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"That 'Gate' completely flipped the script on everything we though was logical in our world. Nothing was ever the same after it opened, and nothing still hasn't been the same since."

"Someone had to write about it you know? Put our feelings down on paper, funny right? You'd think being a tank crewman is all explosions and saving the day. Fist bumping and blasting rock music as the enemy runs away from you."

"You couldn't be any further from the truth..."

"So here it is, all of it, everything from the beginning to the end. Whether or not you want to judge us for who or what we are or what we did is up to you, I couldn't care less to be honest. I did my part, I protected my brothers and we laid down the armies of tyrants."

Here We Go Again by Shmack1812, is a Alternate Universe / Fix Fic of the web novel, Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There.

The plot takes place in late 2015 where soon-to-be former Marine Corps tank gunner, Jasper "Four-Eyes" Kincaid, goes on one last overseas joint training exercise at Camp Fuji, Japan. He is joined by his crew, Parker "Honcho" Elton the tank commander, Darian "Rampage" Wilkes Jr. the tank loader and George "Little John" Benitez the tank driver. Together, they operate a M1A1 Abrams main battle tank named, Here We Go Again.


At the same time, a mysterious gate opens in the middle of the Ginza district in Tokyo, with it, an invading army of ancient warriors and fantasy creatures. The U.S Marines stationed in Camp Fuji respond quickly to assist their long time allies and "The Four Horsemen" of Headquarters Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Tank Battalion are deployed into the war zone where they eventually team up with Itami and the rest of the defending Japanese Self-Defence Forces, pushing back the otherworldly legions. In the aftermath of the Ginza Incident, the 3rd United States Marine Expeditionary Unit soon finds itself once again at the tip of the spear of an invasion, but this time into the unknown world beyond the mysterious 'Gate'.

Here We Go Again is written by a former U.S Marine tank veteran who offers a re-imagining of the Gate story in the perspective of an unlikely military group: tank operators. Using his personal experiences and people he knew throughout his service, the story follows quite closely to canon with the exception of the Americans being heroic allies instead of the original story depicting them as antagonistic; the only gripe Shmack has with the original author.


As of December 17, 2018, Shmack has ultimately stopped working on HWGA due to burning out, though not without a final chapter that ties up loose ends.

On January 24, 2021, Shmack has taken up to rewriting the story. It can be read here.

If you're looking for the trope Here We Go Again, click here.

This fanfiction provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Rory is this to the Horsemen-4 tankers, who she dubs "The Riders of Emroy" and follows around like an unwanted groupie.
  • Aborted Arc: Due to the author ending the series preemptively due to being being tired of working on the story, the Fire Dragon Arc instead ends up being resolved offscreen.
    • Zorzal is killed by Pina in self-defense, before he can take over the Empire and become the Big Bad as he does in the original story.
  • Adapted Out: The author omitted the Hakone shoot out because he hated it due to how politically stupid it would be for the opposing countries to even try a stunt like that.
    • Itami is never captured and tortured by the Rose Knights after the battle of Italica, because Recon Team 3 has a goddamn tank backing them up this time. The author notes that no competent military unit would let their CO be abducted by an inferior force on horseback.
    • President Dirrel, the hostile, antagonistic face of the American Government in Gate Canon, is replaced with the real-life president America had at the time, Barack Obama.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • While we never saw how magic would work against modern technology in the original, the bandit mage Myuute Luna Sires has her power amped up from simple arrow deflectors to literal Deflector Shields. Her abilities include being able to reduce the effect of explosives, somewhat block bullets, and even jam radio communication.
    • The bandits during the Battle of Italica. In the original, the bandit count is probably around 500-600 at most. In the fic, they count at least 10,000, plus along with Myuute's upgrade as well as stated above. The author says this was to make the Battle of Italica not look like a total stomp, so he pitched in a little extra to the bandits for tension.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The fic follows the original plot, with American forces added to the roster.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The American CIA agents who tried to kidnap the Special Region girls in the source material are now DSS agents assigned to protect them.
  • Adapted Out: The Hakone shootout in Chapter 22 is omitted. Why? Because the political shit storm that would occur between Russia, China, and America makes the whole thing stupid.
  • And This Is for...: The veterans of Horsemen-4 dedicate their kills and fighting spirit for Raymond, the previous tank gunner who was killed in Afghanistan years before the story takes place.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Sgt. Kurokawa displays this whenever Jasper gets injured, especially after their first encounter with the flame dragon.
  • Anti-Air: The Marine squads and vehicles are issued several Stinger anti-air missile launchers for usage against the Empire's dragon-riders before their march into the Gate, with great results.
    • In Chapter 28, the Americans and the JSDF defend Italica from a swarm of wyverns with rockets and a pair of Type-87 SPAAG anti-aircraft tanks.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite seeing and meeting dragons, fantasy creatures, demi-humans, magic, an apostle, and zombies, Aldritch and Johnson still refuse to believe the Falmart Gods like Hardy are real. Then Wyverns sent by Hardy attack Alnus and Italica.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Mari Kurokawa and Aurea the medusa maid have considerably larger roles than in the original work. The fic even goes far to include Kurokawa in the visit to the Diet along with Horseman Four and Itami's group.
    • Myui Formal received this as well. While in the original, Princess Pina and Hamilton were the main negotiators to sign the treaty with Japan and Italica, the fic has Myui instead formally accept the Allied forces' conditions and even host an audience and dinner with the JSDF and Marines after the battle.
    • The American agents Heidegger and Roger are now part of the "good guys" and provide security for the Marines when they visit the Diet.
  • Asshole Victim: The bandits who raid Burglen in Chapters 19 and 20. When the leader brags about murdering all of the non-humans in the village, he receives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Lieutenant Van Hauser.
