5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line 21: “Cause And Effect”

by Sage Ashford

Sword, Luke, and Gina rush to save Sophie from the clutches of GarEden. And King has to deal with the truth of what he’s done. 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. Much of this episode sees Sophie sidelined in order to finally tell Martin’s story. She’s only at the very beginning of the episode where she’s still trying to kill her brother but he runs away, and at the tail end where she finds him again. She briefly points out since her brother is a Horror, her friends will kill him anyway so she’s going to do it first. It’s sad she has to think that way but she’s actually had to witness the chaos brought on by the Horrors after 20 episodes so it’s a logical conclusion to come to.

I’ve seen a few people claim Sophie’s responsible for what happens later in the episode though, and that’s insanity. Sophie’s a victim in this, much like everyone else.

2. On their way to rescue Sophie, Sword, Luke and Gina are confronted by Queen. This late in the game, you’d expect a one on one battle from her, but she actually reveals she can be just as hands-off as Bishop. Starting out she attacks them with Makai Plants, but once those are easily avoided she activates what looks like…sleeper agents? They transform unexpectedly, and start wreaking havoc on the city while trying to attack Luke and Gina, though Sword has already escaped and is making his way to the GarEden HQ again.

This (and a later scene) make me wonder just how much power Queen and Bishop have in the first place. It’s possible the Ring doesn’t have the same level of control over them, because their actions seem much more measured than other people in the city.  Some of them don’t even seem aware of their alternate lives here. …Not that it stops them from tearing into the people here in one of the most comically horrific scenes since that one programmer chick got chomped on in the early episodes.

3. Again, the majority of “Cause and Effect” is based on Martin’s life. All the events up to this started because Martin abandoned his ten year old sister for three years and never attempted to call/write her even once, so you’d probably like to actually know why you should care about him instead of rooting for Sophie to murder him.

It starts with a flashback to Sophie and Martin when their parents died. Their relatives were all garbage, bickering over who would raise them and how it’d be easier to leave them in an orphanage. Driven by their greedy behavior, Martin decided he would make it his life’s goal to invent an entirely new world, one where there wasn’t any hardship and humanity attained true equality. He develops the software to scan people’s brainwave patterns and place them into a created virtual world, but the funding to actually build what he wants remained out of reach until GarEden contacts him.

Having analyzed his research, the group makes him head administrator for developing the El Dorado project, and gifts him the ring that starts this whole mess. He loses track of time, refuses any creature comforts, and works tirelessly to build a world in which Sophie can be happy. But throughout this, he gets tempted by Queen several times for more…carnal indulgences. This feels gross since he can’t consciously use the ring’s power (and we’re not even sure how well it controls her to begin with), but it’s at least going somewhere.

4. Our big shock this episode comes when Queen is finally taken down through the combined teamwork of Makai Alchemists Gina and Luke. We’re so close to the end she might actually be dead, but I wouldn’t discount the idea she comes back unexpectedly somehow.  It’d be kind of annoying if she was though–she went out in a cool way, but the fight choreography wasn’t cool at all. Luke just shoots at her while she dodges and trash talks his aim, until Gina smacks one of Luke’s bullets with a bullet from her sniper rifle, and the combined magic energy wipes her out. I can’t really insult the choreography because there isn’t any, it’s just kind of uninspired dodging combined with the most obvious ending possible.

Only surprising thing here is Bishop didn’t go first. At this rate, he’ll probably survive all the way to the tail end of the show.

5. If you thought last episode went to some dark places emotionally, “Cause and Effect” blows it out of the water. Martin is forced to confront several horrifying realizations all at once. The entire reason he began working on this project in the first place was to make Sophie happy. He abandoned the one family member that cared about him, ignored any attempt to build a life outside of work, and started this massive world-changing ideal…all for nothing. Thousands have died just because he wanted to make the world a better place. The one person who loved him the most thinks badly enough about him to want to murder him.

Contact with the Horrors has done nothing less than utterly destroy Martin mentally and emotionally, perverting even his pure desire into something to ruin countless lives. But that isn’t enough. Queen trying to tempt him into sex? It all came from the ring–they needed him to give in to something carnal in order to activate the real power inside it. Nearly being killed by Sophie does the trick, and a gentle nudging from the real King inside the Ring shatters his mind, causing him to want nothing more than the entire world to go away.

And so, having gotten their evil desire out of him, the King is able to awaken, and consumes Martin’s body to gain physical shape again. Man, we need Sword more than ever.

Garo: Vanishing Line is available on Crunchyroll.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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