Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 20: The happiest place on Earth

Sophie’s brother goes to embrace her, and we can see that evil ring on his finger. Oh no, say it isn’t so! Don’t tell me King is actually Sophie’s brother! Well… kinda… 

— We cut to Sword, and we quickly discover that his dear sister Lizzy isn’t an illusion either. Apparently, her soul has been trapped inside the true El Dorado ever since she died in the real world. She proceeds to tell the hero everything about the Horrors’ dastardly plan.

— Basically, a company was working on a prototype that would link everyone’s brains directly to the internet. Like what you see now, people would be able to somehow leave their physical bodies behind and place their souls inside this virtual network. Naturally, this caught the attention of an ancient Horror. We can assume that this is the real king. The Makai Knights at the time sniffed out his evil plot, so they tried to put a stop to it for good. Unfortunately, even though King self-destructed, he actually survived somehow… maybe through the ring or something. The ring was then given to Martin, and ever since then, Martin has been carrying out King’s mission without realizing it. The kid literally just thinks he’s creating a sweet-ass paradise.

— At the end of the day, however, the Horrors’ motivations are simple: convince people to give up their souls to the true El Dorado, and they’ll be sitting ducks. The Horrors will have all the souls they could possibly ever wish for. It’s like a giant Costco for Horrors, except the food is all free.

— I’m still kinda disappointed by these revelations. I dunno, I guess I was hoping for a grander vision or something. At the end of the day, however, it’s just all about food. Horrors gotta eat, and this is an easy way to lure your prey into a trap. It takes too long to convince people to travel all the way out to some physical location, but a world wide network will have idiots throwing their souls away like nothing. Hell, internet addicts are doing that right now. But like I said, I was still hoping for King to have a more interesting goal in mind. If not that, at least give him him a powerful, gripping motive or even a lofty, philosophical viewpoint to espouse. Corralling souls in one place like cattle just doesn’t feel very grandiose.

— I also half-expected all this backstory to be animated. Unfortunately, it’s just exposition straight from Lizzy’s mouth. Kinda weak storytelling if you ask me. Sure, we see brief glimpses of the past, but what happened to Lizzy that day should’ve gotten its own episode. We should’ve been able to see the ancient Horror do battle with the Makai Knights at the time. It’s also rather unexplained how Lizzy’s soul just ends up being trapped in El Dorado since the beginning. Plus, does King and his dorks know that she’s here? If they do, why hasn’t she been devoured yet? She claims that she’s survived this long thanks to sharing the Golden Knight’s bloodline, but that doesn’t really explain anything. How has she survived? Magic?

— Also, you know someone’s evil if they grin like this when nobody’s watching. Don’t do that. Only villains do that.

— Anyways, back in the real world, Luke tries his best to carry Sword’s body to safety. Even though Sword and Sophie fell into the same pool, her body is nowhere to be found. Despite all of Luke’s training, he’s having a hard time lugging Sword around. Well, our hero’s pretty beefy. Luckily, a familiar face finally shows up to lend a hand.

— Aw, look at these cute Horrors cosplaying as humans!

— Even Queen looks somewhat normal in this world… for now, anyways. She’s obviously subservient to the true King. She’s not here for Martin at all. The question, however, is whether or not she can actually even communicate with the true King while the ancient Horror continues to lurk within Martin’s shadow.

These weird floating balls in the sky are apparently other cityscapes? It’s not entirely clear what they are or why they have to look like pollen.

— Martin claims that in this world, everyone can find meaningful work. But why would you escape to this place just to work? Why wouldn’t you be able to do said job in the real world? Maybe these are just lies and propaganda that Martin have been tricked into believing.

— In true El Dorado, you can get the best crepes!

— Oh hey, new eyecatch.

— Eventually, the “system” notices Sword, so all these souls suddenly turn into defense mechanisms. They just look like Horrors, though. They quickly pursue Sword, who still retains his physical prowess in this virtual network. I guess his soul is strong or something? Plus, Lizzy can do stuff in this world and create barriers of her own. There’s no real explanation for it. We can only speculate that she’s picked up a trick or two after being in here for so long.

— Let’s say these Horrors were successful, though… do they just turn back into looking like normal humans afterwards? Guess we’ll never know.

— Martin continues to try and sweet-talk Sophie, but she’s been on a long and painful journey. She’s not only lost someone who was like a mother to her, she’s seen true human suffering. As a result, some false paradise isn’t going to be enough to placate the poor girl. Plus, that damn ring is pretty ugly. Even if it isn’t the source of all the evil in this world, anyone with taste would tell you to take it off.

— And yes, King is literally lurking in Martin’s shadow.

— Somehow, Lizzy locates Sophie using her powers. Sword also tries to crash the party from above, but he’s rudely interrupted by Queen.

— Sophie also takes things into her own hands. Unwilling to see her brother corrupted by evil, she tries and kill her brother even if it means she’ll die too. But what happens if you die in this world?

— Well, you apparently wake up back in the real world. Sword quickly gets on his feet, because he’s gotta save Sophie.

— Meanwhile, Sword is having a lot of trouble with Queen. This is probably because he can’t turn into a Golden Knight here. Luckily, Lizzy shows up and does something to him. He, too, wakes up back in the real world. I wonder if Lizzy “killed” him in true El Dorado. In any case, her soul is still trapped in the network, and Queen probably isn’t pleased with her.

— As for Sophie, she finds her brother’s real body. She starts choking him out because, well, her brother’s actions have led ten thousand deaths. Look at all those bodies both above and below them. Somehow, I don’t think Sophie will be able to kill her brother, though. Still, the episode ends there, so we’ll have to wait till next week to find out what happens next. Technically, we still haven’t seen what King truly looks like.

— Good episode? Eh, I’m not underwhelmed by it, but I’m not overwhelmed either. I’m just whelmed.

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One Reply to “Garo – Vanishing Line Ep. 20: The happiest place on Earth”

  1. I’m underwhelmed, though. This episode is a terrible episode, even for the standard of an exposition episode. Not only, the exposition method is lame. The reveal is nothing grand. Not to mention, it’s filled with a lot of “how is that possible” moments like the most mind-boggling one like how the soul of Lizzy is trapped inside the true El-Dorado. I mean how is that possible?

    At this point, the only thing that can make this anime isn’t completely horrible is that Mappa save their budget, so the last few episodes is going to be filled with mind-blowing action and combat scenes, but I’m not counting on that one, considering the overall qualities of the action and combat scenes in this anime so far.

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