August 23, 2016

GATE Manga

All the parts of the GATE canon are, I assume, based on the original published books. Those are not the origin of the story, of course, but they're the complete manifestation of it.

Anyway, there's a GATE manga, and it's a bit frustrating to follow it because chapters are 30-40 pages long and they only come out once a month.

Raws first show up here. These guys have been doing translations. And they can be read much more conveniently here.

What's interesting is that the story being told in the manga isn't the same as the anime. Not so much that its telling an entirely different story, as that it's telling different parts of the story than the anime did.

There have been two plot arcs in the manga that didn't show up in the anime. The first one was a dungeon crawl, which was interesting. Part of the basic conceit of the entire canon is "modern soldiers armed with modern weapons in a S&S world" and that's how this one goes. It's set during the period when Itami plus Yao, Tuka, Rory, and Lelei are scouting for resources.

They pull into a town and when the girls get out of the truck the people in the town all react with fear. Itami forces some of them to talk to him, and it turns out that there's a plague which only affects young women. Itami isn't a woman, Tuka and Yao are too old, and Rory cannot die (and is even older anyway) so they're all safe, but Lelei gets it. The disease turns its victims into zombies, and in a rare moment of lucidity during her high fevers Lelei tells them she needs to eat a certain kind of pear to get well.

Those pears are rare but there's a place nearby that supposedly has them. They leave Tuka with Lelei to care for her, and Rory/Yao/Itami go to the place.

Which turns out to be a labyrinth and it's full of zombie women who have already succumbed to the disease, who (it turns out) can be taken out with grenades. And rather than screw with the labyrinth, Itami starts using primer cord to blow holes in walls.

Well, it doesn't go quite so easily for them, and

Part of what made that important was that Yao came to terms with the fact that Itami doesn't believe in slavery. Yao considers herself to be Itami's slave and he doesn't want it. Coming out of this arc, it looks like that's been straightened out. She still tells people that she's his slave but he doesn't treat her that way and she now understands why and doesn't push it any more.

The other arc just started a couple of chapters ago: They're visiting the main temple of Hardy at Belnargo. And we've met Hardy, the goddess of the underworld. At the end of the most recent raw chapter,

Hardy is the one who says she wants to marry Rory. She sent Giselle (Hardy's current apostle) after Rory; we met Giselle at the mountain during the fight with the dragons. Rory wants nothing to do with Hardy, and the purpose of this visit is to allow Rory to say so.

Rory has told us that the gods can take any form they want, and look like anything. So I suppose it wasn't any surprise that Hardy appeared to us as a stunningly lovely woman. But Rory also said that they lose all normal feelings and urges and, strongly implied, they cannot enjoy sex any longer. That's probably part of why Rory has been making a serious attempt to get a long-term sexual relationship with Itami: Rory is due to ascend in about 40 years (which is probably Itami's life expectancy barring violent mishap), and I think she wants to get in one last good one before that happens.

So it looks like this arc is going to be interesting -- if you're patient, that is.

I have intermittently searched for information about the books, like summaries of them, and haven't been able to find any. The last book is titled "The Gate Closes" and obviously I'm curious about how it ends. I am pretty sure I know:

That's my bet as to how it ends, but the only way to find out for sure would be to check the books and I CAN'T DO IT because I don't read Japanese. In the whole internet isn't there ANYONE who has posted spoilers about the series?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:28 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 429 words, total size 5 kb.


It really depends on how popular the series is, both in Japan and the US.  A franchise like Sword Art Online (Not my favorite one, as if glorifying a mass murderer of children was a good idea.) or more recently, KonoSuba, will have plenty of fans in Japan discussing it, and many Japanese language proficiency readers in the English speaking world either reading the novels themselves, or reading the Japanese discussions about it.  At the other end, titles with a devoted following (Monogatari comes to mind - though the light novels have been licensed in the US.) will have also likely to information or translations available, simply because the interest level among the fans is higher than normal.

