Makai Armor (魔戒甲冑, Makai Katchū) is the armor forged for a Makai Knight to utilize in their war against the Horrors.
Characteristics & Description
Makai armor is a magically forged armor composed of Soul Metal. Made from the same material as their blades, the armor is themed after a wolf, the spirit animal of their order. The armor can withstand powerful physical and magical attacks. Designed to hurt Horrors and anyone untrained in soul metal use, the armor will burn any living being that touches it. The tensile strength has its limitations though. When exposed to overwhelming power, the armor was designed to release itself from its wielder to avoid additional damage. However, that is a double-edged design as its armor is safe from catastrophic damage but puts the user at risk from mortal danger. The armor ultimately serves as the last resort against the strongest of challenges. If a knight can handle the entity without its armor, it will make do without it. The armors, particularly titled ones, are able to let out wolf-like growls to induce a psychological effect on foes.
Like any soul metal exposed to darkness, the armor requires purification periodically after being used to slay Horrors. When a Makai Knight falls into darkness, the Armor's Soul Metal turns into Death Metal (デスメタル, Desu Metaru) and will take up a dark and grotesque appearance as seen in case of the Kiba Armor. Because its bearer, Barago, had overcome the armor's time limit under Messiah's instruction, the armor became black and demonic in appearance.
A common rule when donning the Makai Armor is that no Makai Knight can wear his armor for more than 99.9 seconds as it would consume them or turn into Lost Soul Beasts (心滅獣身, Shinmetsu Jūshin) if influenced by their inner darkness. The time limit is seemingly circumvented whenever a Makai Knight is fighting in the home realm of a Horror or any area with a particularly strong magical presence.
Whenever Makai Armor is needed, the Makai Knight only needs to focus as he points his Makai Blade on the air (usually upwards) and spin it in a circular pattern. This creates a circular dimensional rift through which the armor assembles around his body in a matter of seconds with a temporary glow. Throughout that brief process, the armor appears malleable before hardening once the suit-up completes. While the transformation process takes under ten seconds, a skilled opponent can use that chance to prevent the knight from donning his armor and/or even rob the knight of his armor if they are capable enough; it would render the knight limited in combat strength. Makai Blades, however, are not always the weapon and item needed to summon armor; Barago for instance utilizes a Mado Necklace which he blows on then spins in the air to summon his armor.
Mentioned in the Madō Book of Origins, the Makai Armors are a product from the body of Legendary Horror Zedom. The Makai Priests had Zedom sealed away but left a special port to open to take his seedlings. Made from Zedom's body, the seeds were originally designed to parasitically enter a horror's body to fully bend the Horror to his will. However, after being captured, the priests discovered a mean to process the seeds through their bodies to open the seeds in a sapling-like form. It is from this sapling that the raw material for processing Soul Metal originates and is then forged into armor and weapons for the Makai Order.
Concepts and aesthetics of Makai Armor in Anime universe borrow aspects of live-action continuities, but there are some differences. Due to The Carved Seal of Flames, Crimson Moon, and Vanishing Line are set in the same universe albeit, at different points in time, it is shown that Makai Armor has undergone several changes and improvements to better combat Horrors. Unlike in Original Series where the Lost Soul Beast transformation is just a result of wearing the armor beyond its time limit, the transformation can also be triggered prematurely through great negative emotions (though only the Garo armor has accomplished this feat).
The exact time limit of Makai Armor in the anime universe is unclear, as sole means to measure it was revealed in The Crimson Moon. As the armors approach their limit, the users experience great strain to their body to the point they can hardly move, which is due to the armor compressing the user. If the user still wears the armor when the timer expires, they become Lost Soul Beasts.
As with live-action series, Makai Armors can be corrupted should the knight fall into darkness, as shown in the case of Zex and Bolg. However, the events of Divine Flame revealed a special case of a fallen Makai Knight that is able to shift his armor's appearance between its normal state and corrupted state. The fallen knight Dario Montoya, latest bearer of the Zem Armor, out of shame and delusion that he can make Sara Vazelia whole again with Zirkel's Ring, fell into the darkness but is able to conceal his armor's dark nature up until revealing his true colors to León Luís. Even so, the corruption of his armor is less severe than Bolg. How he was able to achieve this feat was a result of his now delusional mindset in redeeming his loss.
