Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 16: Pedro and his broken heart

Would you believe me if I told you that there aren’t any Horrors to fight and kill in this week’s episode? Hey, I’m shocked too. Sword, Sophie and Gina stop by a coastal town for a little R&R, but naturally, things are just as destitute here as they are everywhere else. It’s a little weird, though. From a distance, the town looks nice enough. You can only see the scum and villainy if you come a little closer. How do these towns exist? What do they thrive on? Who built this place? Who lives here? Who even pretends to govern it? Considering how far out and isolated this place is, where do they even get their goods from? Unfortunately, Garo – Vanishing Line never stops anywhere long enough for us to truly understand anything about its setting. These are just random set pieces to keep the audience distracted until we are ready to tackle the final boss.

Anyways, there’s some pointless drama between Sword and Sophie. When you spend this much time with someone, you’ll eventually drive each other nuts every so often. Sophie is annoyed at Sword because he can be a little inconsiderate. He ate her chocolate, he uses too much toothpaste, he probably snores too loud at nice, yadda yadda yadda. Considering how they’re on a mission to save the world, these seem like childish complaints. But then again, Sophie is a child. This trip has taken so long, it’s easy to lose sight of the goal and start getting yourself distracted with minor trivialities. C’mon, chocolate? Sword then carelessly refers to the girl as a difficult babysitting job, which really sets her off. I know, I know — she’s an orphan so she has abandonment issues. Still, this minor subplot isn’t exactly interesting or engaging. Sophie is lucky that Gina seems to have infinite patience.

As for our one-off character of the week, his name is Pedro, and he wants to avenge his girlfriend Monica by assassinating a gang leader named Gordon. Naturally, these lawless towns are vulnerable to gangs. And as you might expect, these gangs tend to prey on the weak. According to Pedro, women have to belong to a gang. Monica refused, so she was murdered last year. When her boyfriend finally confronts Gordon at the end of the episode, the gang leader suggests that she was just some nobody prostitute he can’t even remember. The anime doesn’t come out and say it, but we can probably imagined what happened to her. She probably resisted sex work and was killed as a result. If you rule by fear, then you’d likely want to set an example by killing someone who refuses to obey.

Anyways, Sword is a big, strong man, and Pedro is anything but. As a result, he begs for the Golden Knight’s help. But as we’ve learned before, Makai Knights will only go after Horrors; they try not to interfere with human affairs if they can help it. Nevertheless, Pedro’s sob story reminds Sword of his dead sister Lizzy. Some research center exploded, and I guess the damage spread to a nearby school? The point is that Sword became consumed with revenge too, but he eventually wised up. So he reflects on whether or not he’s done his duty as a Golden Knight, and in the end, he decides to at least make sure Pedro doesn’t lose his life.

But as I’ve said before, I think it’s a cop out for Makai Knights to avoid taking out scum like Gordon. If pain and suffering leads to Horrors, then it just makes sense to help people out before they are consumed by darkness. Considering how Gordon and assholes like him do nothing but exploit young women, this town is a potential hot spot for a Horror to swoop in and dominate the mind of a broken man like Pedro. The kid only comes to his senses at the very end because his bracelet broke, thereby reminding him of a promise he had made with Monica. Had he not been so lucky — or if the bracelet had been made of sturdier material — Pedro may very well have killed Gordon. And then what? He’d just be one step closer to the darkness. And who knows how many Pedros there are out there who weren’t lucky enough to bump into Sword? Gordon does eventually lose his life, but again, it’s sheer luck (he gets run over by a stampede of pigs).

Ah well, it’s not like we’ll ever meet Pedro again. Also, it’s not like we’ll ever revisit this coastal town again. Let’s wrap up the loose ends. At the start of the episode, we are briefly introduced to a Dr. Stanley. He looks like a goofy American cartoon villain. Nevertheless, it looks as though he’s creating a bunch of super scary Horrors in these vats. Then after the credits, we witness an eclipse, which is always an ominous sign. In the distance, something appears to be headed right for our heroes. Also, we still don’t know how that waitress always shows up whenever she’s needed. By the way, spinach does not contain a lot of iron. I love the vegetable, but Popeye fooled us all.

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2 Replies to “Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 16: Pedro and his broken heart”

  1. I expected that when I binge watch Garo to catch up, I’ll watch a significant progress, but nope.

    Damn, three episodes should be more than enough to do something interesting. There is progress, but it’s so small. This anime isn’t outright bad, but it’s nothing special. It feels half-assed. I’ve said the same thing about this anime before, but I’ll say it again: This Garo needs to choose a lane. I know that it wants to be this goofy, silly adventure with some serious moments from time to time, but it can’t. Not because it’s impossible, but because this Garo just can’t pull it off. The lighthearted moments don’t mesh with or build upon the serious ones and vice versa. It just detracts from each other.

    Even the American setting feels shallow and more like a mere gimmick, despite all of the “homages.”

    Speaking of El Dorado and Dubai, if El Dorado is based on Dubai to criticize that city’s exploitation of its migrant workers, why use Dubai? Japan has its own problem with the exploitation of its migrant workers or to be more precise, foreign exchange students or trainee as a result of their policies to increase their workforce without resorting to immigration. It’s also not old news.

  2. “By the way, spinach does not contain a lot of iron.”

    Probably Sword noticed that too, that’s why now he eats that ridiculous heap of meat for meal.

    Anyway this episode was forgettable, the only interesting part for me was seeing a Makai Knight actually harming a human, a rock to the face must hurt a lot.

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