This show does what I love about Game of Thrones, without relying on every single politician and person being a total pill to pull it off.
As we leave behind Itami and his group on their relatively aimless fleeing from the assassins, the political climate of the empire is heating up.
With Prince Zorzal having introduced a law to allow the arrest of anyone he deems dangerous, and Japan deciding to refuse asylum to the doves (their allies among the imperial senate and nobility), things heated up big time as we shifted focus over to the precocious 12-year-old Sherry and her “husband-to-be” Sugawara.
With her home being assaulted by the “cleaners,” Zorzal’s group of soldiers hunting down anyone that is deemed dangerous, she is ushered out alongside the leader of the dove faction in an attempt to keep him safe. At the same time, her parents slow down the “cleaners” by sacrificing themselves.
It’s an extremely common setup for a lot of different fantasy stories, but the fact that it shows up this late into the game, and is utilized for a side character rather than one of our protagonists, makes its usage extremely fascinating.
As does the constant back and forth that goes on between all the different factions invested in this conflict.
While we get a little screen time with Pina this episode, we’re finally given some more time with her knights, who are guarding the Jade Palace and the Japanese diplomats, and how they’re dealing with the situations that are occurring.
It’s also fascinating to see how much pressure is being placed on her position. Due to her open efforts towards peace, Pina is clearly viewed as a threat to Zorzal’s reign, and to Tyuule’s plans, and his forces are actively trying to trap her.
It puts all actions at the Jade Palace into a precarious position, as both Japan and Pina cannot afford any rash movements or decisions.
The fact that Sugawara claims Sherry as his bride-to-be, protecting her from the “cleaners” doesn’t help in this matter. Actually, his actions here may change the entire face of the conflict, and could escalate things to the war that Tyuule wants, which makes it a very interesting decision.
With so many actions being taken, and the Japanese military ready to sortie at any moment, the next few episodes are looking like they’re going to be quite intense. Although with only four episodes left to this season, I highly doubt the likelihood of the story coming to a satisfactory conclusion with all these pieces still in play.
Overall, this episode was a wonderful change of pace from whatever was going on last episode. It was great to get to see the outcome of the decisions and actions taken after the emperor’s poisoning, and it will be really interesting to see where things go from here.
Episode 20 Rating: 8.5/10
Gate streams new episodes Fridays exclusively on Crunchyroll.