Kouga Saejima (冴島 鋼牙, Saejima Kōga) is a Makai Knight and successor to the title of Garo the Golden Knight. He is the protagonist of the Original Series; and by the time of The Makai Flower, Kouga passed on his title to his son, Raiga Saejima.


Kouga is a man with truly noble and kind heart beneath his unsociable persona which resulted from his uneventful past. Not only he watched his father Taiga perished at hands of Barago (whom he mistook as a Horror due to his corruption and attire made him unrecognizable at the time), but also lost fellow Makai Knight trainees he befriended with during Raizon attack just as he learned the value of friendship. He did, however, learned what it needs to be a proper protector through Taiga's message to be brave to him as conveyed by Zaruba and Wataru and Kengi's ideals; one being that any person, good or bad, has not only the right to live but also the potential to save many lives on their own in the process; the other being that one should try to his best to save another person, regardless of how slim the chances might be.

Kouga begins to grow out of his unsociable behavior through the fateful encounter with Kaoru whom inadvertently caught in the fight between him and Anglay during which she got stained by the Horror's blood, a condition that will kill her in 100 days in an excruciatingly painful manner. Though expected to kill her to spare her a painful death, Kouga spared Kaoru's life because she reminded him of his mother (he keeps this fact for himself as he told The Three Priestess, his commanding Watch Dogs at the time, that he wanted to use her as a bait). In time, he begins to fell for her thus strengthened his resolve to save her from Horror stain. By the time he does, Kouga soon learns the truth about the one who killed Taiga during The Three Priestesses' betrayal and Kodama's assassination on Jabi and momentarily took a dark path where he willingly assumes Lost Soul Beast form at one point during their attempt to save his love that kidnapped by them in a bid to summon Messiah, necessitating Rei aka. Silver Knight Zero to snap him out of it, dismayed to see his fellow knight stoop that low just as when his opinion about him improved. In the end, he managed not only to save Kaoru once again, but also stopped Messiah and defeated Kiba Armor that animated by remnants of his father's killer.

Kouga's change into a better person he used to be while maintaining his focus at the same time became more evident in his later years starting from the events of Makai Flash Knight. Facing uncertainty over his future from receiving Sigma Fudō's Seal of Destruction, Kouga begins to engage in domestic activities more than he used to be (most notably spending his time with Kaoru) and improve his social skills that initially left much to be desired while maintaining his focus as a knight at the same time. While he eventually managed to rid the Seal and stop Sigma at the same time, such positive development allowed him to become a good father as not only he and his wife decided to raise their son Raiga in a loving environment surrounded by family and people who cared for him, but also give him the freedom to choose whether he wanted to inherit the title of Garo.


Early Days

Born to Taiga Saejima and Rin Saejima, Kouga is part of the Saejima Clan, descended from a bloodline of warriors who have long fought against the Horrors under the title of Garo.

After his mother died while he was three years old, befriending Makai Priest Amon's apprentice Jabi, Kouga was trained at a young age by his father to become a Makai Knight. At that time, Kouga accompanied his father in Horror hunts and learned the hard way that Horrors are untrusting creatures when fooled by one posing as a toy salesman.

One night, hearing Gonza Kurahashi's concern for Taiga, Kouga follows his father to the woods where he witnessed Taiga battling Barago. At the time, Kouga thought his father was fighting a Horror as he came out of hiding. This led to Taiga's death when he uses his body as a shield to keep Barago from harming his son, passing Zaruba to Kouga so the boy would know his final thoughts: Take the title of Garo and to be brave. As Taiga's sword was made of Soul Metal, Kouga was forced to leave in the forest for ten years until he fulfills his father's last request.

To that end, after learning the basics from Zaruba, Kouga joined a training session for youths training to become Makai Knights but was ranked among the lowest and placed in Wataru Shijima's Yamabuki Squad under the alias of Shiro. Though the Yamabuki Squad improved greatly over time, Wataru praised them more for their comradery when they placed the wellbeing of their teammate above the challenge. But in the end, Kouga was forced to witness the friends he made slaughtered by the Horror Raizon. Kouga later became an apprentice of Kengi in mastering using Soul Metal weapons, adopting the senior's ideals as his own. Once Kouga finished his training, he returned home and succeeded to lift the sword out of the ground as he assumes his place as the new Golden Knight.


