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So a soldier, an elf, a mage, and a demi-goddess walk into a bar...
In August 20XX, a portal to a parallel world known as the "Gate", suddenly appeared in Ginza, Tokyo where monsters and human warriors wearing ancient armor poured out of the portal, killing everyone in their way and trying to claim the area as their own. This would later be known as the "The Ginza Incident". Immediately after the attack, the Japanese Ground-Self Defense Forces launches a counter attack, repelling and pushing the invaders back to the Gate and reclaiming Ginza.Hoping to establish diplomatic relationship with the people beyond the Gate and capture the ones responsible for the massacre of Ginza, the JSDF, under orders by the Prime Minister, takes over and enters the Gate where they dispatch the Third Reconnaissance Team to scout the "Special Region" led by 33 year old First Lieutenant Youji Itami. Itami was there when the Ginza incident happened and, luckily for him, exploring the Special Region is a dream come true since the Lieutenant is an Otaku. While the 3rd Recon Team explores the Special Region, back on Earth, the major powers take a special interest with the Gate...Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There (Geito - Jieitai Kare no Chi nite Kaku Tatakaeri), is a Japanese fantasy novel series by Takumi Yanai. Originally serialized online on a novel website called Arcadia, it was published in book form by Alphapolis in 2010. There are 5 novels and a manga serialization started in July, 2011, while a more Light Novel-style rewrite/reprinting (complete with revamped and polished character designs) was started in 2012.An anime adaptation was announced mid-December 2014 and is stated for release in 2015.Compare Outbreak Company, where more civilized means are employed.
This series contains examples of:
Action Girl: The female members of Youji's squad, of course. From beyond the Gate, Pina, a princess of the Empire. Rory is a veritable One-Man Army.
Adaptation Induced Plothole: When Rory, Leilei, and Tuka are taken before a Diet hearing, the politicians have clearly not been briefed on anything besides "these are girls from the other side of the Gate." Many in the audience noted that the Diet wouldn't have made such a mistake in real life. In the novel, however, it is explained that the Diet members rushed everything in an attempt to discredit Itami.
The Ageless: Tuka is a high elf, and may not have the ability to die of old age. Rory is more explicit; she stopped aging when she became a demigoddess nearly a thousand years ago.
All Women Are Lustful: Subverted with the warrior rabbits, who have this reputation due to sleeping with males of any species to reproduce (due to having few males).
Amazon Brigade: Pina's Rose Knights. When they were kids, she just gathered a bunch of the other noble girls and started playing soldier, but eventually she managed to wrangle an actual military commander to train them, and by the events of the series she's leading them into battle.
Warrior rabbits are nearly all-female and quite deadly when needed.
Amicable Exes: Itami gets along quite well with his ex-wife Risa, despite her occasionally begging him for money.
Anachronism Stew: The other world's kingdoms range from Roman to medieval in appearance, with Princess Pina's servants in vaguely Victorian dress.
An Axe to Grind: Rory's weapon is a stupidly-huge halberd so heavy casually picking to pick it up will wrench your back.
Armor Is Useless: Justified in that Medieval/Roman style armour is useless against bullets. It's a bit less excusable when ''Bayonets cut through armour like butter, but one must still remember that the bayonets were made with a modern grasp of metallurgy, and the armour was not.
Played straighter when it comes to those who fight against Rory, but again, this is justified- she's a demigod who's capable of swinging around an axe that's bigger than she is, and weighs roughly the same as a car. And even with all of this, she's the apostle of the god of death, so there's probably an aspect of that helping her in some way.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The eventual fate of every Apostle. It is hinted that Rory is trying to delay her ascension for as long as possible, since when she does she loses any vestige of human emotion she has left. Her attraction to Itami — aside from finding him "interesting" — is also due in part because she sees him as a sort of emotional anchor to the world of mortals.
Asshole Victim: The bandits who take advantage of the power vacuum caused by the slaughter of the Imperial Army by robbing, killing, and raping bystanders wantonly. They got brutally slaughtered overnight by Rory.
Nobody, including his own father, steps in to protect Zorzal from the beating he's taking.
Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The Empire thought they could easily conquer Earth without a problem, causing the Ginza Incident. Instead, they just pissed off a technologically advanced modern country with an army that destroyed their forces effortlessly. Even a vassal lord of the Empire lampshades it, saying the Empire deserves to fall for attacking an unknown and dangerous force.
Badass Army: The JSDF quickly prove that crazy unknown forces from another world are no match for their training, equipment, and all around guts.
