5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line 17: “The Slant Lined”

by Sage Ashford

As Garo and the others get closer to El Dorado, the obstacles in their way become even more insurmountable. But when a team member dies, will they be able to keep going? 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. With every show where a villain just seems to have a massive army under their command, at some point all the “smart” people just can’t help asking: “Why wouldn’t they just throw the entire army at the good guys at once”? The contortion-ism certain stories do in order to answer that can be everything from impossibly stupid to hilarious. And every so often it’s surprisingly elegant, which makes the creative team working on the project all the more impressive.

….But then occasionally you gotta be like Garo, and answer that question by simply having your hero face an entire army. As the group gets closer to El Sanvador and El Dorado, Rook finally says “screw it” and sends a huge land and air force at them to just take Sophie and be done with it. Realizing the severity of the situation, Sword hands Sophie to Gina, who speeds off, while Sword is left to handle the entire army alone.

…And if you were wondering why you don’t just throw an entire army out?  It’s because apparently it’s a complete waste of time. At least seventy five percent of the forces are eliminated off screen, and that’s when you remember the Golden Knight usually finishes off his enemies in less than ninety seconds, which is roughly the time it takes for someone to get the first round in a game of Street Fighter. Challenging him with numbers is a waste because he’s so absurdly above everyone else.

2. If I said I only used this image ’cause it looked awesome, would you hold it against me?

Seriously, it’s been a long journey for Sophie. She started out having lost her brother before the beginning of episode one, and nearly being murdered by a Horror. Then she witnessed the Sister that had been taking care of her for months be murdered by the Dark Knight. Even friends she’s made along the way she’s had to leave behind.  She’s been a helpless bystander in her own story for almost twenty straight episodes. …And now here she is gunning down aerial Horrors with no help from anyone else.

As Sword takes on the majority of the land-based army, the aerial Horrors work with Rook and try and grab Sophie from Gina’s car. With Gina unable to do anything other than drive the car, she asks Sophie to take the Horrors down on her own, and suddenly the giant Gatling gun she bought a few episodes back comes into play: she’s mounted it in her car for the express purpose of situations like this. It’s good to think ahead.

3. Still, it’s a bit of a jump to go directly from “defenseless” to “wiped out a whole army solo”, so she nearly gets caught by a pair of Hollows when Dashing Pretty Boy Luke arrives with a hair cut and a renewed sense of purpose. He easily dispatches all of the remaining Horrors, and easily clears out the sky in an impressively animated scene. Instead of charging into things like the madman he was against Dark Knight, this version of Luke is more willing to play his role as a gunman. This was a great return for him, and its clear that he’s recovered from the madness that he was plunged into from seeing his father several episodes ago.

4. Refusing to lose, Rook combines the remaining Horrors into something that can withstand the sunlight, and uses it to destroy Gina’s car. It flips over and Gina, Luke, and Sophie go flying….and Sophie just barely avoids getting caught and dragged to El Dorado when Zaruba speeds by and picks her up.

It’s disappointing that some of the best moments happen off-screen this week, as Sword, Gina, and Luke all team together in order to attack the Horror…but the more pertinent story is with Zaruba and Sophie. Sophie laments on her overall uselessness, which actually feels weird since this is the episode where she’s done the most to defend herself so far. They send up one more giant red flag that her brother is obviously the King of El Dorado when she complains that she doesn’t understand why they’re after her, when all she wants is to learn what happened to her brother, but it’s not focused on, because the final trump card is played when Knight arrives.

Now, here’s where the completely unexpected happens. Sophie is forced to escape with only Zaruba, but they eventually get caught and their backs are against the wall, with Sword and the others who knows how far out. Zaruba decides to make one last attempt to take the Knight out–rushing him in a headlong atack and exploding.

…I could have been mistaken, but up until now I’d been under the impression that the Ring was the power of Garo. Granted this is a new universe so one supposes the rules are different, but it still feels like a big deal as in the series. Zaruba is usually the safest character in the show.

5. …So not only is Zaruba not actually the Golden Armor of Garo, but absorbing him somehow gives Sword a full-on power up. That hints that maybe Sword has been using part of the power instead of the full strength, or maybe that Zaruba was just a powerful tool and absorbing it boosted the armor.

Nevertheless, Zaruba’s sacrifice naturally fails to bring down Knight. But he is weakened, so after only a brief scuffle Knight decides to escape for another day, leaving the team to mourn the loss of a companion who’s been present since the beginning…

Garo: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Hulu.