Characters / Berserk: Guts

This character page is for Guts, the main character and protagonist of Berserk.

Characters Index | Guts | Griffith / Femto | Casca | Guts' Companions | Band of the Hawk | Kingdom of Midland | Antagonists | Other Characters | Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage | Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō

BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS! While we make an effort to cover some of the most important spoilers, we cannot guarantee that every potential spoiler will be hidden, or that those that are will be hidden consistently. Character bios in particular are likely to discuss late events in the manga. Lastly, some tropes are going to be spoilers because of their mere presence. You have been warned!

Adult Guts Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (Japanese, Berserk (1997), Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage, and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Hiroaki Iwanaga (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, Berserk (2016), and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Marc Diraison (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Michael Bell (English, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage)
Child Guts Voiced by: Orine Fukushima (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Jun Inoue (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Maria Dente (English, Berserk (1997)), Colin DePaula (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)

Guidebook Stats:note  Height: 204 cm (6 ft, 8 in); Weight: 115 kg (253 lb, 8.5 oz); Age: 24

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Guts.jpg
"Your life's on the line either way. The real question's whether you wanna risk it for your comrades or be just another pawn."
Clickhere  to see Guts in Seima Senki no Sho
Clickhere  to see Guts in Berserk (2016)
Click here  to see Guts in Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.

"Beast...? Monster...? Heh! Screw that. I'm...me. There's nothin' else. I am what I am. And I will make my way to him."

The main protagonist of Berserk who carries the names "Hundred Man Slayer" and "The Black Swordsman", Guts is a badass Anti-Hero with a round ton of Dark and Troubled Past. Discovered as a newborn baby beneath the corpse of his hanged mother, he was raised among mercenaries by his abusive foster father Gambino, and was later the victim of rape by one of Gambino's men. Guts is also a survivor of the demonic Sabbath known as the Eclipse, during which he lost his right eye and part of his left arm. His injuries are not the only marks he bears from this event; Guts is also marked with the Brand of Sacrifice, a supernatural emblem that draws the attention of demons and the restless dead. Both groups are eager to finish the job left undone when Guts survived the Eclipse.

He is introduced as a wanderer with a grudge, bent on hunting down and slaying the beings known as Apostles with a gigantic sword known as the Dragonslayer. The Apostles are responsible, along with the Godhand, for the trauma he suffered in the Eclipse. Although he claims to be heartless and acts callously towards people who try to befriend him, Guts actually has a Hidden Heart of Gold, and his indifference towards the people around him is mostly an act. He fears that anyone who gets close to him will meet misfortune at the hands of the astral demons summoned by his Brand or the Apostles that he fights, and that letting himself care about other people will make him lose the ruthlessness he needs in order to defeat his enemies. While he has become much more open to people since being joined by a new group of companions, he still tends to be aloof and brooding.

Guts's fate is tied to Griffith, his best-friend-turned-Arch-Enemy, and to Casca, his love interest and fellow bearer of the Brand of Sacrifice who became like a child without speech or memories after the violation she suffered in the Eclipse. Even after consciously deciding to return to Casca's side so that he can find a cure for her condition, Guts struggles with the Enemy Within called the Beast of Darkness that grew out of his hatred for Griffith, which is trying to make him kill Casca and his companions so that he can devote himself to revenge. The stakes have grown even higher since he obtained the Berserker Armor, which allows him to ignore pain and surpass the limits of his power, yet destroys his body and makes him vulnerable to the Beast's corruption. Guts' great external and internal struggles—of fighting monsters and his fate, and of choosing between hunting the man he hates and protecting the woman he loves—are nothing short of heroic.


