- 1 Season
Gate is a Japanese anime series that was produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Takahiko Kyogoku. The series, which was first aired in 2015, is an adaptation of a popular light novel series of the same name by Takumi Yanai. The show was licensed by Sentai Filmworks for distribution in North America. The story of Gate follows the lives of the people living in the modern world, who suddenly find themselves under attack by a group of mysterious creatures known as "Flame Dragons." Just as humanity seems on the brink of defeat, a portal suddenly appears in the middle of Tokyo, from which emerge monsters, knights, and fairies from a medieval fantasy world. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces are able to repel the attack, but they find themselves transported through the portal into the other world. On the other side of the gate, they find a kingdom known as the "Empire," which is ruled by a beautiful and powerful princess named Piña Co Lada. The Japanese team quickly realizes that they are not the only ones in the new world, as they encounter an array of strange creatures, such as armored giants, fire-spewing drakes, and undead armies. The team must navigate through the foreign terrain to uncover the truth behind the portal and devise a plan to return home. While Gate is not without its action, it spends a significant amount of time delving into the exploration and interaction between the two worlds. Through these interactions, viewers are able to get a sense of the stark differences between the modern world and the medieval one. As the Japanese make their way through the other world, they come across two main nations, the "Empire" and the "JSDF" (Japan Self Defense Force), which pose very different challenges to the Japanese team. The "Empire" is a fantasy version of a medieval society, with nobles, knights, and castles. The residents there are in a state of perpetual war with the other nations around them, and even view the Japanese as potential new allies. Piña Co Lada, the princess of the "Empire," is portrayed as a strong and intelligent ruler who is eager to learn from her visitors. While the Japanese team is able to befriend some of the locals, they soon come up against the "JSDF" - a paramilitary organization created by a group of Japanese nationals who were left behind in the other world centuries ago. They possess advanced technology, such as helicopters and guns, and their actions often clash with the more conventional ways of the medieval world. The "JSDF" comes off as uncompromising in their methods, and they view the Japanese through a lens of superiority, being proud of their modern advancements. One of the strengths of Gate is how it handles its world-building. The series does an excellent job of showing how complex and different the two worlds are, from the way the characters dress and speak to the architecture and technology in use. The show also makes an effort to avoid the stereotypical portrayals that are often associated with the fantasy genre. The fantasy elements are balanced by a more grounded reality, with several nods to the real-world political and military issues that Japan faces today. The animation and artwork in Gate are solid, with a good mix of realistic characters and imaginative monsters. The character design highlights the differences between the Japanese and the locals, with carefully crafted designs for their clothing and armor. The series also features some impressive action scenes, particularly when the Japanese team uses their military gear against the dragons and other monsters. In terms of the voice acting, the Japanese version features an all-star cast, including Junichi Suwabe, Hisako Kanemoto, and Nao Toyama. The English dub is also well done, with many of the leading characters being voiced by well-known actors in the field. Overall, Gate is a thrilling and imaginative series that will appeal to fans of both the action and fantasy genres. It poses thought-provoking questions about the differences between the modern and medieval worlds. The show manages to strike a balance between the two, with well-written characters, solid animation, and a story that keeps viewers engaged throughout.