A town has sprung up around Alnus Hill as the inhabitants of the Special Region have discovered some of the wonders of modern civilization through the refugee camp and general store. A dark elf shows up in the town looking for the “men in green” in order to ask for their assistance in killing the fire dragon that they wounded a while ago and is offering a precious stone as large as a person’s head for reward. The more she sees of the town and the JSDF’s forces (specifically the F-4 Phantoms), the more her hope builds.

The background of Yao’s search for the JSDF was covered in this episode. A bit out of order from the manga, but it still works just as well. (It was hard to grab screenshots without the credit text on-screen, this particular line has them the entire time it is on screen)

The language barrier between Yao and virtually all of the JSDF troops very nice to see because though they’ve been in the Special Region for months now, learning languages takes a lot of time. One thing that has been a minor bother to me throughout the show/manga is the ease with which the characters can communicate. Regardless of whether or not the JSDF had sent in people to gather information before the troops were deployed to the Special Region, a few months to gather and almost compile an almost comprehensive translational guide to an entirely new language would not be possible, let alone teach it to the troops who were going to go on recon patrols.

Her face shows just how much she cares.

Maybe if you didn’t walk in alleys so much and dressed in a normal or even just practical manner people wouldn’t think you were a prostitute. At least you successfully mugged all those people though.

Yao is pretty deparate to get a hold of anyone who can speak to the “green people” or help her to ask them for their assistance in any way. They do a good job of catching her sense of urgency. After all, her entire clan will be killed if she doesn’t get the JSDF’s help soon. I’d think that would be a pretty great motivator.

Lelei using magic is awesome and something that is rarely shown, so every little bit is appreciated (especially when it has cool animation). Though she explains in the manga why offensive magic isn’t used often, I’d still like to she her using magic a bit more in general.

The fact that they turned her down even though they want to help the people of the Special Region is a good reality check. Regardless of their capability or desire to kill the dragon, they cannot go because of political reasons.

I really enjoyed Leilei’s bluntness and matter of fact way of speaking, as it is reflective of her ‘class’, if you will. She is a mage, and as such is very studious and knowledgeable, seeing no point in skirting around the blunt truths about a situation.

I have a suspicion that because Lelei heard that Itami might do it if it was to protect/save someone or something he cared about, she might “accidentally” get lost in the Shwartz Woods to give him an excuse to take a team into that region and kill or drive off the dragon while they’re there. After all, on the political side of things, the Japanese government can’t let news get out that one of the hugely famous girls from the Special Region has been left to die at the claws/flames of the fire dragon. Both sides within the Diet (the pro-JSDF side as well as the side that was blaming Itami’s team and the JSDF for the deaths of the Koda Village refugees by the fire dragon) would be for the JSDF going to save her and kill the dragon.

Not only is this meeting about a new diplomat being sent to the capital for the peace talks, but also for the Princess’s “art” from Japan.

“Art” that Bozes and friends have translated into the Empire’s language is very important to Piña.

This poor guy. He’s a Japanese intelligence officer and had to go to train to be a butler in a cafe in Ikebukur0 so that he could work in the Special Region to gather information...and all he gets is a bunch of the Rose Knights sitting around translating BL from Japanese into the Empire’s language.

The Japanese aren’t the only ones trying to use the town for information gathering, it seems. I’m interested to know where the story will go with this (too bad we have to wait until the Winter 2016 season to find out, since it was announced that GATE was changed from a normal 2-cour show to a split-cour show).

There’s never anything quite as welcoming as being greeted at the door by a giant halberd and a person openly devoted to killing people. It makes you feel right at home.

Hamilton questions why the manga is so important, but in addition to translating the “art,” Bozes and the other knights translated news from Japan about Itami. I’m not sure their reasoning to want to know more about Itami, but the fact that they aren’t just asking him or one of the people under his command makes me think there might be some ulterior motives.

Kuribayashi continues to scorn Itami and the other otaku in the group for their otaku ways.

“That year, which brought war and disaster to the Empire, was only half over.” I’m not sure if we are meant to take this as a foreboding warning that there is more fighting to come or a hopeful reminder that peace talks have started and everything should be getting better from now on.

How are the Special Region customers going to read the sign that is in Japanese? When you specifically state that only store workers and language students are allowed to learn Japanese, you shouldn’t have signs in Japanese. I get that the point was to show the viewers that the store sells things we would consider common but that the people of the Special Region would consider new and advanced, but why not just show some carabiners instead of making a sign that none of the customers can read?

