Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 7: Finally!

Alas, poor Sister… we hardly knew ye. But can you believe it? After seven weeks, Garo – Vanishing Line is finally getting underway. I am honestly a little bummed to see the nun die. In order to protect the orphans — they’re practically her children now — she was so ready to throwdown against a Horror despite being nothing more than a mere human. Unlike the Garo Knights and Alchemists, she has no special powers. She’s just a badass nun who knows martial arts, and in the end, it was of little help. Her opponent could’ve transformed into a full-fledged Horror at any moment to finish her off, but instead, it chose to play with its food. What a classic bad guy mistake. So when I saw the woman impaled through the shoulders, I thought she still had a chance to see those kids again. If you’re not going to finish her off now, then this is surely the golden opportunity for Sword to show up in the nick of time and save the day, right? I mean, c’mon, what will the orphans do without her? But no, the anime still kills her off. Her blood is then sadistically splattered across Sophie’s face, which is going to take a few therapy sessions in her adult years to fix. But more than anything, if Garo never addresses the orphans’ fate, I’m going to be sorely disappointed. But we’ll wait and see. For now, we finally have an actual villain to contend with.

The rest of the episode drops enough tantalizing clues about the plot to keep us wondering. Sword takes the latest case very personally as soon as he hears the name El Dorado. It’s enough to make him scream at Sophie. If he realizes that this whole situation is too dangerous for the girl, then why even tolerate her hanging around the diner in the first place? Then again, Sword was never meant to be infallible. I still think he needs more to his character. Right now, it’s a bit two dimensional. Victims are being lured to El Dorado with promises of happiness. Not riches, but happiness. Nevertheless, it has a king, and every king needs a knight. Enter the Dark Knight. The Horror of the week is tasked with the job of supplying El Dorado with a steady stream of humans. Some humans are high-grade, so they are good for… what, exactly? Supporting El Dorado? We’ll find out later. Others, like the orphans, are apparently good for nothing more than food. Still, it’s interesting to see that the Horror of the week is actually not working in concert the Dark Knight. Rather, our new villain is here for Sophie and Sophie alone. King’s order, he says. What makes her so special? Luke pulls the trigger without warning, but the Dark Knight wouldn’t be much of a villain if he died so soon. There’s obviously bad blood between the two. Maybe the Dark Knight is responsible for the death of Luke’s mother.

I can’t help but wonder if we really needed to wait this long to finally get the major plot developments we had always wanted. After all, why bother introducing Gina so early on in the story if she’s not even going to participate in this week’s festivities? The Dark Knight still could’ve waited till week seven to get his proper introduction, but the previous six episodes suffered by being so disconnected from each other. The Horror of the week format does Garo no favors. It would’ve been nice if El Dorado had served as a greater threat than just something that kept being name-dropped over and over. Plus, if you’re going to kill the nun off like this, why not flesh out her character a little more? It’s by no means guaranteed that she will no longer show up again, but even so, her death lacked a bit of emotional impact. Sophie is absolutely devastated, but can you really say the same for the audience? I only feel bad for the kids… In any case, this week’s episode is alright by itself. It’s light on character development, but a little heavier on action and overall tension. The Dark Knight is obviously not someone to mess with. He even murders an entire police department to get the information he needs. Still, this is yet another major incident that the show will have to address, and I’m not sure some memory-wiping rain will suffice. You can’t kill that many people and just hand-wave it off. Well, we’ll see in seven days, won’t we?

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10 Replies to “Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 7: Finally!”

    1. That would be cool and fit the show’s contemporary setting. The techno paradise thing. I’m not so sure about Sophie’s brother being king.

  1. I see so many complaints for the episodic nature of Vanishing Line (GVL) in the com-section of previous episodes. Even before episode 7, I personally don’t see a problem with the show taking its time. Also, for those of you who adore Seal of Flames (GSF), why the sudden hatred for the episodic nature of GVL? Did you all forgot that GSF had TONS of Horror-of-Week episodes? Do those episodes just vanish under your nostalgia goggles or something?

