Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. One of the biggest questions in the isekai community has always been who would win in a war, modern warfare or fantasy warfare. Both sides are great and neither side refuses to submit to the other as it’s a very good question with a lot of possibilities. Would people of a fantasy world be crushed by the technological advantage of modern warfare? Or would modern society be taken by surprise by things they don’t understand from fantasy warfare? I personally think we’ll never get a definitive answer to this question as there’s just too many what ifs but that hasn’t stopped people from making up their own stories proving which side is better like today’s anime Gate. Based off a light novel from 2010-15, Gate is a series that focuses on Japan sending troops to another world. The series was written by Takumi Yanai a former Japanese soldier who was part of Japan’s Special Defense Force aka JSDF (thank you for your service). He began writing the series in 2006 and published it on the blogging site Arcadia, until the series got discovered by the publisher AlphaPolis who started publishing the series in 2010. Along with the light novel the series also has a manga which is still on-going to this day. In a way the series is like the big brother of Outbreak Company which focused more on the fun and cultural exchange aspect of an isekai while Gate focuses on the more serious and political aspect of an isekai. In 2015 the anime studio A-1 Pictures (Fairy Tail and the Asterisk War), turned the series into a 24-episode series and what made it even more crazy was that the anime debuted one day after the light novel ended (that was some good timing right there). Let’s see a military man’s perspective on modern warfare vs magical warfare and take a look at Gate.
Opening and Ending Theme
The opening is “Gate ~Sore wa Akatsuki no you ni~” by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets. It’s alright song overall. I’m kinda in the neutral zone on this song. I like how the animation blends the two worlds together throughout the song and the singer is good but the song just never left much of an impact on me.
The ending is “Prism Communicate” sung by our female leads Risa Taneda, Hisako Kanemoto, and Nao Toyama. I liked it, I like how cheery and upbeat it is and VAs work each other well here. Nothing much to say about this song other than I enjoyed it. It’s very similar to the endings of Konosuba, the VAs just work off each other so well here and sound great together.
So the anime begins by introducing us to our main character Itami voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Dandy from Space Dandy) a 33 year old man who is a proud otaku and proclaims that he works only to support his hobby (we should all follow this man’s example). After his introduction we see that he’s on a train heading to a doujishi convention (Isis: That pervert. (Nitsuj): It’s the safe kind. Hopefully). While that’s going on in the area Itami is heading to we see a gate appear out of nowhere on the streets and nobody knows what it is (you think that everything that has happened to this country they would know when to recognize danger). After a few minutes knights, dragons, orcs, and goblins (oh my) come out of the gate and begin killing everyone they see (damn this anime just went AoT on us. Well at least it’s not as gruesome or violent as AoT). People begin to panic and our main character leaps into action to save a few people (and to stop this attack before the con is cancelled. Okay, that was an asshole move right there. I’m sure the intent was to make it a joke and I can respect that but people are literally dying in the streets and the anime has pretty much established that this is a serious moment and we should treat it as one). Itami springs into action by killing one of the knights from attacking a police officer by killing the knight himself (okay, now that was badass. You managed to redeem the character a little) and we find out later that Itami is actually a part of Japan’s SDF. After getting everyone to safety inside the Imperial Palace the JSDF open fire on the army from another world killing them all. A few days pass and we see Itami receive an award for his heroism on the day of the attack (it was all for the con). We also find out later that Japan has decided to enter the gate to another world and see what’s on the other side (a world of fantasy and magic). Their goal, to find and negotiate with the people who attacked them even if they have to use force (well judging by the number of tanks and armed soldiers your sending over I say using force was the original plan). We fast forward 3 months later where the operation has begun and we enter the gate to the other side (and the one question on everyone’s mind is. . .does this new world have animal girls?). Once they reach the other side they’re greeted by an army (scene here: https://youtu.be/egGamDwwH9I. Well, negotiations by force it is).
