As the sun rises over the battered city of Italica, a new era in warfare greets the denizens of the Special Region. Medieval barbarians, meet modern Air Cavalry. 1/9 Air Cavalry would’ve been proud.
Back at Arnus Station, the thumping rotors of several JGSDF UH-1 helicopters sound in the background, as the various leaders of the combat teams vie for the order to deploy. Speed though is at a premium, hence the leaders of the Fourth Combat Team win (also noting the fact that their speakers are already installed) The base commander merely pinches the bridge of his nose, wondering if the men had been visited by the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore.
Back in Italica, Norma and his militia tries his best, but is overwhelmed, with the enemy commander tossing the defeated knight off the walls and the bandits stream into the town, engaging the civilians. Singing a hymn for the God Emroy, they claim to find their battle at Italica, having been denied their proper battle at Arnus hill. The townsfolk ask for reinforcements as they are cut down one by one, even if Princess Piña has none. With the last line of defenses killed, there si seemingly nothing left to stop the enemy.
Back at Third Recon’s position, Rory is being overwhelmed by the souls falling in battle. Lelei explains that the souls going through her to Emroy is acting like an aphrodisiac, and only battle can assuage her. As the townsfolk at the other side of town die by the brutes, Itami finally makes up his mind. While Kuribayashi asks Rory to hang in there, she merely runs off to the battle, with Itami, Shino, and Tomita chasing after her. Explaining the situation to the incoming Fourth Combat Team, he intends to launch a flare to indicate their position.
Back at the Fourth Combat Team’s formation, they position to come in with the sun behind their backs, and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries blare from loudspeakers as the troops within the choppers ready themselves for the upcoming battle.
Arriving just in time, Rory defeats the strongest of the bandits effortlessly. Surrounded by the enemy forces, the Fourth Combat Team arrive as well, and lay waste to the enemy outside the wall, showering below with casings and bullets. With Wagner playing in the background, the majority of the forces outside are annihilated, the remaining within the city’s walls.
Arriving, Kuribayashi jumps in, bayonet at the ready, and engages the enemy with bayonet and handgun.
Itami and Tomita cover the two girls as they lay waste to the enemy combatants, one with a massive battle-axe, another with rifle, handgun, grenades, and her boot (to the face). The enemy commander, blown off the ramparts by the shockwave of a missile strike, gets impaled on Rory’s battleaxe. In his dying breath, asks the apostle of Emroy if this can’t truly be called a war.
The enemy regroups, intending to rush them, only to have a JGSDF AH-1 warn Itami that they’ll eliminate the enemy within the walls in 10 seconds. Dragging Rory and Shino from the line of fire, the AH-1 unleashes a 12 second (according to the video player) burst from its 20mm Gatling cannon, obliterating the last of the bandits.
Piña and Hamilton stood transfixed, as did the townsfolk, at the sheer brutality of what is being unleashed. Cutting down pride, crushing everything, denying honor, she asks if this was the goddesses sneering down on them. JGSDF Soldiers of the Fourth Combat Team fast rope down from the hovering choppers and start treating the injured and rounding up prisoners, while Tomita answers a townsfolk’s question on who they belonged to.
Seeing the brigands defeated and nearly completely annihilated, she wonders exactly what the JSDF is.
Back with Itami and Rory, either by intention or coincidence, Itami seems to be groping her, and the apostle of the God of Death gives Itami a relatively tame black eye.
As the remains of the battle are being cleaned up, Hamilton says they’ve won, only for Piña to correct her. The ones who had won the battle was Rory, and the JSDF. She notes that the JSDF is their enemy. In trying to save Italica, she wonders if she had unleashed a bigger threat, with her and Count Formal being turned into slaves. She intends to surrender herself to them in order to spare them.
Things don’t go as she feared, as the only things that the JSDF asks for is for humane treatment of prisoners (which enrages Hamilton), and other, smaller items. The entire treaty amounted to nothing more than taking some prisoners, Italica handling the costs for a diplomatic delegation’s security and expenses, and a release from all tax in the city. Small change, Grey notes, especially since they intend to leave immediately and not occupy the city. It is at this point that Piña wonders what kind of magic Hamilton used to convince them of taking less than favorable victor’s terms.
Back at the prisoner pens, Itami randomly chooses prisoners to take back to Alnus (coincidentally, all female, as well as choosing the Harpy who survived the battle), while Hamilton seems perturbed at the specifics of the treaty. Kurokawa and Kuribayashi aren’t too enthused at Itami’s ‘coincidence’, even if it was wise to bring the females back with them so they don’t end up being used as some sort of victor’s justice.
The Fourth Combat Team leaves with the thanks of the remaining townsfolk, while Lelei, Rory, and Chuka/Tuka sell the scales to a local merchant. Unable to buy the scales from them due to a shortage in the local currency, Lelei cuts him a deal, as well as paying him for information for the local economy.
The Third Recon Team leaves Italica with the three girls asleep, before they encounter Piña’s knights. Enamored by the arrival of the pretty ladies, they inadvertently tell them they’re from Alnus. As the peace treaty with Italica has not reached them yet, Itami tries to calm things down, only to tell his team to run while he is captured by the Rose Knights.
Well, what can I honestly say. On my first run through, I was absolutely in love with the reenactment of Apocalypse Now’s famous (infamous?) village scene. Though looking back, it was a bit more impressive in the manga. That said, in both the manga and anime, they knew damn well what scene they were emulating, and a lot of them even directly quoted the movie itself. (Why do you guys sit on your helmets.)
Another niggle I had was Rory and Shino’s moment. Rory never had a moment. Not when she was near-orgasmic on the ramparts nor when she was fighting. I take this down as part of the lightening up of the source material. It’s something I touched on before. The gore, the sex, the torture is part of Gate. The move to tone all of that down just cheapens it.
As someone has said to me on Skype. Piña should’ve at least looked more weak knee’d and teary eyed at the awesome firepower just one helicopter had. She was crying in the manga, seemingly made to feel small and inconsequential throughout it all. This was supposed to drive into her the futility of engaging in warfare with the JSDF, and the initial and main driving point in her role as the mediator between Japan and the Empire. That and ‘fine art’.
The battle itself was fairly done and over with quickly. The effect on modern arms clearly shows itself here with the utter obliteration of the enemy forces. The enemy, seeking to find their ‘honor’ in a battle, meet a repeat of Arnus hill after having their way with the town of Italica for days. This is no doubt why Rory didn’t bother to respond to the dying enemy commander. She doesn’t care how they died, as long as they died what she and they deemed to be truthful to what they wanted to do. This is coming from the manga slightly, there wasn’t much of an expansion on the medieval psyche this episode like it did in the manga.
So I dunno, it’s a quick thought, I’m can’t be bothered to really think about it at the moment, quite a few things on my mind.