    Heck, I find the HoW episodes of GVL having more purpose than the GSF ones. Episode 1-3 were clearly to introduce Sword, Luke & Gina. Episode 4 is to peek further into Sophie’s character and as a starting point for the cooperation between her and sword. Episode 5 is to have Sophie interact with Gina and to acclimate her into this weird Makai jobs with Gina’s guidance. Episode 6 is to have Sophie interact with Luke and proof herself to him (and we’re introduced to Fei Long and the gang too). OTOH, I find some HoW episodes in GSF to be just draggy fillers which bored me to tears. GVL did a way better job than GSF by making the HoW episodes serve a purpose for the greater picture and most importantly: they’re fun and entertaining. In fact, It’s like I’m watching Cowboy Bebop all over again which also doesn’t shy from its episodic nature.

    All in all, I’m glad that GVL took Garo anime back to its root-setting in the modern world (back when the franchise only deal with live-action stufs). But I still want those Garo horses though. The bike kinda made this Garo look more like Ghost Rider (minus the skull in blazing flames XD).

  2. It isn’t the last few episodes, but the seventh episode. It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but still pretty bad. Garo just wastes too much time introducing characters that are at least as far as I concerned not complex or interesting enough to warrant that much introduction time. I’m pretty sure that a lot of this information dump can be handed to us later via dialogue, flashbacks, and natural story progression.

    I mean this is Garo, not some sort of super complex, multi-faceted stories. They don’t even use the f*cking setting properly.

    “You can’t kill that many people and just hand-wave it off. ”

    You’d better believe it, Sean. (You change your name from E Minor to just Sean? That is boring. Lol) You aren’t going to believe how many stories I read or watch that hand-wave such thing off. It would be nice to see that such thing led to the world realizing that something is wrong and then organize some sort of special armed forces or do something else to deal with such thing and how it would affect both the protagonists, the antagonists, and the story.

    However, animu runs on status quo, so I don’t think anything serious would happen. We probably only got some news broadcast or reports from some news sites out of this episode.

    1. “I’m pretty sure that a lot of this information dump can be handed to us later via dialogue, flashbacks, and natural story progression.”

      What info-dump?

      1. The sixth episodes that are wasted for character introduction for characters that I frankly think don’t deserve it. I’m pretty sure you can do the entire stuff in these six episodes in just three episodes. Episode 1-3 can be compressed in one episode. Episode 4 can still be a single episode but with more focus on the orphanage, so the emotional weight when it’s destroyed can be more powerful. And finally, episode 5-6 can be compressed in one episode.

        So, the real plot can begin right from episode 4 and then this Garo can become the anime version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It already got the ahnold, the kid, and now we also got both the skynet and the T-1000. If a movie that is more or less 2.5 hours can do all that, I expect an anime that lasts for… (I forgot how many season this anime got, but let’s say it got two seasons) to be much better than a 2.5 hour movie.

        1. Episode 6 is not infodump. The general concept of infodump is when characters or narrators dump a boatload of information/exposition to you in one or a couple instances during the episode which often times doesn’t even sound like human conversation (see Heavy Object for a prime example of it in anime). What we have in episode 6 is natural character introduction and character interaction. They even took time to linger on the residents of the Chinese restaurant surrounding Sword during their interaction so that the audience can get a better grasp at how things going on in Sword’s “home”. That’s the antithesis to infodumping. That’s called taking their time to establish a setting.

          And I’m glad the anime didn’t go as you like. Episode 1-3 are a lot of fun precisely because we spent a good enough time with each character as they were given enough room to breathe for introduction & interaction, just like when Cowboy Bebop started with only Spike & Jet. Even Cowboy Bebop cast (which often hailed as some of the finest in all of anime) didn’t start out deep in the first few episodes. They were just happy-go-lucky bunch. Episode 4 can be improved, yes, but at least it didn’t lose its purpose (to make Sword take Sophie seriously and allowing her to in on his job as a first step in a cooperation). I agree though that Episode 5 and 6 can be combined together if really necessary, but the two episodes still serve good purposes and each of them even has their own unique charm (Sword & Gina as a “married couple”, Luke vs. cinema-horror, Fei Long’s gang intro, Sophie doing part time job, and glimpse into Luke & Sword’s “homes”). All in all, it’s still a better narrative execution (so far) compared to the previous two Garo anime.

          GVL is confirmed for two-cours btw. That means 24/25/26 episodes.

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