It’s a good thing a second season of Gate was announced as it ending on this episode would be a poor round up to the series indeed. The biggest hanging thread is the Dark elf and her dilemma of returning to the village to tell them that help is not coming or resorting to dirty tactics in order to get Itami to lend a hand. One thing that has trouble translating well is the language barrier between the Japanese and the other worlders. The first half of the episode mainly deals with her difficulty to get the Army to listen to her without knowing Japanese but the series has a confusing way of presenting it. They show both parties speaking clear Japanese and never really clarify which they are talking in. Leading to a scene where we have a Dark Elf looking to be speaking clear Japanese yet the army doesn’t understand her. There should be a clear difference between the two tongues or at least a transition to show which is being spoken. Of course eventually she found out that the Japanese military can’t exactly march in an attack force into the country and kill a dragon. One particular thing I liked was the army soliders estimate of just how much firepower it would take to kill a dragon, even with heavy firepower a medieval Dragon isn’t something that goes down easy.
Other than that we have the princess finding out about Itami’s achievements, Lelei experimenting with applying scientific principles to magic and the princesses soldiers eating desserts and talking about translating BL doujinshi. The last one had me rolling my eyes as it had the girls praising how Japan could make even desserts an art form. This may be ignorance speaking but I was always under the impression that France was the place to go for fine cuisine. Further cemented that the pastry the girls were eating was indeed French and I was really waiting for that butler to point out that the girls praises would be better directed at France and not Japan. Japan didn’t invent Mille Feuille Glace and no matter how well it’s prepared by a Japanese chef that fact isn’t change. You don’t see us praising America for the Super Nintendo, now do you? Come on mister author, at least give some other countries a little bit of credit.
My feelings on Gate at this halfway point would be that it’s a pretty solid show that’s missing something to make it great. I cannot discern what that something may be however, as looking over the series there not really a way of doing it differently. I liked watching Gate but something prevents me from being as invested in it as I am with Gakkou. I guess the primary offender could possibly be the slow pace of the story which seems like a slow buildup to something that couldn’t possibly be resolved in this season or the next. I felt the same about the manga, its a slow burn of a show. There’s also the issue of the weak comedy which winds down to making jokes about Itami being a Otaku or just dull slapstick. Can the characters be better? Is there a better way to frame this story to make it more impressive? I am honestly not sure but perhaps the second season might have some remedies for that.