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File:GARO DVD01 2757.jpg

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


A Japanese Tokusatsu TV series which is notable for being targetted at an adult audience, as opposed to being a Merchandise-Driven kids' show (although it did produce some awesome toys). 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.

Since the beginning, the darkness within humanity had the power to influence the Makai World. It is through this darkness that malevolent creatures called Horrors, a destructive predator, breaks into the human realm through gateways. They are attracted to people with negative emotions, tempting them into getting possessed. The only force preventing their attempts to overthrow humanity is the Makai Order. Through the use of spell-casting and martial arts, the Makai Order established their own shadow force of priests and knights that secretly hunt down and defeat all forces of darkness. One such defender is the Makai Knight, Golden Knight Garo.

The first installment of the show, GARO, also known as GARO: Chapter of the Black Wolf 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. A fateful encounter with his future wife Kaoru Mitsuki, a struggling artist with a string of bad luck and an uncanny ability to cycle through different occupations incredibly quickly, and later, his fellow Makai Knight Rei Suzumura aka. Zero the Silver Fanged Knight, who has discarded his responsibilities as a Makai Knight so he can pursue a vendetta against Kouga whom he believes to be the murderer of his lover and predecessor until discovering that he was in fact, the pawn of Big Bad, entwined their fate. This installment lasted for 25 episodes and followed by two television specials and one movie: GARO Gaiden: Smile, a surreal dream sequence of Kaoru's; GARO: Beast of the White Night, and GARO: Red Requiem.

Since its airing in 2005, the franchise has aired sequels and spin-offs. As of 2020, it has four continuities:

  • Original Series: Centered around Saejima family.
  • Ryūga-verse: Centered around Ryūga Dōgai, the latest Garo in a universe parallel to Saejimas' own.
  • Anime Series: Also known as GARO: The Animation. Anime series adaptations of the franchise.
  • VR-Verse: Centered about Garo which unfortunate enough to be fell into the hands of corrupt branch of its home universe's Makai Order.

Main characters include:

Original Series Continuity

  • Kouga Saejima (GARO): The Hero, who inherited the power and title of GARO from his father. Badass. The Stoic. Fights with a large golden sword made of "Soul Metal".
  • Rei Suzumura (ZERO): The Rival, who has given himself the title of ZERO. Also a Badass. Starts off as an Enigmatic Minion, but soon reveals his hatred for Kouga. Fights with two swords which can combine into one. Very fond of Reverse Grip. Occasional practitioner of Sword Drag.
  • Kaoru Mitsuki: The Chick. An artist with one hundred days to live before she dies a most painful death. Because she has been tainted by Horror blood, she draws the attention of Horrors and often finds herself in danger.
  • Gonza Kurahashi: Faithful butler of the Saejima household.
  • Zaruba: Kouga's familiar. A sentient ring that can sense Horrors. Was once the familiar of Kouga's father. Quite snarky and down-to-earth.
  • Silva: Rei's familiar, a sentient amulet. Has a crush on her master, and is quite irritated when Rei gets close to another woman.
  • The Eastern Watchdogs: Kouga's superiors, who take the form of three angelic girls who seem to share the same mind. They inform Kouga when a Horror has emerged, and purify his weapon once he has slain it. Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
  • Kodama: The Speechless Battle Butler of the Eastern Watchdogs.


Anime Series


This series provides examples of:


  • Animal Motifs: The Makai Knights wear armor patterned after wolves.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: See The Heartless below.
  • Badass: Most major characters protagonists and antagonists alike, Kouga, Rei, Taiga, Barago, GULM, Kodama, Tsubasa, Ryūga Dōgai, Rian, Takeru Jakuzure, Aguri Kusugami, León Luís, Raikou, Wilhem "Sword" Ragnvald, name it....
  • Badass Biker:
    • In original series, we got Rei who ride a bike as shown in ZERO: Black Blood and Kouga in Makai Senki Episode 3.
    • Anime Series has Wilhem "Sword" Ragnvald, the modern-day Garo who got Madō Motorcycle which transforms with him as he dons his armor.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: One of two requirements to both properly wield Soul Metal-based weaponry and armor and fight on equal terms with a Horror without relying on the Armor's might too much.
  • Darker and Edgier: Well, the show IS targeted for adults unlike your typical Henshin Hero shows.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: A Makai Knight can absorb Horrors through his armor to become more powerful, but it corrupts him and turns him evil as much a warping his armor into more monstrous form.
    • This occurs to Kiba Armor in Original Series where its owner, Barago, does so as per Messiah's instruction to gain the ultimate power of darkness in which he absorbs 1000 Horrors before fusing her to complete it. Too bad his greed for power blinded him from Messiah's machinations where she fatally absorbed him instead in the end. To make matter worse, while the remorseful Barago made peace with Taiga in the afterlife before reincarnated into the son of Italian Makai family who then cross-path with Kaoru during her time at Italy, his corrupted armor became sentient and adopted its former wearer's human form, becoming the threat to Kouga and Raiga later on as confirmed in Dark Makai Knight Saga and GARO: Moonbow Traveler.
    • In Anime Series, this happens to Christopher "Knight" Harden aka. Bolg who uses similar methods with instructions written in a Madō Book.
  • Demon Slaying: A Makai Knight's job.
  • Flaming Sword: Makai Knights can use either their Madō Lighters, a friction between their gauntlet and Makai Blade, or sheer willpower to set their weapons and armor ablaze with Madō Flames for some extra "kick".
  • Full-Frontal Assault: One of reasons why every Makai Knight must undergo mental training as much as physical one is so as not to be distracted by the sight of naked women some Horrors assume to trick unsuspecting males. To make matter worse, default form of some major powerful Horrors (ex. Messiah, Karma) being nude females with demonic traits.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Members of Makai Orders in general, its Knights and Priests in particular, may not exactly nicest people on earth, but they still do their best to protect humanity.
    • Original Series:
      • Kouga may be socially awkward after everything he'd gone through in his days as a Makai Knight trainee but, still a good person at heart as Kaoru acknowledged. She and Kaoru even married in their later lives with Kouga proves himself to be a good father for their son Raiga despite his time with him got cut short.
      • Ratess proves that even Incorruptible Pure Pureness is not always nice; he 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.
  • The Heartless: Horrors. It is said that they are demonic lifeform born from humanity's inga (negative emotion-based dark energies) that seeped into Makai Realm and changed as they coalesced there, becoming Messiah, the progenitor of all Horrors, who then spawns lesser Horrors.
  • Henshin Hero: All of the Makai Knights.
  • Heroic Willpower: Strong will is essential for a Makai Knight to properly wield anything that made of Soul Metal as much as mastering one's fear over darkness, sexual temptation (as Horrors often take the form of beautiful women), mental/emotional distractions, and maintaining focus over the mission to combat dark forces.
  • Made of Iron: Among benefit of physical and mental training Makai Knights undergone to be able to fully wield Soul Metal is to be able to quickly recover from things that would cripple normal humans. For example, 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.
  • Shoot the Dog: There's no saving a human once they have been possessed by a Horror as their forced merging is not the case of Demonic Possession - Once the Horror dies, they die along with it.
    • In episode 21 of Chapter of the Black Wolf it's revealed that the human possessed suffer an indescribable pain and killing them is, in fact, Mercy Kill.
  • Title Scream: Some of the series' opening themes end with a cry of "GARO!" as the show's title appears on screen.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Makai Knights' Makai Blades, which linked to their Instant Armor.
  • Up to Eleven: Let's just say, the fight scenes in this franchise put a new standard in Tokusatsu fight scene.
  • 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.

Original Series Continuity

  • Absentee Actor: Justified in Makai Senki. Rei gets some focus eps, leaving out Kouga, Gonza and Kaoru entirely.
  • 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.
  • Action Girl: Jabi, although a much more aggressive version. In Makai Senki, she was able to fight "The Man in the Red Mask" to a standstill.
    • Rekka from the Red Requiem movie.
  • Actor Allusion: Kenji Matsuda appears in Makai Senki as a blue Makai Knight with a curved sword named Wataru. Compare Kamen Rider Kiva, where he appeared as a blue werewolf who had the ability to transform into a curved sword for a young man named Wataru.
  • 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.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Messiah.
    • A few Horrors and the giant robot dragon.
  • 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 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: Kouga in episode 4 of Makai Senki while infiltrating a gambling den.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of a Makai Knight's standard uniform.
  • Badass Long Robe: Tsubasa from the special 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. Kouga and Tsubasa in episode 14 of Makai Senki against Shijima Wataru.
  • 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.
    • And in episode 24 of Makai Senki, Kouga 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
  • BFS: 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 it large enough for his horse to surf on.
  • 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.
    • The ending for Makai Senki is even more bittersweet. 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. He did.
  • Black Magic
  • Blade Brake
  • Blade on a Stick: Tsubasa/DAN's main weapon.
  • 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.
  • Body Horror
  • Bottle Episode: "GARO Gaiden".
  • 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 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.
  • The Brute: Kodama
  • 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.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Becoming a Makai Knight requires vast amounts of physical and spiritual training.
  • 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.
    • 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...
  • 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.
  • Cool Bike: Rei rode a Harley Davidson in Makai Senki episode 12.
  • Cool Car: Kouga drove a Mercedes Benz in Makai Senki episode 4.
  • 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 Gouten[1], Ginga[2] and Hayate[3] respectively. It's still unknown how KIBA obtains his horse Raigou though.
  • Cool Sword: Another Makai Knight staple.
  • The Corruption: The Horrors.
  • Creepy Child: The Eastern Watchdogs.
  • 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.


