|This article is about a/an Makai Knight in Garo.|
Kouga Saezima is a Makai Knight and one of the wearers of the Garo armor. As the first protagonist of the series, he is the first in the show to be seen donning the armor.
Born to Taiga Saezima and Rin Saezima, Kouga is part of the Saezima Clan, a bloodline that has long fought against the Horrors. By around age three, Rin suffered an incurable illness that took her life; Taiga took the responsibility of raising his son along with the help of his trusted butler, Gonza.
Rather than giving his child a choice of becoming a Makai Priest or a Makai Knight, Taiga decided for him to become a knight and started his training at an early age. Taiga trained Kouga in the Saezima family sword style to specialize in long-sword combat.
Somewhere in between, Taiga introduced Kouga to Makai Priest Amon and his student, Jabi. Seeing how Kouga and Jabi are of similar age, the two grew up and played together whenever they meet. In an unknown accident, Kouga was injured while with Jabi and was healed, but left a large scar on his back. Unknown to Kouga, Jabi developed a long crush on him, but never made her feelings clear until they grew up.
Young Kouga would often follow his father in his Horror hunts, often leaving him alone to his own devices until he can receive him after his mission is completed. In one defining incident, a toy salesman offered Kouga a toy to help keep him company until Taiga returned. Unknown to Kouga though, he was a Horror. When Taiga came to slay the man, he managed to convince Kouga to show mercy. However, the man then used Kouga as a hostage. Taiga successfully freed his son and defeated the Horror, but slapped Kouga hard enough to fall onto the floor for his foolishness. Realizing the terrible truth of deception from lesser beings, Kouga discarded his toy and followed Taiga home.
One night young Kouga got out of bed after hearing Gonza's concern for Taiga. He followed Taiga into the forest and witnessed a fierce battle between GARO and a Horror. Kouga came out of hiding and was attacked by the figure, but Taiga took the fatal blow. Zaruba helped Taiga convey his final thoughts to Kouga: Take the title of GARO and to be brave. Kouga and Gonza at first tried every means to lift the sword out of the ground from brute strength to crane, but it would remain stuck in the forest until Kouga mastered the ability to wield Soul Metal. It took over a decade for Kouga to be strong enough to lift the sword out of the ground and assume his place as the Golden Knight.
Knight in Training
Kouga fought all this time believing in his cause to destroy Horrors to avenge his father in the name of their family legacy, but it was discovered his father's killer was actually a Makai Knight. It made Kouga question his reasons and actions for slaying Horrors. His resolve wasn't weakened, but was instead focused directly at Taiga's true murderer, Barago.
While in a losing fight with Kodama, Kouga lost his way and used darkness to empower his armor. Because Soul Metal reacts to the wielder, Kouga's body was being consumed by his own armor. His armor deformed into a "LOST SOUL" form, a giant golden werewolf-like berserker, killing Kodama in the process. While in darkness, his armor surpassed the timelimit and Zaruba asked for ZERO's help in taking down the GARO armor. After ZERO managed to get through Kouga's mind he struck Kouga's armor in the belly and it hit the triangle armor piece (weak spot) and Kouga's armor was lifted, saving Kouga's body and soul.
In the quest to save Kaoru, they found each other in the underworld realm and Kouga went to battle with Messiah. Messiah was a strong opponent and Kouga was losing the fight because Messiah kept unleashing Horrors on him. At one point a large group of Horrors tackled and restrained Kouga, but at this point Kaoru's painting came to life giving Kouga wings becoming TSUBASABITO GARO. Though still not powerful as Meisha, Kouga managed to kill the overconfident Horror. After she fell, a spiritual black hole appeared. It was sucking everything and Kouga tried to escape into the human realm, but KIBA reappeared and tried to bring Kouga down with him. Kaoru came through the barrier and pulled Kouga back to the human realm.
KIBA returned to the human realm and fought GARO for the last time. Rei and Kouga couldn't summon their armors due to KIBA's influence, so Zaruba had Kouga throw him into the mystical tear to try to summon his armor. After an intense fight from the building tower to the docks, Kouga was finally able to summon his armor but powered by all previous GARO Knights which made the armor slightly different including a cape. KIBA was doubtful GARO could defeat him, but GARO killed him as they exchanged blows, because Zaruba used his power to combine the strength of all the past GARO knights into Kouga's armor. Zaruba used all his energy to help Kouga summon his armor, and he faded away after the fight.
