Characters: Berserk Main Characters
This page is for Main Characters of Berserk
For The Band of the Hawk, check out Berserk Band Of The Hawk
For The Kingdom of Midland, check out Berserk Kingdom Of Midland
For the Apostles, the Godhand and other antagonists in this series, check out Berserk Antagonists
For everyone else, go to Berserk Other
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Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (adult) and Orine Fukushima (child) (Japanese, TV series), Hiroaki Iwanaga (Japanese, movies), Marc Diraison (English, TV series and Movies), Maria Dente (English, child), Michael Bell (Sword of the Berserk English)
"When you meet your God, tell Him to LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE."
"Humans are weak. But we want to live. Even if we're wounded or tortured, we feel the pain."
Also called the Black Swordsman, the main protagonist is a naturally badass Anti-Hero
with a round ton of Dark and Troubled Past
. Born from a deceased mother not Death by Childbirth, she was already dead
, he was raised amongst mercenaries by an abusive foster father
and was later the victim of rape by one of his adoptive father'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 Dragon Slayer. Said beings are responsible, along with the Godhand
, for the trauma he suffered in the Eclipse. Additionally, Guts later gets his hands on the Berserker Armor
which makes him immune to physical pain, yet overexerts and further injures his body at the same time.
Although he claims to be a complete asshole, Guts is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold
who simply acts aloof and unreasonable towards anyone he meets, including his True Companions
. He does truly care for his companions, but since the Brand attracts astral demons, and his Hell Hound Superpowered Evil Side
, the Beast, tends to make him go berserk and thus dangerous even to his companions
, he prefers to keep them at a respectful distance
Guts's fate is tied to Griffith
, his former best friend, and Casca
, his love interest and fellow bearer of the Brand of Sacrifice. His relationships with both are currently strained - Guts wants to kill Griffith because of that whole "brutal treachery" thing, and Guts being slowly overtaken by rage/revenge has led to his attempted rape of Casca
. Guts' entire struggle of fighting monsters and his fate, as well as his internal struggle between choosing to hunt the man he hates
and choosing to protect the woman he loves
can only be described as "heroic."
- 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.
- Action Dad: An ultimate Badass and father to a weird, supernatural offspring that he refuses to acknowledge as his child.
- Action Hero
- 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 eats Corkus, right before he blows her head off. Considering who it was, it could be he simply wanted to give her an Ironic Death.
- This did happen at the very beggining of the first chapter, so 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. Then it's suddenly completely in character.
- Always Save the Girl: What? Did you say that sacrificing one girl will save hundreds of souls from the damnation of demons, Mozgus? Well, you and your followers had better sucker up, because Guts really doesn't give a fuck so long as Casca is safe...
- Amazon Chaser: Guts chose Casca as his lover because she was able to fight on par with him.
- Deconstructed 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.
- 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 wolfish looks, 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: In addition to Badass, he has Anti-Hero tropes covered all over him.
- Though mainly a Nominal Hero, Guts has had shades of, in chronological order of his life:
- Unscrupulous Hero: Initially, Guts, during his days as a member of the Band of Hawks. While not really a "good" guy, he cared for his comrades and genuinely wanted to help them in their goals, and only reserved his ruthlessness for his enemies.
- Nominal Hero: After Griffith's betrayal, he's even more of this especially during his vengeance-driven Black Swordsman days, in which he fought due to his extreme hatred toward apostles. Even before that, the primary reason that Guts joined the Hawks was because he lost his bid and he was doing his job as a mercenary, though it did not mean that he didn't care for his comrades or their personal goals and achievements.
- 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.
- Other anti-hero traits (not necessarily related to the sliding scale of morality) Guts possesses are:
- Byronic Hero: Is the best example of this sub-type in anime. 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...
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Guts is a card-carrying example of this too. He has a gritty but simple name, doesn't care about hurting people who get in his way, is ridiculously muscle-toned, has too many bags on his person, a Badass with angst and sarcasm to boot, has a ludicrous BFS, and to top it, he was born in the nineties.
- Sociopathic Hero: Yeahhh... It's a bit foolish to say that Guts doesn't get a teensy bit of satisfaction from smashing the skulls of his enemies in half. 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 probably cheer him for that.
- This trait is played up in the abridged series.
- 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.
- 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 truely begins.
- Awesome McCoolname: 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: Everything in Guts just screams ultimate badassery.
- Badass Adorable: Guts was a pretty cute kid when he was a Child Soldier who could hold his own pretty well on the battle field.
- Badass Bandolier: So many straps around his chest, iconic of a Nineties 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 has a deep voice 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: Points added when said badassery is natural!
- Badass Transplant: Not only does his magnetic arm have a crossbow in it, it can change into a fucking arm cannon!
- Break the Badass: Again, something that Guts isn't immune to. Introducing, the horror that is Nosferatu Zodd.
- Handicapped Badass: Missing lower arm and an eye, but Goddamn it if it has done anything to his basassery. If anything, it's enhanced it.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: His entire life has been spent doing this.
- Battle Couple: With Casca pre-Eclipse.
- 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.
- 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.
- Messing with either Griffith or Casca (see above) pre-Eclipse was an excellent way to piss him off.
- The Berserker: Takes on this role, acknowledging that he realizes that his battle-crazed moments make people close to him fear him. This state is now "magically" enhanced by the use of his Berserker Armor that facilitates such fighting mode.
- Berserker Tears/Manly 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: The Dragon Slayer◊, Guts's primary weapon against the Apostles and the Godhand, is more of a metal slab than a true sword and he can swing it like a mere knife
- Big Damn Heroes: He pulls this off many times.
- The Big Guy: Class 1. Guts towers over most of the people he fights alongside and most people he meets. Only Pippin was taller than him back in his younger days. Now, he is probably somewhere around the 6'8-6'9 zone (roughly between 2m and 2m05). Aside from wielding a very large weapon, Guts does not depend on his physical strength much, (since he's not seen punching boulders in half,) and prefers 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: Oh yeah!
- Black Bug Room: This is where every single bad emotion and memory is stored in Guts' 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. He's the Black Swordsman and dons an all-black armor post-Eclipse but he's The Hero and has a bone to pick with a knight who wears all-white, Griffith.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Subverted. 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.
- Book Dumb: Needless to say, Guts might not be prim and proper, tends leaps 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 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: Despite having had many opportunities to do this to the many women who harbor feelings for him, only one of them got this treatment from Guts. Take a wild guess who...
- Broken Bird: Textbook case during the Golden Age Arc — right down to lashing out physically during his breakdown — and Only. Male. Example. Ever. Does not make him any less badass.
- Charles Atlas Super Power: More powerful than any human, Guts seems to have learned it due to his Training from Hell and from his horrific experiences during the Eclipse.
- 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
- 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.
- However, those are the only permanent injuries that have any noticeable effect on him, as all the broken bones he must have received ( before he got the Berserker Armour to hold his body together) healed quickly and don't impede his physical abilities in the slightest.
- His entire body is covered completely in scars because of the Berserker armor. There is a reason he is only still alive thanks to his teammate's healing magic. His scarring is so extensive that when he gets a fever he is in agony as his scars prevent his body from sweating out the excess heat
- 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.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Sort of; he is known as "Black Swordsman," is the hero, and can't really be called evil, but his Enemy Within is not so benevolent.
- Deadpan Snarker
- 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.
- 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.
- Debatable, as his relationship with Casca seems to have helped him overcome some of the trauma.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He and Griffith became friends after Griffith defeated him in battle.
- Demon Slayer: The Legions of Hell are his quarry.
- Destructive Savior: He's an overlap with Walking Disaster Area and is a huge deconstruction. Until recently.
- 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.
- 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??
- 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.
- Earn Your Title: He's called the Hundred Man Slayer after slaying a hundred men.
- 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...
- Even the Guys Want Him: Griffith acted a lot like a Yandere towards him in the past.
- Expressive Mask: The helmet of his Berserker Armor elongates and functions like a mouth when the Beast takes over.
- Eye Remember: Guts will never forget the last sight of his right eye. Never.
- Face of a Thug
- Fatal Flaw —> Wrath: As much as his raw rage and power has aided him on many occasions, it has probably caused more problems than solved. Not only has wrath taken a physical toll on Guts remember that Guts has 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 let 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 Guts 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 Guts that goes hand-in-hand with his wrath would be his cruelty toward anyone who gets in the way of his revenge.
- A case could be made that a lot of Guts' issue stem from his blood lust: several of the above examples overlap, he caused huge amounts of friction with Casca because in battle he would ignore orders for the sake of the fight, he has shown some serious Blood Knight tendencies, and admits that he only feels alive when he's swinging his sword. Then he puts on the Berserker armour and the only thing that matters to him is spilling as much blood as he can.
- A Father to His Men
- Foil: To Griffith.
- Fool for Love: Not quite a "fool", but everything Guts is doing is for his lady love. That, and he has 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 a fucking thing about it, screaming in rage and pain. It was also the last scene his right eye could see before it got clawed out.
- Fountain of Expies: Any hardcore, brooding badass from the east owes his dues to the original BFS-owning hundred-man slayer. Auron is the best example, while Final Fantasy VII's main heroes Zack and Cloud... they'd wish.
- 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.
- 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.
- Full Potential Upgrade: Guts needed to upgrade to the Dragon Slayer 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 h 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.
- 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.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The fact that Guts' ears and teeth are slightly, though noticeably, more pointed than most of the human characters has been interpreted by some as implying that he is part-demon, which would explain a lot of his phenomenal abilities even before magic got involved.
- Handwraps of Awesome
- Hannibal Lecture: Guts has been captured and imprisoned twice, and both times he gets the better of his captors with his words alone.
- Hates Being Touched: "Don't touch me. Don't ever touch me."
- ... but 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.
- The Heartless: The Beast was born from Guts's negative emotions and his need for revenge for what happened during the Eclipse. Which 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: While Griffith is the Villain with Good Publicity in this story, Guts is the (anti) hero with bad publicity. There's no doubt that he has ended up saving lives by killing apostles, but because of his HIGHLY morally questionable actions, he's not well liked by the towns' folk that he encounters. This is most especially seen when Guts is Wandering the Earth alone, but when he stops being a loner, makes a mood shift, and gets an audience because of it, a lot more people are appreciative of his actions. Still, so long as Griffith is walking the earth, Guts' presence will always be seen in a negative light.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Guts turned down a magic axe from Flora in favor for his trusty ol' dragonslayer.