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    Tropes A-D 

  • Achilles' Heel: An emotional one. His childhood rape ordeal has been shown to be the one time that Guts showed a truly emotionally vulnerable side to his personality. Luckily, he had Casca to help heal his mental wounds, and he was genuinely getting better... until this side to his past was cruelly exploited during the Eclipse.
  • Accidental Hero: Guts has been put through the ringer so many times that he mostly expresses apathy towards the suffering of strangers (unless they were nice to him), and as such prioritizes defending only those close to him. This doesn't stop him from actually saving innocent civilians from the brink of death, mind you, as evidenced in The Lost Children arc's conclusion. Yes, he caused the deaths of many children (who were turned into demons) alongside massive property damage, but in the end, not only rescued an entire village from the threat of further harm by the Apostle Rosine and her demonic fairies (not that they were grateful for it), he also unintentionally turned Jill into an Anti-Nihilist by displaying enough redeeming qualities in front of her despite his overall harsh outlook on life.
  • Action Dad: An ultimate badass and father to a weird, supernatural offspring that he refuses to acknowledge as his child.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the 2016 anime series, Guts as the Black Swordsman is noticeably less sadistic and amoral than he was in the manga.
  • Adaptive Armor: The Berserker armor reflects the Enemy Within of its wearer, and when it takes Guts over it manifests a helmet in the shape of the Beast of Darkness's head and covers his arms in armor. Its serrated visor can open and close to function as a mouth, he can use his prosthetic as a functioning arm, and he can fire his Arm Cannon without needing to pull the trigger cord.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Inverted. Many of the abominations admire or respect him instead. At least two members of the God Hand express some level of admiration for his pure determination and many of the more powerful Apostles wish to fight him simply because they view him as the only opponent worthy of them.
  • All-Encompassing Mantle: Whenever out on the open road, he's often seen draped in his iconic black cape until the next hostile comes along.
  • Allergic to Evil: Guts' accursed brand will bleed or hurt whenever an Apostle is nearby. It only gets worse if a Godhand is near, and may even kill him. Casca shares the same reaction with her own brand.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Notably averted. Out of all the male characters in the series, he is among the very few for whom sex is only a tertiary motivation at best, and he remains staunchly faithful to his Love Interest. He also scolds himself when he briefly thinks about having his way with Casca while she laid unconscious during one of their early missions.
    • It's worth noting that the one time we've seen Guts having any sort of sexual contact with someone besides Casca (or his childhood rapist) is actually with the same Female Apostle that ate Corkus, right before he blows her head off. Considering who it was, it could be that he simply wanted to give her an Ironic Death. And since this did happen at the very beginning of the first chapter, Early Installment Weirdness is another possible explanation. The opening scene also makes a lot more sense if you replace Guts with the Beast of Darkness, as then it becomes completely in character.
  • All the Other Reindeer: An interesting example. As a member of the Band of the Hawk, Guts thought himself far too different from his comrades because they all had their own hopes and dreams, while he himself merely sought to live for the next fight. As such, he was blind to the fact that the Hawks greatly treasured his company (especially Griffith and Casca), and made the biggest mistake of his life in choosing to leave them and pursue his own dreams.
    Casca: ...it's like each person has his own little light or small flame that he brings to the Band of the Hawk.
    Guts: Yeah, and to make sure those weaker flames don't go out, each one casts it's own into the strongest fire of them all: a raging fire that is Griffith. But my light isn't to be seen among them. Still, after all this time, it seems I'm just someone who stopped to warm himself by the bonfire in passing.
  • Always Save the Girl: As always with his sheer Determinator status, Guts will go to any lengths to keep Casca safe, even if it means allowing hundreds of partially-innocent bystanders to die.
  • Amazon Chaser:
    • Guts chose Casca as his lover because she was able to fight on par with him.
    • Exploited later on by the Beast of Darkness during a Dream Sequence. The Beast capitalized on Guts' penchant for Action Girls to contend that, since Casca is now helpless, there's no point in keeping her near. Guts won't be able to love her the way she is now and she can't even love him back. So he'd better get rid of her to focus on getting revenge.
  • Animal Motifs: Canids. He gets compared to them in several ways at different points in the story:
    • On the night that Gambino tried to kill Guts, he compared him to a puppy that had started following him unbidden, and said that the one who killed Sys couldn't be raised to be loyal like a dog. That same night, Guts was nearly killed by but fought off a pack of wolves, implying some kind of spiritual connection with them (or if you interpret it differently, the fact that he would struggle against the wolf-like or feral side of his personality).
    • As a 15 year old mercenary, just before Griffith took him into the Band of the Hawk, he was like a lone wolf who refused to answer to anybody or let anyone get close to him.
    • A rabid dog, according to Casca, back when they would bicker in their younger years;
    • A Hell Hound, according to the form of his Enemy Within;
    • A wolf for his lupine-ish features, his wolf-like armor and his wolfish personality and attitude, since he relates to his companions quite the same way a wolf leader relates to its pack;
    • A regular guard dog due to his unswerving loyalty and protectiveness towards his lover and the ones he considers a part of his "pack."
  • Anime Hair: Averted. Guts has the spikiest hair in the series, but when it gets wet, it noticeably droops down until it's dry again (which doesn't happen in the next panel).
  • Anti-Hero: He'd fall into Nominal Hero, but the inner workings of his morality changes over the course of the story. Before his time with the Hawks, he comes across as an apathetic young sellsword, having long discarded what little idealism he may have had as a child following years of cruel upbringing. Then he loses his bid, becomes a respectable mercenary, and regains some of that idealism back thanks to spending time with good people he learns to value as family. After Griffith's betrayal, he swears undying hatred toward Apostles, giving birth to the vengeance-driven Black Swordsman — and along with it, the corrupting toll inside his mind, almost shattering his entire humanity and reducing him to a Sociopathic Hero. He gets better again after gaining new companions.
  • Appropriated Appellation: He was named Guts because he was found beneath the hanged corpse of his mother when he was an infant. The name was literally given to him as a sick joke, but it turned out to be way more fitting than intended. See Meaningful Name below.
  • Arm Cannon: His prosthetic limb is a literal case. It can also mount a crossbow.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • He's been carrying around the Count's Behelit ever since Volume 2, and comments made by a horde of ghosts and Slan of the Godhand imply ownership of it has somehow transferred to him.
    • His sword is also in the process of becoming one due to it constantly being used to kill supernatural beings. It has developed what is described as a thirst for their essence implying it has actually gained a spirit of its own.
    • His Berserker armor is cursed to slowly kill its wearer the more they use it, driving them insane with bloodlust and pushing them past their physical limits until they bleed dry. It was given to him as a last resort due to the cursed wound Slan left on his soul, but is indwelled by the Beast of Darkness and thus has a helmet in the shape of its head.
  • Artificial Limbs: After losing his left arm, Guts replaced it with a multi-purpose prosthetic. It has a built-in magnet that allows it to grip a sword, it can be used to mount a repeating crossbow, and it has a miniature gunpowder cannon built into it. It's also handy for punching people. Hard.
  • Aside Glance: Guts does a silent one to the audience after killing the succubus in chapter one. It's a final warning before the story truly begins.
  • Awesome McCool Name: His name is Guts. You simply have to be badass to live up to a name like that.
  • Ax-Crazy: When his inner beast takes over, no-one is safe.
  • Badass Adorable: Guts was a pretty cute kid when he was a Child Soldier who could hold his own pretty well on the battlefield.
  • Badass Bandolier: So many straps around his chest, iconic of a '90s Anti-Hero.
  • Badass Baritone: Damn, even his voice is badass! And it was shown (or rather, heard) in the anime that Guts went through some major puberty at around age 14 or 15 since he already has a deep voice by then. It just adds to teh sexiness.
  • Badass Cape: For all purposes. Dramatic effect, blanket, protecting Casca from the cold, deflecting arrows (yes)...
  • Badass Creed: His sword's description counts, as it's oft-repeated by people who can't believe he can actually USE the damn thing. "A giant hunk of raw iron" indeed...
  • Badass in Distress: Happens surprisingly often over the course of the series. Sometimes even the ultimate badass gets in a position he just can't escape from on his own. It's usually Puck who needs to come to the rescue with his healing dust, even a couple of times before they actually meet.
  • Badass Normal: Up until he was marked with the Brand of Sacrifice, Guts was only human but was capable of cutting through armored soldiers like butter. He pushed himself to the point he could spar with an (albeit reckless) Apostle without any magic.
  • Badass Transplant: Not only does his magnetic arm have a crossbow in it, it can change into an arm cannon!
  • Barbarian Hero: Guts might not be a straight historic example of a barbarian, but he sure fights like one. He has the big, crude sword, muscled, can defeat magical enemies and monsters with zero magic, and is a Lightning Bruiser. Also insinuated by Guts himself that although he is not the most morally upstanding guy, he had more standards than the other mercenary crews that he hung around, making him that white sheep in a bad barbarian band. To end, Word of God said that part of Guts's character was based off of Rutger Hauger's character in the movie Flesh And Blood.
  • Battle Couple: Fought 100 men back to back with Casca, which is when they started to get closer. After the Relationship Upgrade they rescued Griffith while fighting side by side.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Guts reveals to Casca that his inclination to engage in bloody battles stems primarily from his background of being raised on the battlefield, amongst mercenaries and swordsmen. He admits his addiction to fighting isn't so much that he's good at it (even though he is) as it is because the act of fighting for his life is what his whole existence has been founded upon.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It isn't really as hard as you would imagine to get on his good side. All you have to do is treat him like a normal human being. It doesn't happen very often and it's kind of hard when he's in a bad mood.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The usual dynamics between him and Casca pre-Eclipse.
  • Berserk Button: Guts has several of them:
    • In general:
      • Don't touch him. Only Casca is allowed to do that, see below. And pre-Eclipse Griffith, which is only one part of the massive Ho Yay between them.
      • If you try to hurt Casca in any way, shape or form, your fate is sealed.
      • Don't hurt his other friends, either. He doesn't have very many, and is quite... protective of the ones he has.
    • Pre-Eclipse:
      • Messing with either Griffith or Casca (see above) pre-Eclipse was an excellent way to piss him off.
    • Post-Eclipse:
      • Being faced with any member of the Godhand will set him off big time, especially Griffith.
  • The Berserker: Guts has mastered the art of harnessing his rage into a focused state of mind during combat, blocking all other thoughts (such as fear) that could jeopardize his effectiveness, which then allows him to become a nigh-unstoppable Juggernaut. This fighting style has served him very well, especially when faced against the ruthless onslaught of an Apostle where even a tiny fraction of conscience/hesitation could spell his own doom. His Berserker Armor enhances this further by "magically" facilitating his body to withstand past human limitations. Also deconstructed in that he acknowledges how much his battle-crazed moments possess a danger to innocents and the people close to him, a dilemma he wrestles with every day.
  • Berserker Tears: Twice. Once upon seeing what Griffith has been turned into upon his imprisonment. The other one when being unable to save Casca from her demon rape at Femto's hands.
  • BFS: Guts has always specialized in two-handed swords, but his most iconic example is the Dragonslayer, Guts's primary weapon against the Apostles and the Godhand, which is more of a metal slab than a true sword — and he can swing it like a mere knife.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A remarkable number of times, he has showed up at the last possible minute to dramatically rescue some person or group in distress.
  • The Big Guy: Guts towers over most of the people he fights alongside and most folk he meets. Only Pippin was taller than him back in his younger days... and now, he's actually surpassed the dude! Guts' official guidebook stats currently lists him at 204 cm (6 ft, 8 in), outmatching Pippin's 190 cm (6 ft, 3 in). Aside from wielding a very large weapon, he doesn't depend on his physical strength much (since he's not seen punching boulders in half), instead preferring to use his ridiculous speed and agility to get within attacking distance, while dodging or enduring whatever the giant demons throw at him in the meantime.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Big eyebrows make him look masculine and tough.
  • Black Bug Room: Guts has a space where every single bad emotion and memory is stored in his mind. Puck and Schierke ventured into his inner mind only to be bombarded with horrific images of the Eclipse. After going there, they both understand why Guts is so pissed off. The Beast also hangs out in the same district.
  • Black Knight: Played with. After the Eclipse he becomes the mysterious and feared Black Swordsman, but he's actually The Hero and has a bone to pick with a knight who wears all white, Griffith. Although he would have been properly knighted if he had stayed with the Hawks after the battle of Doldrey, he missed that chance, and when Azan addresses him as a knight Guts claims that he never was one, only a mercenary.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Downplayed. He lost only one of his eyes, but now Guts must face having no right visual field AND the matter of depth perception... But he seems to have taken care of that through hearing. Nice compensation.
  • Blood Knight: Guts has been taught since childhood the ways of the sword, and as such was stuck just going through the motions and living his life as a warrior well into his early adult years. During his time with the Band of the Hawk, great emphasis is brought on how Guts finds himself enjoying the thrill of fighting much more than the mundanity of living because fighting is literally all he knows.
