Japanese Title: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Similar: Log Horizon
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 24 episodes
- An easy watch.
- Why is this guy protagonist?
- No fantasy world building.
- Fantasy characters act too modern; present day characters are too calm.
- Female iris designs.
First it was one person transported to a fantasy world; then it was a city; then a country; nowadays they just let anyone in.
A portal opens in Tokyo, connecting our world to one of fantasy and an army of warriors and all manner of creatures spills out onto the streets of Ginza. They slaughter anyone in sight. Worst of all, the invasion has cancelled the doujin convention, which Youji was so looking forward to – he is an otaku after all, as he told us in scene one. The modern military pushes back the fantasy horde and ventures through the portal soon after to understand the source of this calamity. Youji finds himself leading a recon team – not that he wants to, or anything, because he is an otaku above all else. They will have to negotiate peace and broker truces if they mean to survive their adventure of elves, dragons, knights, and catgirls. Most of all, everyone must remember that Youji is an otaku.
I forgot one detail: Youji wants me to tell you that his is an otaku. Don’t forget it.
This dimwit has to remind us every scene. He doesn’t stop. Considering an otaku wrote this, you’d imagine the one character he would depict correctly would be the otaku. Self-inserts are rarely good, however. Best part? Him being an otaku has no bearing on the story in the end. Come. On!
Like this hollow protagonist, GATE puts no thought into building its world, societies, monsters, and magic. The writer took the base template of ‘fantasy world’ and added nothing to it, resulting in a world no one would care to learn more about. Why would you when there are no secrets to uncover, cultures to learn, or dynamics to understand? All the fantasy characters act too modern as well. They may not know what a gun is, but their behaviours and morals don’t differ from ours.
On the opposing side, the modern people are far too sane about crossing a portal to a fantasy world. Do none of them realise what this truly means?
The first episode is a deception, leveraging the idea of all-out war between modern and fantasy societies, when in actuality, GATE is more comedy than action and the two sides are at peace most of the time. Again, the fantasy people are too modern, accepting the army with ease, and Youji learns their language in about two seconds (you thought a dozen races would have different languages, didn’t you?) A lack of action is no loss in this case with how little thought went into it. Prepare to put an equal amount of thought into GATE if you mean to enjoy it.
Basic, very basic, politics contribute the most to conflict with one king wanting to seize power, while a group in the Japanese government considers sealing access to the gate from other countries to secure the new world resources, resources that the fantasy residents are oblivious to.
The comedy is fairly good among the main group, which teams up with an elf, a mage, a death oracle, and more before long. A soldier with the catgirl fetish loses it when he meets one. If you can’t make meaningful tension, then amusing humour is better than nothing for a modicum of enjoyment.
Art – Medium
The art is your decent modern quality. Though why do most girls have lines across their irises? It makes them look full of tears.
Sound – Low
Voices are average in a weak script.
Story – Low
A portal connecting our world to one of fantasy initiates a new type of conflict. GATE would greatly benefit from world building and a different protagonist to engage the audience.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: For bored fantasy fans only. GATE’s sole merit is its ease of consumption for anyone who doesn’t want to think about it. This is trash, but it might be your sort of trash.
Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)