  • Author Appeal: The author of this particular fan fic is a former US Marine tank crewman and an Afghanistan veteran, as such many of the characters and events are based on his own personal experiences in the Marine Corps as well as a What If? scenario if his EAS process had been interrupted by the events of Gate.
  • Author Avatar: The author admits that Jasper "Four-Eyes" Kincaid is how he would've been if the events of Gate happened and the U.S. got involved with the Special Region. The author's background also explains the well-detailed military activity in the series.
  • Author Catchphrase: The story has lots of instances where it shows a group with a common interest doing something, then finishing off with "Typical _____". Filling in the blank is usually "Marines" or "Otakus".
  • Author Tract: Chapter 29 is completely in honor of Memorial Day.
  • Babies Ever After: The epilogue reveals several characters end up married with children:
    • As in the canon series, Bozes and Tomita have at least one child, as do Kurata and Persia.
    • Benitez and Mamina have ten kids!
    • Itami and Risa remarry and have two boys.
  • Badass Boast: Parker Elton is good at them. His pledge to the Coda villagers is very well received;
    Elton: People of Coda Village. I am Corporal Parker Elton of the order known as the United States Marine Corps, to my right are the rest of my men. We are warrior knights from a land far far away. We know that you are afraid right now, but fear not! We have faced far more dangerous foes on our iron steed here. So long as we breathe life we hereby swear that we will protect you to the best of our abilities, no foe has bested us before and none will now!
    • Chapter 15. Bozes' introduction has Elton giving her such an intimidating threat that she and her knights actually stand down, avoiding Itami's canon scenario of being captured and tortured altogether. It helps when there's a tank scarred with dragon-sized claw marks and, also, literally completely covered in blood from the previous battle.
    Bozes: ... A 'tank'?
    Elton: Yes a goddamn tank, we command terrible fire magic and have the ability to destroy you and your order with but a word. You would do well to sheath your weapons lest you invoke our wrath!
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Corporal Parker "Honcho" Elton, TC of Here We Go Again, is black and keeps his head shaved, though he usually covers it with either a CVC or Kevlar helmet, or his boonie cover when not in combat.
  • Band of Brothers: The members of 2nd Tank Battalion are this to one another, especially the crews of each tank to one another.
  • Bash Brothers: Kincaid and Wilkes, the two have been together since tank school. They routinely throw insults at each other.
  • Battle Trophy:
    • Kincaid keeps a backpack with an arrow punctured through it from the Battle of Alnus Hill.
    • After the Battle of Italica, Horseman four and other marines were picking up various enemy equipment such as swords and cloaks as evidence of their deployment.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Darian Wilkes and Shino Kuribayashi.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The tanks often provide this for the supporting characters, making this a case where the protagonists themselves perform most of the heroic moments.
    • During the Ginza incident, the "Four Horsemen" arrive at the besieged US Embassy just as the Empire's forces storm through the gates.
    • During RCT3's first encounter with the flame dragon, Itami's team intervenes just in time to save Here We Go Again from certain fiery death.
    • As the eastern gate of Italica fell during the siege, Here We Go Again dramatically bursts through the gates, with Rory in tow.
    • The SEALs and Japanese Special Forces inadvertently end up being this to a group of prostitutes in Akusho.
  • Bigger Stick: The fic grants Third Recon team access to a fully operational M1A1 Abrams tank that quickly solves some situation that were an issue to just the recon team, such as the Battle of Italica and the stand off with the Rose Knights.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Again, Rory from the original.
    • The marines are shown to be this way in comparison to the JSDF's antics. After killing around 120,000 enemy combatants in the Battle of Alnus Hill, they act as if it was a daily routine.
      • This is at least partially explained by the Marines doing what they did before- namely, these are hardened veterens of the Afghanistan conflict, not the relatively untested JSDF..
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted during the Siege of Italica, when four tanks have to fight off an army of 10,000 bandits with minimal support. First their main guns run dry, then the coaxial guns, and finally the crews' rifles and machine guns forcing them to fight hand to hand and use the tank's treads.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Downplayed.
    • When they deploy to the Special Region, the USMC forces re-equip themselves with Vietnam war-era Remington 870 shotguns and M72 LAW rocket launchers for taking out sword-wielding knights and Ogres, respectively. They also use 1980s-era Stinger Anti Air missiles that are positively lethal to flying dragons. Though these weapons are still in use by the Marines today, they just prove more economical to use rather than the heavier and costlier equipment like the Javelin anti-tank missile.
    • The JSDF, just like in the original, bring out their Cold War-era equipment like the Type 64 rifle and Type 74 tanks.
      • It's noted that the longer Type 64 is actually a poor choice when it comes to clearing a village house-by-house, unlike the M4 Carbines the Marines have started using instead of M16A2s.
  • Brick Joke: In Chapter 23 the Horsemen tease Benitez for his relationship with Mamina, a warrior bunny, noting that combining hispanic and rabbit "breeding habits" may singlehandedly repopulate her species. Sure enough, Kincaid notes in the epilogue the couple have ten kids and counting after only a year together.
  • Buffy Speak: Itami helps explain to the Special Region locals about the tank's mechanics without going into modern terminology.
    Kincaid: We're not trying to break a track or blow the engine.
    Rory: Blow?
    Itami: Uh, yes, what he means is the wagon will break!
  • Car Fu: Or rather Tank Fu, where the tanks very frequently run over their enemies due to Zerg Rush tactics of an inferior armed force.
    • Averted once below in Heroic BSoD, where Benitez risks the squad when he hesitates to run over several enemy troops due to the sheer cruelty of it.
  • Cargo Cult: After the Battle of Italica, the surviving townspeople literally bow down and worship the blood-splattered USMC tanks. The weary tankers manning them are not amused, and the fact that Rory declares them her "Riders of Emroy" does not help.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The Marines, in contrast to their Japanese allies. During the defence of Alnus Hill, the tankers eventually get so bored, they start chatting about other things while multitasking between snacking and precision-guided turkey-shooting.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Kincaid suffers them, a symptom of his PTSD.
