5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line 18: “Illusion”

by Sage Ashford

Sophie, Sword, and Luke have finally made it into the city of El Dorado. What challenges await now? 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.“Illusion” kicks off with Gina announcing she’s returning to the Land of Guidance. The last boss battle left her low on ammo and all her weapons need repairing, so it’s back to the only town in the game with all the shops she needs to get the best gear. If it sounds like I’m over game-ifying this, it’s because it’s been a while since I saw something so game-like.

Most anime characters manage to keep their weapons in perfect condition without ever needing to get them repaired, and gun users never seem to need to stock up on ammo even when they have super-special ammo. It’s actually surprisingly realistic, because we saw her car get flipped over last week so most of the equipment she bought a while back is likely wrecked.

2. While we wait on Gina to come back and save everyone heroically around 23-24, Luke’s subbed in for the forseeable future. I’d almost forgotten how useful the guy is, as they need to sneak into El Dorado but there’s a ton of armed guards checking people every step of the way.

Fortunately, Luke’s got the handy rain spell to make everyone forget everything just long enough for them to get in. He even finds them a nice place to stay and places a protection spell on the location. El Dorado might just be the perfect city–it’s certainly the only metropolitan area I know that has such large, empty living spaces like the one they find this episode.

3. The team tries to do recon on the city, and pick up on a number of things very early on. For one, they immediately notice the city is crawling with Horrors. And also, the city is exceptionally technologically advanced thanks to the efforts of the GarEden Corporation. However, both Sword and Luke are technological philistines so it’s up to Sophie to do any research that doesn’t require talking to people directly. She links into their servers, a network known as EldoNet, and is dragged into a cartoon VR world. EldoNet seems to be a hyper-advanced version of VR, emulating sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes! It’s called a beta test existing solely within the city, but the full version is coming soon to the wider world.

While there, Sophie runs into several people within EldoNet, and its purpose starts to become much more clear: EldoNet exists to placate people, allowing them to be at ease with all the mysterious, nonsensical goings-on of the city. Even when Sophie asks some of the denizens of this internet about the disappearances, none of them seem to care since they believe the bliss of El Dorado provides is worth anything that might happen to them.

4. During her time in El Dorado, Sophie is invited to a location to learn more about the truth of El Dorado. Of course, since Sword and Luke are so overpowered there’s really no such thing as a trap, so they rush off to it anyway. They wind up at an unopened mall where a drone guides all three of them to a former an employee of GarEden.

Having seen the truth after hacking into a supposedly secure system, he clues them in to the obvious: Horrors control the city politically and in terms of actual authority. Immediately after hacking in, he’s hit with a message. It mentions the Royals need to complete the “true” El Dorado, and my current theory is that El Dorado is basically a form of EldoNet. They’ve done so much experimenting with it, and it already seems to be creating a society accepting of whatever happens without question: could anything be better for them?

5. The place is assaulted by armed guards right after the hacker tells his story. But given Sword is so powerful that none of them could pose a real threat to him, the real trouble is getting the entire group to get out safely. Just as Luke and Sophie gets pinned down, the hacker offers to give all his data to Sophie and you honestly think he’s not going to make it. But once the data finishes downloading to Sophie’s computer, she gets some kind of “upgrade” that grants her complete control over the mall. With her able to spot all the potential enemies, Luke makes quick work of them all, except for one buff guard Sword ends in seconds.

Surprisingly, after this the hacker gets to escape El Dorado. They guide him to a boat which leads away from the city, and tell him to head to a motorcycle of Luke’s that will leave him protected until he’s far away.

And finally, after all this time, Sophie gets the first potential clue of where her brother is. He works at GarEden as a programmer involved in the “true” El Dorado. At this point, if Martin Hennes isn’t the king or some version of said King, I’m legit going to be pissed. There’s no other reason Sophie should have been followed all this time.

Garo: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.