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Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012






Summary

An animated adaptation of the extremely popular horror/dark fantasy tokusatsu franchise with an entirely new setting and story, GARO: The Animation is directed by Studio MAPPA, also known as that place where all the good Madhouse animators fled to to do quirky arthouse projects, and began airing on October 4. The story takes place in the totally-not-medieval-Spain kingdom of Valiante, which has been overrun by demonic monsters called Horrors. To make matters worse, the local Inquisition has been going after the Horrors' traditional arch-enemies, the noble Makai Knights, and now only two, a father-and-son team, remain to gather allies and stem the tide.

Staff

Director: Yuichiro Hayashi
Script: Hiroshi Seko
Music: MONACA (theme song by JAM Project)
Character Design: Toshiyuki Kanno
Art Director: Kazuyuki Hashimoto
Series Composition: Yasuko Kobayashi
Studio: MAPPA
Original Creator: Keita Amemiya
Original Character Design: Hiroyuki Takei

Characters


León Luís (Makai Knight GARO) (VA: Daisuke Namikawa
The hero of the story, who was miraculously born as his mother was burnt to death as a witch. He's your typical surly teenager, with a burning need for revenge, mysterious curse that sends him into berserker rages, and parental issues like whoa, but he's got a good heart underneath it all.


Germán Luís (Makai Knight ZORO) (VA: Kenyuu Horiuchi)
León's father, mentor, and perpetual pain in the rear end. He loves the ladies, the ladies love him, and his son doesn't love how much he loves the ladies (particularly seeing as he's a widower whose wife died in tragic and unpleasant circumstances). A lot kinder, more chivalrous, and less rapey than your typical anime skirt-chaser, and seriously deadly when he decides to get serious. Shown here on one of the rare occasions when he has all his clothes on.


Alfonso Saint-Valiante (VA: Katsuhito Nomura)
The prince of Valiante, as the name suggests. He's a good-natured but somewhat sheltered young man who's looking to save his parents and break Mendoza's stranglehold on the kingdom, and thinks the Makai Knights might be just what he's looking for.


Ema Guzman (VA: Romi Park)
A Makai Alchemist, one of the Knights' support staff, who León and Germán failed dismally at rescuing from a Horror she was luring into a trap. Smart, tough, and lethal with her signature razorwire, she drops in to help our heroes on occasion, backing them up in fights, offering information, and pushing León's gigantic Oedipal buttons.


Mendoza (VA:Takaya Hashi)
The main villain of the series, Mendoza is a senior royal advisor and former Makai Alchemist with a massive grudge against the order. He was responsible for the Makai Knight purge, and has incapacitated the king via poison, framed and imprisoned the queen, and unleashed an army of Horrors on the land so that he might flood the streets with Swank, a drug ten times more addictive than marijuana take the kingdom for his own. To human misery!


GARO has been rather overshadowed this season by the rest of the glut of fantasy anime - the sequel seasons to the highly popular Log Horizon and Coffin Princess Chaika, the gigantic shonen hit The Seven Deadly Sins, and its big sister, the exquisitely overbudgeted Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. Certainly, it looks much cheaper than ROBG, particularly where the CG's concerned, but it still has a fair amount of that MAPPA visual flair, and some great monster design. The writing, too, is thoroughly solid barring the occasional wobbly episode, and there's a pleasing amount of heart and a reassuring lack of sleaze (the first episode's prostitute with the man-eating vagina is not representative, thankfully) for a grimdark fantasy show about magical knights fighting and loving through medieval Spain. Not only that, but a second season and a movie have been announced, so it looks like it'll have good longevity. Give it a shot - you may be pleasantly surprised.

Darth Walrus fucked around with this message at 14:08 on Feb 9, 2015

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Great Rumbler
Jan 30, 2013

For I am a dog, you see.


Easily among the best and most interesting shows this season. The CG is a bit too obvious and off-putting, but it's definitely not enough of an issue to take away from the everything else being really good.

I got behind a bit over the past few weeks, but I'm slowly working my way back into it.

OnimaruXLR
Sep 15, 2007
Lurklurklurklurklurk

Since the second season has been greenlit, I hope it looks better. This show has been great fun but is kinda weak looking.

