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Title: Garo: The Crimson Moon [MyAnimeList]
Episode: 01 [Onmyou]
Aired: October 9th, 2015
Watched: October 9th, 2015

October 10th, 2015

Hello there everybody!
How are you all doing, today [quick shout-out to Jirachi, who celebrates her birthday this week!!]? Well, I trust everything is going well, and here I am, returning to watching Garo! You know that Garo has been a major series that I’ve followed last year, so I figured: why not return to the series? After all, the first season was pretty good! So here we go: there are spoilers in this! And here goes also my hopes that I will be able to be good and publish these weekly, *cough*.

According to Wikipedia [as of the writing of this review/episode opinion thing, there isn’t much information about this], this anime was: “Garo – Guren no Tsuki is set in Japan during the Heian Period“. Indeed, it seems like this is set in a pretty old period in Japan History, judging by the clothes. I wonder if this would mean that this series would come before Garo: The Animation? Or maybe after? I mean, Garo: The Animation seemed more like it would come from Europe, right? But Garo: Guren no Tsuki clearly comes from Japan, so… does that mean that the Makai knights and Makai alchemists travel a lot? Or is this really just an alternate dimension or timeline? As you well know – or should know – I’ve never watched the series, other than the animated versions, so I’m not sure…

But yes, all this to warn you that not only do I not know a lot about the Garo universe, and that I’m not really qualified to talk and compare these things, I’m also not knowledgeable much of the History and time in the Heian period – or any other period in History. I mean, Ican’t even learn the proper Canadian History, nor the Vietnamese one

The episode opens up with carpenters working on repairing the gates to a city and gossiping while taking a breather. They talk about how there have been evil spirits who may have caused the collapse of the gate which protects the city [probably from both bad spirits and the cold winds, since an old man mentions how cold winds have been blowing through the capital – then one would wonder if the “cold winds” is a metaphor for the Horrors], and that these spirits might be invading the capital. As the sun sets, the carpenters meet their doom in a very horrible manner: killed, their souls absorbed, by many Horrors, who emerge from the waters.

They are stopped by the music from Seimei [voiced by the same seiyuu who does Emma Guzman, by the way], a Makai Alchemist, who reminds us that “spirits are an illusion created by the human heart, but there are creatures among those illusions that consume humans. Such creatures are called Horrors“. She casts a sort of barrier on them to paralyze them, encasing them in blue flames, keeping them from going where the humans live. When taunted, as we know, she can’t do much else against them, she says that she isn’t alone, and the Golden Knight: Garo, approaches to slay them in one powerful blow.

Before they are slain, a Horror said that the bloodline of Garo had long disappeared – Leon Luis‘ bloodline had some suitable people though, I’m sure! Emma Guzman and Leon might’ve had children, and Alfonso, while he carries on with the Gaia armor, and his children could’ve taken on the duty to wield the armor [of course, this is if the story is from the same dimension, but not the same time]! To this, Seimei replies that they don’t advertise much about it – I guess it’s because they want the Horrors to feel comfortable terrorizing villagers and letting their guards down, so it’s easier for the Makai people to dispatch of these Horrors.

The next day, we discover that in the middle of the capital, the city the Horrors had been trying failed to infiltrate, there is a Palace of Light, in which lives a Heavenly Emperor, Michinaga,  who doesn’t seem to care much about his carpenters or his people, as, when the chief, Kintou, mentions how these lives were lost the previous night due to evil spirits while they were repairing the Rajou Gate (and we understand that this has happened at least once before), he simply states that the Light Palace has never been infiltrated by evil spirits, and dismisses concerns that the chief of the guard is trying to raise [I wonder if this means that the story will mostly revolve around this capital, or if our characters will be travelling around, like Leon Luis and German Luis, as we’ve seen in Garo: The Animation]. An old man kneeling beside Kintou says that no evil spirit could cross the Light Palace since it’s protected by the Onmyouryo [I’m not sure what that is, but I’m guessing it’s some kind of occult or magic thing [the people seated in the courtyard with paper talismans over their faces might be the Onmyouryo?] – maybe the Makai Knights and Makai Alchemists have been protecting the palace? Why would they solely protect the palace though, one has to wonder, especially since the people they’re supposed to protect aren’t even the Emperor’s concerns – as far as we know anyway]. Meanwhile, Kintou is worried about the people, and what could happen at night, and the old man informs him that only the poor commoners travel by night, and thus, those are the most susceptible to fall prey to the evil spirits [I hope Kintou will be coming back to help the heroes…? I mean, since he seems concerned about the citizens – somewhat – couldn’t he receive the Gaia armor?].

