GARO: Heir to Steel Armor (牙狼<GARO> ハガネを継ぐ者, Garo: Hagane o Tsugu Mono) commemorates the 10th year anniversary of GARO: The One Who Shines in the Darkness.


Ryūga Dōgai is a Makai Knight who holds the title of Golden Knight Garo and has overcome many trials and tribulations. Tonight, he will both summon the armor of Garo and cut down man-eating monsters, Horrors. Then, Koyori, a Makai Priestess, showed up. In order to receive the aid of the Golden Knight, she informs him of the urgent situation that is shaking the world.

"The Gate of Destruction will be opened."

"The Gate of Destruction" is the oldest gate where Horrors are said to have first appeared in the Human Realm. For some reason, it is on the verge of opening again. Guided by Koyori, Ryūga visits Creacity, a city with a hidden gate.

In the city where the scent of darkness leaking from Gate of Destruction prevades, Ryūga senses evile and immediately engages a Horror. In the midst of a fierce battle, a mysterious Makai Knight suddenly appears. The Knight is Souma Shirahane, clad in "Hagane" Armor.

What is the fate of Souma, who hunts Horrors as a titleless Knight Hagane!? Will Ryūga be able to stop the opening of The Gate of Destruction!? Now, a fierce story that approaches the origin of "The Protector" begins.[2]


"Do you guys know about HAGANE? It is a Makai Knight who hunts HORRORS, which are magical monsters that eat humans. Many of them wear a little-known armor called HAGANE. However, HAGANE is the origin of the Makai Knight. It all started here. This is a new story of the HAGANE Knights and the Golden Knight Ryuga Dogai."


After the events of Fang of God, Ryūga Dōgai (Garo), embarked on a personal journey to train himself to become a stronger knight. It was while traveling that he encountered Godou Shirahane (Zango). Impressed by his Flash Sword Dance technique, Ryūga convinced Godou to teach him the technique. While training, Godou told Ryūga that he believes both his son (Souma Shirahane) and Garo represents hope. After mastering the flash sword dance, the two would part ways but not before Godou entrusting Ryūga to look after Souma.

Three years before main events, Godou is the protector of Creacity and believes the Gate of Destruction will activate soon. Concerned for the safety of the denizens of the city, he has been actively searching and gathering information about the gate to prepare for it. In his search for the gate, he disappeared and no one has any information about him. Souma believes his father is still out there and took over as Creacity's protector until the day his father returns.

Unknown to everyone, Godou rediscovered the Gate of Destruction with Priestess Mutsugi. At the time, Mutsugi experienced a crisis of faith in humanity. A person she saved ended up killing other innocents and she felt responsible for what happened. It was in her desperation that she discovered the Forbidden Fruit, a powerful item that can grant the person godly powers; Mutsugi believes it's a solution that can end humanity's darkness. Corrupted by the dark influence of the Seducer, Mutsugi believed that opening the gate would give her access to the fruit and bring about peace. Godou tried to stop her, but she damaged the seal and the gate was going to activate; Godou intervened. Using the power of his armor, Zango contained the gate by absorbing the gate's darkness but it left Zango as a petrified Lost Soul Beast, killing Godou. Zango's sacrifice prevented Mutsugi from opening the gate. She would not have another chance until 3 years later.

Main Story

Generations ago, the Gate of Destruction was one of oldest gateway to open and unleashed horrific darkness and chaos into the world. In order to seal it, many people of the Makai Order sacrificed their lives to close the gate and sealed it to protect humanity. Over time though, the location of the gate has been lost and humanity has since built Creacity close to the gate's location. With a large human population, the corruptive dark miasma has been seeping out of the gate and into Creacity. It has been increasing Horror activity within city and the protectors must prepare for the gate's activation.

Three years has passed since the mysterious disappearance of Luminous Slash Knight Zango (Godou Shirahane) from Creacity. Priestess Mutsugi leads the coven at the city, commanding Koyori (her apprentice) and Steel Knight Souma Shirahane (Godou's son). Even with their combined efforts, the increase in Horror activity has been difficult to contain and Mutsugi sent out messages of requests to the Knights of Agora (Igusu, Ron, Obi) and Garo (Ryūga Dōgai) to help prevent the gate from opening. Mutsugi would dispatch Koyori to personally find Ryūga and request his aid in their situation. Unknown to everyone, the entire mission was a ruse.

