The manner in which the different side characters interact with this greater narrative is quite good, and reminiscent of not just Japan post World War II, but also Germany and the Ottomans post World War I. I could go on a bit more, but I think my point is aptly stated. While I do not think the depth in the character writing does any particular justice in making GATE a better series, it does add substantially to it being an interesting series. It becomes quickly clear to the native armies that swords and bows do little against mortar rounds and helicopter battalions with machine guns, yet many still throw their lives away nonetheless in an attempt to repel the JSDF. The Japanese Defense Force take action against these monsters and push them back into the "Gate". It’s all so painfully pandering to the point it stops being funny after a couple of episodes. More functionally than the JSDF, the array of side characters directing its actions spells out quite nicely just how scummy the world of politics is. Putting this angle aside (and let’s be clear, there’s absolutely no shame in it pulling the nationalist angle), the show knows what it wants to be and makes no attempts at hiding it. Both shows share the basic premise of an otaku getting sent to a strange, magical fantasy world by the military. While certainly no horror or gore flick, there’s a measure of gritty realism placed alongside elves in jeans and wizards in gas masks that balances the whimsicality of the humor with the grittiness of the underlying commentary. Many of its two-dimensional and seemingly flat characters have a great deal of relevance in the bigger picture of Japanese history, which is quite amusing given the heavily pro-Japanese propagandistic nature of the content. GATE does not deserve to win any special awards, but it will nevertheless provoke some interesting thoughts for those willing to have their brain piqued. It’s packaged completely differently than something like In This Corner of the World, but the originality of its presentation gives it a certain admirable charm. Real life combat is not pleasant, and characters touched by mortars have limbs blown off. Though one is virtual and one is physical.. Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic Otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! The source material would be rated seinen, as in dealing with mature themes from the 20-30 age grouping. Both seasons of GATE are an adventure, if you like Shield Hero, elves, demi humans etc. Conflict on Geminar, one of the Tenchi Muyo OVAs, is another good take on hero in another world with mecha. Off-duty Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) officer and otaku, Youji Itami, is on his way to attend a doujin convention in Ginza, Tokyo when a mysterious portal in the shape of a large gate suddenly appears. you'll love GATE. The first episode is promising, since it shows how the less advanced civilization would try to solve all its problems by invading and taking over land by burning down houses and enslaving its population. Whether that's because of the military setting or because of the medieval setting, it's hard to pinpoint. The most telling scene in the series is when Itami presents Pina with the demands of the Japanese government and she realizes the magnitude of what they are – Japan will essentially “buy” the empire and make it a vassal state, culturally and economically enslaved to its conquerors.