The Emperor Michinaga seems to mostly care about this new lady who looks very beautiful, he says. So much so, he adds, that even he would go secretly visit her regardless of her age [not sure what this means, is it to compliment her beauty, implying that it will transcend the ages, and that she’ll be beautiful even if she is old and wrinkly? Or does he say that he’ll make sure that throughout her life, she’ll be beautiful? Is he able to make that happen?]. The other part that makes me wonder is the part where he says he would secretly visit her. Does this mean that he’s saying he would commit adultery for her beauty and that’s how beautiful she is [okay here’s a lesson in compliment ladies, from a lady-horse-on-fire, men and women: don’t say that you’re willing to cheat on your wife/girlfriend for someone, because then, wouldn’t that prove to them that if someone more beautiful than you are shows up, he/she would cheat on you without skipping a beat?! I’M JUST SAYING!!]?

We then cut to Seimei once again as she is performing with her musical instrument as an entertainer in front of rich people – men are especially enamored with her, and she seems to know this – as well as other ladies who know [and call her indecent under their breath. I say leave her alone, ladies. At least she is powerful and can protect herself from Horrors, okay?]. As payment for her performance, the owner of the establishment wishes to give her a family treasure: a whale tooth, with a cavity in it [Eh…? Yes, there are two types of whales: the ones with teeth, and the ones with something else… just like in Disney’s rendition of the whale in Pinocchio, I guess?]. The wife doesn’t want to give the family heirloom, so Seimei only takes a small bag of sweets instead [I personally wonder at the sound practice of this…].

Meanwhile, Raikou and Kintoki, who are making or decorating fans, are waiting for Seimei, who they know is playing for aristocrats.

We then cut to a man who is carving statues, Junkei, and who seems obsessed with making beautiful and detailed statues of different deities [it’s very creepy how he absolutely wants it to be so beautiful].

The next morning, as she is walking home from a gig I’m guessing, Seimei comes across a temple who has the Nio Statue which is rumoured to walk around at night. She chooses to go inspect it – probably because of the rumors. The monk (I think?) explains to Seimei that they’ve decided to hire Junkei to insert a bodhisattva [since Wikipedia states that it’s sort of like a state of enlightenment after having done good deeds? (If I understood correctly), then by putting something “enlightened inside of a haunted statue would exorcise it?] inside of the Nio Statue in order to appease him and keep him from haunting the places. As Junkei puts the sculpture inside of the Nio Statue, Seimei automatically knows that it won’t work, and she says that it’s because there had been no life in the bodhisattva. Junkei knows this: “only a bodhisattva imbued with life” can work. He wishes to use beautiful women as bases, but Seimei laughs: you have to imbue your own life in a bodhisattva, telling him to rely on his own skills, not on the strengths of others. This angers him.

Meanwhile, Kintoki and Raikou are finishing up their fans [does this mean that they’ve been working all night in order to finish these? What is their source of income? Come to think of it, what was Leon Luis’ source of income?! How did they get so much money but still get stingy about how to use it? I guess it’s because they also have to do odd jobs around town every time they find themselves in need of money?! Don’t the Watchdog Towers give them money?! Speaking of which, does the Watchdog tower exist here?], and Kintoki reveals to us that they will be selling the fans in order to get some money for food (rice). As he sends Kintoki to fetch him some water, Raikou tries to escape and examine the Nio statue that haunts the town at night on his own. Kintoki insists on going with him, because he’s the only attendant that Raikou has got [is it like a squire? Or is it like an apprentice? What is the difference between the two of them, and what use is Kintoki, exactly? Since he’s younger, it’s not like he has to nanny Raikou, does it? Or is it precisely that? I’d like to understand the nature of this later on].

Kintoki reveals to us that Raikou‘s Madou Ring is still stone, as in it’s not ready for battle, so he isn’t really much ready for battle either, since he needs his armor to fight the Horrors. Raikou is stubborn though, and insists that he can fight the Horror on his own. This leads them to tracking down the Nio statue, which had already escaped its resting place in the temple.

Meanwhile, Junkei the sculptor is in his lair – a cavern, that’s very sinister of you – with an almost naked lady as his base. He kills her in order to imbue her life into his carved statue. I wonder if this is the first time he’s done it, because Seimei angered him, or if it’s because he’s always done it that way, which means that his heart is really bad. Is he doing it in desperation because his reputation is at stake? Or is he doing it because he’s a serial killer and only wants that as an excuse to kill? Even as he’s killed the woman, he realizes that his statue doesn’t imbue with life, and stumbles out of his lair, only to bump into the Nio statue that walks the night. They have a conversation in which Junkei begs to have more beautiful women in order to make his statues, and the Nio statue grants him a Horror – as in, it lets a Horror – possess him in order for him to achieve his dream: carving the most beautiful statue in the world.

As soldiers are carrying the beautiful princess from the first scenes – when she was in the Light Palace – somewhere, she gets kidnapped by Junkei‘s Horror form and is brought back to his lair. It’s as Junkei leaves his lair (to find another beautiful woman, because the previous one – the beautiful lady from the light palace – was killed and not deemed good enough?! Or because he needed to keep her sedated for long enough? Or… what exactly?!) that Raikou and Kintoki find his lair, as there was a trail of blood. There, they find a desiccated body – most likely the girl – and half-done carvings – they were turned into bodhisattvas, anyway.