Some time later, Kouga is bidding an emotional farewell to Kaoru, as she's heading to Italy to study art more intensely. She gave him the final product of her father's book, and Rei handed Kouga a restored Zaruba. Zaruba was reforged by the Watchdog as a gift, but he bears no past memories of his time with Taiga and Kouga.
Kouga was reassigned to the northern district and was last seen there. Zaruba detected a Horror behind him, he reacted, and the "Chapter of the Dark Knight" ended there.
In GARO special "Demon Beast of the White Night", Kouga was approached by Rin Yamagatana who delivered a message from Priest Amon. Kouga didn't believe her at first, but her mentioning their unfinished bar chess game convinced him to take her seriously. Amon would return as a spirit to ask for his help to save Jabi's body. Her spirit is still linked to the living as her body is sleeping inside the Makai Beast Miki. He promises Amon to enter the Makai Forest to save Jabi.
On his way he defended himself against Tsubasa's disciples guarding the Makai Forest. Tsubasa engaged Kouga to ask why he's entering the Makai Forest, but Kouga gave no straight answer. Their fight ended when Priestess Garai allowed Kouga to complete his mission to rescue Jabi. After a tough battle against Makai Beast Miki and reviving Jabi, Kouga receives new orders to contain the Legules threat. Priestess provided historical information about Legules to know their enemy better. They prepared battle over night and Rin stayed by Kouga's side until the Karakuri attacked.
While fighting Legules, Kouga was asked to join the Legules family. Kouga refused and continued fighting against the Karakuri. Eventually as GARO he temporarily defeated Legules on his first attempt on the Phosphorus Arrow. Legules appeared a second time and took the arrow along with Rin. They fought through the Naraku Forest and fought Legules in his powered Horror form. Legules was too powerful and Kouga couldn't slay him.
After a tough fight, Kouga was pinned under some boulders while Rin was about to be sacrificed. Kouga managed to free himself to rescue Rin just in time and summon GARO's armor by his own will, without the need of his sword. While fighting Legules, GARO decapitated him again. Legules used his tongue to pierce GARO to infect him with something that caused insect leg to grow out of his back. Kouga jabbed the Arrow into his armor to cure his condition, and became Phosphorus GARO. The Arrow became a spear and GARO used it to pierce Legules and the barrier. Both were destroyed, and after the fight Kouga was able to meet his parents once again. Their spiritual forms appeared proud and happy for Kouga, and he had time to bow to them before they vanished.
In the aftermath of the Legules, Kouga returned home to find Kaoru painting in the backyard. They welcomed each other, clasped hands and walked back home.
Some time later, Kouga received orders from the Watch Dogs about a new horror threat, Karma. He returns to a city he hasn't been to in a while and began searching for Karma. While traveling through the night, Zaruba informed him of a Horror nearby and he investigated. Upon his arrival, he found three Makai Priests holding a infant and warned them they're in danger. The baby quickly transformed and became Bebyl. While fighting the beast, Zaruba remarked Bebyl consumes other Horrors and possesses a tough hide; Bebyl launched his body backwards in attempt to body-slam Kouga, but he dodged. As Bebyl remained stuck to the wall, he quickly healed from Kouga's earlier attacks. A Makai Priestess intervenes and Kouga trips her down to the floor before Bebyl could launch its guillotine at her. Ungrateful to Kouga's aid, she shoved him off. To end the battle, Kouga transforms into Garo.
Garo engages Bebyl in melee combat and Bebyl couldn't withstand the might of Garo. Bebyl tried to ram into Garo, but he jumped on top of Bebyl and attempted to handle the creature rodeo style. Bebyl then launched itself high into the air in attempts to shake off Garo, but it failed. Garo ripped out the chain off Bebyl's back and charged after the Horror while they both free-fall back down. Bebyl fired its guillotine at Kouga, but he cut the weapon in half and then cut down the Apostle Horror.
After the battle, Akaza stopped Kouga for a chat and also introduce his fellow priests to him. They then spoke to Kouga about his mission: to find and destroy Karma. Rekka has a personal vendetta against Karma for killing her father. She was against Kouga's interference and intends to beat him to the punch.
