GATE Episode 3 Review: Beware of Hitchhiking Gothic Lolitas
The third episode of GATE has a lot of stuff happening in a mere twenty two minutes. Itami continues to lead his recon time through the world on the other side of the portal, designated by Japan as the Special Region. All the while, Itami and his squad find themselves getting more involved with the troubles of the inhabitants as they help them evacuate their village to avoid getting eaten by the rampaging dragon from the previous episode. New characters join the traveling party of SDF soldiers, including a crazy gothic lolita, but more on that later. The dragon attacks once again and results in a massive number of casualties for the refugees.
While Itami may claim that he only does what he does in order to support his hobby, it is clear that he has a good heart. His primary focus may be to fuel his otaku live style, but he can still focus on the here and now and always find a way to do the right thing. I was impressed at how he was able to think on his feet and lead an entire company of his own so skillfully.
The opening has indicated that there will be some ladies that join Itami on his journey through the Special Region. The elf chick is the first one to join and I thought she was going to be the first for awhile, but it seems like the whole crowd has already assembled by the end of this episode. This includes the blue haired sorceress Lelei and her old master that appears to be channeling Master Roshi, only a little more perverted. In addition, a crazy gothic lolita wielding an axe also makes her big entrance in this episode.
The aforementioned lolita, named Rory Mercury, is apparently a priestess of some sort whom makes her first appearance in the series by wholesale slaughtering some bandits that had planned to attack and possibly kill refugees fleeing from the dragon. She also tends to giggle and laugh a lot in a creepy way, which makes her a little more of an unsettling character. Despite her first appearance, she seems to be a decent person whom will help those who are in trouble. It also seems like she will add some comic relief into an otherwise blood bath drama series, based on the scene where Rory makes Itami’s fellow otaku friend very jealous by way of sitting on Itami’s lap and causing quite a scene inside the vehicle.
During this episode, there was something odd about the art style that I noticed. In the background, particularly during the day, there are often what appears to be strange pencil sketch like lines in a consistent pattern. I guess this could be considered part of the art style, but it is a little distracting and just doesn’t seem to fit. It certainly didn’t work with other anime I’ve seen it used in, that’s for sure. Although the animation in this episode was spectacular. The scene of Rory killing the bandits with her axe was very impressive visually speaking, and the animation used for when she helped drive away the dragon was also well done.
Overall, it feels like the third episode of GATE was simply advancing the story to the point where all the major characters have been assembled. I imagine at this point there will be a lot more exploration of the Special Region and eventually more clashes between armies that just don’t stand a chance against modern weaponry. Now it remains to be seen what will happen next, but it looks like the fourth episode will involve some events taking place in Japan and other places in the world.