Today I decided to post up my final thoughts on one of the summer season animes that I started but didn’t finish. Took me long enough, huh? If you’d like to read my first impression please click here (though it’s not that good, I just read over it and cringed a little, haha)
Now, I normally do a first impression and then my final thoughts back-to-back but considering I was out of the anime loop for quite a while, I decided to go back and re-watch everything. I actually just finished earlier today! Today was anime ‘binge day’, since I finally got a day off from work. It felt like I hadn’t had one of those in a while 😛
In August of 20XX, a mysterious portal appears in the middle of Ginza, Tokyo and from that portal an army of humans and monsters pours out, attacking all the civilians present. The Japan Ground-Self Defence Force is immediately called to action and the mysterious army is defeated. Youji Itami, a JSDF officer and 33 year old otaku finds himself promoted after he heroically helped civilians evacuate, however, instead of feeling ecstatic all he can do is mourn the canceling of the doujin gathering he was going to attend before dragons appeared in the sky.
Three months later, Itami finds himself sent to the other side of the portal now dubbed ‘Gate,’ with the purpose of making contact with the people of the land and establishing friendly relationships.
I know I mentioned this already, but I’d like to mention it again: the art and animation here is impressive! And I’d like to praise all of the scenes that involve Rory and her giant halberd. Whenever she fought I was just transfixed to the TV like, Ahhhhhh
She was also my favorite character after Itami. Aside from her amazing battle scenes there are just moments where I couldn’t help but smile and laugh with her. Moments where she’ll flirt with Itami and then get interrupted, like in the hot springs when his phone goes off or in the tavern by the newcomer dark elf.
Another of the female characters that I really liked was Lelei, the blue haired sorceress. From the very beginning she was a very active member of the group and started to integrate herself in the Japanese community. I really enjoyed how fast she took everything in and used new knowledge (like chemistry) to further her abilities in magic. I also just really liked her because she felt really mature but also had sweet moments where she’d fall asleep sitting or hugging Itami.
Then there was the short brunette from the JSDF, Kuribayashi, who always made me laugh when she’d short-circuit after finding out about Itami’s ‘accomplishments.’ As a fighter she was also pretty impressive, especially in Italica where she fought alongside Rory. She’s kind of like the female Naruto/ball of sunshine of the series. I also liked Itami’s ex-wife Risa, who is a fujoshi and doujin creator. I just couldn’t not like her, plus, she was super adorable~ Wow, I’m surprised I liked so many of the female cast!
In terms of characters I didn’t like there were also a couple. I didn’t like Tuka Luna, which is the blonde elf from the group. I didn’t like that she was so passive and was just there. The only time she was useful was when she told the JSDF that they should aim for the Fire Dragon’s eye. I also didn’t like Piña Co Lada (please tell me I’m not the only one who laughed at her name). There was just something about her that rubbed me the wrong way. Possibly the fact that she was always SO dramatic about everything and how she didn’t do anything really useful…I’m hoping that’ll change in the future.
The pacing of the anime was slower than what I prefer, however, it felt perfect for this story. We’re introduced to a new world and then the JSDF is sent in to investigate and learn about the culture.
In a way it reminds me of Log Horizon except that it’s not as slow since we’re not building a whole society. It’s slow enough that the viewer can learn along with them but not enough where it becomes boring. However, when it comes to the politics of our world things move faster. I was so confused about 90% of the time and had to pause to make sense of what was being said, who was saying what, and what countries were involved.
But that’s probably because I’m not politics savvy. My brother had no problem following along and even explained a few things~ And speaking of politics, I thought it was super hilarious how America was portrayed. Apparently we still had a white president who was a backstabbing douche bag ‘friend’ to Japan. Our soldiers were also all white, looked the same, had stereotypical names, and wore caps like thugs. Just look at this guy rubbing his hands together with that evil look on his face HAHA
If there’s one thing I had to majorly complain about it would be the last episode. At the end we’re introduced to something new and it just crazy frustrates me because I want to know more now.
At the end we get to meet Yao Ha, a dark elf who seeks the Green People after her village is destroyed by the Fire Dragon that Itami and his group wounded. Arriving at their base, however, her pleas are denied in favor of the bigger picture. Disheartened, she tries to figure out what her other options may be but all she hears is that a certain ‘Itami’ may be able to help. And it ends.
IT ENDS. So now I’m here, suffering because I really want January to get here but at the same time I don’t because that’s when school starts…
Overall I really enjoyed this series and will for sure recommend it! I would also recommend watching this from beginning to end, if possible in one sitting (or in as few as possible). It just flows better than if you were to watch an episode every week (that was torture). I was also really surprised this was a harem. It didn’t feel like one and for that I was extremely grateful.