"Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns. Yet by the blade of Knights, Mankind was given hope." -The show's opening narration.
"Where there is cause, Horrors appear and consume humans. But since ancient times, there have been hunters of such creatures. Men clad in armor, the Makai Knights! - The opening narration of the anime Honoo no Kokuin.
|Original Network:||TV Tokyo|
|Original Run:||2005 - Present|
|Episode Length:||22-24 minutes|
|Description:||The Garo series is a Horror/Action-Fantasy based series created by Keita Amemiya in 2005. It is seen by the fans of such shows as Power Rangers as the first serious attempt at making a Tokusatsu show catered towards adults.
The basic premise of the show centers around a bearer of the golden Makai Armor Garo, who is part of an order called the Makai Knights. The Makai Knights are assigned by their superiors called Watchdogs to keep the magical from infringing on the human world, such as slaying the evil Horrors. Horrors are evil demons who feed on humans and their negative emotions and vices such as greed, wrath or lust, serving as the main antagonists of the series.
While the first two series focused on a single bearer of the armor, the franchise is becoming a chronology of sorts, showcasing the past, present and future wearers of the armor as well as other Makai Knights who aid Garo.
|Availability:||The anime Garo: Honoo no Kokuin is available for streaming on Funimation, Hulu and Anime Lab, on DVD/Blu-ray and for download on iTunes. Several of the live action shows are available in the United States and some other countries on Blu-Ray through Kraken Releasing via RightStuf Anime's online store or Amazon.|
|Content Labels:||Live Action TV, Japanese Tokusatsu, Entertainment, Gothic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror|
|Violence:||Blood, stabbing and slashing with swords, scenes of people being eaten by Horrors, Martial arts fights, frightening imagery.
Honoo no Kokuin: Human torture, dismemberment, blood, use of weaponry, frightening imagery and Martial Arts.
|Sexual Themes and Nudity:||Moderate sexual themes, brief to extended scenes of female nudity. (usually no longer than 1-15 minutes).
Honoo no Kokuin: Scenes of nudity, implied sexual scenes. Episode 1 in particular had a minor scene of unseen fellatio, and implied rape in a flashback.
|Drugs and Alcohol:||Scenes of smoking, drinking and occasional gambling.|
|Crude Humor or Comic Mischief:||This show has a serious tone, there is little to no crude or comic humor present|
Garo: Red Requiem, Garo: Soukoku no Maryu, Garo Side Story: The Tougen Flute, Garo: Gold Storm, Biku: Yamigirinochi, Garo: Divine Flame, Garo: God of Fang, Garo: The Gray Cherry Blossoms, Garo: Gekkou no Tabibito
|Studio:||Tohokushinsha Film Corporation|
|Release Dates:||Red Requiem: October 30, 2010|
Soukoku no Maryu: February 23, 2013
The Tougen Flute: July 30, 2013
|Length:||Red Requiem: 97 Minutes|
Soukoku no Maryu: 96 Minutes
|Description:|| Garo: Red Requiem: A powerful ancient Horror named Karma is plaguing the city and devouring humans using mirrors. Kouga is sent on assignment to exterminate the Horror with the help of 3 Makai Priests but his armor gets trapped in one of her mirrors and one of the priests seems to be helping her. It is up to Kouga to go into the mirror world, retrieve his armor and seal away Karma for good.
Garo: Soukoku no Maryu: After making a pact with Gajari during the events of Makai Senki, Kouga must travel to the Promised Land to retrieve the Fang of Sorrow, a part of the Makai Beast's body. On his way there, he travels through the Forest of Chaos and is unable to become Garo, as some of the items required for the transformation have become living creatures and are scattered across the Promised Land, a land where all objects are living things. On his journey, he makes some new friends and finds that an evil queen named Judam wishes to enter the human world and destroy it out of revenge for being forgotten. Kouga must stop Judam by finding his magic coat, his ring Zaruba, and the Garoken sword to become Garo again and defeat her. A uniquely atmospheric story with hints of elements from The Wizard of OZ and Alice in Wonderland.
Garo Side Story: The Tougen Flute: Taking place during the events of the previous film, the story centers around the two Makai priestesses Jabi and Rekka in the Kantai district.
|Availability:||None of these films are available on DVD in Region 1 format|
|Content Labels:||Live Action Film, Entertainment, Martial Arts, Horror, Action-Fantasy, Japanese Cinema|
|Violence:||Garo: Red Requiem: Scenes of blood, use of weapons, people being devoured, scary imagery and a suicide.
Garo: Soukoku no Maryu: action violence, use of weapons, one scene of Kouga bleeding and scary imagery.
Garo: The Tougen Flute:
|Sexual Themes and Nudity:||Garo: Red Requiem: Moderate Sexual themes, Scenes of Nudity|
|Drugs and Alcohol:||Scenes of alcohol drinking and smoking|
|Crude Humor or Comic Mischief:|
Q: "Why are there naked girls, squiggly lines and other weird stuff in this show?"
A: Garo is an adult series that has elements of Tao, Shinto, Buddhism and ancient mythology as its artistic themes. The nudity is mostly for an artistic style of choice and/or in rare cases, to show it for fanservice. For those mildly offended by this, it does not happen in the series that often and usually lasts only a few minutes.
Q: "Is this a Power Rangers-type show?"
A: ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you somehow scrolled past all the warnings let us reiterate, this show is NOT for children. While Keita Amemiya was the director and character designer of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, the show that would become Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Garo is his vision of a hero show/horror-drama made specifically for adults. While both Super Sentai and this series are part of the Tokusatsu genre, they are as different as day and night in terms of themes and tone.
Q: "Why were the anime series the only ones available here for a time? "
A: Licensing the live action Japanese shows for distribution is very expensive and anime licensing in some cases is cheaper. Tony Oliver, the co-producer for Power Rangers, once stated in 2011 at a convention he had interest in obtaining the series for Showtime, Syfy or HBO on cable TV. However, TFC, the company who owns the rights, wanted an unreasonable amount of money for it and networks lost interest due to its adult content such as nudity.
Ultimately, it is the minor result of cultural barriers of what is and isn't acceptable in live action scenarios that prevents the live action shows from getting imported. Another is the stereotype that Power Rangers has given to tokusatsu is that it is "children's entertainment", thus a serious adult toku show is inconceivable to some network executives. Though given that TV has become less stringent in censorship with shows such as Game of Thrones, Garo is relatively tame in comparison and thus it saw a release under the right circumstances. Thus, Garo has finally found a licensor for its live action material in the form of Section23 Films.