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Review: “Garo: The Animation Season 1 Part 2” – Lock Up the Wolves

by on May 26, 2017
 

GaroWhen we last saw the Makai Knights in Garo: The Animation Season 1 Part 1, things were good and not so good. The villainous Mendoza had been deposed, though neither easily nor cheaply. German has left to continue his work cleaning up the last of the Horrors, Ema is just plain gone, and poor Alphonso is slowly drowning in the mundane work of ruling in his father’s stead and dealing with rogue Horrors himself. And poor Leon outright lost it during the fight with Mendoza and almost destroyed Santa Bard in a rage, leading to the loss of the Garo armor, and everything else in his life. Part two begins with Leon suffering from something like amnesia as he sorts himself out in an isolated farming village well removed from the hustle of Santa Bard and all of the other troubles. Of course, that would make for a fairly boring show, so trouble comes knocking before you know it. But what is a Makai Knight without their armor?

Given the events of the previous episodes, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Leon in particular is a bit out of sorts. Anyone would be if their entire life came crashing down in an instant. Oddly, he also manages to make his first real friend during his interlude in the country: Lara, the sprightly daughter of the farming couple that took him in when he quite literally washed up on the shore of the river near them. This interlude does provide a nice break from the otherwise endless cycle of “kill, suffer, kill” that the rest of the show tends to run on. Alphonso also finds some measure of well-deserved solace as well, at least till the specter of Mendoza’s true goals start rearing up again.

GaroAs for German, despite his best attempts at being a more normal person, he ends up ensnared into helping Mendoza’s goals due to a grave miscalculation by the heads of the Makai order. Ema, the Makai Alchemist, gets a little character work of her own, but mostly serves to keep the plot line moving over having any particular desires of her own. She’s a capable ally to be sure, but she feels like a bit of a missed opportunity overall. Thankfully the show is reasonably well paced overall, so there’s only a little bit of scrambling to finish things at the end as the world starts turning to ash.

Much like the first part of the season, Part 2 doesn’t exactly tread a lot of new ground, but it does what it does very well. The fight scenes actually get better as the show goes along, feeling less claustrophobic and better shot than some of the earlier ones. The animation in general, while not superlative, never lags too the point of distraction either. The sound track is still awesome; you can’t go wrong with some JAM Project in your show. The only real extra in this set is another cast FUNimation commentary. If you’re looking for a bloody time, Garo: The Animation will scratch that itch.

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