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 & one of the 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.

Tools & Weapons

  • Gaia Equipment: Rafael welded this equipment up until his death.
    • Gaia Sword: Rafael welded a Makai Blade in the shape of a guardless longsword. When transformed it takes the form of a massive greatsword.
      • Gaia Armor: A red-violet Makai Armor that specializes in great sword combat. Interestingly when equipping this armor the processes created slight tremors.
        • Tenjin: His Madōba.



Rafael was a good friend of the previous Garo and was present at the trial of Mendosa, holding him back with his sword. Once Mendoza's punishment was carried out, the evil priest began his witch hunts years later and his soldiers murdered Rafael's son out of revenge so that 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.

In reality, Rafael was dying from an unspecified illness and wanted an apprentice to pass his armor on to. He began his training by showing the young prince what atrocities the Horrors can commit and how to wield Soul Metal. After training Alfonso in sword fighting, Rafael's condition began to worsen, coughing up blood. He was awakened out of his near-death state by the spirit of Leon's grandfather and proceeded to the Watchdog's Castle. He approached the Watchdog and asked her if there was a powerful Horror that his apprentice could fight. The Watchdog told him of a large Horror terrorizing a highway but warned that his apprentice would possibly die in the battle. Rafael knew of the danger but wanted to test the young prince's resolve.

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.

Pics Gallery

Notes & Trivia