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010


I like the obvious CG because it's pretty true to the live action original.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




I must say, this latest episode raises some very uncomfortable questions about León's parentage. Those marks looked awfully familiar...

Big Anime Fan Here
Sep 8, 2010

by XyloJW


Is this the same source material as the 2D fighting game

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


It is odd how these anime characters are much more believably human than anyone in the live action shows. This is easily the best version of garo.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Serious Frolicking posted:

It is odd how these anime characters are much more believably human than anyone in the live action shows. This is easily the best version of garo.

I liked how Bernardo actually didn't need to fall that far - just a moment of doubt was enough for Mendoza to turn him into a Horror, after which it was pretty much game over and he could be talked into anything.

Ema's a very entertaining female lead, too - I haven't watched that much live-action Garo, but I don't remember the female cast being that great (or the interesting women living that long).

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012






Well, poo poo. That got real fast.

Lestaki
Nov 6, 2009


Yeah, holy poo poo. I was pretty blindsided by almost everything in this episode.

Normally the hero's rage-driven berserk mode is more like a power-up which occasionally endangers others without inflicting meaningful damage on them. I did not expect to see a city burning.

animeluva1
Aug 9, 2003

Hopefully I'll have that
problem someday.


Holy poo poo I did not know this existed. I'm looking forward to binge watching this version of GARO.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Oh goddamn it. Leon lost his armor. German has armor which he can pass down to a relative. German ain't getting out of this alive, and he is my favorite character on this show. I guess the ED with Garo and Zoro making angry poses at each other makes a lot more sense now!

Also, it seems painfully obvious that either Mendoza isn't dead, or else his plans don't require that he be alive to progress.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Both Kouga in the original and Raiga in Makai no Hana have become Lost Soul Garo by the end of their respective series, so it isn't too surprising that Leon goes the same way (that's 3 out of 4 main character Garo taking the form, not counting Alfonso). What is surprising is the sheer scale of damage it brought - far more than the usual Horror manages. Normally the LS only fights their allies for a while before returning to normal (forcefully for Kouga, willingly for Raiga).

That entire episode was insane. Leon becoming Lost Soul Garo (which looks badass in the anime with the hydra head-arms), burning an entire city to the ground and doing more damage by himself than the actual monster of the episode, Alfonso becoming Garo (which I knew would happen sooner or later, but definitely not this way) and Leon not being Garo anymore, all of it was amazing. The LS Garo vs Gaia fight especially was incredible. The only disappointing thing was Mendoza's anti-climactic death, but even that will likely have consequences in future episodes.

Leon having a massive breakdown from having Garo taken from him, combined with Alfonso and German calling him out on how pathetic he's being and how he's unfitting to be Garo after that berserk display of rage, was really good and should bring great development to Leon. He'll probably inherit Zoro, now that he's lost Garo. Which makes me feel sad for Gaia, now it has no user.

Most Kamen Riders would be mad jealous of that sweet Rider Kick Alfonso pulled on Leon. If we ever get another Garo game and it has Honoo no Kokuin on it, Alfonso as Gaia (perhaps as Garo too) has to have that move somehow.

Dan7el
Dec 7, 2008



I've never watched the live-action show, and I'm new to the franchise. I'm wondering though, could it be possible that Mendoza is Alfonso's father? Seemed he had similar looking markings on his body when get went all fire-rage.

I would've expected that Alfonso would've dealt with his whole rage issue long before this moment. Seems a bit irresponsible to let someone with that kind of power potential walking around with such destructive capacity.

I kept expecting the ring to do something in this episode. I really don't understand what benefit the ring gave Alfonso other than taking his life-force for a day a month.

Lestaki
Nov 6, 2009


Alfonso is the Prince. Leon is the rage-filled idiot. I definitely think he could be connected to Mendoza, presumably via Anna.

I thought it was pretty clear that the ring was doing its level best but Leon's rage exceeded critical mass.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Seriously, despite the twists, the sheer concentration of metal poo poo in this episode deserves some attention as well. There was Alfonso tapdancing León into orbit, Ema cutting a loving tower in half with her razorwire to give León a softer landing, and even Mendoza managed to give a very solid accounting of himself against two deeply pissed-off Makai Knights. How hardcore are Alchemists/Priests in other GARO shows, anyway? Here, they barely seem to need the Knights to kick additional rear end for them.

