- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Military Preview (no spoilers)
- Airing Date : A-1 Pictures, Genco, Sentai FilmworksL, Warner Bros.
- Producers : A-1 Pictures, Genco, Sentai FilmworksL, Warner Bros.
Preview (no spoilers)
A mysterious Gate opens up in the Ginza district of Tokyo, shortly after soldiers and beasts clad in ancient weaponry pour out and wreak havoc. An JSDF reservist, Itami Youji, is caught in the battle and helps the local Tokyo police contain the attackers until they are decisively defeated by a combined arms counter attack from the JSDF.
The Japanese government, not content with merely waiting for another attack, annexes the land beyond the gate and dubs it the ‘special region’, wanting to make sure to prevent another Gate from opening. Itami Youji must lead his squad into battle, an towards establishing friendly relations to the local populace.
Who does Gate cater to?
Gate is a military anime. Furthermore, it’s an anime for military otaku. The original Mangaka had served in the JSDF himself. There’s lot’s of detailed military equipment as well as some drawn-out battle sequences. While it is a military show, the setting is obviously a fantasy universe, so there’s a lot to like for fans of that genre as well.
What is so appealing about this piece of work?
Gate has enough going for it here and there to make it a show I was excited to see every Friday. It has a remarkable, slightly ridiculous sense of humor. It also has an enjoyable cast of characters, with the protagonist Itami Youji himself being the highlight. Gate’s big highlight are it’s battle sequences. The sheer dominance of a modern-military both in tactics and technology over those armed with swords and shields is pretty remarkable to watch.
Gate Anime Trailer
Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri Characters List
Voice Actor :Suwabe, Junichi
Itami Youji is a reservist officer in the JSDF. He’s highly skilled and has completed a number of grueling training programs to make him privy to special forces operations when he’s needed. In addition, he’s also a die-hard Otaku, and was actually on a way to a Doujinshi sale when the Ginza incident took place. Itami Youji is skilled in battle bust also relateable and funny enough to endear him to just about any viewer. He’s a strong, likeable protagonist and he’s a pleasure to watch throughout the series
Voice Actor :Risa, Taneda
Rory Mercury is a priestess of Emloy, and is technically a demi-god. She’s a sort of Shinigami in the land beyond the Gate, and boasts exceptional strength in battle. She’s not someone you want to get on the wrong side of and thankfully, she takes a liking to Itami Youji and the rest of the JSDF personnel. Rory is really a dominating presence, who backs it up with a teasing, joking nature to make her a really likeable character.
Review: Spoilers Ahead
Going into Gate I was aware of some of the controversy surrounding the original Manga. You might have guessed, even if you had just read the above summary, that the Premise invites a nationalist or, to some, jingoistic outlook. And while it’s definitely Nationalist, and putting the JSDF in a positive light, it never crosses a line into becoming some sort of right-wing propaganda, which isn’t too far off from how the series is perceived.
If there is one aspect of Gate’s image that’s translated into the animated version, is that it might be targeting somewhat of a niche audience. Gate is a type of Hybrid between the fantasy, adventure and military genres. However, the military aspect is by far the most unique part of the premise, and has earned popularity amongst Military Otakus, both in and out of Japan. And while Gate’s appeal isn’t exactly limited to this group of people, it does deliver what almost accounts for fan service amongst such circles, Highly-detailed and accurate depictions of military hardware, used consistently, to devastating effect.
The Joke that watching Gate is like watching two players in Civilization V (or any comparable 4x game), one with ancient and one with modern technology, square-off. Imagine rows and rows of Roman Legionnaire look-alikes along with riders and horseback get annihilated by a Modern Military with attack helicopters, tanks, assault rifles and machine guns. If watching this sounds like a good idea to you, then you will definitely find a home in Gate.
There are multiple scenes where the overwhelming disparity of forces is put to awesome display and the power-fantasy of JSDF personnel blowing away sword and shield armed mobs is played to a similarly devastating effect. And while it’s not a one-trick pony, and there is more to Gate than sheer displays of military dominance, sometime the show feels like it’s being a little coy with showing off what is the show’s unique appeal. While these set-piece battle scenes are there, they’re not all over the place, and the show does make you wait a few episodes, at least, between them.