- Heroic BSOD: 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.
- 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: The poster boy, particularly as the Black Swordsman.
- Hidden Depths: Like you wouldn't believe. See all the tropes under his name? Don't think any one of them alone completely defines him.
- Hitman with a Heart: He didn't feel very good about himself after he assassinated the Duke's son.
- Hot Dad: Chick Magnet Guts is father to a weird, supernatural offspring that was tainted by Femto's rape on the pregnant Casca.
- How to be Badass: Has a garment that billows in the wind frequently? Check. Sweet-ass name? Check. Hardly anything fazes him enough to stop him in his tracks? Nuh uh. Gets set on fire frequently but thinks nothing of it? CHECK. Comes up with dramatic lines at the top of his head in the heat of the moment? Yes, yes. Is angsty, but tends to keep it at a minimum? Yes. Remained relatively normal throughout all of his ordeals? How is that possible?!
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Guts is the Huge Guy to Casca's Tiny Girl, even though since Casca is not exactly small (she and Farnese are about the same height), this is more of a really Huge Guy and Above Average Girl.
- Also, he always seems 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 Jerk Ass Facade, but every now and then he can be surprisingly sweet to them◊.
- Hunk: Hubba hubba.
- The Hunter: At first he just killed things because it was his job. Now he does it because It's Personal.
- If It's You, It's Okay: States this to Casca in terms of letting anyone touch him.
- I Have Your Wife: Big fan of this in his most Jerkass times. Just ask Theresia and Jill.
- 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.
- Immune to Fate: Believed to be this by the Skull Knight. Interesting in that the universe itself is actively trying to subvert 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.
- Implacable Man: Guts wants Griffith and the Godhands dead and nothing, not even the Legions of Hell, will stop him.
- 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...)
- Insult Friendly Fire: When Guts and Casca were up against Adon and his hundred men, Adon said that they were going to capture Guts to torture him and capture Casca to use her as 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.
- 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 when he may get captured. Additionally, be it Slan, Grunbeld or Daiba, Miura make it a point to show that even Guts wouldn't be able to make it on his own against some opponents who are out of his league.
- 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.
- 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 riding 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.
- 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. It didn't end well.
- Jerkass: Like his badass-ness, Guts has several layers of jerkass-ness that seem to evolve throughout the series.
- 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.
- Knight Errant: Subverted. 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: If we were to replace "knight" with "mercenary", Guts acted very much like 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 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: Does this a lot...
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: Is often shown to be incredibly agile despite wielding a giant sword and having a physique more suited to brute strength.
- And said sword is made that much more deadly with said speed.
- 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: He wasn't aware of it, but he was very much this for Griffith during his days with the Hawks.
- 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.
- Made of Iron: Even beaten to a pulp by a much stronger foe, he still can hold his own the next day.
- Male Frontal Nudity: *Drools* ... What? I wasn't staring.
- 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. 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.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: When Casca begins talking about the strange (but wonderful) feelings that she has upon losing her virginity, and then turns to Guts and tells him that she knew that it was his first time too. Guts just gives this expression that says, "man, I don't want to talk about it," and faces the other direction. However, Casca does understand why he never had sex with a woman before because of his childhood rape.
- Master Swordsman: Though his style crude and often barbaric, Guts is nonetheless consider this, especially since he's wielding a sword not many others can.
- Not only that but Guts is usually able to use the terrain to his advantage (only Serpico can use the terrain better though he always picks the field to maximise his advantage) and is able to read an analyse his opponents strengths and plans with ease
- 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: Subverted. Apart from Manly Tears, Guts truly cried once in front of Casca upon making love to her and almost choking her when he recalled his rape experience. This doesn't deprive him from being a total Badass... Even when Guts had become the badass Black Swordsman, Guts cried some (for a brief moment). After narrowly escaping an encounter with his mortal enemies, the God Hand, Guts encouraged the Count's daughter Theresia to hate him in order to prevent her from committing suicide.
- Messiah Creep: Guts doesn't care about saving the world very much, 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 stiched. 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.
- 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 the Count's son leading him to go into Heroic BSOD 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 painfull by the fact that Guts ended his one year pilgrimage by concluding that his place was with the Hawks after all.
- Named After Somebody Famous: It can't be a coincidence his name sounds like that of Gotz Von Berlichingen, a real-life mercenary with an iron hand? (Word of God says it is a coincidence. It's up to you if you believe him.)
- 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.
- Near-Rape Experience: During the Millennium Falcon arc, Casca almost gets raped by Guts when he succumbs to the Beast.
- 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 exept 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Official Couple: With Casca.
- One-Man Army: He got the moniker Hundred Man Slayer before becoming the monster-killer he is today.
- 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 Mr. Manly-Man Guts doesn't have any facial hair either. The scars will do.
- Perpetual Frowner: When Guts isn't wearing a Slasher Smile or some sardonic and smug one, he's wearing this. Seen especially after the Eclipse.
- Corkus berates Guts for this claiming that Gut's constant frown and general load bearing demeanour piss him off (but then again this is Corkus)
- 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.
- 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.
- Chick Magnet: After the Golden Age arc he seems to develop a talent for getting younger girls to fall for him. Not that he's even trying.
- Actually, he gets a young admirer right after the first apostle fight. Too bad she died.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Due in part to his Single-Target Sexuality, Guts really doesn't care to acknowledge the effects he has on girls.
- 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.
- Fight Magnet: Be they monster or mook, things just want to fight with Guts. And they usually lose terribly.
- Weirdness Magnet: Even when he's not fighting for his life, Guts just runs into weird-ass shit all the time.
- 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, elungated Pointy Ears. (See Disappeared Dad above for what this might mean.)
- 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 Protagonist
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": ... a little too much...
- 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 (well, at least in the case of Casca), but now he had to tackle a little feeling known as "love."
- Rated M for Manly
- 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... So why does this man continue to strike fear into my heart despite this?
- The fact that he can cleave you in twain in the blink of an eye very splattertastically?
- ... Yeah, that ought to do it.
- Red Baron: His moniker is, all together now... The Black Swordsman. (In case you forgot...)
- Before he became The Black Swordsman he was "The Hundred man slayer" and "The Hawk Raid Leader" based, you guessed it, killing over a hundred men in a single sitting and leading the hawks raiding party. Both of these titles struck fear into people who were facing him down.
- Red Is Heroic: Subverted. 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: Red Oni to Griffith's 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).
- 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, given to him by Gambino when Guts was training as a child. Yeah. It's still there, guys.
- 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 bears 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.
- Second Love: For Casca, once she realizes there is no place in Griffith's heart for her.
- Self Destructive Charge: Guts does this often, but the best 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 wile pinned down.
- Self-Made Orphan: Subverted in that Gambino wasn't actually his father, and it was an accident.
- Shirtless Scene: Much to the Fangirls' joy and, strangely, him being 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 refused to elaborate.
- Single-Target Sexuality: As mentioned above, Guts is one of the least sex-motivated male characters in the series, and 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 that one time where he had sex with a she-apostle - whose intent was to eat him alive during intercourse - but he knew it all along in order to slay it, Guts has only had consensual sex once in his life, and it was with her after getting through some post-traumatic stress from being anally raped when he was a kid and only looked forward to doing it more with Casca. Even after all of the horrible events that the two of them have been through, Guts is still strongly devoted to Casca.
- Also, though his monogamy toward Casca is hardly a bad thing, it's also deconstructed, as Guts' attraction toward Casca has been the only time that Guts has 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 Guts almost raped Casca in volume 23.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: He's a goddamn fucking knight in black fucking armor.
- 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.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Well, he's got pauldrons, so there's that...
- 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. Alas, Guts cleaned up his act after awhile and seems to have dropped this ideology upon re-realizing what he wanted to protect the most.
- 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. Subverted 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.
- Not So Stoic: Well, Guts isn't completely devoid of emotions, since he does have the capability of showing one most of the time: anger. Also, there were times that just proved too much for Guts such as recanting his abusive childhood to Casca.
- 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 fucking 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.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- 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 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.
- 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..."
- Twenty-Four-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:
- The Unfettered: Not so much right now, but during his Black Swordsman days, Guts would let nothing get in the way of killing an Apostle.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Strongly averted. In the first chapters, we think that he only has strong, but later, when he fights without being in Rage-mode, i.e. in the Golden Age arc, he displays true talent in swordsmanship. In fact, he is probably one of the most skilled swordsmen in-universe.
- Unstoppable Rage: Guts runs on this. Especially when he has the Berserker Armor.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Up until Gambino sold him to Donovan for a night and Guts killed Gambino in self-defense two years later.
- Walking Disaster Area: Everywhere this guy goes, calamity happens, mainly due to him being a complete Weirdness Magnet thanks to the Brand.
- Walking the Earth: Especially during the first 3 volumes where he was the Black Swordsman.
- Warrior Poet: Guts eventually becomes an aloof, melancholic one after finding his new True Companions.
- He had his moments even before that: 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.
- 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 tearjerker, an awesome, and a heartwarming moment all in one.
- Weapon of Choice/Choice of Two Weapons: His big fucking swords, primarily the Dragon Slayer. Later, his Arm Cannon/repeating crossbow is added to his arsenal.
- Schrieke tries to offer him an enchanted axe to use against the apostles and other monsters, which Guts refuses, saying that he'd rather a simple weapon he knows than a magical one he doesn't.
- "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 kinda similar to Batman
- Wife-Basher Basher: Hey, Guts might be gruff and uncaring at times, but he's not about to stand idly by while a grown ass man beats a woman senseless. He at least gets Puck to take care of it if he doesn't do it himself.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Casca throughout the Golden Age arc.
- 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 worse 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 he 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 you know...
- Younger Than He Looks: If we keep track of these dozens of Time Skips, Guts should still only be in his early twenties, but with all of the stress of fighting throughout his life (and other traumatic ordeals), he looks to be 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.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (adult) and Minami Takayama (child) (Japanese, TV series), Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese, movies), Kevin T. Collins (English, TV series and movies), Veronica Taylor (English, child)
"I did not betray my dream. That is all."
"The Black Swordsman, you say? His petty existence is beneath our notice."
A stock white-haired pretty boy
and leader of the mercenaries known as the Band of the Hawk, he is also Guts's closest friend until the Eclipse. Griffith recruits Guts to his band after defeating him in battle,
and Guts quickly becomes his right-hand man. There are also many hints that his friendship with Guts might not be completely platonic...