Instead of confronting the sculptor head on, however, they consult with Seimei the next morning, where she reveals that she knows who it is: Junkei and asks if they think he’s been possessed by a Horror. To lighten the mood of the conversation, Seimei gives them a couple of sweets from two nights ago, and reveals that these sweets come from another country – IS IT Europe?! As they marvel at its amazing taste, she accepts to help them, even though Raikou initially doesn’t want her to. She persuades him, since she’s the only beautiful woman, and Raikou can’t even find it in him to argue at that [why yes, yes indeed, I’ve begun to ship it already].

Disguised as a brunette – pinkette?! [also how’d she fit all that hair into a wig?! SORCERY!!!!!] – Seimei walks alone along the path to a temple, waiting for Junkei to notice her and seemingly only notices his presence behind her a couple of seconds before he stabs her with his carving tool, right in the chest as she turned around to meet him. Just as he thinks that he’s won, that he’s found, finally, a suitable body for a statue, she laughs (it was a weird laugh, too (maybe it’s because the lips sort of wasn’t in sync with the laughter?! Or because she didn’t do much else but laugh at him and make him (and me) confused) I’m sorry, I had to mention it somewhere), and reveals herself as a Makai alchemist, quickly dropping her disguise and going into fighting clothes, saying that he let his guard down, that he fell for their trap. With a giant paintbrush – or a calligraphy brush? – she seals him inside of a barrier. Its insides will serve as battlefield for Raikou and Junkei-Horror, as Kintoki and she rest on a level above theirs, observing the battle [and there I thought that Kintoki‘s weapons on his back could somehow help Raikou in his fights…?! What is Kintoki doing, as an attendant?!].

When he realizes that there’s no possible way in which he can escape the barrier that Seimei put around him, Junkei releases his form into that of a Horror, and fights Raikou head on, making it difficult for him, as he doesn’t even have any armor on. Kintoki pleads with Seimei to help his master out, as he doesn’t stand a chance without her, something which he refuses [I wonder if this means that he doesn’t like asking her for help, or if it just means that he really does believe that he can do it without her]. Nevertheless, Seimei activates his Zaruba ring – is it the same voice as the one from before?! – and tells Raikou to hurry up and finish him [it makes me wonder if the Golden Knight actually has a time limit which neither Seimei nor Raikou can do anything about].

It seems like his transformation into the Golden Knight takes a lot out of Raikou, because he is panting and quite tired when he releases the armor, even though he could still hit the Nio statue walking towards them [that could be a problem with the barrier that Seimei puts around them: they’re not aware of their surroundings, so it’s possible that they could be ambushed, no? Why didn’t the Nio statue do anything while outside, I wonder? I guess maybe the barrier is just THAT strong…?], revealing the biggest bad – or so it seems, since he appears so ominous in the opening, the Scarred Man, who introduces himself as the Darkness, since he was “born from the darkness, and has become one with darkness,” that he is without light, essentially.

This is what the episode ends with, so now, I wonder what is going to happen next… will they fight and lose against him, or will he leave them to train and become stronger? Will he attempt to take the ring from Raikou? There are so many questions… and who is that character in the ending?! Is it someone important?

Why is Zaruba in stone, and will he stay in stone whenever he’s not activated by Seimei? Did Seimei put that enchantment on him, or was it someone else? Is it a curse? Was it the first times that Zaruba was used, so he had to be released with some help? Or is it in stone because Raikou isn’t truly of the Garo bloodline, but there always has to be a Garo Knight, so he had to take on that responsibility? It also seems like Kintoki knows that the armor can be tiring on Raikou, since he rushed by his side so quickly, too.

Is the watchdog tower still there? I mean, she/he still narrates the sneak peak to the next episode… And then who’s that person we see in the end credits sequence? When is this character going to appear exactly? I hope it doesn’t happen like Lara from the previous series, because that part was… well I’m still not over her *spoiler* death. Is it the Watchdog tower? Could it be possible that this is actually her/his origin story?! I mean, there’s a dog-mask thing behind her or him, so maybe this could explain the origin of the name, no? In that case then, this story would take place years BEFORE Leon‘s storyline. IF, once again, it’s set in the same universe/world/Earth. There are seriously so many questions right now…

It seems like all the Garo series have everything in common: there has to have the Garo knight title, the golden knight, and they still summon their armors with a circular movement of their swords. I wonder if we’ll get to see other Makai Knights with their armors on… that would be pretty interesting!

At any rate, I’ll be looking forward to the next episode, for sure! Let’s hope, again, that I can keep up with releasing these episodes once November and other stressful yearly events hit. We can do this!

Until next week,
please take good care of yourselves!
Ponyta’s out!