“Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns… but by the blade of Knights, mankind was given hope…”
This verse was mention at the start of every Garo episode back in 2005. The Garo franchise, which has been running for almost a decade still boast a unique style and yet ever changing till today. As of present, Garo : Hono no Kokuin, an animated series of Garo, is currently airing. As much as its supposedly a completely separate universe, and continuity, there’s still a huge amount of similarities to the original timeline. In addition, episode 5 of the anime made a vague link to the original series, which I’ll talk more about it later.
General Plot of the Series
In the world, creatures known as Horrors possess humans through the darkness in their hearts. They consume their souls and live as the person, while feeding on other humans. The Makai Knights, since ancient times, along side with Makai Priests, have hunted down the horrors. As much as they may be the hunter of horrors, the powers they used are derived from horrors or darkness as well. Pretty much fighting fire with fire.
This results in limitations such as the armor can only be worn for 99.9 seconds.
Or being consumed by darkness and going berserk.
Some of the most distinct feature of the Garo armor are the Wolf Like face and the gold plated finishing with lots of ancient inscriptions on it.
As well as the Golden armored horse.
The title “Golden Knight Garo” has been passed down from generations. As portrayed in the series, the holders of this title wields great respect among fellow Makai Knights for their strength and ability. Through the years, they have shown us a few individuals who have don the Golden Armor and fought against the Horrors as the Golden Knight. Each of them boast very different distinct personalities, creating a very interesting character build ups throughout the series.
Kouga, the first Garo introduced in the series. A very strict man who has devoted his life to hunting horrors. He inherited his title from his father, whom he looks up upon. Always trying to keep a strong front, he has an issue about expressing his love and emotions for others. Even from the girl he loves, or to the butler who he treats as his family. Pretty much a tsundere. >///<
Its also shown Kouga trained hard to be worthy of the title held by his his late father.
The second holder of the title introduced to the series, Ryuga. First appearing in GARO: Yami no Terasu Mono, a stubborn and rather inmature teenager who is very straight forward with the way he does things. He’s also often acts on his emotions which results in him being rather reckless.
His armor at the beginning of the series was tainted by darkness. Though its not explained how it ended up in that state.
After which is Kouga’s son, Raiga, who debuted in GARO: Makai no Hana. Unlike his dad, Raiga was much more soft hearted and straight forward with his feelings. He handles most situation with a smile, giving him a much more comforting feel as compared to the previous Garos. However, it also makes him feel less intimidating and he does have the Garo Kickass kind of aura.
As of now, we have Leon, the protagonist of the ongoing GARO: Honoo no Kokuin. He’s quite a stubborn teenager who is rather rebellious to his dad, who is also a Makai Knight.
Leon’s armor, however, looks drastically different from the usual Garo armors. In addition, the left side of the armor is cracked and it burns from the inside.
One of the most iconic supporting characters in the show, is a talking Ring, Zaruba. Known to be extremely talkative, and sometimes being Mr.Obvious, Zaruba is often giving the one with the title of Garo advises, or help detect horrors.
Other Makai Knights
In the Garo series, Garo isn’t the only Makai Knight. For example, in the First series, you have Zero. A dual wielding silver Makai knight.
Who is first introduced as Garo’s Rival.
The Dark Knight, Kiba.
Eventually, more Makai Knights are introduce as the series goes on.
And even more are introduced in the anime.
They are trained in the art of Makai spells usually tend to be the back end support for the Makai Knights. Though every once in a while, you have a few of them whose abilities can match up to the knights.
The main enemies in the series. They possess humans through darkness in their hearts and use them to feed on other humans. Horrors tend each have a unique trait or method of hunting humans, usually linked to the host’s desire. They tend to appear at night, as such, most of Garo’s fights takes place in the dark.
For the Live action, aside from the awesome looking Guys and Girls, Garo may be a simple plot of a Knight in shining armor, but it is filled with lots of plot twists.
The topic of human nature and desire is strong in this show, as they often discuss the issues that cause the existence of Horrors. The art direction in Garo is extremely unique as it encompasses a mix of medieval and technology kind of feel, which gives the characters’ wardrobe and sets a very distinct style.
One thing Garo has to boast about would be its well choreographed action scenes. With a good mixed of wired actions and cgi scenes, their fights pack a strong punch in them.
The anime so far
The Garo anime starts of with a witch hunting in a kingdom called Valiante. However this witch hunt is actually used to disguise to killing of Makai Priests and Knights.
Here you have a lady being burnt and out comes the German, Silver Knight Zoro.(who looks has much similarities to Zero in the original series) He rushes into the flames and rescue a baby, who is Leon. They fled to a foreign land where Leon was brought up and trained.
Years later, with Leon now capable of donning the Garo armor. Both his father and him returns to the kingdom with the intention to rescue it from the reign of horrors. However, a fire burns from within Leon, resulting him in possibly going berserk when he dons his armor.
Also introduced in the series is Emma, who is a Makai Priest, who uses strings as her main weapon.
Zaruba, was also introduced into the anime, a bit later. In the anime, Zaruba helps to keep the flames burning with Leon under control. However, at present moment, his mouth is sealed and its probably why he isn’t as talkative as he is in the previous installments. Zaruba however, will consume the life of Leon on the day of a full moon every month as a sacrifice, leaving Leon unconscious on that day.
The contract with Zaruba however, feels very similar to the scene where Kouga made a contract with Gajari in Makai Senki.
Alphonso, the prince of Valiante, is shown to be kind hearted and cares for the men of his kingdom. However, after Esmeralda, his mother who is the queen of Valiante, was framed for poisoning the King, his father, he had to flee from the Kingdom.
His Mother had given him a charm, which greatly resembles the Garo armor.
This was all a set up by Mendoza who is using forbidden Makai Tools to manupilate the horrors. He has a great hatred towards to Makai Knights and Priests, but for reason unexplained.
Alphonso is then pursued by the soldiers of the kingdom, which are horrors in disguise. He is then rescued by Rafaelo, who is Gaia, the Defence Knight.
During the day of the full moon, Leon’s life was being given to Zaruba. However as he was unconscious, he met the ‘Garo’, who is wearing an armor similar to the previous series.
From the way I see it, it seems that the ‘Garo’ is a collection on conscious of those who hold the title of Garo from the past, future and even different worlds and realms. This is also present to the previous series of Garo as well.
Also as a Gut feeling, I somehow feel that Alphonso might just turn into Kiba, The Dark Knight, in the animation series. In addition, I think the opening sequence did hint a Kiba in the series.
And somehow the armor in the sequence where it is a clash with the Kiba looking armor, the Garo’s armor seems similar to the Live Action rather than anime.
In Any case, I’ll be ending the article here. >.< Next time I’m gonna write about Garo, its gonna be Episode 6.
Mikaneko, off to get some rest!