ANIME & MANGA - Article
11:00 - 27th December 2015, by NEO Staff

Anime Exposé GATE

When Earth is invaded by creatures better suited to The Lord of the Rings, it becomes a question of guns versus goblins, as two very different worlds collide. Standing in the middle? One highly trained nerd who’d rather be at comic con.

He Works Hard for the Manga

Ask Youji Itami whether his job or his hobbies are more important to him, and he won’t hesitate to answer – it’s his obsessions with anime, manga, and video games. To him, work is merely a means to support those passions. Yet while a cosy salaryman role might seem a more obvious career choice for his needs, Youji is instead a serving officer in the Japan Self Defence Force.

To make matters worse for the would-be slacker, he just has to go and save hundreds of civilians when an ominous gate materialises in the middle of Tokyo, pumping out a savage army of dragon riding knights and porcine orcs into modern day Japan. While the armed forces easily turn back the invaders – plate armour and swords are no match for rifle fire and tanks – Youji’s heroism earns him an unwanted promotion to Second Lieutenant, and a leadership position in the Third Recon Unit, launched when the government decides to investigate what lies on the other side of the portal.

Youji’s superior officers may have been onto something in choosing him for command though – the unknown realm is like something out of his beloved fantasy anime. Elves, wizards, and exotic creatures fill the land, and Youji’s knowledge makes him surprisingly well suited to lead his squad through the strange world.

His accidental familiarity and laidback nature helps Youji build relationships and gain allies. His unit rescues Tuka, a young elf girl; attracts the attentions of scythe-wielding demi-goddess Rory Mercury; and befriends Lelei La Rellena, an apprentice sorcerer who becomes the group’s translator. With communications established, it slowly becomes clear that each side thinks the other is invading, as the mysterious gate is appearing in both worlds simultaneously.

However, while Youji and his allies are dealing with situations on the ground, political forces on both sides of the gate threaten to undermine any fragile peace that could be built. Japanese officials question the JSDF’s deployment, the Americans are pushing for full-on invasion to exploit natural resources, and the rival kingdoms in the fantasy world are constantly squabbling over power and territory. With the safety of two worlds unknowingly resting on Youji’s shoulders, his next indulgent otaku weekend is looking even further off....

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