episode trying to narrate something poetic like as though words from some deep literature book, it just gets on your nerves because you don’t really know the deep meaning of it and ultimately you just couldn’t care less what the f*ck was said. I am sure that most of us now are in despair after watching this poor series and now have the right to use the Divine Gate. Please have the decency to walk through it and wish that this anime never existed. Divine retribution! Okay, okay. I don’t want to be too harsh. Please have the decency to walk through it and wish for a better written anime, okay?

%d bloggers like this: