Rape: Oh God, OH GOD with the rape! If there's one thing that Miura has drilled in our head for damn sure, it's that nobody is safe from rape in this series. In fact, rape is so prevalent in the series that you can even consider it a theme. Here's how:
Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: NOPE. Some fans actually try to use this double standard to discredit Casca's ordeal, saying that she should have "gotten over it," using Guts' rape ordeal at the hands of Donovan as an example, saying that he got over it. Heh heh... er, no. No he didn't. Male-on-male rape is just as impactful as male-on-female rape in Berserk.
Rape and Revenge: The three main characters have all been sexually abused or assualted at one point in their lives, and they all exacted revenge/justice on their assailant later.
Also, Guts' Roaring Rampage of Revenge had undertones of this, since Griffith raping Casca and driving her insane was what drove Guts to revenge the most.
Rape as Backstory: As mentioned above and below, all the main characters have some sort of sexual abuse involved in their backstory.
Rape as Drama: Multiple occurrences throughout the series including child Guts being raped by a mercenary, scarring him for life, the most heinous example happening to Casca.
Rape Discretion Shot: In the anime. We see Femto positioning himself over Casca, but his Cape Wings cover Casca's lower body so we can't actually see the physical rape going on. This is in part with the Lighter and Softer aspect of the anime, since the way that Casca's rape was animated was far more lenient for the viewer than how the manga depicted it.
Another subtle version is this scene. Yes, Slanis forcing herself on Guts here, more precisely she's forcing him to give her oral sex.
Rape, Pillage, and Burn: This happens a lot in the series. Wyald especially enjoys carrying out this trope, especially especially the raping part.
Scarpia Ultimatum: At the Battle of Doldrey, General Adon shoots Casca with a poison dart, which hinders her speed during battle. He literally has Casca up against the wall, but says that he would let her go if she becomes his "captive." Since it was implied that he was bargaining for her life and not the lives of her entire company for sex, it's averted.
Sex Slave: What the noble who visited Casca's village really wanted her for. Also, Guts was sold as one for a night.
You Would Make A Great Maid Girl: The noble who approached Casca's family gave them the pretense that he wanted her as a servant for his castle. This was not the case at all.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Believe it or not, they exist. Farnese's father, when confronted with a bastard son (namely a young Serpico), rather than having the boy disposed of, calmly explains why he can't legitimize the boy (he has three legitimate male heirs already, a fourth would just make things worse for everyone) and then arranges for the kid to gain a title and position in his household.
Rebel Relaxation: Guts and Casca do a lot of the folding their arms and leaning against a wall/pole/tree position. They're not always trying to be rebellious, but trying to retain their cool and collected personas instead.
Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed with Farnese, who becomes one because of her parenting (or lack thereof), and this earns her the social isolation it would earn her in real life medieval Europe.
Recruiting the Criminal: The Black Dog Knights is made up of the worst murderers, rapists and all around scum that Midland has to offer.
Red Baron: The Band of the Hawk was known as the "grim reapers of the battlefield." Badass.
Guts gets the moniker "100 man slayer" while he was in the Band and The Black Swordsman after he went on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Guts is the Red Oni, while Griffith is the Blue Oni. Also, Guts and Serpico.
Guts and Griffith's differences are also highlighted by almost every aspect of their appearences and personalities. Guts is a tall, masculine, heavily muscled, crew-cut, black-haired, brown-eyedgiant of a man who's preferred weapon is a BFS, whilst Griffith is a small, thin, effeminate, blue-eyed, Pretty Boy who uses a rapier-like saber like a scalpel. Even their personalities are different, with Guts being straightforward, ernest, crude, somewhat thick about non-combat matters, who doesn't think too hard about why he acts, while Griffith is mysterious, charismatic, intelligent, well-read, and introspective. Their only truely shared trait is their incredible mental drive to accomplish their goals; even then, Guts really doesn't want to hurt innocent people at the expense of his goals, but Griffith doesn't mind manipulating people in order to accomplish his.
The 2012 anime is even color-coding them appropriately, outfitting Guts with a red cape and Griffith with one that's blue on the inside.
Red Right Hand: Nearly all demons are obviously not entirely normal even before they go One-Winged Angel. On occasion this is how Guts gets pointed to one.
Some have pointed out that Guts having slightly pointier ears and teeth than other humans (not to mention his phenomenal physical strength and endurance, even before magic got involved,) might be evidence of him not being entirely human. Since he was born from a hanged woman and nobody has the faintest idea who his father might have been, it is a distinct possibility.
Redemption in the Rain: While not redeeming himself per se, Guts has a life-changing epiphany in the rain after the Eclipse, when he gives his famous screw destiny speech and swears to hunt down all of the apostles and kill them.
Reforged Blade: This trope was used literally but also figuratively in a very clever way. After returning to Godo's cabin only to find Casca gone, Guts confronts Godo, who is dying. He inspects Guts' sword, noting all of the knicks that it has accumulated and tells him that it is in need of repair... but what really needs to be repaired is Guts' heart, which has been knicked, stratched, and broken after years of hiding away from his sadness in hate instead of being with the only person he's loved: he was sword,but without its sheath. That night, Guts finally realizes his mistakesand vows to never make the same one again. Meanwhile, Godo uses the last of his strength to reforge the Dragonslayer, and in the morning light, Guts is given his reward, both of which are reforged for his mission. Mag-nificent.
First there's the resentment that Farnese feels toward Casca. Even though Casca's state has made Guts' job difficult (in one chapter, Guts nearly drowns when he saves Casca after she fell overboard trying to get away from him), not a day goes by that Guts doesn't think about Casca and their brief time together years before. Guts is still completely devoted to Casca's cause, and most of his major decisions weigh in the well-being of Casca. In fact, this was a major reason why Guts agreed to go and convince Farnese and Serpico to come back with the group, as Farnese is Casca's caretaker and Casca is only really cooperative with her. However, not only does Farnese harbor feelings for Guts, but she feels like a huge liability to the group and strives to master witchcraft in order to be of more use to Guts and earn more of his merit (and perhaps even his romantic recognition). But beyond being Casca's caretaker, Guts doesn't give too much thought to Farnese (not that he hates having her around). For that, Casca has earned a bit of resentment from Farnese.
Then there's the resentment Sonia has toward Princess Charlotte. As we all know, Charlotte is Griffith's Meal Ticket to the throne (yes, even after he became a Nigh InvulnerableGod of Evil, but it's for show) and is now her fiance. Aside from her birthright, there is not much use for Charlotte... and little Sonia agrees with this so much that she even made a sonnet of sorts, describing Princess Charlotte as a useless duck and herself as a kite, a bird that is in much better ranks with a hawk (who is Griffith), since Sonia, who has clairvoyance - and is therefore more in-tuned to the supernatural world that Griffith is a part of - feels much more worthy of Griffith than Charlotte ever can.
Rescue Arc: The latter half of the Conviction/Retribution arc focuses on Guts's quest to rescue and reunite with Casca after she wanders away from the safety of the cave and is captured first by pagans who wanted to initiated her into their cult and then by Holy Iron Chain Knights who want to burn her at the stake as a witch.
Also, the Griffith rescue operation that occurred between volumes 10 and 11.
Rescue Romance: Subverted with Casca's Precocious Crush on Griffith, later turned Hero-Worshipper, which started when he saved her from a sexual assault. Played straight with she and Guts, after he aided her during the Blue Whale Knights battle and their relationship grew from there.
Rescue Sex: Guts prevents Casca from committing suicide by falling off a cliff. Moments later, love-making ensues.
Their moment could also constitute as Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex, since the two had just won a victory over a group of soldiers who tried to thwart the Band of the Hawk (not to mention Casca wasn't thinking of suicide anytime afterward).
Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: After the infamous ending of the anime and the turning point of the manga, less serious elements were introduced, ranging from a parody of Kid Hero and samurai tropes, to mermaids fighting pirates. There are rumors that this was due to Executive Meddling.
Riding into the Sunset: How Guts and Casca (and Puck) exit the Retribution arc at the end of volume 21. After the collapse of the Tower of Conviction, they get separated from the surviving party when the Kushan army makes its appearance. The rest of the group believe that they're as good as dead... but then see that Guts managed to mount one of their horses and slaughtered his way through the masses in order to get he and Casca to safety, riding off into the distance after.
Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Guts' first phase of his greatest second chance consisted of this when he forfeited his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, with him plowing nonstop from Godo's hut in the snowy mountains to the barren wastelands of St. Albion in order to look for and save a missing Casca. Nothing, not apostles nor the Kushan or the conflict between the Holy See and the Pagans, was going to keep Guts from reaching Casca.
The Black Dog, the manifestation of Guts' anger and hatred, gets pretty pissed when Guts tries to stop being, well, a Berserker, and tries to tempt him back into this, saying that if Guts were to just rape and kill Casca (and not necessarily in that order) they could go back to brutally murdering every apostle they come across and anyone who tries to stop them.
Robbing the Dead: Defied: Guts has just killed a bunch of thieves just paid off by Griffith (so they can't bear witness) and is about to take back the gold when Griffith stops him.
Role Reprisal: While the voice cast for the Japanese anime was Darrin'd out, the main cast of the English dub returned. Vocal Evolution ensues as Marc Diraison, Kevin T. Collins, and Carrie Keranen, the respective voice actors of Guts, Griffith, and Casca, have gotten at least a decades worth of additional voice acting experience under their belt.
Satanic Archetype: The five members of the Godhand are very much Satanic Archetypes. Not only do they rule over all demonkind, but they also make deals with mortals to become demons themselves by sacrificing those closest to them. Void, the de facto leader of the Godhand who marks people for sacrifice; and Femto, the newest member who has committed some of the nastiest evil acts we've seen out of the five so far and is even blood-red in the first anime, particularly stand out.
Save the Princess: While Guts' mission is to Find the Cure for his lover, one of Griffith's missions upon being reincarnated in the physical plane was to save Princess Charlotte from Ganishka.
In the edited version of Descent, some ferns are used to obscure Guts' and Casca's nether regions when they prepare to have intercourse. The unedited version doesn't reveal that much more... but it's pretty obvious what Guts is doing with his hand down there.
Scenery Gorn: Miura loves to draw frightening places strewn with mangled and decayed corpses and indescribable horrors in intricate detail...
Scenery Porn: ...And the same can be said for many pleasant-looking and beautiful locations
Schizo Tech: Played with regarding Guts' prosthetic arm, which can equip a high-volume repeating crossbow and hides a man-portable gunpowder cannon. However, seeing as both these things actually existed in medieval Europe, the only thing schizo about the arm is the fact that Guts' fake hand is shown gripping his sword - and that's finally been Hand Waved as a magnet.
Shotacon: Donovan, the soldier who Gambino sold Guts to for one night, liked little boys a little too much.
Governor Gennon of Doldrey, whom Griffith had to sleep with in order to get the funds for his growing mercenary band, and who had many young boys attending him.
Schedule Slip: Kentaro Miura's irregular scheduling is legendary.
Second Act Breakup: By the end of the Golden Age arc, Guts leaves insane Casca to hunt Griffith and the God Hand, and, at least in the Dark Horse Comics translations, she is referred to as his ex-lover. However, her status is primarily due to the unfortunate and tragic circumstances of her insanity where she and Guts can't physically love each other; the two were very much in love with each other before the Eclipse and Guts remains in love with Casca despite her condition.
Secret Underground Passage: How the Griffith rescue team infiltrated Wyndam after their exile. They used an old passage way in a graveyard that was once used by the royal family in order to gain passage to a mausoleum inside the city. HUU-ROAR!
Security Blanket: Ever since Guts was a small child training as a mercenary, he was often seen sleeping with his BFS. He kept on this tradition into his adult years, saying that he gets restless if he sleeps without it.
Security Cling: Happens twice during the Griffith rescue. First, Casca clings onto Guts' cape when she gets anxious during the operation, and later, Charlotte does this to crippled Griffith when she gets frightened during Guts' Extreme Melee Revenge rampage. This trope is most commonly scene post-Eclipse from Casca, who clings to Farnese whenever she is fearful of something.
Sex Equals Love: Can be applied to a minimal degree with Guts and Casca after they are reunited after a year and consummate their relationship no more than 24-hours after Guts' return, thus becoming official. They were falling for each other prior to their separation though, but neither of them acted on it until it was too late. When they do get together, it's very realistic, since they aren't spouting love sonnets to one another, but the love and affection is there.
Sexy Discretion Shot: Happens in the anime when Guts and Casca make love. They kiss, Casca has an inner monologue about her Love Epiphany, then a white-out showing Casca being lowered to the ground with no visible top on, and then a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame of Guts and Casca kissing and embracing each other, which was actually taken from a scene in the manga - though a lot more censored. After another white-out, it just shows Guts and Casca the morning after.
Shameful Strip: Played for horror during the Eclipse with - you guessed it - Casca. Her humiliation only got worse.
Ship Tease: Normally avoided, as most ships tend to "sail" relatively quickly. There's still been oodles of teasing between Guts and Griffith, though. And the relationship between Isidro and Schierke has a lot of elements of Slap-Slap-KissPuppy Love; they just haven't quite gotten to the "Kiss" portion yet. 'Course, they're still just kids, so that one may take a while.
Shirtless Captives: Happens to Griffith when he is captured by the Midland army for his [[spoilers: tryst with Princess Charlotte]]. Amped up in the movie where he's not only stripped shirtless, but completely naked with a full frontal view. Happens to Guts on more than one occasion and one can only wonder if Farnese is going to do the same to Guts as was already done to Griffith in any future movie.
The Godhand seem very much like his take on the Cenobites from Hellraiser especially Void's face resembling Chatter's. Also Guts calls his iron arm 'groovy' in volume 14 though that could have been the translator's doing.
This may very well be unintentional, but Griffith's helm, especially as Femto, bears an uncanny resemblance to Winslow's Owl Mask from Phantom of the Paradise.
Then again the two share more than headgear. Winslow is imprisoned for life, becomes a disfigured mute, and is driven by obsession into a Faustian contract. Not to mention his full costume includes the helmet, black lipstick, cape, and a black body suit.
Guts' new Berserker armor makes him look like an armored Batman if he's in control.
Show, Don't Tell: Miura is extrememly talented when it comes to communicating without text via the subtle expressions of his characters. You could say this series has exellent actors, even tough they are ink on paper...
Shower of Angst: After being raped by Griffith, we first see Casca under a waterfall.
Sick and Wrong: When Guts was fighting the swine apostle, Godo commented that it was sickening to him to think of how many people that monster must have killed.
Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: For this, let's focus on the Golden Age Arc, since it's the only arc of the story to receive animated adaptations thus far: the 1997 animated TV series and the 2012-13 movie trilogy. To start, both adaptations can be considered pragmatic, since both aren't 100% accurate to the source material but remain accurate and recognizable enough. The difference lies in how each medium arranges events, themes, and characterization.
The TV series focused a lot more on the characterization between the main characters themselves AND between minor characters and was more linearly true to the manga timeline (up to and including the fact that the story starts In Medias Res). The theme of camaraderie is much more pronounced since the TV series spanned 25 episodes, thus giving it much more time to expand on these elements. Though there were a lot more battle sequences in the TV adaptation than there were in the manga, it's still not action dominate as these scenes were used to, again, expand on the theme of friendship and teamwork. The supernatural elements, however, were downplayed, examples being how many supernatural characters were not introduced until the last few episode during the prelude of the Eclipse (many of the apostles) or were not featured at all (Puck, Skull Knight, Wyald). Also, gore and sexual violence was downplayed a substantial degree, possibly since it was aired on TV though female nudity and rape was still present.
The movie trilogy is also pragmatic, but acts much like a non-comical abridged version of the source material. Since there are only three movies that are only about an hour or so long (the third film is a bit longer) a lot more had to be cut or re-arranged and characterization is largely limited to that of the three main characters; some newcomers to the series might be unaware of some concepts and themes without being referred to the source material. Though some important scenes were cut or downplayed naked water fight, Griffith's history with Gennon, and the campfire of dreams scene to name a few the creators did add other tidbits Puck and Skull Knight not only made their animated debut finally, but Farnese and Serpico are seen at the ball scene! and made other scenes a lot more emotional having Guts and Casca dance together at the ball; Griffith's sex scene with Charlotte making these changes and additions all over worthwhile. Since these are theatrical releases, gore is played exactly how it was in the original manga (bloody battle sequences are featured primarily because newer animation techniques allowed for more graphic detail), and more disturbingly, sexual violence is played up in the movies. Some fans even go as far as saying that the third movie, which covers the infamous Eclipse event, is actually worse than the manga depiction.
Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Definitely horror dominant. Most often, whenever comedy is presented during a suspenseful moment, it does not take away from the mood. Some examples take place immediately after the Eclipse, such as when Rickert, upon receiving the unconscious, mutilated, and violated bodies of Guts and Casca from the Skull Knight, makes a brief SD face at the sight of Nosferatu Zodd, or when Erika trips down the stairs in the elf cave where Guts and Casca are recuperating after the Eclipse, causing quite a moment of Mood Whiplash, but the drama returns moments later when Guts sees Casca's post-Eclipse state and has a Freak Out as a result. It's otherwise interesting to point out that Berserk does not rely on Black Comedy for its humor, rather opting for sarcastic comedy. That said...
Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: Since the Berserk-verse is highly dictated by causality, the scale tips between "Because Destiny Says So" and "Fighting Fate Is Hard." Guts, who struggles against causality, is either not able to truly overcome it or just barely gets by, maintaining the struggle indefinitely. The God Hand compare him to a fish which can leap out of the river, but can't change its flow.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Slides between Level 4 (Men Are More Equal) and Level 5 (Almost Perfectly Equal), because overall, the women who are most crucial to the plot or arc either contribute something and/or are competent enough to get out of sticky situations on their own, even if they aren't bona fideaction girls. Heck - even Princess Charlotte has her moments! On the other hand, background women are usually complete sluts or are completely useless and are only present to be raped and killed off, which would be at Level 2 (Whores, Whores, Whores...) and 3 (Male Superiority).
The manga has become a fair amount lighter than it was in the past. It was oppressively dark back after the Golden Age arc, but more recently it has felt a fair amount lighter. The addition of multiple kids to the gang probably helped...heck, the fact that Guts is no longer travelling alone is enough to make it easier to take. This is not to say the comic is not dark. It still very much is. But not quite as dark as it was.
Isidro, too. He's small, he's revoltingly annoying, and he tends to act like an animal (especially after pissing off Schierke).
Smitten Teenage Girl: Princess Charlotte on Griffith and then Sonia, who is even more childish and shallow about it.
The Smurfette Principle: Interesting case for this series. While there's a healthy cast of female characters, Casca was the only main female characters for the first fifteen or so volumes, and is still considered one of the three main characters of the story. Not only that, but she was the only female member of the original Band of the Hawk, and still remains the series only genuine Action Girl, albeit she's in remissionfor the time being.
While the above is true, there are obvious reasons why women were not so frequent in mercenary camps as fighters, and seeing that main characters tend to be the fighting type, it's mainly justified to have only a few (one) girl.
Snow Means Death / Snow Means Love: Combined twice. Once when Casca tries to dissuade Guts from leaving the Hawks, right before the Guts vs Griffith showdown. Also when she screams Guts' name upon watching him walking away after defeating Griffith. The second time when Guts fights off snow demons in order to protect post-eclipse Casca. Even before that, Guts makes his vow that he would never leave Casca like he did two year prior again as they leave Godo's house for the last time as it begins to snow.
Soundtrack Dissonance: I don't know about you, but having to hear that same song right after seeing Guts in utter physical and emotional agony from having to watch Casca get raped to insanity is REALLY unsettling.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The power of the apostles varies widely. Ranging from "Man eating predator that loves to bite your head off" via "Giant insect that flies with super sonic speed" to "Towering behemoth that makes Godzilla look puny". How strong an apostle can get seems to be related to the severity of the sacrifice that was made. In true Shonen style, the monsters Guts fights of course happen to get more dangerous with every new encounter.
Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Well, Guts always had a BFS to begin with, but when he started hunting apostles, he had to get an even biggerBFS in order to actually do some damage to their bodies (bonus points in that the Dragon Slayer is magically upgrading itself as the story progresses). Same can be said for the various armors that he wears, each a bit better than the last set, until Guts finally gained the Berserker armor (unfortunately, it is a case of being a doubled-edged sword).
Spell My Name with an S: Oh, lordy. Given how long the series has been going (all the way back into the early 90s), there's been a ton of ways of spelling many of the character names over the years. Gatts vs. Guts vs. Gutsu vs. etc.
Other prominent examples: Farnese/Farneze/Parnesse, Isidro/Ishidoro, Casca/Caska/Kaska/Kjaskar, Puck/Pak, Rosine/Roshinu (this one's still very popular). Schierke in particular caused everyone to facepalm when she debuted because nobody was sure what that was supposed to be in English; "Silke" was popular for a while until her name was actually printed later on.
In universe, we have Isidro giving his name as Ijidodo when he gets so beat up he gets mush-mouthed, which his opponent takes as his name.
Even more common is Sys/Shisu, with no one ever realizing the latter is simply a romanization of the Japanese pronunciation of her name, much like Rosine/Roshinu.
Notably, several decades after the manga's debut, there's a lot of suspicion that a once-universally accepted translation was in error; with all the recent talk of "Falconia" and Miura's indication that one arc should be called "Millenium Falcon" (for the obvious reference on several levels), many people suspect the proper name of Griffith's mercenary company should be "Band of the Falcon", not "Band of the Hawk". (This was caused by the word for both birds being the same in Japanese.) Two decades of fandom inertia make it basically impossible to correct in the zeitgeist at this point, however, and Band of the Hawk remains as the official translation.
Another famous one is also the Clingy MacGuffin of the story: Behelit/Beherit/Berith. The actual spelling IS Beherit, which is one of the many variants of the pagan idol of Judeo-Christian demonology known as Baal-Berith.
The Squadette: Casca, Farnese, and Sonia are in their respective parties, but only one of them was an actual Action Girl. Guess.
Standard Female Grab Area: Subverted pre-Eclipse, where Guts and Casca get into an argument, escalating when Guts grabs Casca by the arm, stopping her in her tracks, but she eventually snatches her arm away from his grip when Griffith arrives on the scene. Post-Eclipse, this serves as another unfortunate deconstruction of Casca's behavior, since she now doesn't like being touched - especially by men - and is understandably terrified whenever somebody grabs her.
Standard Hero Reward: Would have happened if all had gone according to plan for Griffith the first time.... Later on, it pretty much happens when Griffith defeats Emperor Ganishka with his Apostle army and his dream kingdom, Falconia, becames real, along with having Princess Charlotte's hand in marriage.
Justified in that the mechanism is visible (hook on his back, ring on the sword, leather strap with a notch for the end of the blade), and even used for effect (said leather strap looks like a stereotypical pointed devil's tail when the sword is drawn).
Sunk Cost Fallacy: The entire reason behind Griffith's dream. So many lives were lost in his pursuit of it, that he feels he cannot abandon it lest he render all of those deaths meaningless. The Godhand use this to their advantage in convincing him to go through with sacrificing his army.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The New Band of the Hawk is strangely similar to the Original Band: Griffith is still the leader but then Sonia is Casca (the only female and infatuated with Griffith except she's not an Action Girl), Mule is Rickert (a naļve kid), Locus is Judeau (the nicest and most considerate of all), Rakshas is Corkus (not seen acting much and rather smug) and Grunbeld is Pippin (although he's more talkative but the war hammer is still there).
Last but not least, Irvine is... Guts. Yes, seriously. Compare their attitudes: Guts was at first aloof, solitary, dismissive and usually avoided his comrades in the Hawks .... just like Irvine is. Irvine has developed a relationship with the band's sole female Sonia which strengthened after he saved her life ... just like Guts and Casca back in the days. Plus his Apostle form is strangely similar to The Beast, Guts' Enemy Within.
Not to mention their inclination to Nice Hats. Suspicious... but tasteful!
I always thought Nosferatu Zodd was Guts; both are Griffith's right hand man, both are phenomenally ferocious BloodKnights who love to fight just for the sake of it (at least before Guts' Character Development), both are prone to spending long periods sitting and brooding before being approached and called to battle, both are unstoppable LightningBruisers, both can be trusted to perform tasks other than straight-up fighting ( assassination for Guts and rescuing Princess Charlotte for Zodd), both are fiercely loyal to Griffith beyond the call of duty, and both have a head injury they never recover from (Guts lost an eye, Zodd lost a horn). The connection between Guts and Zodd is also brought out by their relationship with each other, where they constantly clash without decisively beating the other, and where they respect each other as Worthy Opponents (as much as Guts is capable of respecting any apostle).
Also, it should be noted that although they are not full-out carbon copies of the original Hawks as Griffith's new crew basically is, some of Guts' companions have shades of the personalities that the deceased Hawks had. For instance, Serpico is a counterpart of Griffith, being Guts' new Blue Oni and is a rapier-wielding Bishōnen who is also pretty well cultured from his noble upbringing. Those are where most similarities end, however, seeing that Serpico has more in the sarcasm department and less in the sociopathic one in contrast with Griffith and is much more good of heart. Isidro has the smugness of Corkus but the physical aptitude of Judeau, being a dual wielder of daggers.
Sword over Head: Subverted during the final fight scene between Guts and Rosine. After mortally striking Rosine down, Guts closes in to deal the finishing blow - only he is unable too. Not because he stopped himself, but because the Holy Iron Chain Knights intervened, causing Guts to flee the scene to avoid capture.
Sword Pointing: Oh, HELL YES. And he (at least Guts) gets special points for doing this with one hand while wielding an enormous weapon.
Sympathetic P.O.V.: The second Band of the Hawk get this when seen from the POV of their Morality Pet, Sonia, and compared to the Emperor Ganishka, who is somehow even worse than they are in his day-to-day life.
Take My Hand: Played a lot, especially between Guts and Casca.
Take That Kiss: Once again, this was mixed with the Forceful Kiss trope on page 2 and the Spit-Trail Kiss stated earlier during the eclipse, as Griffith/Femto kisses Casca twice in front of Guts while raping her just to spite and hurt Guts.
Talking Is a Free Action: Usually played straight but once amusingly subverted by Guts when fighting a group of Apostles.
Apostle (just before Guts cuts him apart): No.. no fair! Attacking while we're transforming!
Guts also offed at least two members of the Hawks (ya know -Dante and Errol), but that was technically before he became part of the group.
Tears of Blood: The most notable being the activation of a Behelit. Its scrambled facial features rearrange into a normal face, its eyes open and blood streams out.
Guts during the rape of Casca, where his undamaged eye cries normal tears and his ruined eye cries tears of blood (although this isn't tears so much as the punctured eyeball pouring out blood). The same during his recovery as he recalls all of the friends he has lost (actual blood tears this time).
Tear Off Your Face: Another yummy way of dying a gruesome and painful death in the Berserk-verse. Especially seen with the cultists during the Conviction Arc, who rip off the faces of several of the Holy Iron Chain Knights when they got possessed by demons. You have to ask though: would being possessed by demons really stop these people from doing something like this?
Pirate Captain: Ghosts?! Monsters?! Superstitions, mates. Superstitions! Listen up, ye scallywags! Yer all outrageous! Look at me, livin the pirate life for all these 25 years! Lively as can be right before ye all! If all that garbage be true at all, I'd be the first one ter be haunted, wouldn't you say?! *ghosts come up right behind him*
Also related to the Child Of Rape trope is the treatment that Rosine received from her father, since it was strongly implied that she was conceived through her mother's rape.
Their First Time: Accentuated a lot more in the third film between Guts and Casca. No speaking involved in this adaptation, but their body language during the scene make the pair look very much like awkward sixteen year olds.
But then again, this actually proved to be beneficial in Casca's case, as she was an apathetic citizen like the rest of her village, and before Griffith showed up, she was just going to allow this guy to rape her. Defending herself against a man who wanted to violate her was Casca's first step in badass.
Another villain example from Berserk: when Nosferatu Zodd's duel with Guts is interrupted, he roars this at the interlopers. This guy takes the Worthy OpponentBlood Knight dynamic really seriously.
An actual (anti) heroic example comes from Guts in volume 17, where he says something to the same effect. After getting a What the Hell, Hero? lecture handed to him, Guts rethinks how he dealt with avenging the Hawks, and that since he technically played a role in the group's downfall, he didn't have a right to avenge them... however, for what Griffith did to Casca during the Eclipse, Guts said that he would never forgive Griffith.
This Was His True Form: Apostles and everything that was once human are all into this. Since Apostle-dom is acquired in moments of extreme despair, it is not rare that their original forms are highly weakened/disfigured (e.g. Wyald, Griffith). The trope causes problems for Guts sometimes.
Notably, when Guts was being chased by the Holy Iron Chain Knights, the trail of human bodies and destruction led them to believe he was a rampaging, psychotic mass murderer. He was, but he only really killed monsters by this point. The monsters turned back after he got done with them.
The Three Faces of Adam: Though they don't exactly hang out together, Isidro is the hunter, Guts is the lord, and the Skull Knight is the prophet. If you want to add Serpico to the mix, he's kinda in between the hunter and the lord.
He got off easy, considering how Mozgus had the rest of the men executed.
Thrown Down a Well: Although the facility is never named, the Black Dogs Knights, for their atrocious war crimes, were banished and imprisoned to the outskirts of the kingdom. At least until the ruler decides that an amoral bunch of raping, slaughtering, homicidal lunatics is exactly what he needs...
Time Skip: Lots in the Band of the Hawk arc. Since it covers Guts life up to the Eclipse, it comes with the territory.
For instance, three years between episode 4 and 5.
Token Religious Teammate: Schierke more or less, since she's the only hardcore spiritual member of the team. Farnese subverts this, since she pretty much quit the Holy See upon joining Guts and took up practicing witchcraft to prove her self worth rather than for the spiritual aspect.
Took a Level in Badass: Guts takes nothing but levels in badass all his life: as a child, he trains with a sword nearly twice his size that he takes into combat. After Griffith's Face-Heel Turn, he is marked as a target for demons and ends up just taking more levels into the epic class of badass by getting a sword the size of his body that is a slab of iron with sharp edges and a mechanical arm that doubles as a cannon. After he gets his True Companions, he receives the Berserker Armor, which was once worn by the Skull Knight, which increases his physical abilities by making him immune to pain and reinforcing his body when it's wounded. It also makes him attack everything around him, friend or foe.
Too Kinky to Torture: The only thing Guts succeeds in doing when he impales and blows off half of Slan's torso is giving her an orgasm.
Tragedy: The Golden Age Arc is filled to the brim with this.
Trauma Conga Line: Dear lord. Sometimes you have to ask yourself: does Miura just hate seeing Guts, Griffith, and Casca happy for more than five minutes? Good grief. Each have varying results to their trauma:
Griffith's trauma line resulted in Type B, giving up and becoming a villain.
Casca's trauma line resulted in Type C, regressing into a child-like state.
And Guts' trauma line, which is pretty much still on-going, is a mesh of Type A, D, and E, blazing onward through thick and thin and going on bloody rampages of revenge and destruction, but not quite stooping so low as to give up all hope.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Thanks to Griffith and what he has done to her Casca was so traumatized by the events that her mind has regressed to the mind of a child, but shows no clear memory of the events that transpired beforehand. The only time that she is shown to remember anything at all is when she is on the verge of being raped, as she has visions of what had happened to her during the dreadful Eclipse. Fortunately, this also brings back memories of her fighting skills, at least temporarily.
There's also a moment when she falls down a cliff, and displays her former considerable acrobatic talents in landing unharmed.
Tree Cover: When Guts and Griffith talk "privately" for the first time, Casca is hiding behind a tree listening to their conversation.
Troubled Fetal Position: In the beginning stages of her insanity, Casca was very paranoid of her surroundings - being especially distrustful of men - and would often huddle into corners or against women for protection. After the time skip, Casca seems to have entered into a more aloof stage of her insanity, not really aware of the dangers that surrounded her.
Farnese also counts during her childhood. Any servant working in the Vandimion mansion at the time who had any shred of sanity would have left after the first minor incident - which could have very well have been being set on fire!
True Companions: Guts has had two groups: the original Band of the Hawk and his current traveling companions.
Try Not to Die: First said by Casca to Guts when he makes a path for her to escape from the Tudor ambush army. Later said by Isidro to Guts multiple times.