  • Book Dumb: Needless to say, Guts might not be prim and proper, tends to leap before he looks, and may not be as well-learned in the arts and literature as Griffith (given the medieval setting and the fact that he spent his entire life in mercenary companies, it is doubtful he even knows ''how'' to read), but the guy is far from dumb, being quite cunning, strategic, quick-witted, and yes, even poetic.
  • Break the Badass: Again, something that Guts isn't immune to. Encountering Nosferatu Zodd for the first time left him horrified, and the events of the Eclipse broke him even more.
  • Break the Cutie: His childhood was one big Break the Cutie ordeal for him. By all accounts, he was a fairly nice kid who wanted to please his surrogate father. It did not end well. At all.
  • Bridal Carry: Scoops up a battle-exhausted and initially bashful Casca in his arms after the Battle of Doldrey so that he can carry her to see Griffith. It says much about the romantic significance of this gesture that although he's given piggyback rides to other females who needed carrying, such as Princess Charlotte, Casca is the only one that he ever swept off her feet like this.
  • Broken Ace: He is the best chance humanity has to defend itself from Apostles, whether he knows it or not. But he's gone through some of the worst things any anime protagonist has ever suffered through, and has been molded into a cynical and melancholic warrior driven by his inner turmoil.
  • Broken Bird: Textbook case during the Golden Age Arc — right down to lashing out physically during his breakdown. Fast forward to his Black Swordsman days and he's become a cynical, cold, uncaring revenge-driven monster after the events he witnessed.
  • Broken Pedestal: Guts greatly admired Griffith's drive to become his own self-made man and tried to emulate him in hopes of eventually becoming his equal and, in turn, a true friend. Unfortunately, Griffith's Transhuman Treachery during the Eclipse drove a massive wedge in their relationship and the two are now bitter enemies.
  • Brutal Honesty: When he chews people out, he really twists the knife with his words. Unlike Griffith, who uses honeyed words to manipulate others, Guts is more prone to giving bitingly honest and harsh criticisms to people he's none too fond of.
  • Byronic Hero: Morally neutral? Check. Largely concerned with personal interests? Yes, indeed. Disrespect of common authority? Oh, yeah. Defined by conflict, inner and outer? Definitely. Introspective loner? Affirmative. Guilty of horrible crimes? Yyyyep. Intelligent? He may not be educated, but he is NOT stupid. An exile? From more than one place. Cynical and self destructive? Uh-huh. Not such a good idea to hang around him? Oh, boy...
  • The Captain: He was Captain of the Hawks' Raiders. And besides, "Captain Guts" has a nice ring to it.
  • Character Development: A big part of Berserk's draw on readers is how much its protagonist's personality stays in motion and changes over time, not just in a straight path but going through all sorts of ups and downs. He's first shown to be an uber-masculine powerhouse of rampant demon-slaying destruction, a virtual '90s Anti-Hero with little concern for others who get in his way and a vicious determination to slay all monsters in his path. And then he cries. What follows is a lengthy flashback detailing just what made this guy the way he is, seeing him change from a broody loner who cares for nothing but the thrill of battles and money to a reflective dreamer who seeks out what he wants to actually do with his life beyond fighting and killing. And then the Eclipse happens... completing his descent into the Sociopathic Hero from the series' opening chapters. And still he grows, now sacrificing his vengeful intent towards the divine entities that made his life so terrible in the first place, opting to use his life to defend the only person he has ever truly romantically loved. He's an Anti-Hero, a Sociopathic Hero, a Byronic Hero, and a Nominal Hero all in one.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: More powerful than any human, at least pound-for-pound, Guts seems to have learned it due to his Training from Hell and from his horrific experiences during the Eclipse rather than getting any explicit superpowers.
  • Chick Magnet: While he's initially overshadowed by expert lady killer Griffith during the Golden Age Arc, the series sees him gradually attract a large number of female admirers despite not even trying to get or wanting the attention. Causes vary from his handsome looks, badassitude, hidden vulnerability, sense of ideals, blunt candor, capacity for rage and violence, capacity for kindness, or some combination of the above. At the ball to celebrate the recapture of Doldrey he gets surrounded by curious noblewomen, and has to suddenly excuse himself to avoid the hassle. At that time he loved Casca and left the Band of the Hawk thinking he didn't have a chance with her, but upon his return she chose him instead of Griffith. The Eclipse ruined what they had, but that was just the beginning of Guts' lady trouble. There has been a substantial number of teenage girls with a Precocious Crush on him, including Colette, a priest's daughter, Jill, an abused village girl, and Schierke, a witch-in-training. Even the villains can't keep their hands off him: Rosine, the fairy-like Apostle who considers Guts to be her rival for Jill's affections, mockingly flirts with him and acknowledges his handsomeness as she prepares to kill him. Slan, the member of the Godhand whose domain is lust, captures and tortures him for her sadomasochistic pleasure. Farnese, a Knight Templar leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, started as his enemy but pulled a Heel–Face Turn and became his follower after seeing her faith in the Vatican rendered hollow in the face of his ability to survive in a world of demons. Now she practically worships the ground he walks on, and despite her genuine care for Casca is jealous of Guts' love for her. All of this ignores the attraction that Guts has inspired in men, including his childhood rapist Donovan, and Griffith, whose feelings for Guts might not have been completely platonic.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: His big fucking swords, primarily the Dragonslayer and, later, his Arm Cannon/repeating crossbow is added to his arsenal.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Yes, he has all the traits of a modern Anti-Hero, but Character Development has mellowed him into a very melancholic Classical example. During the journey to Elfhelm, he catches himself struggling with some severe self-doubt in terms of if he'll ever be able to cure Casca's insanity (and that's assuming nothing goes wrong with her when she does), if he'll overcome his monstrous Enemy Within, and if he'll ever get his revenge against Griffith.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Due in part to his Single-Target Sexuality, Guts really doesn't care to acknowledge the effects he has on girls.
  • The Comically Serious: Guts usually remains straight-faced and serious, even while putting up with the humorous antics of his companions.
  • The Corruptible: Whenever he is under the influence of his Enemy Within, the Beast, his very soul is in grave danger, not just the people around him.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Works himself to the bone to defy being this. As one who carries the Brand of Sacrifice, Apostles and other supernatural creatures are gunning for him every night.
  • Covered with Scars: With the amount of punishment that Guts regularly takes at the hands of his demonic enemies, he's accumulated quite a few scars over his career, including a missing eye and forearm. The burns he recieved from Ganishka's lightning are so extensive that when he gets a fever, he is in agony from being unable to sweat out the excess heat.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Another one of his defining characteristics as the Black Swordsman, particularly when dealing with children. Guts is cynically aware of the fact that "shielded innocence" bears no fruit in the Berserk-verse, hence why he never sugarcoats any of his words/actions in front of a child, no matter how traumatizing. He also knows all too well that hanging around him for long would inevitably lead only to trouble, so he acts cold and dismissive for the kids' own good. One notable example is from that time he and (then newly-acquainted) Isidro were being chased by a pack of wagon wheel demons. He orders Isidro to get off the road and head towards rocky terrain where the wheels cannot follow, but the stubborn boy refuses. This prompts Guts to take matters into his own hands by tossing Isidro down a steep slope, so that the boy gets bruised and battered from tumbling to the bottom but is at least removed from the pursuing demons' path.
  • Crusading Widower: Guts fits this role since the Hawks were the closest thing to a family he ever had and he and Casca were life partners.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Guts Used to Be a Sweet Kid. After Gambino sold him to child prostitution and Donovan raped him, Guts started to lose his innocence (as if living day to day by killing people wasn't enough of a stressor), this loss of innocence finally solidified when Gambino, having lost his leg in battle and no longer able to fight or lead his men on the battlefield, got massively drunk and attempted to murder him and Guts was forced to kill him out of self-defense.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Such a shitload of this it's no wonder he's so fucked up. He was born falling from a hanged woman and it goes downhill from there.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Sort of; he is known as "Black Swordsman," is the Anti-Hero, and can't be called purely evil, but his Enemy Within is another story.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's got quite the acid tongue, especially towards people that get on his nerves... of which there are a lot, so expect your regular dosage of verbal beatdowns from ol' Guts along with the physical ones. Take this little gem from chapter 123, where he mocks Farnese's (then) blind religious faith as she cowers in silence at the attacking demons:
    Guts: Why shy away at the good part? If you're so spiritual, you could at least gimme one of those lines. Like, "Dear God!"
  • Death Glare: Most visible expression after his perpetual frown. Still, you'd much rather want to see this than his Slasher Smile.
  • Declaration of Protection: After Guts puts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge on hold, his top priority is to protect Casca above all else.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Guts embodies quite a lot of Shōnen characteristics seen in many well-known characters in manga and anime. But what separates him from those characters is just how thorough an examination the story gives on those traits. His refusal to give up no matter the cost has more or less put his body through so much physical torture that the only thing keeping him from dying is dumb luck or sheer willpower. His extreme devotion to his loved ones severely outweighs any concern for other people. His love of fighting is taken to its logical conclusion. And finally, his Dark and Troubled Past, while having molded him into one of the most proficient warriors in-universe, has granted him WAY more baggage than he can emotionally handle.
  • Default to Good: Remember that when Guts was introduced as a lone teen mercenary, he was hired by the army that was aiming to bring down the fort that the Hawks were defending, and they actually lost because Guts was on the enemy side. Fortunately for Griffith and his gang, Guts was not aligned to either Midland or Tudor and just went where the money was. So when Guts lost his first fight against Griffith, swearing him over to the Hawks and their cause, Midland gained a big advantage, as having Guts fighting with the Big Good turned to tide of the war.
  • Defiled Forever: Guts serves as a Rare Male Example for yet another part of his traumatic and shitty childhood.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: He and Griffith became friends after Griffith defeated him in battle.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Guts is all too willing to put his body through harrowing scenarios if that means he'll get a one-up on the enemy he's currently facing. This is especially seen in his fight with Rosine, where he deliberately sets himself aflame to burn away the Apostles gnawing at his flesh, and when he allows Rosine to impale his arm so he can fire his Arm Cannon at point-blank range against her abdomen.
  • Demon Slayer: As the Black Swordsman, Guts had devoted himself to annihilating the Apostles and Godhand.
  • Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life: When he was a lad, all he cared about was the next fight, disregarding any sense of purpose or concern in anything except his own continued survival. However, seeing how Griffith and the Band of the Hawk were all connected to each other through their own dreams and aspirations, Guts began to question what he himself wanted to do with his own life, concluding that the only way to find out was to go off on his own and do some soul-searching...which Griffith wasn't happy about. This would haunt Guts for the rest of his life. After things went From Bad to Worse, Guts eventually did find a purpose of his own: the ruination of Griffith, the Godhand, and all Apostles.
  • Destructive Savior: He's an overlap with Walking Disaster Area.
  • Determinator: The absolute pinnacle of this trope. If he's not dead, whatever he's fighting is going to be, even if he's only got his teeth left to do the deed.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: His ultimate goal is to kill Griffith. The Apostles and the Godhand as well, by extension. While he's nowhere near as strong as he needs to be to defeat all of them, he has managed to directly harm Slan while in Qliphoth. She reacted rather...orgasmically. Also, he has defeated the Sea God, which is the closest thing to an actual Cthulhu the series has.
  • Disappeared Dad: We know what happened to his birth mother, his adoptive mother, and his adoptive father... so where is Guts's real daddy at??? If we had to guess, probably on the next branch over.
  • Doom Magnet: There's an 8.5 out of 10 chance that any place that Guts steps in will be brought down to rubble and gore. And that's before his brand made him a supernatural's bullseye.
  • Doorstop Baby: A rather dark version of this trope. A newborn Guts was found under the hung corpse of his mother, umbilical cord still attached. For a moment his discoverers (a band of mercenaries) thought he was a stillbirth... until their leader knocked him out of the arms of his girlfriend who went and picked him up, knocking baby Guts into a puddle and making him cry. It only gets worse for him after that.
  • The Dreaded: Typical pre-Eclipse reaction: "It's Guts: the Hundred-Man Slayer! Run!!" Typical post-Eclipse reaction: "What? The Black Swordsman is here? Oh god, NO!"
    • Puck and Isidro poked fun at this after part of his hair turned white after he dons the Berserker Armor by calling him the Almost-Black Swordsman and Slightly White Swordman.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Zigzagged since it was more of an internal conflict than an external one, as Guts had made a name for himself through his exploits with the Hawks. The conflict came from the fact that no matter what he did, Guts always felt that he was beneath Griffith, especially after overhearing Griffith's speech about what he deemed as a true friend: someone who goes after their dreams and doesn't blindly follow the dreams of others, someone who is equal to him. What Guts really wanted to gain out of leaving the Hawks was to someday reach a level that was the same as Griffith's so that they could then be true friends. It's really sad when you think about it that way, since none of that came true after he left.