Ryūga Dōgai has since parted ways with Priestess Rian and Ryūme at Line City; he has been operating solo for some time. After defeating the Horror, Chaurus, Kiyori reveals herself to Ryūga with a request invitation letter for him to come to Creacity to help them take on the Gate of Destruction; Ryūga accepts and travels to the city to meet with Mutsugi. Before making into their secret headquarters, the horror Regrege has been chasing after a person until Ryūga intervenes. The horror escapes but not before Souma appears and slays Regrege. Souma makes it clear that Creacity is his territory and that Garo shouldn't interfere in his affairs before walking away. Confused over Souma's aggressive attitude towards him, Koyori identified Souma and Ryūga realized it's Godou's son. Mutsugi appears and briefs Ryūga on their situation before everyone meets at their hidden coven.

At the coven, Ryūga would meet the Knights of Agora (Obi, Ron, and Igusu), Souma, Koyori, and Mutsugi to discuss about the situation happening in Creacity. Mutusugi explained that Creacity has been experiencing higher frequency of horror activity. To give clarity to the situation, Koyori presented the remains of a horror victim and Mutsugi magically revealed the perfume of darkness within it. The priestesses explain the perfume is a dark energy that leaks from the gate of destruction and has the ability to corrupt people with weak grudges; people with less darkness can be corrupted by the perfume. The gate's whereabouts are unknown, but it's located at the Arivis Labyrinth at the makai memorial site outside of Creacity. To even access the labyrinth requires the Stone of Eternal Darkness, a dark crystal that resides within the Stone Rock Forest. However, the forest itself was sealed away by the spirits; it can be visited. Once every 3 years, the forest will reveal itself by the illumination of the moonlight. The opportunity will present itself within a week and after they obtain the crystal, they must find the gate and seal it.

Even with 5 knights, they felt their objectives was difficult to achieve. Obi tried to lighten the mood by saying they have the golden knight at their side and that should make a difference, but Souma felt that was a pathetic resolve. Ron reminded Souma they were summoned because not even Souma could handle all the horrors. Souma didn't take kindly to those words and wanted to pick a fight with Ron, but Ryūga stopped it, reminding all they're allies. Souma exclaimed that he doesn't need to work with anyone and stormed off.

After the meeting, Ryūga went to speak with Koyori. He can see Koyori visibly thoughtful about Souma; Koyori explained they're childhood friends and she knows a great deal about him. She explained that Souma has been aggressively protective over Creacity because he's holding his father's position until he returns. This was Souma's way of protecting his father's reputation and legacy in the city; Souma is also worried about his position taken away. Ryūga praised Koyori for being such a caring friend. In the coven, Igusu spoke with Mutsugi. He believes Souma is too immature to properly protect the city and is far more likely to fall into darkness. Igusu believes Ron would be a better protector to Creacity, but the conversation switched over to Godou and the gate. As an old friend to Godou, Igusu also wanted to know what happened to Godou. Mutsugi tells him that she believes his disappearance is related to the gate; Igusu doesn't know that Mutsugi left Godou in a petrified state.

With reinforcements, Mutsugi has equipped the knights with a special scope that allows them to see the miasma to track horror activity. Two thugs had beaten and robbed a businessman (Takeo Taniguchi) earlier; the Seducer (from the miasma) turned the victim into the horror, Lou Carcolh, and started feasting on victims. Souma managed to track the horror down before devouring a woman, but their battle got dragged into the public square. Igusu, Koyori, and Ryūga arrived to help but Souma refused Ryūga's assistance. Souma was so focused fighting Lou Carcolh that he ignored the horror's acid spitting and nearly injured several people. Ryūga told Souma to focus on his battle and Souma donned his steel armor but still struggled. Ryūga decided to settle the fight by donning his armor and executing the Flash Sword Dance, sealing Lou Carcolh.

In the aftermath of the battle, Souma was shocked to see Ryūga able to use the technique. Ryūga told Souma that he learned it from his father and chastised him for his unknightly behavior. Souma was devastated at Ryūga's words; Koyori tried to comfort Souma but that only angered him and he left in shame. In the aftermath of the battle, Igusu had words with Mutsugi about Souma's poor performance and wants him off protective detail. Igusu believes Souma cares more about protecting Godou's position than the city. However, Mutsugi has been reluctant to take Souma down as she's afraid it may cause psychological harm to him as Souma never accepted Godou is likely dead. Mutsugi questions Ron's ability to protect the city and Igusu encouraged her to have Ryūga prove his case. Igusu felt Souma has wallowed in the matter far too long and it's time for Souma to change.

