I think it’s doubtful that anyone even slightly remembers what this feature was about. The last (and only post) to date was published way back in october of last year. In case you missed out on that one, you can find it right here. Now that I am (finally) back, it’s time to breathe new life into this blog, and with it pick up some of the features that I started but never really came to life because of my hiatus. So while the title I guess pretty much says it all, let me give you a small explanation as to what this was about. The streaming service Crunchyroll is pretty much the Netflix for anime, and has an enormous line-up with hundreds of titles. Some of these are familiar, but there are also a lot that haven’t gotten much exposure. I will be picking a relatively unknown anime at random, watch it, and then write about it. This could mean I might discover a hidden gem, or something that is so bad it’s probably best if it’s never heard from again. For this second installment I must admit I have cheated a bit. Well, slightly that is. Because I didn’t really pick this one randomly. Almost two years back, at Animecon 2018 I had already seen the first five episodes of the anime I will be talking about today. I never did get back to completing it: until now!
Garo: Vanishing Line
Year of Release: 2017
Number of Episodes: 24
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Horror
Yep, there is no denying the fact that the poster above looks seriously cool right? How about the show itself though, because really just like a book you shouldn’t judge it based on a cover erm poster alone. Let’s first dive into the story of this anime before we get into that. Garo: Vanishing Line takes place in a huge and sprawling metropolis called Russel City. While everything might look very pleasant and decent from the outside, as is usually the case it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The city is plagued by a series of monsters called Horrors that have the power to possess humans. But luckily there are a number of protectors that can fight these creatures, the most powerful of these being the Golden Knight Garo. One night, while out fighting a particularly nasty Horror, he comes across a young orphan girl called Sophie. Just in the nick of time he manages to save her life. Sophie is looking for her missing brother, and the only clue that she has to his whereabouts is the mysterious phrase “El Dorado”. Just what is El Dorado, and how exactly is it connected to the Horrors that continue to attack the city? Together with Garo, and two of his friends called Luke and Gina, Sophie tries to uncover the truth. But the truth might be a little more than she bargained for, and when revealed might spell doom for the entire human race….
Garo Vanishing Line was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There was some very cool stuff in this anime, while at the same time, especially during the middle part of the show things began to drag a little bit. Where this anime shines the most is on the action and character front. The Golden Knight Garo, also known as Sword, is a big oaf that has a particular fondness for large breasted women, but has a heart of gold. His character was a lot of fun. I really loved the fact that while he could be serious when it was necessary, he also was able to laugh in the face of danger, and in his downtime seemed like a bit of a simpleton. (Which of course couldn’t be farther from the truth). On the female front we have Gina, the bad ass chick that could certainly hold her own agains the Horrors. She was a strong female that I honestly wished we had seen more of and I felt was a bit underused. But then again, the episodes that she did play a role in were usually the best. I also liked the fact that she became a kind of mother figure to Sophie. Speaking of the orphan girl, I’m happy that she wasn’t the kind of whiny brat that you sometimes get to see in these kind of shows. She really was a kindhearted soul, that eventually became very important to the story. Considering all the terrible things that she encountered, I was impressed that she didn’t turn completely insane or ended up as sobbing wreck.
The final character, but in no means the least might also be the coolest one: Luke. He had this really mysterious aura about him, and a seriously cool design, especially when it comes to his weapons and outfits. He also serves as a great counterbalance to loudmouth Sword, and this often resulted in some very funny scenes. And then there is the action! The first five episodes had so much of that, that it would give the biggest Hollywood action movies a run for their money. It was brought to life with some fantastic looking animation scenes. Sword has a really awesome bike that talks (yep, think K.I.T.T. only better), and in the opening episode plays a center role in setting the tone for this anime. Breakneck chase sequences, some horrific creature designs, fast paced sword and gun battles, all of these blend together to give action and horror fans pretty much all they would want. There was some heavy use of CGI mixed together with the traditional anime style, but at no point did this become annoying. In fact I would say that the animation itself is also one of the highlights of this show, as it all looks very cool. The background, characters and monsters of the world have awesome designs and you can see a lot of time and effort was put into developing these.
The beginning of the show is a monster of the week kind of thing, where a new Horror is introduced and fought against in each episode. Eventually the search for clues about El Dorado takes centre stage though and the anime takes on a different tone. The action takes a back seat and instead we get more narrative driven episodes. While this doesn’t always mean that’s necessarily bad, I felt the shift in tone was very abrupt. The middle part of the anime was very slow, and there were episodes that I felt my mind starting to wonder off. Which is usually a bad sign. Luckily though, the show picked up again towards the end, and had a satisfying conclusion that wrapped up all the storylines. Overall I can honestly say that I enjoyed this anime for the most part. The fun characters, fresh and bright anime style, and awesome action sequences makes this an anime worth checking out. Though there are certainly a lot of horrific and gruesome scenes in it, it never becomes too horrible, so don’t expect a gorefest. Well, that’s it for this second installment of this feature. Over to you guys. Have you seen this anime? What did you think of it? Let’s talk over in the comments section! I will leave you with a short Japanese trailer of the show. See you next time!
I give Garo: Vanishing Line a 7 out of 10 score.