Gate Episode 1 [First Impressions]

Well here we are, back with another season. So i’m throwing my hat in the ring again, and this time around my shot in the dark show is the first one to air. So it looks like it will be my first review of the season. Huzzah? Perhaps? Maybe? Sometimes my shot in the dark shows end up fantastic like Yoru no Yatterman, and sometimes they end up like horrible crap like Triage X. How did this one fair? Well let’s fine out.

So the episode starts off with our main character, Itami. He is an otaku. That’s the first thing we learn about him. And honestly, right off the bat there’s something I like about this show.

gate 1

That’s right, our main character is 33 years old. And honestly, right off the bat this is a welcome breath of fresh air. I’m actually getting a tad tired with shows starring 14-22 year olds. It’s nice to see a show actually have a character who seemingly is going to have 3 girls (according to the opening) fawning over him and he’s in his 30’s. Good on you show. You deserve a point right there.

Anyway back to the episode, this guy is going to a doujinshi convention. That’s when, just for the hell of it, a random gate appears out of thin air, and an army pops out of it as well as monsters, and they start killing people.

gate 2

no, no i really didn’t cut anything out. It kinda goes from “He’s going to a doujinshi convention” to “everyone being killed by fantasy army with dragons”. There really IS no segway. it just….kind of happens.

Our main character Itami is worried because…well… he’s afraid the convention will be cancelled at this rate. (chuckle) ok. I have to admit, that’s pretty funny.

I like this guy's priorities

I can dig this guy’s priorities

So while the police are trying to deal with the situation, a random soldier runs to kill him, Itami saves him, but has to end up killing the soldier in the process. Trust me, I was wondering how he could kill the guy relatively easily at first too. Don’t worry. It makes sense.

Itami talks to the police and tells them the best course of action is to get the civilians to the Imperial Palace and board them up on there. They listen and that’s when the Japanese self defense force shows up.

So yeah, if you ever wanted to see a helicopter shoot down a dragon

gate 4

Then there you go. It’s actually kind of funny.

After the self defense force shows up, they’re basically easily able to kill or capture everyone in the opposing army.

We then cut to a few days later when we see Itami receiving a certificate of heroism and a promotion to second lieutenant.

That’s when you realize it’s not random and it actually makes sense as Itami is an off duy military personnel. That’s when my brain went “ohhhh okay. That’s how- now i get it.”

Duh! okay, NOW it makes sense

Duh! okay, NOW it makes sense

We discover that the army has placed a protective dome over the gate in the ensuing months. The prime minister has deemed it necessary that the self defense force go through the gate and demand recompense for the slaughter that they now call “The Ginza incident”.

The episode then ends with The Defense force (Itami included) going through the gate and being greeted with an enemy army.

Fall back men! they've initiated the name drop!

Fall back men! they’ve initiated the name drop!

So what did I think of this episode. That’s the main concern here right? Well…I have to say, as of this moment, I apprehensively like this show. It does a lot of things right.

First of all, like I said earlier, I like how the protagonist is an otaku, but an older one. That’s a good start right off the bat. I like how he keeps his otaku ways this episode, as his biggest concern about going over to this new world is if he’ll be able to come back in time for the winter anime convention. However, even if he is a member of the self defense force, I do find his readiness to kill some dude that quickly to be…offputting.

hmm...that's only mildly disturbing

hmm…that’s only mildly disturbing

he already said that he only takes this job to pay for his hobbies so to me, even though he is a soldier, that was a bit of a character jump for me and I was taken a bit aback.

Besides his killing and his otakuness, we do see a few scenes of him being sweet, such as the scene when he finds a girl who can’t locate her parents after the attack.

D'aw.

D’aw.

The only issue is have with THIS scene is I don’t know if this show is going to go the romance way…or the fatherly figure way. If the girls are all going to be romantically interested in him, i’m all on board, but if they’re trying to insinuate that this guy is like a fatherly figure and acts more like…a father to the three, i’ll be very disappointed to the point that I might not continue the show.