  • Chest of Medals: The impressive ribbon racks of Iraq/Afghanistan veteran Marines, especially in comparison to "boot" Marines who haven't deployed and the JSDF (who aren't allowed to deploy) are commented on whenever service or dress uniforms come into play.
    • Princess Piña and Bozes guess (more or less correctly) when they meet Lieutenant Colonel Kane that the colorful decorations on his dress blues must commemorate brave deeds in battle, and infer that he must be a great warrior. They are a bit confused as to why his boss Lieutenant General Hazama doesn't have as many.
  • Chick Magnet: Just like Itami in the original. Kincaid has become an interest to both Kurokawa and Aurea.
  • Cunning Linguist: Lelei, even more so than her canon counterpart, where she manages to quickly pick up both Japanese and English at the same time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Even more so than canon, due to the inclusion of the Four Horsemen tank battalion.
  • Combat Breakdown: Here We Go Again's sister tank Cry Sum Moar gets stuck in a bog during the defense of Italica, requiring the HWGA and Emerson's Recon team to cover them from the oncoming horde of bandits.
    • Here We Go Again experiences this as they begin to run out of ammo during the battle. After exhausting their shell supply for the main gun, they switch to their coaxial mounts. After they run out of bullets for the M240Cs and the .50 cal, they exit the vehicle and fight off the marauders with various small arms and bits of hand-to-hand combat.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The only reason Jasper and the Charlie Company tanks have the limelight is due to a last-minute joint exercise in Japan.
    • The tankers openly lampshade that they have no business being around Itami's group, as recon is a task a tank is not well suited for. However, they're stuck together (not that they mind the company) because the higher-ups want to encourage cooperation and think that the groups work well together. This backfires when the tank breaks down in the middle of the fight with the Flame Dragon, resulting in others having to come to help get the tank working again.
  • Convenient Misfire: In Chapter 9, a bad shell prevents Here We Go Again from finishing off the flame dragon. True to realism, the tank crew had to go through a long tedious process to find the cause of the jam before fixing it (doing otherwise risks having the High-Explosive Anti-Tank round cook off in the breech, which would be very, very bad). By the time they figured out what's wrong, its already too late....
  • Cool Big Sis: Kurokawa acts this way towards Jasper. It irritates him to no end and he begins to call her "Mom".
  • Cool vs. Awesome: M1A1 Abrams Tank vs. The Flame Dragon!
    • F35s vs. The Flame Dragon!
  • Crossover: There is one with the fic Manifest Destiny, due to the close cooperation between the two authors. The characters from that story (Emerson's Ranger platoon) are imported as MARSOC operators.
    • On the other end, Kincaid and the rest of the Horsemen (well, 1985 versions of them) have appeared in The Boysof 85, which is written by a colleague of Shmack's.
  • Cutting the Knot: The canon scene where Bozes captures Itami is completely averted by the crew of Here We Go Again, pointing out that a) The tank they're riding on is still covered in blood from some of the ten thousand people they helped kill the night before, b) the damage to the tank was from when they took on a Flame Dragon, and c) They have a tank.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much most of the characters. Its an inherent trait of Marine Corps.
    • Surprisingly, Sgt. Kurokawa is given this trait too in this fic.
    Kincaid: And there you go putting the fear of god into me.
    Kurokawa: Which one, yours or Emroy?
    Kincaid: The one that doesn't have psychotic apostles running around.
    Kurokawa: Do the Crusades count?
  • Death by Adaptation: Zorzal is killed by Pina when he attempts to kill her out of spite.
  • Death from Above: Attack helicopters and jets are used to relieve the Siege of Italica. Later in the storyline, the famed A-10 Warthogs and F-35B strike fighters are deployed to the Special Region to hunt and kill the Flame Dragon.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Rory. She's shown as exactly how creepy and/or terrifying a demigoddess who looks like a little girl and gets "excited" at the thought of battle would be. At best, to the Tankers, she's an annoyance. To Emerson and several others, she's a major threat.
  • Deflector Shields: Myuute Luna Sires. While she does appear in Gate with such an ability, she gets a considerably badass upgrade here where in addition to stopping a few bullets, she can negate several close range M18A1 Claymore detonations. Not to mention using magic to somehow jam 21st Century radio communications. Not bad for a brigand mage in a pre-medieval society.
  • Demoted to Extra: Tuka receives little attention compared to the source material.
    • Itami plays a much reduced role from the one he does in canon. That being said, he's still there and it's implied that some of the events in canon are still happening with him offscreen.
    • Zorzal is a secondary antagonist at best, and Tyuule gets only a few brief mentions. Zorzal's death at his sister's hands in the final chapter means that his and Tyuule's schemes never happen in this version of the story.
  • Deuteragonist: Aside from Jasper and Itami, Lieutenant William Van Hauser has the most amount of page time for a non-tank Marine in the whole story thus far.
  • Distinguishing Mark: After the encounter with the flame dragon, Here We Go Again has large dragon-claw scars scratched along the turret. This allows everyone who sees the tank to know the crew are the infamous "Dragon Fighters".
  • Double Standard: Aldritch calls out Itami and his men for getting too close to the locals, even though his men (specifically Kincaid) are guilty of the same thing.
  • The Dreaded: Rory becomes this to the tankers of 2nd Battalion when it becomes clear she is enamoured with their death-dealing machines and their crew. So much, that Colonel Kane secretly assigns a MARSOC fireteam to assess her threat level and deal with her if necessary, against the knowledge of the JSDF.
    • The combined US/Japanese Spec Ops teams that are sent through the Gate in advance of the main force. They quickly become the stuff of nightmares among the Imperial soldiers, who call them 'the Green-Eyed Ghosts' after their night-vision goggles.
