GARO -VANISHING LINE- – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Highly advanced town – Russel City. While people enjoy its prosperity in the town, there is a huge conspiracy secretly going on which will shake the world. Sword, a man who notices its movement determines to throw himself into battles and reveal the conspiracy, but only to find a clue – “Eldorado”. At that time, Sword happens to meet a girl Sophie who has been looking for the meaning of “Eldorado”, a message left by her missing brother. These two, attracted by the word “Eldorado”, somehow feel invisible ties each other and start to act together. Their journey with mixed feelings now begins. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Garo -Vanishing Line- opened with incredible visual highs and high-octane action that proved a little divisive in how frantic and chaotic it could be. There’s no denying the incredible detail presented however, and that only makes it such a shame when the series begins to dip into ‘eyesore’ territory. Six episodes in and Vanishing Line’s quality can frequently jump between incredible, eye catching artwork and stuff not much better than the ‘trashy’ ‘b-movie’ quality anime this season is packed with.
Linny: For the more chaste viewer, do be aware that Vanishing Line constantly thrusts women with huge bosoms in your face. Heck, there’s even a sequence where a rotund woman manages to ‘force’ Sword into bed despite his very clear discomfort. It’s played as a joke but one that might not necessarily fly with all audiences. While the Garo anime have usually had a sexy woman or two, because Vanishing Line is set in modern day, it takes advantage of that to really flaunt female bodies dressed in skimpy, modern day clothing. Other than that, Vanishing Line continues to follow the standard formula of featuring a ‘villain of the week’ for our Makai Knights to defeat and forget by the next episode. This time around though, a number of the demons have possessed computers and even an entire theatre which, if you are familiar with Garo and the contracts required for horrors to take hold of their hosts, will make you wonder how a computer and a movie theatre managed to become demons and offers some unintentional hilarity.
Tom: Garo -Vanishing Line- is paper thin, focused on offering junkfood style entertainment, with little real meat or deeper heart to the proceedings. Every episode up to this point has been a one off tale with rickety internal logic that offers up exceedingly cool action moments, but isn’t something you should ever think too hard about. Vanishing Line is about style, abandoning all attempts to tell a more poignant tale about redemption, like with the original Garo anime, and admitting what it really is, junkfood, unlike Crimson Moon. Because of this adherence to a pulp fiction persona, Garo is just plain fun. It’s nothing too serious, or substantial, but an enjoyable romp with periodic high-octane action and fun, two-dimensional characters.
Linny: Also, despite the summary and the first episode focused on the whole plot revolving around ‘El Dorado’, Vanishing Line seems to be giving it very little actual airtime. For something that’s been touted as a major point of the show, it almost feels like a B story. The characters have made almost zero progress or effort to dive further into the mystery of it all. All we get every episode is one of the Makai Knights named Sword exhibiting badassery or foolishness while Sophie, a girl searching for her missing brother, tries her best to integrate herself into his demon hunting jobs hoping it will lead to clues to her brother’s disappearance.
Tom: Sword is lovably macho, and even his obsession with large breasts feels absurd enough in its realization to be more endearing than outright creepy. Sophie, the girl attempting to weave her way into the battle between the Makai Knights, Alchemists, and Horrors, has a simple, yet compelling backstory, wanting to find her long lost brother. But as Linny mentioned that plot line hasn’t moved an inch since we began, and thus makes Sophie feel like an almost superfluous component to many of the one off stories offered up so far. Other characters like the beautiful femme fatale and bad ass horror hunter Gina, or the Makai Alchemist and gunslinger Luke, are fun, kick ass characters, but tend to only pop up as the story requires, and are no more fleshed out than our two leads.
Linny: I think what makes Sword’s obsession with large breasts amusing and not offensive is the fact that he treats them with quirky reverence. He’s never groped a women openly and does a respectful bow instead every time he sees a ‘nice pair’. We also really get to see just how silly and goofy he is as Vanishing Line feels like ‘The Sword Show’ with him heavily featured in all 6 episodes thus far, whereas his fellow fighters only appear in a couple of episodes each like Tom has pointed out already. That said, even with all the screen time, Sword still is much of a mystery as the show reveals nothing about his past, content to only let us see him as a kick butt goof ball, eating enough steak to give you a tummy ache just from watching and offering reverence to large breasts.
Tom: Overall Garo -Vanishing Line- doesn’t feel quite as strong as the original animation, lacking some of the deeper characterization and overarching narrative hints to make the whole thing feel more poignant and engaging. But Vanishing Line still outdoes Crimson Moon, a thoroughly disappointing entry in the franchise. Vanishing Line manages to produce fun, if thin, content, that’s great for anyone who wants a story with a more 90s pulp anime feel to it than anything else.
Linny: Garo: Vanishing Line so far feels like Garo: Lite, it’s missing all the background and character exploration that the first two Garo anime gave their Makai Knights from the start. If you’ve liked Garo because you enjoyed seeing the weird and strange demons being handed their comeuppance by the skilled Makai Knights, then there’s still plenty of that in Vanishing Line. If you’re someone completely new to the franchise, the good news is that if you like the sound of what I just described about demons getting their butts kicked, you can jump into Vanishing Line with no knowledge on the prior series. You might feel the least bit of confusion/lack of familarity when the show mentions Makai Knights and Alchemists but not enough to be a huge detractor by any means. Finally, the only people who I would advise to avoid this series is anyone who cannot stand a heavy focus on tits in anime, or desire thorough character exploration or even any sort of super serious tale as you’ll probably be left disappointed or annoyed by Garo -Vanishing Line-‘s approach.