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Video Game / Gate Keepers

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Gate Open!
Gate Keepers started out as a Turn-Based Strategy (with Dating Sim elements thrown in) video game for the Playstation in 1999. A manga was also commissioned as well and both were released in the same month. It was later adapted into an anime series in 2000 by GONZO who decided to omit one of the main Gatekeepers and replace another with another character with a similar design. The setting takes place on Earth, after the end of World War II. In the middle of all that, alien creatures known simply as Invaders are infiltrating Earth and attempting to take over the world by turning humans into soulless robots. The only means to defeat the Invaders is by tapping into powerful energy locked inside dimensional "gates".

That's where a secret agency known as A.E.G.I.S, short for "Alien Exterminating Global Intercept System," comes in. They seek out people known as Gate Keepers, who have the ability to unlock the gates, which in turn gives them superhuman powers. The protagonist, Shun Ukiya, is one of the Gate Keepers, who becomes aware of his powers after witnessing a fight between the Invaders and a schoolmate — and childhood friend — Ruriko Ikusawa. The story goes on to include other Gate Keepers and their exploits as they fight against the Invaders in their bid to defend Earth.

It also spawned a sequel, Gate Keepers 21, set 31 years later. There is also a novel, set in 1985, which helps explain some of the events between the two anime series.

If you were looking for the young adult series of novels about the Gatekeepers, see The Power of Five.