  • Due to the Dead: Kincaid, Elton, and Wilkes often discuss Lance Corporal Raymond, a friend of theirs who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan.
    • While searching the ruins of a village torched by the Flame Dragon, Elton and Kincaid find the charred corpses of a family in the wreckage of their house. The father had thrown himself over his wife and children in an attempt to shield them from the fire. Kincaid observes that "he went out like a man" trying to save his family, and the two Marines kneel and bow their heads in respect.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Kincaid retires from service and pursues college, while his friends and crewmates are off living their lives peacefully as Japan and the USA reform the Saderan Empire.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. The crew of Here We Go Again is aghast at the idea of a tank being sent out for recon, due to the fact that one of the main reasons tanks go in platoons is to minimize breakdowns and cover each other should one get disabled or pinned down. After the fiasco with the flame dragon, command finally learns its lesson and deploys all four tanks WITH the M88 Recovery Vehicle for good measure during the Italica mission, but still insists afterwords that the crew of Here We Go Again would continue to deploy with Itami's team at the latter's behest.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Special forces get their fair bit of recognition in the story with Captain Recker (Navy SEALs) and Emerson (MARSOC). The JSDF SFG commandos are quite deadly as well.
    • Somewhat averted in passing regarding the tanks themselves- the US tanks taken through the Gate are training tanks, which weren't supposed to see combat. Front line tanks would have been more effective since they're better repaired and equipped, but the point is basically moot.
  • Ensign Newbie: Lt. Aldritch feels this way after seeing Kincaid's, Wilkes', and Elton's decorations, which outnumbers his own.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bessara may be a ruthless crime lord who's willing to betray anyone if he can profit from it but he truly loves his wife and daughter and treats the staff at his estate well. When he and the other crime lords plans to betray the Navy Seals and Japanese Special Forces backfire, he quickly runs back to his home, knowing that his comrades will target his family for his failure.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While on Liberty in in Tokyo, Shino decides to take Wilkes, Kincaid, and Mari to a "maid cafe" to mess with the Marines. Wilkes is uncomfortable to say the the least, but so is Kincaid, despite him being an anime nerd who's into maids.
But this was something else. And, for the first time in his life, the gunner was starting to seriously reconsider his choice in hobbies.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The 'whirlybirds', which is the term for spinning the tank's turret erratically. Here We Go Again puts this tactic to good use when some bandits manage to board their stalled tank in Chapter 14.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Zorzal reveals the real reason Italica was attacked by bandits was because they were paid off by the crown to conduct a scorched earth campaign, removing Italica (a major economic hub) from the potential influence of their enemies. So the Empire paid bandits who would rape, murder, and burn anything in their path to destroy one of their own cities. It was only because of the effective defense by Princess Pina and the combined USA/JSDF forces that this was thwarted.
  • Famed in Story: The crew of Here We Go Again are known throughout the Special Region as 'The Dragon Fighters'. Their tank is also easily recognizable due to the scars in the armor from the dragon attack.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kincaid inability to open up and be honest with others due to his PTSD. Despite others like Mari are willing to listen to his problems, he constantly refuses their help. This unfortunately gets him in trouble later when he's in a Love Triangle between Aurea and Mari and doesn't have the guts to tell one of them that he wants end their relationship and pursue the other.
  • Fix Fic: As with most Gate fan fiction, the JSDF goes on a joint expedition into the Gate with elements of the USMC's 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit in an 'advisory' role.
    • In a much, much more minor fix, when the helicopters are attacking the bandit army at Itliaca, the song playing is "Holiday in Cambodia."
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Rory is treated this way by the Here We Go Again crew. While they are glad a demigod is their ally, the crew find Rory creepy, put off by her constant flirting and declaring them her knights of her god Emroy.
  • Forced to Watch: Chapter 24 has a team of Special Forces operatives reluctantly watching Zorzal's nightly "sessions" with Tyuule. Despite their anger and wanting to place a well-deserved bullet in his brain, they're under orders to do only surveillance.
    • Chapter 26 subverts this: While the operatives are unable to harm Zorzal, his lackeys are fair game.
  • Got Me Doing It: Elton curses Jasper for this after his Breaking Speech to Bozes in Chapter 15.
    Van Hauser: Who taught you how to talk like black Shakespeare by the way?
    Elton: My dumbass gunner's cartoons.
  • Gratuitous German: Van Hauser, upon seeing Itami again in the Special Region, says "Guten Tag!" (Good day!)
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Benitez the resident Latino tank driver drops in some surprisingly good Spanish once in awhile.
  • Genki Girl: Shino Kuribayashi becomes this around the U.S. Marines, eager to see what sorts of equipment they have.
  • Here We Go Again!: The title of the story and the name of Horseman Four's tank. The whole reasoning behind the tank's name to to invoke irony of it's veterancy whenever the tank gets deployed for a new mission. The phrase is also repeated constantly throughout if only to enforce this trope.
  • Heroic BSoD
    • During the Ginza Incident, New Meat Benitez freezes up when ordered to run several Empire soldiers over. The tank gets boarded and almost overrun, but the rest of the crew manage to fend off the attackers with the coaxial guns and various small arms.
    • As revealed early on, Jasper Kincaid still has 'night terrors' stemming from PTSD acquired from a mission back in Afghanistan, where an IED roadside bomb blew his tank, killing one of his crewmates.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the Ginza incident, an unnamed Marine defending the U.S Embassy gets swarmed while trying to save a fellow comrade. He manages to pull the pin of his grenade right before going down, blowing up some of the attackers and buying time for his fellow Marines to retreat into the building.
  • Hero of Another Story: The MARSOC (MARine Corps Forces Special Operations Command) team and their leader Emerson, who are directly exported from another similar fanfic, Manifest Destiny (with the author, BlueWay's permissionnote ).
