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The following characters show up regularly along the story or are Commuting on a Bus.
The Skull Knight
Voiced by: Tsutomu Isobe (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese, 2012-13 Movie Trilogy & 2016 TV Anime), Jamieson Price (English, 2012-13 Movie Trilogy)
"What you wish for might not be what she wishes for."Guts and Casca's Mysterious Protector is a badass, philosophical, undead warrior that also opposes the Godhand. It is not known if he is aware of the Idea of Evil's existence. He often scares the Apostles into submission and his mere presence was sufficient to make Rosine and The Count flee. He seems to have some unfinished business with Void and often opposes Zodd himself, though neither has ever had the better of the other. He collects the Behelits from slain Apostles, and can cut through reality to teleport to another place using a sword made from said Behelits.He rides a spectral horse and appears as nothing more than a skeleton in a massive armor. He is speculated to be the legendary emperor Gaiseric, mentioned many times throughout the story.
- Adapted Out: His absence from the 1997-98 anime TV series was very noticeable and particularly problematic, since it requires the show to gloss over the issue of how Guts escaped the Eclipse alive. Thankfully he's appeared in every subsequent adaptation so far, including the two licensed games developed by Yuke's, the 2012-13 film trilogy, and the second anime TV series that begins in July 2016.
- Aloof Ally: To Guts, intervening only when he gets in too far over his head.
- Animated Armor: He confirmed that he was the original bearer of the berserker armor, explaining its original skull-shaped helmet. His current suit of armor also has a movable jaw.
- Archenemy: Void is the member of the God Hand whom he hates the most, which is indicated by how he immediately tries to attack Void when he crashes the Eclipse. The implication is that something happened between them in the distant past, and It's Personal.
- Badass: When you have centuries of Apostle asskicking under your belt, AND can stand up to the God Hand, you deserve the title.
- Big Damn Heroes: Does this twice. One time upon the Eclipse when he breaks into the dimensional vortex, fights past the Godhand, cuts his way through the Apostles and snatches the heavily wounded Guts and Casca from Femto's clutches right before he gives them the Coup de Grâce. The second time was in the Qliphoth where he interrupts Slan, who was torturing and tormenting Guts, and gives him the opportunity to free himself from her grasp.
- Big Good: The closest that Berserk has to a cornerstone for the Good Guys, being the biggest opposition to the Godhand who has provided help to Guts and his companions many times.
- Black Knight: A wandering knight of unknown identity, wearing all-covering armor, sporting a dark-colored horse and cape, whose appearance and reputation strikes fear into both humans and monsters. Also an example of the Dark Is Not Evil subtype, as he opposes the God Hand and has rescued the good guys from certain death several times.
- Cool Horse: See Hellish Horse.
- Cool Sword: Owns a unique sword with a guard shaped like thorn branches, and a serrated blade which he can coat in Behelits to make it capable of cutting the fabric of reality.
- Cynical Mentor: Despite giving precious guidance to Guts in his quest, he always points out that there are high possibilities for him to fail epically in the end, which simply motivates Guts to succeed even more.
- Dark Is Not Evil: This is a man with glowing, bright red eyes who goes around wearing (or possibly is) a massive suit of skeleton-themed, spike-covered armor, wields a sword that's also covered in spikes and serrations, and rides a supernatural jet-black horse. Yet in terms of character, he's a Knight in Shining Armor and unambiguously heroic.
- Dem Bones: As far as we can tell, all that's left of him is an animated skeleton wearing armor. Unusually for the trope, he's one of the good guys.
- The Dreaded: Most apostles would rather flee the scene than fight him.
- Evil Weapon: His Cool Sword is made of Behelits and since Behelits are evil entities owned by Apostles to summon the Godhand, that might make it's properties pretty sinister.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Both he and his horse are creatures of the undead, with dark, cavernous eye sockets lit by glowing eyes.
- Hellish Horse: Rides an equally ghastly horse with glowing eyes and unnatural speed, appropriate to his supernatural nature and badassitude. Heck, what earthly four-legged mount could carry its rider into the vortex of the Eclipse and out again?
- Horrifying Hero: Wouldn't be too surprising if the people he's saved thought he was the Grim Reaper taking them over to the other side... which is exactly what happened with the prostitute Luca during the Tower of Conviction arc, when he prevented her from falling to her death. She seems to think he's an avatar of Death itself... though strangely enough she's not frightened of him.
- It's Personal: Hates all members of the God Hand, but Void in particular, the implication being that there's a personal grudge between them.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Sure, he looks scary, but he really is an honorable knight who slays the wicked and rescues any Damsel or Badass in Distress.
- Knight of Cerebus: Lampshaded in-universe by Guts himself who often notes that if he shows up, it's because shit is about to get real some way or another.
- Leitmotif: Gets his own theme music in the Advent movie, titled "Totenkopf" (Death's head).
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Effectively defends himself using a shield bearing an emblem of a rose surrounded by thorny brambles. The most notable thing it's protected him from is his own sword, after Void manipulated space to direct a strike aimed at him back at the Skull Knight.
- Mister Exposition: When weird supernatural stuff is happening that Guts can't understand, he's usually the one to explain to him at great length what's going on. Granted, he tends to be a tad cryptic about it sometimes.
- Monster Knight: Although a creature of the undead, he hasn't lost his mind or his warrior's sense of honor.
- Mysterious Protector: A non-romantic, non-Shoujo one. He always shows up to help when Guts fights a number too big even for him such as Grunbeld, Slan, or the Kushans' demonic crocodiles.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Thank you so much for accidentally using your Cool Sword to bring Femto's plan to fuse the planes of reality to fruition, Mr. Skull Knight, the world really needed a chance to get even more terrible than it was already.
- It may go even further then that since it is implied that the Godhand had its origin in Gaiseric's incredibly ancient empire and Void, the original arch devil, was once a close friend of skully. Just what the hell did they do to cause such a mess?
- Odd Friendship: He and Flora are old friends, though as a kindly old witch and a frightening-looking skeleton knight they look rather odd together.
- Reality Warper: His Behelit sword's main ability is this. See above. It's this power that Femto uses to defeat Ganishka and fuse reality with the Astral Plane.
- Red Baron: "Knight of Skeleton" clearly isn't his real name; he acquired it by wearing that skeletal armor. If he and Gaeseric are the same person, then he was also known in the past as the "Demon King" and "King of Galloping Death" from his reputation as a ruthless conqueror.
- Rescued from the Underworld: When Guts and Casca were facing certain death in the Eclipse, he crashed through the barrier surrounding the ceremony and snatched both of them out of the clutches of the Legions of Hell, cheating them of their sacrifice.
- Serrated Blade of Pain: The forte of his sword is covered with painful-looking serrations.
- Situational Sword: His Cool Sword is Made of Evil thus it is to be used only in dire situations as it can cut through reality itself.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Invoked by his armor. The Berserker armor's initial skull-shaped helmet is attributed to him being its former bearer, and it's hinted he was once Emperor Gaiseric, who was famous for his skeleton-themed armor.
- Skull for a Head: We can't tell whether the skull is his head, or if it's just a helmet, albeit probably a magic one.
- Spikes of Villainy: Wears armor that's covered in spikes from head to foot. Despite appearances he's actually good, but still badass and frickin' scary to look at, especially if you're an Apostle.
- The Stoic: What with his face being a skull, it isn't very expressive. Despite that, when angles are played with, he can look angry or sympathetic.
- The Undead: Despite his massive appearance, it seems like he is nothing but a talking skeleton.
- Weapon of Choice: His trademark sword and shield both decorated with roses and thorns, the first of which which can also be coated in Behelits.
Guts and Casca's Child
"You know... this one. Not to be lost. Not to be destroyed."When Guts and Casca physically consummated their relationship, the result was Casca becoming pregnant—apparently without her knowing. When Griffith transformed into Femto and raped Casca to insanity during the Eclipse, her unborn child got tainted by the experience, causing her to deliver her baby prematurely.The child has the appearance of a hideously deformed and apparently mindless Fetus Terrible that is still irresistibly drawn to its parents, like all children. It usually shows up to protect its mother and tries to contact its father many times, but Guts refuses to acknowledge his tarnished spawn and lashes out angrily at it whenever it appears. Still, this frightening fetus is the one to warn him from the impending danger menacing Casca at the Tower of Conviction and it also appeared to protect its mother from the ghosts summoned at the mock Eclipse of Griffith's resurrection. Drained out of all its energy, the child was found by the Nameless Apostle, who swallowed it whole. Griffith then used the child's body to resurrect himself, killing both the Nameless Apostle and the child in the process.Later, right after conversing with the Skull Knight about the possible cure for Casca's state, Casca is found on the beach with a strange little boy in her arms. The child, who looked very much like a cross between Guts and Casca, somehow helped in repelling the attack of the Kushan crocodiles and is implied to have stopped Guts from turning against his companions at the end of the fight. It disappeared mysteriously afterwards.The kid's made yet another appearance on the island Guts and Co. stopped at while fighting the pirates. It's strongly implied that the fetus and the strange boy are one and the same, although Schierke thinks that the boy could be an emissary of the elf King—or even the king himself.
