SciFi Japan


    Source: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Official Movie Site: (Japan) Additional Material: Dan Ross and Keith Aiken Special Thanks to Tommy Nobuki Ohnakatomi


    From ancient times a type of demons known as “Horrors” have preyed upon mankind. But throughout history there has been a secret society of mystical warriors who have protected the human race. Only the Makai Knights whose powers are passed through family lineage have the strength to defeat the Horrors. A mysterious young man, Kouga Saejima, living in an old castle using the inherited sword and armor of the Golden Knight Garo, shines as one of the greatest Makai Knights. When fighting Horrors as Garo, Koga has a time limit of 99.9 seconds. When the time limit ends he must shed the armor or become a beast himself. Thus starts the ongoing saga of Garo and the Makai Knights. GARO was created by famed experimental director Keita Amemiya. His sometimes controversial productions include the brilliant yet poorly received television miniseries MIKAZUKI (???????, Tekkooki Mikazuki, 2000), ZEIRAM (????, Zeiramu, 1991), ZEIRAM 2 (????2, Zeiramu 2, 1994), MOON OVER TAO: MAKARAGA (????, Tao no Tsuki, 1997), CYBER NINJA (????, Mirai Ninja, 1988) and the original story concept on the anime series THE ADVENTURES OF TWEENY WITCHES (????????, Mahoo Shojotai Arusu, 2004). Though Amemiya had directed several episodes of the ultra popular sentai series JETMAN (??????????, Choojin Sentai Jettoman, 1991), his first real claim to fame was from his work on Kamen Rider and especially the short film MASKED RIDER ZO (??????ZO, Kamen Raidaa Zetto Oo, 1993), the previously mentioned Zeiram entries and the nutty, almost surrealistic Kikaida-inspired MECHANICAL VIOLATOR HAKAIDER (?????????, Jinzoo Ningen Hakaidaa, 1995). Though started as a late night tokusatsu series for adults, GARO has taken off in popularity and has spawned four followup productions to date. This includes a TV special, a theatrical feature film, spin-off video and the 2011-2012 television series GARO MAKAISENKI. The latest production being the movie GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON (?? ???????, Garo ~Sookoku no Maryuu, 2013) which seems to be cut of the same cloth as Tweeny Witches; delving into a more colorful, magical, fantastical and fanciful, almost Wizard of Oz, type of universe. This will supposedly be the final bow of Kouga Saejima (played by Ryosei Konishi) with a new hero taking his place in future productions. The following press notes and images are courtesy of Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, the production company and distributor of GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON...

    SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie.


    Over seven years, Garo has evolved into successful franchise. Each new Garo release sells approximately 10,000 to 20,000 DVD/Blu-ray copies in Japan, proving that a core fan base has been firmly established.

    Garo has also been a merchandising success, with a toyline released in early 2006 and a video game for PlayStation 2 in April 2006. The CR GARO pachinko machine was released in November 2008 and was followed by CR GARO: DAY OF DEATH OF THE YIN SELF in August 2010, CR GARO: RED REQUIEM in December 2010, CR KIBA in July 2011 and CR GARO 3 in March 2012. Garo machines released in 2008 achieved record sales of 125,000 units and can still be seen at various pachinko parlors all over Japan. The greatest charms of the Garo titles are their action sequences, the compelling storylines set in its own unique world and its CGI/visual effects. Throughout the series, the cast has successfully managed to perform action sequences with minimal use of stuntmen or body doubles, making Garo a standout among tokusatsu franchises. For the production of the GARO MAKAISENKI TV series a total amount of ¥1 billion (equivalent to $12.5 million US) was spent, which enabled the creative team to achieve a high level of CGI/visual effects. This created tremendous media buzz for the series as GARO MAKAISENKI delivered visual effects beyond what could be seen in other late night television series. Tohokushinsha Film Corporation is now more than pleased to introduce you to the latest installment of Garo. Drastically changing from past entries, which were mainly aiming at fans of visual effects, this latest feature film will be a compelling dark fantasy based on the theme of "the fabulousness of human beings who can create things”, which will appeal to a wider audience. Budgeted at ¥500 million (equivalent to $6,250,000 US), GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON will open at 90 theaters across Japan on February 23, 2013. Director Keita Amemiya is confident that he has created an entertainment film for the new generation using his view of the world of Garo as well as the advanced technology of visual effects!


    GARO (??, 2005) Television Series Creator/Chief Director: Keita Amemiya Writer: Keita Amemiya, Kengo Kaji, Yuji Kobayashi, Sotaro Hayashi, Kei Taguchi Action Director: Makoto Yokoyama Cast: Ryosei Konishi, Mika Hijii, Ray Fujita, Masaki Kyomoto Produced by: Bandai Co., Ltd., Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc., TV TOKYO Corporation The original GARO television series was first broadcast from October 7, 2005 to March 31, 2006 on TV TOKYO networks. A total of 25 episodes ran in the late night 30 minute time slot. It is a hyper midnight action drama, building a fan base among adults, unlike other tokusatsu hero series, through its own dark and unusual world, stylish images using all the visual effects technologies and splendid and dynamic action sequences. People were attracted by a story of a hero Kouga Saejima who became Garo the Golden Knight and destroys the dark demonic manifestations called Horrors who eat the souls of humans, and a brilliant character design by chief director Keita Amemiya, spectacular actions by action director Makoto Yokoyama and transformation and action sequences using the visual effects technologies captured the attention of many adults. The series was released in 7 volumes on DVD and Blu-ray by Bandai Visual, selling approximately 10,000 units per volume.

    GARO SPECIAL: BYAKUYA NO MAJU (?? ????? ?????, GARO Supesharu Byakuya no Majuu, Garo Special: Demon Beast of the Midnight Sun, 2006) TV special Creator/Director: Keita Amemiya Writer: Itaru Era Action Director: Makoto Yokoyama Cast: Ryosei Konishi, Ray Fujita, Shouma Yamamoto, Mika Hijii, Yasue Sato Produced by: Bandai Visual Co., Ltd., Tohokushinsha Film Corporation At the end of the original series, Kouga heads North only to find a group of Makai Priestesses under attack by a legion of Horrors led by Lord Legules, who wants to disrupt the Midnight Sun ceremony and thus plunge the world into eternal darkness. Kouga is given the quest to save his old friend Jabi (Sato Yasue from ULTRAMAN NEXUS, 2004-2005) who had been presumed dead. GARO SPECIAL: BYAKUYA NO MAJU was first broadcast on on television in two parts with Part 1 (60 min.) premiering December 15, 2006 and Part 2 (60 min.) on December 22, 2006 on CS channel Family Gekijo. Both parts were released separately on DVD and Blu-ray from Bandai Visual, with each volume having sold 10,000 units.

    GARO THE MOVIE 3D: RED REQUIEM (?? ?RED REQUIEM?, 2010) Theatrical Feature Film Creator/Director: Keita Amemiya Writer: Itaru Era & Keita Amemiya Action Director: Makoto Yokoyama Cast: Ryosei Konishi, Mary Matsuyama, Yousuke Saito, Akira Nakao Produced by: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Distributed by: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation & GO CINEMA, Inc. The seven Horrors, demonic apostles considered the most evil monsters in existence, descend on the human realm. Kouga embarks on a journey to annihilate the Horrors. The first Garo feature film was shot in 3D. It opened in approximately 60 movie theaters (including the Shinjuku Wald 9) across Japan on October 30, 2010, earning office receipts of ¥150 million. The DVD and Blu-ray editions were released in August, 2011 by Pony Canyon and have sold 20,000 units.

    KIBA GAIDEN (? ????????, KIBA: Ankoku Kishi Gaiden, Kiba: Dark Knight Side Story, 2011) Original Video Title Director: Keita Amemiya Writer: Keita Amemiya Action director: Makoto Yokoyama Cast: Masaki Kyomoto, Mika Hijii, Leah Dizon Produced by: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation The original video title KIBA GAIDEN was an experimental piece using a lot of 2D animation for storytelling elements. KIBA GAIDEN recounts the origins of the Dark Knight Kiba, played by Masaki Kyomoto (MASKED RIDER BLACK, ULTRAMAN GREAT, ULTRAMAN TIGA, ULTRAMAN DYNA, CUTIE HONEY), the main villain of the first GARO series. KIBA GAIDEN was released on DVD and Blu-ray in September, 2011. The title has sold 10,000 units to date.

    GARO: MAKAISENKI (?? ?MAKAISENKI?, 2011) Television Series Creator/Director: Keita Amemiya Writer: Itaru Era & Keita Amemiya Action Director: Makoto Yokoyama Cast: Ryosei Konishi, Ray Fujita, Shouma Yamamoto, Ozuno Nakamura, Mary Matsuyama, Yuriko Hishimi Produced by: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Distributed by: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation During a fight with a Horror, Kouga is marked by a mysterious tattoo, a "Seal of Destruction" which signals a countdown to his impending doom. While unraveling who put it there and how to deal with his new antagonist, more is learned about the world of the Makai Priesthood and Kouga`s compatriot Rei Suzumura, the Silver Knight Zero, played by GARO stalwart Ray Fujita (MASKED RIDER FAIZ). GARO: MAKAISENKI was the second Garo television series, broadcast for 24 episodes on the TV TOKYO network from October 6, 2011 to March 22, 2012. Prior to the show`s debut, theatrical preview screenings of GARO: MAKAISENKI were held at cinemas in six cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Hiroshima) including the Cinelibre Ikebukuro. The entire series was shown as three episode features with the first theatrical preview on September 24, 2011 and the final three episodes screening on February 18, 2012. These late night screenings had box office sales of ¥25 million. GARO: MAKAISENKI was also promoted with a booth at Tokyo International Anime Fair which attracted 10,000 visitors in 2 days.


    In order to save the life of a Makai Knight who is embedded with the destiny of destruction, Kouga has no choice but to make a contract with Gajari, the ultimate source of power. After rescuing the Knight, Kouga must fulfill his obligation with Gajari by bringing back the seventh fang of Gajari from the Promised Land. He knows that very few who have visited the Promised Land ever returned, but Kouga makes up his mind to honor the contract. But when he wakes up in the Promised Land, he realizes that his three sacred treasures (Zaruba ring, white clerical garment and the sword of Garo) were missing and he cannot summon his golden armor to become Garo. With help from fellows whom he meets along his journey through the Promised Land, Kouga retrieves his sacred treasures. Eventually, Kouga discovers that the seventh fang of Gajari is hidden in the body of an evil dragon nested in the Promised Land. With sword in hand, Kouga and his allies challenge the evil dragon to a final battle!


    • After a series of successful installments over a 7-year period, the latest feature film of Garo sends a message to modern Japan -- how human beings can create wonderful things.

    • The highest level of action sequences and compelling CGI/visual effects will draw viewers into an exciting story of the different world in which this dark fantasy film is set. • Separate from the other installments of Garo titles, Kouga now has to fight alone to save humans. • Continuing from the last episode from the GARO: MAKAISENKI TV series, in which Kouga leaves for the Promised Land, this feature film depicts the final story of Kouga Saejima. • The setting of GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON is a different world, which is neither the real world nor Makai, depicting mysterious animals and plants, weird landscapes, and phenomena not relying upon physics. • At the beginning of GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON, Kouga Saejima loses his important three sacred treasures, i.e. Zaruba ring, white clerical garment and the sword of Garo. On his journey to defeat the dragon, Kouga manages to retrieve these important items and finally emerges as the famous Golden Knight Garo.


    Kouga Saejima/ Garo the Golden Knight (played by Ryosei Konishi) A Makai Knight holding the title of Garo, Kouga Saejima makes contract with the powerful being Gajari in order to protect the lives of his ally knights. Kouga arrives in a strange world, the Promised Land, to fulfill the contract. Kouga has a strong presence of mind, and is the most powerful Makai Knight. Ryosei Konishi Movie Credits Jan. 2009: HANA GUERILLA (????) - leading role Oct. 2009: NIGHTMARE ELEVATOR (?????????) Aug. 2010: KAMISAMA HELP! (?????!) Oct. 2010: GARO THE MOVIE 3D: RED REQUIEM - leading role Ryosei Konishi TV Credits Apr. 2010: SENGOKUNABE TV (?????) on TVK Ryosei Konishi Stage Performances Dec. 2003-Jan. 2004: “The Prince of Tennis Musical Remarkable 1st match” Jun. 2004: “The Prince of Tennis Concert Dream Live 1st” Dec. 2004-Jan. 2005: “The Prince of Tennis Musical in winter 2004-2005 side Fudomine – special match” Jun.-Oct. 2007: “Les Miserables” Musical 2007 Mar.-Nov. 2009: “Les Miserables” Musical 2009 Aug.-Sep. 2011: “Dracula” Musical, Graz, Austrian version Apr. 2012: “Eye of Clown”

    Mado Ring Zaruba (voiced by Hironobu Kageyamaa) Zaruba is the partner of Garo the Golden Knight. He was originally a Horror, but was sealed in by Makai priests and transformed into a ring. He can detect other Horrors, has a good knowledge of Makai and also provides Kouga with intelligence support.

    Kakashi (played by Yuki Kubota) Kakashi is a colorful living scarecrow in the Promised Land. Like Kouga, he is also searching for the seventh fang of Gajari. Yuki Kubota Stage Performances Aug. 2009: “Boundary of sky – Story of Izo Okada” at Big Tree Theater, Ikebukuro Theater Green (leading role of Izo Okada) Dec. 2009-Mar. 2010: “The Prince of Tennis Musical The Final Match Rikkai Second feat. The Rivals” (role of Keigo Atobe) Apr. 2010: “Sengoku Basara –Souku Kyoto” Stage performance at Sunshine Theater (leading role of Masamune Date) May. 2010: “The Prince of Tennis Musical Dream Live 7th” (role of Keigo Atobe) Oct. 2011: “Sengoku Basara 3” Stage performance at Ion cosmetics Theater (role of Masamune Date) Jan. 2012: “Ludvico plus+ vol.3-4 different dimension stage The Blooming Princess Final” Stage performance at Sunshine Theater (role of Li-ren Fand) May. 2012: “Sengoku Basara 2” Stage performance at Le Theatre GINZA (Tokyo) (role of Masamune Date)

    Meru (played by Anna Aoi) Meru is a blue girl who meets Kouga in the Promised Land. She has a power to shake trees and manipulate the water. She helps Kouga when he enters a shrine where Zaruba sleeps. “Meru" means “loved one” in the old Makai language. Anna Aoi TV Credits FLUNK PUNK RUMBLE (????????????) TV drama series on JNN KIDS PLANET (???????) on NHK ?? Kids station - regular member KING`S BRANCH (???????) on JNN – regular reporter on Saturday Second place at IDOL CHAMPIONSHIP PUSH 1 on BS Fuji KARIYUSHI SENSEI CHIBARU! (?????????!) TV drama series on TXN - role of Mina Enoki


    Running Time: 96 Minutes Production Budget: ¥500 million World Premiere: October 22, 2012 (Tokyo International Film Festival) Japanese Release Date: February 23, 2013 (nationwide)

    Advance poster for GARO AND THE WAILING DRAGON. © 2012 Keita Amemiya / Tohokushinsha Film Corporation

    Cast Kouga Saejima: Ryosei Konishi Meru: Anna Aoi Kakashi: Yuki Kubota Chieri Shibata Miki Kawagoe Rei Suzumura: Ray Fujita Tsubasa Yamagatana: Shouma Yamamoto Reo: Ozuno Nakamura Hiroyuki Watanabe Zaruba (voice): Hironobu Kageyama Judam: Keiko Matsuzaka Kaoru Mitsuki: Mika Hiji Kiria: Yukijiro Hotaru Raudo: Yukari Okuda Esaruto: Tetsuya Yanagihara Staff Creator/ Writer/ Director: Keita Amemiya Executive Producer: Kiyotaka Ninomiya Associate Producer: Kentaro Yoshida Producers: Kanako Natsui, Hirohumi Yamabe, Hiyoshi Mamada Action Director: Akira Ohashi Music: Shunji Inoue, Jam Project and others Cinematographer: Akira Nishioka Lighting: Sousuke Yoshikado Production Designer: Masanori Takeuchi Costume: Hiroko Miyata Makeup: Mariko Honda VFX Supervisor: Shigeyuki Nakagawa Production: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Theatrical Distributor: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Worldwide Sales/Licensing: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation © 2012 Keita Amemiya / Tohokushinsha Film Corporation

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