GATE ~Thus the JSDF Fought There! – Early Thoughts

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GATE is one of the shows I’ve been looking forward to most since it was announced, this setting is one I’ve always thought is amazing and yet one I feel like I’ve never actually seen in anything. Just knowing it was exactly that made me very hyped up about trying this out. Now after 2 episodes, does it live up to it?

Well, yes and no. It’s definitely fun, exciting, and hitting the right spots in terms of the asymmetrical battles I was hoping for, but we’re probably going to slowly build up a harem, there’s a little bit of a pacing issue (we already have translation books printed for a place we got to a day ago?), and there’s a lot of inconsistencies (“I just killed 130,000 of your countrymen who were defending you against our invasion, but here’s a snack” and being accepted as lovely people without question by the natives). This is a series with a lot of flaws but this unique setting and this so far likable main cast are doing a lot for it. I also really like this mix of fun lightheartedness with the serious action stuff – it reminds me a lot in many ways of Library Wars which is a fantastic fucking series so bringing those feelings back to me even if not entirely makes me feel good about watching this. The art and such is also pretty great aside some of the noses, but it looks nice for the most part.

I really like the OP, it gets across a lot of the stuff the show is about and introduces the most main members of the cast along with some side members in the main group. The ED however feels both boring and lame, it’s ugly to look at, its boring to watch, and the song kind of sucks. I’m not sure what they were going for with this disco-humvee thing but I don’t really like it.

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My major issue so far – and one I was worried about from the show descriptions – is that it portrays the US as evil, warmongering, and with a greed fueled intent to invade this other world and take it as their own. Now, sure, that’s fine because I can’t really say it’s not at least somewhat believable. The problem though is that the Japanese from the very first episode have done FAR WORSE and are already continuing that – yet the series is treating Japan like the savior of this other world rather than being aware of what the fuck it’s doing. They’re fighting off an “evil king” or clearly will be, they’re defending it from the “evil Americans” from exploiting it and taking it as their own…all while if you pay attention especially to the press conference in episode 1 just a week or two after the gate shows up the prime minister outright claims the entire other world as Japanese territory then orders the JSDF to actively invade and occupy it, taking a place by force, slaughtering people like crazy, and of course destroying the land and wildlife as well. How can a show that has the old imperialistic terrible historically war-crime-filled Japanese who are acting even worse than Putin over Crimea as the protagonists try making the US look bad for wanting the same things and being LESS terrible about getting them?

Japan’s first reaction was “WE OWN THAT LAND, IT IS OURS, JSDF GO TAKE IT BACK” once they learned of this other world, yet the anti-US sentiment in here is thick when all we’re doing is supporting the Japanese in their endeavor. It’s kind of disgusting and upsetting any time it comes up, especially because all that Japan side of it NEVER GETS SHOWN AS A BAD THING. They are treated as peace loving saviors who are “totally not invading” who just rolled into another world – another nation – brutally slaughtered over 130,000 people who were simply defending their land and world, and who are simply treating the place as if it was theirs from the start. Japan in this show is a brutal invading and occupational force and they’re treated like angels in the narrative. It’s like the author of these LNs isn’t even hiding the fact he wants the imperialistic incredibly violent Japan back from history (not surprising, as far as xenophobia and anti-US sentiment goes, the JSDF and southern Japan are ranked pretty equally in the most hateful especially with the older aged crowd in both), yet hilariously enough the way he shows this is by having Japan go and just tear apart people way less equipped who have no way of fighting back or defending themselves who are all doing nothing but trying to force invaders out as they just take land as their own after killing more and more. He’s blind to the hypocrisy of his own insane anti-american pro-empire-of-japan stance on the world. It feels like some kind of post-war “history is written by the victors” propaganda that we’re reading from the future of the story’s world.

I mean even the idea that this is a retaliatory effort after being attacked first is hilariously inaccurate. Japan already closed the gate off entirely – the other side would never get through again, they were not a threat. Plus what kind of ‘retaliation’ is ‘take it all over’?

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If it pushes too much of this bullshit agenda I’m sad to say the show will suffer highly for it – most of the other stuff about this is fantastic or easy to forgive EXCEPT that and the retardedly “I’m evil and bad” evil bad king. Thing is, I’m almost certain it will not only continue with this but make it a main focus given how much the description harps on it – and yes this is unedited and “humanitarian relief” is not some kind of ironic joke;

Thanks to their efforts in humanitarian relief, although with some difficulties they were gradually able to reach out to the locals. They even had a cute elf, a sorceress and a demigoddess in their circle of new friends. On the other hand, the major powers outside the Gate such as the United States, China, and Russia were extremely interested in the abundant resources available in the Special Region. They began to exert diplomatic pressure over Japan.