    Tropes E-H 

  • Earn Your Title: He's called the Hundred Man Slayer after fighting alone against a hundred men and winning.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Due to being marked with the Brand of Sacrifice, Guts exists in the Interstice between the world of the living and the Astral Realm, letting him interact and fight with supernatural beings. There's also the matter of his Berserker armor.
  • Empty Shell: Guts at first desperately tries to cope with life after the Eclipse, but despairs once he finally grasps the depth of the damage Griffith had inflicted upon his relationship with Casca. He then becomes so driven by sorrow that he even admits that literally the only thing keeping him from just giving up is his burning hatred. It's only when Guts realizes that pursuing his revenge has led to him abandoning the only person capable of opening his heart to compassion and kindness that he completely turns around, and dedicates himself wholly to protecting Casca.
  • Enemy Within: Guts' intense hatred and bloodlust coalesce in the shape of the Beast, a monstrous dog-like creature with zigzag-shaped eyes and More Teeth than the Osmond Family, which attempt to persuade him to cast aside his newfound happiness and dedicate himself to vengeance.
  • Epic Battle Boredom: Killing fifty mooks was nothing to him - he had to take it up a notch! And we're not necessarily talking about humans here...
  • Establishing Character Moment: Guts gets a different one depending on the adaptation:
    • In the manga, the very first thing he does is have sex with an Apostle disguised as a beautiful woman, and blows her brains out with his Arm Cannon when she tries to eat him. The takeaway is that this guy's a badass who kills monsters, he will do anything for revenge, and you are better off not getting near him.
    • In the anime, and in the manga for those that consider the preceding one to be Early Installment Weirdness or merely the Establishing Series Moment, Guts properly shows what he's about when he walks into a Bad-Guy Bar in volume 1 and slaughters the Baron of Koka Castle's men. He starts by interrupting their tormenting of Puck (Collette and her father in the anime) with a storm of arrows that kills most of them, tortures the survivor before sending him to bring word of his presence, and kills the guy who tries to sneak behind him with a cut of his gigantic Dragonslayer. In other words, he's a '90s Anti-Hero who wants his enemies to suffer, he's out for revenge no matter the collateral damage, and he's a larger-than-life Rated M for Manly badass.
    • In the first Golden Age Arc film which skips both the Black Swordsman prologue and Guts' childhood, his first appearance is when he volunteers to fight the dreaded knight Bazuso during a castle siege and defeats him with a daring and risky move, pocketing the reward but refusing the general's offer of permanent employment in favor of wandering to another battlefield. Besides showing off his incredible speed and strength, this scene establishes that he is a lone wolf mercenary with no friends, zero respect for authority, and no sense of direction or purpose in his life except putting himself In Harm's Way.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Griffith acted a lot like a Yandere towards him in the past.
  • Evil Laugh: Back during his Black Swordsman days, Guts was fond of malicious, maniacal laughter, most often directed at his demonic enemies. It can be utterly terrifying.
  • Evil Weapon: The Dragonslayer has become cursed due to repeated exposure to the blood of Apostles, enabling it to cut through normally-intangible entities like ghosts.
  • Experienced Protagonist: The anime and manga begin with the Black Swordsman Arc when Guts is already an expert demon-slayer and one of the greatest master swordsmen in the world. Even in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc which introduces him as a fifteen years old mercenary, he has already been training since age six and fighting since age nine, and has gotten so strong that he is able to defeat a famous and dreaded opponent like Bazuso. In all versions the Training from Hell that he went through as a kid in order to get that way is shown in flashback a good deal after his introduction to the audience as a character.
  • Expressive Mask: The helmet of his Berserker Armor elongates and functions like a mouth when the Beast takes over.
  • Expy: Miura states he partly modeled his appearance on Rutger Hauer and '80s action movie characters. He also takes after Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star, more in terms of role and design than in personality.
  • Eye Remember: Guts will never forget the last sight of his right eye. Never.
  • Face of a Thug: Guts is actually pretty handsome if you stop to appreciate his face, and he's a lot more gentle with his friends than his demeanor would suggest, but he undoubtedly has an image problem especially after the Eclipse. He's a hulking muscular guy in black clothing and armor with tons of scars, fearsome weaponry, and a face that's usually scowling. Even aside from the fact that he's a Walking Disaster Area who attracts demons to him, occasionally uses civilians as shields, and just plain tends to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, most people take one look at him and think he's some kind of criminal or troublemaker. On the whole it's downplayed because he's definitely not a Nice Guy, but he's still a lot nicer than he looks.
  • Fatal Flaw: Wrath. As much as his raw rage and power has aided him on so many occasions, it's probably caused more problems than solved. Not only has wrath taken a physical toll on Guts (remember that he's gotten to the point of being so very enraged that he resorted to self-mutilation, albeit for a heroic cause), but also an emotional and spiritual toll. Through his desire for revenge, he left Casca behind and allowed himself be devoured by anger and hate. This not only warped Guts into a dark man for a time, but it went as far as manifesting the Beast, which embodies all of his wrath and constantly goads him to go deeper into a pit of raw anger and hate. Even though Guts has found a greater reason to live in finding a cure for Casca and is trying to turn a new leaf, he still has that deep seated desire to exact revenge on Griffith and will burst at the very sight or mention of him. These emotions within Guts will probably never go away completely. Another flaw that can be associated with him that goes hand-in-hand with his wrath would be his cruelty towards anyone who gets in the way of his vengeance.
    • A case could be made that a lot of Guts' issues stem from his bloodlust. Several of the above examples overlap: he caused huge amounts of friction with Casca because he'd often ignore orders to stand down in battle, has shown some serious Blood Knight tendencies, and admits that he only feels alive when he's swinging his sword. Then he obtains the Berserker Armor, further leading his mind to venture into ever more dangerous territory...
  • A Father to His Men: Guts' raiders love and celebrate him as their mighty leader. Although Casca once criticizes him for endangering this subordinates, Guts retorts that he's not like he used to be and really cares about his men. This gets shown in the chapter introducing Zodd when he insists on entering the castle alone to find out what's happening to his men, even though Gaston and the others beg him to stay and call for reinforcements.
  • Fight Magnet: Be they monster or mook, things just want to fight with Guts. And they usually lose terribly.
  • Foil: Guts and Griffith serve as foils whose character traits contrast with each other. Guts is a loner, suspicious of other people, while Griffith draws other people to himself. Guts has No Social Skills, while Griffith has great charisma and charm. Guts is an uncultured manly man, while Griffith is a sophisticated Bishōnen. Guts lives in the moment, focusing on living another day, while Griffith has a grand dream and always looks toward the future. Guts relies on his strength and toughness to fight, while Griffith prefers speed and finesse. After his reincarnation, Griffith is a Villain with Good Publicity who is universally worshiped by his army and the people and associated with light and the color white, while Guts is a Hero with Bad Publicity associated with darkness and the color black who is feared, hated, and shrouded in mystery.
  • Fool for Love: Not quite a "fool," but everything Guts is doing is for his lady love. That, and he's shown to be quite poetic around Casca.
  • Forced to Watch: Dogpiled by a bunch of Apostles, Guts could only watch Femto molesting and raping Casca to insanity right in front of him, unable to do anything about it, screaming in rage and pain. It was also the last scene his right eye could see before it got clawed out.
  • Freak Out: When Guts wakes up after the Eclipse and finally has some time to fully realize the horrible results of the event, he spends a chapter blindly running through the woods in extreme mental agony, having meaningful flashbacks about his fallen friends, and clearly blaming himself for everything that happened. He only cools down when he remembers Griffith was the real cause of the whole nightmare. Guts promptly re-invents himself as the Black Swordsman.
  • Freudian Excuse: Indeed, much of Guts' personality and behavior stems from the very traumatic experiences life has put him through. What separates him from many examples of characters who use the Freudian Excuse as a literal excuse for their actions and deeds is that the story plays out his behavior in a much more subdued and realistic manner.
    • Why does Guts have so much trouble trusting others? In his childhood, he was sold as a Sex Slave for one night to one of his father's own comrades. When Guts discovers that his own adoptive father was the one who sold him (and for three silver coins), is it really any surprise that he becomes utterly cynical and distrusting of others? Worse yet, when he eventually does find it in himself to trust Band of the Hawk, Griffith, and Casca, all of that gets taken away in the horrific bloodbath that is the Eclipse. No wonder he's so screwed up when we first see him as the Black Swordsman. And even when Guts eventually gives up his quest for vengeance in the name of protecting those he loves, his concern for his loved ones massively outweighs his concern for those who are strangers to him.
    • Why is he so ignorant of social norms, and why is he so comfortable when it comes to fighting? Because he was raised primarily by mercenaries who foisted sword training on him before he even reached puberty, and as such Guts has been so entrenched in the art of war and slaughter that he just generally sucks when it comes to dealing with socialization. To the point where he's even Oblivious to Love — when he starts growing feelings for Casca, he initially dismisses them as admiration of Casca's worth as a warrior, and is completely unaware of Casca's own burgeoning feelings for him. In a more tragic light, had he been aware enough to recognize Griffith's own ambiguous feelings towards him, the Eclipse might not have happened.
    • That being said, this is ultimately a Played With example, as there are multiple instances of Guts going beyond his own circumstances in terms of his behavior. He still retains a sense of empathy and compassion, far more so than Griffith (who we can assume grew up in considerably less horrific circumstances), and a lot of his rough-around-the-edges behavior towards people can be attributed to his unwillingness to get them caught in the crossfire of his quest for revenge. Overall, Guts is capable of kindness, but the combined weight of the story's nightmarish setting and his own horrible past have more or less quelled much of his moral decency.
  • Friend to All Children: Zigzagged. Guts is not the softest man to be around, and he has rough methods of dealing with people, including children. Despite everything he dishes out to them, kids genuinely seem to like Guts, and he doesn't really seem that bugged by them being around all of the time, so long as they don't get in the way. Just the fact that most of his True Companions are half his age just brings the point home. Relate to Would Hurt a Child below.
  • Friendship Moment: Now that they made it to Elfheim, he's really grateful to his friends, and thanks every one of them due the fact that they worked so hard together. Nice to see it.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started off as a random merc whose only defining characteristics were his unreasonably large sword and his extreme tenacity, to a renowned raid captain known for having slain a hundred men in a single night, before ultimately becoming a demon-slaying human armory with over a thousand kills to his name.
