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Zango (ザンゴ) is a Makai Armor in Heir to Steel Armor within the Ryūga-verse; it's a white wolf armor that specializes in broadsword combat. Whoever wields the armor shall take the title of Zango the Light Slash Knight (光斬騎士・斬冴ザンゴ, Kōzan Kishi Zango, Slashing Clearness) or Luminous Slash Knight Zango. The armor was wielded by Godou Shirahane and slated to be transferred to his son, Souma Shirahane. Unfortunately, the armor was destroyed by Souma in the final events of the Gate of Destruction.

Overview[]

Zango is themed after the mythological White Wolf, it's a white armor with golden accents; its helmet has red eyes and ghastly canine teeth. The inheritor of the armor will take the title of Zango the Light Slash Knight or Light Slash Knight Zango. To don the armor, the knight must make a circular pattern of infinity (∞) or a lazy eight to wear it. The most unique aspect of its transformation is Godou's magical ring, Iruva. Located at the center of Zango's chest plate is a ornamental doll-like face. When Godou becomes Zango, his ring becomes a part of his chest armor to observe and advise him in combat.

For combat, Zango's sword is an ornate white and golden broad sword. The guard was designed with a fork-like curve; the space between the blade and guard can be used to trap or restrict an opponent's weapon(s) or limbs for disarming or controlling their movement. The poleyn (knee cap piece) is pointed like a dull spike, allowing the user to make sharp knee strikes with it but may limit certain movements as a drawback. Like all armors within the Ryūga-verse, it doesn't have a Madōba (mechanical steed) for chasing down its target; it must rely on it's own abilities to settle the battle. Its user, Godou Shirahane, prefers to end the battle as quickly as possible with high speed strikes and executing the Flash Sword Dance.

One of the most unique aspects of the armor above the others is its bond with its magical ring. In between its chest armor is a doll's face; it acts as an extension of madou ring Iruva. Traditionally, a magic ring will stay at the finger of the user's gauntlet, but Zango's armor makes Iruva a part of it and helps advise Godou with the knight's point of view in combat. It suggests the armor is bonded with Iruva as part of its overall silhouette, but it's unclear can the armor function without the ring.

The armor was slated to be transferred to Godou's son, Souma Shirahane, but the armor was used prevent the Gate of Destruction from opening. It was petrified in its lost soul beast form, killing Godou and temporarily sealed the gate from opening. The armor was ultimately destroyed by Souma after the corrupt priestess, Mutsugi, manipulated him to destroy Zango to fully open the gate. The only surviving remnant of Zango is Iruva.

History[]

Heir to Steel Armor[]

Three years prior, Godou Shirahane was on a mission to find the Gate of Destruction as he feared it would be reactivated and harm Creacity. He eventually figures out that in order to enter the Arivis Labyrinth to access the gate, he would need the Stone of Eternal Darkness within the Stone Rock Forest. After acquiring the dark stone, he notified Priestess Mutsugi about his intention of reaching the gate. During this time, Mutsugi suffered a personal crisis in her faith in humanity and it led her to discover scripture about the Forbidden Fruit, an item that promises god-like power to the user. When Godou told Mutsugi about his discovery, she joined Godou to seek the gate.

When the duo re-discovered the Gate of Destruction, Mutsugi was corrupted by the Seducer and was convinced if she opened the gate, she'll attain the Forbidden Fruit. She believes that if she has this power, it would be the best solution to rid the world of its darkness. Although Godou tried to stop her, the gate's seal was broken and the gate began to open. As a last resort tactic, Godou used his armor to absorb all the dark energy released by the gate in an attempt to seal it. Iruva warned his actions will cause the armor to devour his body but Godou knew the consequences for Creacity would be worse without an immediate solution. Zango quickly deformed into its lost soul beast form, but also became petrified over the gate. Godou's gamble work, the gate has been sealed, but at the cost of his life. Mutsugi was unable to break through Zango's seal and needed another knight to help her. She wouldn't have that chance until three years later.

After 3 years of waiting, Mutsugi teamed up with Koyori, Souma Shirahane (Godou's son), and Ryūga Dōgai to revisit the gate. Mutsugi managed to misdirect Koyori and Ryūga long enough for her bring Souma to the gate's location first. It was then she revealed her true intentions and used the dark miasma to corrupt Souma. By the time Koyori and Ryūga made it to the gate's location, Souma was under Mutsugi's influence. Souma leaped towards Zango's petrified form and drove his sword into armor, causing it to crack and vaporize. The only remnant of the armor is Iruva.

Still under Mutsugi's influence, Souma fought Ryūga and Koyori fought Mutsugi. During Souma's struggle between Ryūga and his own ego, he overcame the darkness within himself and recovered Iruva. Without Zango, Mutsugi recovered the Forbidden Fruit and acquired 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; Ryūga executed the Dark Flash Sword Dance and defeated the Seducer. Their last great challenge is sealing the gate itself. As they look at the 10-headed dragon horror over the gate, Iruva spoke. She remarked that the dragon heads surrounding the gate belonged to a Horror they 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. Iruva recalls that Godou believed Souma has the ability to overcome the darkness and it makes him a worthy heir to the Zango armor. With their voice of confidence, 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 revealed how proud he was for Souma.

In the end, the Gate of Destruction was left behind as it couldn't be destroyed. Ryūga, Souma, Obi, Ron, and Koyori held a funeral for the fallen. Souma now wears Iruva as part of his silhouette. Although he's the heir to the Zango armor, Zango's sword and armor is forever lost. Souma has found closure with Zango and intends to carry on to protect people as a steel knight.

Variations[]

Lost Soul Beast Zango

Lost Soul Beast Zango

Lost Soul Beast (心滅獣身, Shinmetsu Jūshin)

The Lost Soul Beast form is usually achieved by the knight succumbing to its dark side or being overwhelmed with darkness. In Zango's situation, Godou realized the Gate of Destruction is opening and needs to find a way to seal it. Godou intentionally absorbed all the inga (dark energy) coming through the gate to prevent it from opening. As a result, Zango turned into its lost soul beast form, devouring Godou from within and petrifying its beastial form over the gate. It would hold as a interim seal for the next three years until Mutsugi brought Souma to the gate and manipulate him to destroy Zango's remains to open the seal.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • Despite its destruction because of Godou's sacrifice resulted from Mutsugi's betrayal coupled with Souma demolished what remained of it beside its Madōgu Iruva, it's unwise to rule out the prospect of Makai Order remade Zango in the original and its last wielder's memory.
    • Zango is also the latest known titled Makai Armor whose Madōgu survived despite the destruction of both Armor and Blade it paired with in the series.

See Also[]

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