Impression – GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri, Episode 11

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Episode 11 – “Visitor”

Largely one of those transitional episodes that can actually be afforded due to the series’ length, I can appreciate how this episode aims to smoothly bridge the drastic change in setting and return to form as our heroes reintegrate themselves in the Special Region, despite the fact that nothing particularly substantial happens outside of the introduction of the new character, Yao. Her introduction reveals the existence of dark elves in the GATE mythos, possibly sharing a connection to elf race from which Tuka hails from.

If this comes to fruition, then Yao’s character itself could create a bridge to Tuka, which would be much appreciated considering we’ve seen the least development from her character so far. Lately, it’s been all about how Rory and Lelei have been contributing to the efforts of Itami and the rest of the JSDF. At least the series appears to be steering us into Tuka’s direction, with the oddly tragic reminder that she still believes that her father is alive and with her at the refugee camp. I suppose it’s possible that he’s still alive since we never get visual confirmation of his death, but he’s certainly not with Tuka at the moment.

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Right now, there are two characters orbiting around Tuka’s scenario. Yao, simply because of my own basic, superficial judgment based solely on racial similarities, and Mari, who shows concern for Tuka’s well-being. Also, you may recall in an earlier episode that Tuka is caught staring at Mari while they’re riding in a transport vehicle. While the exact reason is never revealed by Tuka, Rory presumes that it’s because she developed a crush on Mari. How this development remains to be seen, but I think it’d be super interesting to have a same-sex relationship span across the two worlds, especially if their interactions help Tuka overcome the shock of losing her father to the Fire Dragon.

Speaking of which, we haven’t seen the last of said Fire Dragon as Yao is seeking the aid of the men in green to fight the very same beast from the beginning of the series, which is now terrorizing her tribe of dark elves. This is fantastic because I can’t get enough of fantasy creatures getting beaten up by modern technology. This time around, the JDSF has fighter jets and helicopters to fight the dragon on equal terms.

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“People can’t live for the future without accepting reality.” ~Mari Kurokawa

B.W.

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