Badass Bystander: Youji was shopping during the Ginza incident, where he immediately took command of the police and help the evacuation of civilians to the safety of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and hold off the invaders until the JSDF arrive.
Berserk Button: While Itami's team talking peacefully with the Emperor to advise them about an Earthquake, the Elder prince shows up dragging a bunch of naked slave girls chained behind him... one of them is a girl who was taken during the Ginza attack. Itami promptly knocks him to the floor, then takes the girl back. The JSDF demands the immediate release of all Ginza prisoner, and obliterates the Senate building with an airstrike that night just to make their point.
Black Dude Dies First: How the Japanese figure out the secret agents attacking them are Americans: the first casualty is a black male.
Blood Knight: Rory, oh so very much. Shino might start counting as well.
Boobs of Steel: Shino Kuribayashi, the JSDF soldier with the most aptitude for hand-to-hand combat in Itami's command, also has the biggest boobs.
Bullying a Dragon: The Emperor could have phrased his disdain of the JSDF's No One Gets Left Behind policies a lot better. His throne room at the Senate, along with most of the building, is bombed into oblivion, partly to shut him up and partly to get him to reconsider.
The Butler Did It: Clan Formal's butler was revealed to have been the leak of the seal and papers required for the ruined assassination attempt.
Clingy Jealous Girl: A mild case, but Rory is very attached to Youji, and gets annoyed whenever the lieutenant interacts meaningfully with any other girl, like when he was talking casually to his ex-wife Risa.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Youji may be an huge Otaku but there is a good reason he's in command of the squad other than he knowledge of all things fantasy seeing as he's a qualified JSDF Ranger and was once part of the Special Operations Group where he received the codename "Avenger". However, the Minister of Defense notes that Itami only did the bare minimum amount of work required not to be kicked out of the Ranger training course, and in the end squeaked by to finish the program because the guy ranked above him got injured. Still, the bare minimum to not get kicked out of special forces groups is typically a pretty high threshold regardless...
Cunning Linguist: Lelei is the first person from the other side of the Gate to learn the Japanese language. By the time the area around Alnus Hill becomes a thriving trade hub, she's the most fluent speaker of the language among the native people there.
That is what usually happens when you send soldiers with modern warfare and weapons against pre-medieval armies. If the Empire knew what was waiting for them on the other side of the gate, they would have shut it down and never opened it again.
After the JSDF are finally called in to stop the invaders, they proceed to beat the crap out of the invaders with guns, tanks and helicopters. When the invaders try to attack again after the JSDF comes to their world and takes over the Gate, located on Alnus Hill, the JSDF defenders mercilessly shoots them down. The battle of Alnus Hill wasn't even a battle, it was a massacre. As one of their Imperial commanders said, "Like the grains in this porridge, the corpses of our soldiers were smashed into the ground", "Iron thorns blocked our way, and lighting rained down, blowing us away", and last, but not least, "The enemies on Alnus are an army comparable to God, they're a greater threat than the empire!"
An army of deserters besieging a city Youji is in are annihilated by the 4th Combat Team's helicopter gunships.
Cute Monster Girl: Quite a few of them inhabit the Special Region: the Warrior Rabbits, Medusas (who suck energy through their snake-hair), four-armed girls, sirens (similar to harpies), girls with feathered wings, girls with leathery wings and horns, deer girls, cat girls, etc.
Decade Dissonance: One of the few likelier explanations the variable levels of arms technology that exist among the countries beyond the Gate — see how the very Roman-themed Empire exists side-by-side with the Kingdom of Elbe, which has mounted knights in plate mail.
Dirty Old Man: Lelei's master spends his first scene wishing Lelei's curvacious sister were around instead.
Door Slams You: in the manga, Princess Pina hits Itami in the face with one of Italica's gates when she comes out to greet Rory, Lelei, and Tuka. This is just the start of a long list of screw-ups she makes while dealing with the JSDF.
Dramatic Irony: The House Formal servant chosen to kill the released Ginza slave desperately tries to see Itami before being forced into the assassination, unaware the orders are forged... only to see Itami's jeep leaving the garrison at that exact moment.
And as she's about to carry out the assssination on the Ginza slave, she learns her ultimate target is Not So Different, which could clear up the entire situation... which of course is the moment Yanagida chooses to go outside and see someone holding a knife to a Japanese citizen's throat.
Eagleland: Type 2. The Americans portrayed are greedy and underhanded, ready and willing to blackmail the Japanese government to satisfy their interests, and use military force if that doesn't work. Of course the Japanese are shown to do the same thing, but what makes it somewhat irksome, is that it indicates that it's okay for Japan to use force if they don't get their way.