  • Hidden Depths: Lance Corporal Darian Wilkes Jr., the tank's Boisterous Bruiser Scary Black Man loader.
Wilkes was a visionary, something only people close to him knew. Peel back the layers of aggression and downright violent tendencies and there was a deep thinking man, a very goofy deep thinking man.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The tanks of 2nd Battalion are frequently deployed for missions sometimes exceeding their operational capabilities.
    • Lampshaded by Jasper in Chapter 8, when he gets the news that his squad's tank was to go with Itami's team for recon. He cites legitimate concerns such as vehicle breakdowns/recovery, maintenance, refueling as well as the fact that tanks DO NOT recon, ever.
    • Before the Battle of Italica, Itami suggests the tanks move up closer towards the skirmish line in order to cover that sector, without any infantry support. Granted, they were a recon force and thus didn't have the manpower to supplement the armour, but it was still a pretty risky move overall.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The four tanks of Charlie Company HQ Platoon have these callsigns and are nicknamed as such.
  • I Call It "Vera": The names of the main tanks a.k.a the Four Horsemen: Boss Hoss, Southern Belle, Cry Sum Moar and Here We Go Again.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: During the Ginza Incident, Itami receives a M4 Carbine from Wilkes to fight the Imperials. Itami mentions to himself that he understands how to use the American weapon from playing video games (although, he is already a trained soldier, so all he needed to know is what parts to move to effectively use it).
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Rory quite literally gets off on bloodshed. Lelei explains that souls of the recently-deceased pass through Rory on their way to the afterlife, and that the effect is like that of an aphrodisiac. She even begins pleasuring herself as she watches Aldritch's tanks defend Italica, much to the discomfort of RCT-3.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • The crew member's callsigns; Honcho, Rampage, Four-Eyes and Little John.
    • The crew, notably Wilkes, calls Kincaid "Jasper-kun" for the relationship between him and Kurokawa (who they nickname Medic-chan).
    • Their original nickname for Lelei is "Smurfette", but as they spend more time with her she becomes 'Little Sis'.
  • Interspecies Romance: Alongside the canon pairing of Kurata and Persia, Lieutenant Van Hauser hooks up with another catgirl named Felicia. When the tankers of Horsemen-4 meet the House Formal maids, Benitez falls for the bunnygirl Mamina and Kincaid is attracted to Aurea the medusa.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Special Region citizens refer to tanks as 'iron chariots", even after being told their proper name. Lieutenant Aldritch privately admits he likes it their way.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: Itami and the tankers of Here We Go Again pose for such a picture in the aftermath of the Ginza Incident which becomes a front-page worthy image in the weeks to follow. Symbolically, both the American and Japanese flags were hoisted over the battle weary tank.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Emerson does this to a bandit that was incapacitated to find out how many were going to attack Italica.
  • Just a Kid: Subverted. Sgt. Johnson learns the hard way that Rory is not "just a child" after calling her one.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Sgt. Kuribayashi fangasms when she sees Marines and their tanks for the first time in Chapter 5, and again in Chapter 8 when Here We Go Again is officially posted to Itami's team.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Chapter 13, when the MARSOC group lead by Kristian Emersonnote  come and defuse the situation between the Allies and the Rose Knights, Kincaid mentions if this was "enough cameos for one day."
    Kincaid: Well, that's enough cameos for one day don't you think?
    Elton: The hell are you talking about?
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the story it is based on, "Manifest Destiny." Compared to Gate? Nope, about as dark.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Kincaid became a marine in hopes of following his father's footsteps. He also plans to attend college and become a DSS agent just like his old man.
  • Left the Background Music On: The author sometimes write in music recommendations for certain scenes. While some are just to provide the readers with appropriate ambiance, there are moments where the music is actually being played in-story, such as loudspeakers in the vehicle motor pool, Jasper's iPod or the psyops choppers during the Siege of Italica.
  • Living Legend:
    • Here We Go Again and her crew become this for both sides after their first encounter with the flame dragon. The tank itself is recognizable by the battle scars it had received from the battle and it's reputation spread by the survivors of Coda Village; it actually manages to overshadow the whole act of Itami's team saving the tank and finishing off the dragon's left arm.
    • On the other hand, the King of Elbe, Dulan becomes one to the JSDF and the Marines, for having the massive balls to stand his ground during the Empire's night assault on Alnus Hill and then surviving A DIRECT HIT via tank shell.
  • Love Triangle: Between Kincaid, Kurokawa, and Aurea.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the titles in the story has some deeper meaning to it.
    • Here We Go Again, the tank's name and the title of the story, signifies the irony of a veteran that constantly gets redeployed into new missions as soon as it seemed like it was all over.
    • Four Horsemen, the platoon's name, signifies both the connection to Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse, but it also shows lineage to the origin of armored warfare in the cavalry when it was strewn with horses before World War I made them obsolete.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Emerson in Chapter 11, after incapacitating a bandit by busting his shins, finishes him off after the team's corpsman tells him that the bandit doesn't have a chance.
    Emerson: Luckily for you, I'm humane.
    • After the Battle of Italica, the Allied forces mop up the the mortally wounded bandits like this, sparing them from further agony.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: After the timeskip, the USMC tanks are fitted with SRSPs (Special Region Sustainment Packages), which includes technical improvements, dozer blades, remote weapons systems, and even an anti-magic ECM jammer.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted- the marines are horrified at how absolutely fanatical the soldiers of the Special Region are, throwing away tens of thousands of lives for no appreciable gain.
  • Mistaken for Aliens: A bandit that Emerson interrogates calls him a "Dark Elf" for his skin tone. He is not pleased.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Several paragraphs are dedicated to describing the wonderful technology and commodities of the Allies in the viewpoint of several citizens of the Empire.
    Pina: These Freedom Cookies, I have never tasted such fine confectioneries before!