Most series fall into in-between, and generally require a boost caused by something recent (Like season being broadcasted.) to get people to discuss it and then translate the discussion to English.  The main exceptions to the middle titles in the rut are those that are licensed for English language release - it is always possible to find spoilers and summaries available for those.

There is an active group that translated four of the volumes of the Gate light novels - they were also doing the KonoSuba light novels until Yen Press licensed it.  But they seemed to stop doing it, and I have been too preoccupied to try to find more info.

Posted by: cxt217 at August 23, 2016 05:52 PM (rNWzy)

2 The commentary I wish I could find probably does exist, in Japanese, but that does me no good.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 23, 2016 06:39 PM (+rSRq)

3 Another group has picked up translating the light novels. They're up to vol. 5. Baka-tsuki has the last novel listed as "The Dark Gate".

Posted by: muon at August 25, 2016 03:38 AM (IUHrD)

4 They're not actually up to volume 5. They're using a strange nomenclature for their releases and they're doing the first part of volume 3. Even so, it's nice that someone is doing it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 25, 2016 08:27 AM (+rSRq)


OK, what's going on is that the original 5 volumes were issued in a compact form, with each original novel divided in two. Those 10 are what these guys are translating, and so their 5th one, which they're in the middle of translating, is the first half of the original 3rd novel.

I have a headache.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 25, 2016 11:03 AM (+rSRq)

6 That is actually the group I was talking about.  They had paused their translation of GATE after finishing Volume 4 - but KonoSuba (Which was their major project for the past year.) was licensed by Yen Press.  I guess they went back to GATE.

Posted by: cxt217 at August 25, 2016 01:05 PM (rNWzy)

7 Just to add to the confusion - many of the projects translating manga and light novels to English, do not actually use the original Japanese source material or scans of them.  An awful lot of the fan-translation projects are based on the Chinese releases of the Japanese titles.

Posted by: cxt217 at August 27, 2016 07:53 PM (rNWzy)

8 It's even more confusing. originally there were three web novels. According to Wikipedia, the first three were published as regular novels (with some nationalistic elements removed) and the third was split into three novels. Then they were reprinted as 10 light novels, with an upper and lower halves of the original novels. So you're right that the last translation is starting on the first half of the original third novel. In addition, after the first five original novels, the series has continued with five volumes of side stories (gaiden) as of July 2015. The labyrinth one in the manga looks like it came from this one. (Looking at the cover, these might have been split into upper and lower light novels too.) 

The original fifth volume is on Amazon, and so are the upper and lower light novels. A Google translation of their blurbs is "The Japanese government decided the blockade of the "gate", foreign camp to seek the interests of the different world went on a violence that occupation Ginza.Been kidnapped a magical girl someone Rerei is having the ability to further re-open the "gates", Japan would have been forced to diplomatic predicament. At that time "Tokuchi", the legitimate government forces home Italica that defense has become lax of the Self-Defense Forces, he was trying to raid Zoruzaru military mainstay. Civil war that divided the huge empire, finally greet the time of the final battle! - Super popular of the Self-Defense Forces × different world fantasy, paperback fifth installment, Part!" 
and "Amid geek SDF Itami Yohji and the beautiful girl who starts to move Rerei recapture, in the forthcoming Self-Defense Forces, especially the local surface dispatch troops to the place of one step rear to Zoruzaru military mop-up in a different world, rainy day withdrawal instruction fell.Lost contact with the Japanese government, the Self-Defense Forces to confusion? - Or remain in the "Tokuchi", to return to Japan, the decision to each of the members who have sent down Itami're civil war of the one empire can rescue the Rerei, and "Mon whereabouts of "is? tumultuous series main, finally to complete ... super popular of the Self-Defense Forces × different world fantasy, paperback fifth installment, Part II!" Absent a better translation, it looks like the Japanese government tries to close the Gate and Lelei can open new ones.  

Posted by: muon at August 28, 2016 02:58 AM (vMYTH)

9 Oh, hell. They're making Lelei into a damsel-in-distress?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 28, 2016 04:58 AM (+rSRq)

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