What They Say:
Episode #13: “GOD’S WILL”
Unsure of the next steps to take, Gina suggests going to the Land of Guidance. The crew heads toward Ferre Salé Dessimo, the Makai Alchemist village of trials. Gina must show the strength of her resolve in order to open the path to the Land of Guidance.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a holiday break, Garo Vanishing Line returns for part 2. The opening and ending theme have been changed, the heavy sound exchanged for something more befitting of the mood. Both of the songs are also accompanied by more road trip imagery, although I like the ending more than the new opening.
As they get closer to their goal of El Dorado, Gina redirects the trio towards the makai village so that she can seek some guidance. The village is well known for a trial that makai alchemists undergo, and it’s revealed that Luke stopped by not long before to hone himself. Next week’s preview shows that we’ll be meeting back up with him then.
Continuing the not-America aesthetic, the floating makai alchemist village is straight up derived from the Uros of Peru, down to the traditional dress and buildings. Yes, I still think this is weird and slightly problematic, even though it’s fairly benign and not negative… and considering this show somehow made US modern culture into an uncanny valley of alternate world nonsense I’m just gonna go with it. (Floating islands of reeds are a pretty damn cool setting for your alchemist village.)
We get more foreshadowing about Sophie and her brother during this episode. It’s pretty obvious that her brother is in the hands of the bad guys, if not outright running the show. We get some more background on what the King is and where that evil came from, and it sounds like something directly ripped from Lord of the Rings. With the King being an analog of Sauron, we get a decent idea of what the good guys are up against. With Sophie having a vision of her brother reaching out in desperation towards her, combined with the ‘once you go horror there’s no going back’ rhetoric, we’re in for quite the showdown. Unfortunately, it also means Sophie is firmly in the chosen one camp at this point.
This episode looks quite good for the start of the second half of the series. We’re treated to a fine display of what Gina can do at peak performance, and she’s a force to be reckoned with. (We also finally have a reason for Gina’s pet to exist beyond keeping Sword’s wandering hands in check.) The action scenes in this series have evened out to a good level of kinetic artistry while maintaining clarity. Gina also drops a bit more of her backstory on Sophie, just enough to make Sophie and the audience want to know more about her.
Gina leads Sword and Sophie to a village of alchemists that set them on their way to finding the answers they seek, and hopefully a power-up or two before the venture toward the final boss. They do this by drawing from yet more indigenous cultural inspiration that might rub people the wrong way, but it does make for some cool imagery. Gina shows off all her coolest moves and what a Makai alchemist can do at peak performance, and a guiding force hints at what the group will have to face. Not a bad return for this newest Garo series, and with all of that out of the way the trio hits the road once again.
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation