Taiga Saezima (冴島 大河Saejima Taiga) is Kouga's father and the former Garo in the Original Series. He was killed by Barago before the events of Chapter of the Black Wolf and remains as a guardian spirit to his family.
Personality & CharacterEdit
Taiga is a highly disciplined warrior and carries a tough love-attitude as a father. Due to his life as a warrior against the darkness, Taiga's mentality can be intense. Losing his wife (Rin Saezima) to illness, he raised his son (Kouga Saezima) 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 gave his life to save Kouga. Although he died, his spirit as well as his teachings continues to protect Kouga and attempts to help his son during his most desperate times.
Skills & AbilitiesEdit
Taiga is a skilled fighter, highly adept in close quarters combat and specializes in martial arts that compliments the Garo armor. It was never said was it Taiga or his predessor that created this combat style, but he parted his combat style to Kouga, making it the Saezima Style Combat System.
Tools & WeaponsEdit
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, Priestess Rin Saezima, 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 Saezima estate, Taiga attempted to intercept and reason with Barago back to the path of light. Unfortunately, Taiga doesn'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 MessageEdit
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 successfully escaped alive, but Taiga died in combat. Poor little 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 dual with Kouga.
After Kouga vanished in another reality of time and space, Taiga's spirit watches over Raiga, his grandson. Although Taiga never revealed himself to Raiga, he acted as a guide to help him evolve as a knight. It's unknown will Taiga ever reveal himself to Raiga.
Notes & TriviaEdit
- Taiga is portrayed by Hiroyuki Watanabe (渡辺 裕之Watanabe Hiroyuki?) who also portrayed Gaoh in Kamen rider Den-O.
- Each knight wearing Garo creates a different colored hue in Garo's eyes; Taiga creates a crimson-red hue when he wears it.
- During Raiga's battle against Zaji, the spirit of Garo appeared to him to reveal Goten. Due to the armor's red eyepiece and the phrase "become stronger" uttered by the spirit, it could possibly be Taiga himself, speaking to his grandson through Garo.