  • Full Potential Upgrade: Guts needed the nigh-indestructible Dragonslayer to fight Apostles without breaking his sword (which is only possible because he has the inhuman strength to cut through said enemies in the first place).
  • Genius Bruiser: He may not look it but Guts is not in the slightest what you would call dumb muscle. One noticeable example is against Wyald where he put a log in his torso armor and threw it at Wyald and also tied a helmeted corpse against a tree to dupe him out. He's much more of a Combat Pragmatist than The Berserker.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: Guts' variant:
  • Good Is Not Nice: Embodies this after finding his new Five-Man Band. But he's still a lot nicer than when he was still travelling alone.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Upon becoming the Black Swordsman, he planned to kill every Apostle and spirit he'd get his hands on, Griffith in particular. But since then, he's had a massive change in priorities and has put his quest for vengeance on hold, deciding to put Casca's safety above all else.
  • The Grunting Orgasm: In the third film, Guts has one of these when he finishes inside of Casca.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice as done by Nobutoshi Canna. Hiroaki Iwanaga's growls are impressive too, but in a deeper, more refined manner.
  • Handicapped Badass: Missing his lower arm and an eye, but goddamn if it has done anything to his badassery. If anything, it's enhanced it.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: Not only do his handwraps give him a better grip on his weapon in normal situations, but he sometimes has to practically mummify his live hand to the hilt of the Dragonslayer when he can't grip it properly because of injury.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Guts has been captured and imprisoned twice, and both times he gets the better of his captors with his words alone.
  • In Harm's Way: When they meet for the duel on the hill, Griffith observes that Guts' recklessness on the battlefield is motivated not by having a death wish, but rather by the thrill of fighting for his life. After the Hundred Year War ends and it looks like Midland will be peaceful, Guts decides to leave the Band of the Hawk partly because he wouldn't know what to do with himself in the Hawks' new position of respectability, and because he wants to master the sword by challenging himself with ever tougher fights and adventures until he can become Griffith's equal. After the Eclipse this motivation is replaced by his desire to protect Casca and avenge his fallen comrades.
  • Hates Being Touched: "Don't touch me. Don't ever touch me." There's a very good reason why he is this way: he was raped as a child.
    • If it's Casca who does it, it's okay, as he told her himself.
    • Back in the Golden Age Griffith also had a free pass, but that was a long time ago.
    • He's gotten better after teaming up with Farnese, Serpico, and Schierke.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Casca's unfortunate condition has completely deprived Guts from the affection he wants from her so bad. And ever since the Beast almost got him to rape her, she just no longer wants him which frustrates Guts even more. Still, this might change if the quest to Elfhelm is successful.
  • The Heartless: The Beast was born from Guts's negative emotions and his need for revenge for what happened during the Eclipse. This rather disturbingly links him to the Idea of Evil, which was spawned in a similar way by humanity as a whole.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Since he started Walking the Earth as the Black Swordsman he's been treated as a dangerous villain by townspeople and the authorities, when he is actually just a sometimes ruthless Anti-Hero who is assumed to be—and actively pretends to be—worse than he is. In the first place, he's on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the demonic Apostles who killed everyone he cared about, and he claims not to care about collateral damage. He's a Walking Disaster Area because confronting an Apostle on their home turf invariably escalates into an all out war that causes the streets to run with the blood of (more or less) innocent bystanders, and by the end of it everybody who knows the truth of what happened is either dead or on the run, leaving him as the scapegoat. It doesn't help that he looks a lot like a villain because he's dressed all in black, and tries to act like a total bastard toward anyone who starts to get friendly with him in order to drive them away for their own good. There's also the fact that demons and Apostles that he kills turn back to their human form after they're killed, so that if the monsters' original form had been children, he ends up looking like a mass child murderer to anyone who arrives on the scene afterwards. That causes Knight Templar Farnese of the Holy Iron Chain Knights to pursue and arrest him because she's convinced that he's a servant of evil. After all these misunderstandings he's gotten sick of trying to explain himself because everybody always assumes that he's evil anyway, and he figures that at least if he scares them, they might keep the hell out of his way. Fortunately, his reputation has improved somewhat since the Millenium Falcon Arc gave him the chance for some high-profile heroics, and some of his best sidekicks now are former enemies who realized that he was right all along.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The sword was the first weapon Guts ever learned how to use, and he's been a sword-swinging protagonist ever since. He turned down a magic axe from Flora in favor for his trusty ol' Dragonslayer.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He began to slip into this when Adonis died, being reminded of himself as a child, but Guts snaps out of it when the guards come. The blue screen of death was "rebooted" when he fell into the sewers and eventually stumbled back to the tavern where the Hawks were.
  • Heroic Build: The guy is seriously ripped. Even as his incredibly self-destructive lifestyle takes its visible toll on his body, it only seems to add more scars, whilst the muscles themselves remain powerfully intact.
  • Heroic Neutral: This is how Guts currently acts, more or less (and how he wanted to act when he left the Hawks). Doesn't want to be recruited by the dark side; doesn't want to be recruited by the (supposedly) good side. Just wants to get his girl to Elfhelm and take care of his friends. But unfortunately for him, Guts might fall out of this over time due to a case of the Messiah Creep.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: During his Black Swordsman period, Guts found himself faced with creatures that could not be defeated by a mere human and relied on The Power of Hate to make himself stronger while shutting out any compassion that could make him hesitate, stopping only on the very brink of losing his humanity. Doing this for too long created the Beast of Darkness inside of him, which urges him even after he reunites with Casca and forms a new party to kill his loved ones and focus completely on revenge. The Berserker armor that taps the power of the Beast has enabled him to defeat increasingly powerful enemies, but Schierke warns that he will turn into an even bigger monster if he loses himself to its mindless rage.
  • Hidden Depths: Guts is often reduced at first impression to being a psychopathic '90s Anti-Hero with no redeeming features, or an anti-social Blood Knight who knows nothing but swinging his sword. It comes as a surprise to find that not only does he have a Dark and Troubled Past that explains a lot of his issues, but he is surprisingly friendly once you get past his defense mechanisms. Certainly violence is a large part of his personality, but he is also a devoted lover, protector of small children, a self-reflective dreamer, and something of a Warrior Poet.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Guts may be a blunt asshole a majority of the time and his goals and priorities come first - which are usually at the expense of others - but then again, one of his "selfish" goals is taking care of Casca, who he'd go through hell and back for. Later on, he also ensures the well-being of his present True Companions.
  • Hitman with a Heart: On one hand, Guts has hardly ever felt bad about killing tons of enemies as part of being a mercenary, and doesn't hesitate to accept the more murky assassination missions from Griffith during the Golden Age Arc as long as all of his targets are assholes. That includes killing Count Julius in his home, slaying Griffith's attempted poisoner, and then offing the crooks Griffith hired to kidnap Minister Foss' daughter so that they can't try to blackmail Griffith afterwards. On the other hand, he has no wish to harm innocent bystanders, and still has a soft spot in his heart for kids because of what he went through. Accidentally killing Julius' son Adonis during that first mission causes him to go My God, What Have I Done?—to the extent of holding the boy's hand to comfort him as he dies, and once he's out of danger he experiences a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Hope Bringer: Believe it or not — yes, Guts does have this effect on certain people! In spite of his horrid reputation, and for all his flaws, those who actually get to know him or at least discover his nobler qualities are more likely to be enamored of him rather than be appalled.
    • In the wake of Griffith's capture and the Hawks' subsequent fall from grace, Guts' mere presence alone was enough to bolster the remaining troops' morale, something even Casca wasn't quite able to. This goes to show that, even after two years of departure, the trust and admiration he had left upon his soldiers was not to be taken lightly.
    • During their short time together, Jill actually felt safer being around him over the miserable life waiting for her back home, despite the fact that he'd try time and time again to brush her off (for her own good). Unfriendly, gruff, a tad bit morally questionable, and yet somehow managing to be the only grown-up she could look up to and depend on when things really mattered — Guts ended up leaving a powerful impression on this young girl, inspiring her to try and become stronger as a person.
    • The Conviction Arc's final act saw Guts cooperating with a handful of unlikely allies for mutual survival, and in their Darkest Hour, (unintentionally) became their sole pillar of hope — Farnese's especially. Left broken and in the brink of despair after the event's nightmarish revelations, this once proud Knight Templar suddenly found herself without a cause. Touched by Guts' unwavering determination in the face of terrifying odds, she would go on to find new lease on life as his loyal traveling companion, admiring him for who she sees as the one certainty in a world full of doubts and deceit.
  • Hope Is Scary: The Skull Knight tells him that Casca may be cured of her insanity once and for all if he can get her to the land of Elfhelm. Guts is so happy over the possibility that he actually gives a real smile over the revelation. However, Guts is thrown into anxiety once again, not because he is afraid that Casca's condition won't be curable, but because the Skull Knights went on to cryptically tell Guts that being cured might not be what Casca truly wants.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Guts and Casca actually don't count, since she's tall for a woman despite looking small next to him, but during his post-Eclipse adventures he does always seem to have at least one little girl hanging around with him. Not in a weird way, they just seem to like him. He tends to treat them like an Aloof Older Brother, when he's not trying to chase them off (for their own good) with his Jerkass Façade, but every now and then he can be surprisingly sweet to them.
  • Humble Hero: While Guts can be quite arrogant, he doesn't really think of himself as better than anyone else and constantly takes part in Self-Deprecation. Whenever his actions directly lead to saving a bunch of innocents, he quickly rebuts them and doesn't really care to take credit for any of the good things he does. In his merc days, he showed a surprising amount of humility, such as shrugging off the Band of the Hawk's praises for his actions for holding the line in their first mission. In fact, it's completely out of Guts' lack of self-awareness of his own usefulness that spurred him into Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life.
  • Hunk: Guts is very handsome and very manly. Sure, he gets overshadowed by world-class Bishōnen Griffith when they're together, but he's a bona fide Chick Magnet on his own merits and even Rosine admitted that he was quite handsome. As for his manliness, he's got a deep voice, strong jaw, heroic musculature, and is daring enough to perform feats like catching blades between his teeth.
  • The Hunter: At first he just killed things because it was his job. Now he does it because It's Personal.

