5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line Episode 3: “Gina”

by Sage Ashford

Sword meets the strangest monster yet while working with the Makai Alchemist, Gina. But does he get any closer to the information he wants about El Dorado? Remember, if you like 5 Point Discussions please share it on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have any questions or comments hit me up @SageShinigami!
1. Like last week, this episode of Garo introduces another character in the battle to fight Horrors: Gina, a Makai Alchemist. Makai Alchemists are the first wave of people fighting Horrors, pre-dating the Knights by quite some time. Unlike the Knights, the Alchemists have little in the way of overwhelming physical abilities, instead possessing knowledge of spells, healing, and sealing techniques that aid the Knights. This works as a balance, as Makai Alchemists are unable to do direct battle.
I wondered what this series’ Makai Alchemist would be like, and she lives up to expectations…in more ways than one, unfortunately. From what I gleaned from this episode: Gina’s got the cat-like, sneaky reflexes of Catwoman, as we watch her somersault and backflip her way through a complex laser security grid. She’s also got the fighting skills of Batman, as she effortlessly beats dozens of guards to a bloody pulp, but more on that later. And she’s reminiscent of Fujiko as well, having a strange relationship with our womanizing main character that involves her constantly using him both financially and athletically to complete her own goals, and generally offering him nothing in return. Even the mysterious El Dorado remains just as much of a mystery by the end of the episode, and the only thing Sword winds up accomplishing is killing another Horror. She’s not the best example of a female character, but then so far all we’ve got is Sophie (who’s been sidelined since the first episode) and diner girl, so it’s not like we’ve got much to work with to start right now.
2. I’ll confess to not being super experienced with Garo: I’ve seen half the first season, finished the third season, and watched half the first animated series. Having said that? I loved this week’s Horror. I’m not certain how it happened, but having one possess a computer and still take advantage of man’s natural greed in order to keep itself fed added a twisted, Ghost in the Shell/horror feeling to this episode that made it stand out from most.
3. Even though it won’t happen, it’d be cool if this city just suddenly became a lot less crime-ridden for a while. The star villain for this episode was Damian Steward, a two-bit punk who climbed his way up the mafia ranks by taking advantage of this Horror that gave him information across the web, including the location of all the mafia bosses who were angry that he’d been making waves so quickly. Just as they’re making plans to figure out to kill him, he springs a surprise attack on the group and murders every them all in one clean sweep. That creates the kind of power vacuum that either makes for widespread chaos or widespread peace, because organized crime just stopped being organized. This isn’t that type of show though, so I’m guessing it’s glossed over rather than being brought up again.
4. The big question I have for this episode though is when did Makai Priests and Knights become granted the ability to attack humans? A major plot point in the first anime, Garo: The Animation, was that the entire Makai society almost got wiped out because the church decided to have witch hunts focused on people who specialized in Makai weaponry and techniques, and the rules of the Makai world were that none of them could even defend themselves. Dozens of people burned at the stake following those rules rather than simply fighting back, but Gina beat a lot of mafia guys’ faces until they turned black and blue–is that no longer against the rules?
5. Next Episode: Now that all the key characters have been introduced, it’s time to get the story’s plot started again, as Sophie re-enters the picture and continues looking for her brother! This is coming not too soon either, as we’re three episodes into what’s likely a twenty-six episode series, and it’s running the risk of being a monster of the week series if too much more of this occurs.
GARO: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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