A brief history of the blood of knights, Mendoza’s machinations are brought to light, and the terms of Leon’s contract with Zaruba are laid out in full.
What They Say:
Two sisters who led very different lives and their sons who are connected by fate. During the night of the new moon, León’s life is consumed by Madou Ring Zaruba while Alfonso learns of his bloodline as well as the state of his country.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It is the day of the New Moon, the one day of the month where the Golden Knight Garo is completely powerless, trapped in a comatose state by the Madou Ring Zaruba as the terms for its services. As such, the focus of this week’s episode shifts away from Leon and German and shifts to Prince Alfonso. Having been rescued from the Horror onslaught by the mysterious Rafael Banderas and taught of the true nature of his father’s most trusted advisor, Alfonso is hit with a crippling sensation of powerlessness. His kingdom and its people, the people who trust him to defend their lives are being threatened by a force he does not have the ability to stand against. Thankfully, he learns of a power dwelling inside him. He is in the direct bloodline of the Golden Knight on his mother’s side. And while Leon inherited the power of the Golden Armor from his mother, Queen Esmeralda’s older sister, Makai blood still flows in Alfonso’s veins.
Rafael takes him to Valdona, once a fertile land of vineyards and wheat, now tainted by the influence of the once great Count Romero. He’s been possessed by a Horror, and Alfonso learns that slaying the creature is Rafael’s true purpose for coming out of hiding. While dealing with a minor Horror, Alfonso is caught in the crossfire and a simple glancing blow is enough to send him flying into the Count’s art gallery, where a massive Horror is attempting to consume a mother and her infant child. Alfonso’s efforts to rescue them fail repeatedly, but Rafael appears and reveals the nature of his Makai Armor, Gaia – The Knight of Defense. With his power, the Horror is dispatched, once again bringing Alfonso to realize he’s simply not strong enough to do a thing for his people. He begs Rafael to take him as his apprentice, to which he accepts, promising to endow him with every skill he has learned.
The shift between leads for this episode was a nice change of pace. Now that the viewer has a general sense of what Horrors and Makai Knights are. Rafael as a character feels a little generic, but hopefully in a few episodes he can flesh out into something more. The preview for episode 6 hints at a major character from the original live action series making an appearance, that kind of fanservice toward veterans of the franchise is nice to see and I’m glad MAPPA is getting the chance to play around with the main concepts of it while maintaining a completely newcomer-friendly mentality. It still staggers me that a relatively new studio can maintain two high-level projects such as this and Rage of Bahamut Genesis, and neither has seen much in the way of a major degradation of quality, whether in animation or story so far.
A brief pause in Leon’s journey and the introduction of Alfonso’s is the shot in the arm the series needed to keep me interested. Five episodes is generally the length of time I give shows of this scope to flesh themselves out and make their impressions. MAPPA’s animation continues to be excellent, the story remains interesting, and the fights well choreographed. At this point I feel completely comfortable in not only keeping Garo the Animation in my viewing schedule for the foreseeable future, but recommending it to friends as well (to which I have).
Streamed By: FUNimation
Review Equipment: 17” HP Pavillion Laptop running Windows 8, Google Chrome