At the memorial site and entrance to the Arivis Labyrinth, Mutsugi layed flowers to the fallen. Ryūga and Koyori joins her and Mutsugi tells the origins of the Gate of Destruction. She explained it was one of the oldest gates, spreading darkness and it was only sealed away by the sacrifices their ancestors. Their predecessors hid the gate within the labyrinth, with the Stone of Eternal Darkness as the only way to access entry. Ryūga expresses his appreciation for the sacrifices of their ancestors and they must try to find a way to seal the gate.

At a private stage/arena, Obi and Ron trained together. They welcomed Souma to join them, but he refused. However, Ryūga agreed to help them train and Igusu took this chance to evaluate their abilities. As the rookie, Obi easily lost. Ron put up a better fight, but still lost. Igusu took the chance to ask Ryūga about their abilities and he praised Ron for his potential. It was because of Ryūga's words, Igusu wanted Ron stay in Creacity. Souma felt threatened and didn't believe Ron was necessary. Igusu tried to explain that Ron is here to help him, but Souma was determined to prove his strength and challenged both Ron and Obi to a duel. In a 2 (Ron & Obi) vs 1 (Souma) fight, Souma proved his combat skills was able to handle both of them. He injured Obi's foot and tried to seriously hurt him until Ryūga called off the spar.

At the end of the fight, Ryūga wondered why didn't Souma yield. Souma reasoned a horror wouldn't show mercy and neither should he. Ryūga admits Souma is a good swordsman, but it's not his fighting ability that needs work on. Igusu has decided to make Ron the new protector of Creacity and Souma refuses to accept it, questioning his authority. Souma still believes Godou will return, but Igusu challenges Souma's thoughts as it's been three years already. Igusu pointed out that Godou's disappearance is linked to Gate of Destruction. Enraged to even say Godou had something to do with the gate, Souma drew his sword towards Igusu, demanding him to take back his words. Souma managed to cool down enough to drop his blade, but it was considered a major violation of ethics as Souma drew his blade against a fellow knight.

At the coven's meeting room, Igusu privately expressed his outrage to Mutsugi that Souma would draw his blade. While Mutsugi agreed that's unforgiveable, she also pointed out things didn't have go so far if Igusu hadn't mention Godou's disappearance is related to the gate. Mutsugi has been delicate to Souma's feelings and Igusu felt Souma needs to face reality for his sake. The two then agreed to let Ryūga settle the matter as an impartial judge. While the team was eating dinner, Souma appeared to make amends by relinquishing his sword to Mutsugi. By leaving his sword, he shows acceptance to Igusu's decision and removes himself from protection duty. Ron would begin his tour on Creacity with Obi, while on patrol, Obi wondered if the rumors about Godou's relationship with the gate is true; Ron told Obi not to overthink it.

The following day, Souma was privately meditating when Koyori appeared and asked why couldn't Souma just apologize. He reasoned it's because his father protected the city and he couldn't accept people suspecting Godou has something to do with the gate's recent developments. Koyori encouraged Souma to let people talk and not to be bothered by it. Koyori reminded Souma that no matter what other people think, it doesn't change their relationship.

Inside the coven, Mutsugi wanted to talk to Ryūga in private. Mutsugi told Ryūga about how Souma tried to master the Flash Sword Dance on his own and was corrupted by it. Souma turned into a berserker and attacked his own father, but Godou was able to pull him back. When Souma awakened, he had no memory of the experience, only noticed his dad with an injured hand. However, his memories of the event gradually returned and the experience has affected his confidence.

It takes Ryūga's encouragement for Souma to properly apologize to Igusu and rejoin the group in dealing the ongoing crisis. Sadly, after he and Ryūga retrieved Stone of Eternal Darkness, the key to Arvis Labyrinth, Souma and Igusu's hopes where they would fight side-by-side someday is dashed with the leader of Swordsmen of Agora trio perished while fighting Gaera. To add insult of injury, the group's victory against said horror was a pyrrhic one as Koyori had a close call and worse, Mutsugi's bodyguards perished also.

After carrying out Igusu's funeral, Ryūga decided to head to the Arivis Labyrinth to settle things once and for all. With Mutsugi, Koyori, and Souma, the four ventured into the maze in hopes to find the gate while Ron and Obi stayed behind to protect the city. Not long getting there, both Souma and Ryūga were magically transported to another section of the maze and realized they're running in circles. They realized the maze is dynamically changing its own barriers. While resting, Souma wondered why Ryūga showed a mournful face after sealing Gaera. It was something he also saw on his father's face as well and wondered if there's something he's lacking. Sensing his diminishing spirits, Ryūga would tell Souma how he met Godou and trained under him for a time. It was during their time together that Godou told Ryūga that he sees both Garo and his son as a source of hope. Ryūga also mentions Godou's hesitation to teach him the Flash Sword Dance technique, something Souma agrees as he previously lost control. Ryūga encourages Souma to find what he's lacking to overcome his limitations. It was then, Koyori and Mutsugi rejoined the knights.