—To Guts, waking him from his berserk rage.
- Ascended Demon: He was born tainted by evil and appeared to be a hideous Fetus Terrible who, like all things demonic and malicious, caused the the brands in Guts and Casca to bleed. But ever since Griffith physically incarnated in the world, the child has since taken on a more human appearance. And while he used his powers to protect his parents in both forms, his current one does not even provoke a reaction from the Brand, signifying that he's no longer demonic in nature.
- Babies Make Everything Better: He probably would have if everything had not gone to crap after the Eclipse.
- Badass Adorable: Post mock-Eclipse. Yeah, he might not have had enough screen time to make it absolute, but every time we've seen him he's warding off a big, scary, Hellhound spirit that constantly tries to goad his father into killing his mother - and he succeeds each time!
- Bad Powers, Good People: Understandably got relatively evil powers from being corrupted by evil, but he uses his powers to help his parents.
- Berserk Button: For a being that supposedly has no real thought or emotions, he looks genuinely pissed right here. So it goes without saying: don't try to rape his mother. Ever.
- Child by Rape: Subverted. It isn't born from Casca's rape at Femto's hands, but the experience is what made it what it is now, even though it is technically Guts's child.
- Creepy Child: The boy on the beach seems a little bit too knowing for his tender years. He wanders off without adult protection as if he knows exactly what he's doing, and his comings and goings are mysterious. Not villainous but still unsettling.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite being monstrous and partially Made of Evil, Love Redeems.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Even hideous, corrupted demon-babies love their mamas.
- Fearless Infant: Even in his more expressive and self-aware toddler form, the Child is never fazed by any of the horrific calamity around him.
- Fetus Terrible: It's a horrifying fetus monster, but it never does anything evil.
- Fire of Comfort: What he used one time to snap Guts from his Berserker rage.
- Generation Xerox: The Child's origin story shares some rather uncanny similarities with that of Guts', both being born under unusual circumstances to gruff seemingly unloving mercenary fathers and to ill-fated yet loving mothers. Not to mention that like a younger Guts, the Child really wants to be accepted by his father (both of which had resentment for said son due to the condition of their lovers) and probably just wants to have a normal family.
- The Grotesque: You just can't help but feel sorry for the little guy. Had none of this shit surrounding Guts, Griffith, and Casca happened, he would have been a normal little boy in an unusual (being raised by mercenaries and all) but nonetheless loving family surrounding. He was a victim in this all in the end.
- Heroic Bastard: Technically a bastard since Guts and Casca weren't married when they had him, but nevertheless a benevolent one.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Though supposedly evil, the little guy uses the last of its strength in order to protect its mother after expending it, presumably, for an entire month in order to keep Casca safe from danger when she left safety of the elf mine.
- Infant Immortality: Horribly averted and perhaps the most disturbing case in the entire series, since his existence was tainted even before he was born not unlike his father.
- Love Redeems: Although he accepted a nature of evil in the womb, the child loves his parents too much to actually be evil.
- Lunacy: He only appears to Guts and Casca on nights when the moon is full, since magic is most powerful at that time.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: When it is born, Guts at first believes the baby is Griffith's Child by Rape or some kind of demonic parasite and attempted to kill it. The Skull Knight confirms that Guts is the father saying that Casca was impregnated by him roughly a month before the Eclipse. However, the baby was tainted and deformed due to the rape. The news did not make Guts very happy either way.
- Naked on Arrival: We first see the Child in human form as a naked little boy on the beach.
- The Nameless: Due to his voiceless nature and the fact that he was never properly given a name upon his "birth." Fans refer to him as Moonchild, Guska, etc. The boy has many nicknames but has no official name at the moment.
- Parents in Distress: Always comes to his parents' aide in times of needs.
- Soul Power: Has power over evil spirits and demons, and is also implicated that he can turn into an astral body of light.
- Staring Kid: He has a peculiar but nonetheless cute habit of staring at Guts, hiding behind Casca when Guts stares back, and then staring at Guts again.
- Straying Baby: Invoked earlier while he was a misshapen supernatural fetus, as he had to leave upon his birth not only to escape the sunlight, but also to escape the wrath of Guts. Played straight later when he was introduced in his "normal" toddler form, as he was seen being in one place one moment and then in an entirely different one (namely climbing on Guts) the next. He then falls off Guts and nearly lands on a pile of precariously placed daggers had Guts and Casca not caught him in the nick of time. He also had a habit of climbing on things he wasn't suppose to on Roderick's ship.
- Strong Family Resemblance: The boy on the beach looks like a perfect blend of Guts (skin-tone) and Casca (hair), though his true origins are still enigmatic... Miura probably thought that giving him Guts' ears would have been a dead giveaway.
- Touched by Vorlons: He was developing as a normal baby inside of Casca's womb, until Femto had his way with her... The terrible circumstances of how he became supernatural aside, the Child's main power is that of control over demons and evil spirits. His powers also seem to override his father's Enemy Within, allowing him to bring him back to the light by reminding Guts about his love for his mother, Casca.
- The Voiceless: There's no reason to think he is physically unable to speak, but he apparently chooses not to—at least not in the usual way. He talks to Guts when he touches his mind as a body made of light, perhaps through telepathy.
- Weirdness Magnet: Justified, enforced, AND lampshaded. The kid is pretty much the definition of "weirdness."
The Beast of Darkness
"Keep killing...eternally..."A Hell Hound-like abomination with a pointed snout and eyes shaped like lightening bolts, the Beast is the personification of Guts' hate and blood lust. It used to live in harmony with him along the two years during which Guts would seek revenge on the Apostles only to then start acting against him when Guts realizes that there are more important things than revenge to his life.Probably Guts' worst enemy after Griffith/Femto, the Beast is also one of the most malevolent beings in the Berserk universe who seems to have no purpose other than burning Guts in his own hatred and using him as a medium to operate in the physical world. Recognizing Casca as the only thing keeping Guts from succumbing to its influence, it constantly importunes Guts to kill her so it could take over his body and quench its desire for blood and revenge, claiming that this what Guts truly wants.The Beast has faded into the background for the time being, but has promised to eventually come back stronger and more ferocious than before.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Technically a zoomorphic personification in form, but having human-like intelligence, it is the living embodiment of Guts' hatred and rage.
- Animalistic Abomination: A monstrous black wolf with a gigantic fang-lined maw and red lightning-shaped eyes. It used to be the trope picture.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: When it takes over Guts' body, his sane personality is buried within his own mind. Schierke has to go in and help him fight his way out of the Beast's control.
- Chained by Fashion: The Beast is incredibly powerful and dangerous, and the rattling chains attached to it symbolize Guts and Schierke's measures to contain it inside Guts' subconscious.
- The Corrupter: Tries to get Guts to give into his hatred and bloodlust.
- Dark Is Evil: The evil entity that goads Guts to commit acts of inhuman butchery, its whole body is made of darkness and it resides in the black, shadowy depths of Guts' mind.
- The Dark Side: Goes without saying that it represents the darker side of Guts' heart.
- Enemy Within: To Guts, being the personification of his hatred and bloodlust.
- Evil Feels Good: Tries to persuade Guts that there could be no satisfaction greater than killing everything around him, in order to draw him closer to The Dark Side.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When the eye slots of the Berserker armor's visor—shaped just like those of the Beast itself—are glowing red, it means that Guts' enemies are about to feel the power of his Superpowered Evil Side, and that his allies had better get out of the way for their own safety. Conversely, when the helmet shows Guts' eyes it means that he is back in control and the Beast is chained up in his subconscious.
- The Heartless: The Beast was born from Guts' rage and hatred.
- Hell Hound: A supernatural and malevolent canine creature with glowing red eyes, its vicious nature broadly puts it in the hunter subtype of the hell hound that exists only to chase down and kill its victims. Of course, having no independent agency, it has to do this through Guts.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is it "just" a part of Guts' mind, or an evil spirit intent on possessing him? Or did it start as a part of Guts' mind but has since gained (or is gaining) an independent existence thanks to the Berserker Armor and/or all of Guts' gallivanting around in the Interstice and Astral Worlds? In a world fueled by Clap Your Hands If You Believe, it's hard to tell (and the subject of Wild Mass Guessing among the fandom).
