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Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5 Review

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Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5 Review – Quick Summary

In Gate Thus the JSDF Fought There episode 5, “The Battle of Italica,” Piña Co Lada tried to organize the defense of Italica with her knights Hamilton Uno Ror, Norma Co Igloo, and Grey Co Aldo. Even with their help, the undisciplined townspeople barely beat back the bandit assault. Now, in the lull between battles, they had started preparations against the next onslaught when three green vehicles pulled up outside the walls. Piña, flanked by her knights Hamilton and Grey, watched in shock as first a mage, then a fairy elf, and then Rory Mercury, who Grey knew as Rory the Reaper, emerged. The appearance of a single human dressed in green was almost anti-climatic. Will Piña let them into Italica? Even if Rory had taken the side of the bandits, was there anything Piña could do about it? Was Piña’s first major command in battle about to end prematurely?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5

Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5:  Rory liked Itami's idea -- for the wrong reasons

Rory was excited about the possibility for her to cut loose. Itami has no idea what’s about to happen. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Itami’s about to get his first view of Rory the Reaper. He caught a brief hint of her power when she helped — just a little — against the fire dragon. Even in this episode, she gave him every reason to believe she was this kind, gentle soul.

Oh, Itami…

Rory had offered to help Itami affix his night-vision scope to his helmet. They had a pleasant conversation about Itami’s goals for this engagement. He ended by saying that he wanted to impress upon Piña that it would be better for her to get along with the JSDF than to oppose them.

Rory took it the wrong way. The subtitles on Crunchyroll read (18:14), “I like it. I love it! Terror! You’re going to terrorize her soul to its very core! If that’s it, then I’d be happy to help!”

I prefer the Blu Ray’s subtitles: “I like that. I really like that! The fear! The fear that runs through your entire body! You’ll carve that into her soul! If that’s the case, I’d love to help you!”

It’s the “carve that into her soul” part that rings most true.

Best in Show Moment for Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5

Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5: Piña beheld the complete collapse of her plans

Piña had painted herself into a corner, and she didn’t know how to undo it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: If You Must Paint the Floor…

Apparently, Italica is Piña’s first major battle in the field, and I’m not going to do the whole Monday morning quarterback thing. Well, maybe a little, because it set up my favorite moment at the end of the episode.

After Piña confirms her nights were still alive after the first battle, she ascends a stone staircase with Hamilton in tow. If you listen carefully, you can hear Piña lament how many people they’d lost, including some of the militia’s bravest — which is key. That means she’s left mostly with townspeople and the less than bravest militia. Though her forces still held Italica, it was only barely, and the next onslaught would be worse.

The princess is not a complete idiot. Far from it. She’s proven herself to be bright and resourceful. It made sense when she accepted Itami’s offer of help. As a princess raised in imperial court, she was no stranger to subterfuge, and she no doubt realized Itami had his reasons for helping. Just as she had her reasons for sticking him at the South gate with his 12 soldiers. Well, 12 plus Rory the Reaper, Lelei, and Tuka. It’s interesting to me that Piña didn’t take the latter three’s combat capabilities into account. Maybe she knew what would happen if Rory cut loose — and she feared it?

Rory can be so cute when she's not on a murderous rampage

From Piña’s perspective, Rory not accepting royal authority is a problem. But it’s just Rory being Rory. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The worst mistake she made, though, isn’t really that obvious, but I think it’s critical. Most of the bandits had been in either the Imperial or allied armies. Both of them had charged the JSDF, dug in as they were on Alnus Hill. Anyone who had participated in either battle knew something with profound certainty.

Approaching any of the “men in green” meant death. So there was no way in hell that the bandits would hit the South Gate.

Delivery: Beware of Corners

Piña didn’t know that. Worse, she didn’t know that she didn’t know it. She made an assumption that putting 12 JSDF soldiers at the South Gate would be enough to entice the bandits to attack. Yet, she’d listened to Duran explain what had happened. She should have put two and two together.

But she didn’t. Now, she did suspect that the JSDF knew they were being used as bait, and she expected a certain level of anger at that. But even then, she didn’t think it through. I often wondered why she didn’t do the obvious: Ask the JSDF what magic they’d used to defeat the two armies. The next logical question would be, “Say, could you loan me some of that magic? We’re in a bit of a bind here.”

So, Piña made a command decision that a) guaranteed that the bandits would attack the East gate and b) disinclined the JSDF to be particularly helpful if that attack came to pass.

Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5: Piña and Hamilton both knew what it meant when Bandits poured through the open gate

As soon as the bandits breached the gate, Piña knew she’d lost the battle. Hamilton knew it, too. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Piña had painted herself into a corner.

My favorite moment in this episode is when she realized just what she’d done. When the bandits broke through Italica’s East Gate and used cruelty tactics to incite the rabble to attack, the battle was lost. The bandits would overrun Piña’s position within minutes, and she knew it. What did the proud, intelligent princess commanding her first battle do? She froze. It was perfectly in character, it marked a profound leap in her understanding of live combat, and it was beautifully dramatic. Though I doubt the princess could appreciate any of that right then!

What did you think of Tuka chewing out the princess for slamming the door into Itami’s head? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Gate Thus The JSDF Fought There Episode 5 Review

  1. Extended setup for the goodness that is next episode. It’s not a bad episode mind you, just incomplete. Part of a pair of bookends.

    And agreed with SOG above.. Piña gets a wonderful character arc across the first half of the series.

    1. Man, I am really looking forward to the next episode!

      And yeah, this episode finished the setup.

      The show’s politics continue to impress me. I felt so sorry for the 10 year old Countess. She looked absolutely terrified when Piña and Itami looked in on her!

  2. Pina was probably my favorite character in this series, if just in terms of character development.

    1. DerekL mentioned the same thing in the comments for Episode 4. I agree with you. The character development was so natural, too!

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