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REVIEW: GATE Season One


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HaruhiToy



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:02 am Reply with quote
I really want to see more of this. The summary is pretty good but I would debate one point:
article wrote:
at one point, bringing a heavily armed guest into the Diet when the danger she poses is fairly well known among the other characters.

Maybe well known among Itami's group, but I thought it was a great illustration of how the politicians were simply not prepared to take the "natives" seriously. In that scene multi-centurial was being written off as a inconsequential young girl. More pointedly, the warnings from the military were also disregarded.

Just watch any congressional hearing with the US military people (or, for that matter climate scientists) as witnesses. The politicians will pretend any facts they want to are actually proven and totally ignore or denigrate any contravening information. That's just the nature of chamber politics.

Overall, I thought the authors of this anime had fairly substantial insights into the real world and even better didn't overuse them.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:16 am Reply with quote
It's not "politicall correct", but I honestly appreciate that the women "selling their bodies" is discussed as a tactic by the characters in GATE. It is great narratively since Itami reacts as your would expect a MODERN day man to do, thus showing how society has changed in the span of time between these two eras. I prefer when media depicts what is (for all intents and purposes) a medieval society that they actually look at some of the "hindsight" flaws of that society rather than pretending they didn't happen. I think its ridiculous when we CURRENTLY talk about how women and minorities have experienced millenia of oppression, and then show stories from centuries ago with everyone behaving as 2000s era Americans.
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Lemonchest



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:23 am Reply with quote
Didn't really enjoy GATE, though it was certainly watchable. Didn't like how the first couple of episodes are all about mass slaughter (120,000 dead in the two battles, as I recall), clashing cultures & the fantasy emperor planning to burn everything between the imperial city & the JDF, then suddenly it's harem hijinks & out on patrol with the super awesome otaku man, rescuing villagers from an unrelated dragon.

It also completely missed the point of the scene from Apocalypse Now it tried so hard to reference (it just comes off as masturbating over how awesome watching the JDF slaughter a completely inferior enemy is supposed to be) & the whole thing in the Diet when a female (of course) MP challenges them over civilian causalities that turns into a diatribe about how dare she, a mere civilian, question the wisdom of the mighty military hero man rubbed me the wrong way.

I'll prob watch the next cour in the hope that the whole war they seemed to forget about will heat up again, but I don't have high hopes, not least because I've heard from some who've read the LN that it goes full "JDF-stronk."
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Parsifal24



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:30 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed it because it seemed like a more realistic depiction of what would happen than Outbreak Company. Also there's just some part of my "slimy lizard brain," that likes the idea of mass slaughter of middle brow fantasy characters and monsters by modern military tech.

It's not the most profound reason to like something but I don't think liking something has to always be a deep experience. Also nice to see the off model animation get highlighted as a negative as it was really bad in some places
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maximilianjenus



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:37 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
both shows are based on light novels

dunno about the toehr show, but gate is based on a WEBnovel, which, pardon me the snobbery is a huge difference, which is somethign I like to mention because it also serves to explain both the weak and strong points.

(someone correct me fi I'm wrong as I am relatively new to that medium )

webnovels are written in small chapters, usually in agregator sites, the agregator sites help promote the most popular ones, kind of like pixiv. the way webnovels are written means that the more popular ones get more views but also, more importantly, web novels are an editor-less media, that is what makes them a huge difference compared to light novels.

since there is no editor, they do and get away with things that an editor would absolutely forbid, which explains why some of the settings feel realyl free and original and also explains why there are such big,jarring tonal changes; well, even from arc to arc, you can have a really amazing arc that touches on human valus and how the charcters develop trust to each other, then the next arc is the most horrible harem arc that even harem mangas would feel ashamed to make. then you ahve an arc in which the character does something really clever/hardworking to get over a difficulty, then in other arc a problem is solved in teh most horribly, self-serving power fantasy way.

as a side comment I am currently reading a "feminist" webnovel that as the main charcterfirst save the world thru hard work, hardship and sacrifices, then loop to the start of the adventure and save the world using clever schemes so nothing is sacrificed; then reset again and now he is female and is facing all the discrimination the world has against females (he can't even get a hero-aspirant class because he is female), adn sometimes it has those greats moment and other times it is just going nowhere and you can tell the quality is all over the place.