Having killed a multitude of Horrors under the guidance of the Three Priestesses of the Eastern Watchdog Castle, Kouga's life changes when his mission to slay the Horror Anglay has him cross paths with Kaoru Mitsuki. Though he was supposed to kill her after her skin came in contact with Horror blood, Kouga spared her life while explaining to Zaruba of his intent to use the girl as bait for attracting Horrors. But over time, contending with both Horrors and Rei Suzumura, Kouga began to develop feelings for Kaoru as it appears her father met Taiga and created the incomplete picture book Black Flame and the Golden Knight. During an event where Horrors will be unable to travel to the human world, Kouga uses that time to visit Amon and engages the Makai Priest in a Barchess match. While Amon offers to help Kouga save Kaoru by fetching the Barankas fruit from the Crimson Forest, he gives the youth a revelation that Barago still lives and that events will soon unfold where Kouga must know who to truly trust.

After losing Kaoru's trust with a dying Haru revealed that he used her to get to the Horror, Kouga learns that Amon was being apparently killed by Jabi and that she stole twelve sealed Horror blades. But as he could not believe Jabi would kill Amon, Kouga learns his murderer was a Makai Knight as he ends up facing Rei before Jabi gets him and the captive Kaoru to safety. After Kouga wins back Kaoru's trust, he agrees to help Jabi send the blades to the Makai in return that she helps him get the Barankas fruit in Amon's place. But the interference of Kodama and the apparent death of Jabi causes Kouga and Rei to be overwhelmed by a giant Horror created from the Horror blades before it was absorbed by the Horror-eating Makai Knight responsible for Amon's death. Kouga is forced to travel to the Crimson Forest on his own and defeat Grou Dragon to win the Baranka fruit that he uses to save Kaoru.

But after an encounter with a revenge-driven Kamisugawa, Kouga learns that Kaoru has an Inga Gate tattooed on her neck as he is presented with a series of revelations that Barago masterminded recent events in a scheme to summon the Horror propagator Messiah. Furthermore, having long deluded himself into thinking that a Horror murdered his father, Kouga briefly questions himself while knowing his enemy is Barago as Rei joins forces with him to confront the Three Priestesses. However, unaware that the priestess were given a host body to leave their domain, Kouga learns too late that Barago captured Kaoru to begin the ritual to summon Messiah.

Driven to save Kaoru to the point of madness, Kouga is confronted by Kodama who drove him more to the deep end with remembering Jabi's demise to the point of assuming his Lost Soul Beast Garo form to slaughter Kodama before climbing up the building. Luckily, Rei manages to get through Kouga's mind and save him. While Rei deals with Glum, Kouga confronts Barago before he ends up fighting Kaoru after Messiah possessed her body to devour the fallen Makai Knight for outliving his use to her. After he and Rei managed to knock the possessed Kaoru out, Kouga enters the Makai through a portal in Kaoru's subconscious to face Messiah in her domain. But Kouga is overpowered by Messiah and is overwhelmed by her Horror spawn as she begins her ascend to the Inga Gate. But Kaoru manages to give Kouga an advantage by transforming him to Tsubasabito Garo to ground Messiah, discarding his armor to land the deathblow while her guard is down. Kaoru manages to pull Kouga back to their reality when Messiah dissolves into a black vortex.

However, they are followed by Barago as he fully embraces being the Darkness Knight Kiba. 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 and deal the deathblow to kill Barago for good. But Kouga's victory came at a cost as Zaruba used all his energy to help Kouga summon his armor and dissolves after the fight. Later, after Zaruba is reforged by another Watchdog, Kouga bids Kaoru farewell as she leaves for Italy to improve her artistic skills. Kaoru gives Kouga a finished copy of the Black Flame and the Golden Knight, with the illustration on the final page bringing Kouga to tears.

