Attack on GATE: Is it OK for Japan to engage in war in foreign lands?

No, this has nothing to do with real politics and real world affair. Keep reading if you believe me.

How most people were like when watching this anime.

I haven't blogged for more than or more specifically I haven't covered the summer anime at all. It's because I took 2 weeks off last in July and went to my hometown for a family gathering. Internet access was limited in my hometown (had to occasionally beg to my big sister to share her mobile wifi) and not to mention the temperature during the day soared to nearing 40 degrees, combined with 70-80% humidity (thus preventing the body from dissipating heat effectively via sweating) and combined with a broken AC unit beyond repair it's almost unbearable making you lost motivation to do anything productive throughout the day. I wish I could just soak myself in the water the whole day but we have neither bath tub nor a pool for that (even if we had a bath tub chances are everybody would be fighting for the turn to use it). Good thing it's over now.

Since my schedule was interrupted I had a hard time getting back to my usual anime track. The fear of being served with crap did not help either. What I'm trying to say is, I could just start watching everything that I missed during my 'absence' but then after being served with crap for so many years I've become extremely picky/wary about what I'll watch. Usually it took me half a series until I lost interest in something and dropped a title but now the first few minutes is enough for me to judge whether a series is worth finishing or deserve an early drop. It might sound ridiculous but then I have to protect my emotion from unnecessary rage, even if it's just in my imagination.

Now let's start the 'reviewing' process, I'll start with the least interesting and save the best for the last. I've mentioned somewhere (maybe in this blog or my G+ post, I'm not sure) that my attention in this season will be focused to Miss Monochrome 2 and Aquarion Logos. I have to say I'm not interested in this new Aquarion, and if I were to compare all 3 Aquarion series, I think I have the least interest in this one. While the maker did try to spark some interest by making a crossover OVA right before the beginning of the new series, Aquarion Logos itself failed to attract me because I think the character design is kind of 80's-looking. It's not a problem by itself if the story is good but it's Aquarion, where after the previous 2 series they never failed to serve me attractive character design but also manage to give good story/plot at the same time.

Then we have this Shimoneta. I only watched the first episode. In a sense it's like Seitokai Yakuindomo but set in a world where saying dirty words is a crime. There are people complaining the show is nothing but a continuous spamming of the word cock and pussy the whole time. I can't say I have the same verdict but I admit such complaint did affect me in a way that I still haven't got the motivation to pick up from where I left.

Enter Himouto Umaru-chan. Seems interesting, probably very interesting but I somehow failed to finish the first episode in one go. I'm can't really say why but it feels like it's lacking something to make me keep sticking to it. Maybe it's cliche? Maybe I don't like the spoiled "Himouto's" pushy attitude? One thing for sure however is I don't like spoiled character regardless how cute they are, also I hate the character who spoil the spoiled character too for spoiling them (uh, what am I talking here?).

Probably the main focus of this series.

Finally the real deal, GATE. This anime reminds me of many older titles, most of them are my favorites. The title itself, GATE reminds of of Steins;Gate although in terms of story they have little in common other than the title. To formulate it, it feels like Outbreak Company + Denpa Kyoushi + Zero no Tsuakima + GTO + Lord Of The Rings + (some more titles I could not remember but I swear they did come to my mind before I start writing this). The main character, Itami is an otaku who is an army officer and already in his 30's. However in terms of physical ability he is like Onizuka despite have the same "otakuness" like Junichirou (Denpa Kyoushi). While Junichirou have brains to back his lack of physical strength, and Onizuka have physical strength but not brain, Itami seems to have both. Not to the point of being genius-like (like Junichirou) but he is good at managing his team, the attacking strategies and decision making (more about this later).

The story started when a mysterious portal (called the "GATE") appeared in Japan (was it Akihabara? I need to rewatch the first episode again to confirm it). From there an army that comprised of human, orcs, dragons and other life forms you normally find in LOTR-like fantasy but equipped with magical/classical/medieval class weapons invaded, launched a surprise attack on unsuspecting people of peaceful Japan. Itami who was on his day off and wanted to go shopping for otaku stuff as well as attending an otaku event caught in the battle. Although there were inevitable casualties his quick actions managed to save many people from further destruction while the Japan's response team try to control the situation.

Rory 'Gory' Mercury. She is 'cruel/heartless' but cute at the same time.

Japan managed to defeat the mysterious attacking force that came from the other side of the GATE and secured the area (from then on they call it the "Special Region"). Meanwhile the Japanese government recognized Itami's natural skills and bravery and made him a second lieutenant right away. That's right, he got promotion on the spot, and recognized as a national hero too. He was also given a squad under his command who will be tasked a mission of investigating the world on the other side of the GATE.

Preparations were done and the team sent through the GATE, only to be met with hostility by the "Imperial Army". It was a clash of civilization so to speak. Facing an army with lower tech weapons, JSDF once again turned victorious with an easy win (the Imperial Army had no chance of winning at all to begin with). This feels a lot like Rome Sweet Rome (have you heard of that?). FYI Rome Sweet Rome is a fiction originated from a simple "what if" historical question in Reddit, where an American Marines with modern hi tech weapons somehow transported to the time of the Roman Empire and ended up fighting the Legions. The notable difference however, in Rome Sweet Rome the Marines have no resupply while in in this anime the JSDF have a steady supply line thanks to them securing the GATE for themselves.

From right: Tuka, Lelei, Itami, Rory, Shino (Itami's subordinate).

From now on the show started to have the Outbreak Company like story. It's Itami's job to establish contact with the locals and a diplomatic mission of some sort. Other than the "Imperials" and the dragons, everybody else are friendly. Anyway it was not an easy task. Resistance exist on both sides of the GATE, where at one time the Japanese Army was accused of being the cause of civilian casualties in the Special Region, of which Itami was summoned to the Japanese Diet for an inquiry (good thing Lelei the mage, Tuka the elf and Rory the priestess helped explaining the situation).

The show was made in a way that, despite having casualties and stuff, made to be happy-fun in nature. So far it appears like the war was started by "The Emperor" who underestimated the world on the other side of the GATE (Japan) and thought he could conquer the people over there. However at the time of writing there's still no explanation of how the gate appeared or who put it there.

So how is it OK for the Japanese government to have the GATE for itself?It is a justified/rational/reasonable decision? While the GATE has become the source of envy for other world powers, the Japanese government wish to make trade with the other world like it would with any country in our world, except that it controls who can go through the GATE. So far there's doesn't look like ill intention is involved but in any case it open up for conspiracy theories.

However If I were to be in charge of the Japanese government I think I might have done the same thing too. The other side of the GATE is a source of terror that could threaten the peace and security of the country. It has to be contained at all cost. Protecting only one side of the GATE also would not be a good idea. The enemy needs to be shown that Japan is a country that you should not touch. The only way to do that? Occupy both sides. Although in real world Japan is not allowed to invade a foreign country, the Special Region however is technically a recognized country by our world, thus Japan's 'pacifism' constitution does not apply there.

Not sure though if I can say that I'm disappointed with the ending or not. It didn't feel like a rushed ending at all (something rare for anime these days) but I can say it didn't feel like ending at all, though it did stop at a point that allows for a second season. And good news for fans, a second season is scheduled for early next year, which means we don't have to wait for too long.

BTW let's touch a bit on our real world. Recently the Japanese government has amended their constitution so now (although they still can't start a war by themselves) they can send troops overseas to offer military support to their allies. I may have worded that incorrectly but I believe it is close enough to the changes made in the constitution. You might want to read about it on the net for more accurate facts because 'facts' and 'accuracy' should be the last thing you expect from my blog. DONE.