5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line 10: “Rebirth”

by Sage Ashford

The journey to El Dorado continues. But what of those left back in the city? 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. This episode has such blatant parallels to 9/11 it almost feels like the director only set up episode 8’s fight scene just so we could get to this. With the restaurant shut down and Luke recovering from his wounds, no one’s able to hit the city with the rain that makes everyone forget what happened and move on with their lives after a major attack by Horrors. As a result, people initially start ascribing this to a terrorist attack before the “truth” of it being a natural disaster is spread.

But that’s not where the comparisons stop. There’s a big focus on the ruined city and the rescue workers’ attempts to repair the damage and save as many people lost in the wreckage as possible, and by the end there’s even a big memorial scene–I was honestly shocked someone didn’t slip “Never Forget” in there.

Okay, well…nevermind. Still, this is easily a much better follow up to what happened in “Knight” than episode 9, and I’m suddenly reinvested in the story they’re trying to tell, which is about as much as any creator could want, really.

2. Meifang was a background character up until “Knight”, but she had a huge jump in importance in that episode, and this week she gets elevated to Garo’s “best girl” and just a complete treasure. I’m a little frustrated that Luke’s tragedy and pain was mostly glossed over by everyone until the end, but I still love the fact that Meifang didn’t put up with any of his crap. She fed him and looked after his wounds, but she had no time for him to get overly angsty and brooding, presumably because it was partially his fault the city got wrecked to begin with.

She’s just such a straight shooter that it’s impossible not to like her, and all her best moments involve her telling the main characters to get their shit together long enough to actually get work done. She keeps Sophie’s mind off her trauma in “Knight” and saves her life, and here she keeps Luke working so he doesn’t get distracted and think about his failure.

3. This might have been on me, but I assumed Luke’s mom Adelaide was just a regular person with no connection to the Makai Order, and I presumed Knight was just some guy who weaseled his way into Luke and Adelaide’s life in some kind of weird, Itachi-ish attempt to train up someone strong enough to defeat him. Imagine my surprise when I learned what I guess should’ve been obvious: that Knight (or Christopher Harden, as we learn this week) was actually Luke’s father, and both he and Adelaide were powerful warriors that were apart of the Makai Order.

Adelaide’s pretty awesome too; she’s laid-back most of the episode, but when it’s time to fight she becomes a different person. Her clothes change, but she also takes on a darker, huskier voice as she shifts into someone capable of doing her job, a person capable of defeating several Horror at once with gun-kata…and gripping a Horror with one hand and chucking it over a dozen feet into the air because it tried to kill her son.

I complained awhile back that this series was sorely lacking in a variety of strong women characters, and then this episode went ahead and added two, so I guess I have to shut up.

4. Y’know how I know Knight is trash? Because he was already hella strong this episode–taking on a massive Horror not only alone, but unarmed for most of the fight–and decided to kill his wife anyway because she was “holding him back”. He’s definitely getting most accurate villain of 2017 for being a woman-killing jerk of a dude obsessed only with his own gain, but that’s not even what’s got me heated. When Adelaide tries to take him out because he’s trying to use a forbidden art in order to increase his strength, they actually briefly stalemate. It’s not until a young Luke distracts Adelaide that Luke is able to go for the killing blow, but I mean…if its really about proving your strength, why wouldn’t you fight her properly?

Instead, the potentially awesome fight scene between a proper user of Luke’s weapons and techniques and Knight was snatched away before fans could even realize it was what they wanted.

5. Next Episode: We’re going back to focus on Sophie and Sword, as they enter a strange, Western-themed town. Judging by Sophie’s weird costume I’m going to guess this episode is going to be considerably more comedy related than the prior ones. After two back to back downer episodes, something more laid back will hopefully be a proper change of pace for the viewers as we get ready to enter the second half of this season.

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