A suddenly appearing portal to an unknown world—to the major powers it may be no more than a mere asset for toppling the international order. But to our protagonists it is an invaluable opportunity to broaden knowledge, friendship, and ultimately their perspective towards the world.

Read as: Japan, the peace loving fellows who would never harm a soul and simply want to coexist with this other world provide humanitarian relief to a foreign locale in the same way they did to Pearl Harbor and Nanking. However, the evil Empire of the United States of America, the villainous land-stealing Chinese, and Putin simply want to abuse this place for their own gains and begin to harass poor Japan who simply wants to help these other people live in peace under their forcibly taken reign! Only the Japanese understand the beauty of freedom, the sanctity of life, and how important it is to protect this other world from the evil Americans who want only for resources and more power – ignoring the knowledge, friendships, and new thoughts on the world one can gain from being such a peace loving friendly nation.

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It entirely ignores the complete fucking opposite that the prime minister of Japan said himself (and even after his passing, the new people in charge said they were continuing his plans) and pretends none of the actions GOING ON RIGHT IN THE SHOW are something perfect little Japan would ever do, let alone the fact that Japan hasn’t even contacted NATO about this and just decided to invade and take over an entire world as their own without hesitation and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people for it. They’re killing these people who have no chance to even fight back TO DEFEND them, they’re invading and taking over FOR THE GOOD OF THIS WORLD. OF COURSE! JAPAN SIMPLY WANTS FREEDOM, HAPPINESS, AND SAFETY FOR ALL – AND TO ACHIEVE THAT THEY MUST PAINT THE WORLD OVER WITH THE BLOOD OF THOSE THEY SHALL PROTECT FOR THE ONLY SAFETY AGAINST THE EVIL AMERICANS AND CHINESE IS DEATH BY THE HANDS OF THE ALWAYS HONORABLE AND PEACEFUL JAPANESE. CULL THOSE WITH PURE SOULS, END THE SUFFERING OF THE OTHER WORLD BEFORE IT COMES TO THEM.

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WE THE PRIDEFUL JAPANESE WILL STRIKE DOWN ALL THOSE WHO NEED SAVING EVEN IF THEY SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND, AND EVEN IF THEY ARE TOO ILL EQUIPPED TO HAVE ANY DIFFERENT CHOICE IN THE MATTER OR STAND ANY CHANCE AT STOPPING US. HONOR IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR, PRIDE IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR, AND PROTECTING YOU AND YOUR WORLD IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO US. ONLY THOSE WHO BOW TO US AND LET US TAKE OVER AND ANNEX THEIR WORLD AS OUR OWN WILL SURVIVE FOR THEY ARE THE CHOSEN ONES.

NIPPON! NIPPON! NIPPON! FOR THE HONOR OF THE EMPEROR!

peacefuljapanese

I want to say fuck this show because at times it feels like straight up Japanese nationalistic propaganda and it’s clear the ex-JSDF guy who wrote it put that all in intentionally and is blissfully ignorant of the rampant hypocrisy (there’s an incredibly tiny possibility he’s aware of the jingoistic imperialistic shit in this and is trying to make some kind of social commentary – but it sure as fuck doesn’t come off that way at all and it’s meaningless if he doesn’t make it somehow noticeable, so I don’t think it’s the case), but it’s entertaining and this setting is one very similar to what I’ve always dreamed of writing a story about. I can’t help but keep watching and keep enjoying it for now and really even those issues SO FAR are not drawing away too much from the overall quality. This is what I expected, but in many ways equally as much what I feared, I just hope it doesn’t let that ruin everything else about it by focusing on this shit more and more and instead makes this whole post moot and silly to look back on. Not to mention the only other ‘antagonist’ they have so far is the most lazily thrown together “I’m an evil king guy look how evil I am I’m being mean to a cute girl and I don’t care about my people’s lives and really am just using this all as a way to expand my power go kill innocent villagers look how evil I am oh I’m just so evil” big bad imaginable. Oh, and of course as long as it doesn’t turn into a harem.

