Now this was an effective build-up episode for the final climax. And the sad thing, it’s still going to continue after the first cour. What’re the other shows’ excuses (don’t get me wrong. I still like Bahamut, Amagi, and…well Psycho-Pass 2 is complicated)?
Yeah, I know it’s not really fair to compare something that wants to be theatrical to something that wants to be a slapstick drama or a high-spirited adventure story, because if you’re biased towards one genre, then the best of said one will always beat out the best of the others. Still, Alfonso’s mother is a more interesting character in her few minutes of screen time than Latifah has been in her “also small, but significantly larger” amount is all I’m saying. And the new developments regarding Mendoza are much more impactful and well-told than the reveal of Amira’s origins. The show isn’t cracking me up like Psycho-Pass 2, but we can’t all be winners, can we?
But I think why Garo has wormed its way into my favorite show of the season at this point is because of how seriously it takes itself. Now don’t get me wrong, a really serious tone would not work with Amagi because that show’s characters are not good enough to justify that sort of thing. But when you have really good elements and you don’t take them seriously – like Bahamut – it just feels like a waste of potential and it’s not as funny as it thinks it is. Garo thankfully has both the tools and the tone to get away with what I prefer from my campy humor, and when that combination is pulled off as well as it is here, it can make a huge difference regarding a slow build-up episode and an engaging one.
And yeah, I don’t buy Mendoza being the final villain. Despite him being a credible threat, he just doesn’t feel “big” enough for a story like this. Unless he turns into some sort of grand Horror or something later on, but that’d still put him at only “final boss of Mage Tower in Dragon Age” level at best.