GATE anime series cover art


GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There!, or just GATE for short, is yet another isekai anime, although this one has a bit of a twist. Instead of one protagonist being randomly transported to another world, a large gate appears in the middle of Japan which is connected to another world.

From within this gate, a massive army attacks from a fantasy world, and in retaliation, Japan sends the SDF (Self Defense Force) into the other world basically to conquer it. As you might expect of a 21st century army attacking a fantasy world, it’s a slaughter.

Although some of the most powerful dragons of the land can withstand rifle rounds, even they are no match for the tanks and jets at the SDF’s disposal. Luckily for the SDF, the only being who stands any chance of wiping them out is actually on their side, whom I’ll get to later.

I’ve heard people call this anime a propaganda piece, and I can see why, but after completing the first season it’s really just a fairly standard isekai anime. Japan is clearly the “good guy” compared to the U.S., Russia, and China, but at the same time their relationship with the fantasy world is ambiguous.

If this were purely a piece of propaganda as some have suggested, I would expect many more scenes of excessive military force and less peace keeping operations. Military propaganda doesn’t usually balance the two in the way this anime does; it tends to be one or the other.


The protagonist of the series is Yōji Itami, a (second?) Lieutenant with the SDF and leader of his squad, the members of which I’ll skip over because let’s be honest, they don’t matter all that much. Itami is a hardcore otaku who only works for the SDF as a way to pay for his anime, manga, and otaku merchandise.

Although his age and background as a special forces soldier set him apart from most other isekai protagonists, his overall attitude still makes him “relatable” to the target audience. He’s a white knight otaku who likes tsundere blondes; that’s pretty much as stereotypical as it can get.

Rory Mercury is one of the two “best girls” of the series (pictured below). She’s a priestess of the god of war, Emloy. As such, she’s an immortal being who could destroy the entire SDF on her own if she so chose, but she seems to be interested in Itami, so the rest of the SDF is lucky.

She carries around a large ax which she uses in battle (obviously) and dresses in a gothic lolita fashion (I know some people are going to be mad about me calling it that). Despite being a priestess of war, death, and destruction, the populace seem to be extremely fond of her.

Lelei la Lalena is another member of the Itami harem as I’ll call it from here on out. She’s a human mage and serves as the primary translator between the Japanese and the Empire (although technically they’re all speaking the same language).

The third and final member of the Itami harem (for now) is Tuka Luna Marceau, an Elf whose entire village was destroyed by a Fire Dragon. Like Lelei, I don’t find her to be that interesting, but at least Lelei has a job and doesn’t just wander the streets of the refugee camp.

The other best girl I hinted at earlier along with Rory is Princess Piña Co Lada, which is the best name in all of anime by the way. She’s not the best at being either a princess or a knight, but she more than makes up for it with her attitude, appearance, and most importantly, name.

Rory Mercury from the anime GATE
Rory Mercury


GATE was a pretty good anime, and I enjoyed it, but was it really that good? No. Did it stand out much from other isekai anime? Not really. Because of this, I rated the first season as a 6/10, but I have hopes that I’ll be able to rate the second season higher.

I think some more world building would go a long way toward making this a better anime. We know that the Empire isn’t the only country in the Special Region (the name Japan gave the fantasy world), but we know nothing about the other countries.

I think it would be interesting to see how the SDF dealt with wars and diplomacy between multiple countries in the Special Region rather than just dealing with the Empire alone.

Also, as a final note, why do Itami and his squad appear to have full autonomy within the Special Region? That’s probably one of the most “isekai” aspects of this entire anime. Despite being a member of the military, Itami is such a white knight that the rules don’t seem to apply to him.

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2 Replies to “GATE”

    1. Good catch! The proof-reading program I use doesn’t always catch grammatical errors such as that.

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