Enemy Mine: Princess Pina and Youji's team end up working together to defend a city from a besieging army of deserters.
The Empire: The aptly-named Empire that tried to invade Japan. Think Rome, except with uneven technological levels, with some parts of the empire having access to late Middle-ages tech (plate mail for example is very much in evidence).
Rory's first appearance is her gleefully slaughtering bandits with her giant halberd, forcing one who claimed he didnt rape or kill to bury with his bare hands a man, and 2 women raped to death, while she kneels in prayer before finishing the final bandit.
Prince Zorzal is introduced raping a rabbit-woman. Who is the queen of her people, who gave herself up to him in exchange for saving her people... which, unbeknownst to her, has been destroyed years before (and her people think she surrendered to save her skin).
Gambit Pileup: The Japanese have their own plans for coexistence with Piņa. Prince Zorzal has his own plans to succeed his father. Some Earth countries (the US, China and Russia) each have their own plans for the Gate and the lands beyond. The dark elf ambassador is plotting to use Tuka to convince the JSDF to attack the dragon in her lands. A third prince, Diabo, has plans to eliminate Zorzal and Piņa as competitors by allying himself with someone else beyond the Gate. Tyuule, Prince Zorzal's freaking Sex Slave, has plans to tear apart everything into bloody war as revenge for being considered a traitor for giving herself to Zorzal, by framing Piņa for the murder of the released Ginza slave. And then the chosen murderer for the task is revealed to have plans of revenge against Tyuule for selling out their race.Sheesh.
Go for the Eye: Even though an ancient dragon is bulletproof, its eyes are not.
Good Is Not Soft: JSDF soldiers in general, they knew that they can't save everyone but did what they can anyway, and has no qualms slaughtering 100,000+ invading soldiers.
Gunship Rescue: The battle of Italica ends in one glorious mess to the tune of Wagner.
Gun Porn: The firearms depicted in the manga is well detailed, probably due to the author's history in the JSDF. Most notable is the aftermath of the scene in the Hot Bath (Chapter 23), where the Itami's team acquire Uzis, MP7s, MP9s, and a Magpul PDR
Hot Springs Episode: A good chunk of chapters 21 and 22. Which leads to the associated tropes...
Outdoor Bath Peeping: You'd expect something like this to happen during the Hot Springs Episode, and some JSDF guys monitoring the group via satellite even consider it, but ultimately decide they don't want to get in trouble for sexual harassment. Hilariously, it is mentioned that something like this was common practice among Pina's Rose Knights... Except it was the women trying to peek in on the male soldiers, with the latter trying to drive them off.
Mostly averted; bullets work pretty well on medieval armor, and no one has used any sort of defensive magic that might even the playing field. The ancient dragon, however, considers .50 caliber rounds little more than an annoyance. The Panzer-Faust, on the other hand...
Dragons die in droves when going up against the Type-87 SPAAG, which has twin rapidfire 35mm Oerlikon cannons. There's a reason troopers nicknamed it the "Guntank" after all.
Rory is somewhat immune to bullets, but it's less of "Bullets bounce off," as much as "Wolverine-style" where they remain in her body until the healing pushes them out or they are removed. It still doesn't affect her much. Granted, though, the fire directed against her was largely of the small arms type; thus far we haven't seen what happens if she was to be struck by larger caliber rounds.
Immortality: Rory, of the regenerative type. She just heals any type of damage (as Itami finds out to his shock), and apparently can even survive decapitation if her head is stuck back on her body quickly enough.
High elves like Tuka apparently have "endless life".
I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Risa's reaction to Rory and Lelei (terrifying Rory to the point she thinks Risa is an Apostle of their god of the Underworld). Exacerbated when she is given money to get them clothes.
Irony: When Piņa is going to explain the gaffe with Itami to the Diet, she's consumed by worry about how everything she does will affect the Empire. When Itami himself grouses to Yanagida about what Bozes did to him, the officer just tells him to let it slide.
Likewise, the butler involved in the House Formal frameup is viciously beaten up by the house's girls in an attempt to force a confession to clear them and the would-be assassin. He resists. The JSDF thank the girls for the hard work and break out the amobarbital.
Legal Jailbait: Played with in Rory's case. She looks about twelve, but is actually nine hundred. Youji still insists on not doing anything with her, since he doesn't know how the law would react and has no interest in finding out.
Made a Slave: The fate of many of those captured at Ginza. The JSDF has made it very clear they want them all back. Alive. They are looking forward to what Piņa can find about them... And when the Prince shows up with one of these in tow, things don't end well for him.
