|This article is about a/an Makai Knight in Garo.|
Taiga Saejima (冴島 大河 Saejima Taiga?) is Kouga's father and the former Garo. After he died in combat, he remains as a spirit and guides Kouga from time to time.
Personality & Character
Taiga is a highly disciplined warrior and carries a "tough love" attitude as a father. Losing his wife (Rin Saejima) to illness, he raised his son (Kouga Saejima) as a single father and did his best to remind him of the times they had as a family while grooming him to become the next Garo.
He is also a man with a strong sense of personal responsibility. When his student, Barago, lost his way to darkness, he put his life on the line in hopes to bring his disciple back to the light. However, his life was cut short when he sacrificed his life to save Kouga. However, despite being dead, his spirt as well as his teachings continues to protect Kouga and his family and attempts to help his lineage during thier most desperate times.
Skills & Abilities
Taiga was a skilled fighter, highly adept in close quarter combat and specialized in martial arts that compliments the Garo armor. It was never said was it Taiga or his predecessor that created this combat style, but he parted his combat style to Kouga, making it the Saejima Style Combat System.
- Garo Sword
Not much was mentioned about Taiga's life. However, Taiga's house suggests he comes from a long bloodline of Makai warriors and his family was primarily the stewards to the Garo armor. Some time in the future, he became Garo and earned a reputation as being one of the strongest knights. Things would change when he became a father.
Taiga met his eventual wife, Rin Saejima, and she later gave birth to their son, Kouga. Although happy to have a Makai family, their happiness would be cut short as Rin died within a few years after falling to an unknown terminal illness.
One night, after returning home from a long tour along with Kouga, Taiga received reports that there's a knight devouring Horrors; Taiga suspects it is his own disciple, Barago. Sensing Barago near the Saejima estate, Taiga attempted to intercept and reason with Barago back to the path of light. Unfortunately, Taiga didn't understand Barago had fallen long ago and only used Taiga to help him become stronger.
Fighting as Garo, Taiga attempted to reason with Barago while in the midst of mortal combat. However, Barago wasn't interested in discussions and continued to battle with his master. Garo had the upper-hand until little Kouga arrived in the midst of battle.
Death & Final Message
Blinded by rage and ambition, Barago saw little Kouga hiding behind the trees and attempted to kill him. Taiga realized Barago was aiming for his son and threw his body to take the mortal blow. Mortally wounded, Taiga used Garo's forearm blade and made a cursed cut across Barago's face, expecting his opponent to die; it was meant to be a double-sided defeat for both. Barago retreated and escaped, but Taiga died in combat. Young Kouga was distraught as he couldn't revive his father. However, before he died, he had Zaruba help deliver a final message to Kouga, asking him to grow up and become strong.
Although dead, Taiga's spirit couldn't rest in peace without watching over his son. The experiences and teachings that Taiga parted to Kouga still remains strong within his heart and Kouga continues to carry his father's teachings with great consideration.
During the events of Demon Dragon of the Blue Cries, Taiga appeared before Kouga when he was near death and helped give him the strength to return to the living as Garo. Afterwards, on a cliff, Taiga (with the help of Rei) returned to duel with Kouga.In the Makai Flower episode "Mythology", Taiga's spirit protected his grandson Raiga from a near fatal blow from Zaji and then bestowed him with the use of Gouten, which Raiga earned after cutting down 100 Horrors. He states that he is worthy of the title inherited to him, wishes his grandson to be strong and never give up, and that he will always watch over him.
- Each knight wearing Garo creates a different colored hue in Garo's eyes; Taiga creates a crimson-red hue when he wears it.