Let the melodrama continue. Episode four of Divine Gate has arrived, and once again come the overly melodramatic poems and characters with severe issues.
In this case, the focus of the episode is on yet another event that Aoto has been blamed for; in this case a massacre known as Blue Christmas. Aside from that incident, Akane and Midori are desperately hunting for a way to get past the restricted access on Aoto’s files, all in an attempt to help their newfound friend, and there’s some Facebook expy being brought up as well. Oh, and a robot that looks somewhat similar to Aoto and refers to him as master.
For twenty-five minutes, this episode was packed with a lot of stuff, and it could barely hold itself together. While better than many of the previous episodes, there has still yet to be any form of plot progression towards the discovery of the Divine Gate, and the main cast has done next to nothing on that front either; with all their efforts being dedicated to discovering things about Aoto that the audience has known since the first episode.
Actually, the story overall this episode was just messy. While we were introduced to a new character, he was just another example of how this series is failing its potential. Breunor, with his desire to see justice served to the perpetrators of Blue Christmas, due to their murder of his father, was just another bundle of angst and rage contained within a cool-headed façade. If the writing of this series was up to it, he could have been a pretty awesome character. Instead, he’s pretty much just there to spout exposition and push the cast towards their confrontation with the second half of the Blue Christmas incident.
This is quite disappointing as this episode was actually pretty thrilling when the action started up. While there was still some CG usage once the robot, known as Samidare, showed up to antagonize our leads and Breunor, the rest of the fight scenes were pretty decently animated without the usage of CG. And although there were no real heavy stakes to this fight, it’s still only episode four and while this series is full of melodrama, killing characters doesn’t, yet, seem to be its goal, the fights were pretty fun to watch and definitely of the variety that I had been hoping to see more of from this series. For a series that is touted as an action series, there hasn’t been much at all. There have just been a couple of scenes that really show how much potential this series really has.
Overall, Divine Gate is still faltering under its own attempts to be introspective, and doesn’t really seem to grasp that there’s a lot of potential there for a good action series. Its current saving grace is the well done voice work and distinctive art style. However, even those can’t save this series from the well of pure mediocrity that it’s currently stuck in. For the best episode of the series so far, this one still has a lot of distance to cover before it is really worth watching.
Episode 4 Rating: 5.5/10
Divine Gate streams new episodes Fridays exclusively on Funimation.