Manipulative Bitch: Again, Tyuule, Prince Zorzal's bunnygirl slave. She's been feeding him lines and fostering his ambition, knowing full well he's an idiot incapable of ruling competently or leading an army. As revenge for being considered a traitor due to giving herself over to Zorzal to protect her people, she's planning to stage the death of a liberated Ginza slave at Piņa's hands to, as she sees it, enrage Japan into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that will create a long, bloody war in which she hopes her family and Zorzal will all die.
The dark elf messenger. To spur Itami into action against the dragon, she proceeds to traumatize Tuka by hammering it into her that her father's dead, greatly worsening her PTSD and leading her to cling to her fantasy Itami is her father.
Meido: The estate of Italica's ruling family has a whole gaggle of these maintianing it, and of various demihuman races (including a catgirl, a bunny girl, and a medusa) too.
Merchant City: One springs up totally unplanned around the Alnus Hill garrison, a result of the small PX shop run by the refugees living there growing out of control (it was initially set up to help them support themselves). Popularity of offworld goods leads to labor shortages, which leads to hiring workers (some of House Formal's lady servants), news of cute employees of PX shop gets out and attracts even bigger success, which leads to hiring even more helpers (again from House Formal, this time its demihuman contingent, like the catgirls), which leads to even MORE success as this time it attracts the more otaku bent... It kind of follows from there.
What Lady Pina was worried would happen when, due to slow speed of information, Lady Bozes and her knights captured and beat up Itami. She was worried that this would restart the war, which would end with her side utterly obliterated... but is ultimately averted, as the JSDF recognize it as a legitimate misunderstanding.
Turns out the dragon Itami's squad wounded with a rocket launcher has been rampaging around in Elven lands.
Itami punching out Prince Zorzal to save a slave Japanese citizen, there goes the peace negotiations...
Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The JSDF, as has been noted, is largely using outdated cold-war era military hardware. While it does work, and would undoubtedly be effective against even modern opponents, more advanced weapons technologies exist now. It's still enough to completely curbstomp an empire whose tech level is between that of Rome and Medieval levels.
Older Than They Look: Tuka and Rory, as mentioned earlier. Interestingly, even Leilei is noted to look younger than her fifteen years of age.
Otaku: Youji is an otaku and his ex-wife Risa is a doujin artist. One of Youji's subordinates, Kurata, is one as well.
Our Dragons Are Different: The fantasy army uses wyverns as basic air support (and the JSDF compares them in strength to their own AP Cs), but there are also "ancient dragons" that are most of the ways invincible.
Our Gods Are Greater: Rory is a demigoddess, a chosen Disciple of her god. She is a One Woman Armyageless immortal who swings around an axe bigger than she is. Thankfully, when she appeared at a Diet hearing, she failed to mention that she's the Disciple of a death god.
In the later books, the fact that demigods like Rory (or even the Apostles' divine patrons like Hardy, god of the underworld) regularly interact with their religions' mortal followers becomes the subject of a political kerpuffle, as Earth-side religious leaders soon lobby to use another term to refer to these beings, given how their patrons of worship seem to be comparatively quiet...
Outside-Context Villain: The Empire popping out of the Gate took Japan by surprise—but the Empire certainly didn't expect modern weaponry, either.
Perpetual Poverty: Itami's ex-wife Risa has a perpetual problem with money, exacerbated by the fact that she's also a massive otaku. Since she's a douijn artist, she only needs electricity and Internet to get paid, but goes hungry as a result.
Person as Verb: When the Prime Minister steps down after the outdoor bath fiasco, people start using his name as an insult.
Poor Communication Kills: Due to the limits of medieval communications, Princess Pina's reinforcements weren't aware a deal had been struck with the JSDF. A deal the Empire considered ridiculously generous. So when they met the convoy returning to base, they treated them the same as they would any other enemy.
The plan to trigger a bloody war between all factions by ordering the death of Noriko, the released slave, has already collapsed, the long distance between the capital and Alnus being the only reason for nobody in the former knowing yet.
Pragmatic Adaptation: In the novels, Rory ends up just missing a three-way shootout between rival special forces teams (much to her frustration). In the manga, she makes in time to participate. Things get bloody real fast.
Professional Slacker: Itami, and even admits as much when questioned by a PSIA agent. While a capable officer, he'd rather coast by on the barest minimum of effort until he retired. The Ginza incident put a monkeywrench in those plans however.
