GATE – 06

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Pina Co Lada’s forces are being massacred by the more numerous and experience (and bloodthirsty) brigands, and all the death is arousing Rory, until she can’t take it anymore and rushes towards the east gate. We see just how much you don’t want to mess with her when her blood’s up.

Rory as a concept remains a bit silly in an otherwise straightforward low fantasy setting, but not nearly as silly as what GATE pulls when it’s time to call in the SDF cavalry…or to be more precise, the air cav.

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I’ve always had conflicted feelings about the “Ride of the Valkyries” Helicopter Attack scene in Apocalypse Now, which I think is the point. On the one hand…America, Fuck Yeah! On the other hand…Why the fuck are we in Vietnam indiscriminately slaughtering random villages? 

There’s a different kind of conflict in GATE’s homage to that scene because it so thoroughly, accurately lifts entire shots, music, and dialogue from that scene, it’s really less of an homage and more of, well, a knockoff. Which, I’ll be honest, was a little lame.

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The situations in both works are the same: a overwhelmingly superior force eviscerates a pitifully under-equipped enemy. But Apocalypse Now did it first, did it better, and did it in a way that I really didn’t need to see so shamelessly copied.

Mind you, for the elements of the audience who’ve never seen the film, this probably came across as pretty snazzy war porn. But it’s pretty clear the creators expected viewers to catch the references. If they didn’t, then it would be as if they were trying to pawn off an iconic scene from another work as their own.

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In any case, the battle itself, and the parts that aren’t ripped from AN, work well enough. Watching Kurebayashi pair up with Rory and go Medieval on some folks was pretty fun to watch too, even if I’m a bit dubious about the efficacy of rushing in and fighting at close range when there’s plenty of long-range weaponry to defeat the enemy from a safe distance.

Then there’s Itami taking all female prisoners (coincidence, eh?), and when Pina’s comrades in the Rose Knight Order intercept his convoy, he sends his team back to base, making himself the prisoner of two very tough, very beautiful “chicks.” These get Itami back to his roots as an otaku looking to meet all the exotic characters he can…but you’d think all the vicious slaughter they just carried out would be a little more sobering.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “GATE – 06”

  1. Daaaaaamn watching Rory slaughter the fuck out of those poor brigades is as good as porn. I’d feel bad but they had it coming. I liked how Rory gave the silent fuck you to that leader guy for not seeing the irony behind his attempt to define war. So one sided slaughter, pillage, and rape of a weaker force is fine if you’re the winning side? Not so fun when the tables are turned eh?

    Eh that Ride of the Valkyries scene was exactly supposed to be a knockoff. I think the point was that the enemy was so outclassed a group of JSDF movie fans can leisurely take the time to reenact the scenes from their favorite movie. It would have been a slaughter either way so I don’t care at all that they ripped off of Apocalypse Now, cuz that was kind of what they were going for. Well I was too busy watching Rory and Kuribayashi do their thing. There’s something compelling about seeing tiny girls take down disproportionately sized enemies with so much ease. Rory looked a lot like an Elin Berserker from Tera Online haha.

    The end was a bit -_-; though. If I took GATE seriously I’d be worried at how the soldiers leisurely pursue their otaku waifu hunting after a mass slaughter, but a realistic and thoughtful interpretation of a modern force vs medieval age tech is not what I’m watching GATE for. If I wanted the above I’d just read “A Long Time from Now” or similar such books.

    tl;dr more Rory battle and nippon banzai, hurray!

  2. This was boring and the tactics were poor. It tries so hard to make the JSDF look superior that it forgets to let its characters be cool. First, the squad waits to go over and just start shooting at the invaders from the top of buildings until the helis show up. Then, even when they do show they go for a bayonet charge? WTF?

    Admittedly if the tactics made any sense at all the squad couldn’t abandon their post because the enemy would just break through there now that their gate is undefended, but the enemy was never shown even trying to attack another gate. No, they just stood their so that the story could have its Apocalypse Now ripoff.

    And Rory continues to seem like she got lost on the way to a hentai manga/anime and these people were kind enough to take her in and not comment too much on her ‘urges’

    1. It was one of those cases where I’d have enjoyed the battle a lot more if I didn’t know what it was referencing. And yeah, Rory does stick out like a sore thumb, but I kinda like having a god-like characters interacting with mortals.

