Episode 05 – “The Battle of Italica”
This episode focuses on who is perhaps my new favorite character of GATE, Pinya co Lada (still not sure what the correct way to Romanize her name is), as well as an incredibly intense conflict that begins as a simple renegade band of bandits but eventually cascades into a full-on siege upon the city of Italica. I really hope I haven’t set myself up for heartbreak here by growing attached to Pinya because things honestly don’t look very good by the episode’s end.
Peddling back a bit, we learn a few interesting things about a few of our lead characters, namely Chuka and Pinya. Chuka is caught staring at Mari, leading us to believe that Chuka may have a thing for females which I think is pretty cute, and I wonder if and how this dynamic will be developed down the road. This is more or less the first hint of anything romantic in GATE, and I’m impressed that it is of the same-sex variety.
As for Pinya, it turns out that this is her first real mission with her order of knights. The fact that her father, the Emperor, decides to let her go on expedition so suddenly, after refusing her service for all these years, is beyond suspicious and is surely a part of his grand scheme. Her inexperience, while cute and humorous when attempting to deal with Itami and his unannounced appearance outside of the walls of Italia, shows as she struggles to come up with a battle plan against the invading Imperial troops turned bandit.
I’m honestly at a loss for what will happen next. The preview shows Rory jumping into the fray, but what will happen in the meantime? Normally, I abhor deus ex machina situations for their contrived predictability, but there’s no way for me to accurately forecast the events to come at this point. Therefore, I would not mind a deus ex machina resolution, especially since I feel that this cliffhanger has been done exceptionally well. I mean, I’ve been worrying about the next episode for the past few days, which is a sign that GATE has done a great job of making me care about its story and its characters.
“I had no idea that reality could be so different from one’s plans.” ~ Pinya co Lada