I apologize for the delay. My place is residence is temporarily without Internet. I will try to get the rest of my FIs up in the next day or so
A maniacally laughing man threatens a train full of people with a flaming weapon. He insists that he has been granted power by the mysterious “Divine Gate,” which connects the heaven, living world and underworld. Before he can kill anyone, he is attacked by a boy wielding water powers. Two more children barge in, introducing themselves as representatives of the peacekeeping World Council. They take the man into custody while the mysterious boy escapes.
The two World Council members, Akane and Midori, who are revealed to be mere academy students, are praised for their efforts. With the help of a rabbit-like creature called Metabon, they review footage of the incident. They argue about the boy’s motives and wonder if he can see the “Divine Gate”. It is explained that whoever reaches the Gate will have their wish granted, but that nobody has for so long that the Gate has become a legend.
Elsewhere, the higher ups of the World Council also discuss the incident. They explain that the laughing man was a demon, but that they do not know why he came to the world of the living. The Council leader wants to recruit the water-using boy, Aoto, to the academy, but the others disagree. He is surrounded by rumors that he was a neglected child who killed his parents, and thus has a bad reputation.
Akane and Midori are summoned by their advisors, who are fairies from the heavenly realm, to talk further about what happened. They also want the boy to join the academy, and have sent a water-using fairy to recruit him. She succeeds in getting Aoto to meet with the academy’s leader, who tries to give Aoto a device called a “Driver”. Predictably, Aoto refuses. He also rejects Akane and Midori’s attempts to talk to him, scaring them off by insisting that he did in fact kill his parents. When he is accosted by a third recruiter, a strange white-haired boy, Aoto has a flashback to his childhood, where he was neglected by his parents and treated poorly by his brother.
Let me summarize the majority of this episode in two sentences:
Everyone: Aoto, please come to magic school!
Well, at least Aoto is a bit distinct in that, unlike most protagonists in the “kids go to magic school” genre, he doesn’t actually WANT to go to magic school. He would much rather sit around, eat ice-cold ramen and angst about his past. (And maybe I’m heartless, but what we saw of his backstory was definitely in the “so tragic it becomes laughable” zone. His parents made him live in a shed and eat cold food while they doted on creepy brother. So he killed them.)
However, all in all this show is another sad example of a really interesting premise ignored in favor of yet another “magic kids at magic school” story. The idea of Heaven, Hell and Earth linked together has a lot of potential, especially with the brief scene where the school higher-ups talk about how demons have a difficult time adjusting to life on Earth. I would much rather watch a show about the three realms trying to work together than a show about angsty kids at school.
I have to say that Divine Gate wasn’t completely without its good points, however. The show looks very good, and the magic is animated in a very pretty style. The world is bright and colorful, a fact that’s probably intentional as the main kids are all named after colors. And the music is really neat and always appropriate to the scene it’s set with.
I might watch another episode or so just to see if Aoto gets any more bearable, but I won’t be blogging this show.
Out of 5 Dios: