Divine Gate Streaming Reviews: Episodes 1-3

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If you’re looking for over exaggerated melodrama, you’ve come to the right place. Falling into the same category as Rage of Bahamut: Genesis and the upcoming Chain Chronicles, Divine Gate is another mobile game adaptation. Much like Rage of Bahamut, this one is an original story that only seems to draw upon the characters and overall idea behind the mobile game it is based off of. Unlike Rage of Bahamut, Divine Gate decided to go for the melodrama rather than the pulp.

It may seem unfair to compare this series to Rage of Bahamut, but Divine Gate does a lot well and definitely has the potential to be just as enjoyable a series as its competition. Set in a future world that is protected by and organization known as the World Council, it follows the three starter characters from the mobile game, Aoto a water user; Akane a fire user; and Midori a wind user, as they are set loose to hunt for the titular Divine Gate. All the while there’s a bunch of politicking and power plays going on in the background as Arthur, the head of the World Council, and his Knights of the Round direct the search for the Divine Gate.

It’s a simple premise and one that could easily have turned out a pretty enjoyable action series. Instead, we’ve received the most melodramatic series that I have watched in ages. Poetry opens each episode so far, and is interspersed throughout, that focuses on the “theme” of the episode – in this case the backstory of each of the protagonists – and leads into the overly traumatic backgrounds of each of the characters. Aoto is labelled a parent-killer due to the murders of his parents being falsely placed upon him; Akane has unresolved issues with his father who was supposedly killed during a research project into the Divine Gate; and Midori had an obsessive and possessive friend who disappeared trying to find the Divine Gate herself.

This is about all that’s been revealed in the episodes so far. Each protagonist has had their background dumped out in flashbacks and exposition, throwing off the pacing of each episode and nothing has really moved past that. The most important plot-centric element thrown into these episodes has been the acquisition of the key to the Divine Gate, and that didn’t even involve our protagonists; purely relying on Arthur.

Artistically the series is quite good. Despite being animated by Studio Pierrot, and featuring some unfortunately unappealing CG usage in the second episode, the art style and character designs are quite distinctive. Everything is heavily shadowed, with thick black lines surrounding every aspect of the characters and environments. It looks quite similar to the original mobile game, and provides a pretty unique appearance for the series itself.

Overall, the series is quite mediocre as it stands, but there is still time for the story to focus itself and utilize each character’s respective trauma as a way to build up some increasingly intense conflicts, as the preview for episode four hints. However, until then, this series is wasting away under its attempts to be edgy and introspective.

Episode 1 – 3 Rating: 4.5/10

Divine Gate streams new episodes Fridays exclusively on Funimation.

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