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EP. REVIEW: GATE


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zrnzle500



Joined: 04 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Kinda worried about Hamilton. Of course Zolzal wouldn't make his own sister a sex slave, though I was a little surprised that Tyuule didn't send anyone to rape Pina to make her walk a mile in her shoes, so to speak. Then again if a soldier reported to Zolzal concerned about an order to rape her in Zolzal's name issues by Tyuule, he might have some questions for her. Her adjutant, Hamilton, probably wouldn't be extended the same courtesy, though as Pina values her subordinates, I don't think she would take kindly to that.

It will be interesting to see how the succession plays out. I'm guessing the emperor could wake up, as he was not killed (that is a miss on Tyuule and Zolzal's parts, as she should have used fatal poison to kill him or they should have killed him and played it off as his condition taking a turn for the worse). If that happens, heads will roll. Definitely Tyuule's. Probably Zolzal's as the treatment of his half brother evinced, though I think it is unnecessary to execute him, as his combination of brutality and incompetence make it unlikely he'll rise to power again. The other brother will probably be disinherited and effectively exiled, as his father won't like the whole run away to the other countries to overthrow his brother and possibly let those other countries control or take pieces of the country and he would likely join his brother in headlessness if he returns. Pina would likely become the successor, whether her father wakes up or not.
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Zeres



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:25 pm Reply with quote
Regarding the last couple of episodes, what I didn't like the most was turning Pina into a damsel in distress. Her actions are also weird: The 3 asshat generals come to bring her in, while she is in a full suit of armor and armed. Instead of, you know, fighting them, and then making a run for it, she decides to just go with them, let them undress her and put shackles on her, then start fighting only when she is at the door to her cell? And with the last episode, she is shown banging on the door and shouting for help. Surely a smart, strong princess like herself would think of other stuff to do to get herself out, wouldnt she?

It just bothers me how every action she takes is in complete contrast to her character and seems to only be for her to be a damsel in distress and an objective for the finale.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:55 pm Reply with quote
There's a simple, practical explanation for some of that: she could have cooperated at first because she wasn't aware of how far things would be taken. (After all, Zorzal had assured her that she wasn't personally in danger.) And it's entirely possible that she did struggle at some point prior to the scene where she's put in the cell, as she did look like she'd been roughed up some. We just don't know what went on with her between those two scenes, so it's all speculation.

However, I do agree that the "damsel in distress" angle is being forced a bit. Granted, she has clearly been shown afraid before, but unless they're going to reveal that she has claustrophobia, she seemed to be panicking to a degree that is out of character.
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HaruhiToy



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:25 pm Reply with quote
Ep 23 review wrote:
She carefully maneuvers her dialogue to give him no outs, no paths to safety, without him even suspecting that he and the empire are being set up for a big fall.

She seems so blatant about it that I have to wonder how dumb Zorzal has to be to fall for it. If if he doesn't, not one of his friend/advisors?

As for the JSDF's performance I would be more impressed if they had anything like a capable opposition. Although the sheer weight of numbers of the Empire doesn't make it fully risk free this episode looked mostly like mowing down unarmed enemies. It is easy to keep parade-ground precision when you are not only nearly immune to enemy attack but you can withdraw to the air at will.

Still, it was pretty clear that someone who had trained in the military wrote all this.
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maximilianjenus



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
There's a simple, practical explanation for some of that: she could have cooperated at first because she wasn't aware of how far things would be taken. (After all, Zorzal had assured her that she wasn't personally in danger.) And it's entirely possible that she did struggle at some point prior to the scene where she's put in the cell, as she did look like she'd been roughed up some. We just don't know what went on with her between those two scenes, so it's all speculation.

However, I do agree that the "damsel in distress" angle is being forced a bit. Granted, she has clearly been shown afraid before, but unless they're going to reveal that she has claustrophobia, she seemed to be panicking to a degree that is out of character.


