Kinda… Our heroes certainly haven’t reached El Dorado, but the anime is nice enough to give us a sneak peek at the golden city of dreams. And as you can see from the screenshot above, the city that our heroes have been chasing all this time is basically Dubai. In fact, why haven’t I realized this before? El Dorado is, after all, a false paradise in the middle of a wasteland. Beneath all the glistening skyscrapers is a merciless city that can only be sustained through the blood and flesh of outsiders. Outsiders are recruited just to feed the city’s voracious appetite. Sure, El Dorado appears to be a city floating on a manmade island, but you have to cross a vast desert just to get there. But I’m not really all that interested in the physical parallels between it and Dubai. Rather, why has it taken me so long to draw a connection between the poor saps lured in by promises of happiness to the exploited migrant workers?
Anyways, the episode kicks off with a cavalcade of of buses shipping the latest victims to El Dorado. Before you can reach the city, you must pass by the slums on its outskirts. Is there a real world equivalent? Hm, maybe something like this. In any case, one can only wonder how and why all these poor people can exist out here. What’s sustaining them?
On the bus, we meet this guy… I almost thought it was Knight because I haven’t seen Luke’s father in quite some time. But no, it’s some one-off character, and I’m not sure if we ever learn his name. He’s only here to stir up some trouble, but he’ll meet his end soon enough. I’ll just call him the Troublemaker.
We also meet some lady who is smitten by the city. Again, she’s just a one-off character destined to die by the end of the episode — midway through it, in fact — but if you’re that curious, I believe her name is Carol Warren and she’s only 22.
As for the Troublemaker, he’s here because he thinks he’s better than King. If he had King’s special ring — the ring that control all Horrors — he wouldn’t just stop at a mere city. No, he’d take over the entire continent. Well, that’s rather big talk for some schmoe. What exactly can this guy do?
Well, he can glue some tentacles to your face.
Then your face turns completely black.
All of a sudden, you’ll now have his face!
Then he absorbs you into his body. In any case, Bishop is monitoring all of this. He knows that the Troublemaker is up to no good, but he’s almost amused by these antics. This lets you know that the Troublemaker poses no real threat whatsoever.
As for the poor girl, she gets hit on by some blond guy at a park. He gives her a passes to some super exclusive club downtown. And yes, El Dorado has a park. It also has office buildings full of workers. It almost feels like a regular city, doesn’t it? It’s unclear, however, if all these people are, well, actually people, or are they really just Horrors in disguise.
When Carol shows up to the club later night, it also seems normal enough. At some point, however, the host comes out and announces that they have a special event lined up for all the clubgoers.
Spotlights suddenly shine on three girls in the crowd. Only girls. Hmm.
Color the night? Oh no…
Carol suddenly hears screams coming from the other two girls, but when she turns to look at them, all she sees are geysers of blood.
Yes, the entire club is full of Horrors, and they’re about to feast on her. It’s like Blade all over again. Just three women, though? Three women are enough for all those Horrors? And why just hot, thin women? I mean, I know it’s a VIP club and all, but do hot, thin women taste better or something? They certainly don’t have a lot of meat on them. Also, I can only imagine that the Horrors masquerade as actual humans during the day in order to trick the actual humans into living amongst them. But why trick them at all? Once you’ve lured these suckers into El Dorado, why not just knock them out and keep them in some freezer as food or something? Why go to all this trouble of pretending to be human just so you can surprise them in a nightclub? Is it tastier to play these games and make the humans cry out in fear? Ah well, I guess the details don’t really matter.
Carol tries to escape, but she just runs into the Troublemaker. He absorbs her like the rest, then beats up the Horrors in the club.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see him take on an entire club by himself. We just get to see the aftermath. All this time, Bishop and Queen are kinda bickering at each other. Apparently, King is doing something important, but obviously, we won’t find out till much later in the series.
Finally, the Troublemaker decides to enter King’s castle, which reminds me of the Burj Khalifa. He won’t get King, though. He runs into Queen, and he’s no match for her.
All those clones of himself that he absorbed earlier? Well, he can now spit them out and have them attack his enemy.
But Queen is too strong. I mean, duh, she’s Queen. She apparently has killer plants to do her bidding. Even when the Troublemaker unveils his true form, it’s all for naught. She can hold him back with just one leg.
The Troublemaker tries to escape, but then he just runs into the blond guy from the park. And the blond guy from the park is really just…
…good ol’ Bishop. Ah right, Bishop and his bag of tricks again. The Troublemaker tries to fight back, but he then gets cleaved cleanly in two.
Seriously, no blood or anything.
But we see that Knight has returned from his training. He’s the power-obsessed idiot, after all.
Queen, Bishop and Knight… say, where’s the Rook? In any case, that’s the episode for you. Beyond the parallels between El Dorado and Dubai, there really isn’t much to analyze or think too deeply about in this week’s episode. We are finally introduced to the fabled city and also reminds us what the bad guys are capable of. But of course, we’re no closer to understanding King’s ultimate plans nor do we ever get to see him.
At best, we see Queen kneeling by where a throne should be…
As for our heroes, well, the preview for next week’s episode seems to suggest that they still have some ways to go before they reach El Dorado. Yeesh.
Did I enjoy this week’s episode? Seeing something new was novel, I guess. In terms of plotting or characterization, however, this was neither better nor worse than any of Garo – Vanishing Line’s last few episodes. Lately, the show has morphed into a passable time-waster. It’s not horrible, but I never really look forward to it like I did with Garo: the Animation. The characters just aren’t as strong or memorable.
These eyecatches are cool, at least.
I wish the show’s actual animation would come anywhere close to looking like this.