Garo: Crimson Moon is a new chapter in the legend of the Golden Knight. While Garo: The Animation took place in the Valiante Kingdom that was inspired by Spain during the Middle Ages, the backdrop for Crimson Moon is Heian period Japan.
Demons known as Horrors scour the land possessing the bodies of humans and wreaking havoc amongst the populace. They are given strength by the uglier parts of humanity such as hatred and greed, and there is plenty of ugliness to go around. Although there are even more dangerous beings that lurk in the darkness.
Raiko, a Mankai Knight, picks up the mantle as the Golden Knight Garo. He is accompanied by a Mankai Alchemist named Seimei and a small boy named Kintoki who works as his assistant. Together they travel around Japan looking to eliminate any Horrors that they come across. As they defeat their foes a more powerful enemy will make itself known.
Crimson Moon attempts to be many things at once. The story goes back and forth between political “intrigue” while also attempting to have a “mysterious” storyline involving alchemists who enjoy being on the darker side of things. Unfortunately neither of these story elements proves to be all that interesting.
It also has a monster of the week angle to it, but it doesn’t do this particularly well either. Most fights don’t last more than a minute or two as Raiko is able to dispatch his enemies with ease. The battles aren’t even spiced up with a variety of enemy designs or tactics, which make them underwhelming.
The proceedings are lightened up a bit with the playful nature of the relationship between Raiko, Seimei and Kintoki, however this aspect of the anime is only lightly used. It would’ve been more palatable had this element been explored more and the show not taken itself so seriously.
Crimson Moon is presented in 1080p high definition video. The bit rate can vary depending on what’s happening on screen, going from as low as 6Mbps to as high as 27Mbps. There are no major issues to report on this front. The show is allowed to look as good as it possibly can with this release.
There are two options to choose from when it comes to audio. The discs contain the English dub in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 while the Japanese language track is Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Despite the English version being in 5.1 there isn’t much difference between the two, as the majority of the anime is driven by dialogue.
However it’s important to point out that the performances in the Japanese version are more even throughout the cast.
The extras are all located on the second disc. They include a clean opening and two clean versions of the closing song. There is also commentary from the English voice actors for episode 10. Lastly, there is a special episode titled “Kyokuen” that had the Japanese voice cast enjoying a meal while discussing the anime.
Garo: Crimson Moon hasn’t blown the doors off with this first half of this season. Hopefully it’s able to bring everything together for a strong finish in the second half to make the end of this journey a satisfying one.