Griffith is driven by his dream of obtaining his own kingdom, and stops at nothing to obtain it. He is in a good position to do so, being a cunning strategist, an unusually skilled swordsman, extremely charismatic, and a shrewd politician. It also helps that he possesses the Crimson Behelit, an Artifact of Doom
that protects him from death several times. Griffith lacks any real scruples in his efforts to get what he wants - kidnapping, assassination, and self-abasement, even to the point of prostituting himself once so he could finance the Hawks,
are all considered acceptable, even necessary steps towards his ultimate goal.
Upon nearly achieving his dream, however, he falls apart when Guts chooses to leave the Hawks
, an action born from Griffith's own philosophies of independence and the tireless pursuit of one's dream. Devastated, he seeks temporary solace by sleeping with Princess Charlotte, an act that sets off the inevitable countdown to the Eclipse. Crippled for life after a full year of torture on the King's orders for having deflowered the Princess, Griffith is later freed by his companions. After overhearing Casca convince Guts to leave again
, Griffith crosses the Despair Event Horizon
and uses the Crimson Behelit to summon the Godhand, albeit unknowingly.
After betraying and sacrificing his whole party to the Godhand and the Idea of Evil
, Griffith becomes Femto, the fifth member of the Godhand, earning Guts's undying hatred both for throwing him and his comrades to the wolves in order to become a Godhand and for raping Casca to insanity right in front of him in his first act as Femto
. Griffith is later reincarnated into a human form after the mock Eclipse at the Tower of Punishment. Having gathered a new Band of the Hawk, one primarily composed of Apostles, he sets off to follow his dream once more. He is currently claiming ownership of his freshly conquered kingdom, Falconia, after defeating Ganishka in a massive Final Battle and fusing the physical and astral realms
As Femto he appears as a dark, massively muscled figure with taloned feet like a hawk, clawed hands, large bat-like Cape Wings
, and a hood that is modelled on the hawk-helmet Griffith wore back when he commanded the Band of the Hawk.
- Affably Evil: Pre-Eclipse, there wasn't much he wouldn't stoop to if it would help achieve his goals, but he wouldn't go out of his way to be cruel and had several Pet the Dog moments. Post-Eclipse he may be closer to Faux Affably Evil territory, although this is a point of contention among the fandom.
- Agent Peacock
- Almighty Janitor: Subverted. Not only were people surprised at the charisma and military knowledge that Griffith carried, but they were most surprised at the fact that he is not even of noble birth, climbing up in rank in the Midland army from a street kid with a ragtag bunch of misfits to a knight general. The upper class saw this as a threat to their own power.
- Ambition Is Evil: And how!
- Ambiguously Bi: Sure, his sleeping with Princess Charlotte becomes a major plot-point, but the sheer amount of Ho Yay he throws in Guts' direction coupled with his reaction once Guts leaves suggests an obsession beyond mere friendship.
- And I Must Scream: Suffers a purely physical and realistic form of this after being tortured for a year by the Midland King's orders. His body is emaciated almost to the bone, his tounge is cut out and his tendons are removed. He's been reduced to an immobile cripple, and things only get worse from there.
- Animal Motifs: The white hawk, quite appropriately. As well as a Griffin for both his bird like motif and the fact that the name Griffith sounds similar to Griffin.
- Artifact of Doom: His Crimson Behelit.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: To the worst plane imaginable.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Half of the Hawks joined under Griffith because his mere image put them in a state of awe. The other half joined under Griffith because they saw him a strong leader that they wanted to follow - meaning that most of them got their asses kicked by him when they tried to confront him. Same with the new Band of Hawks, with added prophecy bonus.
- Attempted Rape: When he sees how close Guts and Casca have become, Griffith tries to rape Casca in a fit of jealousy and despair when she comes to check on his wounds. Being in a crippled state he isn't capable of doing much and rather than being disgusted Casca just feels sorry for him. Doubles as foreshadowing for what happens in the Eclipse.
- Ax-Crazy: As Femto.
- Badass: Just as Badass as Guts in his own way.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Unlike Guts, Griffith is shown as a Ken doll. Femto, however...
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Heavily implied to be a huge factor in how he wins people over.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Rare Male Example. Well, except for that one time where he was HORRIBLY TORTURED FOR A YEAR.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: A marginal example. The torture just got the ball rolling; it was the aftereffects that sent him over the edge.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Griffith is very courteous and mannerly. But stand in his way and you shall see hell. Now literally.
- Big Bad: Debatable, even though he currently provides the primary motivation for the story.
- Big Good: In the past.
- Big Red Devil: When he's his Godhand ego Femto. Bonus fact is that instead of cloven hooves, he has hawk talons.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Had little compunctions about disposing of his companions yet acted as a caring and well-intentioned leader.
- Break the Haughty: Taken to level 11.
- Broken Ace: Brilliant, charismatic...and completely fucked up.
- Broken Pedestal: To all the Hawks because of his betrayal, but especially to Guts who considered him his best friend and Casca who was one of his most devoted worshippers.
- Bungled Suicide: With his dream in tatters and his body mutilated, Griffith couldn't even end his misery.
- Cape Wings: As Femto, he sports a pair of dark, menacing ones.
- The Champion: He was this to Casca for the longest time, since he saved her from a life of sexual slavery and prostitution and gave her a new one, and she was indebted to him to the point that it was practically hero worship. According to Judeau, she took his word as gospel and was prepared to sacrifice her life for his dream.
- Char Clone: Handsome, has pretty hair, a powerful warrior, possibly abandoned by his parents, treats everyone around him as pawns, wore a mask.
- The Chessmaster
- The Chosen One: A villainous example. He was chosen by the Crimson Behelit to become the fifth member of the Godhand during the Eclipse.
- Control Freak: Griffith obviously believes that he can use his comrades to his disposal whenever and however he feels like. But when Guts and Casca have plans outside of his control? NO - that will NOT be permitted!
- Conveniently an Orphan: The details of his back story are a bit blurry, but Griffith's parents are never mentioned and he never talked about up and leaving them like Isidro did his, so we can only assume that he lived with the street children and decided that one day, he was going to become king - and it wasn't like he had parents to stop him.
- The Corruptible: And the process completed.
- Courtly Love: Griffith toyed with this concept concerning his relationship with Princess Charlotte, who was the quickest way to the throne of Midland if he were to succeed in wooing and earning her hand in marriage. The guy was doing a damn good job at it too, until he messed it all up in a moment of despair.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Towards Guts and Casca.
- Dark Is Evil: As Femto. Though it's more appearence wise than anything, as his powers so far follow the light motif.
- Dark Messiah: What he becomes after his reincarnation.
- Deal with the Devil: Like all the other Godhands before him, Griffith met the Idea of Evil and accepted its offer.
- Defeat Means Friendship: His recruiting M.O. Besides famously winning Guts' allegiance in a duel, it's mentioned in passing that Corkus was the leader of a group of bandits before Griffith defeated him and earned his loyalty. It's never spelled out, but considering that Judeau has a shady past and is known to have run with thieves and bandits, it's likely he was recruited in a similar fashion. Post-Eclipse, this is how Zodd joins the new Band of the Hawk.
- Deflector Shields: Personal kind. One of powers that Griffith's Godhand form of Femto reveals to have during the movie, in which he puts one up between he and Guts to prevent the latter from stabbing him in order to save Casca from his clutches.
- Despair Event Horizon: It is Griffith's crossing of this that activates his Crimson Behelit.
- Probably the visit at Charlotte's bedroom as well. Given, that he'd guessed king's obsession about his daughter (and thus could see how it'd probably turn out) and delivering I Shall Taunt You speech to the man, who was keeping him in dungeons, we can assume that Griffith gave up on everything... or it would be QUITE a Too Dumb to Live moment for a Magnificent Bastard.
- Determinator: No matter how many people have to die and no matter what sacrifices he has to make, he will achieve his dream.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Even at the best of times, Griffith casually uttered lines like " You belong to me. And I will decide when and how you die." The only reason Guts didn't just pack up and leave right there is because he was used to being treated FAR WORSE and Grifith still managed to look idealistic.
- Also Griffith never said anything about making the world better for the little guy. He was always after power for the sake of power.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady
- Emotionless Boy: After his reincarnation. He conveys little to no emotion, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that he has no empathy. Shows signs of it before the Eclipse as well, especially Casca's flashback of him after his "encounter" with Governor Gennon. That calm, compassionate smile starts to look more like a Stepford Smile after you know what it's hiding.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Seeing Guts leaving him and then Casca choosing Guts over him made Griffith completely lose it.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Even males in the series tend to find him attractive, or at least handsome.
- Evil Costume Switch: As Femto, Griffith's outfit is a darker, more sinister (and skin-tight) version of his warrior armor that he wears as Griffith.
- Evil Former Friend: To Guts.
- Face-Heel Turn
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon
- Facial Horror: Implied to have happened to his face after his torture... but we're never allowed to see it. Given how grotesque the series usually is, this stands out a lot.
- Faking the Dead: Once he learns that the Queen of Midland and her nobles want him dead, Griffith blackmails Foss, the head of the conspiracy, into helping him set up a Batman Gambit that involved faking his own death. It ultimately leads to the Queen and her nobles being locked into a burning castle to die.
- Fallen Hero
- Fatal Flaw —> Pride: Face it: this is Griffith's major fatal flaw and it's pretty hard to edge around (it's even implied in his namesake). Most of his actions revolve around the fact that he believes that he's destined to become a ruler and that no one can quite reach his standards. Everybody he encounters loves him, and he's fine with that, especially if it gets him closer to his goal. Griffith is a hard worker, but failure isn't an option for him and he rarely does, which sets himself higher on his own pedestal. But when he loses one battle against Guts, just ONE... Everything comes crashing down for him, and he just goes on a downward spiral of self-destruction (you can also interpret his reaction in that Guts was his emotional crutch or that he had feelings for him). Again, we see this from a more sympathetic light, since Griffith genuinely wasn't a bad person to begin with. But again, this all changes when the Eclipse happens. Other flaws that can be associated with Griffith can be his ambition, his selfishness, and quite possibly his hypocrisy.
- A Father to His Men: Deconstructed in the Golden Age. Yes, he did legitimately care about the people in his army, but in order to cope with the inevitable death that would happen, he had to distance himself emotionally from them to the point where he had to see them more as tools than as people.