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Its snout is lined with fangs.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: A non-Love Triangle example. The Beast especially wants to get Casca out of the picture, since she's the only person who is stopping Guts from turning to darkness. The Beast hopes to achieve this by getting Guts to kill her for it.
- The Power of Hate: The seething, undying hatred that Guts has for Griffith has been the reason for his Determinator staying power for so long, and the Beast reminds him that the hatred it represents has made him powerful enough to destroy his enemies time after time. Of course, it's deconstructed by the fact that Guts will lose his humanity if he keeps this up, but that is exactly what the Beast wants to happen.
- Split Personality: A manifestation of Guts' hatred and rage which split into a separate personality within his mind, and competes with Guts' sane personality for control over his body and will.
- Split Personality Takeover: While it has only taken over Guts' body for short periods so far, the Beast's ultimate goal is to make Guts's sane personality lose or surrender control to it permanently.Beast of Darkness: Surrender! At that moment, no one will be able to stand in our way. You will be swallowed whole by me. Raging with hatred and ecstasy, so that these fangs will chew... on the true light that burns me.
- Superpowered Evil Side: When Guts is in a fight that's hopeless unless he summons extra power, he allows the Berserker armor and the Beast to take him over. This separate personality enables him to ignore injury and removes the limits on his physical prowess, but also makes him like a mindless, bloodthirsty animal who can't distinguish his allies from his enemies. Schierke has come up with a way for Guts to use the armor's power without the accompanying shift in personality, but it still takes a toll on his body.
- Tulpa: One theory that might explain the Beast's origin, as noted above, is that it was born in Guts' mind as a manifestation of his vengeful thoughts and gained an independent will and existence of its own.
- We Will Meet Again: Always reminds Guts that even if it has temporarily retreated into his mind, it will NOT be out of the picture anytime soon.
- Wingding Eyes: Its eyes are shaped like glowing red lightning bolts.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Its primary goal is for Guts to kill Casca during one of his dreams where both converse or during a fit of anger since these are the times where it is the more powerful.
- Your Size May Vary: Being a creature of Guts' mind, he grows and shrinks from moment to moment. Sometimes he is represented as a life-sized dog, and other times as a Canis Major who dwarfs Guts himself.
- Your Soul Is Mine: It devours the evil spirits that Guts kills and grows stronger with every battle.
Black Swordsman Arc: The Guardians of Desire
"I beg of you, black swordsman, Deliver us from this demon!"Once the Count's doctor, Vargas saw how the Count's personality changed after acquiring the Behelit and was one of the first to see his true, demonic form. Refusing to be a part of the Count's experiments, he tried to escape with his wife and two sons. They were captured and subjected to the Count's tortures. Vargas had parts of his body cut off and eaten including both legs below the knee, his nose, and the eye and flesh on the right side of his face. He was forced to watch the Count grotesquely devour his wife and sons. By taking a drug to fake his death, he escaped from the castle and managed to steal the Count's Behelit, though he was unable to discover its secrets. Hiding in constant fear, but motivated by seething hatred, he lives for the day when he will take his revenge.Seven years later he encounters Guts and Puck and begs them to slay the Count, telling them everything he knows about the Count and the castle layout. Guts treats him with disgust and contempt from the start, seeing more of himself in Vargas than he cares to admit. For his part Vargas is willing to take Guts' abuse without complaints as long as he intends to kill the Count, and is unable to do anything when Guts rudely confiscates the Behelit for safe-keeping. Puck in contrast treats Vargas with pity and compassion, and Vargas in turn shows Puck his kind side. He is eventually captured and publicly beheaded by the Count in an attempt to lure Guts out of hiding, and shows up again as a damned spirit to drag the Count into the Underworld.
- Action Survivor: Survived a gruesome torture session at the Count's hands but didn't escape unscathed.
- An Arm and a Leg: Suffered the loss of both his legs below the knee during his imprisonment.
- Artificial Limbs: Vargas has two peg legs as a result of his amputations.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: When we see him naked while being forced to watch his family being eaten, he is drawn with no genitals even though one male prisoner in the same scene has uncensored private parts. Since there is no apparent wound, however, this is probably censorship rather than a case of castration.
- Bandaged Face: Used to cover the flesh that was eaten away from the right side of his face.
- Bury Your Disabled: After seven years of hiding, the Count finally caught up to him.
- Collector of the Strange: He has a number of rather...unique objects in his home. Including a Behelit. And a pickled Elf.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live: Throws smoke bombs at the guards and tells Guts to follow him into hiding, emphasizing there's no time to hesitate. Despite the fact that he's never seen Vargas and doesn't know if he can trust him yet, Guts goes along with him.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The guy is deformed and driven by revenge but he's actually pretty gentle and saves Puck. Puck for his part tells him he's a good person.
- Defiant to the End: As the executioner's axe is about to fall, he tells the Count that death is coming for him too and screams out to Guts to hold up the Count's severed head before the people.
- Dying Curse: His last words to the Count are that death will be paying him a visit, and that his hundreds of victims will drag him down to hell with them. In the end Vargas was as good as his word.
- Evil Cripple: Subverted. He looks like one, but he's just a disfigured man who wants to kill the monster that did it to him, and who is still basically good on the inside.
- Facial Horror: He's missing his nose, eye, and about half of the skin on his face.
- Forced to Watch: The Count swallowed his wife and sons right before his eyes.
- Not So Different: Guts notices that Vargas has been maimed in the same ways as himself and has also lost his loved ones to an Apostle, but cannot stand the idea of himself having anything in common with a grotesque weakling who can't even take his own revenge. When Guts refuses to intervene in Vargas' execution on the grounds that it was his own fault for opposing the Count despite his weakness, Puck calls Guts out on the truth: He's afraid of Vargas. He's afraid that he's also fighting a losing battle—afraid to admit that he's just like him.
- The Grotesque: Horribly disfigured and mutilated after having been half-eaten by the Count.
- He Knows Too Much: The reason why the Count tortured him so horrifically.
- Mauve Shirt: He was important to the plot and survived long enough to help Guts, but he wasn't protected from the Count's vengeance.
- Non-Action Guy: Meaner than the usual standard but his condition doesn't allow him to fight and he knows it. He has no choice but to ask Guts to take revenge for him, since he can't do it himself. He also doesn't follow Guts past the sewers, recognizing that he would only slow him down.
- Off with His Head!: Gets executed by the Count in this fashion, but before he loses it he tells the Count that his head will be next.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He's not fit for going on one himself, but more than anything, he wants the Count to pay for what he's done, and does what he can to make that happen. In a way, though, he finally gets revenge in the afterlife.
"Father doesn't let me leave this room. He thinks there are still heretics lurking about the city, even now. He won't let anyone from the city or anyone even remotely connected to the city near me. This is my world. Outside this window, my little piece of sky."The Count's beautiful, sheltered teenage daughter who has been confined in her room by him for seven years since her mother died and he underwent a disturbing change in both appearance and personality. He provides for her comfort but insists that he cannot let her outside with all the evil heretics at large in the world. According to Theresia, the Count used to be a harsh but responsible ruler who hunted heretics in order to protect his people. Now he seems not to care whether his victims are heretics or not, and his strangeness and cruelty have made her fear him. She is both depressed and lonely in her gilded cage, and misses her mother and the way her father used to be. When the Count presents her with Puck in a cage as a present, she reassures the terrified little elf and confides with him about her sorrows. After he hears the commotion outside, Puck leaves her to find Guts again, promising that he will come back and help her escape. Soon Guts' battle with the Count causes parts of her room to collapse and the door to come off its hinges, and despite her fear she summons the courage to step outside in search of Puck. She happens to burst into the audience hall just when the Count in Apostle form is about to squash Puck for refusing to give up the Behelit, distracting him and giving Guts the opportunity to use Theresia as a human shield and behead the Count. In desperation the Count summons the God Hand, but gets more than he bargained for when informed that Theresia rather than Guts must be his sacrifice.
- Awful Truth: For her, the awful truth came in two stages. The first was seeing her father's monstrous Apostle form for the first time. The second was finding out that rather than what she was told, her mother betrayed her father by participating in pagan orgies, and in order to escape his despair he sacrificed his wife to the Godhand in exchange for being transformed into an Apostle.
- Big "NO!": Several times. The first time she shouted it very loudly when she didn't want Puck to leave her to find Guts. She also screams it when she first sees her father's hideous Apostle form, and when Femto urges the Count to brand her as his sacrifice.
- Break the Cutie: Guts finished off what her dysfunctional family started. May have ended as Corrupt the Cutie, since Guts also taught her about hate and revenge.
