Literature: Gate

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, followed by five gaiden books each focusing on what the important female characters were doing in the wake of the JSDF contingent deciding to destroy the Alnus gate, and stay behind in the new world. A "sequel" (or "season 2") for the books was recently launched, with the first new book published in 2014.

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 July 2015. Sentai Filmworks has the series licensed for North American release and it is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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 Expansion: The anime fills in extra scenes between events in the manga.
    • The time after the Ginza Incident is more fleshed out with Itami, including the introduction of Kurata.
    • The Battle of Alnus Hill is shown with all three charges done by the Imperial army rather than just the last night battle.
  • 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. Semi-averted with the Dark Elves.
  • A House Divided: It seems that the Empire isn't in complete control of their lands, as seen in episode 2 when the Emperor orders his allied nations to get slaughtered by the new enemy forces occupying their gate. He later orders the surrounding regions to undergo a Salt the Earth policy, officially to deny the JSDF from obtaining local resources. But secretly it's meant to further quell any rebellious mood against the Empire.
  • 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).
  • Always a Bigger Fish: A dragon shows up in the sky near the JSDF convoy in episode 3. However it's quickly eaten by the much larger fire dragon, who then attacks them.
  • 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 Arm and a Leg: The fire dragon loses its arm from the rocket attack in episode 3.
  • An Axe to Grind: Rory's weapon is a stupidly-huge halberd so heavy casually picking to pick it up will wrench your back. That's not exaggeration- someone tries to lift it and does hurt themselves doing it.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • The military forces that fight the empire and travel to the other world are mostly JSDF personnel only. In Real Life, should a foreign power attack Japan, the US Military takes action to help and defend Japan due to the Mutual Defense Treaty between both countries. Thus travelling to the world beyond the Gate would be a joint Japan-US military force. This is handwaved with the Prime Minister declaring the Special Area to be a part of Japan because it connected right into Japan. Since its "part of Japan", the conflict was taken that the invading army and the leaders behind it are "terrorists" and authorization for the JSDF deployment would be legal. Later volumes reveal that even if the Prime Minister not handwaved it the way he did, the US Military was getting held up in Iraq to the point that they simply can't spare enough troops for a joint Japan-US military force to travel through the gate.
    • In Episode 4, Kurokawa and Kuribayashi tries to get Itami's attention by calling "Captain!" However, Itami is a lieutenant so he pays no attention. So after they screamed their lungs out for his attention, Itami simply calls for the unit's actual Captain that the two were seeking him.
  • 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 even in the times of yore, the piercing attack (which bayonets are used for) was known to be the most efficient against armour, and the bayonets were made with a modern grasp of metallurgy, while 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.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: In episode 3, a fire dragon attacks the JSDF convoy escorting the refugees who left Coda. Despite their firepower, including a .50 caliber machine gun, it doesn't seem hurt at all. Tuka awakens around that point, refers to and repeatedly points at her eye, prompting Youji to signal to his men to aim at it. Once they focus on the dragon's eye, they force it on the defensive long enough to fire a rocket at it.
  • 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. And they haven't even found out that at least one of the other prisoners has died as a slave in one of the Empire's mines.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The JSDF in Chapter 46.
  • Black Dude Dies First: How the Japanese figure out the secret agents attacking them are Americans: the first casualty is a black male, who are unlikely to be found in China or Russia, the other possibilities.
  • Blood Knight: Rory, oh so very much. Shino might start counting as well. Tyuule falls between here and Omnicidal Maniac.
  • 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.
    • Zorzal shares this habit as well. If he only knew what warfare was really like on the other side of the gate....
  • 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.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Youji Itami is voiced by Junichi Suwabe, who voiced Archer in Fate/Stay night. As if the references to Fate/Stay Night in the series wasn't numerous enough.
    • Shino Kuribayashi is voiced by Maaya Uchida, who voiced Minori Koganuma from Outbreak Company, which follows a plot almost identical to Gate's, plus is still a tomboy JSDF girl that can kick some ass.
