After ‘rescuing’ Itami from the Rose Knights in Italica, Itami and crew head back to the Alnus Hill base to cross back into Japan for a National Diet hearing. When Piña hears this, she wants to go with them, as she is still nervous about how they will take the capture and beating of Itami by the Rose Knights in light of the treaty that had just been made following the Battle of Italica.
Point of Order: From now on, I will read until the contents of the anime episode have been covered in the manga, not to the end of the chapter. For example, if an episode covers the material of only the first half of a chapter, I will read the first half but not the second. This is to avoid the obligatory “well the manga did this at the end, but I’m sure it will show up in the next episode” statements and will result in the titles of the articles sometimes featuring the same chapter number across two articles (Ex- this article is Ch 17-19 and the next article will be Ch 19-??, with chapter 19 appearing on both articles since the anime split the chapter’s material between two episodes).
The wording of Komakado’s lines make Itami’s story sound more impressive (more on this in the manga section).
More great reactions from Kuribayashi as she learns more about how much of a hidden badass Itami is. It’s fun to see things like this that were great in the manga animated.
Rory, Tuka, and Lelei get more screen time in the beginning as they are shown in the bus observing Japan. Their reactions reinforce the disparity between the two worlds, especially with the high population density of Tokyo (they think that it must be a market or festival). Their assumption that the Christmas tree that they see must be a charm of some sort reflects that magic is deeply embedded in their society just like technology is in ours.
Same scene for reference.
The manga doesn’t play up the cultural difference in food, such as the raw egg, and in the anime Piña and Bozes are more apprehensive about eating it (their reactions to the food are also better).
I found this reminder that any event relating to the Special Region is on the global political stage to add depth to the world, but I would really like to see some actual actions be taken by the foreign governments.
Watching Rory destroy this woman with words was fantastic. Rory simultaneously calls out the Diet member basically trying to lead the witnesses and her whole view of trying to demonize the JSDF so as to make a scandal of the situation. All of the “little girl” remarks were hilarious because there was no way that the Diet member could know that Rory is actually almost a thousand years old, and the inevitable reveal had me waiting for her to be utterly dumbfounded. Even if someone isn’t watching GATE, I would recommend watching Rory’s speech simply for the points that it makes.
After the Diet and world are shocked at the existence of a 961 year old who looks like she is 15, and a 165 year old elf who looks maybe 20, Lelei’s very normal and not at all deceiving 15 years of age seems almost anti-climactic in a hilarious fashion. Lelei then goes on to explain each of the three characters’ races, which fits her character perfectly. We’ve seen her learning, exploring, and translating before, but now we see her actually give a small lesson on Special Region affairs.
Hardy is a female, but due to Japan’s gender-neutral third person pronouns, it was an easy mistake to make in translation. The fact that the anime is the third media format for this story is what makes the mistake bad. Any form of research into the show’s story and characters would have revealed this mistake to those subbing, and would have taken a 10 second google search to find out how it should be translated instead of just assuming it was referring to a male.
Pina’s letter at the beginning of chapter 17 stating her feelings from first beholding Japan is a good look into her thoughts yet again. She seems to be the character who’s psychology we see the most of in the story. This helps the viewer to set in their mind how the two worlds interact and how each side adapts differently.
Komakado looks more sly and underhanded, which is fitting for an intelligence officer in the Public Security Intelligence Agency. His narrow eyes and constant grin and pointy nose make him feel more cunning.
Kuribayashi being Kuribayashi and overreacting when she finds out how amazing Itami actually is. The manga has some great facial expressions and you don’t even need to see it animated to be able to vividly picture her reactions (it’s still fun to see them animated).
There are multiple scenes where the culture shock of going from medieval times to modern times is shown are some of my favorite moments from this part of the story. Pina and Bozes thinking that the fabric is so luxurious and the misinterpretation of a handshake’s meaning are both comedic and act as a constant reminder of just how different the two worlds are.
Pina’s job is described in more detail in the manga.