As the four are reunited, Ryūga remembered the memorial's words as a clue. Going back to where they started, Ryūga used his sword to open a portal to the Gate of Destruction. It was during this moment that Mutsugi took action and teleported Koyori and Ryūga elsewhere. Mutsugi would pull Souma back and encourage him to follow her through the portal to the gate. In front of a bright orb, Souma realize it's the Gate of Destruction. To Souma's horror, he realized the beastial wolf hovering over the gate is a petrified Zango; Godou is dead.

Mutsugi's desperation to obtain the forbidden fruit has made her sloppy. She has made it obvious enough for Koyori to notice her unusual behavior and pointed it out to Ryūga. The two realized she must've been corrupted and that Souma's in danger. At the gate, Mutsugi restrained Souma and fed him a wave of Inga into him, hoping to corrupt him. At the cusp of victory, Mutsugi couldn't hide her intentions anymore and showed her mad desire to open the gate to obtain the fruit. It was also here that Mutsugi finally told Souma the truth, about how she and Godou found the gate 3 years prior and how he became a petrified Lost Soul Beast to prevent the gate from opening.

Mutsugi restrained Souma and blasted him with a large concentration of dark energy to corrupt him but Ryūga and Koyori arrived, thinking they saved him. Unfortunately, Souma was under Mutsugi's thrall and he leaped over Zango and drove his sword over the petrified beast, undoing Godou's seal. The gate is on the verge of activating, but Souma and Mutsugi is preventing the duo from getting through; Souma fought Ryūga and Koyori fought Mutsugi. During Souma's struggle between Ryūga and his own ego, he overcame the darkness and regained his senses. Unfortunately, Godou's seal was broken; Iruva (Godou's magical ring) was recovered by Souma. The Gate of Destruction has been activated and the first thing that came through was the Forbidden Fruit.

Mutsugi devoured the [Forbidden Fruit]] and attained her godly powers. The trio fought against Mutsugi and struggled to defeat her. As a final solution, Koyori gave Garo her brush to perform a variant of the Shooting Star of Light Arrow, turning the brush into a spear of light and impaled Mutsugi. Severely injured, the Seducer revealed she has been manipulating Mutsugi the entire time and possessed her body, turning her into a horror. The trio fought against the Seducer and struggled to defeat her. The horror spread forth dark energy in attempt to corrupt Garo and Souma's steel armor; the horror doesn't know that Ryūga knows how to manipulate inga. Ryūga turned all the darkness into light to purify their armor; the golden radiance from Garo removed the darkness from Souma's armor as well. Executing the Dark Flash Sword Dance, Ryūga turned his armor into Dark Garo and unleashed the flaming dark energy onto the Seducer. He dashed straight into the Seducer and defeated it. Both Mutsugi's body and the Seducer's spirit was destroyed; their last great challenge is the gate.

As they looked at the 10-headed dragon horror over the gate, Iruva remarked that the dragon heads surrounding the gate belonged to a Horror their ancestors used to seal the gate. Awakened from its slumber, it hungers for human souls. Ryūga believes the only way to destroy the dragons is to use the Flash Sword Dance. However, Souma was reluctant since his last attempt corrupted him. Iruva recalls that Godou believed Souma has the ability to overcome the darkness and it makes him a worthy heir to the Zango armor. Between Godou's feelings conveyed and Koyori's confidence in him, Souma agrees to execute the technique once more.

Ryūga attempted to become Garo but the armor wouldn't come through. Zaruba remarked that the armor is oversaturated with dark energy and needs to be purified to be used again. In a surprise moment, Souma presented Ryūga Igusu's sword. Souma felt Igusu's armor might come in handy and Ryūga accepted the weapon to fight as a steel knight. Both became steel knights and used their grappling hooks to propel themselves upwards to close the distance on the gate. Ryūga and Souma executed the flash sword dance with the spirit of Zango and Garo with them. The duo was able to destroy the dragons, exposing the gateway. With their enemies destroyed, Godou's spirit along with Mutsugi's and Igusu's spirit revealed how proud and satisfied they are with the outcome.

