February 19, 2016

GATE II -- ep 7

A lot of interesting things in this episode but one in particular: some back story on the gate itself.

Also, Lelei is awesome and she seems to think she's married to Itami. Maybe. Via a local form of common-law marriage. (I don't think she's serious about it; she's just preempting her sister.)


Seems that none of the humans and demihuman races are native. There are creation myths in most of the races, and they are all approximately the same: God placed two members of the race in a holy forest. When asked where that forest was, they all point to Arnus.

The reason that Arnus Hill is considered holy is because that's where the Gate is. It's been opening and closing periodically at that location for what may be thousands of years. Each time it opens, it connects to a different world on the other side, and sometimes there are people, human or otherwise, there and sometimes those people come across and settle. Then the gate closes again, and they're stuck there. Humans are the most recent race to come across, quite possibly from our Earth, and because humans are relatively short lived and mature faster, the generation time is shorter and the humans have reproduced more rapidly, which is why they appear to dominate the planet.

Given the culture of the empire, it wouldn't be a surprise if the gate opened in Italy during the Roman Empire and that's when the humans came through.

The most recent opening of the gate is the one we are seeing, and it is definitely the most unusual in that it opened into a high tech nation. But if historical evidence is to be believed, eventually the gate will close again, and stay closed for centuries? before once again opening, connecting to somewhere.

What exactly the gate is, and who created it, and why it works that way, we don't know. Possibly the work of some god, though it seems unlikely to be any of the humans who ascended to godhood since their ancestors came through the gate. Rory blamed it on Hardy but Rory could be wrong.

It doesn't appear to be completely unexpected, since the Empire had an army ready and waiting for this current opening of the gate and sent it across as soon as the gate was stable. Possibly one of the gods is able to predict it, and sent that information to the Empire somehow.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:07 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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1

The nice thing about this series is that most of the characters seem to have their heads screwed on straight.  We'll see if Itami continues that trend and reports this up ASAP.  Also, if he makes an effort to pick Rory's and the older mage's (can't remember her name) brain for what they know about it.

If the gate opens and closes like that, the biggest issue is not having a brigade on the wrong side when it closes.  Figuring out what everyone else knows about that and getting it to decisionmakers should be a priority.

Posted by: CatCube at February 19, 2016 10:41 PM (fa4fh)

2 Japan will need to make some major decisions soon.
Do they pull everyone back (unlikely).
Do they poll the soldiers to see if they want to be possibly trapped for a lifetime? If so, do they bring families over?
Do they build factories to be able to maintain a military advantage? There's going to be an awful lot of folks looking for payback.

Posted by: topmaker at February 20, 2016 12:46 PM (6stZH)

3 I suspect it will be a major evacuation, except that Itami will stay. But for the moment the government of Japan doesn't know there's going to be such a crisis. Itami will be including it in his next report and it will go from there.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 20, 2016 01:01 PM (+rSRq)

4 I think that is what people in the other world think is going on - but I am not convince that is necessarily so or at the very least, what they know does not represent the whole story.  I think the standard reply to hearing that would be "More data needed."

Posted by: cxt217 at February 20, 2016 02:24 PM (Z3BHy)

5

When a series is based on light novels, sometimes the wiki has information from the novels that doesn't appear in the anime. The wiki for Mondaijitachi is like that and has loads of info that never made it on screen.

I was kind of hoping the wiki for GATE would be like that, in as much as the story in the light novels is finished, and that's what both the manga and anime are based on.

But it doesn't have; it's entirely based on the anime. It acknowledges the existence of the novels but has no material derived from them. Alas.

What I do know is that

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 20, 2016 05:17 PM (+rSRq)

6 I also have a pretty good idea of how the plot of light novel series goes - and it does not appear to be what people are speculating.

Posted by: cxt217 at February 20, 2016 05:48 PM (Z3BHy)

7 Building factories to maintain that military advantage would be a rather difficult undertaking; Modern munitions rest on a large industrial ecology, steel making, chemistry, semiconductors, plastics. I don't think it's been established what the smallest self-sufficient industrial society would be, but I'm guessing it would be in the 100k+ range.
So you're talking a major colonization effort. Just shipping a century of munitions use through the gate would probably be easier.
Lelei has demonstrated that a knowledge of science considerably increases the power of a mage. We also saw that magic works on both sides of the gate. The obvious conclusion is that Japan should prioritize learning everything it can about magic. And they've got something to trade: Knowledge of physics.
Might ultimately let them reopen the gate if it closes. But even if it does close, magic is probably a bigger win for Japan than the oil and mineral resources they've been looking for.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at February 21, 2016 05:47 AM (l55xw)

8 OK, CXT, that's why Pixy gave us spoiler tags. Let her rip!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 21, 2016 09:55 AM (+rSRq)

9 Ah...well. If there are people who are willing to risk staying, they need to be left at least the equivalent of a victorian workshop. As Brett Bellmore points out, modern nitrocellulose propellants require an extensive (and toxic) physical plant. Black powder on the other hand, is quite doable and Giridonis have a number of advantages and should be adequate given that the enemy has medieval tech level. 
Things like water filtration systems, steam engines....steam engines coupled with mages. Airships...hot air airships heated by mages with fire spells...with gattling guns to deal with the fiery but not "fire" dragons...these would still give the Alnus settlement a considerable trade surplus while the powers that be try to get their Murata's and Maxims cranked out in large enough numbers to take the place of the more effective earth built ordinance. 
Of course the reason to risk this is, the science. Brett Bellmore mentioned magic. These mages are channeling something that was disproven by the Higgs Boson...so somebody would be wrong and there is some energy that is not interacting with our technology that they can harness. I'm sure that a lot of mages are going to be given tours of the far side of the gate...and the inside of MRI machines...and spend a lot of time touring the inside of hospitals while this is being examined. Physics aside...WHERE is this place.? Is it another planet, or another dimension? A telescope needs to be built and an expedition sent to the antipodes to set up another one there to map the sky of this world. A Lambda rocket would certainly fit through the gate (one tractor trailer could bring two dozen)   and could be used for sounding and possibly sending a small micro-satellite into a polar orbit to give a rough map of the planet. the biology of FLYING. FIREBREATHING. DRAGONS. needs to be studied. There are plants and animals that might have medicinal properties or commercial  applications (Dragon....Steaks..and a side industry of dragon scales. ) so you have a huge set of things that can reproduce, and KNOWLEDGE of immense importance that will be available for a limited, but uncertain amount of time. the rewards are immense and will accrue with every day you have teams in the field, but the end may come with little or no warning so there is a very real reason to keep an ability for anyone left behind to take care of themselves. 

Also catgirls and elf chicks. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at February 21, 2016 04:56 PM (AaBUm)

10 Speaking of the Lamda rocket, why hasn't Japan launched a reconnaissance satellite yet?  Heck, are we even certain that the "special region" is even on a spheroid planet?  Have we confirmed that it isn't a flat disk resting on the backs of elephants, who in turn are standing on a turtle?

Posted by: Siergen at February 21, 2016 06:09 PM (De/yN)

11 They don't know anything like enough about the planet on the other side.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 21, 2016 06:23 PM (+rSRq)

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