A very fitting title for the episode. Everyone who has been watching already knows who the real leader of the current Empire is. Zorzal and his cronies may think they are, but the one that holds all the power is the warrior bunny.
As Piña’s embattled Rose Knights and the Empire do battle, both sides despair at having to fight allies. The only ones looking forward to the fighting would be Zorzal’s Oprichnina.
Back at Rondel, Shandy observes the Inn boy’s contact, and finds out their latest plan. They plan to use her Master’s defense to lure the Pied Piper out, then have him/her attack Lelei. Lelei would be wearing armor only for him to be caught when he confirms the kill. Shandy tails this person out of the bar.
Four days later, Lelei is dressed up for her big day, having a bit of a wardrobe alteration to hide the stains from her fight with Arpeggio, the current one looks good as well. Grey reports in that Shandy has yet to return having been missing for four days, and he’d like to search the area again.
At this point Shandy shows up though, and explains her tale of four days after some water. Explaining that she’d trailed the contact to another town two days away and has seen the Pied Piper there. Itami though notes that all she needed to do was see who was making the contact with the Inn boys, meaning she somewhat wasted four days, though Itami says she helped confirm his appearance.
Itami doesn’t inform the inn servants they’ve been had again, only to make their jobs easier. While they’re suspicious of the crowds of people, they meet up with Arpeggio and the Grand Master. While Arpeggio and Lelei exchange pleasantries, the Grand Master notes Lelei’s new clothes and informs Arpeggio that she didn’t need to fuss over giving Lelei her robe in case she needed it.
Back where those taking the exam are lining up, Itami asks about the personalities of those taking the exams. Arpeggio can’t help but vouch for them, all being outstanding citizens, though Itami notices someone shady. He notes that someone can be turned by saying that someone stole all your research and planned to present it as their own, and was now then, standing before you.
Before the manipulated mage could strike, Itami and Rory apprehend the man, who proclaims his innocence and of Lelei’s alleged theft of his research materials. Grey will explain to him what happened, while Lelei thanks him for saving her. He reassures her that they’ll keep her safe and tells her to do well with her presentation.
Speaking of which, as one magus is chased out covered in colored ink, Itami now understands why applicants come in white robes. Looking at Lelei, she says she’ll be fine, and Itami notes it’ll make security easier. As another magus is applauded rather than chased off, it is now her turn to defend her case.
Itami though notes that the assassin makes her move now. Even if the Inn servants in the back are saying she’s safe, the assassin makes her strike, with Itami unable to shoot her in time. What Itami doesn’t expect though was a barrage of magic spells that stops her dead (or knocked out). Tuka and Rory explains the whole town had been awaiting any attempt on Lelei’s life and was ready for it.
It’s only with this frightening display of magical prowess that Itami wished the SDF was capable of fielding it. As Grey and the others take the knocked out assassin away, Lelei is left to argue her paper before seeing Shandy. Shandy stabs Lelei and falls to the ground. Back at the Imperial capital, Piña is presented with a change of wardrobe.
Back at the Alnus garrison, the leaders of the rapid reaction forces are impatient. They know how tenuous of a situation the Jade Palace is in, but without authorization, they can’t go. Speaking of the Jade Palace, Beefeater and Bozes’ knights managed to drive off the Imperial troops with heavy casualties. As Tyuule inspects the front lines, Lufus explains that the morale of the troops they requisitioned weren’t too high, but Tyuule only points out the price of failure.
Back at the Rose Knight’s command tent, Beefeater and Bozes take stock of what they have. They’re fatigued, running low on food, and have many inured. Bozes does have a plan that would require an OK from the Japanese. Her plan is to make a breakthrough towards Italica with everyone she can bring, and meet up with the remainder of the knights and their attached infantry.
Their only worry is Princess Piña. While Beefeater says they can’t hurt a member of the royal family, Bozes isn’t too sure of that. They need her with them when they break out. Unsure of her location, they need to await word from Hamilton. Before they can relax, the Imperial forces get ready for another attack, and Bozes and Beefeater steel themselves until they hear back from Piña.
Piña meanwhile is led in chains to a cell. Resisting as much as she can, Tyuule appears and tells her that due to her repeated interference to their plans, she’d be judged under the Oprichnina’s special laws. She notes that the cell she’s in is a special one, the same one she was in not too long ago. Before the door slams shut on the princess, Tyuule relays a message from Zorzal. “You lose, Piña.”
Back at Rondel, Lelei wakes as Shandy is now been restrained. She isn’t killed, her armor having taken the blow while Shandy is wondering why she’s wearing armor. Later, Lelei’s paper was accepted, but the title of master can’t be given until after the commotion is finished. Shandy says it isn’t fair that no one told her she’d be wearing armor, but Itami points out that she was the first one to hear about it. Rory remarks that it’s a good thing an idiot was the one that was tricked, with Tuka saying it was good she didn’t go for her neck.
