Garo Honoo no Kokuin : Hellfire

Episode 1

There is a lot that has drawn me to this anime. It looks really well drawn, it has a lot of themes that I enjoy and it seems from the outside to have some really interesting characters.

So here we go!

It really is a beauty too! The animation is gorgeous and the characters are so well drawn.

It opens with a witch burning. Right off the bat I get a bit of Hunchback of Notre Dame feeling about it all. Mandoza, the dude burning the witch in the name of the sick King, gives off bad vibes from the start so it isn’t surprising really as the episode carries on to learn that he is up to no good.

The Silver Knight kind of sealed the deal on the episode though BEFORE he took off his armour. I mean the opening was so intense that I was glued from the second the episode started. All really good signs.

We then get to meet the real lead characters. Germán and his son León. Or as it is Zoro and Garo. Yes my favourite character, even before I found out his Makai Knight name is another character named Zoro. So kill me?

There is a lot of humour from Germán, for a start the guy just sleeps with anything. He keeps the episode much lighter then it could be. León was the son of the witch being burnt at the beginning of the episode, she gave her life so he could live and this whole experience seems to have scarred him for life. So whilst his dad goes about being all upbeat and happy he is much more solitary and angry.

Ohhh and that witch just so happened to be named Anna. What a cool name, more characters and people in general in the world should have that name. I don’t know a single bad Anna in this world. Man aren’t Anna’s cool?!

But for all the laughs you get with Germán there is still plenty of the really icky stuff to go about. There is a guy being pulled apart by horses and proper old fashioned torture as well as plenty of blood and letting you know (thought thankfully not showing) people being raped.

You see this is the thing you can go so far into the morbid that it overshadows the whole thing and makes it a struggle to watch or you could go the other way and make it too light and then loose the serious nature of the story.

Episode one did a really good juggling act, I think it established that it was going to have a serious story but at the same time it’s going to have moments to lighten the mood. It really did do a good job of balancing light and dark.

It’ll be the story that I’m most interested in though, it really has a strong looking story. Right from the start you want to know what Mendoza is up to, you want to know more about this kid that was born as his mother died and the world that has these two people in it. The Horror’s (or Demons) are extremely cool to look at and when they turn into Makai Knights the fighting is extremely cool but there was always a story and a reason behind these things. Again sometimes there can be fighting for the sake of fighting and that is when I tend to loose interest but there was always a reason for this and it all balanced out.

An extremely good opening episode.

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