Also, it was fairly obvious already, but Season One of this show will be twenty-four episodes long. That's in addition to the planned Season Two and movie. There's a whole lot of GARO to come.

Hypocrisy
Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm



"Oh no your rage has made you hurt innocents" is like one of the most common anime cliches there is.

I guess the first part of GARO has been building up to this but I don't have much faith in them turning around Leon's incredibly boring yet unlikable character.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Hypocrisy posted:

"Oh no your rage has made you hurt innocents" is like one of the most common anime cliches there is.

I guess the first part of GARO has been building up to this but I don't have much faith in them turning around Leon's incredibly boring yet unlikable character.

The scale is a bit different, though. Leon likely killed more people than any of the horrors we've seen aside from the ambulatory heavy metal album cover.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Yeah, they twisted the knife much harder than is usual in these plots. Leon didn't just bruise some innocents, but burnt down a city, and even his dad was up for mercy-killing him before things got worse. These mistakes and failures are usually stuff that the hero disproportionately guilts out over before being talked back into fighting half an episode later, whereas this went all the way and showed that our main character is genuinely, dangerously unsuitable for his job. Frankly, he was lucky that Mendoza didn't do to him as he'd done to Bernardo.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Personally, I think that German kind of over-emphasized his natural personality traits while Leon was growing up to teach him independence. All appearances aside, Leon was really, really dependent on other people. Plus, that sense of entitlement. His birth was lovely, but Leon seemed to think that it meant he could rage as much as he wanted. If he lost control, then there was his dad to take him down. Only this time, no one had the leisure to contain him without incident. But what else was German supposed to do, really? He couldn't leave Leon to go berserk in the past to teach him a lesson, because that would end up killing a bunch of people. So, he threw Leon into the role of Garo and hoped that he would grow into it with experience.

Dante Logos
Dec 31, 2010


Yeah, something seemed very off about this episode. like the nature of the Blood Moon and the way that Mendoza died is very strange. Not to mention that everyone faced their worst fear in one form or another. Leon lost his armor and the link to his mother, Alfonso lost his mother and Luis failed to protect Leon. I think that Mendoza created a nightmare field or something like that. Even if I am wrong, the fact that there can be a lot of speculation makes this well made

Hocus Pocus
Sep 7, 2011



Started watching, three episodes in, and this is easily the most underrated/under the radar show of the season

Razzled
Feb 3, 2011

MY HARLEY IS COOL


I am so loving glad that the show has gone the path of showing that being a raging retard gets nothing at all. Seeing lame rear end Leon disgraced is probably the most cathartic scene this season..

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




New poster for the second cour.

Looks like the lady with the headscarf who led the evacuation when Leon went loco is graduating to main-character status.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Darth Walrus posted:

New poster for the second cour.

Looks like the lady with the headscarf who led the evacuation when Leon went loco is graduating to main-character status.

She popped up a couple times before that, as well. I had her pegged as German's future love interest.

Also, I had no idea that this show was split cour.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Serious Frolicking posted:

She popped up a couple times before that, as well. I had her pegged as German's future love interest.

Also, I had no idea that this show was split cour.

It's only split-cour in the loosest sense - it's starting up again next week after taking a Christmas break.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




In this episode, GARO does a crossover with Vinland Saga.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Ugh, I really hope that this doesn't go the obvious route. You know, where he learns the will to protect via his new family being killed by a horror. The writing has been really good thus far so I don't think it will be that simple, but some kind of tragedy is definitely coming. Also, I absolutely love that no one is furious with or vindictive toward Leon. Instead, everyone just seems kind of sad and disappointed.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Serious Frolicking posted:

Ugh, I really hope that this doesn't go the obvious route. You know, where he learns the will to protect via his new family being killed by a horror. The writing has been really good thus far so I don't think it will be that simple, but some kind of tragedy is definitely coming. Also, I absolutely love that no one is furious with or vindictive toward Leon. Instead, everyone just seems kind of sad and disappointed.

It looks like the daughter, at least, is here to stay. It's just a question of how many of her family come out the other end alive. Ema seems to have their backs, at least, which is a positive sign.

Dante Logos
Dec 31, 2010


Darth Walrus posted:

It looks like the daughter, at least, is here to stay. It's just a question of how many of her family come out the other end alive. Ema seems to have their backs, at least, which is a positive sign.

Whelp they're dead. Lala might still be alive. Maybe?

Hocus Pocus
Sep 7, 2011



Dante Logos posted:

Whelp they're dead. Lala might still be alive. Maybe?

Naaah the light fading from the eyes seems like to much to do a 180 on, right? Or maybe she'll miraculously be saved because she's a closet Makai Alchemist or something.

This is an underrated show. It is consistently entertaining, and doesn't feel like it has too much filler. Really felt the character growth this episode. Leon with that axe was pretty metal too.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



That was some Star Platinum-level punching in the fight between Alfonso and this week's Horror. I mentally added the ORA shouts to Alfonso's punch barrage.

Also this series just can't let Leon be happy, huh?

Dan7el
Dec 7, 2008



Blaze Dragon posted:

Also this series just can't let Leon be happy, huh?
I think that Leon (I got the right guy this time) would've stayed with Lala for life if she hadn't died. And, for better or worse, the story is about Leon to a large degree. And a story where that happens would be pretty boring. Looks like he's learned the lesson he was supposed to learn (they beat us over the head with that notification). Time to move on....

And yeah, the whole loving farm family is dead. Even the drat dog died.

krnhotwings
May 7, 2009


Grimey Drawer

I hadn't really enjoyed the first half of Garo, but I'd say the second half is far better. I seriously wasn't expecting that to happen at all (I guess mostly because she's in the ED with Leon in his fancy white garb.) I have a feeling that they'll try to bring the girl back to life.. or something, somehow..

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


Hey, there is precedent! Stupid, stupid precedent.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




I was promised a half-hour of Ema being awesome, I got a half-hour of Ema being awesome. I am content.

Gejnor
Mar 14, 2005



Fun Shoe

Just remember this whenever Mendoza does something villainous/evil : https://vine.co/v/MIQ0uMBDQ2K

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Seriously, let me spew about how this episode was awesome.

One of the recurring things in action anime/manga is someone without the protagonists' gifts trying to show that they can be useful too. They generally fail miserably, but goddamnit, they try, and that's what's supposed to make them admirable. Think Rock Lee in Naruto, Ichigo's buddies in Bleach, or, for a particularly extreme example, Mamiya in Fist of the North Star. Ema, meanwhile, devotes her life to showing that an Alchemist can kick just as much rear end as a Knight... and ends up soloing a demonic jet-fighter that's wiped out whole squads of Knights in a batshit insane aerial dogfight, and then bangs the hero for afters.

Leon's attitude to the whole thing was pretty cool, too. He's perfectly OK with giving her space to ice her ex, but he makes it clear that he won't let her suicide, and he won't let the Horror rack up any collateral damage. Usually, the way this goes is that the talentless character gets in over their head, and the hero has to step in and kill the monster-of-the-week for them while complimenting them on their effort because he's the main character and this is his show. Hell, even the random prostitute whose job is to get murdered to establish that the villain is a threat managed to get away safely.

Dan7el
Dec 7, 2008



Yeah. I thought for sure that Ema was going to end up impaled on that spire thingy right after she killed her ex-husband-vampire-thingy-winged-monstrosity. I was honestly surprised when Leon saved her. Leon did a great job letting Ema take care of things the way she wanted -- which shows a tremendous level of both maturity and self-discipline for a guy who is supposedly pretty young yet. My main concern with the very end is that Ema is pretty loving drunk and if she's going to have sex with Leon, I would hope it's not because she is not in full control of herself due to alcohol. The show can possibly present the ending as a really good thing or a really bad thing, depending.

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Reiche
Jan 28, 2009

I like my coffee with cream and lsd.


This episode was awesome and this show is too. It took a bit for it to grow on me but it's been just one good episode after another.

Also, bad things need to stop happening to Leon

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