  • Cat Smile: Both the Cat Girls and Kurata when talking to Cat Girls.
  • 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.
  • Cool vs. Awesome:
    • Modern Armies versus Fantasy Creatures!
    • Dragons dogfighting fighter jets!
  • Conspicuous CG: The military vehicles suffer from this from time to time, particularly when the camera is focused on them driving.
  • Crack! Oh My Back!: Komakado, the slightly creepy PSIA agent suffers a back injury trying to lift Rori's halberd.
  • Crapsack World: The world beyond the gate is something out of a prime Low Fantasy.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: A refugee's wagon breaks down in episode 3. Their chief tells him to pack up what he can carry, and then their wagon is set on fire. Kurokawa wonders if Youji was being a bit too harsh on them. But he says that waiting for it to get fixed would take too long considering they're fleeing from a fire dragon, and the refugees wouldn't leave the cart otherwise. And if they waited for some backup vehicles to arrive to haul their stuff, it may attract unwanted enemy attention, causing battles to break out, and the refugees would then be caught in the middle of it.
  • 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.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • 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.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: see Humans Are Cthulhu, below.
  • 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 assassination 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: Of the "America, the Boorish" variety. 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.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the Manga the Orcs only appear in the first chapter. The Wyverns-riders also disappear early on, but that could be due massive losses from the JSDF anti-aircraft guns decimating them. For the rest of the series the Empire seems almost entirely Roman/medieval humans, with some of the Cute Monster Girl's appearing just to remind the viewer that there are more than just humans in the other world.
  • Enemy Mine: Princess Pina and Youji's team end up working together to defend a city from a besieging army of deserters.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: The aptly named Rory Mercury.
  • 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).
    • The art of the Light Novel rewrites turn the empire instead into the Holy Roman Empire, complete with period wear.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Rory's first appearance is her gleefully slaughtering bandits with her giant halberd, forcing one who claimed he didn't 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).
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Leilei gives out an explanation of the flame dragon's active and hibernation life cycle, she reaches this point.
    Leilei: All hibernating animals use their active period to eat, fight over territories, make nests and- ah.
    Itami and co.: and...?
    Leilei: and breed and raise offsprings.
    Everyone sports Oh Crap! faces.
  • Expy: the outgoing prime minister in the first episode resembles former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, while the new prime minister in the same episode resembles current prime minister Shinzo Abe.
  • Faster Than They Look: Fighter jet pilots going up against the fire dragon in the air found that the dragon can "turn better than a World War I biplane, has great propulsion from its wings, and has mobility of a Harrier plane or combat helicopter". Pretty good for a creature about two times bigger than the planes.
  • Five-Man Band: In relation to another team of dimension hopping army squad, you get The Smart Guy (or The Chick) with Youji (mirrored with Lelei), The Big Guy (or The Lancer) in Shino (Rory being her counterpart), The Leader would be Yanagida or the most senior member of the force at the time such as Pops (or Lady Pina). Kuro (Tuka) plays the role of Cool Big Sis, but the natives get Hamilton as The Medic.
  • Follow the Leader: In terms of animation techniques, it's clear from the first episode that A-1 Pictures was really paying close attention to how ufotable animated Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] since they use the exact same methods from FSN such as blurring, shading, flares, etc. The first episode of Gate even had the camera rotate 360 degrees as it followed an Arrow Cam which ufotable did in Episode 24 of Fate/Zero and Episodes 20 & 24 of Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Japanese have their own plans for coexistence with Piña. 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 Piña 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 Piña 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. Hardy, the god of death (who is female) plans to have Rory marry her. Sheesh. It's not so much of a pileup as it is a clusterfuck......
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In episode 3, Rory becomes intrigued by the humvee being driven by Youji, and decides she wants to ride in it as well. Unfortunately she decides to sit in his lap, while he's driving. As the scene cuts to a wide view of the humvees as they're driving, Youji tells Rory not to touch his pistol. He is then heard telling her not to touch him "there". Takeo, who was sitting in the passenger side, gets a little jealous as Youji protests Rory touching "parts" of him.
