GATE – 12 (FIN)

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GATE ends its first season with a somewhat transitional episode that takes stock of what’s happened (and all that Itami has done) and sets up some new storylines to come in the second season (whenever it airs). Sure, there’s a dark elf looking for help from the Green People to save her village and not having a lot of success, but there’s not much else going on here, and certainly not any kind of season-ending cliffhangers where anyone is in imminent danger.

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That being said, Yao Haa Dushi’s story is a good one, even if it’s familiar (it’s a lot like Tuka’s, only there are still survivors in her village). She comes in fully prepared to use her body to seduce the green people to help her, which comes off as a bit of a sexist move by her village elders, alone with sending her alone with no help. A lot of the time she has trouble with something as basic as language, and is wrongly accused of mugging one of the seedier elements in the Alnus town after she refused his advances.

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The refrain throughout the episode is twofold: the bureaucracy is bad because it keeps the JSDF from helping people (and because in Japan, the ASDF has to share airspace with civvies and the U.S.), and the question What Would Itami Do? It seemed like stalling a stalling tactic to make Yao’s first impression of Itami so poor (at the tavern last week), and even more of a stalling tactic to send Itami away on a random mission just when Yao finds an interpreter (in Lelei, who is starting to augment her magic with Japanese science).

Everyone who isn’t Itami and is still in town wants him to get back so he can do something, because surely he would in this situation. Which begs the question: how is he going to get past the General’s order not to help Yao? Sure, he’s got some privilege and pull in the Special Region, but there’s still the JSDF chain of command.

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The rest of the episode seems concerned with further stroking Itami’s ego and stoking his legend both in the Special Region and in Japan. Pina seems happy to receive a new supply of BL literature (AKA “Art!”), but it turns out to be translated articles from Japan singing praises of everything Itami has done. This is a bit odd, since Pina and her aide react like they didn’t already know all this, when in reality they were present for much of it! Also, it looks like Pina has a bit of a crush on Itami.

So yeah, this episode wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a fiasco, either. And it paves the way for an interesting second season. I don’t think it’s a matter of will Itami go off to fight the fire dragon, but when. His JSDF comrades would seem to welcome this, but it’s implied there will be further consequences involving the military brass and civilian government, both entities the show has shown pretty transparent contempt for.

As for me, Itami’s head may be getting a bit big for my taste, but between Rory, Tuka, Lelei, Pina, and now Yao, GATE has a solid cast whose future adventures and fates will have me coming back, and hopefully its more troublesome elements can be kept at bay long enough for me to stick with its second season to the end.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “GATE – 12 (FIN)”

  1. Gotta agree with you, although this episode was the last for the season. It was a little disappointing since it didn’t do a great job of leaving a bigger cliff hanger. Yeah Itami and others will most likely help the Nigh Elf, but that’s just how it’ll go, no cliff hanger here. 7/10 too.

  2. It was an open-ended cliffhanger. Hoping it does continue and does not end up as an open-ended end, like some series.

    Ah, a couple of months of wait.

  3. I am not saying that manga is always better than anime, as it is not always better, but in this case, yeah, they dumbed the heck out of the source material. Rory is less all over Itami, she does not beat all of the special forces, Itami is less ego stroked, etc. Pina has no noticeable interest in Itami in the source.
    I enjoyed the anime of this, but yeah, not as good.
    Thanks for reviewing this though, I felt it deserved a shot after all of the attacks on it before it even came out.

  4. I liked the multi layered final episode without a huge cliffhanger as that is just a bit passe really. All those character threads will no doubt be picked up in the second part which is scheduled to air in the Winter 2015-2016 season.

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