Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

19 March 2016: AIRBORNE! P.S. Gate spoilers.

F-4 Phantom II fighters

Episode 23 of Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri featured the most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime. Although I guess I need to qualify that statement by mentioning the second-most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime is the first episode of, uh, Coyote Ragtime Show. You know, the part with the maids. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the Japan Self-Defense Forces conducted the operation in phases—eliminating air defense and establishing air supremacy first before dropping paratroopers into Empire territory—is leaps and bounds ahead of the sort of thing you see in most anime ostensibly about war. Heavy Object, I'm looking in your direction....

Wounded JSDF soldier
Lucky shot.

Somewhat amusingly, the operation doesn't even go 100% in the JSDF's favor. They even take casualties! Well, they take one on-screen casualty. Not to worry, he only took an arrow to the shoulder. It was even his left shoulder, so there's a good chance it won't prevent him from becoming a successful manga artist after he leaves the military. Who knows, maybe they'll even name a conference room in the embassy after him: The Guy Who Got Wounded Hall. I heard there is an entire tree house on Endor named after The Ewok Who Died.

Don't feel too bad. These fuckers ate human flesh.

Ordinarily, I'd be pretty enthusiastic about the way Gate is wrapping up its second season, but with no third-season announcement anywhere in sight, it appears the series will conclude with an episode about rescuing Piña Co Lada. I know a lot of viewers make fun of Piña Co Lada quite a bit for being incompetent at basically everything, but that makes sense within the context of the story. Her father, the emperor, had no interest in grooming her for a leadership role, so he basically just gave her an honor guard she could march back and forth and otherwise do fuck all. It follows she wouldn't have the training or instincts to distinguish herself from a military or diplomatic standpoint.

Piña Co Lada
You totally should have seen this coming, Piña.

However, her comportment during her imprisonment is solidly in the Helpless Hysterical Princess category and depicts her strictly as a victim incapable of doing anything herself until someone eventually rescues her. I'm not opposed to these types of characters as a matter of principle and can even appreciate the role they serve in various narratives, but wailing plaintively doesn't even make Piña Co Lada a good victim, since she has had two cours to get her shit together. At least try to think of solution or make a token effort at searching the room for something useful. Maybe she isn't adept enough to fashion a makeshift weapons out of the furniture, but it's no fun listening to Haruka DeTomaso Pantera crying while watching Piña Co Lada pound futilely on the door. It particularly doesn't help that the show revealed quite early on that there's a secret passage in the room she could be using to escape on her own. (She's locked up in the rape rabbit's old cell.) There is that.

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