Sadly I don’t see this going beyond just an entertaining and alright series rather than the amazing thing it could have been. I still greatly enjoyed both episodes so far, and I do highly recommend checking it out as it’s probably my second favorite show this season next to Gakkou Gurashi which is miles above this already with even only one episode so far but yeah. This is alright, watching a bunch of tanks blast knights and anti-air mobile attack platforms blasting dragons is pretty fucking cool, and it’s well worth spending the time with so far to check it out if you haven’t yet.

edit: dropped this finally, it just kept getting worse and worse. The military inaccuracies when it’s being written by an ex-military man, the unbelievably high level of nationalism just oozing out of every scene, and the massive otaku pandering with things like a slutty lewd goth loli are just too much to take.

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35 responses to “GATE ~Thus the JSDF Fought There! – Early Thoughts

  1. If you want a much more disgustingly offensive example of trying to pretend they are and always have been sweet little innocent angels, look up Yunagi no Machi Sakura no Kuni. How bad is it you ask? Here’s an actual quote from the manga: ‘I wonder if the people who dropped the bomb are pleased with themselves – “Yes! Got another one!”‘ Yeah I’m sure the Chinese and Koreans felt the same way as they were brutally raped, murdered and experimented on by the Imperial Japanese invaders. Or how the Okinawans felt as they were used as meat shields and suicide bombers AND had pretty much their entire culture destroyed, simply because they weren’t seen as “true Japanese” by the Japanese Empire.

    Sorry for that little tangent there. Honestly though I can kind of understand the Japanese being ignorant of their own history and involvement in WW2, since they’re still being brainwashed by their ultra conservative government into believing they dindu nuffin. It’s like if the German goverment were run by holocaust deniers. It’s pretty depressing if you think about it.

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    • I think that you got it wrong because: The manga (Yunagi no Machi Sakura no Kuni) has received international praise for its simple but beautiful artwork and its quiet but “humane” anti-war message.
      So, it shows the effect of the war to show as bad it is.
      Curious that you compare it with GATE.
      Another example could be “Grave of the Fireflies”.

      I think that there isn’t anything wrong with japanese wanting to say an antiwar message.

      If people of any country that have commited atrocities during Wars can’t comment about Wars, then nobody is going to be able to make any comment.

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      • I don’t have a problem with them wanting to say an antiwar message, the problem is that they try to paint themselves as innocent victims who did nothing wrong when the truth is they’ve committed atrocities that were just as bad if not worse than anything the Nazis or any other culture has done. At least Germany has publicly apologised and admitted that what the Nazis did was inexcusable. Hell not even white Americans try to cover up what their ancestors did to the natives when they took their land by force. To this day the Japanese government is pandering hard to ultra nationalists who want to rewrite history so that Japan is portrayed in a much more positive light in schools, even if it means denial and outright blatant lies, hence why it’s socially acceptable in Japan to act like the Nanking Massacre and Unit 731 never happened compared to the west and most of Europe where such types are just an extremely vocal minority and are hated by the general public.

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        • Well at the very least Japan may make anything WWII related into self victimizing propaganda but unlike GERMANY they didn’t make it literally ILLEGAL to discuss or question what happened during that time. You might like that the Germans “apologized” but at this point you can get thrown into prison for even considering looking at evidence related to, say, the holocaust to personally verify it if you have any doubts, questions, or simply want to know more beyond what possibly has the most propaganda and purposeful misinformation in history surrounding it. I’d rather a free to think but filled with garbage like Grave of the Fireflies and multiple museums proclaiming victimhood type of place over the “ban thoughts, ban questions, ban symbols and words” world of modern Germany (if you can even call that place Germany anymore). Both are pretty fucking shit about it but at least one doesn’t arrest you for wrongthink and just opts to shove their message in your face whenever they can – though in the age of the internet it isn’t that effective anyway and just makes certain things incredibly obnoxious, like GATE.

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  3. Hi.

    I wanted to say two things:
    1) I found funny that you said that this was your second favorite show, only to edit it later and said that you dropped it. I found it amusing, but I understand your point.
    2) I dont know if you know it already, but it seems that the author is from the Japanese Right (At least that’s that I read, could be wrong). That could explain a few things.

    I enjoyed this anime because the setting and the characters (I felt in love with the sorceress (Yes, she is only 15 years old but is only an anime character, so there’s no problem :P )), and have fun realistic situations (I loved the scene in the parlament, because I think that it would happen exsctly the same in reality).

    Of course, I didnt give a lot of thought about the politic behind the show. Anyway my two main complaints are the names (Piña Co Lada, really??), and the awful art (The face of the werewolf in the last episode, argggh! My eyes! My eyes!).

    Overall, I think that I will continue following this series or, at least, the manga.

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    • A lot can change even in an episode or two and sadly it did here. I really did want to love this and that first episode was fantastic, but it just turned into a mess so quickly after that. This is definitely one of those times where I even still wish this was watchable because there’s so much about it that I do love – mostly the setting, but it’s just all so terribly bad and abrasive to the point that I don’t just dislike it but it actively offends me.

      As for names, Pina Co Lada sounds at least just very slightly less bad than calling a goth-lolita “loli” – oops I mean “rory”. I mean come on, that’s just ridiculous!

      Another thing you might find amusing – I edited in that I dropped this and how bad it was as you said, but literally a few sentences before the edit I recommended ANOTHER show I ended up hating (though I did finish that one).

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      • I understand that you could feel offended. As I already said it seems that the author is from the politic right and, nowadays, there is a strong debate about the role of the JSDF.

        About the names… I think that the author is trying to make some type of joke, because almost all of them are double entrees (is written this wsy? Oh, well).

        Greetings.

        Kinai.

        P.S: Yes, I thought that it was amusing in a surprising way.

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  6. Hmm, since the reply button seems broken under your long verbal exchange, I’ll post it here.
    Reading you mentioning of Toradora I wanted to add something: I’ve to agree that sometimes a show is more special for you, because you’re interpreting things into a show that simply aren’t there. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but for me Toradora was a kind of “so’s live” because it actually reflected a part of my live and how I’m experiencing it. Due to this and Toradora being one of my first 20 shows I’ve watched, I really started to love it. So what ? Toradora will always be something for me, despite knowing it’s lack of realism and in terms of story for at least some parts.

    I think you can’t argue anymore about a show in the moment you’re starting to mix in own assumptions about the authors intention or things you’ve interpreted into the show.

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    • Yeah, for some reason “reply” only goes for like 3 levels, then is broken on this layout. I don’t know how to fix it. The actual layout of when what comments were said where is also somewhat broken, like comments from early on appearing below all the rest.

      As for the rest, I can’t tell who the last part is aimed at, but I assume it’s for the other guy as I’m only dealing with what the author has outright stated in the series and the novels as canon, while JekoJeko is the one saying “Author intent doesn’t matter, only what I think or feel does”.

      What I’m understanding from what you said is that you’re trying to say:
      – Interpreting a show your own way can sometimes make it more enjoyable for you or even a much more special experience, and nothing is wrong with that.

      – But, once you start inserting your personal ideals, interpretations of the content, views, assumptions, and opinions in without any basis for it you don’t really have the right to debate about what the content actually contains or not.

      If that’s right then yeah, I definitely agree. I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to feel one way or another about a show or whatever nor for them to simply voice their opinion and explain to them that it came off another way and describing that way. In a case like this someone like JekoJeko shouldn’t be spouting their personal opinions as FACT and ARGUING with someone based on their factually invalid and incorrect views while OPENLY ADMITTING they go against the author’s intent and actual canonical events and meaning behind them. It’s one thing to say “I felt it came off this or that way”, another to say “YOU’RE WRONG BECAUSE I SAY SO, THE AUTHOR IS WRONG TOO BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH WHAT THE AUTHOR WAS SAYING, AUTHORIAL INTENT IS BELOW MY PERSONAL INTERPRETATION OF THE STORY”.

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      • I’m just not a slave to any particular idea. A free-thinker, which on your blog was a bad approach to have. Why should I care going into a show if the creator intended one thing? If they’re successful, I’ll see what he intended to do and either like it or not like it. If they’re unsuccessful, I won’t see what he intended to do, or I’ll see him trying but failing at doing it, and either like it or not.

        I never said authorial intent was completely out or that I ‘go against’ it. I just disregard as I watch and only bring it in as an axis of analysis at the end. That way my mind is open to the largest number of possible interpretations. My enjoyment of a show is based purely on the show, and not the knowledge of the work’s intent which people use to lock their minds in cages as they watch.

        Nor did I state my views on the show as ‘FACT’. I specifically used phrases such as ‘I didn’t get that vibe’, ‘made me feel’, ‘made them seem’, etc. I then explained why I had those reactions, using formalist arguments (though this blog doesn’t even know what formalism is and will just pooh-pooh it in ignorance) as reasoning against your interpretation to suggest that there are alternatives (which there unfortunately aren’t on this blog, because we all have to be slaves to authorial intent) to the view you stated. As for the following discussion on art theory, it is in fact a ‘FACT’ that absolute authorial intent is outdated. It’s also a foolish stance to take for something like anime, which is ‘authored’ by so many more people than the original creator, each of them artists in their own right under the artistic direction of the director who may choose to go a different route with the show if he can get approval from the creator.

