Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

12 July 2015: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri feels like Bush Doctrine: ~The Animation~

The Gate appears.

The military otaku in Otaku no Video made me wonder if Japan has a subculture of military-aged males who don't really have an outlet for such interests, unlike their counterparts in other nations. To this 21st century American, it seems as if the warrior culture embraced by Japan's soldiers during World War II vanished after their surrender and disarmament, forcing them and their descendents to refocus (or repress) these drives. It appears as if the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) must do fuck all because Japan's constitution now prohibits offensive engagements, and defensive conflicts seem extremely unlikely because ain't nobody fucking with Japan without fucking with the United States too. Consequently, perhaps the Japanese military otaku demographic remains underutilized because this paternalistic alliance prevents their team from having any away games and they don't have much of a home game either. Even an anime JSDF has to ride the pine unless the show breaks out some fancy dancing.

Powell Doctrine.

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There!) gets around these restrictions by introducing an invading force from within Japan itself. For reasons yet unexplained, a magic portal to another dimension opens in an urban shopping area one fine day. Hordes of fantasy novel flunkies pour out and start indiscriminately killing Japanese civilians. Although the JSDF arrives to annihilate the would-be invaders with crew-served weapons and helicopter gunships, the event is traumatic enough to galvanize support for a retaliatory expedition. After a Jedi hand wave, everyone accepts that the land on the other side of the magic portal is still part of Japan, and the JSDF begins rolling tanks through to git some. America, conveniently, decides to sit the entire affair out (at least for now).

Nitou Rikui rank insignia
Informatively, the OP shows us the ranks of the major characters.

There's a precarious relationship between entertainment and realistic depictions of war. After two episodes, it appears Gate will be adequately realistic and accurate while deliberately ignoring inconvenient details in order to advance the story. (For example, you're letting dragons fly in territory where your ground forces are operating? Why don't y'all have air supremacy?) Part of the reason I'm pretty confident Gate will get the military and war parts correct is because I've seen accusations that the novels are "racist" and "nationalistic" in sort of the same way I've seen readers accuse the Starship Troopers novel by Robert A. Heinlein of being "fascist." That is, when people who are hostile towards real world military aggression proffer the same complaints towards a fictional work, well, then there's a good chance that work of fiction got the military aggression parts of the story correct.

Kurebaya, Mercury, Shiitami, Lelena, and Marceau
Winning hearts and minds.

A few more notes about military accuracy: Itami Youji is a newly promoted NITŌ RIKUI. A literal translation should use "second," but the rank is equivalent to a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, a German Oberleutnant, and the Chūi rank previously used by the Imperial Japanese Army and commonly heard in various anime (e.g., Macross and Gundam). I'm not familiar with the JSDF order of battle or its MTOE, but I would expect someone of his rank to roll with a platoon rather than just a squad. Presumably, the guiding principles at work are shaped by the anime's story requirements and opportunities to engage with elf girls and overdressed gothic lolitas rather than METT-TC.

Kuwabara and Itami

The first two episodes play very much like JSDF recruitment videos. In fact, based on what I've seen on The Twitter, it looks as if the JSDF Public Affairs Office is totally on board with this anime. I'm not suggesting there's any underhanded ulterior motive in play here, but perhaps the JSDF noticed the enormous popularity generated by Kantai Collection and GIRLS und PANZER and decided to get a piece of that action. If the Japanese military otaku demographic is indeed underutilized as I postulated above, perhaps the JSDF will find some NEET anime fans who want to be all they can be.

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