This was highly unexpected. This episode laid the foundation for Leon’s personality incredibly well and is one of the top episodes so far! It would only be a matter of time until Leon is swept away from agriculture life– it took merely 5 episodes to get to this point and what do we receive by the end of it? A once tarnished Makai Knight stuck in the past between visions of his mother and his own lack of understanding the importance of the Madou Ring. This new Leon was a sight to behold these past few episodes! He’s grown accustomed to the stillness Lisa’s family provided and educated him that he will walk away with more sensibility than he had from the premiere of this series!
Adding to this episode is how it establishes Leon at the forefront and deepens his bond with Prince Alfonso. A Horror shows up and devastates the tranquil town– killing various families including Lisa’s. Alfonso knows what it is like to lose a loved one and its the conversation between himself and Leon that focuses a bad omen that wrecks Leon’s rural life to the core and will forever change these two Knights forever.
Alfonso is filled with regret that he couldn’t uphold his noble stature as Prince of Valiante and his duty as the Garo Knight. On the other hand, Leon is overcome with so many emotions– regret for not following Lisa and her family to safety, sorrow over his strong subtle romantic relationship with Lisa only to lose her and hatred for the Horrors that continue to make not just his life but other people’s lives feel empty and lost. Perhaps this show will do the reversal and turn him into a Horror himself? What an astounding episode and I cannot wait to see more!
This episode screams the level of talent Mototaira Yasushi has when he directs episodes. The potential I mentioned in a previous post of Ping Pong and now with this episode just emphasizes my point even stronger that he has incredibly strong direction. I mean this guy wrote one of the best episodes of Ping Pong last year on top of Gin no Saji, and a collection of mishaps in the past but recently he’s been teamed up with tons of talented animators, screenplay writers, and original creators. Garo didn’t falter one bit here and I’m glad to see that!
Still, there are so many things left that Garo needs to tell. Mendoza’s mysterious return, Ema Guzman, Garm, the Order’s motives– what they’re relationship between Makai Knights and Alchemists represents and of course Alfonso’s redemption at giving Valiante the peace that it has needed for so many years without Horrors. Good thing there is another season announced for this– probably 50 episodes will be able to get through all this with hopefully some spectacular results just as Yasushi did with this one!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10