During the events of Beast of the Demon Night, initially skeptical at first, Kouga was approached by Rin Yamagatana when she has a message from Amon. Kouga learns that Jabi did not die as he believed, but is trapped in the Makai Forest within the stomach of the Makai Beast Miki. Kouga leaves for the northern Kantai region, contending with its resident Makai Knight Tsubasa Yamagatana before Garai gives Kouga permission 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 threat of the Horror Legules with Garai providing historical information about the Horror to prepare. But the group comes under attack by Legules's Karakuri, Kouga refusing Legules's offer to "join" his family while temporarily defeating him on his first attempt on the Phosphorus Arrow. But when Legules abducts Rin and the arrow, Kouga learns a rescue party through Naraku Forest before facing Legules in his true form. Using the Phosphorus Arrow when Legules infected him, Kouga becomes Phosphorus Garo and destroys Legules before seeing spiritual images of his parents. Kouga later returns to the Saejima Estate where he finds Kaoru had returned and welcomes her back.

Red Requiem

Sometime later welcoming Kaoru home, Kouga received orders from the Watch Dogs to hunt the Apostle Horror Karma. Kouga's search takes him to a city from his past, meeting Akaza and saving his team of Makai Priests from the cannibalistic Apostle Horror Babel. Though Kouga and Akaza's group have a common enemy in Karma, he finds opposition from the Makai Priestess Rekka who is revealed to be Kengi's daughter and has a personal vendetta against the Horror for killing her father. Tracking down Karma and her servants to their lair in a nightclub called Crime was a difficult task, as Akaza was bribed by Karma with a mirror that allows him to see his family again, but the more difficult challenge is entering Karma's mirror realm to regain the stolen Garo armor and return to the real world. An alternative was to use the Demon Sword of Rubis (a blade made with Horror fangs) as it is the only item that grants entry to Karma's realm to kill her and safely exit without harm.

However, Karma and her Horrors would later occupy an abandoned building as they lure the group into a trap with Akaza and Shiguto containing the evil as Kouga and Rekka battled through the building to locate Karma with the latter taking out Shion. During their battle, Rekka faced and killed Shion. She then found Karma's mirror and alerted Kouga. The two then fight Kurusu and managed to use the Demon Sword to enter Karma's realm, with Kouga regaining the Garo armor to destroy the Horror before facing Karma in what quickly becomes a losing battle. However, with Akaza sacrificing himself to enter Karma's realm to give the woman her flute, Rekka rallies the souls of the Makai warriors Karma killed over the years to give Kouga the power to destroy Karma as Dragon Formation Garo. With his mission over, Kouga leaves for home as Rekka gives him a Small Makai Dragon in case he needs her assistance at a later date.

Makai Flash Knight

After being promoted to the personal Makai Knight of the Senate for his vanquishing of the Apostle Horrors, answering to Grace, Kouga Saejima is assigned the task to slay the Horror Cigarein. In the aftermath, Kouga finds himself attacked by a mysterious figure in a red mask who branded him with a Seal of Destruction, giving him little time to live. With the genius Makai Priest Leo Fudō assisting him in dealing with the Horrors while hiding his affliction from Kaoru. While escorting the arrogant Makai Priest Ratess as he is transporting the pelt of a Spirit Beast so the material can be used to make more Madō Brushes, Kouga realizes it is a trap as he faces the red-masked figure who reveals his desire to return to the Makai Order to how it was before the Makai Knights came to be. Though Kouga attempts to have the Rekka's gift pursue the red-masked man, the Small Makai Dragon that Zaruba named "Kaoru" was dispatched by her quarry.

Later, Kouga takes Kaoru and Gonza on a picnic during his visit to the Tower of Heroic Spirits to undergo a cleansing of the Inga that he accumulated from his battles. It was soon after that Kouga finds himself facing Zaji, an accumulation of the revenge-driven spirits of the many Horrors that he and his predecessors have slain. Kouga manages to defeat Zazi by damaging the statue that the entity emerged from to restore the proper flow of time. Under the statue's face, Kouga and Kaoru notice ancient Makai writing that Zaruba translates to say "When the protector finds a light worth protecting, an ordeal will begin", implying that Kouga was being tested as a result of his attachment to Kaoru.