Really 700 Years Old: At the Diet hearing, Rory states she is 961 years old. Tuka, at the time of the meeting, is over a century, and is possibly immortal.
Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Yao Haa (the Dark Elf emissary) arrives to ask the JSDF to help her people against an ancient dragon (the same one that had been driven off before by modern weapons), there's a brief altercation between her, Itami, and Rory. Several bystanders think that due to the fight, the JSDF will be vengeful and not get involved. Sadly for her, the JSDF decide not to get involved, as the onlookers predicted... but it is for political reasons, both back home and because the JSDF doesn't want to cross borders with the tanks, planes, and weapons needed to kill the dragon and start a war on multiple fronts with the Kingdom of Elba.
The 4th Combat team chooses to ride to the rescue to the tune of Ride of the Valkryies. It's going to be a real Apocalypse, now! The base commander even references the movie twice (title and all the second time) as they're preparing to take off. Certain points of the manga draw this battle shot for shot from the movie. And the shit-eating grins worn by the 4th Combat Team show they know exactly what they're doing.
Stunned Silence: The reaction of EVERYONE at the dining hall when the dark elf visitor unwittingly calls Rory a kid, and in the process throws a monkey wrench in her plans to seduce Itami.
Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Magic on the other side of the Gate involves direct manipulation of natural forces, but their understanding of those forces is still very much based on Aristotle, involving assuming the presence of phlogiston and other alchemical elements. Leilei gets a large boost in her power simply by reading a book on the basics of combustion physics.
Thanks for the Mammary: After Itami pulls Rory from a helicopter's firing line, she notes that his hand is in a place it shouldn't be at the end of the chapter. Itami sports a black eye all next chapter.
Translation Convention: Applied inconsistently, especially in the manga adaptation. In the beginning, it's quickly established that Leilei is the only person from the other side of the gate that bothers learning Japanese, which is why whenever there is a dialogue between natives and Itami's squad, she's always around. However by the time the group returns to Japan, it seems that not only could Itami and his team speak with the natives casually, but both Rory and Tuka could also speak and understand Japanese without Leilei to help them. This all happens in the span of little over a week.
Becomes less of an issue later on, after there's a widespread exchange of information and language training between the JSSDF, its assigned diplomats, and the representatives of the Empire, but still happens whenever an outsider visits the Alnus garrison.
At some points, schools are seen set up in Alnus to teach the language to both sides, with Lady Bozes' knights and Japanese diplomats both seen in classrooms learning to read and write.
Values Dissonance: In-Universe: the locals are prone to using sex as part of negotiations, and get confused when the JSDF don't take them up on it.
With This Herring: Subverted by a degree. JSDF troops (JSDF itself a defensive-only organization, what with Japan renouncing to war and all) stationed beyond the Gate use relatively outdated Cold War equipment, but the distinct advantage of modern warfare and weaponry over the highly fantastic enemy troops is still clear as water.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Every other-worlder is freaked out when they have to take the underground subway. Most of them think it will take them to Hell. Rori has a slightly more justified reason to be afraid; for the past few hundred years, the God of the underworld has been trying to get her to marry him, and she still thinks he'll show up even though they're on another planet.
Inverted. Dragon scales are extremely valuable to the other-worlders, to the point that one good scale is worth enough to keep a man fed for almost a month. The JSDF, with the corpses of several dragons lying around their base from the last three times the Empire tried to re-take the Gate, is happy to let the refugees harvest as many as they want, since the soldiers have no use for them. The refugees end up with sacks full.
Rory: So I guess...we're filthy rich?
Also averted when Suguwara gives one of the terms for the peace talks, namely, an absurdly huge amount of money. He later backs down from the figure he gives, realizing that if that much gold was suddenly dumped into the Earth economy, it would potentially destabilize the market.
Wrong Genre Savvy: When the Emperor starts taking the JSDF seriously, he orders his army to use Scorched Earth tactics to deny the enemy supplies to make their journey harder. However, that old kind of tactic won't work with a modern force that uses helicopters, tanks, Humvees, jets and a well establish supply line. Also, he has no real concept of the kind of demented warfare Japan can unleash upon his country, and still thinks war with them is winnable.
Yaoi Fangirl: Risa has quite a collection of gay-themed manga, explicit enough to shock Tomita when he absentmindedly picks up a random book. Princess Pina Colada and Bozes are also quite enthusiastic about acquiring some of these Japanese "art books," much to several diplomat's dismay.
Pina: (enthusiastically while her brother Diavlo looks in disbelief) Fine art!
Wham Line: "Why did Hardy open that hole in Alnus?"