A Darker Henshin – GARO

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GARO is a Japanese live-action show between 2005 and 2006. It takes tokusatsu henshin heroes (superheroes that transform into their costumes) to a whole new level with dark and dramatic stories, well-done fight scenes, good characterization and intricate designs.

GARO is about Kouga Saejima, the Makai Knight known as Garo who is tasked with defending humanity from the demonic creatures called Horrors. Kouga inherited the title and role from his father.  With his talking ring Zaruba and the family butler Gonza, the stern and no-nonsense Kouga uses his sharply-trained abilities and golden armor to rid the world of horrors. Then he hits a little bump in the road when he meets the artist Kaoru in the first episode during a fight with a Horror. They begin to develop a rapport, causing Kouga’s sense of duty and his personal feelings to clash. As time goes on, he runs into another Makai Knight of a different area who isn’t too fond of the Golden Fang Garo. Stuff goes down. Plenty of fighting. Lots of shiny. It’s only 25 episodes and two hour-long specials.

So why should you watch it? Simply put, because this isn’t your childhood Power Rangers. This show was marketed towards older teens and adults, and it shows. The writing and plot direction is darker and more mature. Plenty of graphic violence, and some occasional nudity. There’s death on an episodic basis. Actual death with actual feelings afterward. The fights are well-done with killer intent, both in and out of the armor. The armor is very intricate and detailed, not like the spandex sentai suits you’re used to. The suit CGI in some fights may become an eyesore to some, but it should be fine overall.

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Look at Kouga Saejime there in the middle. He's serious. He's rich. He wears an elaborate white cote. He's a live-action Seto Kaiba.

Plus, JAM Project performs the second opening for the series. If that doesn’t make you want to check it out, then there’s no hope.

If you have the spare time, check out some episodes of the series. Unfortunately, it’s not out in the states, but everyone’s toku friends over at TV Nihon subbed the entire series and the Beast of the White Night special.

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3 thoughts on “A Darker Henshin – GARO

  1. Well I guess technically JAM Project preformed the first opening as well. Overall Garo was awesome, though it would of been so much better if the CG was better.

  2. I generaly agree with the CGI thing. But, as they are really a lot better in the Special, I see its quality increasing as the show goes on.

    In any case, Garo ia my favorite TV show! Good review!

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