In the aftermath, the Gate of Destruction was left behind as it couldn't be destroyed. At Igusu's grave, the team installed three grave markers with dream catchers like the one Ryūga used to present to his mother. Ryūga concluded that their ancestors must have realized the gate can't be sealed and the best solution they can do is coexist with the gate. Souma remarked that he's starting to understand Ryūga's words, that here's more to a knight than slaying horrors with their strength. Ryūga remarked they must pass down the steel knight's spirit to their descendants. With their business concluded, Koyori was surprised to see Ryūga ready to leave.

Ryūga explained he wants to purify Garo's armor as soon as possible. He also left some comforting words, believing Creacity is in good hands with a talented priest and three knights. Ryūga gave Souma a fist bump before parting ways. As Souma watched Ryūga walk off, he remarked they will carry on the will of Godou because they are all heirs to the steel armor. While walking in private, Ryūga brings out Rian's hair ornament to appreciate for a moment before continuing his journey.


Makai Knights

Makai Priests




  • Masashi Yamaguchi - Casting
  • Junya Hoshi, Akira Nishioka - Photography


  1. Prologue
  2. Symptoms
  3. Hagane
  4. Scar
  5. Realize
  6. Eyes
  7. Tragedy
  8. Flash
  9. Gate
  10. Deception
  11. Invitation
  12. Inherit


Opening Theme

  • "GARO Hagane o Tsugu Mono with JAM Project" (GARO ハガネを継ぐ者 with JAM Project, GARO: Heir to Steel Armor with JAM Project)
    • Music composition and arrangement: Yuki Kajiura[11]

Ending Theme

  • "Sore wa Kegarenaki Shura no Namida" (其れは穢れなき修羅の涙, lit. "Those are the tears of pure shura")[12]
    • Lyrics: Masami Okui
    • Composition: Yoshiki Fukuyama
    • Arrangement: Shiho Terada
    • Artist: JAM Project
  • "Ran" (, lit. "Disorder")
    • Lyrics: Masami Okui
    • Composition: Hiroshi Kitadani
    • Arrangement: Shiho Terada
    • Artist: JAM Project



  • This is the first GARO series since Versus Road (2020), as the franchise was absent for 3 years between 2021 to 2023 with no movie, novel or mini-series due to COVID-19 shutting down Pachinko machines in Japan, thus Sansei R&D, the show’s main sponsor, could not fund a new series or film.
  • This is also the first of Ryūga-verse continuity to feature Hagane, mass-produced Makai Armor for title-less Makai Knights as said continuity's previous entries only featured Titled Makai Armors.
  • The Ryūga-verse has been known to feature sets, Horrors, and knight armors completely composed of computer graphics (CG); a lesser focus on practical effects. In a reverse approach, Heir to Steel Armor applies more on practical effects and less CG, featuring Horrors using practical makeup effects vs monster suits or CG generated creatures.
  • The basic premise of Heir to Steel Armor is basically same as The One Who Shines in the Darkness in that Ryūga Dōgai finding himself summoned to investigate a dangerous conspiracy related to the propagation of Horrors in a futuristic city located in the middle of nowhere culminating to deal human villains who ended up become a Horror he and his companions vanquished after their evil plans failed. However, there are some differences:
    • Both installments started with Ryūga operating solo for quite some time prior to receiving invitation to its respective setting but, he wasted no time to set out to join his allies at Creacity and inquire them of situation at hand — a far cry to Volcity and Zedom crisis where he begrudgingly joined Burai's party.
    • Ryūga had become an exemplary Makai Knight and in the middle of a journey to further hone his skills by the time he was summoned to deal Gate of Destruction crisis as opposed of rebellious ronin who did as he please in his debut series.
    • Ryūga finds himself fighting alongside multiple Makai Knight once again, though this time they are title-less Knights who nevertheless formidable in their own right.
    • This installment once again features a formidable Makai Knight whose parental issue hindered them to carry out their duty at their fullest. Whereas The One Who Shines in the Darkness the Knight in question being Ryūga Dōgai himself, Heir to Steel Armor introduced us Souma Shirahane, an insecure title-less Knight who meant to be heir of Zango.
      • To further drive this point, it's possible Ryūga saw his troubled younger self in Souma hence his better luck in helping him out than Mutsugi or Igusu.
    • This installment's main villain is once again a manipulative rogue human associate with Makai Order in some form. Unlike Tousei Kaneshiro who lacked combat abilities thus had to rely on Madō Horrors under his command and became a lesser Horror, Mutsugi is a disillusioned veteran Makai Priestess who pose considerable challenge to Ryūga and co. before and after her assimilation by Forbidden Fruit thus more dangerous.


External links