If you have ever wondered what would happen if a modern-day country clashed with a fantasy medieval world, then you need to watch the anime Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! As one of the most gripping Isekai animes that went under most peoples’ radar, Gate contains a myriad of interesting characters with unusual anime names, and in this article, we will focus on one of these characters, Piña Co Lada. Who is Piña Co Lada and what is her role in the Gate anime?
Piña Co Lada is the daughter of Emperor Molt Sol Augustus and Countess Nell, his concubine. After she realized the tremendous difference in strength between the Empire and Japan, she founded the Rose-Order of Knights and allied herself with the JSDF to stop the war and protect her home country.
Now that we have established Piña Co Lada’s background, we can get into more detail about who she is and what role she plays in Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There!. Beware, this article will contain spoilers on the anime.
Who Is Piña Co Lada?
Hailing from the Saderan Empire, a pre-industrial, militaristic, and authoritarian state, Piña Co Lada is the fifth child and daughter of Emperor Molt Sol Augustus and Nell, his concubine. Despite being the Emperor’s fifth child, Piña Co Lada ranks 10th in the hierarchy for the succession of the imperial throne. Inheriting her father’s intelligence, Piña Co Lada possesses a strong personality, a character trait that later results in conflict with her brother, Zorzal El Caesar, the crown prince of the Saderan Empire.
Piña Co Lada showed a keen interest in being a knight since she was a young girl after watching an opera. Inspired by the actress in the opera, she brought together girls her age who were daughters of other nobles and started playing the Order of Knights, something which the parents of the other girls highly approved of, making her popular amongst the adults.
After getting a drill instructor from the army years later, the Order of Knights started conducting actual military drills that instilled in the group a sense of justice, discipline, and camaraderie that bonded them together. On graduation, the male members of the Order of Knights joined the army as soldiers whereas the female members joined the Rose-Order of Knights which Piña Co Lada founded after her graduation, and although they weren’t involved in warfare, Piña Co Lada longed for real combat.
The Empire And The JSDF
Sometime in August 20XX, a portal unexpectedly materialized in the district of Ginza in Tokyo which linked the real world to a parallel world known as the “Gate”, where monsters and human warriors dressed in ancient medieval armor emerged from the portal. Without any sense of diplomacy or regard for human life, the medieval warriors and beasts embarked on a killing spree, with the aim of claiming the new land as their own. This bloody invasion would later come to be known as “The Ginza Incident”.
In a swift response to the bizarre attack, the Japanese Ground-Self Defense Forces launched a counter-attack, repelling and driving the alien medieval invaders back to the Gate and reclaiming the Tokyo district. Thereafter, under orders from the Prime Minister of Tokyo, the JSDF took command and assigned the Third Reconnaissance Team led by Lieutenant Youji Itami to scout the Special Region, with the hope that they could create a diplomatic relationship with the inhabitants of the Gate and bring to justice the culprits responsible for The Ginza Incident.
Encountering Fire Dragons, Elves, and Mages, the Third Reconnaissance Team helps some villagers nearby and set up an advanced JSDF base at Alnus. Piña Co Lada meanwhile learns more about the JSDF’s accomplishments after they defeat the armies sent by Emperor Molt Sol Augustus and decides to investigate them herself. However, after she arrives in the city of Italica, she is quickly forced to fight back an incursion by an invading bandit party made up of deserters from the armies defeated at Alnus.
Realizing that the local militia and her knights lack the strength to push back the assault from the invaders, Piña Co Lada finds herself in a dire situation until she meets Lieutenant Youji Itami and the Third Reconnaissance Team who agree to help her defend the city, deploying a helicopter from the JSDF that vanquishes the bandits with ease. Afterward, Piña Co Lada establishes a peace treaty with Lieutenant Youji Itami which allows the Italicans to retain their sovereignty in exchange for insignificant compensation to the Third Reconnaissance Team.
Piña Co Lada: Crown Princess Of The Empire
Due to the Empire’s history of being invincible, Piña Co Lada was confident that they would never be defeated by the JSDF. However, when she visited Japan and saw for herself the superior military power that the JSDF possessed, she was astounded at the difference and gap between the Empire and Japan. Taking on a pragmatic approach, Piña Co Lada decided to ally herself with Japan and create a peaceful relationship with them as opposed to waging a losing war against a much more powerful opponent.
Additionally, her decision toward a peaceful resolution with Japan was informed by the knowledge of the existence of greater superpowers on the other side of the gate such as the US, Russia, and China, which were interested in invading the Special Region to reap resources and conquer the Empire. The fact that these superpowers were exponentially far greater and more powerful than the JSDF meant that the Saderan Empire would be annihilated without so much as a fight.
However, her decision to support a peaceful resolution with Japan bears consequences after the crown prince of the Empire and her brother, Zorzal El Caesar, overthrows Molt Sol Augustus as the new king of the Empire and imprisons her for supporting the idea of peace.
Ultimately, she is rescued by Youji Itami and reunites with her father who appoints her as his heir, knowing her intentions to establish peace with Japan for the benefit of the well-being of the Empire and its citizens. Piña Co Lada is later crowned as Crown Princess of the Empire, vowing to bring peace between the Empire and Japan and stopping her brother Zorzal from provoking a suicidal and futile war against the technologically superior JSDF.