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Series: Garo

Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns. Yet by the blade of Knights, mankind was given hope.

A Japanese tokusatsu TV series notable for being targeted at an adult audience, as opposed to being a Merchandise-Driven kids' show. It's Horror oriented, uses high-quality CGI on a weekly basis and has several untransformed fights featuring the actual actors doing the fighting instead of stunt doubles.

In the GAROverse, the Makai Knights are a secret order of warriors who hunt down the Horrors: monsters born of the darkness of human souls. The show focuses on Kouga Saejima, a Makai Knight who has inherited the title of GARO from his father. By thrusting his sword upwards and drawing a halo, Kouga can summon an invincible suit of golden armour that he can wear for precisely 99.9 seconds. With the aid of his familiar Zaruba, a magical ring, his day job is hunting down spare pockets of negative energy while he spends his nights hunting down the Horrors that have possessed humans.

The story also focuses on Kaoru Mitsuki, a struggling artist with a string of bad luck and an uncanny ability to cycle through different occupations incredibly quickly. In her first encounter with Kouga, she is splashed with the blood of a Horror, leaving her tainted and with one hundred days to live. The law of the Makai Knights dictate that she should be struck down, but Kouga decides to leave her alive as bait to draw out other Horrors.

Later, another Makai Knight by the name of Rei Suzumura makes his appearance. With the self-awarded title "ZERO" and the ability to summon a suit of silver armour, Rei has discarded his responsibilities as a Makai Knight so he can pursue a vendetta against Kouga, who he believes to be the murderer of his lover.

The original series was successful enough to create an expanding narrative of spinoffs, movies and sequels:

    List of works 
  • GARO: The original 2005 television series, which spanned twenty-five episodes.
    • GARO Side Story: Smile: A surreal dream sequence of Kaoru's.
    • GARO: Beast of the White Night: A story which served as a finale to the first season. First broadcast in 2006 in two parts, it was later edited into a single movie feature.
    • KIBA: The Dark Knight Story: A 2011 direct-to-video spinoff that depicts the Start of Darkness of the first season's Big Bad.
  • GARO: Red Requiem: A 3D movie released in November 2010. It tells the story of Kouga's involvement with a group of Makai Priests struggling against a powerful Horror named Karma, and serves as a bridging story to the second season.
  • GARO: Makai Senki: The second television series, which aired in 2011 and ran for twenty-five episodes.
    • GARO and the Wailing Dragon: A 2013 film which picks up from the climax of the second season and acts as a finale to Kouga's story.
    • GARO Side Story: The Tougen Flute: A Spinoff which stars Makai Priestess' Jabi and Rekka, and whose events occur concurrently with GARO and the Wailing Dragon.
  • GARO: The One Who Shines In The Darkness: A 2013 television series featuring an all-new set of characters.
    • A thus unnamed 2014 film with Ryouga Dougai as the lead.
  • ZERO: Black Blood: A 2014 miniseries staring Makai Knight Rei Suzumura as the lead.
  • GARO: Makai no Hana: A new series set to premier in 2014, focusing on Kouga and Kaoru's son, Raiga.
  • GARO: Honoo no Kokuin: An anime adaptation, written by Yasuko Kobayashi, set in an alternate universe based off of the dark ages.


Multiple tropes in the series include:

    open/close all folders 

     Tropes Across the Series 
  • Action Girl: Almost all Makai Priestesses are required to be one: the ones that stand out most are Jabi (although a much more aggressive version) and Rekka from Red Requiem. In Makai Senki, the former was able to fight "The Man in the Red Mask" to a standstill.
  • Animal Motifs: The Makai Knights wear armor patterned after wolves.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: The Horrors are deemed to exist as long as human malice is present in peoples' hearts. This arguably forms the crux of the tensions in Makai Senki.
  • BFS: Always a part of GARO's M.O. GARO's sword is, by default, normal-sized, but later upgrades allow it to grow to grotesque proportions, Zankantou-style. And by "grotesque", we mean the thing becomes twice his size and he surfs on it after throwing it in the air in the movie.
    • In episode 23 of Makai Senki, he grows his zanbatou large enough for his horse to surf on.
  • Cool Horse: After a Makai Knight seals 100 Horrors, they can take a test to see if they're worthy to ride one. These horses are made of metal and has the power to enhance the rider's weapons.
    • GARO, ZERO and DAN's horses are named Goutennote , Ginganote  and Hayatenote  respectively. It's still unknown how KIBA obtains his horse Raigou though.
  • Cool Sword: Another Makai Knight staple.
  • The Corruption: The Horrors.
  • Demon Slaying: A Makai Knight's job
  • Demonic Possession: All the Horrors. And eventually, KIBA over Barago.
  • Fanservice Extra: Many one-shot Horrors could technically count, especially when they possess, harass or kill women in various states of undress.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flaming Sword: Makai Knights can use their Madou Lighters to set their weapons and armour ablaze for some extra "kick".
  • Foil: Kouga has three different foils- Rei, Barago, and Leo. He is aloof, stoic, and single-minded in his duties as a Makai Knight compared to Rei who is hot-headed, brash, and has a sense of humor. During his interactions with Leo, Kouga comes off as the more mature, battle-hardened, and cynical whereas Leo is idealistic, sensitive, and emotional. And like Barago, Kouga was traumatized by the horrific death of a parent but where he came away from the experience with the desire to become a Makai Knight and protect others, Barago's experience became his Start of Darkness.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Makai Knights aren't exactly the nicest people one earth, same goes to the Makai Priests.
  • Hammerspace: Where most characters draw their weapons from.
  • Healing Shiv: Makai Knights can use the fires from their Madou Lighters to rapidly heal wounds.
  • The Heartless: Horrors
  • Henshin Hero: All of the Makai Knights.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The 99.9 second time limit on the Makai Knight armour. (See also Superpowered Evil Side below.)
  • Horny Devils: The Horrors tend to possess a human and then prey on the opposite sex in a quite sexualized manner.
  • Hour of Power: A Makai Knight can only wear his armor for 99.9 seconds at a time before it starts eating away at his body.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kouga towers over Kaoru.
    • Leo too, just watch Makai Senki #10.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Madou Flame has many combat and medicinal applications.
  • JAM Project: Provides the opening themes. Also, Hironobu Kageyama voices Zaruba.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Surprisingly averted. Not a single katana in the original 25 episode run. Most normal Makai Knight swords are jians, and their Makai Armor swords are ornate claymores, scimitars or zweihanders turning into zanbatou's. Some (like Kouga) nonetheless take to the traditional way of sheathing a katana after slicing with their swords (i.e. slide the blade at the hilt, then store). A swordsman from feudal Japan awakens in the modern day in Makai Senki, but at no point is it claimed that his katana is a superior weapon.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Kouga's responses to the more fauxlisophical Horrors seem to reflect this outlook. Arguably, however, all Makai Knights would need some level of this in order to continue protecting humanity from Horrors long enough to be considered 'experienced'.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Jabi, and the Makai Priests in general.
  • Legacy Character: The title of every Makai Knight. No matter who uses the armors, they are always given the same title as the previous one.
  • Leitmotif: GARO has a particular chorus line when he is victorious in battle.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: As stated in the movie, only men can become a Makai Knight.
  • Love Hurts: Kouga and Kaoru's relationship. Whether it's his enemies, his incredibly dangerous occupation getting in the way, her tendency to be a Weirdness Magnet, his tendency to keep rather important secrets from her, or the fact that one of them always seems to be cursed to die, much of Kouga's emotional conflict and pain seems to have started once he met Kaoru.
    • Not to mention that in the cases of Rei and Leo, they both ended up having the women they were in love with violently murdered.
  • Magic Countdown: The Makai Knights can only remain in armour for 99.9 seconds. How long "99.9 seconds" lasts depends on the scene.
  • Magic Knight: The Makai Knights can do the standard trick of lighting their swords on fire; they can also sense the presence of demons, and use various magical tools which require some magical ability to activate. However, White Night DAN can actually cast spells.
  • Magitek: Magical lighters, a magical robot dragon, and Messiah has the power to sprout giant celestial gun turrets from her back.
    • Red Requiem takes this to egregious levels with Makai holographic structural diagrams when our heroes plan their offence. The movie also introduces the Metal Gear-looking mini-mecha known as Gouryuu, which even leads to an A.I. Is a Crapshoot plotline in Makai Senki.
      • Later we have Makai Train and Edea.
  • Man in White: Makai Knights' outfits usually involve earth colors (such as black, blue, gray or brown). Any holder of the title of GARO (such as father and son Taiga and Kouga), however, seems to be bound to include a white longcoat in his ensemble - a tradition Ryuga disposes of in Yami wo Terasu Mono. Tsubasa, entitled as White Knight DAN, also wears a white long robe with elaborate red-and-black highlights (which also extends into his Makai Knight armor).
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Makai Priestesses (and presumably Makai Priests), who pretty much are magical blacksmiths and use magical brushes and sign flags in battle.
  • Master Swordsman: Kouga, Rei, Taiga, The Man in the Red Mask, Wataru, the one-off character Igari Juzo from episode 8 of Makai Senki and Leo.
    • Kakashi from Soukoku no Maryu is very skilled with a sword. This was eventually revealed to be because he was the "forgotten idea" of a fencing training dummy through which aspiring Makai Knight students, Kouga himself included, once trained.
  • Meaningful Name: The armored form of the "Man in the Red Mask" is called Jyaku, which mean "Evil" in English.
    • Also, let's not forget that Rei means Zero in Japanese. Kouga's name, as illustrated in the recap, is spelled with the kanji for "Steel Fang," which befits his character.
    • Intentionally invoked with Kouga's title, GARO, in Red Requiem: apparently, GARO was the Old Makai word for "hope."
  • Merchandise-Driven: Averted, though there are cool toys based on the series.
  • Power Gives You Wings: GARO during his final battle against Messiah.
  • Rage Helm: The helmet of all Makai Knights in their armored form appear to be stylized images of wolves baring their teeth.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Kaoru and Kouga's relationship. There always seems to be some sort of bad luck preventing the two of them from being completely happy together, mainly due to the dangerous nature of Kouga's job.
    • Hell, even after they get married and have a kid, problems still seem to plague their time together such as her getting sucked into another dimension and him choosing to leave their six year old son behind in order to save her
  • Sword Beam: Seemingly a Makai Knight favorite.
  • Sword Sparks: Soul Metal has to be some kind of magical flint, because it sparks when it comes into contact with just about anything.