In episode 2 we find out that the Defense Force defeated 60% of the enemies first army attack forcing them to retreat. They soon setup base near the gate while the King and the Senate in the imperial capital talk about how to deal with them (my advice, which is something I don’t normally suggest, follow the French tactics of war). The king decides that this would be a good time to weaken his allies who might try to rebel against him, so he sends them to the frontlines where 60,000 troops all get wiped out (scene here: https://youtu.be/426XL910eKI, talk about a one-sided battle). The defense force decides to send recon teams out and establish contact with the people (we’re not here to invade. We just want to kill the bastards who attacked us). Itami gets put in charge of one group and they manage to establish friendly relationships with a village and continue to travel the area where they run into a dragon burning a village down in the forest (burn baby burn). They go to look for survivors in the destroyed village where they find an unconscious elf-girl at the bottom of the well (rare treasure found).
In episode 3 the group gets the elf-girl out of the well and give her the proper treatment to save her life. She stays unconscious for a majority of the episode but her life isn’t in any danger. After rescuing her the group returns to the village and tell them about the dragon where they all pack up and leave the village saying that once a dragon has tasted human or elf flesh it won’t stop until it has more (greedy little bastards aren’t they?). The group decides to accompany them on their travels to a safe area where we meet potential harem members. First up is Lelei a young mage studying with her master in the village but flees the village with her master when the news of the dragon reaches them. She takes an interest in the Japanese and their world. She’s voiced by Nao Toyama (Chiho from The Devil is a Part-Timer). The other girl is Rory Mercury voiced by Risa Taneda (Xenovia from Highschool DxD) a gothic Lolita demigod who is actually the physical incarnation for the god of death. Even though she has the appearance of a young girl she has lived for almost a millennia and is a skilled fighter and axe-wielder (scene here: https://youtu.be/N26bZwW6BFg). She too takes an interest in the Japanese (particularly Itami) and decides to join them on their travel. As they’re traveling they eventually come to a canyon where the dragon attacks them, and their guns don’t seem to be harming it (alright, time to bust out the rocket launcher). The elf wakes up and tells them to shoot for the eyes (I was literally saying that the first time I watched it) and it works as it dazes the dragon and they manage to blow off one of its arms with a rocket launcher (scene here: https://youtu.be/TGhGQ4d2xFw, oh that is hardcore). The dragon retreats but the damage has already been done as many people were killed in the attack leaving many kids and elders without family members and the mayor says they just don’t have the room to take care of them so they ditch them on Itami and the others and continue on their journey (it’s harsh but at the same time I get where he’s coming from).
At the start of episode 4 we learn about the young elf girl. We find out her name is Tuka voiced by Hisako Kanemoto (Ami/ Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon 2014) and when her village was attacked her father gave his life to save her from the dragon’s attack (good man). Back in the present Itami brings the refugees back to the base (which has expanded quite well I might add) and gets permission to take them all in while also being put in charge of them. Everyone seems to have adapted quite well to their new environment with Lelei actually trying to learn the Japanese language. The one that seems to have the most troubles is Tuka who has not been able to accept the fact that her father is dead and keeps expecting him to show up anytime (somebody needs to sit her down and tell her the truth). She’s also worried about money since their lodging is only temporary and since they have no money chances are they’ll have to sell their bodies to some fat gross balding man with bad odor. Luckily, the Japanese give them all the dragon scales from the dragons they killed in previous fights. Dragon scales are worth a lot of money in this world, so they load up on dragon scales and head to the nearest town to sell them.
In episode 5 the group arrives in the town of Italica which is under attack by remnants of soldiers who lost their commanders. The town doesn’t have that many fighters and is slowly losing all of their best men due to the constant attacks (launch small attacks and thin out their numbers. Genius) and now has to rely on the services of Pina and her knighthood. Pina is the daughter of the king who was sent to investigate the Japanese. In the past her knighthood was nothing more than an honor guard and was never sent out to do anything. Pina, now wants to use this chance to prove to herself and her father that her knighthood is serious (that’s all fine and well but why do you seek approval from that guy? He’s an asshole of a king and father). We clearly see that Pina (whose full name is Pina Co Lada. Not much of a drinker but she does look good to drink and you know my weakness for girls with red hair. (Shizuku): If you come near me I’ll split your skull open with my hammer) is in over her head with this battle, but she still presses on and decides to accept the help of the Japanese when they arrive. She places them at the south gate which is the weakest point in the fort and the spot Pina believes the bandits will and should strike (she’s sent them on a suicide mission and they know it as does she). Her plan backfires as the bandits have attacked the east gate and easily broke their way in (her first battle isn’t really going all that well is it?). The bandits provoke the crowd by beating the already dead bodies of the people and Pina doesn’t know what to do.