- Faux Affably Evil: Post-resurrection into the physical realm, it's unclear whether he actually cares for the people he's saving or if it's just for PR as he grabs power.
- Foil: To Guts.
- For the Evulz: He is possibly the most despised character in the series for what he has done (at least as Femto).
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He started out as a normal commoner. Over time, he formed a gang of highwaymen, built them up into an army, became a successful general...and after the Eclipse, took his place in the Godhand as one of five demon kings.
- Goal in Life: ... To get a castle (i.e. his own kingdom). At any means necessary.
- A God Am I: Griffith was dying to be worshiped and got what he wanted.
- God-Mode Sue / Invincible Villain: A deliberate in-universe example. Since his reincarnation, Griffith is nigh untouchable and his charisma is gravitational. It's described that opposing him "would be akin to someone in a story challenging the one who wrote it." He might as well just be called "Godhand Sue."
- Gold Digger: He's only interested in Charlotte because he'll gain a kingdom by marrying her.
- The Heavy: Griffith is not the only Big Bad in Berserk, nor is he the biggest one, but he has the most direct involvement with the plot and is the source for Guts' motivation.
- Hellish Pupils: Clearly seen having this type of eyes after his reincarnation.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Certainly crosses into this terrain since he originally had blue eyes.
- Heroic BSOD: In the past, he suffered one upon seeing a young boy in his army die in battle.
- He suffered another one after being tortured that sent him past the Despair Event Horizon, and was "rebooted" in the most horrific way possible.
- Humanoid Abomination: Since being reincarnated into a corporeal body. Griffith looks human (mostly), but he is most assuredly not.
- Hypocrite: He said that a true friend to him was somebody who went after their own dreams no matter what. And what does he go and do when Guts tries to go after his own dream???
- I Did What I Had to Do: His reasoning behind his Face-Heel Turn, not that the audience has much sympathy.
- If I Can't Have You: When Guts tries to leave, Griffith is willing to kill him rather than not have the man wrapped around his finger.
- It's Personal: Sacrificing the Hawks was just a part of the bargain with the God Hand, same as anyone else destined with a behelit. Raping Casca to insanity, on the other hand, was something Griffith did specifically to hurt Guts. Guts is returning the favor.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Casca... will never be the same after what he did to her.
- I Have Your Wife: Griffith gets some hired goons to kidnap Minister Foss's daughter in order to get him to thwart the Queen of Midland who was planning to poison him during a ceremony honoring him and the Hawks.
- Implied Death Threat: Griffith hands these out a la his Death Glare.
- It's All About Me: Oh Griffith, you selfish bastard. Although he did seem to care at least a bit about his group of mercenaries, particularly Casca and Guts, achieving his dream is ultimately more important to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: His rescue of Princess Charlotte from Ganishka's captivity could just be seen as him returning to a modified Plan A. Become a hero to the country, marry the princess, be king and rule. He's been playing Princess Charlotte's fairytale prince from the begining and it's pretty clear that he was just manipulating her in order to get the crown.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Griffith's goal seemed harmless and noble enough in the beginning, even making other characters look at their own lives in perspective, but most of his choices in order to achieve his goal are clearly in the morally gray territory (ya know, plotting assassinations, kidnapping kids, and making his second-to-the-right hand man do most of it so that he wouldn't smear his good image. Ya know, that sort of stuff.). And then Griffith's very personality begins to unravel like a sweater caught on a nail, just to add. After all of the hideous things that happened to him over the course of the one year time-skip, we still look at him from a sympathetic light, and feel badly for him that he was unable to achieve a dream that seems so simple and pure. Until the Eclipse happened, and then - uh oh.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: They vary in look depending on Griffith's temperament and motive:
- Kick the Dog: This trope isn't enough to explain the magnitude of what Griffith did during the Eclipse.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Does this to the Midland nobles who cross his path. Although he does it for selfish reasons, he comes off as something of a hero simply because said nobles were... not the nicest people.
- Knighting: After an important battle in the Golden Age arc, Griffith is knighted by the King of Midland. Shortly after that, his knighthood is stripped from him for deflowering the princess.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Fits this perfectly during the Golden Age arc, making for a nice, juicy Deconstruction.
- Knight of Cerebus: We knew this bastard was playing for keeps after what he did at the Eclipse.
- Kubrick Stare: Not only was he brutally raping Casca during the climax of the Eclipse, he was staring directly into Guts' eyes the entire time.
- Lack of Empathy: Highly suggested that he feels no remorse upon becoming a Godhand. Actually, it's not even suggested. Griffith himself confirmed this when he went to the Hill of Swords after his reincarnation, telling Guts that he came just to see if he could "feel" anything after what he did to the Hawks. And do you know what he said?
Griffith: "It appears that I am free."
- Lady and Knight: He invokes this in his relationship with Charlotte. Charlotte is the bright lady character type and he's the knight who looks bright, but has dark intentions.
- Light is Good: Before his Face-Heel Turn.
- Light Is Not Good: He oozes this after his reincarnation in the mortal world as Griffith again.
- Like a God to Me: The typical first impression that people get upon seeing Griffith for the first time. Played straight pre-Eclipse. Horribly subverted after the fact.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy
- Love Makes You Evil: While he was ostensibly sociopathic before, his perceived rejection from Guts started his spiralling descent.
- Magnetic Villain: See Defeat Means Friendship above.
- Makeup Is Evil: He as his Femto persona and Slan are the only God Hand member to wear make-up.
- Man Child: Before the Eclipse, many characters comment that he has an almost childlike innocence about him (though since he would sometimes display this at inappropriate times certain people would find it creepy rather than endearing). Indeed, one could interpret his dream as a boyish fantasy he never did quite let go.
- Man in the Iron Mask: Turned into this during his year of being put to the torture.
- Man in White: Griffith may look benevolent in his ever-so-shining white armor, but is he really?
- Manipulative Bastard: A very good example, at least before the Eclipse. Probably even more so afterwards (just look at how he treats Charlotte).
- Meaningful Name: See Animal Motifs.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: After he was reincarnated into a humanoid body, Griffith arranged for an encounter with Guts just to see if this trope was in effect and if he would feel anything from the meeting. He didn't.
- Mind Rape: Psychic assault scenario. What Ubik does to Griffith, which results in him carrying out the sacrifices for the Eclipse and turning into the demonic Femto.
- Mr. Fanservice: Much like Guts, he also has a large female fandom, but for completely different reasons.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Griffith is being transformed into Femto, he has a moment of this...only to realize that he can no longer feel remorse. In the anime his inner voice suddenly becomes colder after the "last tear you ever shed" moment making it sound like Femto is breaking down Griffith. No more going back from here.
- Naked on Revival: When Griffith is reincarnated into the physical world as an almost-human, he's understandably naked, since he used the body of the Child to do so.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Noble Male to Guts' Roguish Male.
- Nominal Hero: In the past. Now he's a straight up villain.
- Not Good With Rejection: He didn't respond very well to Guts leaving him and the discovery of Guts and Casca's relationship.
- The Omniscient: Widely speculated that as Femto, he found out about Guts' traumatic backstory and used this knowledge to torture him during the Eclipse, and/or that he knew that raping Casca would allow him to one day manifest in the physical realm again.
- Omniscient Morality License: Related to the above, if he DID know, it's the only possible justification for why raping Casca could still be For The Greater Good. Still doesn't explain why he made Guts watch, though.
- The Paragon: Subverted. He starts out like this, as he gave Casca the sword and the courage to defeat her would-be rapist, he transformed Guts from a wandering brute-for-hire into a soldier who cares about his comrades, and the entire Band of the Hawk is made up of rehabilitated social outcasts. However, Griffith only sees his comrades as a means to an end, and although he does care for them, that was all that was needed in order for them to be made sacrifices.
- Pet the Dog:
- His conversation with Casca after prostituting himself for funds, where he talks about how the only thing he can do for those who have died is to make sure their deaths weren't in vain, suggests some level of genuine care for his troops. It has been suggested that his reincarnation as the demonic Femto has actually removed his ability to feel remorse (and maybe some other emotions), and thus regardless of what he may be now, his affection in the past was probably genuine.
- Saves insane Casca from some falling rocks, though it is debatable on whether or not he truly did this out of remorse for the horrific things he had done to her in the past, or because he was being manipulated by the Child, whose body he used in order to reincarnate himself back into the physical world. Speculations highly suggest that it was more due to the latter reason, so this would be a subversion.
- There's also the time he hesitates to destroy Guts. Perhaps this was to preserve Casca's unborn child; or was there another motive?
- He also saved Princess Charlotte from Ganishka's captivity in a very romantic, fairytale-esque way that almost makes up for his past actions... But, again, "Eclipse! Eclipse! Eclipse!"
- Pitiful Worms:
As Femto: "Still squirming around in your pitiful existence, I see."
- Power Perversion Potential: Taken to the MOST extreme level of squick when he's Femto. He garners the extraordinary powers of a demon lord, and is able to bend reality at his very will. And what is the very first thing that he goes and does??? God, you bastard!
- Prince Charmless
- Protagonist Journey To Villain: He went from a Wide-Eyed Idealist to a demon lord all in the name of pursuing his dream.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The events of the Eclipse and his actions afterwards definitely solidify his status as this.
- Psychotic Smirk: It's seen in episode 10 when he hears of Lord Yurius's death. It's as disturbing as Guts' smile is heartwarming.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil
- Reality Warper: As Femto.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: As Femto he is black with red eyes.
- Red Baron: The Hawk Of Light.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Femto in the movie adaptation has these.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Guts' Red Oni.
- Red Right Hand: Even though he is the most human-looking of the apostles when in his human form, Griffith still retains the terrifying eyes of his Godhand form. Now it looks as if he's always giving you the Kubrick Stare. *shudder*
- Sanity Slippage: One can definitely argue that the moment Guts decided to leave the Hawks, Griffith slowly began to lose it, bit by bit, over the course of a year. And he was already a yanderic Broken Ace to begin with.
- Satanic Archetype: He is more of an equivalent of Satan.
- Sex for Solace: With Charlotte. And he pays for this dearly.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: He displays little shame in being nude before others.
- Shower of Angst: Complete with a wonderfully disturbing scene of him angsting while clawing at his arms until they bleed when washing himself after he becomes a prostitute to make money.
- Single Mom Stripper: No, this is not funny. But actually, he portrays sleeping with Gennon to Casca exactly this way.