  • Title Scream: Three of the series' four opening themes end with a cry of "GARO!", as the show's title appears on screen.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Madou Book
  • Tortured Monster: The monsters of the week are humans possessed by demonic entities called Horrors. Whenever a human is possessed by a Horror, they will feel excruciating pain. They all get the Mercy Kill.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Makai Knights' weapons.
  • True Companions: The main characters, most evident in the final episodes of Makai Senki when they all band together to save Kouga.
  • World of Badass: The Makai is clearly this. Be it Priest or Knight or any other entity that hails from or connected to it, you're pretty much going to be powerful and badass.
  • X Meets Y: It's like Supernatural meets Toku according to some fans.

    From GARO (2005) 
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Gonza carries a Soul Metal sword with no trouble—that is until he's reminded that it's Soul Metal, at which point the weight overwhelms him.
  • All Therapists Are Muggles: Subverted. Kaoru's therapist is actually the Big Bad in disguise, and he has been using this job in order to monitor her so that she can eventually be used as a sacrifice to summon Meshia.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Messiah.
    • A few Horrors and the giant robot dragon.
  • Badass: Kouga, Rei, Taiga, Barago, GULM, Kodama, Tsubasa......
    • In short, any fighting, named characters who isn't a Monster of the Week is almost guaranteed to be a badass at some point of the story. Even Kaoru in the first season.
  • Badass Biker: Rei, who is the first Knight ever shown to ride a bike.
  • Badass Boast: Kouga, in Episode 25, during the fight with Messiah uses a simple but effective one. "My name is Garo! The Golden Knight!"
  • Badass Family: The Saejimas. Dad was a knight who was very feared among the Horrors, Mom was a powerful priest who can match her husband in term of fighting skill. Son? A Badass One-Man Army who has kick the ass of even the most powerful of Horrors and lived to tell the tale.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Kodama, who's always dressed in a butler suit.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of a Makai Knight's standard uniform.
  • Badass Longrobe: Tsubasa wears this instead of a longcoat.
  • Badass Normal: Even without their Makai Armour, the Makai Knights kick serious amounts of ass.
  • Bash Brothers: Kouga and Rei after solving their differences, before that it was pretty much Rivals Team Up.
  • Battle Butler: Kodama. Gonza not so much.
  • Berserk Button: For the love of GOD do not make Kaoru bleed.
    • Neither try to fool her or do anything to her. Hell, only touching one of her paintings can make Kouga angry, as young Makai Priestess-in-training Rin found out.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending to the first TV series. Barago/Kiva has been defeated and Kaoru is cured. But the original Zaruba who has been with Kouga since he was a boy is destroyed. Kaoru also decides to go Italy to study art and Rei must go back to the his original post as the Makai Knight of the West, leaving Kouga all alone with Gonza again.
    • However, watching Beast of the White Night makes this less bitter: Because Kaoru's come home and is waiting for Kouga.
  • Black Magic
  • Blade Brake
  • Blade on a Stick: Tsubasa/DAN's main weapon.
  • Body Horror
  • Bottle Episode: "GARO Gaiden", which takes place entirely in an auditorium, lacks special effects of any kind, and appears to have been shot on VHS.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The underlying premise of the first series: Boy (Kouga) meets/rescues girl (Kaoru) from a man eating demon. Boy vows to protect girl from demonic beings while claiming to only use her as bait. Girl finds out and dumps boy, then proceeds to nearly die. Boy manages to save girl at the last minute, and they live happily ever after until boy loses girl again when girl ends up being host of the Bigger Bad. Boy goes through a veritable Trauma Conga Line to get girl back. Girl goes to Italy to study art and then returns.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Under Kaoru's influence, Kouga gradually loses his Jerkass characteristics and becomes more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Happens to Kouga when Karma's mirror snatches the GARO Armor during mid-transformation in Red Requiem. Doesn't stop Kouga from kicking ass, anyway.
  • The Brute: Kodama
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Becoming a Makai Knight requires vast amounts of physical and spiritual training.
    • Chekhov's Armoury: In Red Requiem. It's stated early on that dozens of Makai warriors' souls have fallen in the mirror realm of the Big Bad Karma, including Rekka's father, and he taught her to play a tune dedicated to fallen warriors on her flute. Guess what happens at the climax when Rekka is brought into Karma's mirror, and her flute is brought to her there...
  • Creepy Child: The Eastern Watchdogs.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: A Makai Knight can devour Horrors to absorb their power, but it corrupts him and turns him evil.
  • Dark Action Girl: Eery single female Horror, GULM, Erda from KIBA Gaiden, and Messiah!Kaoru from the first series and KIBA Gaiden.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: In KIBA Gaiden this can be seen from this dialogue.
    BADO: Remember Barago, the reason why you became a Makai Knight. Remember why!
    Barago: I forgot.
  • Darker and Edgier: Well, the show IS targeted for adults.
  • Death by Origin Story: Every main character's family and loved ones. Just to count off, Both of Kouga's Parents, both of Kaoru's parents, and Rei's adopted father and girlfriend.
    • Even the Big Bad Barago/KIBA was not exempt: he witnessed his mother possessed by a Horror, forcing his father to kill her.