In episode 6 the town is still under attack and losing soldiers and citizens big time and Rory is an ecstasy because of it. Because she’s the incarnation of the god of death all souls pass through her so it’s sort of like giving her a shot of aphrodisiac and the only way to calm her is to have her fight (that or satisfy her sexually. Scene here: https://youtu.be/atWX86SJ5-g). The Japanese have sent help in the form of helicopters who fly there playing Ride of the Valkyries and everything (this is so cliché and awesome at the same time). Before the helicopters show up Rory and another female soldier named Kuribayashi get some action in and take out soldiers all by themselves (scene here: https://youtu.be/vgymfDITgyg, damn I like her). The helicopters come in and just decimate the enemy forces in a flash (scenes here: https://youtu.be/v5-hthd39wM and https://youtu.be/w6AQw-VkM8c) with even Pina shocked, amazed, and scared beyond belief by this admitting that if they were on opposing forces she would surrender immediately and beg for mercy all while kissing their boots (https://youtu.be/TmdNJorIrLA). The JSDF don’t demand much from the victory. All they ask is for free trade, a few of the prisoners, and they ask that the remaining prisoners be treated with humane manners (you’re asking for a lot on that last one). After selling the dragon scales they leave but as they leave they get stopped by the reinforcement knights Pina called earlier known as the Rose Knights (and these ladies are to be taken seriously. Why? Because they’re wearing armor covering their breast). Once they find out that they’re the soldiers from Arnus Hill they draw their swords and demand that they surrender. Not wanting to hurt them Itami gives himself up to them and tells the rest of his troops to get out of there and leave him behind.
So, in episode 7 Itami gets beaten up by the Rose Knights and taken back to Italica as a prisoner where the maids (who are a catgirl, foxgirl, medusa, and human) take care of him (I am so jealous of you right now man). Itami’s troop manage to sneak back into the city (why? You saved them I’m sure they’d be more than happy to welcome you back) where they see that Itami is okay and interact and talk with the maids as part of a culture exchange and take pictures (#otakudreamscometrue). We also learn that Itami is a Ranger (scene here: https://youtu.be/LtbE3y40X6Y). Once Pina hears what her knights did she is both scared and angry because she believes Itami will use this as an excuse to go to war with the Empire and after what she saw last episode she wants nothing to do with them (I think you are overreacting a little. (Isis): A little?). Pina orders the knight who roughed Itami up a little bit to sleep with him in the hopes that he’ll forget everything that’s happened to him (doing it with a high-class lady with ringlets and blonde hair. The dreams of the otaku keep on becoming reality). She goes to Itami’s room where she’s shocked to see everything is fine but mad that Itami is ignoring her so in a fit of rage she attacks Itami again (scene here: https://youtu.be/dEZI8HQV8x0. Wow, you can see the claw marks and everything). Now Pina is even more scared that they’ll go to war and decides to go with Itami and the others back to their base to properly apologize. Once they arrive at the base we once again see how Pina is in shock at our advanced technology (scene here: https://youtu.be/RAokAbAr_ds, welcome to modern warfare milady. There’s no swords or arrows. There’s just bullets, explosives, and the team with the best tactics and most guns wins in the end) and we find out that Itami is to return to Japan with Tuka and Lelei in order to have them speak at a conference (be sure to keep an eye on Tuka because the first chance I get I’m taking her. That’s right, I will have my elf girl and nobody will stand in my way). Rory eavesdrops on the conversation as does Lelei’s master (hey long time no see) and they too want to come to Japan (sure why not?). We also see that Pina and her knight will also be coming with Itami as secret guests and he’s been asked to show them a good time (or else).
