Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 11: A momentary diversion

After two heavy character-developing episodes, we get a rather light-hearted and carefree romp through San Dell Dios (I swear, the spelling of the name changes every time the place is mentioned by the subs). That’s not to say there aren’t any interesting plot points in this week’s episode. Bishop finally makes his presence felt, attempting to wrest Sophie away from Sword through trickery. He’s obviously a manipulator and not a warrior. Even more importantly, however, he calls Sophie a princess, which suggests a blood connection between her and the King of El Dorado. And oh yeah, Gina is finally back! What has she been up to all this time! After hanging out with just Sword and the grumpy Zaruba all this time, Sophie is happy enough to have Gina around. Plus, even Zaruba is warming up to the girl. But like I said, the rest of the episode is pretty much disposable. We get to unwind a bit and not take things too seriously.

Yeah, you really can’t analyze an cackling grandma wheeling out a gatling gun on a baby’s carriage. What little money they have appears to go to the defense budget. At one point, Sword is even fending off grenades. San Dell Dios is small refuge in the middle of the lawless, uncivilized West. Its tiny community can’t possibly number much more than a hundred strong, and yet, they’re not doing such a bad job protecting themselves… y’know, when they’re not getting faulty info. According to Natalia, the government had long abandoned everything out here. As a result, the townsfolk have decided to take matters into their own hands. With the help of Sheriff Alfil, a vigilante group makes sure to punish all criminals who drop by. It’s not the ideal solution, especially when you let good intentions get the better of you, but it’s better than letting criminals have their way. So even in the lawless, uncivilized West, you have a place to call home.

Unfortunately, Alfil is actually a Horror in the employ of Bishop, and for the past two years, both of them have merely been using San Del Dios as a feeding ground. With Sword coming into town, Alfil has convinced the vigilante group that Sword is a serial kidnapper and killer. It’s not really easy to verify information out here, and everyone trusts Alfil anyway. As a result, the town pulls out all the guns for Sword’s arrival. Our hero can’t raise a finger against humans, so we just get a comedic chase scene through San Del Dios. He tries to escape, but they’ve already gone ahead and chained his bike down. When it’s near time for the episode to come to an end, Gina shows up in just the nick of time to pull Sword’s ass out of the fire. He then does what we expect him to do: he rescues Sophie and defeats Alfil. With his plans foiled, Bishop presses a button which causes San Dell Dios to self-destruct

Somehow — just somehow — Gina was able to convince the townsfolk to huddle up at the General Store where a shield would protect them all. I mean, they no longer have a place to sleep, but all’s well that ends well, I guess! Once again, Garo – Vanishing Line does that thing where as long as the resolution is upbeat enough, we can assume that everything will work out. Sword says that the townsfolk are safe, so he’s certain that they can rebuild. Uh… if you say so. The logistics of getting building materials all the way out to the middle of nowhere seems daunting, but again, we’re not meant to take this episode very seriously. Even Sophie cheekily observes, “I’ve seen towns like this in movies before.” From the very beginning, San Del Dios never feels real. It’s like a movie set for our characters to run around in, and the way it just goes poof in the end pretty much cements the idea in my mind that it’s nothing more than an uncanny illusion in the middle of the desert. Let’s move on, shall we?

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3 Replies to “Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 11: A momentary diversion”

  1. An amusing episode but with worse animation compared to other episodes. Looks like this chapter about an abandoned town reflects how the budget has also abandoned this episode XD. I hope they’re saving it for the more important ones later on.

    Animation aside, I like that Sophie was actually smart enough to confront the horror by threatening to off something that really matters: herself. She was smart enough not to bother shooting the horror with the gun coz we all know that wouldn’t do jack shit. I appreciate small bits about the characters like that.

    Also, as a superhero show, Garo: VL by far is among the rare few shows of its genre that actually stop to explore the aftermath of a city-destroying battle to a degree (like in Russel) when other shows would just gloss over it and go straight to the already-rebuilt city. I also remember how Garo: SF shown how the prince himself are helping with the city rebuilding after a devastating battle. So I give them props for that and cut them some slack for not detailing the rebuilding logistics of San Del Dios.

    All in all, this episode’s primary function is to tease/see Bishop in action, bringing Gina back to the group, and using the usual plot where the horrors use humans to take down Makai defenders (that has the potential to escalate, if they want to go GSF route again) and it serves those goals pretty well.

  2. Surprisingly, I kinda like this episode. I can’t say that I really like it because it’s unable to make me burst out laughing, but I think that this episode is a step in the right direction. It just doesn’t go far enough.

    So far, the first and only time that I laughed when I watched this anime is when I watched that insane priest gave his little sister a right hook to her face out of nowhere. I don’t approve of domestic violence, but that kind of “crosses the line twice” humor is hilarious as f*ck and something that this anime needs. It’s unfortunate that moment seemed to be funny by accident instead of on purpose based on the rest of this anime. This humor of this anime is safe and boring just like how the creators of this anime don’t want to take any risk.

    I personally think if this anime wants to become something special, it can either become a tribute to 80-90’s action movies or a “crosses the line twice” campy anime that parody/satirize other anime of its kind. I mean I can’t be the only one that see the comedy gold potential of how this anime nonchalantly treated its setting and conflicts, Luke’s cliched as f*ck dark and tragic past, Dark Knight’s one-dimensional villainy, and so on. This anime is almost a parody of itself if you ask me. If only both the anime and its creators realize it.

    Unfortunately, the creators of this anime don’t want to take any risk and give me a lukewarm and mediocre action/comedy anime. It’s a shame.

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