  • Declaration of Protection: Kouga's vow to save Kaoru before a hundred days passes and then afterward when it turns out that she is a gate for the Horror Messiah. Really, just his attitude toward her in general.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: Kouga would be a male example.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kaoru in the Beast of the White Night special. But played for a wonderful reason.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: GARO Project, a band formed by Kouga, Rei, Taiga, Barago and Kaoru's actors do the first season EDs.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: From KIBA Gaiden, Knight of Wind and Cloud BADO uses this during his first onscreen battle with KIBA. Probably linked to his Flash Step ability.
  • The Dragon: Garuma, the combined form of Keru, Beru, and Rosu: the 3 Eastern Watchdogs.
  • Enfant Terrible: Red Requiem kicks off with one.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone can tell Kouga is falling for Kaoru from his butler, to his talking ring, the snarky rival that keeps trying to kill him, his three superiors who never hesitate to call him out on or mock his feelings, even his father's old friend who has never even met Kaoru, let alone seen her and Kouga together can see it. Apparently the only person who doesn't seem to notice is Kaoru herself.
  • Evil Counterpart: Barago.
  • Evil Feels Good.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Compared to all other Makai Knights in the series, KIBA is bulkier, more organic and far more menacing in design, likely to reference the fact that he is pretty much a Horror in Makai Knight form.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Messiah.
  • Expanded Universe: There are two possibly canonical novels written by the main writer of season 1, Yuji Kobayashi, in collaboration with series creator Keita Amemiya. The first one Ankoku Makai Kishi Hen, is an anthology on 10 stories which fleshed out the character and settings of the first series. The second one, Yoseki no Wana, is a story set between Beast of the White Night and Red Requiem and features a new knight, Shakunetsu Kishi YAIBA (Scorch Knight YAIBA) whose real name is Godo Akira and is supposedly Barago's student. There's also a short story set in the future, featuring Kouga and Kaoru's son, Raiga.
    • There's also the Pachinko games which show new characters and background info. Such as BADO being the senior disciple of ZERO and the intrduction of a new knight, Jushin Kishi GIGA (Beast Knight GIGA) in the newest game.
  • Fallen Hero: Barago in the KIBA Gaiden.
  • False Friend: Kaoru's therapist and mentor turns out to be Barago and that he had marked her as a child to be the gateway for the the ultimate Horror, Messiah.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Kouga, Kaoru and Rei didn't get off at the best start. It doesn't help that their enemies seems bent on making their life suffer and turning them against each other, but in the end, they became close friends and in the case of Kouga and Kaoru, a couple.
  • Flash Step: KIBA uses this during his first fight against GARO and ZERO. In KIBA Gaiden, BADO's main ability is this.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: A couple of the Horrors and Messiah herself take the form of naked women at some point.
  • Gender Bender: Akira Godo, who also has a female form called Misaki.
  • Generation Xerox: Kouga's father once saved Kaoru's father from a Horror, inspiring the latter to draw a picture book about the Golden Knight. In the present day, Kouga saved Kaoru from a Horror which set off a whole new chain of events. And in the second season, Kaoru reveals that she is going to work on a picture book about GARO. Kouga is also fated to fight the same person who his father died protecting him from.
  • Gratuitous English: The sign at the entrance to Volcity is in partially broken English (see here, at 11:15).
  • Holding Hands: Played with between Kouga and Kaoru. In the beginning of their relationship, whenever Kouga wanted Kaoru to go somewhere with him, he would just grab her hand and drag her along whether she wanted to go or not. He takes to holding her hand properly in Beast of the White Night and the second episode of Makai Senki.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Kaoru asks Kouga to Mercy Kill kill her after they find out that she is the gate for the Horror Messiah. Kouga, in his typical stoic, Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold fashion tells her to stop being an idiot and that he won't do it because he needs her.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: A small example when Kouga is fighting Kaoru after she has been possessed by Messiah and she has just slashed him with a sword. And it works.
    Kouga: Kaoru! Your hands... do not exist for gripping a sword!
    • There's another one between Kouga and Rei after Kouga surpass the 99.9 time limit and invoke the LOST SOUL version of his armor so he can defeat KIBA. Rei manage to snap him out in time before Kouga's completely taken over.
  • Jerkass: Rei Suzumura. So is Kouga Saejima. They both get better though, particularly by Makai Senki.
    • Tsubasa Yamagatana from the specials, but just like Rei and Kouga, he get better.
  • Lethal Chef: When Kaoru cooked for her roommate, she had to be HOSPITALIZED. A single spoonful was enough to make Gonza throw up.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Three Watchdogs may look cute & innocent in their normal forms, but they are The Dragon of the Big Bad manipulating events behind the heroes backs, not to mention turning Rei against Kouga.
  • Love Makes You Evil: In one of the episodes of the first series, a grieving woman becomes serial killer who collects the fingers of her victims after witnessing her pianist boyfriend commit suicide before her eyes. And that was before she became a Horror.
    • And then a few episodes later, her father falls victim to same trope which leads him to seek revenge against Kouga.
    • Barago's Start of Darkness began when his mother died and became possessed by a Horror forcing his father to kill her which led to Barago's hatred of Horrors and Makai Knights.
    • Magi in Tougen no Fue she killed your friend Agi to get the Eternal Life from Higari.
    • Kouga narrowly avoids this after Kaoru is captured by Barago and he ends up invoking LOST SOUL GARO to save her and defeat Barago. He manages to kill Kodama but Rei intervenes before he is completely turned.