  • Must Have Nicotine: Almost every Marine we see smokes like a chimney to deal with stress. Kincaid occasionally puffs two cigarettes at a time. Even LT Emerson, who doesn't smoke nearly as much, still keeps an e-cig in his pocket at all times for the occasional drag.
  • The Namesake: The title of the fanfic is in fact the name of Horsemen-4's tank.
  • Neck Lift: Rory does this to Sgt. Johnson after he calls her a child.
  • Never Found the Body: Rumors that the general leading the night assault on Alnus Hill (King Dulan) was still alive despite being hit by tank round started when no trace of his body was found. They proved correct.
  • Never Heard That One Before: When Corporal Boyd makes another joke about Lieutenant Van Hauser's relationship with a "catgirl," Van Hauser replies that it's okay to be jealous, because, "If all I ever fucked was my cousins, I'd be jealous too!" Boyd chuckles and mentions that it's the fourth time that day that he's used that joke.
  • New Meat:
    • Benitez, the tank driver, just got into the unit when the unit deployed to Japan.
    • In terms of experience, the entire platoon is this with the exception of Here We Go Again's crew, the only veterans of the bunch.
    • The JSDF as a whole fall under this as well. Being constitutionally prohibited from deploying in any kind of combat or combat-related roles beyond Japanese soil (the Japanese government has declared the Special Region to be Japanese territory), they lack the institutional experience of their American allies. Even their veteran NCOs have never seen combat, nor served with anyone who has, as Sergeant Major Kurata points out.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: While discussing the war in the Special Region with Jasper's father, the Marines wonder why the enemy soldiers keep fighting the obviously superior Allied forces. Jackson points out, if Earth was invaded by technologically advanced aliens the Marines would fight them just as hard, regardless of the outcome.
  • N-Word Privileges: Wilkes uses this almost every other sentence regardless of the race of whomever he's talking to, though generally only to people he likes.
  • Odd Friendship: Quiet, stoic Lelei becomes quite close to the rowdy Marines of Horsemen Four.
  • Official Couple: In the epilogue, the series ends with several characters paired together.
    • As with canon, Tomita and Boses become a couple.
    • Similarly, Kurata hooks up with Persia.
    • Itami gets back with his ex-wife Rina, and even has two boys.
    • Wilkes ends up in a polyamorous relationship with both Kuribayashi and Yao of all people.
    • Benitez gets paired with Mamima, and have ten kids.
    • Aldritch is revealed to have married Pina.
    • Lastly, Kincaid ends up with Aurea, though apparently remains Amicable Exes with Mari.
  • Oh, Crap!: A few instances
    • In Chapter 9, when Horsemen-4's tank cannon misfires and the flame dragon mounts and de-tracks their tank, also knocking Jasper out due to the impact, effectively losing all combat effectiveness.
    • Princess Pina has one when she sees four M1A1 Abrams tanks lumbering down on Italica after accidentally knocking Itami out in Chapter 12.
  • One Last Job: The training exercise in Japan was supposed to be the crew's last mission before leaving the Marine Corps. Then the Empire invaded Tokyo and set the whole plot in motion.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with Colonel Kane, commander of the USMC forces at Alnus, and Lady Kaine the head maid of the Formal mansion.
  • Otaku: Jasper and Benitez are the rare specimens of Marines who are anime and manga fans, much to Itami and Kurata's delight, but to their fellow crewmates chagrin.
    Wilkes: Fucking nerds!
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Itami's Third Recon Team has become this when attached to the Four Horsemen, the tankers receive more recognition and fame due to the mysteriousness of the "tanks" and that Here We Go Again had fought and lived against a flame dragon, bearing scars from the battle. That said, the tankers make sure that Third Recon Team get their proper recognition.
  • Pet the Dog: The whole 'hearts and minds' thing that the Marines are used to. Jasper gives his cap to a village boy from Coda while parting some inspirational motivation.
  • Plot Armor: The flame dragon of all characters is blessed with this by Word of God. This is because if it died from the Here We Go Again's tank rounds, the Tuka arc with Yao would never happen, though not that it would matter in the end as the flame dragon ends up getting killed off-screen anyway.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: When it comes to humor, very little is off-limits for the Marines (the few things that are are very Serious Business), and they are happy to laugh at the expense of themselves, eachother, their Japanese allies, the Special Region, and anyone and everyone else. Ho Yay, N-Word Privileges, Asian Speekee Engrish / Japanese Ranguage, and Insult of Endearment abound.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • While backing up from the flame dragon in Chapter 9, the tank encounters a Convenient Misfire and Wilkes tells the crew that the only way to fix it is to stop and begin unloading the main gun. Benitez mishears it as an immediate command to stop and does so, giving the dragon time to close the distance.
    • During the Battle of Itlaica, Myuute's magic causes radio communications to become jammed and ineffective. Thus, the group are not able to immediately call in for reinforcements to take down the attacking bandits.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • During the Ginza Incident, Van Hauser gives one to an Imperial commander before he executes him.
    Van Hauser: Welcome to Earth, asshole!
    • As he prepares to hit the flame dragon point-blank with a HEAT round, Kincaid snarls, "I'm gonna mount you’re head on my fucking wall!" Subverted when the main gun malfunctions, the dragon swipes the tank with its claws, Kincaid is knocked out by the impact, and Itami's team saves them with a well-placed AT rocket.
  • Rags to Royalty: In the epilogue, Aldritch marries Pina, who had been crowned as empress by the end of the story. This makes Aldritch emperor of the Saderan empire.
  • Ramming Always Works: With the main gun jammed, Kincaid knocked out, and the wounded dragon clawing at the tank:
Elton: Little John, floor it into the bastard! Knock him off balance!
Benitez: But we don't have track—
Elton: We still got some fucking power! Trust the goddamn machine! Crew, BRACE!!!
