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Garo (牙狼) TV Tokyo/Project Garo/Bandai Visual, 2005-2006 How come no one's licensed this yet? Created and directed by Keita Amemiya (Onimusha 2-3, Kamen Rider ZO) Running Time: 25 minutes per episode Not Rated (Suggested TV-MA). Contains graphic violence, nudity and strong language. "Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns. Yet by the blade of knights, mankind was given hope." Cast Hiroki Konishi as Kouga Saejima/Garo the Golden Knight Mika Hijii (Rin in AvN: Alien vs. Ninja, Namiko in Ninja) as Kaoru Mitsuki Ray Fujita (Kitazaki/Dragon Orphnoch in Kamen Rider 555) as Rei Suzumura/Zero the Silver Fanged Knight Hironobu Kageyama (veteran anime and tokusatsu singer) as Madou Ring Zaruba (voice) Ai Orikasa (Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo!, Quatre in Gundam Wing) as Madou Necklace Silva (voice) Yukijiro Hotaru as Gonza Kurahashi Masaki Kyomoto as Karune Ryuzaki Keaki Watanabe as Keiru; Fumiko Inoue as Keiru (voice) Anri Okamoto as Beru; Machiko Kawana as Beru (voice) Yukina Kashiwa as Rose; Akemi Sato as Rose (voice) Kimika Yoshino as Gulm Mark Musashi as Kodama Mina Fukui (Ran Uzaki/Geki Yellow in Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger) as Asami Shinohara Alisa Durbrow (Mio Kuroki in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) as Shizuka "There are demonic beasts called Horrors that live in the darkness. This is a story about a Makai Knight who hunts down the Horrors. You better not avert your eyes." Synopsis Kouga Saejima is a Makai Knight who, as Garo, protects mankind against demonic manifestations called "Horrors". One night, while battling a Horror, a young artist named Kaoru Mitsuki has the Horror's blood spilled on her. Under the Makai Knight's code of honor, anyone tainted with the blood of a Horror must be taken down, or they will suffer a painful death within 100 days. However, rather than kill her immediately, he spares her life to use her as bait to lure other Horrors and search for a way to purify her before her time runs out. Lowdown Garo is a major departure from the usual tokusatsu shows you're used to. It's not as flamboyant as the Super Sentai series, or as mainstream as the Kamen Rider series. Instead, it's dark. Really dark. You have your silent, anti-hero protagonist who means business when he pulls out his sword. He also has a talking ring that gives him a Vampire Hunter D vibe. And if that's not enough, he magically puts on what may be the most badass knight armor ever designed. The Horrors here are not your typical kaijin from other shows. They don't simply take over a host body and leave it when defeated nor do they kidnap people and keep them alive; instead, any victim they take is dead, and they tear their host bodies apart when they battle Garo. Definitely not family entertainment. Initially, Kouga has no care about humans - especially Kaoru, but as the series progresses, he slowly develops some sort of relationship with her while struggling to hide the truth on why he has kept her alive. Then, in episode 6, we are introduced to Rei Suzumura, who is also a Makai Knight named Zero. He enters the scene as a fierce rival of Kouga, but he apparently has a personal vendetta with Garo and is often tempted to take Kaoru's life. Despite running at a considerably lower budget than Toei's TV shows, Garo makes up for the cheap CG effects with some of the best fight choreography and swordplay ever filmed for a TV series. The intense fights are further enhanced by the excellent music by JAM Project. Just watch the music video above. To summarize, Garo proves that you don't need a Toei budget to produce a badass tokusatsu series. I should've picked this up when it came out seven years ago, but now that I have this on my watchlist, I got a lot of catching up to do. And that S.H. Figuarts Garo is just too sweet. Rating: A- Links Official Garo Homepage TV Tokyo's Official Garo Homepage References JEFusion