    Tropes I-M 
  • If It's You, It's Okay: States this to Casca in terms of letting anyone touch him.
  • Ignorant of the Call: When he was a merc, literally everyone knew just how valuable he was to the team. But Guts himself wasn't even aware how much he and his skills were valued. This lack of self-awareness, coupled with his lack of aspirations, caused him to believe that he was different from the rest of the Band, who all had dreams and aspirations beyond just living to fight another day.
    • And in present-day, Guts is considered by the Skull Knight to be one of the few capable of ever defeating the Godhand, due to his sheer determination and boundless rage. Despite this, Guts now primarily focuses on protecting his loved ones and restoring Casca's sanity.
  • I Have Your Wife: If an Apostle still has someone they love, he does not hold back from using them as a hostage or a decoy. Just ask Theresia and Jill.
  • Immune to Fate: Believed to be this by the Skull Knight. Now that he is stuck in the interstice between the physical and astral planes of the universe, he is able to "break the flow of the river," somewhat, and forge a path for himself that the God Hand itself may not see coming. It should be noted, though, that he cannot keep this up indefinitely. Interesting in that the universe itself is actively trying to defy this, as the Brand of the Sacrifice is trying to "correct the mistake" made during the Eclipse by drawing demons and ghosts to Guts in order to get him killed.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: The man uses a BFS that must weigh at least 300 pounds, and yet is able to swing it so fast that battle-hardened warriors can't follow its path. He can even wield it in one hand! His ability to use a sword whose own smith admitted that it was a useless slab of metal with such ease and dexterity is so absurd that it turns the laws of physics themselves into an absurdity.
    • Justified, given that Guts is in the interstice between the physical and astral planes of existence (and is by implication Immune to Fate). It is entirely possible that he's able to defy the laws of physics, at least to a degree.
  • Improbable Age: Guts is probably the most Egregious example in Berserk — someone attaining rank and competency at such a young age that it buggers the mind. His adoptive father Gambino made him a Child Soldier by forcing him to accompany him into battle as his page and practice fencing with live blades at age six. Guts's first battle as a combatant was at age nine, in which he killed his first man, more by luck than anything else. By age eleven, however, he was a bona fide warrior, even managing to single-handedly kill a noble enemy commander, and since he was driven out of his former mercenary camp this was also the age when he effectively became responsible for himself. At fifteen years old he was showing signs of Charles Atlas Superpower, being far stronger and faster than any grown mercenary and managing to defeat the dreaded knight Bazuso, thereby catching the attention of the equally prodigious young mercenary captain Griffith. At the age of eighteen, just three years after Griffith roped him into the Band of the Hawk, he had attained the rank of Captain of the Hawk's Raiders division, effectively answering only to Griffith and having authority over a couple hundred men. He made his name as a One-Man Army in the Hundred Year War by single-handedly defeating a force of no less than one hundred Tudor mercenaries, and became a hero of the war by slaying the undefeated General Boscogn in the Battle of Doldrey. And those are just the things he did before he got branded as a sacrifice, and had to spend practically every minute of his life fighting against hungry spirits and gargantuan monsters. At the start of the Fantasia Arc, by which time he has fought enough battles to last a lifetime, he is still only 24 years oldnote . Over time this is Deconstructed by the fact that Guts shows serious signs of Dented Iron from having gone through so much physical and mental torture by the start of his twenties, to the point where part of his hair has gone white, his entire body is covered with scars and burns, and his face looks a good ten or twenty years older than he ought to be.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: He's possessed by an evil spirit at one point and nearly rapes Casca, but snaps out of it almost immediately. It's when he sees Casca standing nude, lathered in the blood of men who had also attempted to rape her that Guts gives in — but he just barely prevents himself from crossing the line. This scene implies that his life of constant battle has made him desensitised to things that would arouse most people and can now only get turned on by... sicker "displays."
  • Ineffectual Loner: Was this before running into and joining the Band of the Hawk. Because of his past, Guts preferred to move around from battlefield to battlefield, never sticking around to make friends or get connections, since frankly, he didn't want any. Then he earned The Power of Friendship and the Power of Trust as he began to value the importance of teamwork and camaraderie while with the Hawks. And then it happened (you know the drill). And with that, Guts returned to Ineffectual Loner status (in fact, worse), among other things...)
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Inverted, if only barely, as Guts violently opposes the Godhand and during his earlier days as the Black Swordsman was willing to stoop to any depths if it meant getting closer to his revenge. But the Godhand see him as little more than a form of amusement, laughing at his constant attempts to defy the fate they've set for him. And when Griffith returns to the mortal realm, he doesn't even express any ill will against Guts because he knows the guy is on an objectively lower tier of existence... at least for now.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: When Guts and Casca were up against Adon and his hundred men, Adon explained their intent to capture them both and have Guts tortured while turning Casca into their "toy." Guts, in response, said that Adon wouldn't want a woman like Casca, since she was a total bitch and that she would "bite it right off." Casca promptly elbows Guts in the head.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Age is not a factor when it comes to who Guts bonds with. He gets along well with kids like Rickert, Erika and Schierke, and forms a friendship with Godo, who's old enough to be his father.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted. For being so badass it hurts, Guts still remains a human and there are times when his body is just too worn out to match his will and then he may get captured. Additionally, be it Slan, Grunbeld or Daiba, Miura makes it a point to show that even Guts wouldn't be able to triumph on his own against some opponents who are out of his league.
  • It's All About Me: Played with. When Puck first meets him, Guts professes to only care about taking revenge on Apostles for his own satisfaction, while any innocent bystanders who happen to die are of no concern to him. Later on we learn that Guts is wearing a Jerkass Façade and tries to look down on the weak as worthless so that he will not become vulnerable himself. Far from being a narcissist, he frequently engages in Heroic Self-Deprecation and turns out to be more capable of compassion than he first lets on. It is true, however, that Guts is a neutral character who values the lives of those he cares about more than people who are strangers to him. He is willing to let as many people die as necessary in order to protect Casca, because she is more important to him than any number of other people.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: The reason why he is so reluctant to show more concern for his current companions. Also, it can be said that, even though he may be implacable, Guts would rather not see others get hurt as a direct result of his actions - so long as they didn't get on his bad side before hand. The clearest example of this is when he turned down Jill's request to join him in his journey.
  • Jagged Mouth: When Guts succumbs to the Berserker Armor, the helmet's visor becomes a set of serrated jaws.
  • Jerkass: Like his badass-ness, Guts has several layers of jerkass-ness that seem to evolve throughout the series.
  • Jerkass Façade: Despite his frequent denial, Guts has definitely noble intentions but doesn't want to appear "soft" or get even more people he likes killed.
  • Jerk Justifications: Usually went by explanation type 1 when his jerkass-ness was at its peak: the weak are prey to the ruthless, so you have to be just like that in order to survive.
  • The Jinx: Guts had the really BIG misfortune of being born from a hanged corpse. When Gambino and Sys's mercenary band came across him, the other mercenaries warned Gambino to not pick up the baby, since someone born of that nature was a bad omen. Still, Gambino allowed Sys to take the baby.... much to Gambino's chagrin. After that, when bad things started to happen to Gambino and his mercenaries, it was Guts' fault.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Guts desperately wants Casca to love him back once again. The mere possibility of accomplishing this is his main motivation to try to regain her sanity.
  • Kick the Dog: Some of his more abhorrent acts during his earlier "Black Swordsman" days are designed to have this effect (like him openly expressing his lack of concern for others, enacting Cold-Blooded Torture on Apostles crying for mercy, and carving up the Count's dismembered corpse in front of the guy's own daughter), only to later on reveal through the entire Golden Age Arc why he's such a cruel individual, turning him from a murderous demon slayer whose only cause is revenge to an internally ravaged man plagued by the horrors of his unbelievably tragic Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Knight Errant: Downplayed. Guts is known as the "Black Swordsman" but he isn't about helping or saving people. He has his own goals and might help along the way if it serves his agenda. Yet he never settles anywhere and goes from town to town, seeking to kill all the Apostles who cross his path, indirectly liberating the city or people around from servitude.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: A stretch of course, but if we were to replace "knight" with "mercenary," Guts this in beginning. He acts like a jerk who doesn't care about anyone who is near him, but he reveals that he does care about his comrades, and he sometimes tries to make the most of a bad situation when it turns worst. However, we don't need to remind you how Guts' worldviews changed after the Eclipse. After awhile, he kinda goes back to how he was in the beginning, now that he is looking after his True Companions, but Guts isn't exactly on a mission to save the world and to protect the weak: he just fights monsters to a) get closer to Griffith and the Godhand and b) to protect Casca, and he sometimes just happens to save a bystander or two on the way.
  • Laughing Mad: When Guts laughs in the midst of combat or stress, it's a sign that he's losing grip on his sanity or suffering from severe mental anguish. This happens after Colette's death in The Brand, while he's torturing the count in Guardians of Desire, and while killing the children's ghosts in Lost Children. In the second case he's indulging in outright revenge and sadism, but in the others he is actually feeling intense guilt and using his laughter to brutally suppress these feelings.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Guts' recurring leitmotif in the 1997-98 anime is the track "Guts" by Susumu Hirasawa, a slow, contemplative piano and synthesizer piece with soulful non-lexical vocals. It's not so much a tune exclusive to Guts himself, as it is the music that plays when Guts is being introspective about himself or experiencing a strong emotional connection with another person. It plays when Griffith asks him to join the Band of the Hawk, after Casca stops Corkus' men from killing him in his sleep, when he overhears Griffith's speech to Charlotte about what a dream is, when Casca tells him about why Griffith's dream is so important to her, when he's talking to Casca about the bonfire of dreams, when he and Casca are talking at the victory ball, when Casca calls out his name as he leaves the band of the Hawk, the night when he and Casca make love for the first time, and the morning after when he tells Casca to come with him.
    • In the Golden Age movies, the song "Blood and Guts" becomes this for him, especially "Blood and Guts: Passionate" which plays as he earns his title of "The Hundred-Man Slayer."
    • The 2016 anime introduces "Ashes," a gloriously catchy track that plays whenever he does something really awesome.
  • Let Them Die: During Guts' fight with Mozgus, hordes of undead spirits attracted by the Brand of Sacrifice on both Guts and Casca come upon thousands of starving and poverty-stricken villagers in their charge for our protagonist and his lover. Guts pretty much allows them to die, both because he could care less about them and for the fact that they tried to burn Casca at the stake in hopes of driving the aforementioned evil spirits away.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Makes this harrowing decision with little hesistation in order to save Casca from being raped. The Power of Love will do that to a guy.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: During his earlier days as the Black Swordsman, Guts actually partook in acts of violence and bloodshed that were just as vile and horrific as those of the Apostles he'd face. However, his time with Puck and later on his band of new True Companions would transform him into a more "heroic" individual.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Unlike a Mighty Glacier, Guts is high on offense, defense, and speed. For Lightning, his heavy equipment and muscular build don't prevent him from running at high speed, dodging with great agility, or swinging his giant weapon so fast that seasoned warriors can barely follow its path. As for Bruiser, he hits hard enough to cut plate armored men in half, and is so tough that he's practically Made of Iron.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: With Casca after they affirm their relationship.
  • Limp and Livid: When Guts takes too much abuse to function but keeps going anyway, he gets like this. At the end of the fight with Rosine he does this in a way that looks a lot like the iconic "The Terminator rising from the flames" scene.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Griffith came to depend on him very much during his days with the Hawks, to an extent that neither Guts nor Griffith himself realized. As soon as he left, Griffith had a massive breakdown, and his feelings of longing and hate towards Guts were all that sustained him in prison.
    • Casca is currently this to Guts, along with Guts' other companions, as without them, Guts would be just a hollow shell of hatred and despair.
  • Locked into Strangeness: When Guts used the berserker armor for the first time, the stress caused a fringe of his hair to turn white.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Starts off as a mercenary loner struggling with his inner demons of anger and has no interest in making connections with others. Throughout the series, though, he finally begins to accept his new friends in the form of the Band of the Hawk.
  • Love at First Punch: He first met Casca in a sword fight to the death, and was stunned by her face when he realized that Samus Is a Girl. At first they just hated each other, but this developed into Belligerent Sexual Tension in no time.
  • Made of Iron: Guts is superhumanly tough, able to survive being impaled, carried off several hundred feet into the air, flown at the speed of sound without any protection, than falling hundreds of feet and still be able to fight. Given the sorts of nasties he has to contend with on a regular basis, you'd better believe the guy needs it.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Guts' private parts are occasionally glimpsed, for example during his first time with Casca, and while Miura represents both male and female genitals in a painterly rather than graphic manner he at least wants to suggest they're there.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Despite being rather decent compared to most other male characters in the series, Guts is much less nervous than Casca when both prepare to make love together (although he did snap a bit when he has a flashback from his childhood). Plus, he enjoyed it so much that he then tells her straight that he wants to do that with her again at least a thousand more times.
  • Manly Tears: Guts is unquestionably a badass tough guy, but nobody in the story thinks him any less of a man for crying when the situation calls for it. He cried and embraced Griffith when he saw what happened to him after his torture. Then when he was unable to save Casca from her demon rape at Femto's hands. See "Men Don't Cry" for more examples.
  • Master Swordsman: Guts' sword fighting abilities are off the charts to the point of Implausible Fencing Powers. Since childhood he was forced to survive by his skill with a sword and practiced every day using a sword much larger than his stature, so that by age 15 he was effortlessly wielding a weapon three times the usual size and able to cut through plate armor. At the same time, a scene from The Movie shows that he can kill hordes of mooks just as easily with a regular-sized sword. At first Griffith was able to beat him using superior agility and technique, but by the time he left the Hawks Guts had become too strong, too fast, and too skilled for even Griffith to stand a chance. After the Elipse he started using a BFS so ridiculously huge that its maker dismissed it as an absurd mockery of the concept of a sword, and yet if anything he became even faster and deadlier. He is able to move it fast enough that experienced warriors cannot follow its path, and Puck first realizes that Guts is a master swordsman when he parries a shower of lethal blows from Zondark that were moving too fast to be seen with the naked eye. Besides this, Guts has the ability to quickly analyze an opponent's fighting style and is a genius at deception, combat pragmatism, and improvising. He is able to counter Silat's exotic weapons by figuring out their weaknesses, and manages to beat Serpico even in unfavorable terrain where the use of his weapons was severely restricted.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Guts" works on several levels, at least in English. He was born in a pool of blood and filth beneath his hanged mother, representing his ability to survive in the face of tragedy and the loss of his loved ones. He is powerful and violent, sometimes practically covering himself in the entrails of his enemies when he fights. The song "Blood and Guts" from the film series is all about these associations and how he is doomed to live a life of violence. Most of all, perhaps, he has the "guts" or courage to persevere in the face of any challenge, no matter what stands in his way. Admittedly, these double meanings were almost certainly not the author's original intention, since he mentioned in an interview that he wanted to use a voiced sound for a name. He chose "Guts/Gatsu" because it sounded kind of German and had a nice ring to it.
    • His name is also similar to Götz von Berlichingen, a Real Life knight with a mechanical arm. Somebody once pointed this similarity out to Miura, but he claimed he'd never heard of him before.
  • Men Are Uncultured: The only way for Guts to get into books and pimped-out balls is if some sort of woman is involved. With the former, it has to be pornographic. To be fair, that pornographic book was the only one (eagerly) offered to him by Griffith, and he did read it, but focused on what Griffith was saying. And the reason for going to the ball was to see all his friends enjoying their hard earned social success and be ready to follow the blackmailing/murdering plans of Griffith.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. Guts is wary of showing vulnerability and usually acts pretty stoic, but there are several times where he actually cries and the story doesn't treat it as making him any less badass. During the Golden Age Arc, Casca is one of the first people to see him cry after he had a flashback to being raped as a child during his first time with her, which caused him to almost choke her involuntarily before snapping back to his senses. He wept for Griffith when he discovered how much he had been broken by torture in Midland's dungeon, and he also cries in rage and anguish both during and after the Eclipse. Even during his rage-filled Black Swordsman period, Guts is fighting back tears of remorse at the end of the Count's Run even though he tries to hide it from Theresia and Puck.
  • Messiah Creep: Guts doesn't really care about saving the world, but he gradually moves in this direction as he gains more followers and beats bigger and badder monsters. Who else is going to do it anyway?
  • Mind Rape: "Mundane" torture scenario. What Femto did to Guts during the eclipse was rape in every form. It's especially vile since Femto mind raped Guts by physically raping Casca in front of him, which he probably did to invoke Guts' memories of being raped as a child.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Needles! Guts really can't bear these and cries like a baby whenever he gets his wounds stitched. Yes, we can see the irony.
  • Missing Mom: This overused shonen trope is taken to the extreme since Guts' real mother was dead before he even fell out of her and his adoptive mother died from the plague when Guts was three. There is a chance Guts might have never even talked to a woman before he met Casca...
  • Mr. Fanservice: Maybe not intentional but the guy is very tall, very ripped, ruggedly handsome, appears shirtless or even completely naked several times, so it only comes with the territory that he garnered a devoted female fandom and probably more than a few fanboys.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: After all of the crap that they had gone through since the Eclipse, all that Guts wants to do is to make Casca smile.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Happens two prominent times. First was when he accidentally killed Count Julius' son Adonis leading him to go into Heroic B.S.O.D. mode. The second was when he almost raped Casca when the Beast got the best of him. After that, Guts began to keep his distance from her, fearing that he might hurt her again - or worse.
  • My Greatest Failure: Guts' greatest failure is not only being unable to save Casca from being raped by Femto during the Eclipse, but also leaving her to deal with her trauma alone for two years to pursue revenge against Griffith and deal with his own trauma alone.
    • Guts is also painfully aware of the fact that his abandoning of the Hawks is the root cause of everything bad that went down. Made extra painful by the fact that Guts ended his one year pilgrimage by concluding that his place was with the Hawks after all.

