I was putting off GARO for a long time. A close buddy of mine started the series and was really into it, told me about it, showed me some clips on Youtube, and I said to him, ‘Looks rad, dude! I’m definitely gonna have to check it out’. Fast forward three or so years, and I just now have finished the first season of GARO. Now, I won’t lie, I had my doubts about the series. A tokusatsu series that was also horror-esque with swords and wolf armor didn’t really catch my attention right off the bat. After seeing the entire first season (and currently watching Beast of the White Night), I do have this to say:
GARO is dope as fuck.
I can’t lie, man. I really enjoyed this season. Sure, at the start of this season I had already watched the first two episodes of GARO: The One Who Shines in the Darkness, but that minor exposure really only affected me in the aspect of the series’ genres, as well as the difference between Kouga and Ryuuga, personality wise. Other than those 40-ish minutes I was not prepared for the awesome amounts of trench coat swaying and mermaid-demon killing.
I’ll start with the plot. After watching the first 12 episodes I started to get worried that there wasn’t a story for these characters to progress in, but around 17 or 18 we really get the 'STORY INCOMING’ mark. Grant it, we get a backstory episode about Kouga’s childhood pretty early on, which sets up a pretty good foreshadow for the end of the season, other than that we get singular episodic stories per episode. And usually I hate episodic-type-episodes but I kind of accepted it with GARO. Sure, I know that more plot could be stuffed into a two-episode/multi-episode story, but GARO executes the episodic story pretty dang well. I’ll give GARO a pass on this one.
When we actually get an overall story I sat and thought about it and I came to the conclusion that I really like the overarching story that the series sends us on. All the Taiga/Barago (it’s that right? I forget…), the Zero stuff, and the Kaoru stuff, it all adds up to a pretty well written story that is definitely entertaining. Between all of the plots mentioned in this first season, I think it is obvious that Kouga’s is the most fleshed out and entertaining. I mean, his dad was GARO… killed by his trainee, man… fun shit.
I mentioned in a previous post that I think I enjoy Ryuuga from season three a little more than Kouga. And now that I’ve had some time to think about it… I prefer… I can’t pick, man. Even though we’ve only had Ryuuga for four episodes, I love the character. He is just like Dante from Devil May Cry 3… but, Kouga is, well, Kouga. I really love Kouga, though. His whole demeanor and attitude is just awesome. At first he was just an emotionless robot protagonist, but, he grew on me. Especially once he started showing signs that he cared for Kaoru.
Personal favorite Kouga quote:
(his response to being told he is breaking Makai law, again…"
“ONCE, TWICE, IT’S ALL THE SAME!!”
I think Rei/Zero is annoying as fuck. I’m not dedicating any more text to him.
I love, love, love, love, LOVE, the suits in this damn series. Why can’t season three be suits?! WHY?! I hate the CG in season three. The GARO armor is beautifully made, and whomever is the suit actor is, straight kills it. I think the GARO armor might be one of my favorite tokusatsu pieces of armor ever. Up there with Kamen Rider Blade and Ryuki (my two favorite Kamen Rider series). Truly, the suit work in this series is top notch, and it pisses me off that the studio moved to CG… I love the GARO armor/suit. Yes. Yes. Yes.
To bring this puppy to a close, since it’s already long as shit, I’ll end with this: GARO season one is a great series. It truly is. It is a great mix of horror that you’ll only get from Japan and tokusatsu. The characters (besides Zero…) are pretty rad, and the fight scenes are definitely top tier. GARO season one is a must watch for any tokusatsu fan looking to expand their horizons outside the big two (Kamen Rider/Super Sentai). I am so glad I finally gave in and watched it!!!