In episode 8 the group returns to Japan (welcome to Japan ladies. Home of the otakus. Please enjoy your stay). The first thing they do is get greeted by public safety where we find out that Itami is actually special forces (a Japanese group very similar to the Green berets and Delta force. Scene here: https://youtu.be/avgSm4RfRaM). Before going to the conference they stop to give Tuka some new clothes since showing up in jeans at a conference is out of the question (go with the secretary look instead). While Tuka, Lelei, and Rory go to the senate, Pina and her knight go to a private meeting to discuss the release of prisoners that SDF has captured (our cells are becoming overcrowded because we’ve captured so many of your men). At the conference this dumb bitch elitist tries to get the girls to talk bad about the SDF because during the dragon attack about 150 people died while the SDF suffered no casualties (they just got lucky). Luckily, Rory puts the dumb bitch in her place by calling her a spoiled brat (which is true), a little girl (even more true), and saying that instead of talking bad about them she should instead be praising the SDF for fighting a dragon and coming back alive (thank you! Seriously, they fought a motherfucking dragon and forced it to retreat. How many people can say they did that?). When the bitch tries to play elder card Rory shuts her down by saying that she’s 961 years old (alright she’s legal) and Tuka even says she’s 165 years old (doesn’t look a day past 21). Lelei dives deeper into the ethinicity of their world by saying their world is mostly humans who live between the ages of 60 and 70, Tuka is a rare fairy type elf who doesn’t age and will pretty much live for all eternity (while looking beautiful) and Rory is a demigod who doesn’t age body wise and once she turns 1000 years old she’ll shed her physical form and become a god (a god has descended in our world. Scene here: https://youtu.be/rovD2S2wIxg). After that the bitch pretty much shuts up and the conference ends on a good note. In order to avoid the press, they use the bus as a decoy and instead take the subway where Rory is actually scared because the underground is home to a god named Hardy who has been trying to get Rory to be his bride. They meet up with Pina, her knight, and Itami’s team on the subway where they’ll make their way to Tokyo but Itami recognizes Rory’s fear and decides they’ll take an alternative route and just in time because their train has a malfunction. It turns out there are some people in Japan who want the world to see Pina and the others as a threat who can hit them anytime they want (you can’t be serious? You could literally send a helicopter to their world and they’d surrender in no time). Someone tries to steal Rory’s axe but fails because it’s so heavy (hit the gym little man). The episode ends with us going to see Itami’s ex-wife Risa (you were married!? Someone actually married you!?).
So in episode 9 the group crashes over at Risa’s place since there’s a possibility that some group is tailing them (if anyone so much as hurts my elf ears I will curb stomp you on the side on the street and post it on my twitter account). During their stay we see that Risa’s a manga artist (which manga you ask? Not sure, but it might be BL) and we get a little backstory into her and Itami. Apparently the two have known each other since middle school and soon enough got married sometime after high school. Their divorce didn’t come about because they were fighting or because they hated each other (well that’s good). They really don’t give a solid explanation into why they divorced but they drop hints that Itami was doing this as a way to help Risa in the event that he should die in the line of duty (given this guy’s luck I doubt it). The next day they all go out and do their own activities. Risa takes Lelei, Tuka, and Rory shopping and buys them new outfits (which look good on them). Pina and her knight have gained a love for BL novels and decide to find more (scene here: https://youtu.be/bsbrD1U3cbk, the power of BL spreads across dimensions). As for Itami, he goes to a doujin convention and buys new mangas for himself and the Defense Minister who is a longtime friend of Itami and manga fan himself (I always assumed everyone in Japan were manga fans. Not to sound racist). After their fun morning they go to relax at the hotsprings where the military is keeping an eye on them. Eventually the group that was tailing them shows up and we see that the group is associated with America (why am I not surprised? Actually, to be fair if Japan were to use another government that country would most likely be pissed off. America on the other hand can take a joke and just laugh it off. Keep in mind, we’re pretty easy-going when it comes to jokes about our country). The defense force does a good job holding the group back but the Prime Minister receives a call and papers from the president (who is not the president because he is white. I guess Japan didn’t hear we had a black president at the time. One who we could all be proud of) naming a lot of corrupted politicians and briberies. The Prime Minister is forced to call off the mission, but he makes a deal that if Itami and his group get away they won’t be held accountable for their escape. Back at the inn after everyone passes out from drinking too much the only two left awake are Itami and Rory (oh boy. I’ve been sensing a sexual vibe between these two for quite sometime). Rory can sense the fight going on in the distance and the deaths of soldiers so naturally it’s turning her on and the only way to stop it is for her to kill or satisfy her sexually (I choose the latter). Since Itami won’t let her kill she attacks him and decides to have Itami satisfy her which has him worried (scene here: https://youtu.be/c_Sfkb5m5yc, don’t worry, she’s legal. Go for it).