- Daddy's Girl: Doubly subverted. When we're introduced to Theresia, the Count adores his daughter and is absurdly protective of her, yet she is repulsed by him and knows that something is wrong with him. It isn't until after Guts kills the Count that we find out she really does love her father.
- Death Glare: After Guts saves her from falling, she glares back at him with hatred through her tears, saying that all she's suffered was caused by him.
- Driven to Suicide: When she emerges from the horrific events that played out before the Godhand, Guts suggests that she end her life by slitting her wrists with his knife, and she takes it as if to do so. Puck places himself in front of the knife and begs her not to do it, but it is ultimately subverted when the ledge gives out beneath her and Guts saves her from falling, as it was really his Batman Gambit to make her hate him enough to keep living.
- Forced to Watch: Guts forces her to watch him stabbing her father's monstrous, decapitated head, and then she is forced by Ubik to watch the true events from seven years ago.
- Fragile Flower: She's a very sensitive girl, partly because of her sheltered upbringing. She cries a lot, and indeed she has a lot to cry about.
- Gilded Cage: Her room in the Count's castle is quite luxurious, with a huge fireplace, large canopied bed, and fine furnishings. However, she is practically imprisoned there by her father. She even says to Puck, "I know what it feels like to be locked up in a cage."
- Girl in the Tower: Her father imprisoned her in her room in the castle, ostensibly to protect her from the evil heretics in the outside world.
- Hates Being Alone: Because of her loneliness, she quickly bonds with Puck and can hardly bear to let him go. She ends up following him outside her room, fearing that he might come to harm.
- Hates Being Touched: Specifically, she will not allow her father to touch her because he frightens her, and screams when he reaches out to her. This rejection causes the Count a great deal of anguish, which he redirects into rage against the Black Swordsman.
- I'll Kill You!: What she says to Guts after he leaves her to deal with her loss. This was exactly what Guts wanted her to say, because then she would have a reason not to kill herself.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: At the time she says it, she's in no position to follow through with it. Whether or not she will come back to get even is still unknown.
- Little "No": Utters one while watching Guts torture her father.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Since she is not allowed to leave her room, she's had no chance to make friends her age or interact with anyone besides her father. She has much in common with Charlotte in that regard.
- Madness Mantra: After the horrific events she experiences, she repeatedly says that she wants to go back to her room, and that if she has to stay where she is now she would rather be dead.
- Mind Rape: Theresia and her father experience this together at the hands of Ubik, who shows them what really happened seven years ago.
- Morality Pet: When her father interacts with her, we see an unexpected side of him that is still capable of love and kindness even though he continues to deny her her freedom. If not for Theresia he almost certainly would have lost what little humanity he still had, and for her sake he refuses to be saved by the Godhand in exchange for sacrificing her, condemning himself to eternal suffering as a result.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The last we see of her is her vowing to one day kill Guts.
- Tears of Fear: Cries in terror as a result of the horrors that befall her.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: She looks nothing like her father, and at first Puck's brain can't even process the information that she's his daughter. The explanation seems to be that she inherited all her looks from her mother, who was a world class beauty.
The lover of the mercenary Gambino, Sys was the person who found and adopted Guts as a newborn lying beneath the corpse of his hanged mother, only three days after she had miscarried a child of her own. Despite the advice of his men that taking in a child born in such unnatural circumstances would bring bad fortune, Gambino agreed to let Sys keep him to console her, not expecting the tiny baby to live much longer. However, the result was the other way around. Three years later, Sys contracted the plague and lay dying while Gambino was away at a siege. Despite the warnings of the women tending to her, young Guts approached his adoptive mother on her deathbed and held her hand until she died.
- Adapted Out: The 1997 anime treated Guts' childhood as a flashback in episode 4, but it skipped the part where Sys found him under the tree and therefore did not include her. The 2012 Egg of the King film similarly skipped her in Guts' flashback to childhood.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Sys was the only one who ever loved Guts in his childhood, so of course she became a Disposable Woman and Missing Mom.
- Disposable Woman: Sys appears only to show how she picked up baby Guts to raise as her own despite Gambino wanting to leave him there. She dies from the plague a couple panels later, and is only mentioned thereafter by Gambino to show how much he despised Guts for allegedly being the cause of her death.
- Good Parents: The sight of her cradling baby Guts is enough to suggest that despite her mental instability she was a loving parent.
- Missing Mom: It's clear that Guts loved her when he was three years old, but he probably didn't remember her much as he grew older because she died when he was so young. He actually spent most of his childhood with no mother figure because of her early death.
- Morality Chain: She was one for Gambino, being the only person he loved and the reason that he didn't leave Guts to die as a baby. Her death is the root cause of his horrible treatment of Guts.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Shisu is the official Dark Horse spelling of her name, but Sys is used in other formats as well (and was probably the intended spelling, just like Rosine/Roshinu, the latter being the romaji rendering of the Japanese pronunciation of the katakana).
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Her death comes soon after her first appearance.
"Poppo fun by itself, but poppo with someone else even more popopopohh. So strange!"A childlike flower spirit whose flower grows in a cold prison cell in the Viscount's castle, Guts encounters her during a story taking place shortly before he met the Band of the Hawk. Out of gratitude for Guts getting rid of the rat that was gnawing on her flower, she fills him with warmth collected from the sun and heals his wounds using leaves from her flower. She is lonely in her cell, which she cannot leave because she is anchored to her flower. Recalling that he saw a field of flowers just like hers somewhere nearby, Guts promises to take her there when he gets free.
- The Aloner: She's anchored to a flower growing in the cracks of a prison cell. There are no other spirits nearby for her to interact with, and no human ever takes notice of her before Guts does.
- Catch Phrase: "Poppo!" Apparently to her it means sunlight or warmth.
- Children Are Innocent: She has a demeanor that's very much like that of a child, and thinks only of making friends and helping people.
- The Cutie: She's an absolutely adorable and innocent little spirit, and is the first person that ever showed unconditional kindness to Guts since his childhood.
- For Happiness: Chitch thinks that warmth shared with others just spreads the love around and makes everyone happier.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She uses up all of her flower's leaves to heal Guts, causing both it and herself to die.
- Kill the Cutie: All of her efforts to heal and help Guts cause her flower to wilt and die.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Guts initially thinks she's just a hallucination. The fact that he wakes up covered in leaves and with his wounds healed shows that she was real, but despite this Guts is never quite sure whether he dreamed it all.
- Our Fairies Are Different: She resembles an elf, but appears to be very different from Puck and Ivalera. Unlike them, she's tied to a specific flower which she can't stray far away from, has no wings, and heals people using her flower's leaves.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Her kindness is precisely what got her killed.
- Verbal Tic Name: An odd example: it's not her own verbal tic that names her, but that of the rats that attack her flower.
"Whoops, Sorry! I forgot it's not the mercenary way to go around snooping into each other's shady pasts. But you know...you kill, and you die. Maybe it's because of that rotten-ass battlefield that someday, somewhere, you might meet some war buddies. And for him...for them, it'd be kind of worth it to put your life on the line."Martino is a seasoned old mercenary who appears in "Spring Flowers of Distant Days", a three-chapter flashback story taking place shortly before Guts joined the Band of the Hawk. Shackled behind Guts in a line of prisoners being taken to labor on the construction of a castle for a certain Viscount, Martino helps to support Guts when he begins to falter and attempts to befriend the surly youth. Initially he has to overcome Guts' hatred of being touched and inherent suspicion toward anyone being kind to him, but he seems to gradually earn Guts' respect. As the castle appears on the horizon, Martino uses a key in his possession to unlock Guts shackles and tells him to make a break down the mountainside, where the armored soldiers on horseback will have difficulty giving pursuit. Guts suggests they time their escape together, but Martino explains that he can't reach his own shackles and tells Guts to save himself.Guts promises to pay him back someday and slides down the mountainside, only for Martino to slip his own bonds and reveal that he was planning for Guts to be the decoy while he escaped himself. As Guts is taken back into custody, Martino gives him a knowing look before disappearing. This causes Guts to have a flashback to a time when Gambino used Guts and new recruits as Cannon Fodder to locate an enemy ambush, and told Guts to never trust even his own father on the battlefield. When Guts wakes in his cell he blames himself for falling for Martino's words. However, during Guts' fight with the Viscount's son, Martino brings back a force that storms the castle and rescues Guts in the nick of time. Guts is angry when he sees Martino, but the old soldier points out that his reinforcements ended up saving Guts, who grudgingly agrees to call it even. Martino promises Guts a bonus for his role in distracting the defenders if he sticks around, but Gut leaves as soon as possible to take Chitch's flower to the fields and strike out alone again.