- Smug Super: Although we haven't heard Griffith speak as Femto many times, every time he does he is a snide and egotistical prick who loves nothing more than to laugh at the pain that he has caused Guts and how much more powerful he is than Guts or anyone around him. If he weren't already a vile, evil villain, Femto would be straight up in Jerkass Avenue.
- Social Climber: His goal is to become the king of Midland despite being a commoner. He starts out the leader of a band of mercenaries and rises to fame through military victories. He plans to marry Princess Charlotte to secure the throne. In the end, the fact how close to succeeding Griffith gets only serves to make his fate that much more tragic. Griffith loses all that he has gained and sacrifices his men in a desperate attempt to salvage what has been lost.
- The Sociopath: Even before the events of the Eclipse. He is shown to be manipulative to his troops, having Guts doing his dirty work and keeping it secret from the others so he stays perfect in their eyes. Several characters note how his expressions are off, smiling childishly one second and giving the evil eye the next. And when Guts tries to leave, once Griffith is within a couple of easy steps to achieving his dream, he is willing to kill Guts rather than not have the man wrapped around his finger.
- More likely subverted (before he became Femto, that is). He *is* shown to be capable of feeling for others - the scenes with the dead boy, and the scene where he self-harms while talking to Casca confirm this. He then figures that the only way he can deal with this is to completely suppress any emotions he feels for others. This conflict is only resolved after he accepts his Deal with the Devil.
- Spell My Name with an S: While he is widely known as Femto, it is highly probable that the actual spelling of his name is "Phemt", the technical concept after which he is named.
- It could also be a reference to the prefix Femto, which is equal to one quadrillionth.
- Start of Darkness: Related to Protagonist Journey To Villain, the Golden Age arc, being Guts' back story, serves as this for Griffith.
- Stepford Smiler: ... Oh no. Not that smile. With the eyes. And the stare. Is there any feeling behind reborn Griffith's smile? I think not.
- Street Urchin: While having an inner monologue to himself while imprisoned, Griffith mentioned that he spent his early years on the streets with other kids. His parents are still never mentioned.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Even Guts experiences this upon seeing him naked.
- Take Our Word for It: Dear GOD! What happened to his face??!!
- This Is Something Shes Got To Do Herself: Instead of saving Casca from rape himself, he threw her a weapon and told her to defend herself, then just watched to see what the outcome would be.
- Threshold Guardian: From the Joseph Campbell perspective. When Guts decided to leave the Hawks at the end of volume 8, Griffith was ultimately the one thing keeping Guts from pursuing his dream, and when Guts decided to go through with his decision - he had to fight for his freedom. Unfortunately, this particular encounter was not as fruitful for the participants as the trope often implies.
- Tongue Trauma: Not only was Griffith's tongue removed, but that son-of-a-bitch torturer turned it into a necklace. But at least the torturer got what was coming to him.
- Transhuman Treachery: Upon the Eclipse the Idea of Evil reveals to Griffith that it is responsible for all the unfortunate events that turned him into a helpless cripple. Instead of being mad at it, Griffith decides to ally himself to the Idea and the Godhand.
- Übermensch: He believes no one is able to understand his views and dreams.
- The Unfettered: He'll doing anything to achieve his dreams, even sacrificing the lives of his True Companions to demons to do it.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Seriously, dude: After everything Casca did for you, you treat her like THAT?
- Villain Antagonist: As Femto. At least from Guts' POV, he would most certainly be viewed as the antagonist.
- Villain Protagonist: After returning to the human world. Occasionally, events are shown from Griffith's point of view when he's fighting other Apostles.
- Villain with Good Publicity
- Weapon of Choice: Rapiers.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Guts.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Fits the physical description. Even when he was officially a "hero", he was manipulative and out for his own purposes.
- White Magic: After return as the Falcon of Light, he can perform miracles, like summoning the souls of the recently departed to say goodbye to their loved ones. This doesn't make him morally decent in the least...
- Wicked Cultured
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
- World's Most Beautiful... Man?
- Would Hurt a Child: Griffith saw no qualms about raping a pregnant woman, tainting her child in the process, and then using it in order to reincarnate himself in the real world later on. Low.
- Yandere: Griffith seems to have some kind of obsession in regards to Guts, judging by how he acts when he tries to leave the Hawks, though whether or not it's romantic in nature depends on your perspective. He also started harboring this toward Casca as well, and the discovery that both of them were in a relationship would cause him to snap, leading to everything going to hell.
Voiced by: Yuko Miyamura (Japanese, TV series), Toa Yukinari (Japanese, movies), Carrie Keranen (English, TV series and movies), BJ Ward (Sword of the Berserk English)
"Maybe there is a place for me within this man. And not only can he give to me. Maybe this time I can also give something of worth in return."
"Forget about what you can't understand. Focus on what you can do."
The female lead of the series, Casca first appears as a dark-skinned
, extremely capable Action Girl
in charge of her own platoon of soldiers. Second only to Guts and Griffith at swordsmanship, she is highly respected by her fellows among the Hawks. She initially despises Guts out of jealousy over his rapid rise in the Hawks and Griffith's immediate affection towards him, but later grows to respect and become attracted to him. She was recruited into the Hawks after being saved by Griffith from a rape attempt,
and idolizes Griffith as a result. The relationship between the three
is... very complicated
She temporarily commands the Hawks during Griffith's imprisonment and eventually becomes Guts' Love Interest
, after she realizes Griffith has no place in his heart for her, while Guts always had a HUGE soft spot for her.
Like all her comrades of the Hawks, Casca was branded as a sacrifice during the Eclipse, in addition to getting brutally raped by Femto
. Like Guts, she survives. Unlike Guts, she becomes insane
after her horrific ordeal and behaves as a small child, with no recollection of her surroundings or her past with Guts
. She also gives birth to a Fetus Terrible
, the son she and Guts would have had were it not tainted by Femto's rape
. Despite all that happened to her, she still sometimes shows glimpses of her former self, especially when put in mortal danger.
After the Eclipse, she is left in the care of fellow survivor Rickert while Guts hunts for Griffith
. The two are reunited two years later during the mock Eclipse at the Tower of Punishment, after which Guts decides to care for her himself. This turns out to be more difficult than he expects, and his frustration at the trouble he has protecting her, along with the urgings of his Super-Powered Evil Side
, leads him to nearly rape Casca.
Casca now fears Guts and wants nothing to do with him, made even more painful for him since she is the only reason why he decided to change his ways
. She is instead looked after by Farnese and finding the cure
to her state is the reason for Guts and his party's are current journey to Elfhelm.
Guts's current True Companions
who joined him gradually during his quest. After believing that he could handle it all alone, Guts realizes that he can't protect Casca unaided, due to her mental state and their mutual curse
. He then warms up to his haphazard companions and learns to trust them.
"In meeting you and travelling with you, we've been changed. Not only Lady Farnese, but myself as well."The Lancer
of the party is a canny Fragile Speedster
who starts off as Farnese's servant. He is actually her half-brother but she doesn't know it.
He is completely devoted to her and seldom questions her decisions.
Wary of Guts's Superpowered Evil Side
and distrustful of Guts's ability to control it, he confronted him about this quite a few times, all of which ended up in a duel between the two in Vritannis, where he showed once more his superior strategy skills
. After being defeated
, Serpico has stopped acting hostile towards Guts and has grown to respect and appreciate him, as shown when both worked together in synch to defeat Ganishka's elderly henchman, Daiba
In battle, he uses a rapier blessed by the Wind spirits, donated by Schierke, which can bisect his opponents clean
, in sharp contrast to Guts's BFS
, as well a magical cloak that grants him the power of flight.
- Adorkable: Quite so given his klutzy behavior (though a charade), his doormat-ish demeanor, and Bishōnen good looks. Aw, Serpie!
- Animal Motifs: The fox, according to Guts whenever they spar or fight with each other.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: He could fight with Guts twice on an almost even footing thanks to this.
- Badass: Despite his lesser stature, he doesn't fear to take on much stronger enemies, often using his superior intelligence to gain advantage of his surroundings.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Farnese. Literally. If you don't favor the other interpretation. Her wishes don't have to be reasonable, but if you go against them, you're in trouble, even if you are Guts. He also has traces of this behavior toward the younger Isidro and Schierke.
- Bishōnen: For sure! And the fangirls approve.
- Blow You Away: Cue that awesome cloak and sword.
- Bodyguard Crush: To Farnese.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Likewise subverted. When he finds out Farnese is his half-sister, his feelings for her become more brotherly. He even resisted when she made a very emotionally charged advance on him.
- Combat Pragmatist: Mainly in his fight against Guts both of them, but again, it was against freakin Guts if you aren't an Apostle, you need everything in your side to last a few minutes against him.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His facade when he was a member of the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain.
- Deadpan Snarker: Never out of sarcastic quips!
- Defeat Means Friendship: After Guts definitely defeats him in Vritannis, all their differences seem settled.
- Diagonal Cut: The wind-blessed sword he uses in battle has this effect.
- Enigmatic Minion: How he started out.
- Eyes Always Shut: At least always when he is playing nice, when Serpico happens to open his eyes both his expresion and the situation are turning nasty.
- Fragile Speedster
- Heroic Bastard
- Heroic Build: A variation. Despite not being as massively built as Guts or Roderick, during his Shirtless Scene, Serpico is shown being healthily athletic but spare, as would be fitting for a Fragile Speedster.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Towards Farnese at first (like most of her underlings), and then to Guts himself.
- In a Single Bound: Thanks to his cloak
- In-Series Nickname: Puck calls him "Picolin".
- The Lancer: What he is to Guts even though he doesn't always approve of his "leader's" ways.
- Lean and Mean: At first. Subverted after he joins Guts companions with Farnese.
- Let's Get Dangerous: You wouldn't notice at first, due to his mannerly, humble self. But, just in case you forgot, Serpico is among the few humans to have survived a battle with Guts twice...
- Long-Lost Relative: Farnese's half-brother.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: His (apparent) relationship with Farnese.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Noble Male to Guts' Roguish Male.
- Razor Wind: The effect of his rapier
- The Rival
- Sarcastic Devotee: Probably the most cynical member on the team (next to Guts anyway) but wrapped in a snarky layer of goodness that prevents him from being a deserter, mainly for Farnese's sake.
- Shirtless Scene: Much to the fangirls' joy!
