The Battle of Italica
In the last episode of GATE our heroes were sent on a short mission to reconnoiter and hopefully open trading relations with the town of Italica, a heavily fortified crossroads town at the juncture of two caravan routes and a river. Also in the last episode Princess PenÃ£ of "the empire" who has been sent with her order of knights to do a reconnaissance of the invaders (our heroes) offhandedly mentioned that she intended to stop off in the town of Italica.
In this episode, things went to worms just as expected.
But they did so in a way that was rather unexpected.
This remains an exceedingly smart show. We get a little bit of background on the princess, who is, it turns out, is quite interesting.
She's only semi-legitimate at best. (she is the child of a concubine) and as a result, she has gone to great lengths to see that she was worthy of her station. As a child she put together a group of similar aged kids consisting of the children of various noble families, with the goal of forming an elite order of knights. She was given a competent but low-born officer to act as a trainer and pressed him into service as a drill instructor, ordering him to drive them to the limit.
Somewhat surprisingly, the little band of aristocrats held together and trained intensely for seven years at which point, through sheer competence they were inducted as a formal order of knights. However, until this time the order had been used only for ceremonial purposes. This had chafed at her and her unit but not nearly so much as the implication that her knightly order was a mere plaything for her amusement. Now with a real assignment she is determined to prove herself worthy and NOTHING IS GOING TO STAND IN HER WA....Well, dang! Innocents need saving!
Princess PinÃ£ is determined, ethical, and extremely skilled in combat and tactical theory. However, she has had no actual experience in combat and no training for the sort of defensive action she finds herself in...at which point her life gets even more complicated...
Oh..as an aside...In case there was any doubt...
Roary Mercury serves the DARK god Emloy.
There is an interesting scene when Itami takes the three local women with him to parlay, obviously thinking this will help him make a good impression. As each one of them is getting out of the Hummer, Princess PinÃ£ is drawing different conclusions..."Oh my God! They've got a mage! AND an elf! If those two are together then that's as bad as it can ge...AUUGH! ROARY MERCURY!? Are you KIDDING ME!?"
It also seems that the princess, while very much respectful of Mercury's sheer power, is not a fan of Mercuy's eschatological premises in the least.
Mercury, for her part is all about war and killing and blood, but while she doesn't consider killing a sin as such, she is very focused on it being done for the proper reasons.
Itami doesn't know what cards he has in his deck...which is a much better situation than having an empty deck. GATE remains a really intelligent and entertaining show, with this episode in particular maintaining a remarkably high tension level throughout and left me quite upset that I have to wait 167 hours to see more of this.
I just remembered that the first time Itami bonked himself (right before Tokyo got attacked), he had a prophetic vision of his female companions to come. Bonking himself a second time got him improved language skills.
So obviously the god of concussions is on his side... and is knocking some sense into him.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Aug 4 22:47:26 2015 (ZJVQ5)