In the era of The Carved Seal of Flames, the properties of the armor have certain similarities and differences compared to the original universe. Like the original universe, the armors were designed to handle heavy physical damage, resist Horror attacks, and defend from magical attacks for the knights to defeat horrors. However, instead of simply let out growls, the armor is capable of emoting, as in it seems to have its own spirit and reacts to the emotions of its user; it can roar in rage or cry from sadness. Because of that, the armor's helmet can react in a life-like animated way. Although, the armors that can truly emote so far are Garo, Zoro, and Zex.
A major difference is that the armor is magically tied to its wielder either by transfer of rite or of genetic inheritance. Makai Alchemists forged the armors and linked to genetic inheritors of the chosen bloodline. Makai Knight León Luís was born to inherit the Garo Armor from his mother. Because he is first cousins with Prince (later King) Alfonso San Valiante (their mother are sisters), Alfonso has the ability to don the Garo armor as well. When a knight has no genetic heir, he can invoke a rite of transference, allowing his armor to be taken from a non-blood knight to take his blade and armor. Makai Knight Rafael Banderas had no heir, but he entrusted his Gaia Armor to Prince Alfonso to protect humanity.
Certain armors react differently to its user. With Garo, León Luís often transformed with an armor that reflects his rage, making Garo appear ferocious and untamed. However, when worn by Prince Alfonso, the armor partially changes with silver linings, reflecting the prince's calm mind and spirit. However, the Zex and Gaia armor remained relatively the same. Suggesting only Garo, as it's always the special armor, is unique amongst its forged armors. There are also generic armor sets- Haganes within the anime universe as well, but not much information is given on the matter. It is only presumed the armor was given and heldy by apprentices who hadn't completed training to become knights and receive titled armors.
In the era of The Crimson Moon, Makai Armors can be rendered inaccessible through a special magic seal placed on Madōgu the armor associated with. This is evidenced by Raikou's inability to summon Garo when Seimei's seal on Zaruba is in effect. As with the era of The Carved Seal of Flames, some armors, such as that era's Garo, can emote to a certain degree. The Crimson Moon Era also revealed that some armors are more harmful to their users than the rest due to being cursed, this is shown with Tokiwaka's Armor, which reduced its user into a child for the rest of his life.
By the era of Vanishing Line, Makai Armors have undergone drastic improvements as their appearance and aesthetic become mechanical and futuristic. The concept of the armor's current properties is partly inspired by Ghost Rider and Disney's TRON as they also gain circuit-like markings that glow whenever charged with ki, increasing their combat potential. Also, while Makai Armor that has been corrupted by darkness takes on a more demonic form, said armor still retains its mechanical appearance with its circuit-like glow becoming blood-red, as seen in the case of Bolg. Although, this improvement greatly limited its ability to emote as a result. It's unknown whether the advancements of the armors affected their time limit.
In VR-Verse, Makai Armors adopted futuristic appearance complete with TRON-esque neon lines as in Vanishing Line, reflecting the extent of Makai Order's technological advancement in that world. Rather than through a dimensional rift, the Armors seems to materialize about the Knight digitally, though the set can traditionally assemble itself around the user if it happened near him. Another differences include the absence of Madō Horses, Madō Timer (suggesting the Armors' time limit has since terminated by the upgrades), and Madōgu paired with the set as well as the presence of what seemed to be equivalent of magnetorheological fluid beneath plating that glow in the same color as the Armor's neon lines and provide extra defense, though such liquid tend to leak like blood if it sustained enough damage. Lastly, periodical purification of Makai Armors is done not just to cleanse them of slain Horrors' jaki, but also to remove accumulated negative emotions-based Inga so as not to be harnessed into Dark Metal.
In addition of Soul Metal-based Makai Armors, there existed Dark Metal-forged ones that stated to hold immensely destructive power due to nature of alloy it made of, with Veil being the latest. As such kind of Armors may very well spelled disaster in the distant past, crafting Dark Metal-based Makai Armor, let alone producing Dark Metal itself, was strictly forbidden as anything made of such armor had the power to destroy the world itself.
Known List of Armors
Notes & Trivia
Articles & References
|Terms & Definitions|
Dragon Knight | Giryū
|Spells / Makai Tools / Equipment|
| Madō Horses|
Madō Brush | Dark Mirror