|This article is about a/an villain in Garo: Honoo no Kokuin|
- "Makai Knights are like rats. They sneak into every crevice and leave their blood behind wherever they go."
- ―Mendoza's thoughts on upon learning the Valiante family has Makai Knight heritage in their bloodline .[src]
Mendoza is a rogue Makai Priest and the central antagonist of the anime series Garo: Honoo no Kokuin.
Originally a Makai Priest, Mendoza served the Senate and believed the Makai Order should be revered as gods by humanity for having protected them from Horrors. But was excommunicated for creating Zirkel's Circle, a powerful Madou Tool that uses human blood to allow one to control Horrors. Combined with his apathy towards humans and ideals, Mendoza was branded with glowing red marks all over his body with his descendants cursed so his line would forever be banished from the Makai order. During his wandering in exile, he came the kingdom of Valiante under the pretext if a monk and entered the service of Fernando San Valiante. Mendoza used his hidden talents as a Makai Priest to predict the outcomes of battles and to heal the sick during an epidemic. As a reward for his services, Fernando gave him a beautiful bride and a position as royal advisor. But when his wife gave birth to their child, Mendoza is reminded his curse as he murdered his wife and child to spare them and the midwife to conceal his secret. After dumping the corpses into the sea, a hate-filled Mendoza vows revenge on the Makai Order while plotting to revive the ancient Horror Anima to use to become a living god.
Mendoza begins his plan by poisoning Fernando and used the king's Christian faith an excuse to begin a systematic slaughter of residing Makai Knights and Priests under the cover of a witch hunt. With the assistance of his aide Octavia who denounced Christianity to follow him and the fallen Makai Knight Bernardo Dion, Mendoza manages to isolate Valiante from the Makai Order while having the Horrors under his control assume key positions in the country's government. Within a year's time, Mendoza torture and execute hundreds of Makai practitioners in Valiante while trapping their souls within a crystal designed to resurrect Anima.
Among his victims was a pregnant Makai Priestess named Anna who is of the line of Makai Knights who bear the title of Garo. Mendoza proceeds to have Anna burned while she was giving birth to her son Leon Luis, her husband saving the infant after breaking out of his cell. After apologizing to the king for unforeseen events, Mendoza focuses and his fights to find and kill Germán and his son.
Seventeen years later, after a failed attempt by the Horror Metakrim and the soldiers in his service to kill a teenaged Leon, Mendoza learns from Octavia of the golden cross pendant with the Garo emblem that prince Alfonso received on his birthday from his mother. Furious to learn that a branch of the Garo line has not been noticed this whole time, Mendoza stages a coup d'état by poisoning the king and framing Queen Esmeralda for treason as Alfonso was forced to flee for his life.
Once he found the tapestry of the Knight of Light, Mendoza mused that Makai Knights were "rats" and burned the tapestry. Later, while facing Alfonso and Leon as they return to Santa Bard, Mendoza ends up being unceremoniously and abruptly killed by Blood Moon when he summoned the Horror to combat Alfonso after he is forced to relive his cousin of the Garo Armor. Despite his apparent death, Mendoza somehow survived as he now acts from under Santa Bard castle with a majority of his followers. But while Mendoza's followers are unaware of his survival, including Octavia as her true loyalties have yet to be exposed, Garm knew of the ex-Makai Priest's survival as she gives Germán the task to protect him despite knowing his true intentions. Though Mendoza succeeds and absorbs Anima to obtain the Horror's power, he ends up being exiled to the Makai where is he know suffers from Anna passing her seal's flames from her son to the evil man to burn for eternity.
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Behind the Scenes
Mendoza is portrayed by Takaya Hashi, who also voiced Priest Douma in Garo: The Crimson Moon In the English version, Mendoza is voiced by Vic Mignogna, who is best known as Edward Elric from the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise.
- Based on the Spanish Inquisition-style setting of the anime, it is possible Mendoza is loosely based off of the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, a religious figure who committed acts of mass murder and prejudice to maintain the Christian Church's power.
- His physical appearance resembles Judge Claude Frollo from the Disney film version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both Mendoza and Frollo shares some similarities as well:
- Both have genocidal hatred for a group that they deem vermin: Makai groups for Mendoza and Gyspies for Frollo. Whereas Frollo's genocidal hatred against Gyspies are simply out of disgust, Mendoza's hatred against Makai group are the manifestation of Makai's curse on him as well as his megalomaniac ambition to became God for Horrors.
- Both face off against the main protagonist who is from the group they marginalized: Quasimodo, who had Gypsy heritage, and Alfonso and Leon from Makai group.
- Both also are last seen consumed in fire: Frollo falling to his death towards the inferno below while the now immortal Mendoza is consumed by magical fire without end.