GATE – 09

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GATE’s ninth episode starts out doing well by me, serving up more of what I want the show to focus on: Itami and his circle of comrades and friends in a slice-of-lifey manner. Sure, Pina’s constant mistaking the world for her own gets old pretty quick, but I chuckled at their sudden fascination with BL literature. It’s also fun watching Rory haughtily claiming not to need any other garb, then changing her mind as soon as she sees something she likes.

Then Itami is approached by none other than the Japanese Defense Minister in Akiba, who orders him to take the Special Regioners to the designated safe house: a hot spring inn. Thus begins one of the stranger and yet also somehow duller onsen episodes in recent memory.

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I say dull because there’s nothing that goes on that is particularly unique or interesting about their stay. They’re having a lot more fun than I am watching them, and other than learning a little more about Itami through his ex-wife (who apparently chose to marry him rather than starve) nothing much of consequence was revealed about anyone (save one person; more on that later). And fine, Drunk Kuribayashi was cool too.

I say strange because the whole time they’re relaxing and bathing and drinking, the inn is surrounded by Japanese special forces assigned to guard them, along with a bunch of American, (and Russian, and Chinese) agents, locked in a pretty uninspiring special forces forest battle.

International politics come to the fore when the U.S. President essentially blackmails the Japanese Prime Minister into taking the guards off of the Special Regioners, leaving them exposed to capture. The show also implies that had they not been ordered to stand down, the Japanese SFG would have eliminated all of the enemies easily. We get it, show; you reeeeally don’t like bureaucrats.

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But the whole idea of A.) those enemy forces getting so close to the inn in the first place and B.) everything about the president and prime minister mostly struck me as dumb. Dumb to the point of making me question continuing to watch this show, so tired am I of our diverging priorities. The high-level political stuff is already insufferable, and there’s every possibility there will only be more of it in the second cour.

There’s a little consolation in the fact Itami and Rory are the last two standing after a night of drinking (both of them would also be the two most aware of what’s going on outside), and Rory lamenting that once she rises to godhood she’ll lose both the pain and pleasures of the flesh, before coming onto Itami, who is, after all, unmarried, available, and conscious.

But the final scene isn’t fooling anyone. There will be no getting it on tonight for Itami and Rory, as their activities are sure to be rudely interrupted by an approaching group of American guerrillas. I hope they don’t get far with their kidnapping plans and/or Rory puts the righteous hurt on them for ruining one of the last moments in her semi-mortal life to get some.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

10 thoughts on “GATE – 09”

  1. The special force teams being named Saber, Lancer, and Archer tho.

    I don’t even watch that show I just saw it on Tumblr.

  2. Not to defend GATE too much, but in the anime version they have changed some small things. Funnily enough the main story is running exactly like the book, but small things changed. In the book I don’t remember the princess ever forgetting this is not her world.
    The fight at the onsen is Chinese, Russian and Americans all at once, which is interesting as they all get in each other’s way.

  3. I din’t think this is any consolation to you much because all in all, a lot of this are pretty dumb.

    But in the LN it is said that the plans of the China, USA & Russia are harshly put together to get the princess & therefore legitimate claim across the GATE. And was made even more harsh because of how the MCs avoided them all last episode.

    And the fact that the enemy forces gotten so close to the inn is because (1) The forest there are more easily to cover for the corpses, (2) The Japan’s SFs are all station in places that are easy to defense & as near as they can be to the MCs, and (3) they honestly didn’t expect the enemies to keep coming after they killed so much of them.

    And for the fact that the Japan’s SFs are able to so easyly kill off the attackers; they have satellite support & the fact they are the defending force that are there for hours against attackers that just show up in this forest for the 1st (& probably last) time of their lives. What did you expect?

    Remember, the SFs can see the attackers due to the satellite but the attackers can’t see the SFs until its too late.

  4. Yeah I knew from the start GATE’s political side would be poorly written and unrealistic. However I watch GATE soley for Itami’s party. Mainly Rory hahaha. On that end GATE continues to deliver spectacularly. Seeing their antics was a lot of fun for me.

    I’d be fine if GATE stuck with moe slice of life lulz as opposed to poorly written attempts at politics and seriousness. When you have a character that freakking gets off when people die in battle, your setting pretty much loses all semblance of serious believe-ability.

    The whole JAPANESE SPECIAL FORCES ARE GODLIKE, ALL OTHERS LIKE FORCE RECON SUCKS thing was overplayed a bit too, but I didn’t mind it since I don’t take the show seriously in the first place. Lol but I’m glad they didn’t have that whole “A BLACK AGENT?! IT MUST BE AMERICA!” moment. They did mention an African agent in the anime, but it kind of glossed over. While in the manga they made it some kind of big deal and used it as conclusive evidence of American involvement.

    tldr; Yay for moe! Less stupid politics and more Rory pls!

    1. It’s almost like they’re treating the pro-military/nationalist messages as the “medicine” and the moe is the honey that helps the medicine go down, so to speak. Only I don’t really want or need the medicine. The military has its uses but it’s not the answer to all of society’s problems and I for one am just fine with civilians leading them. Far from convincing me otherwise, GATE’s politics come off more as self-serving wish fulfillment.

      There’s also a persistent problem with tone dissonance in Gate, just as there was in Zane’s show Violin Girl and Preston’s show Charlotte (though it’s getting really good now so all seems to be forgiven there). There’s a seriousness to the idiotic way the world leaders are portrayed that is fundamentally unappealing, as opposed to going whole hog and portraying them as utterly over-the-top cartoon villains, who are preferably in on the joke.

      I think a little more humor could have been infused in the various special forces hiding in the forest, too, but they all play their roles straight and rigid, despite the fact they’re going after a demigoddess, a mage, an elf, and a princess in a hot spring inn. The Fate-derived callsigns were one of the only concessions to fun.

      1. That’s actually pretty accurate. From what I heard the Gate LN was originally the author’s right wing nationalistic fantasy intensed for just his friends. They thought it was good so he toned it down and got it published.

  5. If it is any consolation, this is the more or less the last time we see Earth politics for a long while after next episode. The Special Area politics are a lot better written, and will be the bulk of the proceeding episodes given the story’s flow.

  6. Gate has become a little more predictable since the refugees crossed the Gate. So far we’ve been treated to a mostly predictable series of vignettes that aren’t that interesting. The special forces on all sides in the forest were mostly bland, so it was hard to be interested in their doings that much. The conservative sub-text is becoming more apparent too: Everything would be better if things were left to the military, and corrupt and corruptible politicians were done away with. I’m hoping the special forces types get a good dose of Rory too next episode. That might re-ignite the show, as would packing everyone back to the Special Region before the end of the next episode.

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