I explain it as the whole hummilliation of beng downgraded from almost queen to a slave; historically kings and queens have killed tehmselves over lesser things.
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ryanvamp



Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:35 pm Reply with quote
CaRoss wrote:
ryanvamp wrote:
After checking the last few pages of this thread, I have to wonder if I'm the only one who found Leilei's arc the worst the series has ever offered in terms of plot and side characters.


You are most definitely not the only one. The assassin arc should have been fascinating, the Pied Piper sounded like an intriguing antagonist for Itami's party to face, but they failed miserably.

Episode 22 was definitely the worst episode this season purely due to the stupidity surrounding this stuff. It was awful.


killjoy_the wrote:
No, you're not. These episodes have been mostly terrible, to me.


THANK YOU; I was in shock that the reviews haven't been mentioning this. I can deal with stupid characters and some lazy writing but this arc had me thinking about dropping the series more than once. There are only two episodes left so it would be a waste but it seriously got on my nerves. I do love the setting and the genre mix and I guess the newest episode would play the strenghts of the series a little bit more, but storywise the damage is already done.
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CaRoss



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:10 am Reply with quote
ryanvamp wrote:

THANK YOU; I was in shock that the reviews haven't been mentioning this. I can deal with stupid characters and some lazy writing but this arc had me thinking about dropping the series more than once. There are only two episodes left so it would be a waste but it seriously got on my nerves. I do love the setting and the genre mix and I guess the newest episode would play the strenghts of the series a little bit more, but storywise the damage is already done.


I'm a little shocked about that too. While I can admit that I found bits and pieces of the arc enjoyable, there was a whole lot wrong with the way they had gone about it. It was full of terrible decisions on the parts of the characters, and it just didn't jive, at all, with the rest of the events going on in the show. While I wasn't tempted to drop it myself, I can definitely see how someone would feel that way. So, I'm not quite sure why it never became a topic of discussion for the reviewers. It seems like something that should have been discussed a little more.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:20 am Reply with quote
Zeres wrote:
It just bothers me how every action she takes is in complete contrast to her character and seems to only be for her to be a damsel in distress and an objective for the finale.

I just finished posting the same complaint in the discussion thread. It seems like she thinks she's been abandoned and forgotten and is alone in the building. With all that lamp oil, I'd be setting fire to the wooden door about now. But even if she took no action, just showing she still has some spine would've gone a long way. Instead we get blubbering and screaming. Did Zorzal lock her in a cupboard as a child?
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:57 am Reply with quote
CaRoss wrote:
So, I'm not quite sure why it never became a topic of discussion for the reviewers.

Perhaps because the reviewer didn't actually see it as a problem big enough to be worth commenting on, especially since there's been so much else in this series to comment on?

Yes, I'll grant you that the business with Shandy could have been handled a bit better, and that the whole story thread involving Lelei definitely hasn't been the series' best, but I did not find them to be even remotely close to "kill my enthusiasm for the series"-level issues. At worst, they're minor nuisances.

Gina Szanboti wrote:
It seems like she thinks she's been abandoned and forgotten and is alone in the building.

Oh, that seems entirely reasonable. Diid you notice in that last scene that there were no sign of guards near her door? There were in a scene several episodes back when Tyuule was still in that cell. And she has to believe that no one with any real power to accomplish anything is left in the palace whom she could call an ally. She's also seen first-hand how her brother treats people who are completely at his mercy, and she is herself now that her blood is no longer a protection for her.

Quote:
But even if she took no action, just showing she still has some spine would've gone a long way. Instead we get blubbering and screaming. Did Zorzal lock her in a cupboard as a child?

Agreed, and see my comments above about the claustrophobia.


