GATE Episode 8 Review: Culture Shock

The eighth episode of GATE gives viewers a change of scenery. Itami and several refugees from the Special Region have been summoned to speak to the Diet regarding the battle against the fire breathing dragon several episodes ago. Political nonsense and hidden agenda pushing aside, it is revealed that there is a group that is seeking to oppose the SDF and their Special Region allies. Given the way the series has been painting every other country that is not Japan, I have a feeling that its going to be America and China that are involved in whatever this faction is trying to do. Itami comes up with a place to hide for the time being, but I question how wise that decision is given it is crashing with his ex-wife whom apparently can’t pay the bills.

It was very interesting to see how every character that crossed over from the Special Region reacted when they saw Tokyo for the very first time. Obviously they would be very surprised given the completely different styles of buildings and much more sophisticated technology that can be seen all over the place. I can only imagine how much of a culture shock that must be to go from a medieval level of technology and then immediately jump forward by at least several hundred years. During those scenes I couldn’t help but wonder how their exposure to our world would change them. If the Gate stays open, I wonder how that will affect both worlds and the the inhabitants.

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Politics are filled with nonsense and it is ridiculous that they would call back some SDF forces and waste time just so that some self centered members of the Diet can push an agenda filled with willful ignorance about a battle they knew nothing about. Thankfully said member, Kouhara, was put into her place by cold hard logic and a very annoyed Rory. Speaking of Rory, I’m still confused as to why they allow her to carry her weapon around all the time. Sure it is covered up, but it still seems like something that the military wouldn’t allow in a conference room filled with politicians. In addition, Rory’s age surprised me. I had a feeling she was probably older than she looked, but I wasn’t expecting her to be nearly a thousand years old.

I’m not sure if I missed a scene at some point, but suddenly there is discussion of there being some sort of leak about when and where people from the Special Region will be located. Not only that but the characters are talking like this has been common knowledge for some time. I wonder if something from the manga and light novel got cut somewhere along the way. Still, I was impressed the SDF was able to find a way to counteract the two sabotage attempts so easily. I imagine future episodes will go more into what this mysterious group wants and why they are trying to interfere, but I have a feeling it is going to involve the other countries.

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This episode was a great combination of comedy and plot progression. It was often intriguing, interesting, and a little funny to see how characters from the Special Region reacted to seeing a world completely different from their own. The way they depicted the social media reactions to events at the Diet conference was also a really nice touch, especially the part where it exploded when Tuka revealed the fact that her ears were very much real. Not to mention the comments about Rory when it was revealed she was a demigod, that was some comedic gold there. I can only imagine how that hearing will affect the future and how history will be written about this peculiar incident in Japan’s history.

The next episode is called the Hakone Mountain Night Battle. The preview was extremely vague so it is difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen. My best guess is that the next episode will involve a battle that takes place in the Special Region. The only question is who will be the combatants? I suppose we will find out next week.

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