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Aldritch looks after his Marines well and is even willing to look the other way with their sillier antics and having relationships with the locals even though the latter is against the rules. Even though he criticizes Itami and the 3rd Recon for doing the same thing.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Felicia 'claims' Van Hauser as her mate in chapter 20... with her claws. Ouch.
    • During the Hakone visit Shino and Darian, and Mari and Jasper consummate their respective relationships.
  • Rescue Romance: Lieutenant Van Hauser gets one when he saves a catgirl named Felicia from a group of bandits who were taking her as a slave.
  • Retcon: Originally in chapter 1, Benitez mentions he brought some anime to watch which includes One-Punch Man. However, the story was set on June 25th, 2015 and the anime of One Punch Man didn't aired until October 5th. The author has since retcon this by replacing One Punch Man with The Big O.
    • Several changes have been made to the earlier chapters, including removing fictional helicopters that originally flew the tanks to Tokyo.
  • The Reveal: The CIA had operatives within the Imperial Palace, among Zorzal's entourage keeping tabs on him and making covert deals with his brother Diabo to affect a regime change when the time was right. Unfortunately, Itami and the ambassadors showing up in the throne room after the earthquake put a Spanner in the Works forcing them to accelerate the plan.
  • Rousing Speech: Two notable ones. The first was right before the parade by Colonel Kane, addressing his troops personally. After the JSDF commander's speech, the Marine Commandant gives a particularly aggressive one to which in typical Marine fashion, the troops holler their replies fiercely. The scene astounds the witnessing JSDF soldiers.
  • Rule of Drama:
    • Word of God says the only reason Here We Go Again doesn't finish off the flame dragon is to ensure Tuka's arc is preserved for the near future.
    • The bandits in the Battle of Italica has been upped from the original 600 troop to 10,000 to make the Battle of Italica not look like a total stomp against the tanks.
  • Scary Black Man: Emerson, the leader of the MARSOC team, consistent with his incarnation from Manifest Destiny. Elton counts too. Wilkes occasionally, too, though he's usually deliberately playing it up.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: With the expedition into the Special Region beginning in early November, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit's section of Camp Alnus holds a variety of festivities on November 10th to celebrate the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Charlie Company, 2nd Tanks holds a barbecue, with local game roasted on an open fire, with Itami's team, Rory, Tuka, and Lelei in attendance. Shino first defeats Wilkes in an arm-wrestling match, then engages the Marines in a dance-off.
  • The Siege: As per canon, the battle at Italica, including a pre-skirmish with several bandit groups that isolates Here We Go Again and Cry Sum Moar due to Myuute the Siren's magical comms jamming.
  • Semper Fi: The protagonist group are from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a tank battalion at that. Not to mention the rest of the MEU's Aviation branch as well as MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) operators.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jasper Kincaid. See Heroic BSoD example above.
  • Ship Teasing: All over the place. Examples include Kurokawa and Aurea for Kincaid, Benitez and Mamina, Van Hauser and Felicia, Pina and Aldritch, and even Wilkes and Kuribayashi.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Many Marine squads are issued a Remington 870 as part of their kit in case of close quarter engagements with the Empire's soldiers.
  • Shout-Out
    • Various anime pieces are mentioned between Benitez and Kincaid in Chapter 1, such as Bakemonogatari, The Big O, Hellsing, Cowboy Bebop and Jormungand. Kincaid also mentions that "he'd die before turning a hot-ass fox girl down".
    • The various pieces of music recommended by the author for certain scenes. For example, the song "Voodoo Child" by Stevie Ray Vaughn plays when the American and JSDF vehicles roll out from the Alnus compound in Chapter 12.
    • To another Gate fanfic, ''Manifest Destiny'' by BlueWay. The main characters of that fic, Emerson and his company makes an alternate-universe appearance of themselves, where they are MARSOC operators instead of US Army Rangers.
    • One of the tanks is named Cry Sum Moar.
    • A few from another tank related media, Fury (2014). From music recommendations of the movie's OST, to the banter in Chapter 5.
    Benitez: Hey man, that shit's no bueno!
    Jasper: Elton, what kind of tank is this?
    Elton: It's an American tank!
    Jasper: Right you are! Benitez, you wan't to listen to that crap? Go join a Hispanic tank.
    • When the tanks bear down on Italica after Itami is seemingly attacked (by accident), Parker Elton yells "Surprise Motherfucker!"
    • After above the misunderstanding is cleared, someone from Horsemen-4 quips, "You lose! Good day sir!".
    • The crew take a moment goofing around the Clan Formal estate by recording a mock-narration an episode of MTV Cribs with their phone cameras.
    • The first time they meet him, Benitez and Kincaid compare Lt. Yanagida to Frank Grimes.
    • In Chapter 18, Agent Komakado reminds Kincaid of Spike Spiegel.
    • In Chapter 22, Kincaid calls the special forces providing security "Snake Eaters".
      • Although the nickname does actually predate the game, so it may be a coincidence.
    • In Chapter 28 one of the tanker's mentions killing a wizard that "chucked the Bowser fireballs at the Sir's tank.", followed by another joking "You're a wizard 'Arry!"
    • In the same chapter Team Pet Pollo the kyckling's resemblance to a chocobo is brought up more than once.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The higher ups at Alnus Hill Camp invoke this by giving Pina and Bozes the 'red carpet' treatment; by organizing an impressive display of force with armour and infantry performing exercises in plain view, as well as being escorted by psyops choppers blasting Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears on their loudspeakers. Predictably, this leaves a very deep impact on Pina's opinion on her newest enemy.
  • Shown Their Work: The writer, being a former Marine obviously knows his military jargon and his tank terminology.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Rory gives an awesome one to a Japanese nationalist senator in front of the entire Diet. She not only calls him on his bullshit, she does so in perfect English (having been using Lelei as a translator just seconds earlier), with surprising profanity, telling him in no uncertain terms that he and his party are unworthy of being defended by warriors such as Itami's team and the American allies. She also reveals her age (961) while she's at it. And on live international TV, no less.