        Finally, I never actually said your interpretation was wrong. I actually think it’s a decent conclusion to come to if you start with the notion that what you’ve read about the author’s intent is some god you have to worship and sacrifice your freedom to as you watch. I just don’t prefer doing that myself.

        But whoops, better get out of here before I say something else that’s open-minded.

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        • What you should be more worried about than “saying something else that’s open minded” is embarrassing yourself even more (primarily TO yourself, have some goddamn self respect) after continually obsessing over being blown the fuck out on an anime blog on the internet and trying to spread some kind of negative views toward my blog ever since – even going so far as attempting (and failing) to get some sort of reddit ‘raid’ to happen.

          You are literally the most immature and childish person I’ve dealt with in ages and that’s amazing given I’m not exactly fucking mature myself but you don’t see me going about being passive aggressive like an enraged baby and trying to spread to anyone I can my thoughts on you and trying to get random people to come “help” me. If you want to not look like a little fucking baby who can’t help but shit all over himself then don’t go running to twitter and reddit in some sordid attempt to try and ruin my “reputation” next time. The worst part is you view yourself as some sort of intellectual, and hilariously just like most people who love that self-title you are just completely unaware of how you really act because the only people you interact with are ones who will let you live in your dream while avoiding anyone else or, upon finding someone else unwittingly, running to your clique begging to be agreed with so you can rebuild your now broken self esteem.

          Grow the fuck up, just because you’re in college and your age might not say 13 doesn’t mean you automatically are an adult – I’m 27 and I’m not nearly one – and just because someone like me goes around cursing a lot doesn’t make me stupid or immature. You’re so busy trying to look superior to your actual self that you don’t even notice the pathetic and dumb shit you do. It’s been 2 weeks and you’ve yet to shut the fuck up or find it in yourself to be able to move past “that meanie poopy head on that internet page”. Go whine to 4chan about this one or imgur or whatever other sites you run to for a hugbox, reddit didn’t work out so well for you last time, nor did twitter, better find a new place to try and make yourself feel like you aren’t a dumb sack of shit who acts like a baby. Which, by the way, is why nobody gave a fuck about your tweet or your reddit thread – because you’re literally fucking incapable of moving past the fact you said some dumb shit in a place that didn’t treat you like a special little boy in a world where nobody can be wrong and got put in your place because of it.

          Why the fuck are you still constantly thinking about a tiny non-incident on a blog about cartoons from half a month ago? Do you get so personally offended that you start a boycott campaign against your uni and start sending out personal fucking essays about your experience to the local news any time one of your professors doesn’t give you a top score too? Jesus fucking christ. Before you try to pull the ‘lel just trollin brah ;^)’ card again, you may want to slap yourself, wake up, and shut the fuck up already. You don’t get to keep trying to put on this “mature adult intellectual” act in a random comment following a bunch of comments and activities on your part that are the most pathetically childish shit imaginable like starting a thread about me (or whatever they’re called there) on reddit, taking to twitter and singling me out, and no doubt talking amongst your circlejerk about it – not to mention making a bunch of fucking retarded comments in-between. That simply isn’t how it works, you don’t get to pretend you’re not a pathetic manchild just because you sit there writing out one single actual post two fucking weeks late to try and explain your point of view (which by the way is still factually fucking wrong) after running rampant with shitposts from your hypersensitive reaction for two fucking weeks on here and various other sites. Hell, you don’t even get the right to pull the “heh look he’s deflecting because he can’t prove me wrong ;^)” card after doing that. I have no fucking reason to ever treat you like someone worth speaking to again let alone as someone I need to take the time to carefully read and properly reply to their comments after the retarded shit you did and still are doing. If you act like a dumb fuck after being blown the fuck out you don’t get to go claiming you somehow won the argument when the other person is finally tired of your shit and your fucking crybaby whining reaction you gave when they tried to actually treat you like a human being before, let alone your attempt to spread ill perceptions of my site and even sitting there trying to talk shit about another commenter just because they happen to agree with me and not you – you can’t even manage to keep your shit flinging aimed at me without resorting to “LOL IS DIZ UR BF ;^)” bullshit about other people because you are literally tossing it everywhere and hoping it upsets someone. You don’t get to do all this shit then pretend to be the one on the high road or someone who can legitimately claim to be anything but a fucking toddler meandering around trying to break shit when he doesn’t get his candy.

