Review: GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There!

The summer season is nearing its end. A lot of the 12/13-episode series have ended or will be ending in the next two weeks. GATE is one of the shows I’m watching that finished last week. If anyone has read my summer preview with my brief first impressions of some of the shows, you’ll know that GATE was one of the shows that I initially didn’t intend to watch. Surprisingly, I managed to finish it. I guess it managed to mildly interest me to keep up with it every week.

I have read in the manga forums that apparently its manga is much more “gory” than the anime adaptation. (Anyone willing to expand on that more, please don’t hesitate to comment below.) Although there was indeed blood scenes, it isn’t that bad. If it was, I would not hesitate to drop it. Even if I do watch gore, I just tend to stay away from it unless the plot overlaps that aspect.

The character designs, for me, were much better than the manga (based on the volume covers). The animation falls short though. It was mediocre at its best. You would think it would be pretty ok becuase of the opening, but it didn’t provide the same quality in the rest of the episode. I’m not a fan of 3D in anime, but if it’s done well, I keep my mouth shut. That being said, the 3D is pretty decent in my opinion. (I would suggest this video as it is a good analogy for 3D in anime.) The way the military equipments, tanks, and helicopters were appealing to the eyes.

I think the plot was original, though some of you might not agree. I say that in the basis of the shows I’ve watched and manga I’ve read, which probably isn’t a lot compared to the lot of you (lol). Albeit “original,” the story is just dull and unexciting. It’s the type of show that I’d probably forget to watch for a week and continue on until it finishes. The story didn’t make use of the fantasy and military themes. The story uncreatively showed off Japan’s supremacy, and any invasion would somehow end up looking like that, but we all know that’s a load of bull. There’s only one scene in the entire show that I could say I loved–when Itami brought Rory, Tuka, and Lelei in Japan for the summit. When Rory defended Itami and the JDSF from Kouhara, I was like, “Damn right, girl.” That situation can probably happen in real life, and I would have replied the way Rory did. People like Kouhara live comfortably with their lives and dictate so much. I could only shake my head in disgust.

Setting aside my personal feelings, I want to briefly talk about the characters, which was another disappointment, because they screamed “stereotype.” We have Itami who’s your stereotypical otaku with his “I need to work to fund my hobbies” attitude. That being said, he happens to be in one of the highest ranks because he’s lazy as fuck so he avoids responsibilities, which led him to becoming good and efficient at his job. He’s basically your typical shounen male character–otaku in a harem with a hero complex. Although I say that, he’s not an annoying character. He’s actually chill. You would be blind though if you don’t see how the show pushes Rory to Itami. You would know there’s an “underaged, lolita girls” fetish to cater to some of the audience. It’s like the whole age thing was a cover up (LOL). Another reason to shake my head in disgust. Not to mention, Rory’s VA, Taneda Risa, probably has the most annoying voice in the show. The way she talks drives me nuts. She tries to make it sound sexy, but sounds like a strangled cat who needs some language lessons. The other characters are relatively ok. There’s poor character development, but I expected as much.

I may have pointed out the things I didn’t like, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it even a little. I like keeping up with to see the interactions between different dimensions. Even if it had a military theme, I’m curious to know if that ever occur in real life, how would we deal with it? This show is definitely not for me, but it may be for someone else. If you enjoy this kind of characterization matched with guns blazing and animal ears, then I guess this show is for you.

Animation/Art: 2/5
Story: 1.5/5
Characters: 2/5
Sound/VA cast: 2/5
Enjoyment: 2/5
Overall: 1.9/5

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