Gate Keepers contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Francine, who was one of the main Gatekeepers in the game, was completely omitted in the anime.
  • Alternate History: It's mentioned that the Invaders were first encountered in 1945. The events that transpire in the show itself, as well as the existence of AEGIS, could also count. Though by 2001 (Gatekeepers 21), history has more or less become similar to our own, if not worse... much worse.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Reiko's gate power is very effective, able to take out hordes of invaders at once, but it depends on her having a musical instrument (often a grand piano that can easily be destroyed).
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Subverted. One scene from the OP apparently depicts Megumi firing a ki blast from her hand (which is naturally impossible due to the nature of her powers, and thus, wouldn't happen). It turns out she was using her powers to block that energy blast, not to produce it.
  • Berserk Button: One surefire way to piss Ruriko off is to call her a 'sniveler' (or just refer to her childhood being a sniveler). Though Shun does use it as an advantage at times.
  • Brain in a Jar: Count Akuma's brain is in, for lack of a better word, a fishbowl.
  • Canon Foreigner: Megumi is an anime-only character. As is Bancho, who unlike Megumi, isn't even based on a character from the game.
  • Crazy-Prepared: AEGIS just happens to have a giant piano for the Gate Robot in case Reiko decides to pilot it instead of Shun.
  • Dayinthe Limelight: The episode, "Send Out The Gate Robo!", is a Reiko-centric episode, as it focuses on Reiko trying to find the strength of her power, as well as her place on the team, and what she contributes to it.
  • Delinquents: Shun and Ruriko disguise themselves as delinquents (Shun wearing his uniform in disarray, Ruriko dressing like a sukeban with a long skirt and curly hair) in order to confront Bancho — whose nickname itself is Japanese for "delinquent."
  • Disappeared Dad: Shun's father, who died while testing a prototype Gate Engine. Also, Shun himself in Gate Keepers 21, who is revealed, in the novel, to have died fighting the Invaders.
  • The Ditz: Reiko, though this might be out of trauma after her parents's divorce.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Happens to Kageyama whenever he switches to his "Shadow" identity. Inverse Gates are pure black, regardless of their original color.
  • Expy Coexistence: Megumi is a strange case in that she coexists with the person she is expying, Misao Sakimori. However, Megumi became a Corrupted Character Copy of Misao after she pulled a Face–Heel Turn later on.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Megumi Kurogane, due to her massive case of being Driven by Envy, specifically her envy towards Ruriko.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Alien Exterminating Global Intercept System.
  • Genki Girl: Francine although she doesn't reach the heights that many of the other characters do for the trope and can be very serious when she wants to be but her goal in life is to make one thousand friends.
  • Gratuitous English: Any American character who isn't part of Jim's team. Also Francine from the game.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Shun wields the Gate of Gales which is a kendo sword, while Ruriko wields the Gate of Life which is a bow and arrow.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Reiji Kageyama, the Big Bad of the original series, is the head of A.E.G.I.S. in Gate Keepers 21.
  • Hopeless War: As explained in Gatekeepers 21, the invasion is proceeding nicely (over half of humanity has been subverted at that point), there's no way to actually win, and the very power used to fight the invaders will kill the users. Or worse. Ouch.
    • The ending, however, has the tables turn in humanity's favor, with most of the Invaders wiped out. Granted it required a Reset Button, and that the remaining ones are still in the open, but still...
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Shun struggles in every episode to learn how to use his ability properly.
  • Humongous Mecha: Five of them, actually. In 1969.
  • Instant Fan Club: Reiji has at least three girls as members of an actual club that he started.
  • Invocation: "Gate! Open!"
  • Jerkass: Most of the undercover Invaders are like this in their human disguise. One episode that centers around one shows that this may partly be due to stress as it was mentioned that the invader only started acting like a Jerkass shortly before the episode.
  • Lady of War: Ruriko, who uses arrows, as opposed to Kaoru, who uses her fists.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Shun's daughter Ayane inherits her gate power from him. Furthermore Shun himself got his power from his father.
  • Leitmotif: In the game each of the main female characters and some of the supporting characters have their own theme.
  • Magic Music: Reiko's Gate power is focused on her piano playing, which creates beautiful illusions for people... and acts as a Brown Note for invaders.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Reiko, as her skirt always flows whenever she gets ready to unleash her sound attack.
    • A Running Gag with Agent Ogawa, a.k.a. the "Ooh intense!" girl.
  • Master of Illusion: Count Akuma, and to a degree Reiko (see above).
  • Meaningful Name: The Commander's name has something to do with his ability to manipulate time.
  • Musical Assassin: Reiko can use her powers when she's playing music, so...
  • New Era Speech: Once Kageyama takes over and declares himself Prime Minister.
  • New Transfer Student: Reiji Kageyama, and Satoka Tachikawa, from GK21. The gatekeepers, barring Ruriko, also apply, as they all had to transfer to AEGIS's combination school/secret base when they join the team.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Comes as either the invader leaders, or the group of AEGIS commanders.
    • Also the shtick of the "Ooh, intense!" girl (whose real name is Baruko Ogawa). Over the course of no less than five Marilyn Maneuvers, more is visible each time, until we see a close-up of the front followed by her winking at the camera.
    • Kaoru towards the end of "Change Towards Your Dreams". Her skirt flounces from behind as she looks back at Shun and Ruriko and runs towards the school, she's revealed not to wear sports bloomers over her white panties.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: It's inexplicable how no one realized Kageyama was their enemy when all he puts on for disguise is a pair of shades (which he carries around everywhere anyway) and a little unbuttoning of his shirt.
  • Parental Abandonment: Shun's resentment of his dead father; Kaoru, Reiko, Megane, Big Boss and Feiling have no visible parents (Reiko's are divorced); Yukino's parents died some eight hundred years ago. Averted by Ruriko's intact and happy family. Possibly subverted by Megumi's apparent desire that her own parents would just go away and die somewhere.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Kageyama, and Megumi, after her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Put on a Bus: Misao's role in the game was replaced with Megumi in the anime (it should be noted that the characters do have different personalities). Both Misao and Jun also played a more important role in the game and were both main characters as opposed to their brief cameos in the anime.
  • Red Herring: The old sweet potato vendor from one episode, who owns an exact duplicate of the Invaders' Sinister Shades. It turns out that the real invader was a cute white spitz that seemed irrelevant at the time. The Reveal was quite narmy, considering it showed the dog wearing sunglasses.
  • Running Gag: The "Ooh, intense!" girl with her Marilyn Maneuver moments.
  • Spider-Sense: Misao Sakimori from Jim's team, who dictates the exact time before something happens, giving the group a serious tactical advantage. Kageyama had the Gate of Foresight before his Start of Darkness turned it into the Gate of Shadows. He got it back after he pulled a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Spoiler Opening: The surprise Big Bad gets revealed even before the first episode.
  • Straw Nihilist: Shadow, he's in league with the bad guys because he's disgusted with humanity's evils.
  • Super Strength: Kaoru, who additionally has Super Speed, as her Gate power amplifies her physical abilities. Also, Bancho in the final epusode.
  • Tie-In Novel: Gatekeepers 1985, which bridges the gap between Gate Keepers and Gate Keepers 21.