  • Ludd Was Right: The gun-wielding villain in a late episode claims that the Horrors first appeared when humans began to use tools.
  • Made of Iron: Kouga's body can take crazy amounts of damage including: getting shot at point blank, falling off buildings, getting thrown through walls, getting slashed by a sword, getting impaled through the shoulder twice in a row in Red Requiem, and landing on a steel beam in a way that would have broken a normal human being's spine. His default response to pain is shrug it off and get on with the ass kicking. Rei also count to a lesser extent, he can take on almost as much damage as Kouga.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Kodama. He forms his magical attacks by singing baritone notes.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Kouga battles the insides of a demon-possessed clock tower in one episode.
  • Manly Tears/Tender Tears: Kouga in the ending of the 1st season, after reading Kaoru's book.
  • Medium Awareness: Pay attention to what Kodama's actually saying in GARO Gaiden.
  • Meet Cute: If by cute, you mean when the hero and heroine meet for the first time, he thinks she's a demon and grabs her in a chokehold, brandishing a magical lighter over her eyes, then proceeds to kill a demon right before her eyes and getting her cursed in the process. Which is probably as cute as Meet Cute gets in the GARO universe. Over the course of the series, they end up falling in love with each other and by the next series, she's his girlfriend.
  • Monster Clown: Episode 10.
  • Monster of the Week: It's usually Kouga or Rei fighting the Horror of The Week, interspersed with Story Arc episodes, sort of like in other shows like The X-Files or Supernatural, etc.
  • Mooks: In the first season, a certain type of Horror with a skull-like face and long droopy horn-ears will sometimes appear in large numbers to fill this role. Red Requiem even starts off with one as a Bait-and-Switch Boss.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Silva — hilariously — attempts to off Kaoru in "GARO Gaiden".
  • My Hero Zero: Rei, whose name means "zero" and who uses ZERO as his Knight title.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Kouga and Rei vs Messiah after she has taken control of Kaoru's body. She manages to kick the asses of two highly trained Makai Knights up and down the street and it only ends after Kouga pulls out the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight card which breaks her hold on Kaoru.
    • Or their first fight against KIBA.
  • Noodle Incident: Episode 13, the Recap Episode, was apparently narrated by Zaruba in the middle of Kouga fighting three Horrors in a burning train car falling from the sky. We get no explanation how that started.
  • Official Couple: Kouga and Kaoru.
  • One-Man Army: Kouga, HOLY SHIT, Kouga. Tsubasa and Rei also qualified to a lesser extent.
  • Opposites Attract: Kaoru is a warm, spirited artist from humble origins who looks upon life with wonder and optimism. Kouga was a Lonely Rich Kid who grew up to be a Badass Action Hero with a Dark and Troubled Past who is cold, snarky, cynical, and has nearly No Social Skills. Somehow the two of them managed to fall in love, get married and have a child.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: In the flashback where Kouga's father dies saving him from a Horror, rain pours as Kouga weeps.
  • Playing with Fire: The Madou Lighter.
  • Punny Name: Rei Suzumura's name uses the kanji for "zero" and his name as a Makai Knight is ZERO (although the kanji mean something else). As an added bonus, his actor's name is Rei (although he spells it "Ray").
    • It literally means "CUTTING WOLF" in kanji/katakana. As for GARO, it means "FANGED WOLF".
  • Replacement Goldfish: Literally happens with Zaruba in the series finale.
  • Rivals Team Up: Despite the fact that for much of the first series, Rei and Kouga were often violently trying to kill each other, they would usually be able to put it aside long enough in order to defeat the Horror of the Week. Just barely though.
  • She's Got Legs: Jabi, with an outfit designed to show them off. Rekka from the Red Requiem movie, as well. Her actress used to be a dancer after all.
  • Shoot the Dog: There's no saving a human once they have been possessed by a Horror: once the Horror dies, they die along with it.
    • In episode 21 it's revealed that the human possessed suffers an indescribable pain and killing them is, in fact, a Mercy Kill.
    • ...Unless the Horror decides to leave the body, as shown in episode 3.
  • She-Fu: The combined form of the watchdogs fights with a hula hoop.
  • Shout-Out: Kodama in "GARO Gaiden" channels Jim Carrey in his entire speech.
  • Start of Darkness: The KIBA Gaiden show us how Barago become what he is.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Kouga. Stroppy, rude, aloof, and ruthlessly devoted to his duties as a Makai Knight to the exclusion of most social interaction- and yet, despite all that, he is mature, responsible, noble, far more emotionally stable and empathetic compared to Rei and Tsubasa during their first appearances, and is plainly affectionate towards Kaoru.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: LOST SOUL GARO, which happens when Kouga exceeds the 99.9 second time limit of his armour.
    • Probably goes for any other Makai Knight as well, since we see a variation of this happen to Barago in his backstory.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Kodama, when he actually talks in "GARO Gaiden".note 
    • The entire second half of KIBA Gaiden is narrated by a native English-speaking woman, for seemingly no reason.
  • Sweet Tooth: Rei, who can put away a whole table full of cake and still come back for more.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Both Kouga and Rei.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Episode 9
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Justified: Soul Metal's movement can be controlled through willpower, as Taiga showed by levitating a chunk of it for Kouga.
  • Training from Hell: Literally. Kouga battles whirling death blades regularly as part of this.
