Without knowing the historical characters here, Gate 7 is not the easiest manga to read. Characters will bloviate about historical events that mean nothing to me as a non-Japanese reader, but obviously would mean something to the Japanese.
Still, I have to say that despite the difficulties of this manga, there is an intrigue of sorts, wrapped in the shadow of CLAMP's recent, previous works were less than satisfactory. The horror elements, accentuated by Iemitsu's oni's bloody human feasts, also add to the intrigue.
It had been previously established that Masamune's sword was an oni, and here, the sword actually spoke for the first time. I wonder if Kurikara has another form as well as the sword.
Mitsuhide being a teacher at Chikahito's school was a surprise, but a way to keep this character in the mix.
Anyway, the cast of characters in this manga keeps growing with the introduction of Gracia, the Christian name of Tama. Granted, she's been defeated and may not be seen much again, but it is difficult to keep up with everyone. Fortunately, the first couple pages do have most of the characters, but still doesn't have them all listed.
As to the story itself, I just find myself unable to comment on it still. I still have no clue what CLAMP is trying to do by having feudal era characters in the present and a war of sorts being held in the modern times, only without the knowledge of the modern people.
I will say that I immediately saw the Chobits element when modern Hana meets what appears to be a feudal Hana. In Chobits, Chi met her "other self" frequently as they looked for their special person. In Gate 7, Hana is also looking for the person special to Hana ('cause God forbid we classify Hana as male or female -- bloody CLAMP).
On the Dark Horse side of things, William Flanagan has the unenviable task of translating this wordy tome and I think he does a good job. The Japanese honorifics are retained and he is careful to try not to assign a sex to characters who've not been assigned a sex, such as Hana (though I note in the character pages, Dark Horse again deems Hana to be female). There are several pages of translator notes, covering the historical and cultural elements needed for us Westerners who aren't familiar with Japanese history.
One thing that does annoy me is that Dark Horse apparently sent out cover art for volume 3 which they then decided to scrap for a different cover. That would be fine except that when you look this volume of the manga up in various online stores, you get the wrong cover art. It is odd because the cover art they ultimately went with is the cover art from the Japanese tankoubon.
I'm in for the long haul here, but while there is intrigue in Gate 7, the manga isn't something that grips me hard and makes me want to be current with Japan.