TL;DR is worth mentioning when a show is based on a webnovel because that can mean fresh elements or set ups but also means that the quality might be all over the place.

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uribayashi, can be said to be really irritating, and that's less due to her personality and more to her protestations of disbelief every single time anything impressive about Itami is revealed.

agreed, that joke was fun the first 2 times, but after that it even amde one wonder if the character did not have mental problems.

Quote:
GATE could be seen as glorifying Japan's military, and that may prove a problem for some viewers.

as a not-american those reactions were hilarious as most of the people complainigna bout that were , indeed, america, and as anybody forma merica can tell, pretty much all hollywood movies are like that (plus the whole white washing characters that are nto americang, by amknig them love dogs or have morals of americans in the 21st century)


Lemonchest wrote:
Didn't really enjoy GATE, though it was certainly watchable. Didn't like how the first couple of episodes are all about mass slaughter (120,000 dead in the two battles, as I recall), clashing cultures & the fantasy emperor planning to burn everything between the imperial city & the JDF, then suddenly it's harem hijinks & out on patrol with the super awesome otaku man, rescuing villagers from an unrelated dragon.


ok, this is nto very defendable, just refer to the first thing I said about this being based on a WEB novel and those have those big tonal shifts even feeling like complete genre shifts.


Lemonchest wrote:

the whole thing in the Diet when a female (of course)


don't worry, they were not being sexist because how they dare make an antagonistic character female; rather, that character was based on a real world politician who also happens to be female.
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bibotot



Joined: 13 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:38 pm Reply with quote
I am indifferent with Gate. On one hand, it has some very cool fantasy element, excellent music and animation and a great main character. On the other, it is harem only with fantasy girls. There are no female antagonist in this anime, so that sucks. I am saying a real villain with weapons/powers and evil plans, not the overreacting politician who is so annoyingly cartoonish. Anime is NOT the same as Western cartoons. That politician might have been good if she were in a comic book in the 80s.

The battles are nice to watch, but the timing is terrible. The city siege is frankly stupid. The bandits break through the gate and kill the Imperial commander at night, and then they don't do anything. They just stay at the area surrounding the gate until morning when they got slaughtered. Come on, if even the commander is killed, how could a bunch of conscripted peasants hold them so effectively? Some of you might find this a nitpick, but I want my anime to have some brain in it and not something a 10 years-old could write for his creative writing assignment and get a B+.

Moreover, all battles feel very one-sided. Even in those Hollywood movies where the US army have superior weapons and tactics against a bunch of ragtag terrorists, they still manage to deliver some form of tension even though the overall scene is a bloodbath. Gate never has any tension whatsoever because the viewers never feel any character they like in danger at any given point. I will say this, despite Rambo mowing down enemies in drove like some sort of god, it still feels more intense than this. And come on, Rambo killing hundreds of dudes is much more fun than the JDSF doing so.

I don't hate this anime. But I am not too invested in it either. First season would probably get a 5/10 from me.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
GATE could be seen as glorifying Japan's military, and that may prove a problem for some viewers.


That's because the source webnovel's main intention WAS to glorify Japan's military. The author's a right-winger who used the novels to promote his beliefs on Japanese ultranationalism (usually associated with lingering WW2-era beliefs of Japanese supremacy and might).

Published versions of the novels cut out most of the author's diatribe, but were unable to completely excise the glorification and certain right-wing parts of the story, since the story wouldn't exist at all then.
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purplepolecat
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed this anime, but it frequently felt like a JSDF recruitment ad. The US Army recruits gamers via America's Army, so why not?
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Lemonchest



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:16 pm Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:

Lemonchest wrote:

the whole thing in the Diet when a female (of course)


don't worry, they were not being sexist because how they dare make an antagonistic character female; rather, that character was based on a real world politician who also happens to be female.


Maybe her character design was. But in the context of the scene she plays the role of the try hard journalist in police dramas, asking the awkward/irrelevant questions that nobody wants her to because it might further her career, & who gets a dressing down by the brilliant but unorthodox police officer...I mean main character & his harem that she's asking because she just a civvy & doesn't know what it's like out on the front line.

It's a contrived scene to begin with. It's their first public address to the Diet about what's been going on on the other side of the GATE, yet the question is about a minor event that occurred on a reconnaissance mission (which suddenly became a humanitarian escort mission when they discovered an elf girl in a well, but that's a different matter). How she knew about it to begin with is up in the air, as is why the JDF weren't competent enough to perform & record a proper mission debrief that would have clarified what happened, negating the need for the exchange to happen.

So no, it's no accident that she just happens to be female. It's a tired old trope that was trotted out just to make the MC look good & give the goth loli a chance to grandstand in his defense.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It's this political element that forms a large part of what makes GATE an interesting story


Did we watch the same show? Almost every moment that was dealing with real world politic was cringe worthy. I know it was originally written awhile ago, but it felt like something that was written by someone whose world view didn't evolve since the beginning of the cold war. The scene were some important Chines leaders talk about sending half its population trough the gate was laughable. Similarly the idea that Japan could invade another land just by claiming that it was actually it's territory and that America just sat by and did nothing while scheming in the background shows incredibly poor understanding of foreign policy.

I did like that the military was portrayed as completely superior to the invading army, that was a nice change from the usual "sword beat gun everyday". Sadly the show didn't seem to like that and we eventually got a scene were a character in a perfectly good position to shoot at the enemy (that are armed with melee weapon) instead choose to charge at them with a bayonet.

I think the show had good idea and maybe even a general sense of what to do to make them interesting. Sadly the execution was wholly inadequate.
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zztop



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:30 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
maximilianjenus wrote:

Lemonchest wrote:

the whole thing in the Diet when a female (of course)


don't worry, they were not being sexist because how they dare make an antagonistic character female; rather, that character was based on a real world politician who also happens to be female.


Maybe her character design was. But in the context of the scene she plays the role of the try hard journalist in police dramas, asking the awkward/irrelevant questions that nobody wants her to because it might further her career, & who gets a dressing down by the brilliant but unorthodox police officer...I mean main character & his harem that she's asking because she just a civvy & doesn't know what it's like out on the front line.

It's a contrived scene to begin with. It's their first public address to the Diet about what's been going on on the other side of the GATE, yet the question is about a minor event that occurred on a reconnaissance mission (which suddenly became a humanitarian escort mission when they discovered an elf girl in a well, but that's a different matter). How she knew about it to begin with is up in the air, as is why the JDF weren't competent enough to perform & record a proper mission debrief that would have clarified what happened, negating the need for the exchange to happen.

So no, it's no accident that she just happens to be female. It's a tired old trope that was trotted out just to make the MC look good & give the goth loli a chance to grandstand in his defense.


In the manga, the lady politician was modeled after real-life left-leaning politician Murata Renho. By changing her design the anime neutered this particular insult the author was trying to throw at Japan's leftists.

Otherwise the scene can be seen as very contrived, as you mention.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:

It's a contrived scene to begin with. It's their first public address to the Diet about what's been going on on the other side of the GATE, yet the question is about a minor event that occurred on a reconnaissance mission


er.. the official excuse for that visit was the dragon event, sicne you know dragons don't exit in this world and also it involved civilians nulike the previous incursion which consisted of the army protecting the gate.
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HaruhiToy



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:36 pm Reply with quote
zztop wrote:
Quote:
GATE could be seen as glorifying Japan's military, and that may prove a problem for some viewers.


