On August 20XX, a gate suddenly appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district, unleashing a portal where monsters, medieval knights and other fantasy beings come from another world and wreak havoc on Tokyo. The Japanese Defense Force take action against these monsters and push them back into the “Gate”. Third Reconnaissance Team is dispatched to the “Special Region” lead by officer (and otaku) Youji Itami. On their travels, they are joined by a beautiful elf girl who is a survivor from the dragon’s rampage and guide the group across the dangerous new world.
Gate is really a show that sneaks up on you with how good it can be. At first glance the show gives off a very generic “other world/dimension” anime feel but I found that to be not the case at all. The story focuses heavily on political and military strategy. I honestly haven’t seen too many “military” anime so this was a breath of fresh air for me. I liked how the story gets straight to the point as well. By the end of the first episode things are already rolling and by the 3rd episode we have a majority of the players ready to go so the show doesn’t waste time getting you into the story. Speaking of which I found the story of Gate to be very immersive actually. I found myself almost feeling part of the story at times. It really does hook you early and doesn’t let go until the end. Speaking of the end. I feel like it was rushed a little bit but at the same time it still feels like maybe there’s a chance for more to come in the future so I’m trying to hold judgement on that. The battles are very interesting within the show but maybe not for the reason you’d expect. Most of the battles are very 1 sided in favor of the SDF(guns, tanks, and fighter jets tend to be better than swords, horses, and wyverns). What was interesting, at least for me, about the battles was the difference in technology and how the people of the Gate world reacted to seeing this technology. There’s a scene where the SDF bombs the Imperial Senate building in retaliation for something that happened and also just to show that they could and the fear of God was put into those senators. It’s truly an interesting story even though the current ending is sort of rushed a little.
I remember when Gate first came out and people doting over the characters. I now see why. The main cast is one of the most well meshed cast I’ve seen. Itami is an awesome character for this series because much like the show he doesn’t look like much on the surface but as the show goes on you see the potential hidden underneath. You start out thinking he’s a good for nothing otaku but then find out he’s in the SDF, then the rangers, then the S which is an equivalent to America’s Delta Force. In a shell the dude is a lazy badass that like doujinshi. Lelei is a funny character in a weird sort of way. She’s stoic a lot of the time but yet can be quite funny. Itami and Lelei are the ones who usually come up with strategies in crunch time plus she’s a pretty powerful magician at only 15. She’s very analytical and thinks things through and is a quick learner which is why she’s used as a translator a lot. I really enjoyed her character and the comedy that she could provide out of the blue. Tuka is an elf who is rescued by Itami and his squad after a Fire Dragon attacked her village. She is the only survivor and ends up getting something that seems like a cross between severe denial and PTSD. For the longest time she thinks that Itami is her dad who saved her from the dragon. Itami plays along with this not wanting to hurt her feelings but eventually she gets over it and calls him “dad” as a joke. She’s a character you really feel bad for at times but also she contributes a lot in stealth operations by being able to use magic to put almost anything to sleep. Overall I liked her character and thought that she contributed in her own way to the show plus elves are my favorite mythical race so I may be a tad biased. Last but certainly not least is a character who became the poster child of the series: Rory. Rory is a demigod and apostle to the god Emroy who is the god of Death and Revenge. Rory looks like a child but is actually over 960 years old. When she’s around fighting or killing their souls pass through her to Emroy which has an aphrodisiac effect on her which makes the others uncomfortable around her at first. She is very strong and knows it plus wielding an axe twice your size with ease has an effect on people. As an apostle she’s very famous in the Gate world and the group is usually able to get extra benefits just by having her around them. Rory is also the character that is the most straightforward with her feelings towards Itami. She’s very confident in herself and isn’t afraid to flaunt that in front of Itami. Overall I really loved Rory. She’s such a fun character to watch and is a badass to boot so she’s just an awesome character. The villain throughout the series is now one of my most hated characters of all time and another villain starts out as someone who you wouldn’t think a villain but soon you want them gone ASAP. They play their part well and act as a great obstacle for the other characters. The supporting cast is very good and full of great characters. I could go on about them but it’s best if you watch the show yourself to truly see how great they are. Oh and if I had to pick a favorite character it’d be Itami with Rory in a very close 2nd.
The soundtrack for Gate was amazing! All the songs were my kind of music and sounded great. The first opening is called “Gate (Sore wa Akatsuki no you ni)” or in english “Gate (It Looks Like the Dawn)” by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets. They were the ones who did the opening for Highschool of the Dead and Strike the Blood. I loved both of these songs and this one just adds to the list. It’s a very sharp sounding rock song that has awesome female rock vocals with rock instrumentals in the background. The first ending is called “Prism Communicate” by Hisako Kanemoto, Nao Tōyama and Risa Taneda who happen to be the voice actresses for Tuka, Lelei, and Rory respectively. It’s a peppy pop song that for some reason I enjoyed. I don’t know if it was just the blend of their voices or what but the song just clicked with me and I enjoyed listening to it. The 2nd opening is called “Gate II (Sekai o Koete)” or “Gate II (Go Beyond the World)” also by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets. Much like the first opening it’s a very awesome sounding rock song with their signature sound. Again it’s just a very good song to jam out to. The 2nd ending is called “Itsudate Communication” or “Prism Communication” again by Hisako Kanemoto, Nao Tōyama and Risa Taneda. It’s just a slightly altered version of the first ending but on a side note the animation to it is amusing. It shows Tuka, Lelei, and Rory as soldiers in the SDF. Anyways it may not win points for creativity but it’s still a nice song and is a lot softer which I think was a nice change of pace from the rest of the soundtrack. The music producer was Yoshiaki Fujisawa. Their other work can be heard in Love Live! School Idol Project, Dimension W, and Riddle Story of Devil.
The voice acting and cast for Gate was pretty good. The main cast goes as follows: Junichi Suwabe(Itami), Hisako Kanemoto(Tuka), Nao Toyama(Lelei), and Risa Taneda(Rory). I thought that everyone’s voices matched the look of the character except for Rory. That doesn’t mean I think that Rory’s voice actress did a bad job or that the acting for Rory was bad it’s just not what I envisioned her voice sounding like when I first looked at her character. She has a much more mature voice than what I expected. After seeing Rory in the show, though, I think that Risa Taneda’s voice was perfect for Rory. I’m not going to say that every voice was great but a good majority was. This was actually a very talented main cast with a decent supporting cast. The quality of the voice acting is pretty decent overall. To be honest there’s not much more you can say about it other than to go experience it for yourself!
Gate is a really great anime if you like military strategy and battles as well as some political struggles. While most of the battles are 1 sided it still finds a way to be interesting. That may be because of the great characters. The main cast meshes so well and I truly loved each one of the main characters. There is a minor harem element in the show as all 3 of the main girls like Itami in their own way but it’s not really a focal point and is really only brought up for comedy so please don’t let that make you pass of this show. The soundtrack is amazing and the voice acting follows suite. I highly recommend this to military lovers, action fans, and really just about anyone. The ending is a tad rushed but still doesn’t leave that bad of a taste in your mouth. I really loved this show even though it’s far from perfect and because of that Gate earns a solid 8/10!