After Itami and the 3rd Recon team return to the JSDF base on Alnus Hill, the group gets some down time. Itami is charged with caring for the “refugees” he brought back with him as they live in the base and learn about how people from our world live. Meanwhile, the political pressure of the situation is made apparent to Itami and the reader/viewer, setting the scene for what could be a global political conflict regarding the Gate and the Special Region.
Gray’s design and interaction with Piña are more interesting in the anime because he looks more like a fighter and Piña’s line to him is “your safety was never in doubt” which makes the viewers’ first impression of him that he is extremely skilled in combat.
The anime added parts about the renegades breaking through the gate and throwing bodies on the ground to taunt the defending townspeople out from behind their fortifications, which gives the attackers a more sinister feel, but doesn’t quite make up for the lack of the explanation of the “hymn to Emroy” bit.
That creepy smile of somebody that can take on an entire army all alone.
More translation bits, but this time for the good in my opinion. They changed Rory’s title from “death god” to “reaper,” the more accurate and correct title. There was also some L/R confusion again, but I like the sound of “Formar” over “Formal.” “Clan Formal” going to battle makes me think of a bunch of soldiers going to war wearing tuxedos. “Formal” sounds too much like just an adjective for me.
For reference, here is the scene that is being adapted.
The scene in which it is insinuated that Tuka is interested in women comes across more as a “look, we have ~diversity~!” moment rather than actually adding something useful to the characters. Just before this scene, we see Lelei trying to learn about orienteering and the compass, reinforcing that she is doing what a mage would do and learning as much as she can; so far I would say that Lelei has the most explained character of the Special Region cast in the anime. The scene that is being adapted may be unclear as to what Tuka and Rory are talking about, but I would think that would be a reason to leave out the scene altogether. On another level, it didn’t make sense to me in the manga as well, seeing as how Itami is supposedly pretty good at understanding their language, yet cannot understand a simple phrase such as “Are you interested?”
Binoculars do not have cross-hairs. Yet another detail that detracts from the thought-out bits of the show. At least in the anime, the map that Itami’s group uses to get to Italica is very basic with only a few lines on it - much more realistic to what a scouting team would have recorded, as opposed to the almost full topographical map that the manga showed. EDIT: Binoculars can I have markings, I was overthinking the issue (I assumed that the markings would be put on both lenses, which would have parallax errors).
The manga has some great facial expressions that really accentuate comedic moments or emphasize how the characters react to certain events.
Politics! Lots of politics! I can’t wait for all of this media action in Japan to come to a peak and have direct effects on the JSDF in the Special Region. One of the most interesting pieces of the show is its excellent position to show the relationships between global politics and Itami, the individual soldier who is just trying to help the people he comes across. The lieutenant general’s comment “we’re not going to mess this up” perfectly sets up the tension between the JSDF and the media, as the JSDF, in order to be able to stay in the Special Region and continue operations, tries its best to avoid anything that could be taken out of context and misconstrued by the media (the media already made a mess out of the civilian casualties of the dragon attack, acting as if it was the JSDF’s fault that people were injured when in fact it was the JSDF’s actions that saved so many of the people).
Chapter nine opens with the scene from last episode of the Chinese leader (yes, it is China and not North Korea, ANN) talking about his desire to use the Gate and Special Region, even implying that they can just push Japan’s government around to get them to do as the Chinese government desires because of Japan’s non-escalation policy.
Piña’s character is more serious and commanding, yet again making her character less of a spoiled noble and more of a fitting character for a soldier. Also, the armor in the manga actually looks like it was designed with protection placed above appearance, unlike in the anime.
Piña backstory and the founding of the Rose Knights was handled very differently, and made it seem like a more serious thing as opposed to parents watching their little kids march around a courtyard.
While the anime does explain what the marauders are and where they come from in an awkward conversation between Piña and Hamilton and other various little pieces throughout the episode, the manga makes it clear all at once at the beginning that they are the remnants of the combined-nations army that fought at Alnus Hill.
Piña’s thoughts are more detailed and wary in the manga than the anime. Even though the anime does have her talk about her internal thought process, it doesn’t go as far as the manga does, which again, makes her character less interesting and seem like a noble who knows less than she should about what she is doing. While it is true that this is her first actual conflict to take part in, she knows more than the anime lets on.
When Itami’s group gets to Italica and sees the “welcome” they get at the gate, they actually have a discussion about going to another town or gate, and Tuka actually talks. That’s right, Tuka isn’t mute, and in fact, she talks a good bit in the manga.
The manga really does a better job of continually reminding the reader that Rory Mercury is not to be trifled with. It emphasizes just how widely known and universally feared she is to a much greater degree than the anime.
The major difference between episode 5 and chapters 9 and 10 is the amount of tactical discussion. There is much more in the manga than in the anime, as the anime hardly even touched on it. Itami’s group wasn’t just the bait to make it seem like the southern gate was undermanned, but was also acting as a sort of auxiliary unit to provide support where it may be needed since they have better transportation and firepower than anyone else. Piña realizes this and makes the decision to use them in the best tactical way, showing that she is fit to be a commander even though this is only her first engagement. The barricade is also discussed more, as it is pointed out that it is almost guaranteed that the walls will be reached and that a second line of defense is necessary to buy time for another force to come to the aid of the area in need.
One aspect that was only momentarily and indirectly touched on by the anime was that the marauders/former soldiers of the combined-nations army fight with such fury and disregard for life because they would rather die fighting than to continue living as vagrants and vagabonds, as soldiers with no master and no purpose. Because they fight so wildly, they are in effect singing “a hymn of praise to Emroy,” the god of war and death.
The last section of chapter ten was not included in the anime, but I feel almost certain that it will be included in the next episode, as it is titled “The Ride of the Valkyries,” which I assume refers to the aerial cavalry coming to the rescue in Italica. Not only are helicopters awesome and exciting, having the ability to give us another glimpse into how the enemy will react to an unknown technology, but the characters of the 4th division themselves provide a little banter that makes them human. One of my favorite things about GATE is how it depicts the soldiers not as a stereotype or trope, but as individuals who aren’t always the serious stoics or bloodthirsty warriors. They joke around and taunt each other, take their job seriously when they need to and make movie references when they can - they are humans, not machines.
In addition to some of the excellent faces that characters make, there are also some incredible ‘derp’ faces. Some of them were used in good spots for comedy, but some of them just felt out of place or contrary to the current tone and mood.
Nowhere does it explain how they got such a detailed map. I highly doubt that the recon teams made that detailed of maps, and one sentence about how they had brought in observation planes would suffice for justification. It’s a small gripe, yes, but the little things like this stand out when there is so much thought put into other details (in the anime, it is a much more basic map).
The same things happen in both the manga and the anime (with the exception of a couple of scenes that are most likely just rearranged in the anime adaptation), with some scenes and conversations being recreated shot-for-shot and line-for-line. The manga continues to triumph with more detail and nuance over the anime, which is to be expected as the average rate of adaptation is 2:1. Overall, the best way to describe the anime adaptation for this episode and all the episodes so far is ‘acceptable’. If you only watch the anime, you will get the story, but it is highly advisable that you read the manga to get the story and the details and nuances that are lost in adaptation.
AnimeGATE is a series on experiencing an anime and its manga source material simultaneously. But really, “it’s about ethics in anime adaptations...”