The more I look at it the harder it is to tell if that's romance or not...

The more I look at it the harder it is to tell if that’s romance or not…

He has some funny scenes with his friend who I shall label “Probably going to die”

I shall dub thee "Sir probably going to die"

I shall dub thee “Sir probably going to die”

It just has all the inklings of this guy dying. So…Yeah i’m not getting invested in this guy.

So you know what? I should get on to the scoring.

Head: This…is a decently original premise. An otaku member of the Japanese Military gets sent to a fantasy world along with the rest of the self defense force. It takes place in this world and a separate world just pops out of nowhere. (Yeah…it does kind of sound like the plot of World Trigger, doesn’t it?)

But…it’s done in a way that it doesn’t feel like World Trigger. As I was saying, I like the idea and i think it has promise. I just REALLY hope he doesn’t become a “father figure”.

Head 7/10

Eye: The animation looks pretty decent. We really haven’t seen any sort of females yet so it’s hard to judge but from the intro it looks like they should have them pretty down pat. The only issue I had was some of the guys look alike and it’s kind of hard to tell them apart. It’s pretty solid animation. It’s not going to win any awards, but thank god I haven’t seen any skin shine pimples yet.

For the love of christ PLEASE no skin shine pimples

For the love of christ PLEASE no skin shine pimples

7/10

Heart:

From what i’ve seen with the story, some of the moments are actually pretty heartfelt and genuine. I don’t know what they’re going to do with the characters, but so far the reactions the military and the people have had are pretty realistic to what would actually happen (once again as opposed to World Trigger). Itami is actually pretty funny with his otakuness and keeps the show from being boring. This episode seemed to be a lot of build up so it’s hard to say how it will be, but at a glance it seems pretty okay with me. (just please don’t do the “fatherly” thing crap.)

6.5/10

Total Score 6.83/10

So yeah…it looks all right, it actually is interesting me quite a bit, but the problem is…i’m worried about where they’re going to go with this show. But you know what? Yes. I will continue to watch and blog this show. As of right now, it has my attention and interests me enough to keep me going. Good on you Gate, You have my attention.

Watching: Yes
Blogging: Yes…for now. (shifts eyes)

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4 Responses

  1. Eva says:

    I love the concept, I hope they execute it properly because I can see this potentially being the hidden gem of the season (regardless of the fact there is hype around it already).
    I also really love the protagonist, just like you said, he is a breath of fresh air. It’s so refreshing to have a character who is an adult Otaku, has an actual job, and doing simple things like how almost all his goals revolve around his hobby. It’s even better that his fellow colleague is also an Otaku, and I’m sure it will be fun to see them poking jokes like, “Will there be catgirls?” This could be a very fun duo- so I hope he doesn’t die!

  2. zztop says:

    Sources say to watch out for Japanese ultranationalism in this one. The source webnovel was apparently rife with intense right-wing viewpoints and ultranationalism by the author (ie. Japan #1 and saviour, gaijin govs. evil and useless!).
    The republished novel and light novel versions toned down a lot of the jingoism, but it could still be slightly overbearing for foreign eyes. So just a warning in advance.

    Also, word is the author used to serve in the JSDF; some of the army scenes may be from experience.

    • Yeah, some other people who’ve read that also agree at points the ultranationalism gets unbearable/annoying/noticeable. I can understand countries being patriotic, but there’s a thing about being condescending about it. Hopefully they don’t go overboard with like how I’ve seen some other anime’s view Japan “Japan is the greatest nation in the world!” “Japan has no issues with its government or people! There’s nothing wrong with it!” (literally, a show I watched years ago had protagonists who thought that….it was nauseating)

  3. I.D. nameless says:

    The violence was toned down compared to the manga/novels, but whatever, it was interesting anyway. I’m gonna keep following this.

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