With all these new anime coming and going, this show has been constantly on my mind ever since then. Despite only ranking #2 in its seasonal roundup, it’s definitely the one to have a really lasting impression on me with its writing, execution, its everything. Probably, it’s proof that I can be rather short-term with my seasonal roundups, but that’s not the topic of discussion at hand. The thing is, I haven’t paid this anime the honor it deserves, and to that purpose I will now review it to explain why it’s so fucking awesome.
Epic finales are no mystery to any long-time fan of the GARO tokus (read: old people who were alive in the distant past of 2005). In fact, when compared to every other entry in the franchise (except maybe the original 2005 one, and that’s because the most advanced FX back then was MS Paint), this is a relatively low-key finale for any GARO entry.
Did I ever mention that you should probably watch the tokus? Let me reitare that you should probably watch the tokus.
But, in a certain, emotional way, this finale kind of tops every other GARO finale, mostly because of Kobayashi’s masterful grasp of the audience’s heartstrings. If heartstrings were a violin, Kobayashi would be Hilary Hahn.
I was going to cover last week’s episode of GARO: The Animation, but then I realized I don’t have a lot to say about episode 20 of GARO: The Animation. It wasn’t as good as episode 19, which is not saying much because episode 19 was one of the best 23-odd minutes of anime Kobayashi ever wrote. Considering she wrote Casshern Sins and Claymore, that’s saying something.
It was good, kinda, but ultimately kind of boring because the focus was on Octavia, Mendoza’s henchwoman and also some other really oddly drawn woman standing around being miserable and spouting Freudian excuses.
Last week, I watched GARO: The Animation thinking that it would be the finest episode there would ever be of this series. I mean, it did some excellent work on León’s character development and had some of the best animation the show’s budget (read: a grilled cheese sandwich per animator) will ever allow.
And of course, the show went and topped itself this week, obviously.
Making a character go through a lot of pain, angst and suffering, by itself, a good story does not make. You need a lot of wit to pull it off in a comedy because a character suffering is not inherently funny, and it doesn’t make your drama more poignant or deep because it needs meaning for it to carry any gravitas.
Suffering and angst is not an end, it’s a means to an end. It’s way too common for bad comedies and trashy dramas to simply put a character to go through a lot of crap with no ultimate conclusion and say it’s some noveau avant-garde croissant limousine shit and pretend that angst is not something that’s been present in stories older than bum itching. Continue reading