- Affably Evil: He had no problem with deceiving Guts and putting him in danger, and probably wouldn't have lost any sleep if he had died. However, his liking for Guts was apparently not insincere as he returns with a rescue force as soon as possible, and is genuinely glad to see him alive. He even says he'll make sure that Guts receives a bonus!
- Badass Grandpa: He's pretty old, but still a dangerous and cunning soldier.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: A really impressive pair to go with his goatee.
- The Cavalry: Shows up with the cavalry to save Guts at the last minute.
- Chained Heat: Martino cooperates with Guts and helps him to escape, with the actual intention of making him the decoy.
- Lovable Traitor: He kind of throws Guts under the bus in order to escape, but he does return to save him and afterwards he basically assures Guts that he knew he could handle it. Part of what makes him such a Magnificent Bastard is that you can't stay mad at him for betraying you, although for Guts it was partly because Martino reminded him of Gambino.
- Meaningful Name: "Martino" sounds pretty close to "Gambino", and he reminds Guts of what Gambino was like.
- Mistaken for Gay: One way to interpret the following exchange: Guts emphatically tells him he's not for sale, to which he laughs, "Duly noted!"
- Old Soldier: He's been around the block concerning the mercenary business, and is full of both philosophical and practical insights about soldiering.
- Slipped the Ropes: After setting Guts free, Martino dislocates his thumb and slips out of his shackles, revealing that he was able to escape all along.
- Taking the Bullet: The second time that Guts falls, Martino shields Guts from the soldier's lash with his own body. After this Guts begins to trust him more.
- A Taste of the Lash: See "Taking the Bullet"
- Warrior Poet: He has something of a silver tongue, and a bit of philosophy as shown in his page quote.
- Working on the Chain Gang: Ended up chained to a bunch of other war prisoners destined for forced labor but managed to escape this fate himself.
The Golden Age Arc
Voiced by: Ikuo Nishikawa (Japanese, 1997-98 TV Anime), Takashi Inagaki (Japanese, 2016 TV Anime), Greg Abbey (English, 1997-98 TV Anime)
"Hatred is nothing but the place where men who can't deal with sadness go."The master blacksmith that Guts stays with for a year in order to train. Despite making his first appearance before the Eclipse, his role became much more prominent during the Conviction Arc.He made most of Guts's armor and equipment, and also gave him some valuable advice. He has a young adopted daughter named Erica and began to teach Rickert the way of the blacksmith after the Eclipse.
- Adapted Out: Curiously, while several characters who were previously cut out of the 1997 anime were brought back for the film series, it was the opposite with Godo: He had a prominent role in the 1997 anime, but by the end of the third Golden Age film released in 2013 he still hadn't made an appearance. Erica is still in it, so his existence is indirectly acknowledged; we can only speculate about why they didn't introduce him at that time. Fortunately, he is back in the 2016 anime adaptation.
- The Blacksmith: He makes Guts' BFS and other gear. He likes the sparks that fly upwards when he strikes the metal.
- Cool Old Guy: A crusty but awesome old guy who makes amazing weapons, mentors the young, keeps Guts supplied with cool gadgets, and even makes his Badass protege sit down to receive a scathing lecture about having the right priorities.
- Family Business: He says he's a blacksmith because his ancestors were and he was already holding a hammer before he could walk.
- A Good Way to Die: Godo eventually dies of old age, but he does so at home in the company of those he cares about and without any regrets.
- Hospitality for Heroes: Because he thinks that Guts and Casca have been through enough already, Godo takes them in after the Eclipse and waives all fees for room, board, repairs, and new equipment. However, after giving Guts a bunch of free stuff he quips that he'll make Rickert work off the cost of the food and arms as his apprentice.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Godo's pretty gruff and abrasive in general, but he lent Guts a hand (and equipment) many times at no extra charge, allowed a safe sanctuary for Casca, apprenticed Rickert, and even adopted an orphaned girl.
- Life Will Kill You: Eventually, Godo dies of old age.
- Magnum Opus: The creation of the Dragon Slayer certainly qualifies; as Godo told Rickert, he was a young man working for kings and nobles and had grown tired of making refined and elegant weapons. When the king announced a contest to create a sword that could slay a dragon, Godo created a monstrous tool too big to be called a sword, because he wanted to make a point that to kill an impossible creature you would need an equally impossible weapon. That insolence forced him to leave court and set up shop in the middle of nowhere, but he kept that slab of iron as a reminder of when he bit off more than he could chew. Years later, Guts comes to him and needs a weapon. Godo gives him a finely made sword sharp enough to cut another sword in half, but when a demon appears Guts finds that a sword made to kill humans is too fragile for the job. Instead he takes up the Dragon Slayer and butchers the creature, and it has been his trademark weapon ever since. Godo ultimately acknowledged that the Dragon Slayer was his greatest creation, and the last act of forging he ever did was to repair it so that Guts could go and rescue Casca from the Tower of Conviction.
- The Obi-Wan: Gives Guts equipment and advice, is the only one who can make Guts shut up and think about his action, and to top it off, he dies in the end. May the force be with you, old dude.
- Refuge in Audacity: In-universe reason for why he made the Dragon Slayer what it is. He was commissioned to forge a sword that could slay a dragon. Since he didn't really believe in dragons, or that they could really be killed, he made a sword no one could possibly wield that could kill things that didn't exist. And almost got hanged for it.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: He lives in the middle of nowhere, but is famous for the quality of his work.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Godo drops a big one on Guts, calling him out on abandoning Casca to blindly pursue vengeance. His words are what ultimately make Guts change his priorities.
Voiced by: Yuki Masuda (Japanese, 1997-98 TV Anime), Ayana Taketatsu (Japanese, 2012-13 Movie Trilogy & 2016 TV Anime), Michelle Medlin (English, 1997-98 TV Anime & 2012-13 Movie Trilogy)
I'm coming along. We're family."The blacksmith Godo's adoptive daughter, Erica is a cheerful and energetic child with mechanical aptitude who loves helping out around the shop and wants to be a blacksmith herself. Guts practices his swordsmanship with her help during his year-long hiatus from the Band of the Hawk when he stays at Godo's home. After the Eclipse she is the only person that Casca is not afraid of, and takes care of her while Guts goes on his demon hunt. Unfortunately, Casca gets away from her during a trip outside, requiring Guts to reassess his priorities and commit himself to finding her.Following Godo's death, Erica is left in the care of Rickert. Eventually the two of them are forced to leave their home because of trolls coming down from the mountains, and while escaping pursuit fall into the hands of a patrol including Laban and Irvine, who take them to Griffith's new capital. There she and Rickert are moved into lodgings near a stable, where she strikes an odd friendship with Ganishka's former sorcerer Daiba and bonds with Luca and her girls.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Erica has light/blonde hair in the manga, but in the anime, she has brown hair.
- Bicep-Polishing Gesture: As she shows Daiba while she's helping him around the stable, she's a blacksmith's daughter: It's all in the arms!
- Black Bead Eyes: Her eyes are often drawn this way in lighthearted moments.
- The Caretaker: After the Eclipse she was the person who watched and took care of Casca the most.
- Cheerful Child: Erika is one of the most upbeat kids in this shitty world, so much so that she carelessly waves a mallet around in joy!
- Cuddle Bug: Puck practically got all the juice squeezed out of him when Erica got a hold of him.
- Happily Adopted: Erica was orphaned when her village was attacked and burned, but then Godo (who was on the run) came across her and adopts her as his own. As a result she grew up loved and happy. She has grown to feel the same way about Rickert, who is like her older brother now that Godo is gone.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover: In chapter 339 she is seen feeding and playing with the local cats.
- Put on a Bus: While Guts sets out with Casca to find the cure for her insanity, Erica stays with Rickert.
- The Bus Came Back: As of Chapter 332, Erica and Rickert are back in the spotlight as refugees.
- Reckless Sidekick: She has a moment in Chapter 340 when she is captured by an empowered Rakshas during his confrontation with Rickert and Silat, after Luca explicitly told her NOT to get involved.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Being a girl doesn't exempt her from being a major source of pratfalls and other slapstick jokes.
- Wrench Wench: Erica aspires to be a blacksmith when she gets older, and Godo sees no problem with this. She's often seen assisting Rickert with his work for the time being.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Guts blames Rickert for not looking harder for Casca when she escaped, Erica tells him that it was his fault for leaving Casca alone for two whole years, and that Rickert searched and searched but had to come back because of her and Godo.
