GATE – 11

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This was a pretty good episode of GATE; a vibrant episode thankfully bereft of real-world leaders and full of transition and change, opening five months after Itami & Co returned to the Special Region. The area around the military base and refugee camp is now a bustling town and a melting pot of Special Regioners and JSDF.

Pina continues the diplomacy, bringing a minister from Japan to work with the Imperial elites to negotiate a peaceful resolution, and as an old elf continues to struggle in the present, there’s a new elf on the block who has a mission only the JSDF can pull off.

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First, Tuka: Itami’s subordinate Mari wants to do more to help Tuka, who’s spent much of the last five months wandering the new town, looking for her dead father. Mari wants to make Tuka see reality so she can move forward, but Itami basically tells her not to rock the boat, because Mari doesn’t know she will be around to support Tuka indefinitely. No one knows what the future holds, so Itami is content with the status quo for now. Mari is understandably frustrated with Itami, but agrees not to do anything.

Having checked in on the Tuka situation (and even more briefly on Lelei, who looks disheveled but content in her modern clothes) we shift to Rory, still stubbornly donning her gothic lolita garb and trying to sleep with Itami. Itami, while flattered, still has an issue with Rory looking like a child, even if she’s 27 times older than him.

Her evening plans are foiled for good by the appearance of a new dark elf character, who also mistakes Rory for a child. Interestingly Rory plays along by pretending to be a child, putting Itami in a spot and forcing him to beat a hasty retreat when the elf draws her sword. I like how Rory takes her frustrations out on both the elf and Itami.

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We learn this dark elf is named Yao Haa Dushi, continuing the show’s George Lucas-style approach to fantastical-sounding names. Her misunderstanding about Rory is forgivable because she’s on a noble quest to meet with the JSDF. Her village has been attacked by a fire dragon, and she needs the “green people” to help finish it off. She doesn’t intend for them to work for free, either: she’s brought a ginormous adamantite crystal as payment; a material that doesn’t even exist beyond the Gate in Japan, which makes it very valuable.

Yao spends the night in a beautiful forest on the town outskirts, dreams of the village attack, and then wakes up to the sound of practice-dogfighting JSDF fighter jets screaming through the sky. It’s a sight that’s full of awe and majesty, and convinces Yao the JSDF are indeed the people who can save her village.

She’s convinced again when she spots a dual-rotor cargo helicopter zoom overhead. Itami is aboard that chopper, which is packed with goods from Japan furnished by the ministry of foreign affiars, who regard such items as ammo in the fight to turn Imperial hawks into Senatorial doves.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “GATE – 11”

  1. Lol at first I was a little puzzled on why Rory would implicate Itami, but then I realized she was annoyed at him too for always rebuffing her. She must be really tired of the whole ” you are a child!” thing after 960 years lol. It makes me wonder if she’s NEVER gotten any (unlikely considering her age, but you know Japan is with their need for pure waifu). I liked her speech on celebrating life too. It outs some of her past actions in context.

    1. Yeah, she was downright wistful about how quickly 960 years have gone by. What’s great about these two as a couple is that Rory is not unreasonable in wanting to experience physical love before leaving her physical form (and Itami, special forces hero, ranger, leader, and all-around nice guy isn’t a bad choice).

      It’s also reasonable that Itami would be hesitant to give in to Rory, not only because she doesn’t look legal, but because it wouldn’t be proper in his official position in the JSDF (even if she’s not technically deputized, which is unclear).

      Finally, he might simply not be emotionally ready for Rory in that way, just as his ex-wife admits neither she nor he were fully ready for their marriage.

  2. Why do elves in that world have this notion of “offering” themselves in exchange for favors? Tuka mentioned it several episodes ago, now this Yao is doing the same. But in addition she is chipping in that very valuable piece of rock she has in exchange for slaying that flame dragon Itami’s group maimed.

    I loved the priceless look on that noble when offered those gifts/bribes, as well as when he realized he was meeting with an enemy envoy in the form of the Foreign Ministry of Japan. From the way things are, there are still some stupid politicians in the Empire thinking they could tackle the JSDF and thus are rebuilding their army. Piña knows they could not win and thus the secret peace process with pro-peace faction is underway. She also seems to have this notion of wanting the JSDF to leave peacefully once peace is achieved, though I wonder if the politicians back Japan share her optimistic views, and let a value asset like the Special Region go.

    1. In addition to their transactional way of dealing with people, Tuka and Yao also share a deep love of their homes and a responsibility to do anything they can to protect them. The destruction of Tuka’s village still weighs on her, and her belief her father is still alive may be the only thing keeping her going. It’s nice little beats like this that keep me coming back to Gate.

      I also liked how clueless even a high-ranking noble is. There was once a time when Pina was like that, but if this guy had seen the things she’s seen, he’d sing a different tune for sure. So would the emperor himself. I know it’s not the JSDF’s way, but like it or not it was the first-hand demonstration of their force that convinced Pina. I imagine if they invited the emperor and other nobles to a non-lethal military exercise, it would do wonders for educating them on the futility of fighting the JSDF.

      One more thing: the philosophical clash between the JSDF (who are feeling very confident right now, absent any defeats) and Foreign Affairs, who dismiss the JSDF position that the conflict can be solved with force, not smiles and bribes. JSDF has their job (to shoot the guns when ordered to), and MFA has theirs (turn hawks into doves). We’ll see if the latter group is successful, or if, as I said, the only way the empire will cease hostilities is to be shown the full devastating power of their opponent (as Pina did).

  3. If the sub text runs true to the form, the no good bureaucrats in the form of Foreign Affairs will mess things up, and the JSDF will have to step in and somehow save the day. Either through military might or via an Itami led JSDF charm trust building charm offensive. Meanwhile it looks like there is a fire dragon to deal with too.

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