    Tropes N-S 

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If you're a bad guy, try not to come across a guy named "Guts" — he'll be sure to splatter yours.
  • Nay-Theist: Guts does believe in God, or something like him. The catch is that his experiences have convinced him that God Is Evil, and wants nothing to do with whatever "divine entity" that looms out there.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Early in the Millennium Falcon arc, Guts temporarily loses control to the Beast of Darkness inside him and sexually assaults Casca, but he regains his senses just in time to stop himself from raping her. The consequences are still very serious, as he blames himself for what he did to her under the influence, and it makes Casca refuse to trust him near her anymore.
  • Never My Fault: When he returned to Godo's house to find Casca was missing, Guts immediately went to blaming Rickert instead of looking how he played a role in Casca's condition.
  • Never Sleep Again: Ever since he got the brand, Guts can only get some shut eye when he finds a spot in full sunlight. Eventually he gets so conditioned to this he can't fall asleep at nighttime anymore even when he knows he is in a safe spot.
  • Nice Hat: Usually not his thing except that one time when Guts was scheming with Griffith against the queen. The hat seemed so out of character some viewers at first didn't even recognize the mysterious assassin even tough he was using a big sword. After that, we realise how good he looks with it.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Guts, who debuted with the publication of the manga in 1990, has almost all the characteristics of a nineties anti-hero. He has a gritty but simple name, is missing an arm and an eye, has ridiculous muscles but relies on his lethal equipment instead of superpowers, wears a black costume with lots of bags and bandoliers, is a badass with a Dark and Troubled Past and sarcasm to boot, and uses a ludicrous BFS as his main weapon. During the early Black Swordsman Arc he tells Puck that he doesn't care about anything except Revenge, considering any bystanders who get caught up in his vengeance as weaklings who didn't deserve to live, and he brutally tortures any villains he defeats. In spite of all this he turns out to be something of an Unbuilt Trope example, or at least a more subtle one, as the state we first see him in is when he's at his very worst and using a Jerkass Façade to hide from his pain. He goes through several shades of Anti-Hero through his Character Development, but always has some redeeming qualities such as loyalty to his friends and sympathy for those who have suffered like he has.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Yeah. Yelling and death glaring might work to intimidate the other people present, Guts, but that ain't gonna work on Godo. Now sit down, shut up, and receive your What the Hell, Hero? lecture like a man.
  • Noble Demon: A seriously pissed off Guts will become much like a demon himself, but his staunch resolve to remain human and the presence of his Morality Chain (read: Casca) prevents him from completely delving into full-blown "demonhood."
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Roguish Male to Griffith's, and later Serpico's Noble Male.
  • No Social Skills: Because of being raised as a mercenary by an abusive father and having experiences that made him avoid letting anyone get close to him, Guts is blunt, tactless, antisocial, and completely clueless about social graces such as how to show deference to the nobility or talk to a lady.
  • Oblivious to Love: He never really bothered to realize that Casca wanted him to stay with the Hawks because she was falling in love with him. He also completely and utterly failed to notice how obsessed Griffith was with him, to the point of assuming that his utterly crushed stance when Guts is leaving has to do with Griffith being unable to deal with being defeated.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Puck thinks it's unlike Guts to accept other people so readily when he lets Farnese, Serpico, and Isidro join his travels. Guts even acknowledges that normally he'd have refused them outright, but he did it because he doesn't trust himself with Casca anymore. In Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage, he also expresses surprise that Guts apologized to Rita since he's usually The Unapologetic.
  • Official Couple: With Casca.
  • One-Man Army: He earned the moniker of "Hundred-Man Slayer" well before becoming the monster-killer he is today.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: Because of being abused as a child, Guts Hates Being Touched by anyone except Casca, and to an extent Griffith as well. After being celibate for a long time he eventually develops Single-Target Sexuality for Casca, but he has a panic attack during Their First Time as a result of his pent-up trauma. The good news is that they work through it together, and after that he even expresses interest in doing it with her 1000 times more. The bad news is that the Eclipse and Casca's mental condition afterwards create a different problem: He strongly desires to have sex with her even though he knows she isn't able to give consent, and a Near-Rape Experience with her caused by his Enemy Within makes him fearful that his urges will lead to him abusing her. From then on he tries not to ever see her unclothed and leaves most of her personal care to Farnese.
  • Papa Wolf: Surprisingly, he's more of this to Schierke than to the Child, but probably because Casca won't let Guts near him. They also don't get to spend much time together so far, since he's always battling monsters whenever he shows up. Then again, this is usually a cue in for their own little relationship.
  • Perma-Shave: It's a given that Griffith doesn't have a beard, but even Mr. Manly-Man Guts doesn't have any facial hair either. The scars will do.
  • Perpetual Frowner: While Guts occasionally makes a Slasher Smile or some sardonic and smug one, he's usually expressionless or frowning and rarely genuinely smiles or laughs. Corkus even claims in his rant against him that he always has a brooding expression like he's carrying the world on his shoulders, and that this is what he can't stand about him.
  • It's Personal: The reason why Guts fights Apostles, especially after the Eclipse. He may be a hero of sorts, but his primary goal isn't helping people or ridding the world of evil, even though most apostles are a very real threat to normal people. He just wants to eradicate those who have caused him pain and suffering in the past and will beat down anyone who gets in his way, be they Mook or Innocent Bystander.
  • Pet the Dog: Just when you're ready to write him down as a simple Villain Protagonist, he up and does one of these when you least expect it. It usually happens to children... even the very children he was using as bait or shields against monsters not one chapter ago.
    • Arguably, this is one of the major aspects of Guts' character. To put it mildly, Guts cannot be considered a good person—he's committed atrocities of varying moral repugnancy, is generally abrasive and self-centered, is so accustomed to violence that killing is as easy as breathing to him, and is incompetent in social mannerisms to the point where the story's Darkest Hour might not have happened had he been aware of his friends' true feelings towards him. But time and time again, Guts has shown himself to be fully capable of compassion to a surprising degree, and it is ultimately both his refusal to sacrifice his humanity and his determination to protect his loved ones that separates him from the monstrous Apostles he faces.
  • Phrase Catcher: As soon as he appears on the scene, you can count on someone to say some variation on "Look at that thing! Is that a sword!?"
  • Plot Armor: Due to having been branded and sacrificed by Griffith upon the Eclipse, Guts cannot be sacrificed again by anyone, as was exposed during his run-in with the Count. But that's cold comfort when you still have the Legions of Hell at your back 24/7. By extension, Casca shares this "protection."
  • Plot Magnet: In several ways, mostly due to his Brand.
  • Pointy Ears: Not nearly as pointy as many of the supernatural entities in the series, but his ears are still noticeably so when compared to other humans. They also get decidedly pointy whenever he dons his Berserker armour and Schierke exposes his astral visage, which clearly sports a pair of black, elongated ears.
  • Power Incontinence: Guts cannot control the Berserker Armor on his own, and once he starts fighting he will lose control without Schierke's intervention.
  • The Power of Friendship: Back in his merc days, Guts was just a brooding loner who constantly sought the next fight purely for the sake of the next fight—life as a sellsword being so routine to him that he never really considered any thought towards building his own dreams, goals or aspirations beyond combat. It was the Band of the Hawk and his experiences with them that led to him becoming more introspective and trusting of others—only for all of that to be taken away during the Eclipse. Now, he's found a new party that he truly does care for despite his stony demeanor, and they're slowly edging their way into making him a better person through their presence alone as a collective Morality Pet to prevent him from going off the deep end.
  • The Power of Hate: Ran on this throughout his two years of Walking the Earth out of pure vengeance for the betrayal he suffered at the Eclipse and the loss of all of his friends. After realizing that he still has something Worth Living For in Casca, Guts has tried to cast his hatred aside in favor of keeping her safe and restoring her sanity, but still he is often forced to rely on the Berserker Armor, and the beast constantly tempts him to give in to wrath.
  • The Power of Love: No matter how you look at it, his current driving force is his love for Casca. Nothing un-badass here. He just doesn't want to lose the last being on Earth able to actually warm up his heart. Sure his new True Companions are important and all, but Casca is on a completely different level.
  • The Power of Trust: It's ultimately this, however, that serves as the impetus for Guts' whole journey. It's his trust in the Hawks that leads him to become a more introspective and sociable young lad. It's the betrayal of his best friend that utterly destroys all notions of kindness in his heart and drives him near-insane from hatred. It's his trust and love for Casca which pushes him to overcome all kinds of obstacles that are even godlike in nature in the name of protecting her. And it is his trust in his current crowd of companions that leads him to want to preserve his humanity for the sake of protecting them and keeping himself from being just as monstrous and depraved as the Apostles he faces.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Guts as a rage-filled Anti-Hero has laughed while slaughtering all around him in at least one of his darkest moments. In the Lost Children chapter, while being attacked at night by the flaming ghosts of dozens of children who he had killed earlier when they were possessed monsters, he laughs with wild abandon as if taking sadistic joy in cutting them down. However, his subtle reactions betray the fact that he's using this frenzied state as a coping mechanism to keep fighting through the nauseating guilt and horror that he's feeling, and he immediately snaps out of it when he sees Jill in the midst of the danger and shields her with his own body.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Or Rage Against The Hells, if that makes more sense, when putting the Godhand in general into consideration...
  • Raised by Dudes: And abusive dudes at that, hence his maladjusted behaviour around people in general. When it came to interacting and understanding women, especially with Casca, Guts was a typical clueless guy and his behavior was straight-up sexist. He eventually gets over his initial ignorance and ill-manners toward women (at least in the case of Casca), but now he had to tackle a little feeling known as "love."
  • Rape as Backstory: After Gambino sold him to child prostitution, Guts couldn't avoid getting what was coming to him, no matter how hard he fought it. Even though he managed to exact revenge sometime later.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Guts became a real man when he was just nine years old...
  • Real Men Eat Meat: ESPECIALLY rat meat - and wash it down with blood.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Zigzagged all along the story. He is gruff, blunt, aloof, dismissive and Hates Being Touched but there are times where he shows a warmer side of himself. For instance, he is quite surprised to find himself appreciating the company of his new True Companions and he really, really wants Casca to love him again.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The first traveling companion of this dark, towering, wayward swordsman is none other than - a faerie, but that doesn't lower his badass credentials.
  • Red Baron: Initially known as "Raid Leader Guts" after his position as captain of the Hawk's Raiders, he gets the moniker "Hundred Man Slayer" as a result of single-handedly killing at least 100 Tudor mercenaries sent against him by Adon Coborlwitz. His destructive Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Apostles after the Eclipse gets him named "the Black Swordsman" and he is recognized by his black clothing, giant sword, and false arm. He is sometimes also called "the Branded Swordsman" for the Brand of Sacrifice on his neck, evidence that he has survived the Eclipse and countless nightly assaults by demons.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the Berserker armor takes him over, the eye slots glows red.
  • Red Is Heroic: Averted. In the Golden Age Arc movies, Guts wore a red cape to contrast with Griffith's blue-lined cape. Of course, he's only a Nominal Hero and isn't even THE hero in the Golden Age Arc (that went to Griffith - for a time). Guts is, however, The Protagonist of the story.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the passionate and headstrong Red Oni to Griffith's cool and collected Blue Oni.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The very reason why he wants to take on Griffith and the Apostles.
    • Until the Tower of Conviction arc this sums up the series. The Black Dog keeps trying to tempt him back into this, telling him to just kill Casca and go back to trying to kill Griffith and anything in his way is just practice.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Since childhood, Guts has been trained as a warrior. Now, he can wield an impossible weapon with one hand and can take out scores of enemies all by himself. Sometimes ''in one swing''. ... It's just too bad that he has crummy social skills because of his upbringing (along with his traumatic backstory).
  • Satanic Archetype: Guts was once labelled by the Church Militant led by Farnese as the Hawk of Darkness, said to be the one to bring eternal doom and despair to the world. While he's in no way a saint, Guts is not nearly as evil as they make him out to be. But the often very morally questionable deeds he performs in order to defeat Apostles tend to rub people the wrong way, to put it lightly. Even those who don't consider Guts as the Hawk of Darkness see him as a monstrous human being who should be hated, feared, and avoided. All the while loving and worshipping Griffith.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Before the cape, Guts had the scarf - and it kicked so much ass.
  • Scars Are Forever: Though he's Covered with Scars and the Brand of Sacrifice takes up a lot of attention, Guts' signature scar is the one that's on the bridge of his nose: In the manga Gambino gave it to him during sword practice when he was about six years old, while in the 1997 anime he got it at age eleven when Gambino tried to kill him in his tent.
  • Scary Teeth: As much as we all look forward to seeing Guts smile, whenever he does so, it's never with teeth... maybe because every time he bares his teeth, we see huge pearly gnashers with rather intimidating canines. Still pretty impressive in an age with no orthodontists. And to add...
  • Screaming Warrior: When Guts gets really pissed, he'll often start yelling at the top of his lungs as he starts laying about with his BFS.
  • Screw Destiny: The dude declares war on the very concept of destiny, as his destiny was to die at the hands of demons during the Eclipse.
  • Second Love: Guts becomes Casca's second love, once she realizes there is no place in Griffith's heart for her. She was his first.
  • Self-Deprecation: To a fault, especially during the Golden Age arc. Guts routinely undervalues his accomplishments and his worth to his comrades and friends. This takes a dark turn when he leaves the Hawks after defeating Griffith in a duel: he believes that his departure is insignificant weighed against Griffith's larger ambitions, and that Griffith would soon get over it and move on. He could not have been more wrong.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: Guts does this often, but one memorable example comes during the Eclipse, when he is trying to save Casca. First he rushes through a wall of demons and almost gets ripped to shreds, then he has to hack off his arm to continue the fight and he wouldn't have lost his eye if he wasn't trying so hard to push himself up while pinned down.
  • Self-Harm: Deliberate Injury Gambits notwithstanding, Guts (in the earlier chapters of the manga) has been shown deliberately and graphically piercing his nails into his arms as a stimulant to get him ready for the upcoming battle against the Snake Baron. However, in later appearances Guts appears to have grown out of this mindset and his self-harming tendencies have been restricted to his Injury Gambits.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Accidentally killed his adoptive father Gambino in self-defense, leaving him all alone.
  • Shirtless Scene: Guts has had several chances to show us his magnificent torso, much to the Fangirls' (and fanboys') delight. Somehow, the fact that he's Covered with Scars doesn't make him any less attractive.
  • Shrouded in Myth: According to Isidro, Guts didn't kill 100 soldiers, but 1,000. Guts says the story is getting embellished but refuses to elaborate.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Throughout the series, Guts has attracted, been fawned over, been molested by, and has seen numerous women naked. But at the end of the day, he only has eyes for one woman: Casca. Aside from a case that now is widely interpreted as Early Installment Weirdness where he had sex with a female Apostle in the first panel of the manga, being a womanizer is obviously not a part of Guts' personality for various reasons, and so he remains staunchly faithful toward Casca.
    • Also, though his monogamy towards Casca is hardly a bad thing, Guts' attraction toward her has been the only time that he's played the All Men Are Perverts trope straight, some instances being a bit more disturbing, such as when Guts came close to forcing himself on Casca after the Eclipse when he accidentally ripped her clothes, or when he almost raped her in volume 23.
  • Skunk Stripe: The first time Guts puts on the Berserker Armor, he gains a streak of white in his hair.
  • Slasher Smile: The only type of smile Guts is ever shown to have with few exceptions during the Golden Age Arc.
    • He does give a genuine smile when he learns there's a possibility of Casca being cured. So that's one non-slasher smile in a good two years.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: A non-malevolent/sneaky version. While Casca is Guts' superior, their relationship isn't based on any hierarchy of power or the inequality that comes with it.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: At least he wears pauldrons over his shoulders in combat, but before he got the Berserker armor you could count the number of times he wore an outfit with proper sleeves on one hand. How else would he show off those hulking muscles? Even in the Berserker armor, his arms are uncovered below the pauldrons when he's not using its power; the vambraces pop out and close around his arms when he awakens it.
  • The Social Darwinist: Back when he was a bigger jerk than normal, Guts adopted the "only the strong deserve to live" motto as his own. The irony in this is that he verbally condemned Casca, who is currently defenseless and can't take care of herself, to the same fate as those who couldn't fight against the strong. Guts cleaned up his act after awhile and seems to have dropped this ideology upon re-realizing what he wanted to protect the most.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Well due to his general lack of regard for human suffering and occasional bloodlust in combat of course! He has also engaged in some Cold-Blooded Torture of some particularly horrible enemies before killing them, with no purpose beyond making them suffer...and we'd probably applaud him for it. Amusingly enough, this general trait is also played up in the abridged series. That all being said though, he has mellowed out considerably nowadays, with his True Companions and whatnot.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He deliberately acts like a Jerkass to stop others from getting close to him. Not only is his normal fear of relationships heightened due to a recent betrayal by his closest friend, but as a result of that betrayal he is currently marked with a brand that attracts horrific monsters to him that aren't averse to killing or devouring anyone who gets in their way. It is only when he finds Casca again that he begins to become less of an asshole, but because of his obsession with vengeance against his former mentor for what he did to him, her and the band he once led, he has to deal with a horrific Enemy Within that represents his absolute worst side.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: He and Casca are two of a kind and paid dearly for this...
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Once tried this on Casca after her first battle against Adon, when she got incapacitated by her period and both fell off a cliff due to her fainting from exhaustion. Inverted in that it had the effect of a Rousing Speech rather than a demotivator, which was his intent all along.
  • The Stoic: He tends to keep his emotions at a minimum, and really only opens up toward people whom he trusts. Corkus once claimed that this was the reason why he hated him so much.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Overloaded with testosterone, chiselled physique, dark, rugged, handsome... Need we say more?
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: The Beast, his Enemy Within, one of the most evil entities of the series (and in a series that includes Griffith / Femto and the Idea of Evil, that's saying something). It used to live in harmony with Guts during the Retribution Arc but, now that he decided not to lose Casca to anyone or anything, the Beast constantly tries to goad Guts into killing Casca so it could take over his body again, and when Guts wears the Berserker Armor, he opens himself wide open to its influence.
  • Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: As stated in the recent chapter 328, Gambino would send his front lines in as decoys in order to get shot at by the enemy archers - including Guts. Apparently, it wasn't enough to get Guts killed, even if Gambino passed it off as a "life lesson" and we can only assume that's he's tried this before. Jerk.
  • Survivor Guilt: Interestingly enough, most of this comes not from his horrible experience during the Eclipse, but from his horrible childhood experience of being raped by Donovan. As with most survivors of sexual abuse and assault, Guts blamed himself for not being able to defend himself against Donovan, even though he shouldn't because Guts - who was only about six or seven at the time - couldn't have put up a fight against a guy who was easily ten times bigger than he, and that it wasn't his fault to begin with: it was his crummy adoptive father who was to blame, since he sold him for three silver coins.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: As noted multiple times, Guts's Artificial Arm can switch between being a repeating crossbow and a cannon.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: He had to kill two major people in his pre-Hawks backstory apart from those he killed in battle as a child mercenary. The first was Donovan, a pederast soldier in his adoptive father Gambino's band, who Guts killed in revenge for having raped him. The other was Gambino himself, who Guts had to kill in self-defense after Gambino lost his leg, got drunk one night and tried to murder him because he blamed the poor kid for the death of his lover from the plague. The latter killing affected him quite more strongly than the former, though he still has the aversion to being touched which came from Donovan's attack on him.