Conviction Arc: Chapter of Lost Children
"I don't have wings, so I guess I'll look up at this sky and crawl along the earth."A quiet, sensitive girl who lives in a village which is being plagued by violent attacks from fairy-like creatures at the time that Guts and Puck arrive. Her father, Mr. Zepek, is a reminiscent drunk, who basks in the memory of his former days in the military and gets violent when he feels like his wife and daughter aren't giving him enough respect. Her mother actually cares about her welfare, but she has been browbeaten by her husband into terrified obedience. After Jill discovers that the leader of the creatures attacking her village is her best friend Rosine, thought to have died in the forest long ago, she sets out after Guts and Puck into the Misty Valley despite the many dangers and trials that await them...
- Abusive Parents: Her dad drinks constantly and violently 'disciplines' Jill when she calls him out for not taking care of his family. Furthermore, he refuses to lift a finger to rescue his daughter from mortal danger when the 'elves' attack.
- Action Survivor: Jill is an ordinary innocent bystander who gets sucked into supernatural danger. She can't fight and has to be rescued several times, but a combination of luck and surprising courage see her through to the end alive.
- Attempted Rape: Both a bandit and one of her father’s drunken friends try to have their way with her. Thankfully, neither get very far and in the former case Jill even fights back a bit.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: She gets splattered with the blood of her best friend shortly before she doused in cocoon fluid, leading to her Laughing Mad moment below.
- Break the Cutie: This sweet, pure-hearted girl was neglected and abused by adults for all her life to begin with. During "Lost Children" she sees numerous people in her village gruesomely killed, nearly gets killed multiple times herself, witnesses the lethal "games" of the children who were turned into elves, and is forced to watch her childhood best friend Rosine and her new friend the Black Swordsman fight to the death.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Jill understandably pisses herself when she sees a tree turn into a monster and attack.
- Childhood Friends: Rosine and Jill were inseparable playmates as children, and still feel a special bond from having grown up together.
- Girlish Pigtails: Pigtails emphasize her peasant simplicity and youthful innocence, while also showing she's the girly-girl to Rosine's tomboy.
- Go Through Me: Uses this tactic early on when Rosine is about to dive-bomb a wounded Guts, forcing Rosine to swerve away by leaping in the way and shouting at her to stop. After Guts defeats Rosine, she does it again by throwing herself across Rosine's body as Guts prepares to bring down his sword.
- Laughing Mad: After being doused with cocoon fluid by Guts to protect her from the fire and also covered with Rosine's blood, her mind briefly snaps from the horror she's experiencing and she starts laughing. Jill later remarks that that that moment may have "washed away [her] childhood".
- Morality Pet: Both villainous Rosine and extremely dark Anti-Hero Guts get their Pet the Dog moments by protecting Jill, who is the only person that Rosine still loves or cares about and Guts' only soft spot.
- Naïve Everygirl: A naive, innocent, and insecure girl who gets bullied and taken advantage of, Jill serves as a relatable stand in for the audience. She loses her childhood illusions through her ordeal, but hangs on to her optimism and good heart.
- Plucky Girl: By the end of "Lost Children" she has developed from an insecure and vulnerable girl into an optimistic female Determinator. Even if she has to go back home to her harsh everyday life, she's decided to struggle and fight in her own small way and believe that she can change something.
- Precocious Crush: Despite the age difference between them and Guts acting mean in order to drive her away, Jill is implied to feel attraction towards him because he's strong, handsome, and the only person besides Rosine who's ever protected her. Rosine believes that Jill has fallen for him, and it might have something to do with why Jill didn't immediately accept Rosine's offer to turn her into an elf.
- Security Blanket: Guts lends her his cape after he rescues her from the bandits, and after a near miss with her father's lecherous drunken friend she clings to it to comfort herself through the night.
- Sleep Cute: There are two occasions when Jill falls asleep next to Guts, establishing how much she trusts him and teasing at her precocious feelings towards him. First, she curls up next to him while he’s sleeping in the old windmill and falls asleep in his lap, and again after the two fall off a cliff while he was protecting her from ghosts, where she ends up asleep while lying on top of him.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Rosine was always the adventurous and outdoorsy tomboy when they were young, while Jill was the girly one who was frightened of the snakes and bugs Rosine collected.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: It's surprising that a guy as unattractive as Mr. Zepek could have a daughter as cute as Jill. Maybe she gets her appearance from her better-looking mother.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Jill has one of these moments when she's flying with Rosine over the Misty Valley. It gives the reader a glimpse that though the Berserk-verse is fucked up, it really is a beautiful place.
Mr. Zepek: "I'm Home!"Jill's abusive, good-for-nothing father, who spends most of his time drunk with his so-called war buddies instead of taking care of his wife and daughter. He claims to have served in the military and wears an old helmet everywhere he goes.
Jill's Mother: "...Dear?"
Mr. Zepek: "I'm headin' out soon!...Hey! Where'd you put it?!"
Jill's Mother: "It?"
Mr. Zepek: "Y'know, it, IT!! The armor I brought home from the war! Hahaaa! Looks like luck's finally smiling on me!"
Jill's Mother: "...Dear?"
Mr. Zepek: "I'm headin' out soon!...Hey! Where'd you put it?!"
Jill's Mother: "It?"
Mr. Zepek: "Y'know, it, IT!! The armor I brought home from the war! Hahaaa! Looks like luck's finally smiling on me!"
- Abusive Parents: He physically abuses Jill, and either through neglect or callousness fails to protect her from sexual abuse, kidnapping, and life threatening peril.
- Alcoholic Dad: He is constantly drunk and slurs his speech, apparently preferring to drink instead of doing anything useful.
- Berserk Button: Feeling disrespected. He starts hitting Jill when she calls him out on his bragging and failure to take care of his family, and goes completely nuts when she gives him a glare of contempt.
- Dad the Veteran: A source of conflict between him and Jill. He thinks that Jill owes him respect for his service, while she tells him that nobody wants to hear about some old battle he lost and he should think about his family for a change.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: He has a bum leg that he says got messed up in the war, but he just uses it as an excuse to neglect his family.
- Domestic Abuser: He beats Jill's mother when he gets angry with her, which is often, especially when she tries to intercede on Jill's behalf.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Given his self-centered nature, it's mostly feeling sorry for himself.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: He is extremely upset that nobody, especially Jill, gives him the respect he thinks he deserves as a father or as a veteran.
- Establishing Character Moment: When Jill comes back into town with Guts, he appears with a wine jug in hand accompanied by his drinking buddies, demanding to know where she was all night. What was he doing while she was missing? Getting drunk and reminiscing about the battlefield! She calls him out on being a failure of a dad, and in response he starts beating her while ranting about how he suffered for his family and deserves her respect.
- Glory Days: He lives in the past, reminiscing about some old battle he was in and complaining about how nobody respects him anymore.
- Glory Hound: The main reason he volunteers as the guide for the Iron Chain Knights is to win some respect and admiration for catching the Black Swordsman.
- Jerkass: A mean old drunk, an abusive dad and husband, and just an all-round self-centered jerk.
- Miles Gloriosus: He would like for everyone to think that he fought gallantly in battle and still has it in him, but he panics and flails ineffectively when the villagers gang up on Guts and hides when the elves attack. He had no intention of following Guts on his own, but he becomes a lot more bold once he has the Holy Iron Chain Knights to back him up.
- Never My Fault: He will blame anyone for anything rather than admit his own mistakes. He calls his wife useless and claims that Jill "turned out the way she did" because her mother didn't discipline her, ignoring the fact that he is the useless one and his "discipline" is really just abuse. He also says that beause Jill ran off it's not his fault if something happens to her, and never even tries to find or rescue her.
- Papa Wolf: Subverted. Azan assumes that Mr. Zepek wants to lead them to the Black Swordsman to get his daughter back, but he only cares about the glory of apprehending an infamous criminal. Rescuing Jill is either of no concern or an afterthought.
- Parental Neglect: Apart from physically abusing Jill, most of the worst damage he does comes from negligence. He had no idea where his daughter was the night she got kidnapped and didn't think to look for her while she was getting kidnapped and nearly killed, nor does he seem to notice that one of his drinking buddies has been trying to molest her—which may have been why she ran away in the first place! When the elves attack he prevents his wife from going outside and says that Jill got herself into trouble so it isn't his fault what happens to her.
- Phony Veteran: It's ambiguous how much of his purported war record is actually true. He has some old military gear and turns out to be a decent shot with his crossbow, but he's a drunken braggart whose word is unreliable and doesn't possess much courage. He may have served in some capacity, but his stories—if true—are almost certainly exaggerated.
