Garo the Animation, Part Two – Review

Garo’s second half finally came out, and so I got to finish this recent swashbuckling adventure ride. The second half was unfortunately not quite as impressive as the first – the show kinda felt like it had just run out of fundamental story after the collision of Leon and Alfonso, and introducing devices like a born-to-be-fridged girlfriend certainly didn’t help matters. But Garo is still just a fundamentally compelling production, and so I still had a fine time with its conclusion.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!

Garo the Animation

Episode 13

Another fluid and interesting OP, though not as compelling as the first one

Nearly grayscale colors for the funeral of the queen. Garo continues to be an extremely visually inspired production

And the music is similarly compelling. Chimes and a mournful vocal track

Character designs as well, still very diverse and creative

The show has significantly more filmic direction than you tend to get in TV anime

Horror designs are excellent, too

Leon recovering slowly, through some gorgeous pastoral scenes

“Whether he recovers or not is up to him”

“Even though there’s nothing, it’s the land my father left us.”

Leon is still prickly and rude, but a fundamentally well-meaning guy

A lengthy sequence visually and aurally paced to the rhythm of their daily farm life. A really interesting choice for the season premiere

He only tells them his name once he feels pride in himself again

The contrast between Leon and Alfonso rebuilding is pretty nice

Oh no evil assistant lady is still alive!

Episode 14

The prince sneaks out

Lara is Leon’s new friend

Seeing German have to deal with Alfonso instead of Leon is pretty great. They have a very different but understandable dynamic

This is largely just an episodic Horror conflict, though

Pretty messy narrative

The ED is an incredibly tacky techno/numetal song

Episode 15

The craftsmen of the town are trying to create another Knight of Light

So it’s a team of armor nerds making Knight of Light cosplay

“Why don’t we just make it a self-moving doll?” Oh my god they’re making a Gundam

They use intestines for pipes, this is going to be horrifying

This is a pretty smart way to make a low-cost episode. Lots of repeated frames for the various experimental attempts


This episode is so cute

“The people we protect aren’t weak”

Episode 16

A story about a wandering doctor. He is replaced by an ambitious young man who gets taken over by a Horror

“A mask makes it easier to believe in me”

German’s ladyfriend Jimena is wrapped up in this one

Haha, the doctor horror can’t help but want to treat German even as he’s fighting him

And he has a medicine cabinet for a chest. This show has a bunch of nice little ideas like that

Episode 17

Welp, looks like tragedy bait girl’s gonna bite it

The show is very good at creating a wintery atmosphere through slight visual cues, color palette, and sound design

Lara was an unfortunately designed character, but they’re at least selling Leon’s despair well

This final scene is also very well done

Episode 18

Aw, cute kiss for German and Jimena

Great articulation of Leon’s rage. Although I sure do hope he isn’t consumed with the exact same conflict as the first season – if Lara had to die, I’d at least like her death to come with him growing as a person

Leon wants his armor back. Great

“I want the power to protect someone”

“I will confirm your determination through your blade!” This show

This fight is gorgeous

“I will never look at the flames within myself again”

Even this Horror fight looks terrific

“Looks like I’m going to be helping Mendoza out”

Conflicts based in not fully explaining things are pretty lazy as well

Episode 19

Ema is chasing Luciano, a Horror who used to be her husband

The significance of Horrors is kind of vague. They’re often tied to impossible ambitions or greed, but then also framed as tragic figures

“What can you do with a body like that? A mere alchemist.” Oh dang, they’re kinda getting into the unequal gender politics of the Makai order!

This airborne fight is as absurd as it is awesome

The show’s still using CG flourishes where most appropriate

Jeez, Leon and Ema? That’s an odd pairing

Episode 20

“Is it wrong to hope for a better life for oneself?”

Octavia is a much more interesting villain than Mendoza

“Octavia. Do not forget. I will not toss you aside.”

Dang. Octavia sacrifices her leg to end their suspicion. Intense stuff

“Those damn Makai knights!”

German’s position continues to be completely incoherent

Episode 21

“Words are meaningless. Makai knights only converse with their blades!”

Ema: “They’re both so stupid!” Yep

They’re going to use Valiante as a gate for Horrors so they can destroy them. Welp

“Nobody wants sacrifices, but if many more can be saved in the exchange…” That old debate

This conflict is so similar to the first season, too

Episode 22

Mendoza is playing a terrible game of soul tetris

German’s plan sure is bad

The other three get trapped in a modern world reality marble

O no Octavia

Episode 23

Really creatively framed fight as they dance on this falling beam

So many gorgeous shots in this episode

Episode 24

And Mendoza absorbs Anima

“Who said I wanted you to come with me?” Ema great to the end

Welp, looks like Zoro’s line continues

Episode 25

Looks like an Ema OVA episode

Ema bullying this girl about her crush is great

And now Ema has to play mom

Ema declines to clear up the accusations around her, because Drama

Once again, the victim of the Horror isn’t a bad person at all

One thought on “Garo the Animation, Part Two – Review

  1. Garo was nothing really to make you go WOW but it’s so rare to see stuff thats just alright and fun in the adventure genre that I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    Kinda remind me of Punchline which was just a small story well told without any other ambition.

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