Originally Aired: Fall 2017/Winter 2018
I love the basic concept of the Garo franchise: Heroes hunting demons in the shadows, using magical powers and badass suits of armor to do it. Vanishing Line is the first of the animated Garo series I’d seen, and while it delivered the action and spectacle I was hoping for (most of the time), it also turned out to be an unexpectedly engaging story backed up by a strong and well-developed cast of heroes.
The first half of the series is the most predictable: Meat-headed hero Sword and his stoic partner, Luke, are hunting down the source of the Horrors that have been plaguing their city, which come from a mysterious place called “El Dorado”. A young girl named Sophie happens to be searching for El Dorado too, as she believes it is where she’ll find her missing older brother. For the intial twelve episodes of the series, Sword and Sophie do the usual thing of slowly learning to trust each other so they can work together to meet their goals.
The second-half of the series is much more interesting, though. It takes the form of a bizarre, fantasy-horror tinged road trip across the fictionalized US of the Garo universe, with Sword, Sophie, Luke, and a buxom mage named Gina forming a makeshift family of sorts. The action and storytelling in the back half of Vanishing Line can be a little messy at points, but there’s far more heart there than I ever could have predicted would come from what started as the season’s other, better homage to the T&A fuelled violence of 80s and 90s OVAs.
You can find my episodic reviews of all 24 episodes of Garo: Vanishing Line on Anime News Network.