Garo: Honoo no Kokuin Episode 13 (Recovery)
So, we’re back to Garo after the Christmas break and this episode was just what the series needed after the huge dramatic swells of the previous episode. Its about tranquility, growth, and following how our main leads have been doing in the aftermath of the fight with Mendoza. But I’m getting ahead of myself, lets discuss the story itself.
First off, Leon is alive, in case you couldn’t figure it out due to the fact he’s the main lead and in the opening sequence.
We’ll focus on his part in this episode. After (somehow) surviving falling from a cliff, he’s taken in by a family of farmers who find him. He doesn’t say anything for days and when he does he say on question over and over.
Leon’s main issue this episode is this; despite having nothing to live for, no revenge, no armor, no purpose,he is questioning why he’s still alive. What should he even do? His part in this episode is him having no purpose or goal, but eventually learning to live again. Luckily he has help.
I’ll say it right now, I love this family. I love the grandfather who actually is rather wise, the sarcastic granny, and Lara, the girl who finds him and helps tend to him as he recovers. She’s nice, she’s cute, she’s interested in seeing the world but also understanding this is her life and where she’s supposed to be, and she’s just darling. Of course, while my shipping goggles are heavily on, I still admit it might not be-
Ok, yeah..yeah..I ship them. I ship them so hard. While yes, her character isn’t deeply complicated or introspective, she doesn’t have to be. Their relationship is nice, and its growing rather naturally. And since she’s in the ending credits, I really hope she does become the main love interest. What’s best is she doesn’t just feel like a character made for the sake of the male character, but a character in her own right. She has dreams, goals, loves, thoughts, and it just clicks so well together. It was so good and the family are so endearing and likable I care about them farming grain and onions. GRAIN AND ONIONS!!
We find out about Lara’s family, their dynamic and Leon actually grows to accept them, and become part of this life more and more. Likely at first due to not having anything to do, but you can see the longer he stays the more he connects with this family and works with them.
One of Leon’s major problems in the first half was a disconnect with the common people. However, this gives him a taste of something he’s ever had; a normal life with its own pleasures and joys. True, this is a small farm and it has plenty of issues, but these are all good people and its clear he’s learning a bit. Like…one scene when he’s busy digging an irrigation tunnel for the old man. The old man sees he’s struggling, then shows him how to do it properly.
This has so much more meaning that it first seems. It can relate easily to Leon’s way of doing things, his swordplay, how he’s lived. He’s fought on strength, on anger and passion and force, and shown little real discipline or patience. However, we see he learns it as he helps to make this canal for the water. He never learned diligence or these other qualities, and he’s now becoming more grounded. Without revenge to hold onto, he’s developing more, seeing more of the world than he first thought of. While he helped people on his journeys, he was always detached from them, but now its different.
I truly, deeply love this family and this farm and I hope…I hoooope they don’t do what I think they might. I’ve seen enough shows to expect that, now he’s learned to care about others, something horrible happens to the farm, and most of the family die. Then Lara has to go with him but is devastated as he heads out to protect others now that his heroism has been reborn. Mostly…I care so much about these people I just…don’t want bad things to happen to them,even more than me feeling it would be generic and bland storytelling. However, the episode ends off for Leon on this really uplifting and happy note..and I so want Lara and Leon to be the most adorable couple ever.
As for Herman/Roberto, we saw him last episode being taken care of by the woman who he met when he was naked. She’s been tending to him and being really pleasant and nice while having that sarcastic edge that takes him off balance. He hasn’t even tried to romance her, apparently because she can cut right through his pickup lines and remarks so he can’t work that charm. In other words, she’s kind of perfect for him in her own right too.
Other than his recovery and his living with the woman (I do not believe she has had her nam mentioned), there’s not much else for Roberto till he speaks with Alfonso (which I’ll touch on later.) He’s still of the opinion Leon needs to find his way on his own, and isn’t worried especially about what happens. Despite his loving his son clearly, he realizes Leon has to find his path, figure out what to do with his life.
As for Alfonso,
Yeah…it sucks for Alfonso. I only realized today by the way that the first half of the series is bookmarked with dead mothers. Its kind of strange when you think about it. But yes, Alfonso has lost his mother, and its quite clear this has devastated him. But, true to his heroic nature, he uses it to spur him on to defend the people and the kingdom. He’s already taken to rebuilding after all the damage Mendoza (and Leon) had done. I will continue to maintain that while the noble prince is a somewhat cliche notion, Alfonso pulls it off perfectly. He’s the right mix of humble, brave and noble that makes him, to me, impossible not to like. Besides, the guy’s now working double shift; being prince by day and Garo by night. That’s right people…once his father dies he’s PRINCE BATMAN!!
He’s out parading the streets and comes across this..Horror (such an appropriate name they have). Apparently, not all of Mendoza’s monsters were destroyed so he’s been picking them off, and he ends up meeting Roberto.
They talk for a bit, Roberto showing off how he has completely recovered. We also learn that Alfonso is even more clueless about the ladies than Leon was (which is saying something). If he weren’t a prince, he might think marriage is a kind of food or something.
What this scene really does though is affirm something. I heard quite a few fans hated last episode and Alfonso in particular. They felt he was too cold, he had no right to say what he did and take Garo….which simply is not true. The fact was Leon was out of control and Alfonso did what had to be done. Leon had hurt countless people, he DIDN’T deserve to be Garo anymore, and with Garo’s power, Alfonso was able to defeat Mendoza. Still, even after scolding him, Alfonso still cares about Leon and what happens to him.
Its implied he does feel guilty about taking Garo, and that it does weigh heavily on his mind how distraught Leon has been, and where he’s going. However, Roberto, Leon’s own father, reaffirms that what happened was for the best.
Well, with Leon with this happy family, Alfonso rebuilding the kingdom, and Roberto healed, it seems things are finally going good for the kingdom and everything is going to be just-
The ending of this episode slaps you with something you didn’t realize but is horrifying: Alfonso doesn’t know Octavia was in with Mendoza, and he leaves her to take care of the king. As soon as I saw this I had all the bad feelings and fear and anticipation…which goes to show how much Garo has utterly sucked me in. I’m hooked on this show, and it is so good. I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting for next Friday to see what’s going to happen. I want to know how things will go horribly wrong, but I’m so so so so scared about it. In short, this show continues to be amazing and this episode is no exception. It gives so much breathing space and character growth, then sucker punches you in just the right way. I’ll talk next time and have my fingers crossed on who’s going to be ok. (PLEASE LIVE SASSY GRANDMA!!)