Garo -Honō no Kokuin Episode 21

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We’ve got quite the veteran director working on this episode here.  Masami Hata.  Starting out around the early 60’s as an animator for Mushi Pro.  This at the time was the leading studio in animation as it was headed by the grandfather of japanese animation–  Osamu Tezuka.  This is where he started his directorial debut with television series Wonder 3.  I can clearly see how strong his influence is on this episode here–  the camera angles feel rather old-school.  Before Sanrio’s animation company dissolved he worked as a director on some of their top feature films of the 70’s well into the 80’s.  If I recall, two of the biggest produced films he worked on were Adventures in Slumberland and Chirin no Suzu also known as Ringing Bell.  As of today Hata works as a freelance animator, script writer and episode director.  This and Hajime no Ippo Rising are about the only episode directed television series he’s worked on that I can recall as of late.

The heroic death trope.  This has been overdone to death in fantasy series and Garo isn’t any different even if takes an entire episode to build up to the inevitable fate of German Luis.  So many things happen in this–  Mendoza wants to control the world through Horrors, Garm and German are willing to destroy all of Valiante in order to deal a large blow to the Horrors coming out of the gate.  A tough decision between knights that are supposed to restore peace and order throughout the lands–  especially for Alfonso.  The young prince that lost his mother through Mendoza’s cause will only lead to more suffering.  I do have to wonder what sort of Horror Alfonso would have turned out to be if the country had been destroyed here.

German backing these ideals really illustrates Leon’s abrasive angst towards his father really well.  The flashback sequence that plays against the good use of CG fight between father and son portrays the relationship they have in a much more closer manner than what we’ve seen.  Somehow I feel their past should have had more focus for at least an entire episode or two much earlier;  possibly in the first half of Garo.

As this series is concluding for me it has done well in establishing its characters by focusing on the minor cast around them.  Getting to the end though is a rushed attempt at giving a somewhat satisfying ending especially with this episode’s jump between father/son quest of redemption, Makai Knights decision to choose what is the greater sacrifice and Mendoza’s twisted plot to reclaim the very world that denied him.

This would have been an awesome stopping point for a

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

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