In episode 10 just before Itami can go down on a demigod (man doing it with a loli demigod. How many MCs in anime can say they did that?) his cell phone rings ruining the mood (tough break Rory). It’s a call from the Defense Minister telling Itami of the incoming danger (the Americans are coming! The Americans are coming) and just before the Americans can attack we see that Russia and China also sent their agents to apprehend the girls as well (wow, does trust not exist among countries anymore? Actually, did it even exist in the first place?). They all attack each other (and an all honesty I can’t tell who’s on whose team here. They all look roughly the same) and Rory comes in to join the fight where she kills them all (scene here: https://youtu.be/wHpM5h_1SPU, and with this she is satisfied. Was it as good for you as it was for me?). We also see that it’s literally impossible for her to die as her wounds regenerate quickly like Wolverine and Deadpool (she just keeps becoming the best girl in this anime). They leave the inn, commandeer a truck from the Americans, and make their way to Ginza which is where the attack on Japan took place. There, the girls will place flowers on the graves of those who died that day and return back to their world however Itami and the others are worried that another attack will take place when they arrive so Risa sends out a message telling everyone about the girls going to Ginza alerting all their fans to go and support them. They arrive at Ginza in the morning where the Prime Minister of Japan steps down making the American blackmail useless now and since a large crowd has gathered in Ginza it’s pretty much impossible to launch an attack without getting noticed and causing a public incident to occur so both sides accept their losses and withdraw (if it’s any consolation you guys never stood a chance). They place flowers on the grave, pray, and return back to their world where Pina is determined to talk to her father and the Senate and beg them to stop this war otherwise they’ll be annihilated (and that’s letting you guys off easy).
In episode 11 a bit of time passes since the group returned to the special area. We see that thanks to the trade agreement people gathered around their base and a small town was built (they are expanding). Back in the capital Pina has returned with a member of Foreign Affairs in disguise (I know you wanted a souvenir Pina but this is going too far). Their goal is to quietly and secretly move members of the Senate to their side (the worlds may be different, but the governments work the same). Back at the town near the base one of the soldiers is worried about Tuka. She still hasn’t accepted the fact that her father is dead and continues walking the town everyday searching for him (https://youtu.be/T_jYWMUMSxE). The soldier thinks they should sit her down and tell her the truth (I agree, if she continues living in the past she’ll never move forward) but Itami thinks they shouldn’t interfere because that would make them her emotional support and once they have to leave what’s going to happen to Tuka then (so then what, we just let her keep searching for a person who doesn’t exist anymore? Yeah, that seems like the right thing to do). While Itami knows that what he’s doing is wrong and even shows he doesn’t like leaving her like this as well he himself isn’t sure what he should do. Luckily, Rory is there to give him some sage advice and drink with him (what are you up to?) where her plan is to pretend to get totally wasted that Itami has to carry her back himself and once they’re alone she’ll try to sleep with him again (this is downright diabolical but at the same time so clever). However, her plan gets interrupted by a dark elf named Yao Hu Ducy (sounds Chinese) who believes Rory is a child and Itami is some sort of pervert (possibly I’m not sure what his sex life was like with his wife) getting her drunk. Rory plays along forcing Itami to run away and Rory escapes as well. We find out that Yao is here to request the help of the SDF to defeat the fire dragon from a few episodes ago (after incinerating the white meat it moved to the dark meat) and she’s prepared the perfect gift for them, a large block of adamantite (that thing is about the size of my head) which is very valuable in this world.
Nothing much to say about episode 12. Yao with the help of Lelei manages to talk to the SDF about her situation and how she wants their help. Unfortunately, the SDF can’t help her not because they don’t want to (that would be an asshole move on their part) but because her home is past the Imperial borders and if they were to send an army to a neighboring kingdom it would be seen as an act of war (oh please what are they gonna do? Shoot off a tank round and watch them beg you to let them live) and they can’t send a small squadron of foot soldiers to face the dragon without any tanks or heavy fire power, it be like sending them to their deaths which is something the commander won’t do. Sad and not knowing what to do Yao stays in town hoping to find some way to help her remaining clan members. Even a few of the soldiers are sad that they can’t help her and talk about how Itami would do something if he was here.
Alright that was the end of the first season. We’re gonna stop here for now but I’ll be back next week to review the second half of the anime. Look forward to it. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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