5 Point Discussions – Garo: Vanishing Line Episode 2: “Luke”

by Sage Ashford

Sword meets up with an old ally, as they hunt down a Horror with super-speed abilities.  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. I was wondering just how this city dealt with being under attack from horrors when the main character Sword was wrecking monsters in the middle of the city with no regard for how the citizens would react. As it turns out, he has a friend–Luke–that appears to have some Makai Priest techniques but is much more capable in battle who takes care of that for him. He casts a rain spell that wipes the memory of anyone hit by it, leading people to forget what they ever saw and actively try to push the memories away. That’s probably better than letting the city start to piece together how all of this works–even aside from how much havoc that would wreck on keeping the city relatively peaceful, humans knowing the secret to the Horrors comes with its own unique set of issues, but more on that later.
2. Though Luke is supposed to be Sword’s partner, they don’t seem to get along terribly well.  While discussing the events of the first episode in their diner home base, Sword talks about how he believes it doesn’t matter if people get close to you while you’re saving them, while Look seems to believe the further away the normals are kept the better. Luke’s line of thought is probably the most accurate: the life of Makai Knights and Makai Priests is incredibly dangerous, and the fewer people involved in that danger the better.
But Sword presents a surprisingly cogent point: someone who doesn’t understand people wouldn’t be able to save them. Like it or not, with Luke’s method it’s easy to think the mission is all that matters. You forget that the point of the job is to keep people out of harm’s way–even in this episode, Luke treats humans like more of an annoyance than the people he’s meant to help, and that’s a way of life that will probably come back to haunt him.
3. We don’t see very much of Sophie this episode. There’s a brief bit of her in the hospital talking to a cop, but after explaining she doesn’t remember anything of how she wound up near the wrecked crime scene, she wanders out to speak to the nun of home she’s staying at, before wandering out of the episode in search of her brother. It’s good that they didn’t waste too much time on her story this week though–if it wasn’t going to go anywhere interesting, it’s a waste of runtime. Hopefully she gets a bigger focus next week or the week afterwards.
4. This episode’s monster of the week was a bit of a bummer. Because Horrors take advantage of power negative emotions, literally anyone can be tempted to go to the dark side. And because this isn’t your average “happy ending” superhero series, there’s no way back once you decide to merge with a Horror. You just start looking weird and the next thing you know you’re chomping down on people like Earth’s an all you can eat buffet. This week’s episode focused on a former gold medal Olympian runner who wound up in a wheelchair after a horrific freak accident. He runs into Sophie on the way out of the hospital, where she knocks him out of his wheelchair while not looking where she’s going.
Later, while he’s dramatically bemoaning his fate, a Horror comes and offers him the ability to use his legs again. Of course he accepts the offer, and from there his fate is sealed.  What’s especially sad about this is that it’s not like he wanted something unrealistic. Generally people transformed into Horrors were already terrible people, Horrors just help enable them–but this guy? He just wanted something he already had before, so it’s not like there’s really a lesson to be learned here besides “accept your fate in life”, which is pretty gross.
This is also why no one should ever know how Horrors are created. If they knew negative emotions were how these beings proliferated, the city would be full of them.
5. Though the story of this week’s Horror is a giant bummer, the action took a massive upswing. Both the chase scene and the actual fight were short but sweet, well choreographed affairs. Befitting the human that it possessed, this Horror has super-speed, forcing Sword to chase it around the city on his bike while Luke watched from above and gradually incapacitated it with perfectly timed bullets from above.
The shaky cam was ditched in favor of quick pacing and scenes of epic ridiculousness, such as Luke dramatically reloading his rifle in time to finally get the kill shot on the Horror. At this point, the GARO series is known for doing absurd action better than anyone else–they should stick to that and avoid boring real life techniques like ShakyCam.
Garo: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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