  • Training Montage: Kouga training from a young boy to a young man so he can wield his father's Soul Metal sword.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Kodama attacks Kouga during his transformation sequence. Garuma pulls the same stunt on Rei as well.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Kaoru
  • Up to Eleven: Let's just say, the fight scene in this series put a new standard in Tokusatsu fight scene
  • Villainous Crush: Barago's relationship with Kaoru appears to have undertones of this, especially in KIBA Gaiden. He has watched her since she was a child, he is by turns tender and possessive towards her, gets angry whenever she mentions her actual love interest's name, and even calls her "his bride" at one point. Even Erda harbors a bitter dislike of Kaoru because Barago chose her.
  • The Voiceless: Kodama, though he can summon energy bolts by singing baritone. Though he does talk in GARO Gaiden, in English, which Kaoru somehow misheard as Kansai dialect.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Let's just say the Horror's blood wasn't the start of Kaoru's problems.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Kaoru, who - being an artist - has an extensive collection of hairnets and nametags.
  • Wire Fu: Boy howdy.
  • Woman in White: When Kaoru is possessed by Messiah and while she is fighting Kouga and Rei she wears a short, elaborate white dress in contrast to the black clothing that Kouga and Rei wear.
    • Also, the three Eastern Watchdogs dress all in white, have white hair, and are always illuminated in a white light against the darkness.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Messiah pulls an epic double cross on Barago after he has sacrificed everything to bring her into the world.
  • You Killed My Father: Kouga to Barago.
    • Garuma has a "You killed my son" when Kouga kill Kodama
    From GARO: Makai Senki (2011) 
  • Absentee Actor: Rei gets some focus eps, leaving out Kouga, Gonza and Kaoru entirely. It's justified because at the time those eps take place, he's on the opposite side of the country from Kouga.
  • Adorkable: Leo as of episode 10 in Makai Senki. During their wanderings through the city, Leo and Kaoru come to a street and Leo realizes that there is only one way to walk down the street. He gravely explains to Kaoru that they can only pass through the ki if it recognizes human emotions within them, leading a worried Kaoru to ask an awkward Leo what they have to do. Cut to:
    Kaoru: Man! You should have just said we have to walk through holding hands!
  • Arm Cannon: The Horror in the first episode of Makai Senki uses one modeled after a cigarette lighter.
  • Asshole Victim: Nobody was crying when Ratess, who has been a condescending dick to Kouga in his appearances, is betrayed and killed by the Red-Masked Man, whom he was in cahoots with.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kouga and Rei in episode 16 of ''Makai Senki''.
  • Badass: Apart from everyone else, Makai Senki gives focus to the one-off character, time-traveling Samurai Juzo Igari. This guy can fight Rei into a standstill & was actually close to winning. And that was BEFORE he actually gave into the Horror residing in the sword he was carrying. Oh yeah, did forget to mention his will is so strong that he can actually wield Soul Metal??
  • Badass Biker: Kouga has taken to it after his car was unceremoniously decommisioned in Makai Senki Episode 3. Rei carries on from the previous season.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Kouga wears a really sharp suit in episode 4 of Makai Senki while infiltrating a gambling den.
  • Bash Brothers: Kouga and Tsubasa in episode 14 of Makai Senki against Shijima Wataru.
  • Berserk Button: With an increase in emotional attachment, Kouga is more terrifying to watch when pushed too far. In episode 24 of Makai Senki, he even goes so far as to kill Sigma Fudou who was not only human but also revealed to be a childhood friend of Kouga during his Makai training days after he threatened to kill Kaoru.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending for Makai Senki seems to one-up the 2005 series. Kouga manages to defeat Ganon and later, Sigma. But due to his contract with Gajari, he is obligated to go to the Promised Land, but he promised to Kaoru that he will be back for her after which, they finally kiss. During the end screen, looks like Kouga has come back, but it is ambiguous as we only see Kaoru's happy face expression.
    • The movie Soukoku no maryuu averts this trope, by revealing Kouga did indeed return to Kaoru.
  • Blatant Lies: The first Monster of the Week of Makai Senki says anything he can think of to try to distract Kouga, from claiming that the only people he killed were Yakuza (after having been shown killing the gangster's girlfriend and a random woman) to offering to team up against other Horrors.
  • Blood Knight: The time-traveling Samurai, Igari Juzo from episode 8 of Makai Senki.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The Hametsu no Kokuin (Brand of Destruction) on Kouga, Rei, Tsubasa and others force them to fight without their armor most of the time until the direst situations. That doesn't prevent them from being badass, however.
  • Call Back: Turns out senior Makai Priest Akaza in Red Requiem had the exact same motivation as the old couple in Makai Senki #6.
    • The art book which Kaoru's father drew becomes a key item in Makai Senki #22 in order to recall Kouga's own identity after he was captured. We still don't get to see what's actually in the last page though.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ganon, the powerful Horror who is regarded as "Messiah's Fang" and was mentioned as having been mysteriously killed and its corpse stolen in KIBA Gaiden. In Makai Senki, it turns out the Man in the Red Mask is now in the possession of the corpse and is using it as his source of power.
  • Cool Bike: Rei rode a Harley Davidson in Makai Senki episode 12.
  • Cool Car: Kouga drove a Mercedes Benz in Makai Senki episode 4.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Very obvious in the episode where Kouga and Rei travel to the demon realm to fight a horde of Horrors.
