Kouga Saejima is the Golden Knight GARO of the first series and its sequel. By the events of GARO: The Makai Flower, Kouga passed on his title to his son Raiga Saezima in GARO: The Makai Flower. His relation to the other successor of the Garo armor, Ryuga Dogai of The One Who Shines in the Darkness, is unknown at this time.
Personality & CharacterEdit
Kouga is a young man who apparently thinks nothing else than destroying Horrors. He's not a sociable person, and he always keeps his feelings to himself, but possesses a noble and kind heart behind his emotionless façade. He spared Kaoru's life because she reminded him of his mother, but never told her about her situation. When asked by the Watchdogs and Zaruba of his intentions about Kaoru, he just said he only let her live to use her as a bait for the Horrors.
Skills & AbilitiesEdit
Tools & EquipmentEdit
Golden Knight GaroEdit
As GARO the Golden Knight, his armor helps protect him from damaging blows, but his armor isn't unbreakable. If a Horror is strong enough, they can damage and injure Kouga. Should the armor be exposed to a very powerful blow the armor will retract before the 99.9-second time limit. The Sword of GARO is a powerful weapon that can cut down almost anything and only a rare few Horrors are strong enough to resist its force. Kouga is able to use a technique called "Blazing Armament" (Rekka-Ensou). This is when he uses the Madou Fire from his MADOUBI lighter to encompass his sword and his armor to increase his damage potential. In some episodes, he's able to use Blazing Armament without the use of the Madou Fire Lighter. When riding Gouten, his combat strength is increased and his sword is able to transform into GARO-ZAN-BA KEN, "Wolf Slashing Horse Sword." Because his armor is composed of Soul Metal, the armor reacts to his will along with Madou Fire.
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 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 TrainingEdit
Chapter of Black WolfEdit
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 of 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 gets 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 a army of Makai ninjas. However, they were merely an 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 a 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.