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Gate; The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (anime review)

Title: Gate; The Complete Collection

Director:  Takahiko Kyōgoku

Studio: A-1 Pictures

U. S. Release Date: July 11th, 2017

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

Format: Blu-ray / 24 Episodes / 600 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Fan Service

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Grade: A-

Synopsis:

When a mysterious gate suddenly appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district and begins spewing armed warriors and flying monsters, the world is thrown into turmoil. Although the deadly attack is thrown back by Japan’s Self Defense Force, there’s now a new and entirely unknown land on the other side of the portal, and Japan is effectively at war with a nation on the other side.

Determined to secure peace, the JSDF must send an armed force into the Gate, but ogres, dragons and a ruthless Empire populated by elves, humans, and half-animal warriors aren’t the only dangers they’ll face. With the resources of two worlds at stake, the balance of power on both sides of the Gate is destabilizing, and betrayal can come at any time, from any quarter. There, trapped right in the middle of the ensuing firestorm, stands officer Yoji Itami and the JSDF’s Third Reconnaissance Team as they plunge into the GATE.

Commentary:

Going into Gate I was very interested in the premise and the lead character. Yōji Itami could be any one of the fans that I know. The anime community around me is made up of so many normal people who are vital parts of the great society that I have the honor to live in and I respect the fact that they do their best every day and have such passion about their fandom. The other aspect is that Gate takes a alien force and makes them woefully inferior. Typically, the invading force has overwhelming weapons and ability and with Gate they are fighting with knives and arrows and the military has guns and bombs to take out any threat. This makes things very interesting and keeps things moving for the majority of the first season.

The second season Gate is were it falls apart for me. I am not sure what happen but the lack of focus and a reversion to the most base fandom almost looses me as a fan. The focus on fan service takes a interesting story and makes it just more about eye candy than characters and plot. Now I don’t want to discourage anyone interested in seeing the series, I still like what I see and still find it fun and full of excitement.

Overall Grade: A-

It is always easy to turn away from a series when it looses focus, but I didn’t. I think that the strength of the first season managed to keep the entertainment continuing in the second season. Gate is well worth the time to discover something different (at least for a while). I did find Gate to be a keeper and still think the writers were on to something more than just fun. I think that just taking a grown fan (Otaku) and turning them into a vital part of the solution with intelligence and quick wit makes me look around and see this in many of the adult fans that I know.

Gate is a very good series and should be dismissed just because it looses itself in the fan service. Way to go, I still have hope that more series that contain even a modicum of intelligence come forward and show everyone that it isn’t always about middle or high school kids trying save the world.

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