  • Continuity Nod: See Shrouded in Myth below.
    • For a more direct take, the magic flying guppy from the end of Red Requiem reappears in Makai Senki.
  • Cruel Mercy: At the end of episode 6 of Makai Senki, A Day in the Limelight episode for Rei, he kills the Horror that had been getting fed victims of a murderous old couple in exchange for showing them illusions of their dead son. After the image of their son vanishes, they beg Rei to kill them, to which he bitterly replies:
    Rei: I only slay Horrors.
  • Death World: The Promised Land seems to be this, going by Eruba's worrying about Kouga going there.
  • Demonic Possession: Inverted in episode 8 of Makai Senki. The Fish Out of Temporal Water swordsman joins with the Horror in his sword so that he can duel Rei, but his will is so strong that he remains in complete control the whole time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Makai Senki #10, Kaoru and Leo take a special... potion... that enhances their senses and allows them to see pretty, magical creatures and they spend the day wandering the city in a state of wide-eyed bliss. Hell, the giant evil ki woman could very well be a metaphor for a really bad trip.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Makai Senki Episode 5. The ghost of the manhole-maker's dead wife sporadically appears in the background before The Reveal at the end of the episode in which she kills her husband. Here, just see for yourself..
  • Evil Former Friend: We find out in episode 24 of Makai Senki that Sigma was one of Kouga's childhood friends whom he trained with in episode 15. Sigma realizes this just as Kouga delivers the killing blow.
  • Evil Twin: Red-Masked Man's true identity is Sigma Fudou, Leo's older twin brother.
  • Evolving Credits/Couch Gag: The ending credits of each episode of Makai Senki show Kaoru working on a different spread for her children's book. Doubles as a Call Back to the picturebook from the end of the first season, though the panels shown here mirror events from the episode even if she wasn't around for them.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In a good way, as Kouga has to go undercover in the second series and Zaruba has to remain completely still around others... but he can't avoid blinking.
  • Friendship Moment: Episode 10 of Makai Senki appears to have been one big Friendship Moment between Kaoru and Leo, including wandering around the city, looking at all various spirits and the Adorkable moment where Leo shyly tells her they have to hold hands down one particular street.
  • Grand Finale: Soukoku no Maryu serves as this for Kouga's story.
  • Hidden Depths: Leo, despite being a Makai priest, is good enough with a sword to take down a 20-foot creature in Makai Senki #10. In #18 and 19, it is revealed that he's secretly a Makai Knight by the title of Senko Kishi RŌDO/Flash Knight RŌDOnote .
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Makai Senki #22, Sigma Fudou (The Red Mask) wanted to draw power from Ganon (he has a hand from it) when he fought Rei, Leo and Wataru on Edea at the same time, but he end up being absorbed by Ganon.
  • Holding Hands: Kaoru and Leo hold hands in episode 10 of the second series but only to pass through a ki-filled street, much to Leo's embarassment.
  • Homage: Episode 8 of Makai Senki is clearly a love letter to classic Samurai/Jidai Geki films.
  • Hypocrite: Ratess despite his bitching about being Incorruptible Pure Pureness personified, eventually betrayed the Makai and join up with Red-Masked Man. He promptly get his just deserts when the Red-Masked Man killed him and revealing that he's just another pawn for his scheme.
  • I Die Free: Juzo Igari turns his possessed katana on himself when the Horror within it tries to command him to kill civilians to sustain his existence. He was a Blood Knight in life, but would sooner kill himself than indiscriminately kill civilians.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Subverted: Ratess boasts that he is immune to corruption, but this does not confer upon him any immunity to being a dick. In #18, his dickisnesh reach a maximum level when he betrayed the Makai and turns out to be in cahoot with the Red-Masked Man.
  • In Medias Res: Makai Senki #12 starts this way.
  • Infant Immortality: Makai Senki, episode 15 strongly averts this, when all three of Kouga's training companions and at least one other boy are devoured on-screen by a Horror.
  • Karmic Death: Ratess, who despite his bitching to Kouga about his lack of "Yin-side", betrayed Kouga and the Makai, joining forces with the Red-Masked Man. He promptly get betrayed himself by the Red-Masked Man and is killed for his trouble.
  • Lighthearted Rematch: Kouga and Rei in the ending of Soukoku no Maryu. The last time they fight was to kill each other in season 1, this time it was to settle their friendly rivalry.
  • Lighter and Softer: Soukoku no Maryu, which tones down the sex and gore considerably, and adopts a more fairytale-esque atmosphere, compared to the horror elements of the main series.
  • Lip-Lock Sun-Block: Kouga and Kaoru share one in episode 24 of Makai Senki right before he leaves for the Promised Land.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Goryuu.
  • Mirror Match: Garo fights against a black version of himself the first time the "Man in the Red Mask" uses the Jyaku.
  • Moment Killer: Taken Up to Eleven in Makai Senki #11. Not only is all time stopped during said moment, but a monstrous manifestation of all Horrors killed by all past GARO appears to pre-emptively kill any such moments in the future.
  • Mood Whiplash: Makai Senki episode 15. It's an Whole Episode Flashback of Kouga training to become a knight. He enters a group and all throughout the episode they become True Companions. Five minutes before the end, a Horror drops from the sky and eats the three children. Onscreen.
