Garo the standard theme: learning the TRUE meaning of “to protect”



Sometimes when we talk about sappy writing, we summarize stereotypes by saying, “He learns the TRUE meaning of FRIENDSHIP.” We mean to say that the story is using themes that are suitable for small children; we imply that we have seen these stereotypes a million times before and we’re getting pretty bored.

Garo has this problem, a bit, but somehow it’s still fairly charming. The protagonist is learning the TRUE meaning of “to protect.” In theory, fictional action heroes are always supposed to be protecting something. In practice, action fiction sells because it stimulates our primal need for violence. There’s no need to pretend that we know about ethics or hard decisions, unless we are TV producers selling a stupid show to the parents of our target audience of six-year-old consumers.

A good fiction writer is just a competent propagandist. The fact that he’s good at propagandizing suckers doesn’t mean that he uses his skills for the truth. Even if he wants to tell the truth, he probably doesn’t know what the truth is.

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