This is a rather tough season to pick what show has been my favorite so far, as I’ve found Psycho-Pass, Mushishi Zoku Shou’s second half, Shiatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis and Kiseijū are among the top picks to check out this Fall and really after having seen five episodes of this I can say that Garo is pretty high up on the watch list for me this season!
Every week I feel like this anime presents us with something fresh and new. Leon falls into a deep sleep for a whole day due to the Golden Knight’s abilities– the flames that we saw in the third episode proved that there is a lot more to having this power than meets the eye which even Alchemist Ema caught on to quite quickly. It was also fantastic to see the plot introduce us to a new character– Fernando. This episode took what we’ve already known about the Knights, and gave the spotlight to Alfonso and the man who saved his life, Fernando. This guy is the mentor figure to Alfonso and he portrays this parental figure to him as a balance between the father and son relationship that Herman and Leon have.
I just absolutely love how Amemiya poured in tiny elements of Mahou Shoujotai in this episode especially with the dynamic between men and women in this show. The women in Shoujotai were portrayed as the witches which here we also see with this series. The men were portrayed in that show as wizards which invoked a very intriguing war setting. With Amemiya’s writing on Garo he uses the design of the tokusatsu live action shows and adds a creative spin with animation involved especially in his portrayal of his characters.
They each have different roles– the men are the knights that are bound by duty to eliminate the Horrors all across the land, whereas the women in Garo have been portrayed as sneaky and mysterious or in Herman’s case of sexual escapades. Herman plays off his wild side very well in this show so far, but I hope this doesn’t backfire resulting in his death later on as he has been an extremely engaging character to watch on screen. Also another aspect of Mahou Shoujotai that I’ve noticed in this show is how greatly it doesn’t leave the viewer guessing who the villain is– Mendoza’s control of the land with the use of horrors is straightforward but it’s nice we aren’t dancing around that through the plot in understanding it, and as the viewer we are able to catch on with this since at least the second episode.
By and large this episode focused on Alfonso searching for his resolve to redeem his family’s honor. However, towards the second half this journey was blown out of the water with the big reveal– Esmeralda was the younger sister of Anna! Oh my goodness! I would have thought Leon and Alfonso would end up brothers but cousins sure adds a completely different level to this plot here! So the younger sister was close to witnessing her sister being burned, young Alfonso being scared of her aunt, the King’s removal of his son and his wife from watching just makes that first episode a heck of a lot more powerful after knowing this! Incredible and this was one of the best episodes of Garo yet!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10