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        • Yeah, because r/drama totally isn’t a joke of a subreddit.

          For someone so obsessed with authorial intent, it’s hilarious how you can never see mine.

          Keep using your time productively. :)

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        • Literally running from being put in your place again this hard, and in the exact specific way I said you would. It’s ironic that you’d say I don’t see your intent when I can read you like a fucking children’s book. Feel free to continue proving me right, but I’m done responding to someone who can’t handle anything without running to “le trolling face” any time he gets cornered after writing a fucking essay written like it’s a really shitty school paper then pretending it was never serious at all on multiple fucking occasions. The only person you’re embarrassing is yourself – and luckily for you nobody reads my blog, so the only person really witnessing it aside me is yourself. You should take that chance to look at how you act and fix it before you go acting like this to anyone that you might regret doing so to in your life, be it another blogger with lots of followers, a professor, or even an employer.

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        • A blogger who feels the need to put others ‘in their place’ is a pretty bad excuse for bandwidth.

          For the record, I took this whole thing seriously until you didn’t. Calling another blogger a ‘retarded little cunt’, even if you think he is acting like an immature pseudo-intellectual, is pathetic. After that I assumed this blog must be one big joke, so I decided to have a laugh rather than approach things with any sincerity.

          To have a blog that you intend no-one to read is also the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. It’s like having a radio show where you don’t want people to tune in, or a video on YouTube that you don’t want anyone to watch. Pathetic. Set this garbage heap of rants to private if you don’t want to have people with an ounce of intelligence make your angry side dance for everyone’s enjoyment.

          I’m sure I do have traits that I need to iron out, but fun fact: I’ve got the time to. You obviously don’t if you’re 27 and still resort to immediately insulting another blogger just because he shared an opinion that contrasts to yours in a way that you didn’t like. Same goes for your sidekick.

          I don’t see how I could be put in a corner by a blogger who lives in one. Thank you for the entertainment, and if other bloggers see what I’ve written here and think negatively of it, I’m cool with that. I’d rather people know this side of me. A lot of bloggers already do, so it’s no skin off my nose.

          Have fun being alone and angry on the internet.

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    • Interpreting things that ‘aren’t there’ is a big part of art for me, since it’s the viewer takes all their thoughts and feelings into watching the show. I’d argue that most things in art ‘aren’t there’ until someone’s come along and given life to its meaning; I think the negative feeling of propaganda in Gate isn’t there until you add your impressions of the author’s intent (which I’ve yet to have seen evidenced) or the contextual significance that other blogs have picked up on, and I also think the debate that the show sets up around the validity of offence and such is similarly not there unless you’re sceptical about war’s charms yourself (like me).

      Sorry if my discussion with Tallon clogged up the reply button. On the whole though, what do you think of the idea of absolute authorial intent for interpreting Gate?

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  8. I didn’t get that vibe about their presentation of Japan at all. The focus on the little girl at the funeral and the displays of the carnage they created (alongside America wanting Japan to make ‘mistakes’ – if I remember that correctly – before they enter the fray), in contrast to the celebration of being the ‘defense force’, made me feel incredibly uneasy about the SDF’s approach to this issue of invasion, and the MC’s lax approach foreshadows, for me, a debate over Japan’s decisions rather than a pure celebration or denunciation of them.

    An anime’s portrayal of world powers doesn’t always have to be an absolute commentary on them. Gate more seems like it’s raising questions through what-ifs regarding political approaches to new land/people/power/etc. What happens when this country is like this and this country is like that? It doesn’t have to be a judgement upon them (though it could grow into one from the viewer’s perspective), and it hence doesn’t have to detract from your enjoyment of the show’s themes.

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    • That would be a possible perspective except for the fact the non-meta non-in-universe descriptions written by the publisher themselves state America, China, and Russia are bad and Japan simply wants to protect this new world.

      If this was something brought up in-universe, sure. Even if this was treated as perhaps a way of hiding that sort of “twist” of the Japanese invasion being bad, again, sure. However the way the plot descriptions are written out clearly speak of the future of the series we’re not even at yet – so unless this is 50+ episodes and the ‘reveal’ is over halfway in, the likelihood of this being the case is incredibly low.

      Also, you seem to have forgotten the show already proves this view wrong. Look at episode 2 when they roll into a village – the people are a little scared purely because something ‘different’ is there, but they happily greet them, help them, tell them where other villages are, give them maps, and speak with them as friends moments later. The show itself proves that, as much as I’d want what you say to be true, it’s not the case. The JSDF is already being treated as saviors even in-universe by the other world even in villages that likely lost men to the Japanese during the battle. If Japan and the JSDF weren’t perfect little angels according to this the random villagers wouldn’t magically be written to love them instantly like they were.

      If it’s trying to do what you’re saying it’s trying to do – it’s just fucking terribly written in that case, just like this antagonistic King guy who is the most pathetically thrown together big bad possible. Which, actually, makes me less certain it’s not just terrible writing and Japan really will be shown as bad later too. Either way it comes off as shit because the writing behind it is either nationalistic propaganda or bad – and it’s definitely bad when it comes to the king which leans me towards both or at least that.

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      • I still prefer to distance authorial intention while I enjoy a work. If they really did want to celebrate Japan and its military, I’d argue that they’re already screwing up big time.
        For instance, that scene with the villagers only made them seem more savage to me. Here they were being ‘nice’ when they’d likely just blown people from that village to bits, and the village can hardly be unkind to them in return even if they were aware of what had happened on that battlefield. When has being two-faced ever looked good? Furthermore, they’re clearly only being nice to the locals so that they have a smooth ride towards fulfilling their retaliation against this kingdom, and probably eventually subjugating it too.
        As for the King, I wouldn’t argue that his writing is incredible, but the deviousness of his plots have already made me see him as a prick that I want taken down – not, however, by the SDF.
        I’m enjoying this show mainly because I’m not siding with anyone. I’m just casually picking holes in every side’s approach.

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        • And here we can see the entire problem with believing authorial intent is not absolute. You’re giving this show much more credit than it deserves, because you’re seeing things that the author didn’t mean to do or just outright aren’t there.

          If you ignore authorial intent and just look at what is accidentally shown, you end up having a much higher opinion of something that’s actually really poorly written. This is really what I hate about you pseudo-intellectuals, you come up with bullshit theories based entirely on coincidences, and then claim it must be the factual case.

          Again, this is why authorial intent is important. You’re gonna end up looking at shows that are actually BAD and thinking they’re good because the author accidentally implied something he didn’t mean to. That doesn’t make it good, that makes it incompetent.

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        • Actually, seeing authorial intent as absolute is a pretty outdated perspective, something the intellectuals of earlier centuries would hoot about. Nowadays we are able to view a story from multiple axis – the relationships between work and author, work and recipient, work and context, and the relationships between those relationships – to come to a more reasoned conclusion.
          You should call Roland Barthes, celebrated structuralist and writer of ‘Death of the Author’, a pseudo-intellectualist before you direct that silly insult towards one of your blogging contemporaries. You should also do some research into ‘New Criticism’. Most of art theory has shifted against your ancient approach to storytelling.
          I’m not interested in giving a show ‘credit’. I’m just enjoying myself, and I do that more if I avoid thinking of one axis of interpretation as ever absolute.
          Like, get with the times.

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        • The conversation between you two sure makes me happy I’m not part of the current college generation, I was able to get an actual education and not be told everything is good as long you imagine it’s good and was actually taught pretending what you hear in some overwrought lecture shouldn’t be believed as how the real world works and that following it will not make you some sort of superior intellectual being that ‘gets’ what others are simply too slow to handle.

          Being a prissy self-important type who’d consider even using a phrase like ‘blogging contemporaries’ or name-dropping people nobody gives a shit about to feel like your ‘knowledge is so impressive’ is just proving Monty’s “silly insult” more and more true. Let alone your entire argument there essentially saying “everything is what I think it is as long as I believe it and can tell myself it’s true”, which is fucking hilarious and is totally something I’d believe being taught these days by retards who have to make excuse for why people just “didn’t get them” and why they’re stuck now teaching instead of actually making a living in their field. It’s not outdated to tie INTENT with CONTENT, you’re essentially defending shipping and yurifan logic wherein “if they looked at each other in a way I personally see as loving or lusting then they are canonically lesbians”. Nobody is impressed by the fact you took English courses and so easily believe pseudo-philosophy.