- Villainous Rescue: Zepek saves Jill from certain death when he gets a couple of lucky crossbow shots on Guts, preventing him from killing her while she tried to shield Rosine from the swordsman's finishing blow. Purely coincidental, though, since Zepek was only interested in taking down the Black Swordsman. Jill's safety was never a factor.
Conviction Arc: Chapter of the Birth Ceremony
"People are shallow things. If anyone has a bit more than they do, they're jealous, and if one has less, they look down on them."A comely, brown-haired Hooker with a Heart of Gold in the St. Albion refugee camp who acts as the Team Mom for a small group of younger fellow prostitutes including Lucie, Fouquet, Pepe, and Nina. Being part of a profession that is looked down upon, she knows all too well how petty human nature can be and encourages her girls to share their earnings with their neightbors to avoid attracting envy and condemnation. She also conducts regular business with Jerome, one of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, who ends up being her Love Interest. One day Luca encounters an insane, wandering Casca by chance after her escape from Godo's cave, disguising her in bandages to help her avoid the attention of both the Iron Chain Knights and male customers and telling others that Casca is Elaine, her sister who suffers from Syphilis. When Guts saves her and Pepe from the persecution of the Iron Chain Knights, Luca helps him to search for Nina and Casca and gets pulled into the supernatural events of the false Eclipse. At one point she is saved from a fatal fall by the Skull Knight and briefly meets the Nameless Apostle, who reveals himself to her in order to leave someone with the knowledge of his story and goals.Despite her minor role, Luca is still notable for being one of the very few genuinely good characters in Berserk's Crapsack World (points for not being maimed, raped, or killed for being so) and for being one of the most capable female characters introduced post-Eclipse. Deep in thought, fair and not afraid to go in the midst of battle despite her obvious weakness, she is smart enough to deal with any given situation and come out on top. Hence, all of the other prostitutes, even the envious and chicken-hearted Nina (pictured with her), look up to her as a mother figure and deeply respect her. Due to all of the above, she is one of the most beloved minor characters of the series.
- Action Survivor: Very effective at coming up with quick solutions to handle life-threatening situations.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The redhead to Casca's brunette and Nina's blonde during their time together.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: She at one points huffs at the fact that she's not a main character.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns in Falconia arc along with rest of girls that were with her, except for Nina.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: When she finds Nina crying alone after having gotten the cultists to chase Joachim off a cliff, she slaps her hard across both cheeks and gives her a really harsh spanking until she sobs that she's sorry for everything she did. Then, when Nina is expecting the punishment to continue, she instead gently pats Nina on the bottom and comforts her while she cries.
- Ethical Slut: It turns out that she and Jerome don't have that Maybe Ever After after all. Why? Because she didn't want to take emotional advantage of Jerome's wife by being his mistress.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She may be a prostitute, but she is one of the most compassionate characters in the story and risks her life to save the people she cares about.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She lets Jerome get married to someone else and leaves them alone because she likes his wife and doesn't want to cheat on her. Fouquet teases her about this, asking her if she really has no regrets about it.
- Landlord: Upon reaching Falconia with her girls in tow, she runs a temporary housing unit for refugees.
- Mama Bear: She's the Team Mom, and if you threaten any of her sisters she will defy you to her last breath.
- Maybe Ever After: At the end of the Brith Ceremony Arc, she and Jerome like each other but do not get an official Relationship Upgrade at the end, leaving their future ambiguous. It is later revealed that Jerome got married to a noble girl, and Luca left him because she didn't want to be a homewrecker.
- The Mistress: Jerome offers to make her his official mistress when he gets married to a girl chosen by his family. Jerome does get married but Luca decides not to go through with it, since the wife he gets is too naive and she would have felt bad about deceiving her.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Miraculously averts this, thank God!
- Odd Friendship: Formed one with Daiba of all people when both started living in Falconia, and is shown nagging him whenever he acts stubborn.
- Plucky Girl: Luca's no Wide-Eyed Idealist, but no matter what happens she's optimistic and never gives up.
- Put on a Bus: After the dust settles over St. Albion, she and her girls (minus Nina) set out to find someplace where they will be safe.
- The Bus Came Back: In chapter 334, she and her remaining girls welcome Erica and Rickert to their new lodgings in Falconia.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: At first she doesn't think that Jerome is serious about her and tries to keep her feelings professional, but when his actions prove that he is a good man and truly devoted to her she allows herself to fall for him too.
- The Smart Girl: Despite being uneducated, Luca has lots of practical knowledge about surviving and getting by in the world and comes up with good plans.
- Sympathy for the Devil: She's the only person who was ever aware of the Nameless Apostle's lonely existence, and she makes a tribute to him after his death for it.
- Team Mom: As the oldest and most experienced of the prostitutes, she feels responsible for keeping them safe and tries to act as a surrogate mother to them.
- Weak, but Skilled: A mere human who is just practical and smart enough to handle herself and her protégées efficiently without wangsting it up or complaining. In a Crapsack World like that of Berserk, that's really an achievement.
Voiced by: Natsumi Takamori (2016 TV Anime)
"I'm scared, so scared...I can't stand it, Luca. Of dying...of living...of this world...of God!!"A member of Luca’s group of prostitutes who suffers from an unspecified illness that makes her cough up blood. She is a Foil to Luca's courageous and self-sacrificing nature, being weak-willed, envious, and most of all, afraid. While Luca says that sticking together and taking care of their neighbors is the best policy for the group, Nina is usually the first one to suggest a more selfish course of action for them. Her personality is very unstable because she is extremely needy and dependent towards Luca, but at the same time prone to resent and lash out at those she cares about as a defense against her own self-hatred. Convinced of her own worthlessness as a human being, and conscious of having a terminal sickness, she finds her escape by sneaking off to join the drug-fueled orgies of the heretical cult of the Great Goat Head, unbeknownst to Luca. Despite her promiscuous activities—or perhaps precisely because she craves real affection, she develops a relationship with a young man named Joachim who admires her. She also grows close to Casca, which unfortunately leads to the heretics worshiping the mute girl as a witch. Nina commits many acts she is ashamed of out of fear, and struggles to come to terms with her own nature, but Luca never gives up on her and suggests that as a coward, she just might turn out to be the most stubborn of survivors.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The blonde to Luca's redhead and Casca's brunette during their time together.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Her entire body goes limp the very second she steps into the torture chamber. Her bladder soon follows.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Her ever-present fear leads her to betray people close to her to save herself, or seriously think about doing it. This is one of the many things she hates about herself.
- Depraved Bi Sexual: She makes out with a bunch of other women before doing it with Joachim during the heretics' orgy.
- Dirty Coward: Because of her cowardice, she often ends up metaphorically throwing someone else under the bus rather than sacrificing herself for that person or sharing the risk with everybody like Luca would do; What's more, she's internalized the idea that she's a despicable coward. However, she's not portrayed as completely unsympathetic, because her inner monologues show that she does want to be brave but panics and can't bring herself to actually go through with it. And when faced with a Torture room like this, there's few people who wouldn't get cold feet.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Because of her own lack of self-esteem, she starts to resent Luca and accuses her of looking down on other people by trying to help them. While she does get over it, she's still afraid she will come to resent Luca's help again in the future if she stays with her, which is why she goes away with Joachim.
- Fingore: She makes a full confession to Mozgus' torturers just before they rip out one of her fingernails.
- Foil: Compared to Luca, who is brave, mature, resolute, and always thinks about others, Nina is deeply insecure, envious, occasionally petty, and constantly fearful.
- Hates Being Alone: Has a needy personality and tends to cling to other people. Even though she sometimes wants to get away from Luca because being near her makes her feel inferior, she is too attached to her when all's said and done. When Luca tells her to hide in a barrel, Nina refuses at first, saying she can't bear to be alone at such a scary time.
- Heel Realization: She ultimately knows what a sorry person she is, and resents herself for it. In the end, she finally decides to do something about it, and sets out to find her own strength.
- The Heretic: Secretly a member of the heretic cult that meets in the caves near Albion. However, her motivation is not so much theological disagreement with the church or even contempt toward its corruption, but the fact that their orgies and rituals allow her to hide from God's judgement and try to forget that her days are numbered.
- Ill Girl: Though still mostly able-bodied, she's afflicted with some unidentified disease that makes her cough blood and might eventually kill her.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Implied. Since conversion to the pagan cult requires one to consume a broth of human flesh, she most definitely has partaken in cannibalism at least once.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Has an unspecified but persistent coughing sickness where she coughs up blood. She feels like her days are numbered. Downplayed, as she's still not dead at the end of the Conviction Arc, and it's ambiguous how much longer she has to live.