  • My Beloved Smother: in Makai Senki #12. It says a lot that the Horror that ate and then impersonated her isn't that much different.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for Makai Senki #6 shows Rei and Kouga locking swords. It turns out it's just a sparring session.
  • Nice Guy: Leo, a contrast to most other Priests and Knights.
  • Nice Hat: The new character, Kakashi from Soukoku no Maryu
  • Scenery Porn: The trailer for Soukoku no Maryu show us The Promised Land in all it's glory. It's clear Keita Amemiya has been taking cues from Tim Burton, especially from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Makai Senki #5, featured a Horror that was using stylized manhole covers as traps to devour its victims. The creator of the covers is in fact at the end killed by what appears to be his previous love interest's ghost that he killed or let die in the past. But upon examining the body, Zaruba and Kouga can tell it wasn't a Horror but don't know what it was. So they left.
  • Power Copying: The "Man in the Red Mask" is able to mimic Kouga's transformation, giving himself a dark copy of Kouga's Makai Armor called "Jyaku" as long as he's transformed. This works in both ways: If Kouga dismounts his armor, the Jyaku army is dismounted as well.
  • The Power of Love: Hinted. In the final battle, Makai Priests toss their Madou Brushes to the Makai Knights, who use them as arrows. Kaoru drops her brush for Kouga. Despite being an ordinary brush and Kaoru just being a normal artist, the resulting arrow is the most powerful of all the attacks.
  • Red Right Hand: The red-masked man has one of these from Ganon, "Messiah's Fang".
  • Red Shirt: Despite appearing no less in dignity than the named Makai Knights (GARO, ZERO, DAN, RODO and BARON), all other Makai Knights in the climax of the series effectively became this (not helped by them appearing with less-intimidating and less-ornate armor than the aforementioned "main character" knights).
  • Samurai: Episode 8 of Makai Senki features a samurai who is sent into our time and is determined to defeat Rei after seeing him fight.
  • Shrouded in Myth: From the early episodes of Makai Senki, it seems Kouga has now become very famous and feared for his achievements in the past series/films, such as defeating Messiah, KIBA, Legules and Karma.
  • Sunglasses at Night: The Horror in Makai Senki episode five wears these.
  • Trash the Set: Kouga's house gets completely totaled in the final battle in Makai Senki.
  • We Named the Monkey Jack: In Makai Senki, Kouga gains a scouting creature shaped like a huge guppy, which Zaruba named Kaoru.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Sigma Fudou turns out to have been one of Kouga's childhood friends whom he trained with as a Makai Knight.
  • Wham Episode: Makai Senki #13 could count, as the Red-Mask man is revealed to be a Makai Priest and Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • Even more so in episode #16, where we find out that he has the same face as Leo.
    • #18, Leo and the Red-Masked Man are different persons. Leo arrive just in time to save Kouga from being massacred by the Red Mask and revealed that he can transform into a Makai Knight, namely Senko Kishi RŌDO (Flash Knight RŌDO).
    • #19. Leo and Sigma (aka The Red Mask) are twin brothers. Sigma's Start of Darkness is also revealed.
    • #22 has Sigma being absorbed into Ganon, and Ganon possesses Edea.
    • #24, big time. Sigma was one of the students learning under Wataru, which means, he was Kouga's classmate.
  • You Are Worth Hell: In episode 21 of Makai Senki, Kaoru agrees to accompany the Makai Knights and Priests on a dangerous mission to save Kouga after he has been absorbed by Ganon. When Gonza objects on the grounds that she could be killed, she responds with this:
    Kaoru: I don't think I have the power to save Kouga either. I... just want to see Kouga. I want to see him. After all... if I were Kouga, that'd be what I were thinking.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: In episode 1 of Makai Senki, Kouga is cursed by the mysterious "Man in the Red Mask" with the Hametsu no Kokuin which would kill him in a short while, according to Zaruba. In episode 3, as it turns out, Rei has also been cursed with one.
    • Let's just say basically every Makai Knights in the show are cursed with one. Especially Tsubasa, whose body deterioates much quicker than others.

     From GARO: Makai no Hana (2014) 
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Played with through Mayuri. Raiga and Gonza go to some effort to make the cold Mayuri smile and they succeed on occasion, but too bad emotions loosen her grip on the horror cage contained in her body.
  • Fantastic Flora: Makai no Hana, aka The Flower of Makai.
  • Homage to various classics horror movies, mainly George Romero movies.
Jason uses an axe, Freddy uses claws, Leatherface uses a chainsaw, but what does the killer in the movie use?.
  • Opening Narration
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The titular Makai no Hana. It was a large flower that caused widespread chaos, so a group of Makai Priests separated it into nine Horrors and sealed in a stone slab. Predictably, they escape as the seal in undone by a mysterious person with a knife. Now, Raiga and friends must defeat and re-seal all the escaped Horrors. In other words, the plot is an example of…
  • Self-Parody: The opening scene from episode 4 Movie
    • Creator Cameo: Keita Amemiya appears himself as a Zombie in the Movie.
  • Spin-Offspring: This season stars Raiga, the son of Kouga and Kaoru. Funny enough, while they're not around, Gonza is still watching over him.

FiremanJapanese SeriesGARO The One Who Shines In The Darkness
GameraTokuGARO The One Who Shines In The Darkness

alternative title(s): Garo
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