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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."

Hiroki Konishi as Kouga Saejima/Garo the Golden Knight
Mika Hijii :wub: (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."

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.

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-

Official Garo Homepage
TV Tokyo's Official Garo Homepage


Edited by areaseven
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That was awesome. I haven't seen battle scenes that intense in a toku show in a long time. Why can't the mainstream toku shows have choreography this good?

Because Toei allocated the budget on merchandise and special effects for their Kamen Rider and Super Sentai shows. And I think there are some limitations to their stunts to keep the suit actors safe from serious injury.

To put it another way:

Kamen Rider/Super Sentai = WWE

Garo = the old ECW

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  • 2 weeks later...

S.H. Figuarts Garo (牙狼(ガロ))
Bandai, 2011
Made in China

Garo figure
Extra hands (x 5)
Garoken with sheath
Rear tassel (x 2)

More than six year after the TV series premiered late nights in Japan, Garo gets the S.H. Figuarts treatment. As with most figures in the line, Garo boasts extreme poseability - with approximately 35 points of articulation. Like earlier Kamen Rider figures, Garo's feet are die-cast metal. While they help in leg stability, their use of swivel joints limits their range of motion compared to the ball joints of newer figures. And while the figure has a wide range of movement, the shoulders are limited by the chest armor.

In terms of accessories, this figure is rather spartan, as it only has five extra hands, the Garoken sword, two tassels to decorate the back and the cape from the series' final episode. It's too bad Bandai has yet to explore other variations used on the armor such as wings.

The sculpting detail is undoubtedly the most impressive of all the S.H. Figuarts figures. No detail was spared on Garo's helmet at all! Of course, the paint finish is not 100% show-accurate, as the actual suit used in the series is gold chrome. But then again, having an all-chrome figure like this would be high-maintenance - God forbid a single fingerprint soiled on a single panel. Nevertheless, the figure is decorated in metallic gold with silver and black highlights, as well as some red and green details. Even the Garoken has all the details seen in the TV series. The only downside is the unpainted Mado Ring Zaruba on the left hands, but that's only a minor flaw.

Compared to other figures in the line, Garo is shockingly more expensive. At ¥4,725, he is over ¥1,000 more than the average Kamen Rider. And he's the only one in the series available on retail; Zero and Taiga are Tamashii Web exclusives that fetch over US$100.00. If you need all of the Makai Knights, you can settle for the smaller, less-detailed S.I.C. Kiwami Tamashii line.

Despite the high price and small array of accessories, Garo makes an excellent display piece, whether or not you have seen the TV series. Hell, this would be a great incentive for you to start watching.

Detail: A-
Features: B
Articulation: B+ Edited by areaseven
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  • 7 months later...

This place has a Garo thread? Neat!

I watched the first series back in late 2011 and finished in mid 2012. I thought it started out kind of okay until I soaked a lot of the atmosphere in and realized just how cool this was. The horrors, the heroes, the setting, the art style (gorgeous I might add), Kiba, and pretty much everything in between was very well constructed and enjoyable. I would have liked the first series more if not for the running joke on how Kaoru gets a new job every episode (I wonder if Might Gaine inspired that?). Beast of The Midnight Sun is probably the best entry of the franchise I have seen. Red Requiem was just okay though, it felt more like an extended episode with a higher budget. Recently I started watching Makai Senki and am a good third into it, I am enjoying it more than the first series. I will be looking forward to the upcoming new movie. B))

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http://garo-project.jp/TV3/'>Garo: Yami wo Terasu Mono (牙狼〈GARO〉~闇を照らす者~)
(Garo: The One Who Shines Light in the Darkness)
TV Tokyo/Project Garo/Sansei R&D/Tohokushinsha Film/Pony Canyon, 2013
Won't find this Stateside anytime soon...
Directd by Makoto Yokoyama
Based upon characters created 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.


Wataru Kuriyama as Ryuga Dougai/Garo the Golden Knight
Hironobu Kageyama (veteran anime and tokusatsu singer) as Madou Ring Zaruba (voice)
Tsunenori Aoki as Aguri Kusugami/Gai the Sky Bow Knight
Junya Ikeda (Gai Ikari/Gokai Silver in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger) as Takeru Jakuzure/Zen the Flame Sword Knight
Kohei Otomo as Makai Priest Burai
Miki Nanri :wub: as Makai Priestess Rian
Hiroko Sato :wub: (Ai Yashiro in Kamen Rider Decade) as SG1 Commander Enhou

Episode 1: Ryuga (流)
Several years into the future, Ryuga Dougai is the latest Makai Knight to inherit the title of Garo the Golden Knight. He travels to the somewhat peaceful town of Vol City to investigate a string of Horror appearances, but upon defeating one, he encounters a couple of other Makai Knights led by Makai Priest Burai, who feel he is not worthy of his title. At the same time, he is hunted down by a paramilitary organization called "SG1" due to his occupation.

The third season of the Garo series is a major departure from what we've been used to over the past eight years. For this story, we move from present-day Japan to a dystopian future, where the city seems to be controlled by a secret mastermind. We're also introduced to a whole new cast of characters led by Ryuga. In contrast to the quiet and antisocial Kouga Saejima of the original series, Ryuga wears all black and is a bit of a loudmouth, yet he is surprisingly friendly for a Makai Knight. In addition, he invites a heap of trouble by fighting the first Horror in public (which is usually a major no-no in shows like this). There's not much to focus on in this pilot episode, as the overall plot hasn't been fleshed out and the core characters show up with very little interaction with each other. Plus, compared to the past Garo titles, the martial arts choreography is unbelievably lacking, especially when Ryuga fends off against the SG1 operatives. Also, the Garo armor only appears for not even 30 seconds.

So yeah, this first episode feels extremely rushed, but hopefully, things pick up on the next episode.

Rating: B

http://garo-project.jp/TV3/'>Official Garo: Yami wo Terasu Mono Homepage
http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/garo-yami/'>TV Tokyo's Official Garo: Yami wo Terasu Mono Homepage


Edited by areaseven
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