  • 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.
  • Gorn: The series is not holding back on showing people's guts and limbs falling out of their usual places. Every battle has seen its fair share of gore.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The anime, as a treatment due to the Lighter and Softer theme of it. Rory's introduction scene is the best example, every time she slams her halbred down on some poor indivudal, a huge cloud of dust pops up, covering the end result.
  • Greeting Gesture Confusion: When the princess meets the (female) Japanese delegate, the meeting ends with the delegate reaching her hand out... which, in the princess' culture, is apparently only done for wedding ceremonies. Fortunately, one of the aides tells her what to do.
  • Gunship Rescue: The battle of Italica ends in one glorious mess to the tune of Wagner. Another one in Chapter 46 to fight against two flame dragons.
  • 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, and one in Episode 4 of the anime. Which leads to the associated tropes...
    • Censor Steam: Of course.
    • 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.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: For a pre-gunpowder society encountering a 21st Century military.
  • Immune to Bullets:
    • 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 or high explosives. Due to being 'claimed' by Rory, Itami has become this as well. All his injuries manifest on Rory instead, which her Healing Factor can take care of.
  • 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".
  • Immune to Bullets: The shots fired at the fire dragon in episode 3 seem ineffective, until Tuka tells them to aim for its eyes instead.
  • 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 Piña 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.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Itami's has taken a lot of flak throughout the whole series, being called an otaku, slacker, and on one occassion, a pervert. But it takes Giselle saying he's an old man that finally shocks him.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • Itami opted to used this when the prince was being uncooperative with revealing info about the Japanese slaves.
      Itami: "Kuribayashi, get him to reconsider. Just don't kill him."
    • 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.
  • Let no Crisis Go to Waste: In episode 2, the Empire attacks the JSDF forces with an army of over three hundred thousand troops. Unfortunately they suffer heavy losses in Curb-Stomp Battle after battle, within a matter of days. The Emperor however, sent none of their troops into battle; instead they had tributary nations send their troops to their deaths. Turns out the Emperor purposely did this to whittle his allied nation's military strength, lest they decide to turn on the Empire itself. He later orders a Salt the Earth policy in the surrounding regions to further quell any attempts at rebellion under the guise of denying the enemy JSDF forces resources.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • The novels had to tone down it's political views before being published due to the original web novel containing Japanese Right Wing politics and Jingoism, controversial topics that are unpopular in mainstream Japan.
    • The anime has gotten a HUGE dose of this, especially if one compares it to the manga. Gore, rape, and onscreen casualties are severely reduced or just generally omitted. During the Battle of Alnus Hill and the flame dragon's attack on the refugees, the anime simply shows captions on black screens stating the body count.
  • 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 Piña can find about them... And when the Prince shows up with one of these in tow, things don't end well for him. Expect things to get worse when they find out that at least one of the other prisoners died while being forced to work in the Empire's mines.
  • 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 Piña'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.
  • Meaningful Name: The middle name of special area locals indicate their patron deity. Luna stands for Lunaryur, Haa stands for Hardy and Ro stands for Rory.
  • 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.
  • Melee A Cinque: US SF vs. Russian SF vs. Chinese SF vs Japanese SF. Then in the manga, Rory jumps in.
  • 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.
  • Minion Shipping: Itami's subordinate Tomita and Pina Colada's lieutenant Bozes. In the later books, this eventually leads to a Relationship Upgrade and Babies Ever After, when Tomita gets her pregnant.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Itami's cellphone ringing. And just in time too, as he was this close to caving in to a very aroused Rory.
    • Happens to Rory again later on, this time due to the mistimed arrival of the dark elf emmissary Yao Haa Dushi.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Imperial Army when their troops are slaughtered in episode 2 while attempting to attack the JSDF position, losing at least a third of their three hundred thousand men in the process. Dulan describes the armies' defeat in more graphic detail in the manga.
