First, we gotta introduce each of the characters. Are we done with that yet? Okay, now we gotta prove Sophie’s worth to each of the characters. Last week, the young girl showed Gina that she won’t back down from Horrors. She’s scared of them, sure, but we’re all scared of monsters. The girl showed, however, that she’ll jump right into the thick of things if she needs to. If Sword, Gina or whoever needs help, she won’t hesitate. It’s just a bit of quid pro quo, y’see. She helps them, and hopefully, they’ll help her with the whole missing brother thing. So naturally, this week is all about making herself useful in Luke’s eyes. He wanted to wipe her memories at first, but he quickly changes his mind when Sword name-drops El Dorado. He still leaves in a huff, but man, I hope El Dorado isn’t still just a MacGuffin by the end of the series. It’s certainly masquerading as one right now, though. At the rate that the plot is proceeding, we may never find out until the final few episodes.
Our Horror of the Week is a theater that can only eat people who sit in a specific seat: L-13. Does it also have to be a specific room within the cinema? I’m not certain. The number ’13’ obviously has some ominous connotations. I’m not sure what L, the 12th letter of the alphabet, is supposed to represent. I could look it up, but I don’t really feel compelled to. This week’s Horror just isn’t all that interesting. When you sit in the correct seat, you transcend the
symbolic order Horror’s “magical” barrier, and find yourself within a fleshy maw. You are then confronted by nothing more than a giant eyeball, and I assume it’s supposed to represent the window into one’s soul. Since Horrors are just negative manifestations of human desires, it makes sense that you’ll see one of your most cherished memories through that “window.” Once you are in a state of complete entrancement, the Horror’s mouth appears from the ground to consume you. Fun.
Disappointed with Sword’s inability to be heartless and ditch Sophie, Luke tries to complete the mission alone, but he ends up getting trapped like everyone else. In his most cherished memory, we see him being pushed to the limit by his father’s training. As a result, his mother runs to his side and her love strengthens his resolve. Okay, so we now have a little more backstory for the lone wolf. It’s not the best backstory, but it’s also currently incomplete. Sword later hints that Luke’s mother met a tragic end right before his very eyes. Since Luke was having so much trouble investigating the Horror to begin with, Fei Long (we’ll get to him in a bit) suggests that they collect information from the internet. After all, that’s where rumors of people disappearing from the theater got started. Even though it’s 2017 and everyone should really be proficient with the internet by now, I can’t help but imagine that Sword is no good at it. So instead, young Sophie is the one who steps up to the plate to deliver. Using her online persona, she is able to collect just enough information to help Sword discern a weakness and locate the missing Luke.
When the two heroes finally take down the Horror, the whole thing just disappears into thin air. Even the theater is completely gone. I sure hope no one was in that thing when it died. I also hope those poor employees can collect unemployment checks, ’cause yeah… Plus, it’s going to be hard to explain how a building is just gone. Surely, officials will come investigating, but nothing will come of it. This is Garo, after all. In any case, this week’s episode is more of a world-building one, oddly enough. We see where Sword returns to every night, which is a room above a Chinese restaurant. Along with this room, we’re introduced to Meifang and Fei Long, an old man who used to be a Makai Knight in his heydey. Twice now, women appear to be running restaurants. If that means anything, who knows? Sword pretty much has to work to earn his keep, but he’s nevertheless surrounded by friends. He has good food, good company and a roof over his head, which is all a person really needs. Emphasis on the word ‘need.’ On the other hand, when Luke retires for the day, he returns to a spacious, but mostly empty penthouse. It is sparsely decorated, and the only personal effect he appears to own is his father’s old, nicked-up sword. How depressing. Between Sword and Luke, who’s truly wealthy here?
All in all, this is yet another low-key episode from Garo – Vanishing Line. I must sound like a broken record every week, but the story still has no sense of urgency whatsoever. It’s fun to see Sophie lend a hand at the Chinese restaurant, but that’s all I can really say. The episode wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.