  • Sick and Wrong: How Lt. Aldritch views Sherry Nol Thierry's Precocious Crush on Kouji Sugawara in chapter 24.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Several characters call out Itami for having an overly optimistic and idealistic view of how the war should be conducted, like when he complains about the US Military occupying Italica or when he learns the CIA has been working behind the scenes to undermine the Emperor and Zorzal.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The whole battle of Italica, with the Virtual Soundtracks provided by the author via psyops choppers. note 
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the manga, Bessara and his family were killed by the other crime lords with his wife, daughter and maid raped before being killed. In this fanfic, Bessara is spared by the Navy Seals who also prevent the crime lords from attacking his family.
  • Spit Take: Jasper does one with a can of energy drink when he and his crew hears the full name of Princess Pina for the first time. Choked up laughter ensues.
  • The Squad: The members of Horsemen-4 are the main focus of the story.
    • The Leader: Corporal Parker "Honcho" Elton, the tank commander of Here We Go Again.
    • The Big Guy: Lance Corporal Darian "Rampage" Wilkes Jr., the tank's loader.
    • The Smart Guy: Corporal Jasper "Four-Eyes" Kincaid, the tank's gunner and the protagonist.
    • New Meat/Badass Driver: Private First Class George "Little John" Benitez, the tank's driver. Unlike most newbies, the crew don't immediately pick on him and welcome him openly when he doesn't act like the typical new guy. They still give him a somewhat underwhelming nickname of 'Little John' though.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: The residents of Italica start dropping to their knees and worshipping the Marines' tanks following the battle. The Marines are not okay with this, and resort to firing =warning shots when polite requests fail to stop them.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: After magical powers are used against them at Italica, the Allied forces begin a scientific investigation with the help of Lelei and Myuute. They eventually create and deploy an ECM jammer that can incapacitate magic-users and cause their spells to 'misfire'.
  • Super Strength: Rory, like in the original. She effortlessly picks up adult marines despite having a child's stature.
  • Tank Goodness: The Marines' M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, whenever they see action. Deconstructed that the author makes the effort to show that these awesome war machines are still, you know, machines requiring constant maintenance and logistics to function properly. Even if they are fighting an enemy without anti-tank weaponry, the tanks can still suffer from a Combat Breakdown, weapon jams, get stuck in the mud, or run out of ammunition during protracted battles. And, when operating without proper support like Here We Go Again does, there's always the very real possibility of being overrun by a massive enemy Zerg Rush, which almost happens to Cry Sum Moar and Here We Go Again during the siege of Italica.

  • Team Pet: Much to Aldritch's annoyance, Charlie Company gets one in the form of Pollo the Kyckling, who keeps coming back to their camp no matter how many times they try to send him away.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: In Chapter 12, the tense standoff between the Italica defenders and the Allied forces is defused when Lt. Aldritch announces that Itami was only knocked out, prompting laughter from the tank crews.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Empire ogres often get graphically messed up by an M1A1 Abrams' canister rounds, which is basically a tank-calibre shotgun shell filled with tungsten pellets originally meant for blasting mass ground infantry targets.
  • Those Two Guys: Kincaid and Benitez in Here We Go Again for being otakus.
  • Time Skip: Just like the anime, the main story skips ahead several weeks between the visit to Japan and the diplomatic party at the Jade Palace, with a few short vignettes taking place in between.
  • Translation Convention: Zig-zagged, but the results is worse than in the original. With the Americans involved, the story now has three languages to consider: English, Japanese, and the Special Region. It mitigated the barrier between English and Japanese by having the JSDF members able to speak English however, to which Lt. Aldritch finds out after his imperfect attempt at speaking Japanese.
    • The JSDF and Marines' ability to speak the Special Area's language is mentioned to be due to language classes taken during the months before their deployment through the gate.
    • Aurea learns fluent english after accidentally biting Jasper with her snake-hair, among other side-effects.
  • Virtual Soundtrack: The writer frequently recommends them as part of "X's Album of Awesome" . From the OST's of media like Halo 3: ODST or Fury (2014), to certain artists like The Lonely Island.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • The tankers, but especially Kincaid and Wilkes.
    • Among the Marine infantry, Lieutenant Van Hauser has this relationship with his platoon's Designated Marksman, Corporal Boyd. Boyd jokingly accuses Van Hauser of being a Lee Roy Jenkins (and a furry due to his relationship with Felicia). Van Hauser habitually responds by accusing proud southerner Boyd of being a cousin-fucker.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 27. Pina is told by the US and Japanese ambassadors that they want her to take over the Saderan throne, an earthquake hits Falmart and Hardy sends Wyverns to attack Alnus and Italica.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fates of several supporting characters and story lines were left unresolved:
    • The eventual fate of Felicia and Van Hauser's relationship, whether they stayed together after his tour ended and where they ended up if they did.
    • Myuute's fate is left hanging.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lt. Aldritch makes this assessment when he realizes they are taking Rory to Earth.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Van Hauser's squad and his superior call him out when he beats the crap outta a racist mercenary who admitted to killing all of the demi-humans of a village.
    • Both Aldritch and Kincaid call out Lt. Itami for his handling of Tuka's PTSD.
    • Kincaid is berated by his crew for having an one night stand with Mari and not properly explaining to her he's not interested in a relationship with her, as he's already in love with Aurea, knowing it will damaged the relationship between the Four Horsemen and 3rd Recon if he doesn't resolve it.
  • When She Smiles: Lt. Aldritch to Pina, the first sign of their Ship Tease.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter takes place a year after most of the cast returns from the Special Region, as Itami and Kincaid reminisce over the phone.

"But you know what? Part of me would be glad to do it all over again."

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