Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 2: Rain makes all the bad memories go away

We get to know Luke in the follow-up episode. Luke has a special power; through what appears to be a magic spell, he can summon a rain that erases people’s memories. This allows the Makai Knights to carry out their Horror-eliminating operations without arousing the public’s attention. That is… that is very lame. First, the rain is only effective if nobody bothered to take any pictures or record a video of the rampaging Horror. I guess no one did. They don’t do that sort of thing in this universe, apparently. Second, what if you saw the Horror, went home, then stayed indoors until the rain passed?

The biggest issue, however, is the fact that this contemporary setting is completely underutilized. I know I made this point last week, but I just can’t let it go. Instead of reconceptualizing what it means to be a Makai Knight in a big city like NYC or Chicago, we’re just hand-waving it all away. The only real change is the battlefield. Instead of fighting Horrors in the wild, we now fight Horrors in and around skyscrapers and apartment buildings. What a waste. I’m still holding out hope that MAPPA will actually take advantage of the world they’ve constructed — y’know, not just use it as an excuse to have sickass 420 headshot action — but it’s not looking too rosy at the moment.

Speaking of sickass 420 headshot action, Luke is almost the opposite of Sword in every way. He’s relatively thin compared to Sword’s bulky frame. He’s cold and uncaring whereas Sword is warm and gregarious (and a bit too lecherous). And yes, he appears to eschew the badass sword and badass bike for an equally badass set of rifle, bullets and gadgets. None of these qualities are a problem except for the cold and uncaring part. Luke seems to show no regard for the people around him even if a lot of them are scammers. So why is he a Makai Knight? What is his purpose for hunting Horrors?

Sword also argues that you can’t save people if you can’t understand them. The big oaf seems to have been correct. If Sword hadn’t forced Luke to listen to Enith’s story, the former might have not been able to save the woman’s life. They had no real lead on Hardy at that point. It was only through Enith’s story that they had any reason to suspect Hardy and thus tail the woman back to her home. When it is all said and done, however, Luke didn’t really acknowledge that Sword had “cracked the case,” so to speak. This is his one big character flaw, so I hope the series will follow up on whether or not he can overcome such a glaring blind spot.

Other loose thoughts and impressions:

— Sophie was barely in this week’s episode. All we know is that she appears to be an orphan, and she’s looking for her… brother, I believe? Her memories didn’t get erased. Maybe she wasn’t hit by the rain. Nevertheless, she didn’t want to spout crazy talk to the kind policewoman, which is probably the correct thing to do. You wouldn’t wanna wind up in a mental asylum when you’re trying to look for your brother.

— So metaphorically, does the rain wash away their sins? Or perhaps it keeps the masses ignorant of forbidden knowledge?

— A woman gets beaten in the streets, and nobody bothers to help her. It doesn’t even have to be a woman. If you saw a guy get physically assaulted, wouldn’t you try to do something? You don’t have to personally intervene, but you could at least call for help. Is this how the show’s creators see American cities?

— Hardy’s transformation looked cool to me:

Well… it looks better in motion.

— So the diner is officially affiliated with the Makai Knights. Well, every hero needs a base of operations.

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3 Replies to “Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 2: Rain makes all the bad memories go away”

  1. “The biggest issue, however, is the fact that this contemporary setting is completely underutilized.”

    I already told you in my previous post about Garo. A lot of Japanese writers just don’t see the setting as its own character. They see it just as a mere gimmick like Garo in NY or maybe later Garo in SPACE!!!

    I mean the only reason that they make urban fantasy is less about what it means to be a mage in a big city or what would happen if two mages fight to the death in a big city, but as a way to justify having a “too cool for school” high-school kids as the main characters. I wish the creators of this anime read The Dresden Files or something like that.

    “Is this how the show’s creators see American cities?”

    Yeah, most Asians don’t have a high opinion of America. I personally see it as some sort of superiority inferiority complex like: “America maybe the most powerful and advanced nation in the world, but we’re more civilized and cultured compared to those brutish and crude Americans.” I’m not exaggerating.

    As for Luke, I think he is kinda lame so far. I’m pretty sure that he becomes a Makai Knight because of his bloodline or for revenge, so I’m pretty sure that he is just a d*ck and less interesting version of Leon from the previous Garo. Heck, Sword’s advice is more or less the same advice that German gave to Leon and Sword himself is more or less the manly but less interesting version of German.

    The interaction between Leon and Alfonso from the previous anime isn’t exactly original, but is more interesting than this cliched to the death “hot-blooded dude and cold-hearted dude” trope. Heck, that Black Clover even has this sort of thing with that loud, obnoxious brat and that not-Sasuke brat.

    That transformation does look cool, though. I wish that they could use that art style for both the horrors and the Makai Knights as well, not just for that transformation. But I’m pretty sure they don’t have the budget for that because only anime that has numerous non-stop, adrenaline-pumping action scenes in every episode like the Fate series deserve ludicrous amount of budget for animation.

    It’s been a while since I’m really impressed at action scenes that are also free from interruption from wannabe fight commentators. I wish more anime would do action scenes like Karas or Sword of the Stranger.

  2. It’s a shame that they’re taking the easy road explaining things like most anime do, but I’m more concerned that it seems we’re back to the Horror of the week format, the first Garo was great but that format made hard to keep track of the progression of the story and also cheapens Horrors threat/mistique as vilians.

    However if they keep creating compelling stories about the humans before turning into Horrors I think this show will be entertaining at the very least.

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