Last edited by Key on Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Hameyadea



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:00 am Reply with quote
Episode #23:

While I can see how Piña's actions in the last couple of episodes in general -- and this one in particular -- come off as an out-of-character, I think it is still within the realm of plausibility due to the 2 main reasons:
  • 1. As she so graciously emphasized, this was Tyuule's cell until recently. And as it has been shown, the cell wasn't completely sealed-off (that pig servant, for example), so information from the outside could've reached her, either by accident or deliberately.
  • 2. (more like point 1B) We, the viewers, don't know what happened between the last time we saw Piña and her appearance at the end of the episode. Just as she (quite blatantly) manipulated Zorzal, Tyuule could've leaked news (or "news), like the defeat of the Order of the Rose Knights at the hands of the Oprichnina, for example.


My biggest issue with this episode, however, was the eye-rolling moment when, after successfully seizing control and achieving all of their objectives in a swift and orderly manner, the on-the-field JSDF commander (whose name escapes me at the moment) went, "What Would Brian Boitano Itami Do?" Bringing back the old discussion in this forum, about whether or not the JSDF itself should be viewed as a character unto itself, that particular moment (among a few others from previous episodes) is where I feel that they "broke character;" the show is trying hard to pit Itami as the "LN hero," and it hurts the show.


Last edited by Hameyadea on Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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CaRoss



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:27 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Perhaps because the reviewer didn't actually see it as a problem big enough to be worth commenting on, especially since there's been so much else in this series to comment on?

Yes, I'll grant you that the business with Shandy could have been handled a bit better, and that the whole story thread involving Lelei definitely hasn't been the series' best, but I did not find them to be even remotely close to "kill my enthusiasm for the series"-level issues. At worst, they're minor nuisances.


No need to get defensive, it's a fair view, and I agree that it's not enough to kill enthusiasm. It just seems odd since most of these reviews seem to talk about moments where these sorts of situations weren't handled well, and I'm shocked that this one got glossed over despite how big a part of the episode it was is all. It was handled pretty poorly no matter how it's looked at and some of us just thought it should have been brought up.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:23 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
It seems like she thinks she's been abandoned and forgotten and is alone in the building.

Oh, that seems entirely reasonable. Did you notice in that last scene that there were no sign of guards near her door? ... And she has to believe that no one with any real power to accomplish anything is left in the palace whom she could call an ally. She's also seen first-hand how her brother treats people who are completely at his mercy, and she is now that her blood is no longer a protection for her.

I just meant it literally, not in a "all my allies have abandoned me" way.

I'm not quite clear where she is, in relation to the palace, but it seems like if she's still in the palace dungeons or whatever, she could hear that something big was going on out there, and she feared that everyone had left for good, and no one knew she was trapped in there. But rather than see that as a terrifying thing (which it certainly would be if there's really no way out), you'd think she'd see it as her chance to escape. Bang on the doors and yell, and if no one shows up, set fire to the door.

Now if she thought everyone had left because the place was going to be bombed to rubble in the next five minutes, then it's time to panic.
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GhostStalkerSA



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:57 am Reply with quote
feuerwerke wrote:
I think I know why Tyuure seems like she's out for revenge against Pina. Honestly, there's no way in Hell Pina doesn't know about her brother's sex slaves. Even if Pina doesn't get along with Zorzal, it probably pissed Tyuure off that, even as a fellow woman, Pina never did anything whatsoever to try to intervene on her and the other slave girls' situation.

Coming back to this from the last page, I have to say that this explanation doesn't really fly as it was perfectly normal in ancient Rome (and thus the Empire that is somewhat based off of it) to keep a ton of slaves, especially the defeated women of your enemies as a sex slave, sorta as a prestige thing.

And what better sex slave for the Crown Prince and heir apparent of the Empire to keep than the Queen of the Warrior Bunnies that forces under his command defeated and forced to surrender to him in an attempt to preserve the rest of her people? Pina has no grounds on which to criticize her brother Zorzal for keeping Tyuule as a sex slave, that was a totally normal thing to happen in the Empire.

Remember how shocked she, the Emperor, Tyuule, and Zorzal were when they saw the anger that the JSDF displayed when Asshole Prince dragged that Japanese woman taken as a sex slave into the throne room. To them in the Empire, it's a totally normal thing to have happen, if a bit uncouth because you're not supposed to bring your slaves into the throne room in front of the Emperor out in the open or anything like that. To the JSDF, this is something they're willing to kill people over.

Culture clash is a hell of a thing, and Pina, despite spending so much time with Itami and the rest of the JSDF and Sugiwara and the other Japanese envoys, still hasn't fully understood or adopted their views, especially on slavery. She may think it's unseemly for Zorzal to be treating Tyuule the way he does, but she has no real grounds to criticize his treatment of her.

In the scene where they were introduced, Asshole Prince was basically raping Bunny Queen, and when Count Marcus (Emperor Malt's majordomo or sorts) walked in and started speaking to him of Pina's efforts with the JSDF, he was more scandalized by the fact that Zorzal was doing it with a non-human (as beast people are seen as lesser in the Empire) than the fact that he was having rough sex with her. That seems to be the standard mindset regarding non-humans kept as sex slaves by the upper echelons of the Empire.

Also, so many things from the LN and novels that the anime is cutting for time that I hope they pick up if Gate gets another season approved. Remember, this next episode will likely cover to the end of the 3rd novel book, out of a series of 5 mainline ones.

For example,spoiler[ Bozes (the blond drill hair Rose Knight) was supposed to tell Captain Villefa (Beefeater, I think Crunchyroll used) that she was in the really early stages of preganancy with Tomita's (the other male member of Itami's recon team that went back to Japan with him) kid right before Zorzal's dudes laid siege to the Jade Palace, but that seems to have been cut, or at least not mentioned. They've been carrying on a "secret" relationship from at least the hot springs trip to Japan that almost everyone in the JSDF stationed at Alnus and the refugee community and the Rose Knights knows about but doesn't officially acknowledge as to not bring official fraternization penalties on him for breaking regs not allowing relationships between JSDF members and people from the Empire.] [EDIT: These are technically spoilers from other source material, and so should be tagged since they theoretically could eventually be revealed. - Key]

Also, a plotline involving Tyuule getting closer to the former member of Itami's recon team that was a chef and was later inserted into Zorzal's retinue as a cook and softening up a bit because of it seems to have been dropped for time as well, which is disappointing...

HaruhiToy wrote:
She seems so blatant about it that I have to wonder how dumb Zorzal has to be to fall for it If if he doesn't, not one of his friend/advisors?

As for the JSDF's performance I would be more impressed if they had anything like a capable opposition. Although the sheer weight of numbers of the Empire doesn't make it fully risk free this episode looked mostly like mowing down unarmed enemies. It is easy to keep parade-ground precision when you are not only nearly immune to enemy attack but you can withdraw to the air at will.

Still, it was pretty clear that someone who had trained in the military wrote all this.

Yeah, she's been playing him for quite a while now, it seems. She's got a position of if not trust, then qualified advice that he'll accept at face value, as she seems to be liaison between his troops and him, as well as his intelligence coordinator, running his information network. She's made him dependent on her for running his whole operation, and Asshole Prince either is so dumb he can't see how much she's screwing him to set him and the Empire up for a truly gigantic fall, or he thinks that he's had sex and degraded her as his slave so much that Stockholm Syndrome has set in, and she won't dare act against him, sorta like a battered wife or something like that. He truly overestimates his own intelligence, how powerful the Empire's forces are, and what the JSDF is willing to do.

Well, at least he somewhat of a wakeup call this episode on the last two points, and we'll see how much it'll stick. The lesson he learned from Kuribayashi beating him up in the throne room in front of his father and sister after slaughtering all of his guards and then blowing up the Imperial Senate clearly didn't last long enough, and I don't think this is enough of a lesson either, going off of his past history and what we've seen of his personality.