    Tropes T-Z 

  • Technical Virgin: Although he was anally raped by Donovan as a child, Guts never had consensual intercourse until his time with Casca.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: And lots of things do, so don't rub him the wrong way for your own sake.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: This seems to be much how Guts reacts to his Fetus Terrible child. Unfortunately for him, the horribly marred fetus IS his child.
  • Took a Level in Badass: His entire life has been spent doing this. A notable example is when he fights Griffith for the first time, the two fight evenly but Guts eventually loses, no thanks to his unhealed wounds. When Guts and Griffith fight much later when Guts' is leaving the Hawks, he only needs one blow to defeat Griffith showing just how far he surpassed Griffith.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After experiencing the Eclipse, Guts went from a defrosting Jerkass to a TOTAL Jerkass that almost verged into a Face–Heel Turn, had he not already reached Byronic Hero status by the time the series began (which is really just a special kind of jerkass if you think about). Then again, maybe all is not lost.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After having gained so many jerkass levels, Guts gets progressively nicer after a resounding What the Hell, Hero? from Godo, and especially after forming a group of True Companions.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Casca is this to him since she is the last remnant of the original Band of the Hawk aside of him. Additionally, the throwing knives and strap that he kept from Judeau.
  • Tragic Mistake: Guts himself knows all too well that leaving the Band of the Hawk was the biggest mistake he ever made, since the place where he belonged was right there and he just didn't realize it. This was the catalyst that led to Griffith beginning his slide down the Despair Event Horizon which led to his sacrifice of all of the Hawks in the Eclipse, and stemmed from Guts' misjudgment of both Griffith and himself. Guts took Griffith's speech to Charlotte about what a friend is at face value, and always saw Griffith as a perfect figure looking down on everybody else. Even though Casca told him when they were hiding in a ravine that he was special to Griffith, and that Griffith was not a god but a vulnerable human like everybody else, Guts still couldn't see past his admiration for Griffith or realize that he wasn't inferior to Griffith. He thought that Griffith didn't need him, and that the only way to prove that he was Griffith's equal was to go out and find his own dream. A year after that Casca tells him how wrong he was, saying that Griffith fell apart because he left.
  • Trash Talk: It's a male pride thing. When he has no strength left to fight anymore, Guts will still stand up to his opponents and trash talk them until he drops. Lampshaded by Serpico upon his Enemy Mine moment with Zodd against Ganishka.
    Serpico: "Don't tell me he got up only for the sake of trash-talking Zodd..."
  • Troll: Yes, surprisingly enough. When he was much younger, he was constantly at odds with Casca to the point where he would make scathing remarks at her for the sole purpose of riling her up. While this has been downplayed since the Eclipse, when he does indulge in Trollish behavior, he tends to be even more piercing than reason would dictate. Case in point, when Farnese interrogates him on his motives under the assumption that he's the Hawk of Darkness, Guts brutally tears a hole in both her and her religion ("That statue is as hollow as you are"). Even when the two of them are surrounded by possessed dogs out for their blood, Guts still finds the time to mock her beliefs.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Considering that his ass is constantly swarmed with evil spirits attracted to his brand, it's best to be prepared.
  • "Uh-Oh" Eyes: Take heed in this warning, children, as the windows to Guts' soul also signify how much immediate danger you are in: Hellish Pupils: Be prepared to lose a limb or two; Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: If you value your life, stop moving and play dead; Blank White Eyes: You will not survive to read the end of this sen -
  • The Unapologetic: Guts usually doesn't try to pass blame when he acts mean to someone or takes it on himself to Shoot the Dog, but his attitude is I Did What I Had to Do and he refuses to apologize no matter how much Puck bugs him about it. On the other hand, this is partly an aspect of his Jerkass Façade, especially towards Jill and even Puck himself. On the occasions when he does apologize to someone, such as to Rita for killing her possessed partner John in Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage, it's serious business for him and therefore unusually sincere.
  • The Unfettered: Less so nowadays, but back when he was a lone traveler, Guts would let nothing get in the way of killing an Apostle.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Despite living what seems like a life cursed by fate, every misfortune in Guts' life is accompanied by some stroke of luck or fateful encounter that enables him to endure it, if only just barely, and prevents his hope from dying.
    • Concerning his childhood: He was an orphan the moment he was born, but he was discovered by Sys and saved from dying beneath his mother's corpse. Sys died and Gambino abused him while making him fight as a Child Soldier, but he survived and developed precocious talent as a warrior. He killed Gambino in self-defense and got wounded while escaping, collapsing by the side of the road, but another troupe of mercenaries happened to pass by and take him in before he died of exposure.
    • In the Golden Age Arc, he got in a fight with Griffith and received a wound that almost killed him, but he had impressed Griffith so much that he ordered Guts to be nursed back to health, and offered him a job when he woke up. He had the rotten luck of encountering Zodd the Immortal, and later Wyald, but the former he survived because his destiny was entwined with Griffith's , and the latter because by that point he was pretty much the ultimate fighter. The Eclipse—in which he was betrayed by his best friend, got branded as a demon sacrifice, had all his companions devoured by monsters, and lost his left hand and right eye while being forced to watch the rape of Casca, his true love—gave him reason to curse the day he was ever born. AND YET: he and Casca were Rescued from the Underworld by the Skull Knight just in the nick of time, meaning that they basically survived by cheating death and the laws of causality.
    • Upon waking up at Godo's place, Guts learns that Casca has lost her mind, and that both of them will be hunted by hungry spirits trying to drag them to hell, every night for as long as they live. On top of that, Casca gives birth to a misshapen baby tainted with evil. Guts goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that nearly causes him to go permanently Ax-Crazy, but he just happens to meet Fairy Companion Puck who keeps him sane for two years by serving as his Morality Chain. Eventually he snaps out of it and goes back for Casca, and while he very nearly loses her without being able to do a thing about it, she is protected by her supernatural baby as well as various good Samaritans in time for Guts to reach her. Then, under his leadership they all survive the collapse of the Tower in the Mock Eclipse, which kills every one of the tens of thousands of people in the area except them. Afterwards Guts is back to square one with Casca since they have nowhere to go, but Puck reveals there's a magical fairy land where they can go to get her cured! He can't possibly take care of Casca alone while struggling with his Enemy Within, then lo and behold! Companions gather around to aid them, one after another! With their help, and the help of a mysterious child that keeps appearing, Guts manages to defeat a ludicrous number of unspeakable monsters and get them all to Elfhelm, a feat that puts him in the same league as Homer's Odysseus.
    • Long story short, Guts' life is painful and miserable, but if his luck keeps up there will always be a silver lining. And hey, at least he has good luck winning at dice with other mercenaries.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In the first volumes it looks like Guts relies only on strength because of his crude weapon and brutality in combat, but it's subverted when Puck realizes that he's actually a Master Swordsman during the second fight with Zondark. Far from lacking in technique, subsequent volumes show that he is probably one of the most skilled swordsmen to ever live.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Guts runs on this. Especially when he has the Berserker Armor.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Surprisingly, Guts was actually a sweet and innocent kid, up until his adoptive dad Gambino sold him to Donovan for three silver coins when he was nine. That traumatic experience and his subsequent revenge were the end of his innocence. After he was finally forced to kill Gambino in self-defense and got driven out of the camp by a mob intent on killing him, he became bitter, hateful and cut off from other people.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Everywhere this guy goes, calamity happens, mainly due to him being a complete Weirdness Magnet thanks to the Brand. After the incident with Colette and her father, he even called himself a "walking disaster area."
  • Walking the Earth: Especially during the first 3 volumes where he was the Black Swordsman.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Convinced that Casca was in love with Griffith, Guts wished the both of them happiness before leaving the Hawks even though he himself had a growing attraction to Casca at the time.
  • War Is Hell: Despite Guts' inclination to engage in violent battles—along with the awesomeness that comes whenever he overcomes the challenges he faces—it is made perfectly clear throughout the story that his life of constant strife is not something to be seen as... "glorious" per se. While he saw the Midland-Chuder war as a way to get a quick buck and as more or less an adventure to undertake along with his friends, the one he declared against the Godhand and Apostles was a completely personal one that changed his life for the worse. Throughout his endless struggles against his "destined" fate, he has managed to survive—but in the process also lost his left arm and right eye, gradually became Covered in Scars, turned emotionally deadened to the suffering of others (and in general), aged to look much older than he actually is, and far more inclined to commit horrific acts of violence which can be considered just as monstrous as the enemies he faces. But what made Guts actually see the depths of the damage his war against the Apostles has wrought? The fact that, had he never gone off on his own in the name of revenge, he might've been able to better tend to Casca's condition and live with her in relative peace.
  • Warrior Poet: Guts eventually becomes an aloof, melancholic one after finding his new True Companions.
    • Following the 100-man slaying incident, he has a surprisingly poetic conversation with Casca, and she is just as surprised as the reader to see that he has these sorts of Hidden Depths. Later on when he gives Casca a speech about chasing his own dream the morning after their Relationship Upgrade, she quips that it must have taken all his brains to come up with that, and that for a minute he sounded just like Griffith.
    • During his not-very-nice rampaging Black Swordsman days, he gave a "It's Not You, It's My Enemies" explanation to Jill that was a tearjerking, awesome, and heartwarming moment all in one.
  • Weapon of Choice: His BFS and his artificial arm that serves as a cannon and crossbow. Schrieke tries to offer him an enchanted axe to use against the Apostles and other monsters, but he refuses, saying he prefers wielding a simple weapon that he's grown accustomed to over a magical one he's not familiar with.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Even when he's not fighting for his life, Guts just runs into weird-ass shit all the time.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As a kid, Guts's primary motivation was to make his adoptive father Gambino proud. It ended badly.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Griffith.
  • When He Smiles: In volume 28, Guts briefly gives a true smile upon hearing from the Skull Knight that Casca might be cured of her insanity once and for all if he gets her to Elfhelm. Schierke, who is present, gives a soft reaction of happiness that she was able to see Guts smile like this.
  • Whole Costume Reference: His Berserker Armor looks similar to Batman.
  • Why Won't You Die?: He's on the receiving end of this a lot. Frequently, some Apostle or, in one notable case, a hundred men, will come at him with everything they have—only for him to come back again and again. Even his allies are often left dumbstruck by his insane will to keep on surviving despite the odds.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Casca throughout the Golden Age arc. They Do before Griffith's rescue, having a Relationship Upgrade. Unfortunately, they couldn't enjoy their relationship for long.
  • Wonder Child: He gave a grieving childless woman the gift of motherhood by being another woman's orphaned newborn.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He doesn't exactly want to destroy the world...but he is willing to walk a path of destruction to get to where he wants to be, and he doesn't care who gets in his way. Some say that his quest to destroying the Godhand is suicidal and his seething hatred for the Apostles is just as horrific, and there might have been some truth to that before he got a call back to what was most important to him: protecting the woman that he loves, Casca. That's right. These two were unfortunate enough to have gone through the worst shit imaginable, and it will all end with both of them spending an eternity in hell thanks to their former friend making an epic Face–Heel Turn. The only way to spare him and his lover of this horrible fate in the smallest way possible? Kill the Legions of Hell by himself!
  • Worth Living For: For Casca's sake.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Justified. Holding back against women like Rosine, Slan or the Female Apostle who are ANYTHING but weak and harmless would be plain suicidal.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He isn't a Byronic Hero for nothing, it should be mentioned that because of his status as an Anti-Hero, Guts doesn't enjoy killing or hurting children, and so far, he has only killed kids who became monsters, and therefore, Guts sees them as fair game (that, and they were trying to kill him), and by accident; in both situations, he didn't take it too well. In truth, most kids actually LIKE Guts - a lot more than the adults - and Guts is okay with them being around him more or less. While he has used children as human shields before, the enemy in question has backed down rather than let the child get hurt. Consequently we don't know what Guts' reaction would be if the child had actually died because of him. There was one time where he used a kid as a bait, but he apologized for it afterwards after making sure he's ok, after chastising the villagers for being cowards who do nothing to help the kid and chose to cower in their homes. The one exception was with Adonis, who Guts killed through pure reaction, and after he'd realized what he'd done, was visibly horrified by it.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal:
    • During the Eclipse, Guts was marked with a Brand of Sacrifice, a supernatural rune-shaped cut that causes intense pain and bleeds whenever evil spirits and Apostles are nearby.
    • After being stabbed by Slan of the Godhand, he has a wound on his soul that necessitates he wear the cursed Berserker Armor.
  • Younger Than He Looks: As of the Fantasia Arc Guts is only 24 years old, but with all of the stress of fighting throughout his life (and other traumatic ordeals), he looks more like a guy in his thirties.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Guts taunts Theresa after he just killed her monstrous Apostle father the Count. Theresa furiously swears that she'll kill Guts someday, somehow. Guts sneers at this, but the moment he turns his head away he looks like he's on the brink of tears. After his own painful daddy issues are revealed, it's clear in hindsight that Guts was just trying to give Theresa something to help her deal with her grief.
    • He does this a lot in his post-Eclipse days: since he is hounded by demons every night, anyone who accompanies him puts their own life in peril. The only way he can see to protect others is to drive them away, which means acting like a Jerk Ass to everyone around him.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/BerserkGuts