Episode 14: The Imperial Capital Quake
While you’d think the earthquake would have become a reason for the SDF’s profile to be risen even higher amongst civilians and the aristocracy, it is but a catalyst for strife as the SDF discover an atrocity.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: It’s An Earthquake! (Princess Pina & Itami)
From what it seems, while other areas within Princess Pina’s world has experienced earthquakes, based off what we learned in the last episode, it seems one has rarely, if ever, came to the Imperial Capital. Leading people to naturally think it is the gods punishing them, and really showing how behind in science their world is. But, while buildings fall apart, and the ground shakes, Itami and co. are just strolling and assessing damage. Something which shocks Princess Pina for she, like many, think the world is about to end. Making Itami’s confidence not only shocking, but she almost seems allured by it.
Which I don’t say to imply she has fallen in love with Itami. However, I do feel their relationship is in this weird transition from a position of fearing him, especially since he is high ranking SDF officer, to possibly admiring him. Now, whether or not this admiration is coming from the fact she may not feel as threatened as before, her wanting to not cause her world to be bombed and shot up, or romantic feelings? Well, that is hard to say.
What is known though is that she does need Itami for his experience with earthquakes and the fear of not knowing what is happening means she does not care how she looks. Which you can see catches Itami by surprise a bit, almost as much as her talking about bringing him to see her father. An idea which I’m sure she ends up regretting.
Topic 2: A Massacre in the Emperor’s Presence (Princess Pina, Itami, and Kuribayashi)
As you can imagine, the emperor finding himself face to face with the enemy isn’t entirely pleasant. However, being that they have damn near made a legit leader out of his daughter, and seem like they could be of immense help during this time, no ill will is presented. Even when things go south due to Zolzal.
Someone who, as we know, enjoys having sex slaves. Problem is, he doesn’t only have Tyuule, who saves his life, but also a Japanese woman named Noriko as a sex slave. Something which not only pisses off Kuribayashi, but sends Itami into such a rage that he punches Zolzal in the face. Which, as you can imagine, is taken as a grand insult. One in which Zolzal thought would lead to him punishing Itami, Kuribayashi, and ambassador Sugawara, but what ends up happening is Kuribayashi goes Rambo on maybe a dozen soldiers, and she whips Zolzal’s ass – all on Itami’s command mind you. Something I think is worth noting since Kuribayashi was one of the main ones criticizing, and giving Itami issues, in the past.
But what is Princess Pina doing all this? Cringing. For never mind her brother, heir to the throne, is getting his behind whooped by a woman, in front of the emperor and a handful of soldiers, but she is the one who brought them there. A topic strangely not brought up when all is said and done, though Zolzal does think she is a traitor. Yet, despite such a grand insult, what is the emperor to do? Two soldiers, though primarily one woman, both took down multiple men in close range, as well with a gun. Their shields aren’t strong enough to handle bullets, and his heir just got his ass whooped. Then, as the icing on the cake, it is learned his son has made a sex slave of one Japanese citizen, and sold two others were sold into slavery.
So what does the man do? Nothing. There are no apologies really, or calls for war, just a small note. One in which there is reminder that no empire can worry about every last citizen, and that grand empires have been defeated by barbarians. A quip which doesn’t go without a rebuttal from Sugawara in which he reminds the emperor that “[…] peace is simply a time of preparation for the next war.” Leaving the two not necessarily, under the surface, on best terms, but still with the emperor speaking of peace talks beginning, before the fight, and perhaps still willing to hold a banquet, maybe a positive relationship can still be salvaged.
Topic 3: The Aftermath (Zolzal and Itami)
With Itami giving a “fire at will” order, killing the Imperial Capital guards, and having a soldier beat up the crown prince, needless to say he is in trouble. However, with rescuing a citizen seemingly comes a reprieve. One just good enough to save his behind. Yet, with the news of 3 captures citizens, and only one returned, PM Morita finds his hands forced to remind the Capital of Japan’s might. Leading to the destruction of the Capital’s senate. A move which makes Pina, and the SDF’s, job of peace infinitely harder, but shows just how dangerous Japan and the SDF can be if the senate doesn’t still submit.
Now, as for how the capital is on their side? Well, some senators are of course up in arms, but what can they do? Then, when it comes to Zolzal, at this point it seems he has admitted defeat and just wants to lick his wounds. But, despite embarrassment, and a death only prevented due to Tyuule stepping in front of Itami’s gun, he still thinks of himself as the next emperor. Something his brother Diabo doesn’t believe, but with Zolzal explaining that their father may retire, but wants a puppet over a real emperor, Diabo doesn’t have a chance. But, while they bicker, it does make you wonder where Pina fits in all this? For while she is a woman in a world mostly ruled by men, she is going to be the broker of peace, and she is the reason the SDF has been able to integrate as much as they have. So while it seems the emperor may crown Zolzal, could Pina end up his real choice? Hell, could the people reject Zolzal and more so recognize Pina? Only time will tell.
With this episode, you really have to take note and admire the leaders both Itami and Princess Pina have become. Princess Pina, in the sight of her father, takes command during an emergency situation, has been working with the SDF for weeks now on peace, and also was the first one to make sure he, their kingdom’s emperor, was ok. Then, with Itami, he went from someone promoted, arguably, without the best credentials, to really rising to the occasion. Since we met him, we have seen him take command during stressful situation, forge alliances, use his soldiers in battle situations wisely, and foster a positive image of the SDF.
Watching Kuribayashi take down all those soldiers, and Zolzal, was a sight to see. Mostly because it has been some time since Itami’s subordinates really got a chance to shine and stand out. Especially in terms of them being in combat as opposed to joking around or being in the place Kurokawa is in, in terms of just interacting with locals.
Though it is still building toward something bigger, in my mind, I must admit the politics when it comes to who will ascend to the throne, as well as how the senate will handle the Japanese after the bombing, has me intrigued. For while both Zolzal and Pina are ready to give up, Diabo doesn’t seem like he is ready to roll over, and the king said just in the last episode he doesn’t plan to give Japan not a damn thing. But with him now seeing Japan’s might right in front of him, who knows what he might be thinking now?
On The Fence
While I am quite loving the SDF taking center stage, I do wonder when we switch to focusing on Toka in the next episode, and we see the dark elf woman again, will that lead to the politics of the show halting, becoming a sub-plot, or will the show be written to give them equal footing? For there still seems to be so much more to explore with those Itami rescued in the first half of the season that I can’t imagine their storylines either being dropped or given one episode conclusions. Just so that there is some menial version of closure.
[…] peace is simply a time of preparation for the next war. — “The Imperial Capital Quake.” GATE
Things To Note
It seems Toka’s father’s death maybe finally addressed in the next episode.