After enlisting Jabi's help to take Zaruba to be restored at the Life-Circulating Waterfall within the Jewel Forest, warned by her not to trust Makai Priests after her encounter with the red-masked man, Kouga learns his mentor Wataru attacked Tsubasa. But it turned out that Wataru was under the influence of the red-masked man's enchantment as Kouga and Tsubasa work together to free him. Soon after, Wataru recognizes Kouga as his former student and parts on good terms. While helping Rei track down was is later revealed to be a Gōryū with the vague aura of a Horror, Kouga confronts the red-masked man before being shocked to find Leo's face behind the mask. Despite how it looked, with a conflict between Makai Knights and Makai Priests rising, Kouga expresses his doubts about Leo's treachery and learns that someone erased the Makai genealogy records. It was while pursuing Ratess when he is revealed to be the red-masked man's spy within the Senate walls, Kouga sees Leo facing the mysterious figure while revealing himself to be a Makai Knight. After the red-masked man ran off, Kouga learns the truth from Leo that their enemy is the latter's older twin brother Sigma Fudō and is acting on a plan to create ultimate Gōryū, Magōryū Idea, to permanently eliminate the Horror blight with the power of the Horror Gyanon at using impure humans as fuel.

Sigma later makes a public announcement for all Makai Knights to either renounce their titles and give up their Makai armor or face death from their Seals of Destruction, with the exception of Kouga for his continued interference. But this turned out to be a trap to gather the Makai Knights in one place and trap them in a barrier so his spell can take effect while he uses the key to the Madō Train he took from Ratess to reach the True Makai to create Idea there. Left with no choice, Kouga makes a contract with Gajari to be teleported to the Madō Train to aid Leo as they manage to derail the Madō Train while breaking Sigma's spell. But Sigma reveals he has a backup plan as he has Kouga assimilated into Gyanon's corpse as he begins a ritual in Amber Rock Valley dig site opens a gateway to the True Makai while beginning to fashion Idea. Luckily, a group composed by Rei, Leo, Rekka, Jabi, Kaoru, and Gonza arrive at the Amber Rock Valley to free Kouga as Sigma takes his creation into the True Makai to complete it.

But in an unexpected turn of events, Sigma revived Gyanon as he absorbed the Makai Priest before converting Idea into an extension of himself to lead an army of Horrors into the human world. Luckily, every Makai Knight and Makai Priest arrives to fend off the Horrors as Kouga destroys the bodiless Gyanon after Idea is completely destroyed. Despite the victory, Kouga needed to honor his contract with Gajari to reclaim a part of the entity, the Fang of Sorrow, within the Promised Land. After bidding goodbye to his friends, Kouga was about to say his farewells to Kaoru. But he finds a dying Sigma, who escaped Gyanon's body at the last second, and engages the powerless man in a final battle. Though he initially held back, Kouga reveals that they met as children in Makai Knight training and must cut him down to honor their promise and kills Sigma as his manor breaks apart. Kouga forms the Garo armor around himself and Kaoru to save the latter, telling her must leave but promises to return once finishing his contract. Before he goes, Kouga bids Kaoru farewell with a final kiss before leaving her to be found by Gonza.

Lament of the Dark Dragon

During the events, Lament of the Dark Dragon, Kouga arrives in the Promised Land and finds himself without his coat and Zaruba while witnessing his Garoken transformed into the Red Dog. Meeting a mysterious girl named Meru, Kouga learns the Promised Land is home to objects that have been lost in the human world and have become anthropomorphic beings. After finding Zaruba, Kouga then meets Kiria and finds himself facing the Promised Land's despot Judam as she and the rogue Kakashi are fighting over which of them would become the legendary dragon of destruction known as the Maryu. Kouga makes a truce with Kakashi to save Meru when Judam intends to sacrifice her at the Seas of Lamentation so she can become the Maryu to extract her revenge on humanity. After saving Kakashi while reclaiming his coat and blade, Kouga attempts to reason with Judam before she merged with the Maryu scale to become the Maryu. With Kakashi sacrifice his life energies to give the Makai Knight the strength to destroy the Maryu, Kouga manages to reach the dying Judam to forgive humanity. Soon after making his peace with the dying Kakashi, revealed to be a training dummy from his day as a child, Kouga passed Gajari's rest by having understood the dream-based symbiosis between the Makai Knights and Gajari. Before returning to his world, Kouga reveals that he knew Meru is his Makai Dragon Kaoru as she reverts to her true form to join him. Sometime after, learning of a competition in his absence and facing Rei, Kouga finds Kaoru at the park in the aftermath of her book's successful launch.

