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Rafael Banderas (ラファエロ・バンデラス, Rafaero Banderasu) was a Makai Knight who was closely acquainted with the previous Garo, León, and Alfonso's grandfather and Anna and Esmerelda's father, and who held the title of Gaia the Stronghold Knight (堅陣騎士ガイア, Kenjin Kishi Gaia).

Personality & Character

Rafael was closely acquainted with the previous Garo, León Luis' grandfather. Being an adequately sociable person despite his appearance and personality, Rafael was responsible for his friend's younger daughter, Esmeralda, being adopted into a noble family. Rafael's son was killed by a Horror at some point in the past, leaving Rafael without a successor. To compound the issue, he is also stricken with an unspecified terminal illness, periodically coughing up blood. Rafael encounters the fleeing prince Alfonso by chance, revealing to him the truth of his mother being part of Garo's bloodline while agreeing to train Alfonso as his successor after seeing the boy's courage and determination. With his illness worsening, Rafael decides to complete Alfonso's training early by sending the young man after the Horror Anfel. Sacrificing himself to protect Alfonso, Rafael bestows upon him Gaia's sword and title before being devoured by the Horror. He visits Alfonso in a vision one last time before passing on to the afterlife, giving the young prince his blessing.

Skills & Abilities

  • Makai Knight Training: Rafael was an immensely powerful Makai Knight who was a close comrade in arms to the Garo of his era and among few Makai to survive Mendoza's purge of there people. Unfortunately by the time of the series Rafael has contracted a terminal disease that limited his combat time & ultimately led to his death against the Horror Anfel.

History

Background

Rafael was a good friend of the previous Garo and was present at the trial of Mendoza, holding him back with his sword. Once Mendoza's punishment was carried out,the evil alchemist staged his witch hunts years later, effectively destroyed Makai Order he despised and scattered the survivors across Valiante and beyond. Rafael's son was among casualties of the ongoing massacre, leaving Rafael devastated as that also no one would inherit the Gaia Armor.

The Carved Seal of Flames

Fifteen years later, Rafael encountered the fleeing Alfonso and reveals to him the truth of his family: that his mother is Anna's sister and he, by extension, is León Luís' cousin by blood. Alfonso begs Rafael to teach him the ways of the Makai Knights in order to protect Valiante from the Horrors and Mendoza, and Rafael agreed after seeing the boy's courage and determination. From there, the veteran Makai Knight showed the young prince what atrocities the Horrors can commit Count Romero who had become a Horror and trained him means to properly wield Soul Metal along with sword fighting techniques.

It's later revealed the actual reason of him appointing Alfonso as his apprentice was because of him dying from an unspecified illness and therefore began to lose hope over the fate of Gaia Armor in his possession until he met the young prince. Though he was impressed by the progress Alfonso made throughout his training despite of him yet to be able to hit him even at slightest thus the prospect of the veteran Makai Knight to pass his armor to him via. Rite of Passage much more likely, Rafael's condition began to worsen to the point of coughing up blood. He then approaches Garm to ask her about a powerful Horror Alfonso could fight to complete his training, and the Watchdog informs him about Anfel, a large Horror terrorizing a highway, but warned him that the Horror might be too much for the young prince. Rafael is fully aware of it, but he made up his mind as he wanted to test the young prince's resolve. He then informs Alfonso of the final test and reminds that they cannot let Mendoza win. After sending Alfonso to hunt the gate-like Horror, Rafael collapses from his disease and about to perish until the spirit of Leon's grandfather appears before him. Unsure if it is a hallucination, Rafael takes that as a push to oversee Alfonso's progress.

After witnessing his student had a moment of doubt during the fight, he encouraged him to keep on fighting and charged at the Horror. While he managed to break most of the Horror's defenses, it used the spiked tendrils in its mouth to impale and partially immobilize him. Before being consumed, he tossed his sword over to Alfonso and told him to stop the Horror no matter what. After it was defeated by Garo and Alfonso as the new Gaia, Rafael's spirit congratulates Alfonso and gives him one last bit of advice and encouragement before going to the afterlife.

Equipment

  • Gaia Sword: Makai Blade in form of a blue, gold, and silver longsword that lacked a guard and has spade-shaped pommel. In its transformed state, it appears as a greatsword with blade nearly about the size and length of Garo Zanbaken bearing its namesake Makai Armor's color scheme and symbol on its guard.
    • Gaia Armor: A red-violet Makai Armor that specializes in greatsword combat its namesake Makai Blade linked with and has special ability to produce shockwaves strong enough to shatter solid rocks and trigger slight tremors with the wearer as the epicenter when released.
    • Tenjin: Gaia's Madōba that shares its color scheme.

Gallery

Trivia

  • During Rafael's possession of the armor, Gaia sports orange eyes and green Madō Flames.

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