  • More Dakka: Imperial Soldiers and bandits never stood a chance.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: That delicious meat that even Prince Zorzal adored in Chapter 30? Just a roll of beef on a bone set on a rotisserie.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Rory the Reaper.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • JSDF curbstomping the Imperial Forces caused a lot of shit happens, one of them is the bandits went loose. Considering the situation and lack of information though...
    • 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.
    • The ancient dragon that Itami's squad fended off during the evacuation of Coda village would later go on a rampage 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.
  • No Smoking: In the manga, Yanagida is an avid smoker and does so in his scene with Itami. He doesn't in the anime.
  • Oh Crap!: The Imperial Army when they fought the JSDF for the first time and realizing how outclassed they really are.
  • Older Than They Look: Tuka and Rory, as mentioned earlier. Interestingly, even Leilei is noted to look younger than her fifteen years of age.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Rori's reaction to not being in a fight is... telling.
  • 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, such as the one that kills off most of Tuka's village, preyed on the refugees as they were being evacuated by the JSDF, and ran amok in Dark Elven lands. It even managed to win a dogfight with a modern jet (while the jet and its crew survive the encounter and make a safe landing back at base, the fighter's charred to the point that it has to be retired from service).
  • Our Gods Are Greater:
    • Rory is a demigoddess, a chosen Disciple of her god. She is a One Woman Army ageless 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 kerfuffle, 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. She also still leeches off Itami despite being divorced (not that he objects much, and they're still friends).
  • 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.
  • Promotion Not Punishment: Itami after he goes after the Flame Dragon by himself. A strange example as both punishment and promotion occurs. When he returns to base, he gets a 2 week suspension, a month salary cut, and his leadership in Third Recon Team is revoked. Then General Hazama enters bearing awards from the many groups for his actions. In the end, Itami then becomes reassigned to be in charge of investigating resources in the special area, basically reattaching him back into recon duty.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Whether Itami is actually learning from the Special Area's language classes.
  • Salt the Earth: After the Empire's disastrous and humiliating defeat against the JSDF in episode 2, where they lost over a hundred and twenty thousand men in a matter of days, the Emperor orders the regions surrounding their capital burned down. Youji's recon team witnesses this firsthand when they see a dragon burning up a seemingly random part of the forest, until they realize there was supposed to be a village there. They discover the remains of it the next day.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: One of the Minister of Defence's aide says this is one of Itami's main attribute.
    Minister's Aide: Indeed, Itami is proficient at detecting danger before anyone else. In other words, he is good at running away.
  • Sex Slave:
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • The late ruler of Italica resembles Dozle Zabi from Mobile Suit Gundam. Likewise the current head of House Formal, Myuui, looks like the version of Mineva Zabi shown in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
    • The codenames given to the Japanese special forces that were guarding Itami and his charges at the hot spring and later pulled out, are codenamed Archer, Saber, and Lancer; later Caster shows up, too. Itami's codename, Avenger, is still another one. Then in the battle to kill the fire dragon, Leilei pulls off a Storm of Blades, just like something you could expect from two certain Archer servants.
    • In the aftermath of Rory's hotspring rampage, the Minister of Defense wonders if she put on the stone mask and feeds on blood.
  • Shown Their Work: Takumi Yanai is a former JSDF reservist so he knows his weapons very well.
  • Single Issue Psychology: Tuka's increasingly-serious case of PTSD obviously stems from the dragon attack on her village, as well as the death of her father during said attack.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the gate first shows up, Japanese citizens are attacked by an unknown hostile enemy force. Though he does his part, Youji was much more worried about the fact that he wouldn't be able to buy any Doujinshi due to the attack, rather than the fact that a hostile army came out of nowhere and was killing people.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • When Pina finds out her troops have beaten the crap out of Itami, which puts all the negotiations at risk, she sports one when looking at her commanders.
    • Shino ordered to go to town on the prince.