That's because the source webnovel's main intention WAS to glorify Japan's military. The author's a right-winger who used the novels to promote his beliefs on Japanese ultranationalism (usually associated with lingering WW2-era beliefs of Japanese supremacy and might).

I didn't know that the author was a right-winger but now that you have pointed it out it makes sense.

However not all right-wingers are the same, and this particular flavor seems to have considerable empathy for the little guy in both the Japan World and the Special Region, and pretty significant contempt for the politicians and power brokers on both sides. I sure ain't no right winger but I can relate to that.

And "glorifying the military" whether it is the Navy Seals or the JSDF or IDF or whatever has its place. For the sake of a good anime I can live with that.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:07 pm Reply with quote
Enjoyed the review, well done. Two quips.

Quote:
Likewise some viewers may find it upsetting that in two separate instances a woman is told to barter her body for what her people want, using sex as a commodity.


Honestly, I think it is upsetting that people would find it upsetting that in a medieval setting something like that would be shown especially when it also shows that the modern response is to find the idea discomforting to say the least. Should we just ignore the hardships people have gone through throughout history? In our media, should we just pretend women never had to do that. pretend slavery never happened, etc? I find it upsetting that people would rather just not acknowledge it at all. I think that refusing to acknowledge a problem ever existed is a horrible approach. Especially this one as I'm doubtful it has been rectified across the globe.

Quote:
Abrupt ending


I get this even less. How many series would have a good ending if you just divided the series in half based on episode count? I'm not saying you shouldn't mention it at all, but to list it as a minus seems overboard.

maximilianjenus wrote:
dunno about the toehr show, but gate is based on a WEBnovel, which, pardon me the snobbery is a huge difference, which is somethign I like to mention because it also serves to explain both the weak and strong points.


So Gate is sort of unique. It is originally a web novel, then a novel, then a light novel. The story is toned down a bit each time, and according to people who have read both the novel and LN, the anime more follows the LN. So it isn't really wrong to say the anime is based on a LN.

Lemonchest wrote:
So no, it's no accident that she just happens to be female. It's a tired old trope that was trotted out just to make the MC look good & give the goth loli a chance to grandstand in his defense.


I can see why you might think that, but sorry, no. She isn't female because of some dumb trope. She is based off a specific individual that accidentally exists which the author had an issue with. It has nothing to do with the trope you ranted about. Though yes, it was just to make the MC and what he stands for look good.

HaruhiToy wrote:
However not all right-wingers are the same, and this particular flavor seems to have considerable empathy for the little guy in both the Japan World and the Special Region, and pretty significant contempt for the politicians and power brokers on both sides. I sure ain't no right winger but I can relate to that.


I agree. I think there is a lot of unwarranted and exaggerated hate about that, at least with regard to the anime. Showing individuals favorably while showing governments as corrupt is not really an ultra right wing thing. How many hollywood movies have the good MC you are suppose to empathize and a government you are suppose to see as corrupt? And hollywood is generally considered to be left afaik.

I'm not saying nothing in the anime comes off at all as right wing, but it is being blown way out of proportion.
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HeeroTX



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:03 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Similarly the idea that Japan could invade another land just by claiming that it was actually it's territory and that America just sat by and did nothing while scheming in the background shows incredibly poor understanding of foreign policy.

I am American and this is the one point that I CANNOT understand people making. We're talking about a place that you can ONLY get to by going through a GATE that is maybe ~1000 sq yds/meters in area in the MIDDLE of downtown Tokyo. This is like saying ANY country is going to stop ANY other country from doing something inside of a SMALL warehouse. I have no doubt that people would rant against Japan in the press and probably at UN assemblies, but then what? You're going to cut off one of the 5 largest economies in the world over it? You're going to bomb millions of civilians over it? Heck, Russia actually DIRECTLY conquered lands that we CAN get to without going into Russia, and what did we do about that?
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