GARO: Saejima Kouga

As explained in a prequel mini-series set before Moonbow Traveler, when he visited Tower of Heroic Spirits, Kouga saw Raiga's future, discovering that his son would make a contract with Bajari in return of becoming a dimensional traveler who burdened by the duty to mend all cracks in time. Not wanting him to carry such burden and sees it as the chance to find Kaoru who had been displaced by Eyrith, offers to take Raiga's place in his stead. It's also revealed that he brought the copy of both Zaruba and Garoken with him, leaving the originals in Raiga's possession.

The Makai Flower and Saejima Kouga

As would later be revealed in GARO: The Makai Flower, Kouga married Kaoru and the two had a son together: Raiga Saejima. However, due to an event that occurs in their son's adult life, Kouga is forced to leave the five-year-old Raiga as he enters a portal to save Kaoru after she has been displaced in time by Eyrith. Though technically alive, Kouga willingly passed the Garo title to Raiga once he was of age and indirectly added his son during his fight with Zaji.

The prequel mini-series set before Moonbow Traveler and The Makai Flower gives more insight of Kouga's adventures during his search for his missing wife. Upon hearing the news about his plan to embark what would be one-way trip quest, Rei attempted to dissuade his friend from it, but eventually lost in the ensued spar. Nevertheless, as Kouga implored the Silver Knight to train Raiga on his 10th Birthday if he doesn't return, Rei reassured that he would and gives Rekka's Small Makai Dragon to help him on the quest. Eventually, Kouga managed to locate the displaced Kaoru in Promised Land with object spirits' assistance only to see her being held hostage by Barago's evil qi that possessed the restored Kiba armor. In the ensuing duel, Kouga managed to defeat his revived nemesis after entrusting his wife's safety to Kuromaru. Returning to Kaoru and Kuromaru, they soon presented with images of future where among them was their son Raiga's losing battle against Eyrith. Unwilling to let it happen, Kouga had Kuromaro open a portal to send Zaruba back to Raiga to aide him to become the next Garo.

Moonbow Traveler

As revealed in Moonbow Traveler, Kouga is revealed to have procured the copy of both Garoken and Zaruba while his son using the originals and unable to return home yet due to him and Kaoru embarked on another quest; mending the cracks in time and space created by Eyrith. Said quest was meant to be part of the bargain between Raiga and Gajari sometime in the future only for him takes his son in his stead as he doesn't want him to carry such burden. During such quest, the husband and wife discovered that the resurrected Kiba is still active and now after his son, prompting them to make haste to assist Raiga and enlisted the assistance from Taiga in the process.


  • Makai Knight Training: As befitting of his position as a Senatorial Knight & his title of Golden Knight, Kouga was without question the greatest makai knight of his era. Kouga has slan many powerful horrors in his time including Messiah the Mother of All Horror.


  • Zaruba: His Madōgu.
  • Garoken (牙狼剣, Garōken, Fanged Wolf Sword): Kouga's makai blade in the form of a jian that when transformed takes the form of a longsword.
    • Garo Zanbaken (牙狼斬馬剣, Garōzanbaken, Fanged-Wolf Horse-Slaying Sword): An upgraded form of the Garoken which accessible via aid from Gōten. The Makai Blade takes the form of a double-edged greatsword which blade has a round tip and roughly the size of a car bumper, signifying the increased attack power and range that it enables Garo to cut through the durable hide of a powerful Horror on a whim. Despite the increased size, it doesn't hamper Kouga in any way since the weapon is made of Soul Metal.
      • Dai Garo Zanbaken (大牙狼斬馬剣, Dai Garō Zanbaken, Big Fanged-Wolf Horse-Slaying Sword): The second upgrade of Garoken with the aid of Gōten. This form is similar to Garo Zanbaken, but with both size and attack power increased to ridiculous proportions that allow even Gōten to surf with it. As with the previous upgrade, this upgrade is accessible with aid of Gōten.
    • Garo Armor: Kouga inherited the Garo armor from his father before his death, but his eyes the eyes on the armor changes into a green color.






Kouga Saejima Appearances



  • Kouga is never seen laughing in the entirety of the Garo franchise.
  • In the events of Lament of the Dark Dragon, Kouga was called as the 'true' Fang of Sorrow, however, not only a secondary title, it is also a moniker name for Garo's armor that gives hope to Jinkai.