  3. As a Manga & the Light Novel reader, here are the things that cut out from the anime:

    =About the “Apocalypse Now” Reference,
    You have to 1st understand the state those soldiers were in, they are the JSDF on enemy’s soil, fighting a war that as far as they know – is a sure win. Yet due to political pressure back home they are force to sit & guard the gate. Then they heard that the small team sent out for recon gets to fight a dragon & safe people from getting eaten.

    I repeat, JSDF soldiers that supposedly here to fight a war that are not only righteous but total winnable. Yet forced to seat around when other people gets to be real life fantasy heroes.

    Then a call for help to fight murderous bandits came, holy hell, EVERYONE want to go so badly they almost commanded their commander to sent them instead of the other guys. The helicopters guys get to go are so excited that they unprofessionally brunt our about the speakers & stuffs. When they are leaving the other field marshals look on hatefully.

    The whole point of this helicopter scene is shown as just how much the JSDF soldiers are so (blood)thirsty for righteous fury that they are a little “off”. There’s even a part about how a gunner in one of the chopters reminisce on the fact that this is the 1st time he didn’t need to pick up the bullets shells after firing his gun.

    =About the part Itami getting caught
    He tell his people to run because if they fight they’ll of course win but some of the knights might die, and after not even 24 hours after they sign a treaty with their commander? JSDF can’t do that.

    He stay and let them take him prisoner so the knights won’t try to chase them. And again, some of the knights might die. So best way to do this, let them take him to the princess & they can sort this out.

    This is actually one of Itami great points; yes he is an lazy otaku but he can soldier it up greatly if there are needs to it.

    There’s actually a part in the novel that say that Itami is somehow fit as a perfect soldier, “A normal person out of duty, but a sociopath in duty.” Of course, he isn’t a normal person out of duty, he’s an otaku.

    1. First of all, thanks for your input!

      Yeah, I get the attitude of the air cavalry. And a few days removed from watching it, I don’t really sympathize at all with the horde of bandits–let’s face it, most of them want to die anyway, and many of them want to rape and pillage before they do–so the helicopter hijinx actually rubbed me less the wrong way than in Apocalypse Now, where the carnage and terror they unleash is not limited to the “bad guys.”

      My main beef with the scenes is that they are so shamelessly lifted from the film. They’re not so much referencing the film as stealing from it, shot-for-shot, word-for-word (Examples: the soldier covering his balls with his helmet, the CO congratulating the gunner by saying he’ll buy him beer, the Wagner).

      It’s unoriginal, both because the source material is so close, and because this scene has been imitated and/or spoofed in lots of other entertainment, to the point that the original iconic scene risks being “played out” due to “over-homage.” I’m fine with homage, but if you’re a show that’s going to draw from a classic, you’d better put your distinct mark on it, and not present it with minimal embellishment as your own material.

      If I wanted to watch scenes that are pretty much straight out of Apocalypse Now, I would have watched Apocalypse Now. Plenty of anime have been able to do awesome battle sequences without stealing directly from Hollywood. I would have preferred if GATE tried something different. Something I hadn’t seen before, to a piece of music (perhaps from a Japanese composer) I hadn’t heard before. Put a spin on it. Instead, IMO GATE went safe and lazy.

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      As for Itami letting himself get caught, again I understand his motivations, and believe he made the right choice as CO in protecting both his unit and the knights. My problem is more of structure, pacing, and tone.

      After the battle the episode seemed to be looking for ways to fill out the last few minutes before the credits, so Itami’s capture felt sudden and tacked-on.

      In addition, both his selection of all-female prisoners and the female-led knights capture him form an all-too-tidy narrative of this world seemingly catering to his every otaku desire.

      It’s funny, sure, but to infuse comedy at the tail end of the episode so soon after the SDF butchered a lot of people (and scared the crap out of Pina) results in an uneven tone, pulling us from from awesome battle (with shots and lines lifted from another film), to appalling slaughter, back into kooky otaku harem fantasy situations. It’s enough to give you tonal whiplash!

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the source material handles these shifts in tone with more deftness and subtlety. But this is RABUJOI: we only watch and review anime.

  4. The Apocalypse Now thing was a pretty obvious joke with the commander wondering if the helicopter assault unit commander is channelling Kilgore. The action was entertaining and the world Gate is building remains interesting. The lack of any concern or effect about indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds in another one sided battle (apart from feeling tired) does undercut Gate’s credibility somewhat. Still Itami has been captured by an angry Kinpatsu knight so I’m expecting a few stressful moments for Itami until he convinces them he is really a nice guy…..

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