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July 18, 2015


After the fucking disaster that was Rokka no Yuusha, I was looking forward to GATE to cleanse my palette as it were. Sadly, while this episode of GATE was not particularly offensive, it wasn’t particularly anything else either.

It was a very conventional, very middle of the road anime episode. Decent, but nothing to write home about. It’s also the first time where the anime’s fallen short of the manga.

Of course, the anime can’t have naughty naughty sex and gorey violence. But as a result, they not only skimmed way too much of a certain scene with bandits, but more importantly, they skipped Rory’s morality/alignment entirely. See, in the manga, there’s a buncha bandits and a killer demi-goddess named Rory Mercury killed them. One guy begs for his life, saying he only joined the bandits to support his family and that he didn’t kill anyone in the raid. To which she responds saying that she doesn’t mind it even if he did kill someone, because her god doesn’t object to killing. It’s part of human nature to do whatever it takes to survive. She also told him to fuck the corpses of the women the other bandits raped to death/raped & killed, and when he refused, she made him dig graves for them with his bare hands, then she killed him anyway. Later, she encounters the JSDF and became intrigued by their motives/policy in terms of killing. And THAT’S why she hitched a ride with them and helped out.

In the anime, she just kills a random buncha bandits and joins Itami’s crew just because.

Now, admittedly, her motivations are not that important in the grand scheme of things. They kinda get forgotten later on anyway. But it made her a more interesting character upon the audience’s first encounter and one who’s a genuine threat, even to the hyper advance JSDF, who haven’t seen her feats.

But worst of all was the moefication of one of the women JSDF soldiers. She’s supposedly the resident badass. Kinda forgettable in the early chapters until we get to see her in action later on. But here she looks like an iDOLM@STER reject with that asinine hair micro-side tail. The resident female doctor suffers moefication too. Her character gets a bit more screen time and is better for it, but between her and the other chick, it becomes super obvious that the men and women have totally different art styles. I normally wouldn’t mind the dichotomy, but the softer and rounder designs are just laaaaaaame.

Oh, they also took out the comedic bits. There’s supposed to be a flashback that showed how the Dragon got an arrow in the eye. I suppose that flashback can be slotted to appear later but… well, the end of the flashback had a comedic moment that showed it was Itami’s crew who knocked the elf girl out in the first place.

I’m not sure I totally object to the removal of the comedic bits. The manga/light novel’s weird in that it jumps from lighthearted comedy to gory & explicit rape a lot. Removing the gore works in the anime, as discretion shots can sometimes be more visceral than explicit shots. And the comedic probably wouldn’t have been great there. But… it’s a fine line. And I hope the anime doesn’t neuter itself too much.

All in all, ep 3 is “eh”. It has its moments. I’ve been worried on how well GATE would be adapted for anime. So far the first 2 eps were very good for what they were. But now we’ve seen the first chinks in the adaptation armor and I hope this doesn’t mean the rest of the series will go downhill. Or if it’d be like the manga where it’s a roller coaster of awesome to suck to awesome to suck again.

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