Second Impression – Gate

Winter16-Gate2

Welcome back to the ultimate gated community.

Welcome back to Gate. The show picks right up without missing a beat, even after a season off. So let’s get straight to it.

 

Discrimination

Gate 1301

Welcome to the red-light district.

This episode features a strong focus on the affairs in the special region. Most noteworthy is the exploration on the social status of beast people. The idea of racial segregation and discrimination against beast people had only been alluded to in the first half of the show. In fact, it was most apparent only during Itami’s extended stay in Italica, during which the “unusual diversity” of the maid staff was explained as a result of the count’s personal taste. Well, now the topic is placed front and center as we venture into the imperial capital with the JSDF. It is apparent that beast people are looked down upon by humans. Their kind are completely barred from the higher-class parts of the capital, not even being allowed to work as servants. Instead, they live in filthy, cramped, and crime-ridden slums at the edges of the capital. And naturally, many turn to a life of crime by joining gangs, while females make a living in red-light districts. Ironically, it is only the beast people (possibly just the Siren kind) that can sense the coming of the earthquake at the end of the episode, allowing the JSDF to warn and start evacuating the rest of the people. So I’m hoping that the show uses the opportunity to address the discrimination. Perhaps it can be worked in as one of Japan’s demands for the empire in recognition of the beast people’s contribution to preparing the capital for the earthquake or something.

Bad Guys

Gate 1302

Pretty much sums him up.

Moving on, we meet another member of the imperial family, Zolzal. He is made out to be as much of an evil bastard as his father, which unfortunately means I also find him rather boring. There’s nothing really engaging about a character who is just plainly a bad person. He doesn’t have complex motives. He isn’t morally ambiguous. He’s not even charismatic. He’s just a textbook bad guy; he’s stuck-up and self-absorbed, he indulges in worldly pleasures, and the show even goes so far as to play the sexual abuse card. I will admit I was a little taken aback by the show introducing him as he has his way with a poor warrior bunny. But that only made me more interested in the warrior bunny than the asshole prince. Obviously she has circumstances for giving herself to Zolzal, and I would like to find out what they are (it’s hinted that she is doing this to protect her people) as well as how she eventually breaks free from the douchebag.

Gate 1303

The empire is doomed.

While we’re on the topic of bad people, I’d also like to discuss the current motivations and goals of the emperor. The guy doesn’t seem particularly concerned by potential peace talks with Japan. However, he makes it clear that he will not concede any money or land to them. Nor will he permit defeat of the empire. Which is quite silly, because it’s obvious that the empire has already lost against Japan. There’s just too much of a gap in technological capability and military might. So I’m just not sure what the emperor’s endgame is. I’m sure Japan won’t press any unreasonable demands on the empire (though we learn that their initial monetary demand for reparations is greater than the total sum of the empire’s gold), so the emperor’s hard-line attitude will only needlessly prolong a conflict that he cannot hope to win. Unless he’s somehow banking an anti-war/intervention sentiment in Japan to force the JSDF to pull out, but I have no idea how he would know anything about the situation in Japan. In fact, it seems more likely to me that he knows absolutely nothing about the JSDF and Japan.

Gate has returned from its break without breaking form. The new world exploration, cultural exchange, and gratuitous glorification of Japan’s military show of power themes are still present, but now with the addition of reconciliation and cooperation between the empire and Japan. There is a strong push for peace between the two states, which I believe is the end goal of the show. But we are still a long ways away from that. The emperor and his sympathizers have to be dealt with first, and we can be sure that they have some nasty tricks up their sleeves to prolong the conflict for whatever reasons they may have.

Gate 1304

And Yao’s just derping along as usual…

About

Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

10 Responses to “Second Impression – Gate”

  1. Wanderer says:

    But that only made me more interested in the warrior bunny than the asshole prince. Obviously she has circumstances for giving herself to Zolzal, and I would like to find out what they are (it’s hinted that she is doing this to protect her people) as well as how she eventually breaks free from the douchebag.

    He’s kind of ruined her life. Show ▼

    There are no happy endings to that story.

    However, we might not really get into that, because her story would stretch notably beyond the point where this cour is likely to end.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      This is on the path towards bad endings. Like some fantasy-eroge type bad endings.

    • zztop says:

      How many seasons would it take for the story to get to that point and the ending (if there’s any?)

      • Wanderer says:

        I’m not sure. The manga hasn’t reached the end of her story yet, although TVTropes has told me what it is. I haven’t delved into the light novels, or the true novels, enough to find out how much further her story goes.

      • akagami says:

        Show ▼

  2. Highway says:

    I doubt that the Emperor or his son will come around or get any sort of rehabilitation to their characters. This show doesn’t really shade the villains with complexity, instead using bright solid colors… and then killing them, usually. The Emperor and Zolzal will continue with their “We’re not going to bow to Japan, we’re going to beat them!” beating their chests until their heads are removed. Pina’s the good guy, she’s already on the side of the good guys, and we’ve already seen the Emperor dismiss her and her ideas and… well, everything about her.

    So no, I’m not expecting any nuance about the current leadership of the Empire.

    • Sumairii says:

      No, of course they’re not going to change.

      • zztop says:

        Also don’t forget the author won’t have much nuance in his politics as well. The Japanese army is noble and good, foreign powers and local left wing politicians are cowardly/evil scum.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I think they mentioned one other brother named Diabo, who is between Zolzal and Pina. I think he might be a good option for some more complexity. From what I’ve heard, he’s a much better guy than his brother and is actually cares about the kingdom and wants to have succession go to him rather than the eldest being Zolzal. However, he is also not as nice as Pina either and is very suspicious of others.

  3. IreneSharda says:

    Well, if “The JSDF is Awesome: The Anime” isn’t back and just as fun and ridiculous as ever! It feels like we just got dumped right back into this world and I don’t mind.

    The prince is a piece of crap, as vain and cruel as they come, but I’m pretty sure that one day an idiot like him is going to get his comeuppance from a source he wasn’t at all expecting.

    We’ll see where the story continues as the JSDF continue to show everyone who’s boss.

Leave a Reply to akagami