    • Lelei turning a dragon into a pincushion.
  • Sleep Cute: Youji wakes up in the middle of the night to find Lelei snoozing next to him, clinging to his arm.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Names of places and people suffer this in the manga and anime. Some examples are Alnus/Arnus hill, Italica/Itarica, Tuka/Chuka, Koda/Coda village.
  • Spotting the Thread: Clan Formal gets out of the sloppy frameup when a simple fingerprint match reveals their butler stole the seal and paper used in the false death orders.
  • The Stoic: Sorceress Lelei la Lalena.
  • STD Immunity: Averted as Kurokawa check every girl in the Akusho district for ST Ds.
  • Stealthy Colossus: The dragon is able to sneak up on the team in its lair (somewhat justified in that Rory wasn't able to warn them by radio, and the natives were too terrified to say anything), so only Itami had his back turned.
  • 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.
  • Those Two Guys: Itami and Kurata, being the only otakus in Third Recon Team helps.
  • Torture Always Works: Zigzagged. Itami's "method" on Prince Zorzal to make him talk about any other Japanese slaves worked after a long beating, but it fails on Butler on House Formal when using a similar method to force out a confession. That's when the JSDF bring out the truth-serum and it works flawlessly.
  • 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.
    • Even lampshaded by Itami during the Battle of Italica who notes that his fluency with the other language has improved a lot after being hit in the chin.
    • 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.
    • In the anime, when the Special Area locals and the Empire are alone, they speak Japanese instead of their local language. When the JSDF and the locals converse, Japanese becomes the main language, the JSDF speak in broken Japanese trying to speak the local language. It also has to be assumed by watching that a Special Area local do not understand what JSDF personnels are saying even though the speak the same language in the scene.
  • The Unreveal: In Chapter 46, Itami goes to visit his mother, as a punishment for making Tuka think he is her father. The chapter ends before we get a look of her and the next chapter skips to two weeks later.
  • Uriah Gambit: The Imperial Emperor does this, ordering his allies to round up an army to attack the JSDF with in episode 2. Said allies are very suspicious when no Imperial troops are sent in any of the engagements as they're brutally slaughtered by their much better equipped foes. He then does a Let no Crisis Go to Waste to further quell any more uppity peasants who might try to overthrow him.
  • 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. On the meta scale, the story itself, with its nationalistic air and unquestionably good and noble, while clearly expansionist and Good Is Not Soft JSDF, doesn't sit well with a large part of Japanese society itself as well as the many foreigners.
  • 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. The second episode of the anime explains that the Defense Ministry is having budget cuts, and is planning to decommission the obsolete weapons, to save costs. And in some Fridge Brilliance, in the event the enemy captured them, or the soldiers had to quickly dump their gear to escape, the loss wouldn't be as bad as if they captured more expensive state-of-the-art equipment and weaponry.
  • 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.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks:
    • 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 more or less equivalent to Japan's annual GDP. 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... or rather, it won't work because of the speed and range that the JSDF forces can bring to the table. Without matching abilities, the JSDF can leapfrog over those positions rather quickly. He also has no real concept of the kind of demented warfare Japan can unleash upon his country, and still thinks war with them is winnable.
    • Zorzal, good gods, Zorzal. Shares his dad's ideas despite getting a red ass beatdown.
  • 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!
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Anime makes some distinct changes to some of the characters. The females characters have become younger and more petite. Kuribayashi for example when from a short but muscular Hard-Drinking Party Girl with Boobs of Steel into an adolescent with reddish brown hair. Characters from the Empire dont wear togas like they do in the novels, instead wearing medieval clothing.
  • War Is Hell: Soldiers from a society that hasn't even discovered gunpowder yet end up fighting a 21st Century army with heavy machine guns and artillery. They're completely wiped out before they even get close enough to see their enemy. The JSDF exploits this onto the Empire to convince them to seek a peace treaty rather than keep fighting.
  • Wham Line: "Why did Hardy open that hole in Alnus?"