- The Smart Guy
- The Stoic: He never loses his cool, even in battles.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A stoic pretty boy lancer who fights with a rapier and has a rivalry with Guts? On the surface, he's Griffith without the sociopathy, though in practise the two characters are quite different.
- Revenge Before Reason: Was willing to attack Guts for shaming Farnese, knowing full well it would in all likely hood mean his death.
- Team Chef: He's the most competent cook in the group.
- Weapon of Choice: His first was a rapier and then a fan sword.
Farnese de Vandimion
"I want to know what transcends the order I clung to. The truth. And I want to learn a way to live in the darkness where the light of that order does not reach."
Introduced as the figurehead of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, she was supposedly a Lady of War
, except that she can't fight
. She first meets Guts after his exhausting battle against Rosine and captures him.
A frustrated Rebellious Princess
with pyrophiliac tendencies, she gets thoroughly broken by Guts upon trying to whip him into submission with her barbed scourge
. Seeing in him the epitome of heresy, she pledges to have him executed once he confesses.
Yet, after witnessing the horrible events of the mock Eclipse at the Tower of Punishments, all her convictions are destroyed and she stands corrected before Guts's survivability and his unwillingness to submit to Mozgus who she respected deeply. She eventually joins him, wanting to learn how to survive unaided in the world.
She is not much of a combatant but is currently learning magic from Schierke and sometimes uses her silver dagger for defense. She is also very protective of Casca, even though she has a crush on Guts. She recently Took a Level in Badass
and is much more combative than what she used to be.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Played with: When Farnese gradually becomes much stronger as a person she acts more introverted and modest.
- Animal Motifs: The stoat. A noblewoman but rather weak in comparison to her comrades (physically stronger than Schierke though). Yet she's not helpless and isn't afraid to stab her assailants to defend herself.
- Arranged Marriage: With Roderick, technically it's her second.
- The Atoner: She wishes to expiate the atrocities she used to advocate before joining Guts.
- Blondes are Evil: Not really, but she maintained the impression quite some time after she'd been introduced.
- Blue Blood
- Brother-Sister Incest: Serpico is her half-brother, but she isn't aware of this and developed feelings for him in their teenage years. She even made a very emotionally charged advance on him. Serpico being in the know, he resisted.
- The Caretaker: She ends up taking up this role for Casca when she joins Guts' group.
- Cherry Tapping: A scared senseless Farnese takes down Guts this way, but he was beaten to a pulp allready and he really just tripped and fell on her sword, leaving her stunned in disbelief. Nice throw, Serpico!
- Chew Toy: Guts definitely got a few chuckles out of messing with this kinky little bugger's head early on.
- The Chick
- Childhood Friend Romance: She and Serpico have been together most of their lives with him as her servant boy and she developed feelings for him in their teenage years, unaware that he is actually her half-brother.
- Chronic Pet Killer: That poor bird. Gone the way as the last one... and the one before that... (and the dog too...)
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Turned on by people burning alive to the point where she spends some "alone time" thinking very hard about that.
- Demonic Possession: Was possessed by a ghost, which mocked her for her insecurities and suppressed urges.
- Enfante Terrible: Widely known as "the devil child of the Vandimion". Ask the servants of the household for more details.
- Even Knight Templars Have Standards: Though she was quite a sadist during her Knight Templar days in the Holy Iron Chain Knights, Farnese was notably disturbed and horrified by the torture techniques employed by Mozgus.
- Fan Disservice: The second moment of her sexual turn on in the series was riding Guts' sword while possessed by a ghost, no less.
- Faux Action Girl: An in-universe example. Farnese leads the Holy Iron Chain Knights, but they never expect her to actually fight. The Knights are traditionally led by a maiden, so she is entirely there for looks and because she comes from a noble family.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: How she and Serpico met. After he was beat up by some local bullies and left in the snow, Farnese finds Serpico and brings him back to her family's mansion. She begins to nurse him back to health, but says that he has to be her servant boy from then on.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Her stuffed rabbit mentioned below.
- Green Thumb: Can now control familiars made out of thorns, thanks to Schierke.
- Heel-Face Turn: Started off as mentally unhinged Knight Templar largely antagonistic to Guts. Since joining him, she's mellowed out considerably, become more grounded, and much more kind in general.
- Hero-Worshipper: Any kind word from Guts is bound to make her cry Tears of Joy.
- Hot Witch: She's shaping up to be one with lessons from Schierke.
- Hysterical Woman: During her Knight Templar phase.
- Important Haircut: Upon choosing to follow Guts.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Subverted. The figurehead of the Holy Iron Chain Knights is always a woman, so she appears to be this trope, only she doesn't have any actual fighting skills and the voices she hears in her head are actual demons.
- Knife Nut: Wields a silver dagger, which is super-effective against supernatural creatures.
- Knight Templar: What she was during her time as the Holy See's figurehead.
- Lady of War: Subverted. She is dressed as one but can hardly fight.
- The Load: Was initially one among Guts' party and realized it. It made her want to learn sorcery from Schierke.
- Lonely Doll Girl: She use to have a stuffed rabbit that her father bought for her on a family outing that was her Security Blanket, but then her father told her to dispose of it because she was getting to old for it. Judging by the way that she did get rid of it, it probably didn't improve her troubled mindset.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Her past.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: During her Knight Templar Church Militant days she enjoyed burning people alive, and though she is The Atoner now and ashamed of what she did, her sadism is presented somewhat sympathetically. See Pyromaniac, below, for details.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Guts and Farnese first meet in this sort of fashion. She is assigned to capture and kill Guts and Guts ends up kidnapping and holding her hostage twice. During this time period, her future infatuation and admiration of him is foreshadowed and hinted at.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: Her (apparent) relationship with Serpico.
- Pyro Maniac: Formerly this. However, in contrast to the crazy pyromaniac archetype, Farnese is deeply ashamed, and frightened, by her obsession. After the Date with Rosie Palms (see above) she is shown huddling on her bed and tearfully trying to convince herself "I am not wrong". Also, the pyromania, along with her sadism is traced to her spoilt but lonely childhood, where the sounds of other people's screaming would make her forget her own loneliness and depression.
- Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed. She becomes one because of her parenting (or lack thereof), and this earns her the social isolation it would earn her in real life medieval Europe.
- The Resenter: Toward Casca for holding Guts' affection. She is ashamed of this, though, and nevertheless cares for and protects Casca in the hopes doing so will help her atone for her sins.
- Security Blanket: Said stuffed rabbit mentioned above.
- Shirtless Scene: A Rare Female Example.
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: Her dagger is made of silver, as well as the chainmail she and Casca wear under their garments.
- Stepford Smiler: Used to act as one of those and used to take out her rage on Serpico and other servants, or on the so-called heretics she sent burning at the stake.
- Stripperiffic: Much like pre-Eclipse Casca, she averts this.
- A Taste of the Lash: Practices that at herself, Guts and Serpico in the three different occasions.
- Team Mom: Due to her role as Casca's caretaker and her willingness to take care of everyone's basic needs, she qualifies as one of these.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: In spades when she was younger, especially with her Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.
- Took a Level in Badass: She is not the most violent of the bunch but has shown to be willing to take a more active part in battle, as seen during the attack of the Kushan tigers in Vritannis in which she could effectively ward off two of them. She took another level recently, acting as a Barrier Maiden to keep the crew of the Seahorse safe while Schierke (on whom the duty would normally fall) was held up elsewhere.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Joining Guts and caring for Casca really brought out the nicer sides in her.
- Weapon of Choice: Daggers. Whips during her crazed Knight Templar days.
"I'm going to be the strongest swordsman in the world!!"
The young runaway is an Affectionate Parody
of a Kid Samurai
, Isidro is primarily a Plucky Comic Relief
, regularly subject to Art Shift
Also Wrong Genre Savvy
, he believes himself the main character of a Shōnen
series and wants to become the greatest warrior. He worships and admires
Guts but never openly admits it and wants to "steal" his technique for himself after watching him dealing with a whole group of Kushans.
Despite trying his best, he is not very effective in combat due to his undeveloped body (he is still a kid) but learns gradually to develop his own style thanks to Guts's tutelage and training. Although he hates to admit it, Guts has found an apprentice in Isidro. He used to carry a regular sword but it was too heavy for him and couldn't use it properly. He later receives a fire-blessed
dagger from Schierke as well as a cutlass from an old man who saved him from the Troll attack right before Guts and his party depart for the Qliphoth.
- Accidental Pervert: Many times he just happens upon indecently dressed women, like Nina and Isma. He also accidentally gropes Schierke when they first meet.
- Action Survivor: Before meeting Guts.
- Animal Motifs: The monkey, by way of what Schierke calls him when he's being a dick.
- The Artful Dodger: After he ran away from home, Isidro became one of these more or less. Even after joining Guts' new group and gaining some stability, he still occasionally pickpockets people.
- Brats with Slingshots: Subverted. He doesn't need slingshots, only his bare hands. And the things he throws (stones, bombs...) cause serious harm instead of a comedic effect.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Rude, ill-mannered, he is a master at the art of provoking and pissing people off.
- Butt Monkey: Whenever there's some slapstick comedy to be had, he's often on the receiving end.
- Casanova Wannabe: He believes himself to be a Kid A Nova. Luca and her girls weren't too impressed by him, though.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Isidro's a good kid, as he won't hesitate to help people, especially girls. However, he does have his pervy side, as he's tried to peek at Casca bathing on more than one occasion (though he's thwarted each time).
- Confusion Fu: His fighting style of choice. He makes up his moves as he goes along, uses anything at hand to confuse his foes and usually goes about skipping and evading blows thanks to his agility and his small size.
- Deliberately Cute Child: His usual tactic to bail himself out of situations or to trick people into trusting him so he can con them.
- Dirty Kid: He has frequently displayed incredibly lewd behavior, at one point even fantasizing about having sex with five prostitutes at once.
- Disaster Scavengers: Was one of those before meeting Guts and would survive by stealing food and valuables.
- Dual Wielding: He usually uses both his cutlass and his dagger in battle.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His fighting style when fighting groups in close quarters is to spin and roll around at high speeds, attacking weak points and dodging attacks.
- Expy: Of Myojin Yahiko, fitting the Kid Samurai image.
- Fiery Redhead: Made all the more evident when his magical weapon is a fire dagger.
- Hero-Worshipper: Although he'll never admit it, he deeply admires Guts.