 BADO: Remember Barago, the reason why you became a Makai Knight. Remember why!

Barago: I forgot.

  • 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.
  • Death World: The Promised Land seems to be this, going by Eruba's worrying about Kouga going there.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: Kouga would be a male example.
  • Demonic Possession: All the Horrors. And eventually, KIBA over Barago.
    • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kaoru in the special. but played for a wonderful reason
  • 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.
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: GARO Project, a band formed by Kouga, Rei, Taiga and Kaoru's actors do the first season EDs.
  • Doppelganger 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.
  • 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..
  • 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 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 Is Not a Toy: Messiah.
  • 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.
  • Expanded Universe: There are two possibly canonical novels written by the main writer of season 1, Yuji Kobayashi and with participation by 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) who's real name is Godo Akira and is supposedly Barago's student.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice Extra: That chick from the first ep of Makai Senki. Some of the one-shot Horrors could technically count.
  • 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.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flash Step: KIBA uses this during his first fight against GARO and ZERO. In KIBA Gaiden, BADO's main ability is this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hammerspace: Where most characters draw their weapons from.
  • Healing Shiv: Makai Knights can use the fires from their Madou Lighters to rapidly heal wounds.
  • 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 RŌDO[4].
  • 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 Back the Phlebotinum: The 99.9 second time limit on the Makai Knight armour. (See also Super-Powered Evil Side below.)
  • 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.
    • 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/JidaiGeki films.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • "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.
  • I Will Protect Her: 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.
  • In Medias Res: Makai Senki #12 starts this way.
  • Incendiary Exponent
  • 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.
  • JAM Project: Provides the opening themes. Also, Hironobu Kageyama voices Zaruba.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Surprisingly averted. Not a single katana in the original 25 episode run. 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
  • Lethal Chef: When Kaoru cooked for her roommate, she had to be HOSPITALIZED.
  • Leitmotif: GARO has a particular chorus line when he is victorious in battle.
  • 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.
    • Similarly, Ring from ZERO: Black Blood also apply.
  • Lineage Comes From the Father: As stated in the movie, only men can become a Makai Knight.
  • Lip-Lock Sun-Block: Kouga and Kaoru share one in episode 24 of Makai Senki right before he leaves for the Promised Land.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 AI Is a Crapshoot plotline in Makai Senki.
      • Later we have Makai Train and Edea.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Kodama.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: The armored form of the "Man in the Red Mask" is called Jyaku, which mean "Evil" in English.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Monster Clown: Episode 10
  • 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.
  • 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 Beloved Smother: in Makai Senki #12. It says a lot that the Horror that ate and then impersonated her isn't that much different.
  • My Hero Zero: Rei, whose name means "zero" and who uses ZERO as his Knight title.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Official Couple: Kouga and Kaoru.
  • One-Man Army: Kouga, HOLY SHIT, Kouga. Tsubasa and Rei also qualified to a lesser extent.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 "Jaaku" as long as he's transformed. This works in both ways: If Kouga dismounts his armor, the Jaaku armor is dismounted as well.
  • 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".
  • Power Gives You Wings: GARO during his final battle against Messiah.
    • Again in the movie, against Karma.
  • Red Right Hand: The red-masked man has one of these from Ganon, "Messiah's Fang".
  • 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. It took the two discovering the truth regarding the murder of Rei's adoptive family along with Frame-Up on Kouga done by his father's former apprentice they become true allies they should be.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sunglasses At Night: The Horror in Makai Senki episode five wears these.
  • Super-Powered 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".[5]
    • The entire second half of KIBA Gaiden is narrated by a native English-speaking woman, for seemingly no reason.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Madou Book
  • Tortured Abomination: 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.
  • 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.
  • Trash the Set: Kouga's house gets completely totaled in the final battle in Makai Senki. It gets better in sequels.
  • True Companions: The main characters, most evident in the final episodes of Makai Senki when they all band together to save Kouga.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": In Makai Senki, Kouga gains a scouting creature shaped like a huge guppy, which Zaruba named Kaoru.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Let's just say the Horror's blood wasn't the start of Kaoru's problems.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • 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.
    • Garm has a "You killed my son" when Kouga kill Kodama
  • 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.


Anime Series


  1. Thunderous Sky
  2. Silver Fang
  3. Swift Wind
  4. Rōdo literally means Wolf Rage
  5. The actor, Mark Musashi, is half-Japanese, and was born in Japan but raised in America.