The following day, Kouga found Rekka playing her Makai Flute. He sensed her feelings earlier and wanted to understand her motivations to hunt Karma; Rekka explained she became a Makai Priest so she can hunt down Horrors. However, Kouga reminded her that Horror-hunting are the duties of Makai Knights, not hers; Rekka argued that's only a rule for their convenience since the Makai Priest predated the Knights in their battle. However, Zaruba (Kouga's Madou Ring) argued the Makai Knights were created because the priests couldn't handle them.
Later, Kouga went to visit Akaza's pawn shop to check on potential leads on Karma, but their magical tools didn't reveal anything. Diving deeper into Karma's abilities, they mentioned how hard it is to defeat Karma because she can flee to any mirror the moment her current mirror is destroyed; the only way to defeat her is to enter the mirror. However, to enter the mirror will cost a person's life. No one ever entered Karma's mirror and made it out alive, including Rekka's dad. An alternative was to use the Demon Sword of Rubis (a blade made with Horror fangs). With it, they can gain entry to Karma's realm to kill her and safely exit without harm.
Later at night, Kouga traveled around the city, using his instincts to guide him. It was after the death of another victim that lured him to Crime. Zaruba insist he doesn't sense anything, but upon closer inspection, there was a barrier on the club. As soon as Kouga made contact, Zaruba finally sensed a very powerful evil presence; Kouga found the barrier talisman and destroyed it. Rekka also trailed Kouga and questioned who betrayed them as the talisman is clearly the work of a Makai Priest. With more unanswered questions, the two entered the club.
Inside Crime, the two found Kurusu and Shion. Shion nearly lured Rekka to enter Karma's mirror when Kouga arrived and destroyed it. However, Karma took a new mirror and the four battled in the middle of the dance hall. Kurusu then used his powers, in combination with Karma's, to mind control people into fighting Kouga and Rekka. While Kouga was more careful with the humans, Rekka had no qualms about injuring people that get in her way. Kurusu then revealed his true Horror form; Kouga summoned his armor to fight him, but Shion absorbed Garo into Karma's mirror. Without Garo, Kouga had to keep fighting and prevented Rekka from getting killed. The Horrors left when Akaza and Shiguto arrived with an army of Makai ninjas. However, they were merely illusionary guile. After the battle, Akaza admitted he was the betrayer. He explained that Karma exploited his weakness, his need to see his dead wife and daughter. In exchange for Akaza's cooperation, Karma gave him a mirror that allowed him to see his loved ones once again.
Karma and her Horrors would later occupy an abandoned building. They decided to lure the Makai to their location and finish them off in an evil-trapped building. While Kouga and Rekka battled through the building to locate Karma, Akaza and Shiguto will erect barriers to prevent the darkness from beyond the building. In their battle, Rekka faced and killed Shion. She then found Karma's mirror and alerted Kouga. The two then fought Kurusu and managed to use the Demon Sword of Rubis to open a gateway into Karma's realm; all three entered the gateway for a final battle.
Inside the mirror, Kurusu fought Kouga. With Kouga inside the mirror, he was able to summon his armor and become Garo once again. He quickly killed Kurusu and battled against Karma in her true form. The battle wasn't going well as Karma is a very old and powerful Horror. Akaza was watching the battle from outside the mirror and used his magic to deliver Rekka's flute and told her to play it to summon the spirits of the fallen Makai warriors. By doing so, it galvanized the spirits and they merged with Garo to form DRAGON FORMATION GARO form and finally killed Karma. It was only after the battle that they realized Akaza used his life to gain entry to help them win.
After the battle, Kouga prepares to depart. Rekka decided to stay with Shiguto to keep him company. Having respect for Kouga now, Rekka gave Kouga a Makai fish as a beacon to call her if he needs help. Kouga then leaves to continue his hunt for Horrors.