And immediately after we see Lelei doing something new and exciting she gets dragged back into doing her usual job of translating.

This scene where the general talks for a couple of lines with the exact same face on screen is a good example of the times where things work better in manga than anime. In manga there can be one picture and a lot of text, but when adapted into anime, it becomes either a long unchanging shot with different subs on the bottom of the screen or a bunch of angle changes while the person is talking. I feel that manga is better suited for a moment like this and that how this particular anime handled it (15 seconds of a close up with nothing changing but his mouth moving) was not done well. They could have at least had some shots of the Shwartz Woods on a map or something like that while he was talking about them.

“The competitiveness of noble women is something amazing” (read: petty and hilarious).

The reactions of the Special Region inhabitants to things like colors that are difficult for them to produce or the elasticity of clothes is quite funny, as well as Yao suggesting the logical solutions to the merchant’s predicament.

“Burn the vital parts after finished using” is a bit more extreme than “I can’t let you see it because you aren’t on staff.” The fact that there are orders to burn parts of it after they have been learned indicate that the JSDF is wary of spies learning how to understand Japanese. Right now, the JSDF hold an great advantage in the ability to gather information because they have access to the Empire’s language, but the Empire’s forces do no have access to Japanese.

The store clerk’s thoughts give more depth to the situation, acting as a reminder that everyone has their own reasons for doing things. In this case it is to support her family and House Formal’s reputation, as well as a job with great freedom compared to most medieval jobs.

The way the JSDF MP speaks in broken tongue is great to see, as previously people had been communicating across a language barrier, yet showed very little difficulty in either speaking or understanding the foreign language. This small detail adds a greater feeling or reality (yes, I am aware this is in a fantasy world) to the interactions between characters.

Lelei’s explanation of how she is learning science along with her magical studies is much like the anime, but then she details why battle magic is so rarely used. Touché, GATE, but I’d still like to see Lelei use magic more often even if it isn’t in battle.

In addition to explaining Lelei’s studies, we also learn that she was given the title of ‘sage’, though it isn’t clear whether Cato meant that “manipulat[ing] the phenomenon called detonation” was out of Lelei’s reach until now or out of everyone’s reach with magic until now.

The general’s face is absolutely amazing. Just imagine that you are in a foreign region and get offered a diamond the size of your head. The import taxes would be enormous, but you could probably get away with accepting the reward and spending it in the Special Region. These are probably some of the thoughts going through the general’s head, along with thoughts of responsibility and regulations of course.

Yao’s “tell me it was a mistake” is more solemn and heavy-hearted than in the anime, which fits the utter despair Yao must be feeling right after her only hope to save her people was just shut down. The manga chapter is entitled “Yao’s Despair,” which really isn’t emphasized as well in the anime.

[top left of image] There’s a painting of Rory or another Apostle in the VIP section of the restaurant at Alnus. I can’t help but think “that painting could have been from around 900 years ago.”

[middle section] In the anime, this conversation between Delilah and the cook about why Yao’s request was declined is completely different. They even say that Itami had nothing to do with it and that it was “a big picture thing.”

The soldiers’ conversation hit the political aspects of why the JSDF can’t just go and kill the dragon (beyond “it’s in another region”). I found the comparison between the Empire and the major world powers to be an interesting view. Also, aparently the JSDF is almost done with a strategy to take the capital of the Empire in three days, a very important detail that the anime left out.

The only detractor to these chapters was that the ending was definitely not to my personal taste for media. Even though this is technically an ‘Opinion’ series of articles, I’ll not to start up the argument of what is good or bad for media and leave it at “not to my personal taste.”

This episode left out some great details that really made the chapters interesting, but it was still enjoyable. As far as this episode being the last for this first cour of a split-cour show (a 2-cour show that takes a 1-cour break in between the two halves), this was definitely a non-ending. It opens up a lot of new possibilities and adventures, but we have to wait until January to see them happen, so I would have liked it more had they chosen a better place the end the first 12 episodes. The anime has continually left off details that were in the manga, and this episode followed suit and even dropped what I considered to be some of the most important or interesting details. The changes in Yao’s actions and emotions didn’t quite have the same effect as those of the manga, and the episode’s title “What Would Itami Do?” puts much more focus on a few lines that referenced Itami possibly being the one that Yao should go to for help somehow than the manga chapters (Yao’s Hope nad Yao’s Despair). The manga definitely did a much better job of portraying Yao’s despair.

AnimeGATE is a series on experiencing an anime and its manga source material simultaneously. But really, “it’s about ethics in anime adaptations...” and it’s better late than never.