The summer season has just started, with most shows only having 1 or two episodes streamed so far, but I have already become addicted to one of them: Gate. When I saw the first episode, and a portal between parallel universes opened up, I was certain it had to be based on the Hell’s Gate series by David Weber and Linda Evans. The first book in 2006 saw two Parallel Universe crossing civilizations, one based on magic with dragons, gryphons, spells, and wizards, and one based on advanced steampunk science and technology, stumble across each other. During that first encounter, where neither side understood the others language or customs, a series of mistakes and misunderstandings led to a massacre, with subsequent encounters leading to all out war between the two cultures.
It turns out I was wrong. It was actually based on Takumi Yanai’s Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri, a 2006 Japanese Fantasy Novel series later turned into an assortment of Manga, and finally the Anime. In it, a portal between universes opens up in Ginza, and an invading hoard of dragons, elves, ogres and wizards attack Tokyo. They get beaten back by the JSDF, who go on to secure a foothold on the other side of the gate. Tanks, missals, and other modern weapons give the Self Defense Forces a noticeable edge in the combat theater, although the fighting is anything but one sided. The protagonist is Yōji Itami, a serious Otaku who is promoted because his quick thinking saved a lot of lives during the initial battle. He gets put in charge of a squad sent to do reconnaissance and see if they can find a way to get the other side to the peace talks table. This seems appropriate, since the author is also a serious Otaku (he has to be to write this kind of story) who is a former member of the JSDF.
You can watch the stream on Crunchyroll, the third episode just went live this afternoon for Premium members. If you are a free member (yes, membership is free, but the paid service doesn’t have commercials, comes in HD, and you can watch the shows the same day they air in Japan) you can watch the first two episodes right now, and today’s episode next Friday.