- Hot-Blooded: A lot.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Deconstructed. Because he emulates Guts and his BFS, he tries to fight like him while being oblivious to his own fighting style: he's fast and pretty handy with thrown weapons and short blades, but he's as fragile as he looks. Because he insists on ignoring his true strengths, his wish to become a badass like Guts often makes him a liability.
- Indy Ploy: His rescue of Casca from a witches' execution is a definite winner!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Jumped at the Call: He just up and left his home one day with a sword in hand to seek his own personal fortune, and has been following Guts ever since first seeing him.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Sort of. He certainly wasn't designed for demographic appeal - it's a Seinen, remember? - but he fits most of the classical traits.
- Kid Samurai: Deconstructed. Due to the cynical tendencies of the series, it is clearly implied that Isidro would make little impression on the battlefield due to his size and lack of skills. To be fair, Guts' tutelage is beginning to pay off.
- Knife Nut: Has a dagger made of lava.
- Mouthy Kid: At first towards everyone in the party. But after some tutelage from Guts and more exposition to the reality of battle, he gets much more respectful of Guts' advice and commands. But he still mouthes off to people he doesn't know.
- No Indoor Voice: The kid with the mouth has a very loud one at that. Was lampshaded here.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He felt like this when Schierke entered the party.
- Playing with Fire: Cue the fire dagger.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Alongside Puck.
- Red Oni: To Schierke's Blue Oni.
- The Runaway: His backstory isn't clear, but he seems to be the circus runaway case.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In terms of ability only. He's a great with thrown weapons and has taken up Dual Wielding, which makes his skill set very similar to Judeau.
- Tagalong Kid
- To Be a Master: Isidro's whole reasoning behind following Guts around, even if his plan doesn't seem that practical at times.
- Took a Level in Badass: His breakthrough in swordmanship happens when he defeats the troll leader.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Schierke.
- Vocal Dissonance
- Volleying Insults: Often with Schierke.
- Weapon of Choice: Tried to use a regular sized sword but it didn't work in his favor since it was too big. He was then given a dagger blessed by the fire spirits, but at the time he didn't fully recognize its potential. He finally got a short sword from an old man who thought it would coincide with his stature and speed. This works out a lot better. He's since been able to use the fire dagger more aptly.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He believes himself the main protagonist of a Shōnen series.
"No matter their strength, for a human, to fight a monster means to let go of their humanity and become an even bigger monster."Socially inept
initially and a good example of a Dark Magical Girl
, Schierke joined Guts' party late in the story. A witch-in-training, she joined only begrudgingly at the call of her mistress, the witch Flora. After Flora's death, she eventually sets off with Guts and his companions. She and Guts share a father-daughter relationship and comprehend each other instinctively. Like many other females of the series, she has a crush on Guts, albeit a childish one.
Schierke is also a Squishy Wizard
and isn't much of a frontline fighter. However, when she's given enough time to cast her spells: KAPOW!!!
She can wipe out an entire army of trolls or wash out a whole village with a tidal wave...
- Animal Motifs: The owl, according to Sonia.
- Astral Projection: One of her powers.
- Badass Adorable: Very cute. Will tear you apart with her magic powers.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted; unlike Dance in the Vampire Bund, being a child doesn't exempt her from being drawn anatomically correct. Since everyone gets naked in this series, it doesn't come off creepy.
- Blue Oni: To Isidro's Red Oni.
- Child Mage
- Cute Witch
- Dark Magical Girl: She was pretty anti-social until she met Guts and his companions.
- Eating the Eye Candy: While applying a protective seal over the Brand while Guts' shirtless, Schierke notes how large and strong his back is... and begins blushing.
- Glass Cannon: Hits hard with her magic, but is still a child.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Very skilled at this.
- Kid with the Leash: Is the only one capable of bringing Berserker Guts back to his senses other than the Child.
- Kill It with Fire and Kill It with Water: Due to her control over elemental forces, she can either torch her foes alive or drown them in a tidal wave if she's given enough time to cast her spells.
- Little Miss Badass
- Little Miss Snarker
- Loner-Turned-Friend: Lived alone except for her master, but has since become True Companions with Guts and the others.
- Magic Hair: Uses her hair in some of her spells.
- Magic Wand: Focuses her magic through her staff.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is the one of a mountain village in Germany, which is right next to the Brocken - the mountain of witches.
- Meganekko: When she isn't in battle, that is.
- The Mentor: Schierke is mentoring Farnese in magic.
- Mission Control: Much like Sonia, her telepathic abilities make her one of these.
- No Social Skills: She has been isolated all her childhood long from the rest of the world and is a bit awkward in social situations because of this; however it is highly compensated in the refined etiquette Flora, her mistress, taught her.
- Precocious Crush: On Guts.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Her most common attire.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: When she wears normal clothing.
- Shy Bluish-Green Haired Girl
- Simple Staff: She channels her powers through her staff.
- Skilled, but Naive: Rather than having a straight up Fatal Flaw. Schierke is young and incredibly skilled at what she does. Unfortunately, due to her lack of experience in the outside world, both in social and magical terms, she sometimes lets her immense power go over her head, with some consequences. She's learning from her mistakes, though.
- Spell My Name with an S: Schierke, Silke
- Squishy Wizard: Despite her tremendous spiritual strength and advanced spellcasting skills, she is probably the physically weakest of the party.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Isidro.
- Volleying Insults: Often with Isidro.
- Weapon of Choice: Staves.
- Wise Beyond Her Years: She is one of the most level-headed member of the current True Companions, although she remains somewhat naive sometimes.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: So far, the only human character in the whole story to have a non-generic hair colour.
Puck and Evarella
"Aw, c'mon! You know this story would be too dark if I weren't around!"
"For crying out loud! Right when I think he's healed and his wounds haven't opened for 3 days, he's already ragged and torn all over! I'm gonna shrivel up! My maidenly skin is gonna dry up!"Small annoying creatures
and Plucky Comic Relief
, the two elves that accompany Guts' companions can sometime give valuable guidance in the midst of the battle. They also offer their healing touch
Puck is the very first to join Guts in his quest, being rescued from Koka Castle's bandits in the very first chapter and trying his hardest to be Guts' Morality Pet
. He can also act as a Deadpan Snarker
and occasionally breaks the fourth wall.
He usually travels in Guts' pouch and shows a strange attachment to the Behelit Guts is carrying with him - which they took from the Count - and prevented him several times from getting rid of it.
Evarella used to act as Schierke's Morality Pet
and is now Puck's Distaff Counterpart
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Guts usually treats Puck's tantrums with about as much concern as he would a mosquito, but every now and then when Puck is genuinely mad, he'll manage to land a blow that Guts actually feels. They usually just make his eyes water, but for a little guy, that's not bad.
- Those weird dandelion blades Puck produces actually seem pretty potent against the ghosts. He'll usually let loose on the off chance that Guts is knocked out and at the mercy of any kind of bottom rung mook.
- Art Shift: Puck spends most of his time as a chibi, which is his default state when he's being funny. He only gets to look real when he's being serious(ish).
- Audience Surrogate: Puck more or less served this role during the Black Swordsman Story Arc.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Despite being obviously naked, Puck appears as a miniature Ken doll. This actually became a plot point in the Lost Children arc. We've never seen Evarella without her dress, so we don't know if it applies to her.
- Big Eater: They can both eat many times their own weight in food, including entire giant tables of food.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: They sometimes do this. Mostly with a random Shout-Out to another anime show in the midst of a heated battle.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Zigzagged a bit since the story starts in the middle, but Puck is briefly mentioned during the Golden Age arc by Judeau, but later becomes Guts' first travel companion when he's the Black Swordsman. Puck actually makes reference to the manner in which they became companions.
- The Conscience: Puck tries to be this to Guts. He's not too successful, mainly because most of the time, Guts doesn't give a damn about the morality of his actions.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both of them constantly snark at the events that occur around them.
Puck (to Guts): I thought you didn't have any friends. Who knew you were friends with a monster?
(to the Skull Knight): Ah, not to be racist to monsters. This guy is so lonely, please be friends with him. My name is Puck!
- Determinator: It takes Puck a looong time, but eventually all the free healing he keeps providing pays off and Guts becomes more friendly to him. The pivotal moment comes in volume 16 when Guts finally calls Puck by his name. After that, they become Vitriolic Best Buds. It's a big step forward since back in the early manga Guts came close to flat out offing Puck a few times. Rickert eventually points out that Puck was the only thing keeping Guts human during his two-year demon hunt.
- Distaff Counterpart: Evarella is this to Puck.
- The Empath: Both can sense the inner emotions of others, which makes Puck a Rare Male Example of this. Due to this, Puck is often overwhelmed by Guts' intensely hostile emotions during the whole Conviction Arc, especially when both were Walking the Earth.
- Fairy Companion: Duh.
- Foreshadowing: Ever since Guts took the Count's beherit from Vargas, Puck has grown strangely attached to it and prevented Guts from disposing of it several times. Even though it is not known whether or not astral creatures can use it, one still has to remember that nothing is incidental in the Berserkverse. Nothing.
- Healing Hands: Both of them can heal wounds with their magic powder.
- Light 'em Up: Puck is able to cast a dazzling spark and can sometime help in battle with this power.
- Morality Pet: Puck often acts as the voice of morality when Guts loses it.
- Mrs. Exposition: Evarella has taken this role for the team a few times when Schierke was out. She instructed Farnese in how to call Schierke back when she was "mixed" with the river spirit and told Isma about true names.
- Non-Action Snarker: Evarella, a Rare Female Example. She talks shit, yet she doesn't do shit.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Being surrounded by people who can't see the supernatural (at least the non-aggressors), including Puck, a lot of people who encounter Guts wonder what he is talking to.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Granted, they're called Elves, but they apply more to this trope.
- Parrot Pet Position: Both of them are usually perched on others shoulders, though Evarella likes to sit on the brim of Schierke's hat.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy
- Plucky Comic Relief: Puck mostly.
- Shipper on Deck: When Evarella tries to push Schierke to Guts she usually gets stuffed in a hat. In general, she has a weak spot for romance.
- Shout-Out: Puck frequently appears as characters from other stories. Notable appearances are as Yoda, Doraemon, and the trainer from Ashita no Joe.
- Small Annoying Creature: Guts' opinion of Puck early on, and he came very close to killing him. It was only when Puck proved useful in his constant healings and driving away ghosts that Guts warmed up to him.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Evarella.