          In fact what you’re saying works against your own point. You talk about criticism but your entire point is ANTI-CRITICISM. You’re outright stating “What I think this is showing IS what it is showing because it’s what I WANT it to be showing even if it is objectively factually even stated by the author if that is the case NOT what is being shown”. You’re saying your opinion has more value than the actual writer and that criticism is invalid because your personal interpretation even if it has nothing backing it up, conflicts with the actual content, or is outright factually wrong.

          This “new criticism” you speak of is the fear of actual criticism, a world where you simply say a piece of shit is an amazing piece of art because you saw the golden turd that was simply a golden turd with no meaning as a commentary on youth and the hardships of the elderly in today’s technologically filled society, and even if the author tells you otherwise he’s wrong because the ‘axis’ you’re viewing it on is not his.

          You are not above the creator, nor are you above the content. You, myself, and anyone else who is simply commenting, criticizing, or critiquing something take third seat to both of those. What you think will never outweigh what is actually happening or what was intended to happen even if it’s done poorly. No matter how good or bad something is or how well or shittily it’s executed, all that can only be properly analyzed or looked or commented on or called good or bad on any level if, and only if, you consider the intent of the creator and the way the content was handled by him or her. You don’t get to throw in your imagined up theories that clash with what the creator was going for as ‘criticism’ or an equally correct point of view to watch/read/play something from. That’s masturbation, not criticism or analysis.

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        • Ok. I’ll bear your elitism in mind in the future and blog about this on my own prissy self-important site when I get the time.

          I was meaning to write about this debate in Gate anyway, so thanks for giving me a great article and follow-up discussion to springboard it from.

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        • You’re the one acting like an elitist little shit who thinks spouting what his professor told him a week ago makes him appear intellectual and superior and running around shooting down opinions based on the content as wrong because of your opinions that are entirely baseless apparently being more important. You don’t seem to have any grasp on what elitism even means, just like you don’t know what criticism actually is. Have fun sucking your own dick in your circlejerk with surely plenty of others who are all busy doing the same. You types who can’t even identify what you’re acting like or what you’re saying properly and take everyone who doesn’t rub your cock how you like it as ‘elitist’ or some kind of villainous person are the reason I don’t bother with the blogging community or really anime fans in general. You’re a bunch of fucking idiots who think you’re smart when really you’re the stupidest of the fucking bunch. You sit there telling me my based-on-the-content thoughts are invalid while saying YOURS are more valid because you simply say they are even though you even openly admit those opinions are based on absolutely nothing within the content and even clash with it.

          You’re a fucking idiot. Being in college mixed with just being a shitter in the first place will make you act that way, so I forgive you, but when you’re older you’ll look back and realize what an insufferable retarded little cunt you were.

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        • >resorting to shitposting images

          I’m sorry, I can’t click that as it’d paint you as a child for acting how you are right now if I did and I know that would deeply offend your personal belief that you are an incredibly educated and intellectual adult.

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        • I almost forgot to mention how much everything you’re saying here clashes with what you said to me in my Toradora review as well – wherein you quickly tell me how wrong I am because I just viewed it wrong, didn’t pay attention, and completely missed the intentions of the author, characters, and story.

          Don’t sit there bitching about someone’s review being too personal or “wrong” when your entire argument here is saying all reviews and criticism are 100% personal and thinking they are anything but is ‘wrong wrong wrong’ and that everyone has their own axis to shove their head up their own ass in and so on.

          You aren’t even consistent which is just proof you’re spouting the retarded shit you think you “know” and pretend to believe in because you heard it in your classes and want to appear like some special snowflake who is above it all.

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  9. >It feels like some kind of post-war “history is written by the victors” propaganda that we’re reading from the future of the story’s world.

    Oh yeah you know I couldn’t have said it better myself? That’s exactly how it feels.

    I was so disappointed when that “UH OH EVIL AMERICA WANTS TO DO THE SAME THING JAPAN WENT IN TO DO… EXCEPT N-NO JAPAN IS HERE TO ESTABLISH FRIENDSHIP!!!”. I’m not saying American wouldn’t do this, because we probably would, but you can go saying we’re wrong for it when YOU YOURSELF are doing the same thing.

    Oh and wow yeah, that king is just so fuckin lazy? I didn’t realize you could have a piece of cardboard as a character.

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    • I’d say Japan is on even worse footing here – America wants resources but that doesn’t necessitate us slaughtering everything that looks at us angrily once we move in. Japan did just that though. Even in the middle east we don’t just blow everything up.

      And yeah? This king is pathetically written and he’s clearly the main villain alongside America which makes me feel bad for the show.

      Like

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