What lies in between these big war scenes are a potpourri of plot-lines relating to the political situation each country is in on the other side of the Gate. Japan faces a lot of interest from outside nations, particularly the US, who might be looking to the ‘Special Region’ in order to find resources of interest. If Gate is a military anime, it might not to be dissimilar to war itself. Battles are just the tip of the iceberg, but the political situation behind it, as well as things like rescuing refugees, humanitarian relief, and managing relations between the JSDF and the Special Region civilians, are the bigger end of the picture.
If Gate has one problem, is that these everyday facets of conflict feel little too every day. The way they’re handled generally is on a sliding scale from pretty good to just serviceable. The situations aren’t written in a way where they feel particularly significant or dramatic. Nor are they laden with enough detail to make an outside-in perspective (from which most of we come from) on military affairs particularly interesting.
If one aspect of the show somewhat alleviates this, it’s the sense of humor. It’s evident that the production staff knows how to use good comedic timing as well as how to write and frame a joke in and of itself. Even the scene from the very first season where Itami gets lost in his mobile game, only to be frozen in shock when the game suddenly stops in its track and demands more money. It also knows how to construct ridiculous, comic situations, as evidenced by the Imperial Princess and her all female Knightly order who become obsessed with Boys Love manga when they travel to Japan.
If Comedy is one of the show’s great assets, its characters also work well for the series. They’re not multi-faceted psychological studies or some sort of either super-peppy or super-powerful world beaters but there are a lot of easy to like personalities among Gate’s cast. Itami Youji of course, the reservist otaku, is both funny and competent. He’s good enough at his job, and humble to boot, to earn our respect, but is Otaku enough to be an instantly relatable everyman.
Rory Mercury is the shows resident Badass/Fanservice queen, and watching her wield a giant battleaxe is definitely a delight. The JSDF Squad that Itami commands is also loaded with likeable characters, the stand-out being Kuribayashi, the sort of tomboyish female soldier who doesn’t handle herself overly seriously.
On the presentation side, Gate is pretty average. The animation is nothing to write home about for the majority of the time. However, there are some fight scenes with a lot of nice fluid movement which serve as the worthwhile highlight. The 3-D models of various military equipment are also nice and have enough detail to excite anyone with a military interest. The music is almost more on polar opposites of quality. Some of the tracks seem so campy and corny they’d fight in some cheezy light novel, but there are also some great example of mood-setting accompaniment that you look for in an OST.
The Battle Scenes in Gate are plain epic. Expect rows and rows of infantry clad in ancient weaponry trying to break the lines of Soldiers with Assault Rifles, Machine Guns, backed up by Tanks, Artillery Pieces and Assault Choppers. It’s pretty thrilling to watch the antiquated foot soldiers get totally shut down on a repeated basis.
Gate is definitely a show military fans will enjoy. And though through a facet of the political situation that’s actually cleverly written, you’re seeing tech that originated mostly in the 70’s-90’s, it’s still well-detailed and very fun to watch.
3.Relations Between the Two Worlds
The JSDF isn’t trying to annihilate the population beyond the Gate, more so thwart the aggression of the Empire that invaded Japan. That means that a number of groups actually take a liking to the Japanese soldiers. Itami Youji’s squad takes on some local residents back to Japan, and it’s pretty funny to see how they react to the modern world.
In the end, Gate is not a world-beater but it has enough going for it to make it a continuously enjoyable action-military series. The cast of characters as well as the sense of humor are enough to carry you through most episodes. And while the political story, other subplots and presentation are all in all only slightly above average they’re punctuated by some pretty thrilling battle-scenes.
If you’re a fan of military anime then Gate is something you’ll definitely enjoy, but for those who don’t have a particular home in the Genre, there’s enough to like in the first cour of Gate to merit a watch. Final conclusion, Gate is a show that every Military fan can get behind, and for anyone else, and while I wouldn’t scream this shows praises from the high heavens, I would recommend this show to anyone even mildly curious about it.