The small detail of Bozes asking to see and talk to the prisoners is a nice inclusion, because the prisoners would have been captives for 4 months and probably have a lot of useful information about this world that Pina and Bozes don’t know.
Itami seems even calmer than in the anime and doesn’t use “ah...um...” as much, making him sound a bit more composed and prepared. He directly calls the Diet member leading the questioning out on trying to cast the JSDF as the bad guy and sensationalize the situation, then makes a great counterargument.
(I don’t know why, but I love this camera flash effect)
Rory’s dramatic entrance is amazingly over-dramatic. This scene is pretty much the same as the anime, but has the added comedy of Itami pointing out in his head that people glossed over the fact that Rory kills people for her ‘religious acts’. Another somewhat significant detail is the irony of the Diet member thinking Lelei is going to be partial/biased and change the question to fit what she wants, since the examiner is basically trying to lead the witnesses to slander the JSDF.
This scene is just as great in text as in animation. Rory calling the Diet member out about her one sided view and explaining the other side that the Diet member wants to ignore so she can sensationalize the situation to make it a scandal is something I could rewatch and reread over and over.
When the Diet member gets angry with Rory’s disrespect, Rory is ready to start her worship of Emroy (the Diet member asking the questions being her first offering), but Itami steps in to stop it. While this happened in the anime, the situation feels more tense and Rory a bit more serious about going on a killing spree in the manga. After Itami shuts her down, Rory pouts and sits back down while making a great facial expression.
The manga really does excel at facial expressions even though some derp faces (like Tomita’s face in the bottom right) are used every now and then. The repetition in Rory’s description of Hardy drives home just how persistent she (yes, she) is, and Rory’s line “Hardy repellant” is much more hilarious than the “to keep Hardy away” used in the anime.
Itami’s wariness of the inspector with regards to who the information leak is shows a bit more depth to Itami’s thinking than the anime did. It was made clearer in the manga why he got off the train suddenly than in the anime.
The introduction of Risa, Itami’s ex-wife, is pretty much the same as in the anime, but the extra part detailing how she proposed to him is absolutely hilarious. “In exchange for feeding me, I will marry you.” What a deal, huh?
The reactions of Itami’s group, especially Rory, are more dramatic than in the anime. I particularly like the variety of facial expressions in these three pages. The added of “there is Hardy here too” was very funny considering that Hardy is a girl who is obsessed with Rory and lives underground where it is dark, and Risa is a girl who is infatuated with how Rory looks and also lives in the dark.
“Lady Risa” (Itami’s ex-wife) hasn’t been introduced yet, and isn’t until two and a half chapters later.
The manga’s explanation of Itami’s classifications makes his story seem less impressive, since he wasn’t recruited to be Special Forces because the commanders recognized that he was very capable but purposefully slacking to prevent others from doing so. Instead, it makes him sound like a real slacker who just so happened to actually make it through the training where he was designed by the commanders to be nothing but a way to prevent slackers from forming. I’m not sure which is the intended implication, but I would say that the anime version makes for a better story and character.
In context of the manga, this scene doesn’t make much sense. It never actually showed the cast in a bus, nor did it show the same bus leave the Diet building with a protective detail. This page comes directly after a scene on the Diet floor, so a random car cutting someone off is a rough transition that requires you to remember a small detail that there was a bus used in one panel earlier in the manga. Had I not already seen the anime, I would have been inclined to think that this event was happening concurrently with Itami and crew being at the Diet hearing.
This seems to be getting repetitive, but “the anime was good and the manga a bit better” still holds true. Overall, this episode was a good adaptation with some minor changes, such as Komakado’s design, and a few omitted details, such as the meaning of an outstretched hand in the Special region and Bozes wanting to talk to the prisoners. The anime did some things better than the manga as well, with some scene transitions being smoothed out to make more sense and elaborating on the Special Region cast’s culture shock during their trip to Japan.
AnimeGATE is a series on experiencing an anime and its manga source material simultaneously. But really, “it’s about ethics in anime adaptations...”