And yes, the original writer of Gate was a JSDF reservist I believe, who a lot of people reading this on other forums think has a right-wing or nationalist bent to his writing, and it really kinds shows, even filtered through the pens of the writers for different mediums. Dunno if the director or writer for this episode was JSDF as well, but I doubt it, they're likely going off of Yanai's writing from the novels instead.

Hameyadea wrote:
My biggest issue with this episode, however, was the eye-rolling moment when, after successfully seizing control and achieving all of their objectives in a swift and orderly manner, the on-the-field JSDF commander (whose name escapes me at the moment) went, "What Would Brian Boitano Itami Do?" Bringing back the old discussion in this forum, about whether or not the JSDF itself should be viewed as a character unto itself, that particular moment (among a few others from previous episodes) is where I feel that they "broke character;" the show is trying hard to pit Itami as the "LN hero," and it hurts the show.

Yeah, I unfortunately don't think you can move away from that in this genre, being that of "anime adaptation of a novel and LN series". Unfortunately, there has to be a designated hero, and Itami is it. I liked when this series pulled the curtain back a bit from him to show the JSDF and other characters here doing their jobs competently (mostly killing Imperial dudes in the case of the JSDF and attempting to get a diplomatic agreement with the Empire negotiated and done with in the case of Sugiwara, after protecting Sherry of course) while Itami and his harem basically went off to Rondel to deal with Lelei's Sage thesis (which still hasn't been resolved and also involved quite a bit of content cut from the novel version here to the anime for time...), but now we've gotta focus on him more again... Oh well, I guess it was somewhat fun (for certain definitions of fun) while it lasted...

And the JSDF field commander should be Colonel Kengun, aka the guy who led the Ride of the Valkyries Apocalypse Now attack on the bandits besieging Italica last cour.
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Inopethflames



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:01 am Reply with quote
I dunno how long this manga is or light novel or whatever the basis of the show is, but it seems like this show could go on for hundreds of episodes. I love this show and its premise and it seems like virtually nothing has greatly been delved into in any detail, and the main character and his girl group haven't even been involved much in this second half of the season, or if this is season 2. I hope there are a lot more seasons of this.
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GhostStalkerSA



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:31 am Reply with quote
Inopethflames wrote:
I dunno how long this manga is or light novel or whatever the basis of the show is, but it seems like this show could go on for hundreds of episodes. I love this show and its premise and it seems like virtually nothing has greatly been delved into in any detail, and the main character and his girl group haven't even been involved much in this second half of the season, or if this is season 2. I hope there are a lot more seasons of this.

Well, the original source material of Gate was finished long ago, as a web novel written by the author Yanai at least a decade ago. But when Alphapolis picked it up for publication in Japan off of its popularity, they made sure to have the web novel removed so as not to impact potential sales. And Yanai had to rewrite the story to remove a lot more of the "poisonous" right-wing ideas present, and change the plot and ending around (apparently, in the original, Pina was a lot more villainous, and was only out for power and control of the Empire, and had a breakdown when the JSDF brought it all down on her head?).

So then the web novel got rewritten as a series of 5 novels, of which we are currently near the end of book 3. Book 2 was the fire dragon arc. Also written was another set of 5 "gaiden" (side story) novels which focus on one of the heroines in Itami's group each, which take place after the end of Book 5, as well as through flashbacks.

The original series was also split into a series of 10 LNs with new artwork so as to increase sales via a new medium, but are basically the same as the original novels, but perhaps with easier prose and language used to make it easier to decipher by teenagers.

The manga is an adaptation of the novels or LN, and this anime was made as an advertisement for a new series of novels that Yanai is apparently working on now and set to release soon that continues the story. So there's that to keep in mind.

This is currently the penultimate episode of the second cour (half) of the first season so far, and I dunno if they're gonna make a second season, but going off of the reception it's gotten, I'd say it's pretty likely one will be approved, if only to drum up more novel and LN and manga sales leading up to the release of the second novel series.
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