GATE (2013)

[ゲート 自衛隊 彼の地にて、斯く戦えり]

Volume 2

GATE - Volume 2 (2013)

Author: Takumi Yanai
Artist: Satoru Sao
Publisher: Alphapolis

Itami's team form a temporary alliance with Princess Piña to defend Italica from marauding survivors of the allied nations' army.

With a rather harsh setup, the Battle of Italica proves to be highly cathartic and in the aftermath we get to see Piña make her stumbling first steps as a stateswoman (steps that'd go much better if it weren't for "help" from her knights when they come across Itami's team). I really do like having Piña's perspective as a putative enemy being brought into the enemy camp. It's quite the trial by fire for her but that's pretty much what her father intended. I also like Leilei's development into a sort of Renaissance woman who eagerly absorbs as much information as she can about our world and becoming something of a diplomat, merchant, information broker and budding scientist in addition to being a gifted mage. The fanservice value of the House Formal maids is actually hilarious given the fact that it's lampshaded in-universe. Anyway, we're gearing up for the trip to Japan, so fun times ahead.

The Battle of Italica is a lot messier here than in the anime and the things the marauders do to provoke the citizens to break cover are rather messed up. If you've got a thing for kemono-mimi like Kurata, you'll like Count Formal's maids (and I love in the flashback image of the late Count that he's dressed as a Zeon nobleman). Delivery is strong on the action front, but also comedic takes are well done. You won't find much to complain about with the visuals.

If you're here for this series because you want to see modern military technology run rampant against medieval enemies, this is the volume for you. We get some good character development for Piña leading up to the next segment of the story. If you already have the first volume, you'll want to keep going.

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