Every season has its fair share of ups and downs. Likewise, every show has its fair share of ups and downs. Since last week’s episode wasn’t so bad, we had nowhere to go but down. Well, not really. We didn’t have to go down; Garo could’ve given us yet another solid episode. Alas, it didn’t. This week’s episode is not a stinker by any means, but it’s also completely unremarkable in every way. I don’t know about you, but it always feels as though Garo episodes fly right by. It doesn’t help that Sword doesn’t appear to have any weaknesses yet. Every battle looks like a breeze for him. To sum it up, the characters don’t do anything interesting, the tragic human of the week doesn’t have an interesting backstory, and the Horror of the week is just some uninspired blob with a gaping vagina. Oh yeah, this vagina has teeth.
For a strong, badass man like Sword, I suppose the fear of emasculation is a potent one. Funny story. There’s a Japanese folklore about a demon that liked to hide in a young woman’s vagina. Whenever she would try to consummate her marriage, the demon would bite her husband’s dick off. Oof. The young woman eventually went to a blacksmith for help. Nope, not a demon hunter. What can he do? Shoot bolts up the woman’s vagina? No, we need a better solution. So the blacksmith went to work and fashioned an iron phallus. The next time the demon tried to emasculate a man, it ended up breaking its teeth. So every spring in Kawasaki, Japan, they hold a festival to celebrate the phallus! You’ve got dick sculptures, dick-shaped candies, just dicks everywhere. But let’s get back to Garo.
Gina dances around the battlefield a bit, but in the end, it is Sword’s “iron phallus” that does the trick. One quick penetration with his blade, and the Horror is dead. Well, that sure is an exciting finish. Five episodes into the season, and Garo has yet to really deliver on the action front. So what is the point of this entire episode? Sophie has to know what she’s getting into. If she’s going to tag along with Sword and his Horror-hunting buddies, then she has to be prepared. At the very least, she needs to be mentally strong. Even if she has no abilities of her own (yet), she can’t have a mental breakdown every time they fight a human-eating Horror. Luckily, Sophie doesn’t seem phased at all by this week’s escapades. Imagine that. This isn’t the first time she’s encountered a Horror, but still…
As usual, Garo pretty much ignores the immediate aftermath of every mission. Why were they after the gaping vagina? She has a name and it’s Lady Viola. She runs a service where she “rehabilitates” rich people’s children. Whenever a wealthy family has a problem child, they just send the kid to Lady Viola! The Horror proceeds to emerge from her corpulent hide and eats the kid, and… problem solved? Wait, wouldn’t this raise suspicions if kids keep disappearing? The show naturally hand-waves this away. Some rich people don’t care, Gina reasons. Makes you really wonder who the real demons are, ho ho ho. But surely, some rich people must care about their children. Of course they do. And they are disposed of as well. But how? And if entire families are silenced, wouldn’t someone eventually rais–… NO SHUT UP, IT’S AIRTIGHT. JUST FORGET ABOUT IT.
What about the people upstairs? Did anyone tell them to leave? What’s going to happen to Lady Viola’s estat–… eh, why bother? Garo is gonna Garo. I will admit, however, that I like two visual moments in this week’s episode. When Sophie read some poor child’s diary about their time with Lady Viola, the animation style looked neat. Anytime I see something that doesn’t just ape the current anime aesthetic, I perk up a bit. The other visual moment that I like also occurs during a flashback. When the younger Lady Viola tried to form a contract with a demon, it appeared as if it had emerged from her shadow. This ties into the show’s overarching theme of Horrors representing humanity’s dark side, yadda yadda yadda. It’s nothing particularly deep or poignant, but I’ll take what I can get.