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GATE Episode 9: Bleeding Patriotism

After the previous episode of GATE, it has become clear that the other countries (like the United States) are behind the conspiracies involved with the guests from the Special Region. Yet in spite of that, nobody seems to feel the need to get said guests back to the Special Region as quickly as possible. Instead they are allowing Itami to just run around on field trips of little significance save for comedy and minor character development. But just like Japan, the conspirators do not know how to handle the refugees from the Special Region, especially Rory whom becomes even more dangerous when someone gets killed.

Just like the previous episode, there is a lot of the characters from the Special Region getting more exposure to our world. Most of this is applied for comical effect, especially with how Pina and her friend react to manga and try to find more of it in an attempt to ‘study the art’. There is more of the characters running around and shopping, but it all feels rather drawn out and there just to pad for time. To top if off there is yet another bath scene with all the female characters. I understand these scenes are meant for some character development, but they could just as easily have been done while the characters were still wearing their clothes. Now its just getting close to being gratuitous.

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Speaking of padding for time, there was one scene which seemed like it was going to go somewhere and then apparently got skipped over entirely. This is in reference to the scene where Rory and one of Itami’s subordinates come bursting through the door apparently drunk. They drag Itami and his friend off, but it isn’t clear as to why this scene happened and for what reason they were looking for them. It also isn’t explained where this large cache of alcohol came from either, but it was clear that a big party got thrown at some point.

While at first this episode felt like a filler episode with decent character development, the second half focused more on the conspiracy and the Americans that are trying to capture the guests from the Special Region. If it wasn’t already obvious that GATE was bleeding patriotism for Japan, this episode made it abundantly clear. The American soldiers are depicted as slow and clumsy, while the Japanese soldiers taking them out are swift and elite gods of war. I can understand having one of the other countries be the bad guys in this series, but the depictions of other countries is a little too unrealistic to make them believable antagonists.

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In case I haven’t made it obvious at this point, Rory scares me; like, a lot. It was said that people getting killed acted as an aphrodisiac for her due to the nature of her existence, but this was something else. Given how many people die everyday, I’m surprised she hasn’t been stir fry crazy since she crossed to the other side of the portal. I do not envy the situation that Itami finds himself in, but I’m certain that something will happen that keeps Itami from being Rory’s sole focus for… unwinding.

Despite the few flaws this was a great episode in the series. I am concerned that certain key points from the manga and light novel are going to be left out and result in more confusing scenes like the one that occurred earlier in this episode. The next episode is called Despair and Hope, and it looks like it will continue the fighting that has been going on this episode along with some sort of media scandal and various other problems.

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