- The Reveal: Puck is... *Drum Roll*
I'm a spirit of the wind??? The shocking truth revealed now! I wasn't a chestnut!!?
- Team Pet: Both.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: To each other. For a time, one could say Puck and Guts had this relationship going as well.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Evarella definitely considers Puck a lesser being.
- Women Are Wiser: Evarella thinks she's this compared to Puck, but she's really Not so Above It All.
"Don't give up, knights are here to protect those in need! A knight's duty is to protect the weak!"
Azan is the second in command of the Holy Iron Chains Knights. An old-fashioned knight who has turned to the cloth, he always speaks of honor and loyalty. When the Holy Iron Chains Knights catch up to Guts, he challenges Guts to a duel, matching the injured Guts in combat. Azan manages to survive the events of the Tower of Conviction and decides to report the events to the Holy See, while Farnese and Serpico follow Guts.
He later reappears in Vritannis, living on the streets after having been kicked out of the Holy See and sleeping on boats. The pirate captain fighting Isidro steps on him, which prompts Azan to throw him into the water and beat up the rest of the pirates. Guts and his companions later end up sailing off with the boat he is sleeping on to Roderick's ship. As such, he is currently accompanying Guts towards Elfhelm.
- Acrofatic: Though he's certainly more stout and stocky than actually fat, he still fits.
- A Father to His Men: Very much acts like a father to the young men who makes up the Holy Iron Chains Knights.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Somewhat subverted in that he is second-in-command, not the leader of the Holy Iron Chains Knights, but he still has authority and he kicks ass.
- Bald of Awesome
- Big Damn Heroes: Twice. First he pops out of nowhere at the end of the Conviction arc and saves the women from the Bakirakas, then in Vritannis he saves Isidro and a group of kushan children from pirates.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows
- Calling Your Attacks: One of the few characters to do this.
- Carry a Big Stick: Wields a metal quarterstaff in combat, with spikes at each end.
- Church Militant
- The Comically Serious
- Cool Helmet
- Cool Old Guy
- Enemy Mine: Allies with Guts at the end of the Conviction arc to fight the Bakirakas.
- The Faceless: Has not taken off his helmet ever since his reintroduction in Vritannis. He even cleans a ship's deck wearing nothing but pants and the helmet.
- Good Is Old-Fashioned
- Heavy Sleeper: Somehow managed to sleep through a raging battle throughtout a city, magical lightning and people sailing off with the boat he's sleeping on. Add to this that he managed to sleep through all of this while wearing full plate and it gets ridiculous.
- Hero Antagonist: He's definitely one of the very few good and heroic people in Midland at the time, he just happens to be opposing Guts until the end of the Conviction arc.
- Honor Before Reason
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: A whole lot more competent than Farnese.
- Knight Errant: What he became after being kicked out of the Holy See.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Probably the straightest example in Berserk, despite his advanced age.
- Large Ham
- Lightning Bruiser: Packs quite a punch with his iron staff and quite fast despite his size and girth. Guts even notes that the rumors of his speed were understated.
- Number Two: To Farnese in the Holy Iron Chains Knights.
- Old Soldier
- One-Man Army: Stood against and prevented about a hundred men from crossing a bridge to protect the old man guarding it.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: He hasn't taken off his helmet since getting dragged onto Roderick's ship because he would rather not be recognized by his old cohorts. They aren't fooled at all.
- Red Baron: Renowned as the Bridge Knight for his One-Man Army feat. Even Guts had heard of his story.
- Sixth Ranger: For Guts' new companions, having unwittingly become a stowaway on Roderick's ship.
- Stout Strength
- Straight Man: To Serpico in the Holy Iron Chains Knights.
- Weapon of Choice: He wields a a double-headed staff to bludgeon people with.
- Worthy Opponent: Initially sees Guts as this when he sees what he is capable of.
Roderick of Stauffen
"It looks bad when a princess protects a knight."
A noble prince
that is also Farnese's brother's best friend, he has accepted to an Arranged Marriage
with Farnese, in order to further cement the alliance between Vritannis and Eath
Rash, daring but mild-mannered and very handsome
, he seems to show some personal interest in Farnese due to her rebellious
attitude and her reputation, despite his obvious ulterior motives.
He joined Guts and his party late in the story line, making him The Sixth Ranger
, upon proposing to ship them to Skellig. He also wants to use this opportunity to spend some time with his wife-to-be. He was very impressed to see the skills of Guts against the Kushan's familiars in Vritannis and immediately accepted him as a leader.
In battle, Roderick uses a straight sword and seems to be a decently skilled fighter
, though his true talent is commanding ships in naval battles.
- Arranged Marriage: With Farnese, although he might be interested in her as a person...
- Badass Normal: A regular human but he can still stand toe-to-toe with familiars or minor demons and is a highly effective admiral in command of his own ship.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Very similar to Guts.
- The Captain
- Cool Boat: The Seahorse.
- Courtly Love: How he manifests his interest for Farnese, as could be expected from a nobleman of his time.
- Heroic Build: Guy is seriously ripped, although not as much as Guts.
- Hunk: Between the massive, scary-looking Guts and good looking, but rather lanky Serpico, Roderick provides us (and Farnese) with some eye pleasing, well balanced manliness.
- I Kiss Your Hand: "And I kiss it so tenderly, my dear Farnese."
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Roderick seems to be very sympathetic about Farnese's crush on Guts.
- Love at First Sight: Only took one meeting for him to decide that he was in love with Farnese.
- Nice Guy: And it's really refreshing in this setting.
- Princely Young Man
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Very experienced and level-headed, he is highly respected by his men for this.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Shirtless Scene: We finally got one in chapter 327. Yea-uh!
- The Sixth Ranger
- Slipknot Ponytail: Wore his hair loose once after he rescued Guts from sinking into the ocean because of his steel hand. Turns out he's even more good-looking that way.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Third-Option Love Interest: To Farnese, after she decides to give up on Guts.
- Understanding Boyfriend: Even though they aren't seen much together, Roderick seems to be very supportive of Farnese.
- Weapon of Choice: Straight swords and rapiers.
- Though given a choice between hand-to-hand and ship-to-ship combat, he'll take the latter, and for very good reason; he's a competent swordsman, but a bloody brilliant naval commander.
- Warrior Prince
Magnifico de Vandimion
"Where can I be safe?"
Farnese's slippery and underachieving older brother is a sad case of The Unfavourite
. His father, knowing of his incompetence, has preferred to give the more important responsibilities to his other brothers, leaving him only with minor tasks.
Ready to do anything to gain his father's attention and recognition
, he schemed to have his sister marry his best friend
, Roderick, in order to unite both their families. But he utterly failed and thus, fearing his father's wrath, fled with Guts's Companions in order to escape punishment.Cowardly
and unusually awkward, he never takes part in physical fights
and reacts rather comically to the supernatural happenings he witnesses.
- Art Shift: Among the few human characters to be given this treatment.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Of the Poke the Poodle variety, though...
- Butt Monkey: Suffers all sorts of humiliations, and it's always played for laugh.
- Dirty Coward: VERY MUCH. Whenever something remotely dangerous happens he immediately runs and hides.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: His character design has changed drastically from his first introduction. He looked rather handsome and dignified when we first meet him but he looks like an emasciated buffoon, probably because he developped an illness before the Sea God Arc that made him lose a lot of weight.
- Epic Fail: Upon trying to announce Roderick and Farnese's marriage to a huge assembly of nobles, including his father. Farnese has disappeared. Also a Crowning Moment of Funny, complete with Roderick facepalming. Thankfully the awkwardness is broken up by the GIANT DEMON TIGER.
- Freudian Excuse: Tries to gain parental attention.
- The Load: Much like Farnese in the beginning. But, unlike his sister, he has no intentions to work on his lack of skills and become useful to the group.
- The Magnificent: Magnifico means magnificent or splendid in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Quite ironic as it's, unfortunally, not a Meaningful Name.
- Nervous Wreck: Always, always panicking for his life when the situation turns even slightly against his favor. Made worse for his case since he's the...
- Non-Action Guy: Only character of the party to never partake in the action. Even his sister, who is hardly as much of a trained fighter, is more willing to put up a fight than him.
- Pet the Dog: He does seem to actually care for Farnese.
- Satellite Character: There isn't much use for Magnifico as of now but he still shows up consistently, mostly for comic relief.
- Smug Snake: Sometimes.
- The Starscream: Wishes to overtake his brothers' position.
- Token Evil Teammate: Tries to be this but he is so incompetent he only manages to be a Harmless Villain.
- The Unfavourite: His father understandably prefers his far more competent brothers.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: His motivation.
- Zany Scheme: Strikes a deal with Puck to start a business by selling elves...
A teenage girl living a solitary existence on an island. She's a pariah among the supersticious inhabitants, due to her rather interesting family history. Namely, in that her mother was a merrow, and that she is believed to be one too. Following the Sea God arc, she joins Guts' team.
- All the Other Reindeer: Was a victim of this, due to the islanders believing her to be a merrow.
- Apparently Human Merfolk: Appears human, but transforms into a merrow to save Ishidro from drowning
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: When we see her swimming early on, she possesses this.
- Blinding Bangs: The first time we see her and then...
- Peek-a-Bangs: Until Schierke and Isidro get to know her better and we see both her eyes much more often.
- Genki Girl: Is quite cheerful most of the time, though she has a Heroic BSOD when she realizes she is the Sole Survivor of the island.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She claims that her father was human, and her mother was a merrow, but otherwise looks human (barring the aqua-colored hair) and has no special powers. Turns out, she is a merrow after all.
- I Choose to Stay: She could have gone away with her mother but she chose to stick around Isidro and Schierke, her newfound friends.
- I Know Your True Name: She has one, and speaking it is what turned her into a merrow. In fact, all spiritual beings have one.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She has absolutely zero qualms about being in the nude in front of others, much to Isidro’s delight, though he tries to restrain himself.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: As a merrow her voice is a potent weapon.
- No Social Skills: Due to living alone.
- Sole Survivor: The Sea God ate all the other inhabitants of the island.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: She appears completely human, for one.
- Parental Abandonment: Her father died years ago, and mother disappeared mysteriously. They eventually reunite.
- Ship Tease: With Isidro, much to Schierke's annoyance.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Justified in that she's not human.
- Weapon of Choice: She doesn't actually use them as a weapon, but she uses spears during her daily fishing routine.