At an unspecified time after the events of the movie, Kouga married Kaoru and she later gave birth to their son, Raiga. While details of their life as a family are scarce, Kouga was a supportive father to his son despite his duties as a knight keeping him away from home. Around the time Raiga was six years old, his wife was sucked into another dimension by one of Eyrith's time portals and he leapt into the tear to rescue her. Kouga fought long and hard to protect his wife while trapped in this dimension, but he realized that the Garo armor's power would be needed back in the Human World eventually. Once his son reached his late teens and after another long battle to keep his wife safe, he told the spirits in The Tower of Heroic Spirits that he would bequeath the armor to his son and retire as the Golden Knight. The spirits told Raiga that Kouga and his mother were alive and safe and they would meet again some day.
Zaji is re-awakened by Eyrith and uses her time manipulation powers to abduct those connected to Garo. He attempts to eliminate Rekka and Rian from their respective timelines by killing them but Kouga intervenes and swiftly defeats him. He uses some kind of power from Garo to revive Rekka from death. He then tells Rian he is lost in time and he cannot return home to his time yet, as he was searching for his wife. He departs into a time vortex, but not before telling Rian to tell Rekka not to worry about him and he will eventually come back.
The Golden Knight Garo
As a Makai Knight, Kouga is given the title of The Golden Knight. As such, he has the ability to don the Garo Armor. Like all of the wearers of the armor, he does this by pointing his Makai Blade up in the air and drawing a circle above him. The circle opens the portal, where the armor descends and equips on him, completing the transformation.
- Garoken - A Makai Blade that has been passed down to all the bearers of the Garo. Its normal form is a sword with the iconic red scabbard. When transformed, it assumes the form of a large broadsword, capable of cutting down most Horrors with ease.
- Madou Lighter - Kouga uses a lighter that emits green Madou Flames, as a way to detect Horrors. He also uses the flames to boost his offensive prowess through the Blazing Armament Mode.
- Gouten - Garo's personal Madou Horse, which Kouga gained access after defeating 100 Horrors and overcoming his trial.
During his second battle with Kodama, Kouga decided to break the time limit so that he could become a Dark Knight like Barago to save Kaoru. Using his rage and darkness, Kouga transformed into a Lost Soul Beast to destroy Kodama. He then tried to climb the building to get to Kaoru, but Rei intervened and used the weak spot in the armor to release it before Kouga's body could be devoured by it.
The Lost Soul Beast is a giant metallic werewolf-like creature, with razor sharp claws, fangs, and a bladed prehensile tail. A Makai Knight in this state goes into a feral beserker rage and will attack friend and foe alike.
Winged Garo is a powered-up version of the Garo Armor made from Kaoru's imagination and Kouga's love for her. It was originally a drawing that Kaoru had yet to paint, but Kouga absorbed it into his soul to give himself the strength he needed to face Messiah. Once Kaoru finished it in the Makai world, it manifested as an extension of the Armor's power.
Winged Garo, as it's name suggests, is a form that gives Garo the power of flight. It can fly at amazing speeds and the Garoken can now fire swordbeam attacks. Despite the power boost, it seems it still has the armor's 99.9 second time limit, as it disappeared when Kouga was about to deal the final blow to Messiah, but the wings still remained, so its power does not completely fade while in use.
Dragon Formation Garo was a powered up version of the Garo armor seen in the film Garo: Red Requiem. The Dragon Formation is a fusion of all the heroic souls of Makai Priests and Knights who were devoured by Karma, who gave their strength to Kouga so he could defeat her.Dragon Formation can fly faster than Winged Garo, and has a tail. The Garoken becomes more powerful and takes on a new appearance of a golden jagged broadsword. Its finisher is a powerful attack that creates a dragon shaped aura around Kouga, who then dives down and slams through the target.
Blue Dragon Garo is a powered up version of Garo and Gouten seen in the film Garo: Soukoku no Maryu. The form was created when Kakashi sacrificed himself by giving his heart and all its feelings within it to Kouga, giving him the power he needed to escape from the Maryu's clutches before he could be erased.
Blue Dragon Garo is a flying ship-like version of Gouten surrounded by large rings which propels Garo at high speeds. It has a drill lance on the front used for ramming attacks. This form can no longer be used as Kouga had left the Promised Land, which exists in another dimension.
- Kouga Saezima played by Ryosei Konishi. 2-year old Kouga played by Shuhei Jojo & child Kouga played by Ryusei Sawahata.
Behind the Scenes
- to be added