Garo: Crimson Moon
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Garo: Crimson Moon ?
Crimson Moon's dramatic revelation has turned out to be entirely one-sided – Raikou's always known that Yorinobu is his bloody brother! It makes sense. He was abandoned at, like, age eight. You know who your parents are by then, and Raikou isn't an amnesiac. In fact, Raikou went back to check on his family afterwards, and the sight of a pudgy little baby brother inspired him to be a do-gooder. After that, he ignored Yorinobu every time they met again. It's a beautiful tale of brotherly love.
The story behind Raikou's abandonment is both less magical and more sinister than we'd been led to believe. He wasn't cursed with a dark destiny at birth or anything – he was just the victim of a political ploy. Years ago, Fujiwara no Michinaga arranged it so that his hot cousin would become Raikou's dad's second wife. That way, her kid would be both the heir to the Garo Armor and a member of the Fujiwara family. Michinaga would thus have a Makai Knight at his disposal for his political ambitions. The only problem was that Daddy no Minamoto already had a kid who was eligible to inherit the armor – Minamoto no Yorimitsu, aka Raikou. That wouldn't do, so Fujiwara attached a condition: you can have my hot cousin if you kill the kid. Succumbing to his greed/lust, Daddy agreed. His son and first wife were banished, Yorinobu was born as the Fujiwara/Minamoto crossbreed, and everyone assumed that the first kid had died. But he didn't – the armor activated to save Raikou, and Seimei picked him up to be her own personal Makai Knight. Now he hangs around to slay the Horrors that invade the capital on a daily basis.
I like this explanation. It's both less cliché than what I expected (that Raikou would be the Dark Chosen One or whatever) and also more brutal. Marriages throughout history have been far from permanent, leading to some creative interpretations of “til death do us part.” Now Tsuna Watanabeno, the guy who did the dirty work of leaving Raikou-plus-Mommy to die in the wilderness, has caught the Horror bug. He should've known better than to take home a piece of the Horror that he encountered on the road, but people from the palace are hardly known as paragons of Horror-safety. Ghostly arms start raining from the ceiling in Daddy Minamoto's house and Watanabeno accuses a returned Raikou of being the cause. Of course, it's really his fault, but it takes a surprise brotherly reunion to bring that to light. Watanabeno turns into a Horror, who wrecks the place and severely injures Daddy. It's ambiguous whether this kills him or not, but it's now clear to everyone that Raikou is the missing Yorimitsu. Seimei is relieved that Raikou handled the “revelation” of his origins well, while Yorinobu adjusts to no longer being the Garo heir. Of course, I'd bet money that there's an alternate set of Makai Armor in his future.
Unfortunately, the production crashed this week again. Ah well. I guess that's the cost for brief aesthetic competence. At least Seimei got to keep her Mom Chariot and Shiki-nyan. By its eighth episode, Garo: Crimson Moon has set up plenty of ingredients for an interesting overall conflict, but I'm impatient for them to start executing it.
Garo: Crimson Moon is currently streaming on Funimation.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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