5 Point Discussions – GARO: Vanishing Line 9: “Setting Off”

by Sage Ashford

A life extinguished. A city in ruins. A child’s innocence, lost. Is there any hope remaining?  Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. Y’know, after what we learned in last week’s “Knight” about Luke’s history with the Dark Knight, I was hoping there would be even a brief bit of focus on this guy and how he felt after failing so utterly to defeat the man who killed his mother and ruined his life. But nope. No dialogue, just a few static scenes of him lying in bed not speaking at all. It feels like a wasted chance at character development, even though I know Luke will inevitably make another appearance. It’s not like they ran out of time, particularly when we burned several minutes on a stupid montage scene, but more on that later.

2.  Either there’s more to Chiaki than meets the eye, or we’ve got a Nurse Joy/Officer Jenny situation going on here. Sword and Sophie leave the city in order to get closer to El Dorado, and in the middle of nowhere they run across a strange gas station…where Chiaki (or her “sister”/”cousin”) pops up and offers to fill up Zaruba’s gas tank. Apart from the hilarious imagery involved here, I have questions. Can Chiaki teleport, or did they somehow figure out how to grow well-endowed women with two-toned hair for the sake of the Makai Order? And what kind of gas does Zaruba run on, because there’s no way 91 is getting the job done.

There’s really not much to this scene, but then there’s really not too much to this episode, especially when…

3. After last week’s episode which was stuffed to the brim with absurd CGI action scenes, I expected this to be a breather/cool down episode. What I did not expect (and certainly didn’t appreciate!) was a three minute montage of scenes involving Sword and Sophie’s boring trek out of the city to find El Dorado, set to one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard in an anime. There’s nothing visually interesting about this, and it’s basically an excuse to waste time since Sophie’s real healing moment dealing with the loss of the nun watching over her comes at the end of the episode, long after the montage scene.

More frustrating than anything though is that this was a total waste of an insert song, which are usually some of the best music anime series have to offer. Don’t mind me though, I think most of my salt comes from the fact that this is a series that’s employed the Queen, Masami Okui, to do it’s end theme and they couldn’t be bothered to fork over the cash to let her do this insert? C’mon fam. At least let Sophia play for this.

4. This is our first look at any villains that aren’t merely some monster of the week. From the sound of things they seem to be aiming for a chess theme–Knight, King, the rich guy mentions King wasting a “Pawn”. I’m glad they’re not being “Royal Flush Gang” levels of obvious with it, and the designs are still visually distinctive enough between what I’m assuming are the Knight, Queen, and Rook of El Dorado.

Extra points if the Queen here manages to last longer than all the rest and pose a larger threat to Sword through her overprotective desire to keep the King from harm.

5. Next Episode:  Hey, there’s the Luke focus I was looking for. It just seems like we could have done this same focus this week when the wounds of the prior episode were still fresh.

Garo: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.