Shandy explains she did it to save Piña. With Zorzal wanting Lelei’s life, she tried to show that Piña was loyal to Zorzal by doing this. She claims she wasn’t tricked into using her loyalty to Piña, but rather that Zorzal’s dictatorship has also put Piña’s life in danger. She explains everything, and Grey himself can’t believe a battle has started at the Jade Palace, and Shandy noting that Piña herself will be punished as well.
Shandy asks Grey to murder Lelei for Piña’s sake, though he declines. He also ntoes that it would be easier to raid the palace to save the Princess. While the palace is defended by thousands of soldiers and palace guards, Grey intends to stop the Pied Piper and his/her assassins at the source, and that means killing the Crown Prince.
While Shandy stews at this new avenue of attack, Grey asks Itami if he’s been able to make contact with the SDF. He says only if he leaves Rondel, he can get some signal, so Grey had foreseen that and has hired a messenger. The messenger arrives just as he mentions it and explains that Princess Piña has been imprisoned.
Back at Alnus, General Hazama has been given the go ahead from the civilian authorities. As JGSDF Paratroopers do their final equipment checks and board their Kawasaki C-2 (or C-1, but C-2 has a longer range), as Staff Headquarters issues an all hands radio broadcast. They are to paradrop and helicopter insert into the southwest of the capital to rescue the ambassadors and asylum seekers, while Itami and the group leave Rondel at high speed to make it back in time to the capital to help with the operation.
“C-2 ROLLIN’ DOWN THE STRIIIIP”
I wasn’t the only one to think that when I saw the final scene. While this Facebook friend was reminded that the plane in question is a C-1/C-2, still, can’t help but grin at it all. The preview for the next episode, and its title (Paradrop) can only bring about the same level of carnage as the combined combat scenes from episodes 5 and 6.
A full on parachute and helicopter insertion by the good majority of the JGSDF’s ready contingent would be more than enough to face off against the reconstituted Imperial forces. Even if more than half are absolutely loyal to Zorzal, there can be a few that may decide to surrender (or run) when faced with JGSDF soldiers in the capital.
The episode was a good way to snap my focus back to the main group, if only because of the attempt on Lelei’s life. I wasn’t expecting Shandy of all people, at least at the start of the episode, to be in on it. But it makes sense. It also probably didn’t need much persuasion, her loyalty to Piña being her downfall. Thankfully though, Grey had a cooler head, and didn’t dare make a move when she asked him to. Even if he got through Itami, Rory, Tuka, and Yao, Lelei has shown she’s a capable combatant.
The tension in the episode wanes here and there but is constantly present. I admit, I was skipping through the Itami bits in the past few episodes, finding them a bit of a chore, but I haven’t touched the skip buttons one bit in the initial watch, and only when I was writing the episode summary. It is a slow, relentless building up that I think culminated started it’s long peak when Shandy stabs Lelei and only ebbed off when the General Hazama was making his announcement at the end.
It was a bit of a cliff hanger to be honest, and it’s something I expected of Gate. To me it’s much the same at the 1812 Overture’s ending, with the cannons. That whole latter half was that rise, and when the first cannon blast, it kept me glued to the screen.
The next episode is hyping up to be something good. And even though some people have panned GATE for many reasons, chief amongst them being the heavy strawman politicking and of the Author’s views, I can explain with a broad smile that my friends and I have enjoyed it as much as some of us has had with One Punch Man. The story is simplistic, the action at times dragging, but the characters make up for it.
Take for example, that little bit with Arpeggio and the Grand Master. I compared Arpeggio and Lelei to my two younger sisters. They always bicker, and fight, and complain about each other, and I won’t say the middle child is as stuck up as Arpeggio is, or that my baby sister is the untouchable genius that Lelei is, but there are at times like those two. But it is as my dad told me “they always fight and complain and then next thing you know they’re going out to eat at some restaurant”. It’s little things like that that sometimes some shows don’t do enough of to show the viewer some facet of a character.
I’m not asking people to like it, or to even give it past a three episode check, I’m just saying why I like it.
And the fact my friends and I are all waiting if Tyuule will die. One is already saying if she’ll be his ‘most hated b*tch of the year maybe’. Another one is with me hoping she doesn’t get the good ending from the Web Novels.
And this is why, InfiniteZenith, sometimes I have that love-hate relationship with the episodic style of posting. I sometimes can’t shut up and have to put into writing what I have to say about an episode right there and then. My attention span (or patience…or really my work ethic to be brutally honest) isn’t enough for me to do the big overarching posts.