Gate mostly took a break from any serious storytelling or characterizations this week to have some fun with the new world. Yes, Sergeant, there are indeed catgirls. In fact there are catgirl maids. I’m really surprised at the reaction or non-reaction that the show is getting from review sites and blogs. Theron Martin is doing the review for ANN, which generally means that all people are expecting from the show is going to be the pantsu shots. This week, though, Gate does indulge its pervy side a bit. This was harmless enough, and not nearly as creepy as Rory’s orgasmic response to the violence in episode 6. The one thing we did learn was the Itami is Ranger qualified. Japanese Ranger School is based on the US Ranger School, meaning that, even in military circles, Itami is a bit of a badass. (the other notable anime character that was a JSDF Ranger is Batou in Ghost in the Shell). Obviously, next episode will treat us to everyone’s reactions to modern Tokyo, and hopefully we will get a little plot as well. Things has been a little light on story lately.
Caution, Mini Rant:
Something that has bothered me about the reactions I have seen online to the show, is the number of people talking about military fetishism or labeling it propaganda. As a veteran, I find this really irritating. Gate has actually been pretty light on military details. There haven’t been any of the kind of technical breakdowns of tactics or military equipment that would have a military otaku drooling, and the motives of the Japanese government have been ambiguous at best. What Gate does seem to show is a modern military conducting itself in a professional manner. The JSDF depictions in Gate could easily be Australia, Canada, the US, France, or any number of countries. I am getting the impression that people feel that the show is portraying the JSDF soldiers in too positive a light, and that pisses me off. The soldiers in Gate thus far, minus the silly Apocalypse Now references, have acted very similar to how my unit acted in Kosovo. I am not sure how they really expect the JSDF to act. They aren’t going to rape and pillage their way through the newly discovered world, they are professional soldiers. Whatever bias is at play here, it stinks. Its hard to read stuff like that and not respond emotionally the way I would if someone said “That depiction is off. That character is way too well mannered to be (insert race here).”