War is coming whether the Japanese government wants it or not.
This week’s episode of GATE leaves the tight focus on a smaller group of characters and the conflicts in the capital to expand upon the events going on throughout the world. With time spent on Itami’s group, those at the Jade Palace, and in Alnus, this episode was packed to the brim with content and information.
It is also starting to reap the fruit of earlier machinations, as things are looking to be building to some sort of coup for Tyuule in the next episode.
For starters, the aftermath of Sugawara’s decision to lay claim to Sherry, protecting her from the “cleaners,” leads to a small stage battle between Pina’s forces stationed at the Jade Palace and Prince Zorzal’s small group of secret police.
This has further reaching implications than just the release of the leader of the doves, as Pina soon becomes placed under house arrest by Zorzal as he sends the empire’s army against the Jade Palace.
In Japan itself, the politicians are caught in a game of “will they, won’t they,” with authorizing the SDF to assist in the defense of the Jade Palace after Sugawara’s actions and the empire’s retaliation. The biggest obstacle that they face in mobilizing the SDF turns out to be the foreign ambassadors and journalists who are present inside the Special Region at this point in time. It provides an interesting new spin on how things are looking for the SDF as the rest of the world is finally being given a look into their actions and the Special Region itself.
Finally, we have Itami’s group, which once again has the weakest portion of the episode. Ever since the fight with the fire dragon was completed, it has seemed like the story doesn’t know what to do with the “main cast” and is sending them in circles as they return to Rolend for Lelei to get her Mastery.
The most interesting thing to come out of their segment is the information on the Pied Piper and how he operates. With the ability to “unlock” the desire to kill someone within a person, he is an extremely interesting foe. Due to this fact, I’m actually pretty disappointed that the pacing of this segment, in comparison to the stuff going on in the empire, is so lackluster. The Pied Piper is clearly meant to be Itami’s antagonist for the remainder of the series, while Tyuule is the antagonist for the others, but they haven’t really made the threat real yet.
Overall though, this episode of GATE was enjoyable and has me excited to see what next episode will reveal about Tyuule’s plans. With the next episode preview indicating that her actions will be coming to a head, I’m eager to find out how things will turn out.
Episode 21 Rating: 8/10
GATE streams new episodes Fridays exclusively on Crunchyroll.