|This article is about a/an main character in the Garo franchise.|
Kaoru Mitsuki (later Kaoru Saezima) is the main female protagonist of Garo, as well as one of the central characters in Garo: Makai Senki. She is a normal human and an aspiring artist who was unknowingly dragged into the world of the Makai after being tainted with the blood of a Horror. She would later become an integral part in the entire first series as the love interest and later wife of Kouga Saezima, the Golden Knight of this timeline.
Kaoru Mitsuki was born from a normal human family; her father being a talented artist who was once saved by the Golden Knight. This inspired her father to create one of his signature works; a picture book called The Golden Knight and the Black Flame. However, her father dedicated too much of his time in his artwork, seemingly abandoning Kaoru's family until her mother's deathbed, and the picture book's fate was left ambigious. This resulted in Kaoru having some resentment with him until she grew up. Sometime in her youth, she was approached by a hooded man and was given six flowers, unknowingly becoming a vessel used to summon a powerful Horror.
Events in Garo
Kaoru's appears in the very first episode of Garo as an aspiring artist having some of her works exhibited at an art gallery. While very optimistic about this opportunity, the gallery was actually a front by a Horror to lure people in to be devoured. She eventually comes across Kouga Saezima, who was tasked to destroy the Horror, as a potential buyer aiming to purchase one of her paintings. When Kouga corners the possessed art director, the Horror reveals himself and as the Makai Knight defeats it, a trapped Kaoru was stained by its blood, marking her to die after 100 days. While the rule of the Makai Community is for the tainted person to be cut down by the Makai Knight, Kouga spares her, under the premise of using her as bait to lure more Horrors in. In truth, Kouga was searching for a way to purify and save the young woman.
After the botched art exhibit, Kaoru essentially becomes a starving artist and tries to work in a variety of jobs in order to make enough money and try to continue her artistic pursuits. A recurring theme in multiple episodes of the first series is that Kaoru gets hired in a job, only for her to run into Horrors that try to devour her, and then be saved by Kouga, resulting in her place of employment getting destroyed, and her having to look for another job. This theme catches the eye of Zaruba, as he states that while being tainted does attract more Horrors, she also has a knack for getting into bad situations and is very much an unlucky person in general. She also constantly dreamt about the picture book that her father made, specifically about its mysterious last page, and usually consulted with her psychiatrist, Karune Ryuzaki.
After several mishaps, Kaoru was forced to move into the Saezima estate after getting kicked out of her apartment, so that Kouga can closely monitor and protect her, giving Kaoru a ring that allows Zaruba to track her and see if she is near any Horror. She also had her encounters with another Makai Knight, Rei Suzumura, after being saved from a group of delinquents, though she was kept completely oblivious about the tension between him and Kouga.
During the episode Ordeal. Kaoru was tasked by a school headmaster to restore a mural of a goddess painted by her father. While Kaoru was attempting to complete the painting, she remembered the times her father succumbed much to his art and seemingly abandoning his family. Kaoru's resentment grew and she was adamant that the mural can't be completed. However, she remembered in one of her dreams that her father loved his family and dedicated the goddess mural to her wife. She eventually completed the task and she finally remembered that her family did truly love her.
Eventually, she was able to find copies of The Golden Knight and the Black Flame picture book, only to learn that its last page was left completely blank. She also learned from the storybook that her father was once saved by the Golden Knight, and saw this as a connection between him and Kouga. However, after she learned that she was being used as Horror bait, a tearful Kaoru asks for the ring to be removed, before running off heartbroken.
Nearing the 100-day deadline, Kaoru eventually succumbs to the curse and she is left in a dying state, with her spirit transported to the Crimson Forest. Kouga also travels to the forest to retrieve the Barankas fruit, the only source that can save her. The two eventually meet, and while Kaoru has seemingly accepted her fate, Kouga embraces her and reassure her that he will save her life. Kouga then gives her Zaruba and proceeds to fight the Grou Dragon, guarding the fruit, while Kaoru tries her best to not succumb to darkness and uses Zaruba to fight off the dark entities in the Crimson Forest. Kouga succeeds in getting the fruit and Kaoru is finally purified and made a successful recovery afterward.
However, the happy moment is short-lived as the markings given to her by the hooded man, took effect. Ryuzaki also discarded his disguise as the Dark Knight Barago and abducted Kaoru, to be used as a gate to bring Messiah to the world of the humans. Kouga once again comes to her rescue, this time joined by Rei, and while she was momentarily controlled by Messiah, the Makai Knight manages to snap her back to her former self. When the two are transported to the land of the Makai, Kaoru's pure spirit and beliefs of the Golden Knight allowed her to finish the last page of her father's picture book, and use this to imbue Garo with energy, transforming him to the Winged Garo Form, defeating Messiah in the process. She also witnesses Kouga and Barago's last fight, with Garo defeating and finally destroying the Dark Knight.
With all the threats resolved, Kaoru leaves for Italy to further her art studies. She then gives Kouga the completed The Golden Knight and the Black Flame picture book and promises that they'll be together once again.
Garo Special: Demon Beast of the Midnight Sun
Kaoru only appears during the last moments of the Special, returning to the Saezima estate from her studies in Italy. She also fixes the first painting that Kouga bought, which was inadvertently damaged by Rin Yamagatana's spell. When Kouga returns from his mission in the Kantai Region, Kaoru welcomes him back with a smile.
Garo: Makai Senki
During the events of Garo: Makai Senki, Kaoru is still living in the Saezima estate and has finally developed her relationship with Kouga. However, when Kouga was marked with the Seal of Destruction by Sigma Fudou, he decided to keep Kaoru in the dark about it, so as to not worry her. She also focuses on improving her art further, specifically completing a second storybook, while also getting to know Kouga's associates, such as Jabi, Rekka, and especially Leo Fudou, whom she forms a close bond with.
During the episode Secret, Kaoru tags along with Leo as he searches for a Spirit Beast. She then learns much about being a Makai Priest, including powering up their Madou Brushes using the Spirit Beast's blessing. When the two finally see the beast, Kaoru also lifts up her paintbrush and has the beast bless it with light as well. However, a Demonic Beast also attacks the two and Leo defeats it with a mystic sword. Leo then asks Kaoru to keep his swordsmanship a secret between them.
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- Kaoru Mitsuki is portrayed by Mika Hijii