(Season Finale) GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There! Fire Dragon Arc Streaming Review: Episode 24

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With this, GATE comes to an end. Not with a whimper, or a bang, but a satisfying conclusion to the story we’ve been following for the past two seasons.

While there’s definitely plenty of room for them to return to this series in the future, and I definitely hope they do, things are final enough that it feels like we’ve been given a great run over GATE’s duration.

Following Itami as he goes to rescue Pina from Zorzal, we’re pretty much given a return appearance from every major character that has appeared in the series and a fluid finale that works off of the foundation that’s been set before it.

In specific, the return of Itami’s squad was wonderful. After the extremely limited screen time they received last episode, it was great to see them back together with their captain this episode.

It led to an interesting, albeit somewhat basic, break in of the imperial palace in order to rescue Pina; which included, among other things, Lelei and Rory fighting a giant ogre.

Actually, most of the events that occurred this episode were so widely telegraphed that the only real surprising thing was Itami skipping out on Pina’s ceremony, where she was officially made the empire’s crown princess, to attempt to go to Comiket.

It makes the series feel like it has come full circle, and nicely leaves us almost exactly where we started; except with the addition of Itami’s harem.

That being said, not everything in this episode works as well as it should.

For example, Prince Zorzal’s escape from the capital, and Tyuule’s despondent feelings over her “victory” all ring a little hollow, and feel far too open for a finale that did not announce another season to follow. Even for a series that is undoubtedly meant to boost sales of the source material, it feels far too open.

The other major issue was that everything came together too neatly and nicely for our heroes. They go to save Pina, and the emperor, and they do. There are no struggles, or issues, that are made apparent to the viewer; even the whole assassination subplot falls apart into nothing more than a distraction as Itami simply asks Zorzal to stop sending assassins after Lelei.

It feels cheap, and clearly shows that they may have spent too much time building up to this point, but doesn’t ruin the finale at all.

Overall, despite some hiccups on its way to its conclusion, GATE has been one of the more exciting series in recent years, and season two was a fitting continuation and conclusion to the series. Hopefully, with so many loose plot threads still hanging, we do get to see another season in the near future. If we don’t, I’m just glad that they managed to end it as well as they did. It was satisfying and definitely worth watching.

Episode 24 Rating: 8/10

GATE streams exclusively on Crunchyroll.

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