- Kick the Morality Pet: She has Joachim take part in a pagan orgy which involves cannibalism. When he flees, she calls for him to be killed before he can report them to the authorities. She also betrays and abandons Casca on a few occasions where she's afraid of what will happen to her if she doesn't. In both of these cases she feels intensely guilty and wishes she hadn't hurt them out of fear.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Every time she attempts or even considers throwing someone under a carriage to save her skin, she always suffers even more.
- The Load: During the disaster, she has to be dragged along and protected by the competent people such as Luca, Jerome, and Isidro while being unable to contribute anything. She knows that she's a burden and hates it.
- Morality Pet: Her Love Interest Joachim and Cute Mute Casca are both people she cares about who depend on her.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After the heretics chase Joachim off a cliff at her behest, she starts sobbing because she reacted out of fear and didn't really want him to die, and hates herself for being such a Dirty Coward. She feels much the same way when she incriminates Casca in order to save herself from torture.
- Nay-Theist: Nina believes in God, but she is terrified that He will judge her harshly for her weakness, and seeks to reject Him by taking part in the pagan cult.
- Nervous Wreck: Always jumps to the worst-case scenario when something bad happens, and has zero ability to cope with fear or anxiety.
- Really Gets Around: Normally this trope would be redundant for a prostitute, but the multiple partners she's had in the heretic's orgies aren't even related to business. Joachim is the only one she actually loves, though.
- The Resenter: Towards Luca. Though Nina respects her, she hates feeling the need to be so dependant on her.
- Tsundere: A dark example, as she often shifts between being caring and spiteful to those she’s close to, due to her cowardice.
- Your Days Are Numbered: She’s afflicted with a disease which she feels will kill her in time, and hasn’t quite yet come to terms with that. She is also well aware if she's dying anyway, she would be morally and logically a good choice for a Heroic Sacrifice, but gets cold feet when she sees what it would involve.
"I wanted to apologize to you. Back then I was scared of you. I thought if I didn't betray you, you all would kill me. I can't just say this now, but I really felt, I thought, maybe if we were together, and still...I was a coward who abandoned you."A shy and timid young man from the refugee camp, Joachim is in love with Nina. When he approaches her in public she calls him just another "customer", and coldly brushes off his attempts to explain that he doesn't just want her body and is worried about her health, but then whispers an invitation to meet after dark. That night, Joachim promises to stay with her even if they go to hell and follows her to a pagan orgy presided over by the Great Goat Head. He has sex with her in the midst of what he assumes to be a hallucination, and pays homage to the Great Goat, but upon discovering that the brew consumed by the cultists contains human body parts he becomes terrified and tries to flee. Nina shouts at the cultists to kill him before he can expose them to the Holy See only to regret her action and grieve for him when he falls from a cliff, not knowing that he survived the fall partly thanks to the Unnamed Apostle.Joachim pulls himself together and goes to report the cult to the Iron Chain Knights, leading Farnese, Serpico, Azan, and their troops to the heretics' cave. However, he clearly feels guilt over exposing Nina to the Holy See's justice and agonizes over his decision. He and Nina happen to meet as she escapes from the chaos of the fight inside the cave, but he becomes afraid again and shouts for the Iron Chain Knights, causing Nina and Casca to be captured. By the end of the mock eclipse he has managed to survive by hiding out far away from the Tower's collapse, and upon meeting Nina he apologizes for letting his fear control him and says he doesn't wish her any harm. As he is about to leave, Nina begs him to wait and instead they decide to start their relationship over, traveling together and supporting each other equally.
- Adorkable: His bashful stammering and blushing towards Nina combined with his scruffy good looks make him rather endearing.
- Covert Pervert: Despite his shyness he has a strong sexual attraction to Nina. Although he found the orgy to be rather scary and was uncomfortable being touched by women other than Nina, he was willing to take part in several pretty debauched things in order to be with her before he drew the line at eating babies.
- Dirty Coward: Like Nina, he internalizes the idea that he's a no-good coward. In fact his reaction toward Nina was more understandable since she tried to kill him first, but it seems like he wants to forgive her and is just too afraid to trust her again.
- Forgiveness: In the aftermath of the Eclipse, Joachim and Nina decide to forgive each other and start over.
- He Knows Too Much: Nina tells the cultists to kill him because he will expose them to Mozgus and the Iron Chain Knights if he escapes alive.
- Morality Pet: He acts as Nina's morality pet, sharing the role with Casca, being someone she cares about who depends on her. She ends up kicking the morality pet by trying to kill him, but she immediately feels remorse and wishes she could take it back and in the end they patch up their relationship and decide to try to be braver and kinder for each others' sakes.
- Non-Action Guy: He doesn't have any fighting instinct, and reacts to danger by running or hiding. This serves him well, as he is one of the few refugees to survive the whole mock Eclipse.
- No-One Could Survive That: He gets chased off a cliff by the cultists, who decide that he couldn't have survived from that hight and don't look for his body. As fate would have it, he survived by falling into a river and being pulled out by the Nameless Apostle while he was unconscious, and manages to get up and report the cult to the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
- Shrinking Violet: He has a hard time speaking up for himself, often only managing to stammer out a few words, and gets very anxious when Nina starts drawing attention to him in public.
- The Stool Pigeon: After surviving his fall he leads the Holy Iron Chain Knights to the cultists' hideout. However, he feels guilty for betraying Nina and realizes that killing her out of revenge isn't what he wanted, since he's still in love with her.
- You Are Worth Hell: When Nina asks him if he could fall to hell if it was together with her, he says yes. For her sake he almost completes initiation into a heretical cult, risking the punishment of the Inquisition and—according to the Church's teachings—the damnation of his soul. He ends up rejecting both the cult and her when he discovers their cannibalism, but when he finds Nina after the mock Eclipse is over he decides to forgive her and share her hardships.
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (2016 TV Anime)
"Looks like I've really lost my edge. But, oh well...It's a rotten duty anyway. Now my mind's made up. Maybe going wrong for the sake of a woman is more in character for a libertine like me."A Handsome Lech and Chivalrous Pervert of noble birth enlisted in the Holy Iron Chain Knights, Jerome is Luca's Love Interest. Although he pays her every time they have sex, he wants to have a more serious relationship with her and offers to let her be his mistress when he becomes the head of his household. He has no respect for Farnese as the leader of the Iron Chain knights, viewing her religious fanaticism with contempt, and resents having to take part in the dirty work of rounding up and executing supposed heretics on behalf of Bishop Mozgus and the Holy See. At first he is also dismissive of Serpico, viewing him as Farnese's pet, but after seeing him rescue a boy during a heretic burning and learning more about his past he apologizes for misjudging him. When the supernatural events at the Tower of Conviction spiral out of control, Jerome does all he can to protect Luca and her friends.
- Arranged Marriage: As his family's heir, he is expected to marry a suitable girl of noble birth. He eventually does, off-screen.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Has large bushy eyebrows that fit his rugged, roguish personality.
- Blue Blood: Like most members of the Iron Chain Knights, he is the son of a rich and noble family.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Although unapologetically interested in women's bodies, he also respects and cares about them as people. After cutting his session with Luca short, he gives her a pearl necklace in addition to payment for her services, seriously asking her to go home with him so that he can provide her and her "sister" with a better life. When the crap hits the fan he also risks his neck to save Nina because he knows how much she means to Luca.
- Cowardly Lion: Downplayed. Likes his creature comforts and would rather save his own skin than die for some abstract idea of honor and glory, but if it comes to protecting Luca or someone she cares about he won't give up or abandon them even if he's freaking out a bit.
- Defecting for Love: Works for the Knight Templar antagonists of the Conviction Arc but is not evil himself, and eventually decides to go directly against his Order because he cares about Luca more.
- Establishing Character Moment: He is first seen having sex with Luca, during which he expresses his contempt for Farnese and the church's fanaticism. After Elaine a.k.a. Casca interrupts them, he excuses himself, but first gives Luca a necklace and promises to take good care of both her and Elaine if she will come with him and be his mistress. This establishes the fact that he doesn't believe in the heretic hunting mission and is a bit of a lech, but also that he's really a good guy on the inside.
- Handsome Lech: Attractive to the ladies due to his combination of good looks and noble parentage, and happens to be quite a sex fiend. Despite being part of a monastic order of knighthood, he regularly sneaks off to sleep with prostitutes, although he has serious feelings for Luca.
- Hunk: Has a chiseled muscular build and masculine, roguish good looks.
- Interrupted Intimacy: Was enjoying some quality time with Luca when Casca poked her head through the tent flap, scaring him limp and almost causing him a heart attack.
- Maybe Ever After: At the end of the Brith Ceremony chapter, he and Luca have acknowledged their feelings for each other but do not get an official Relationship Upgrade at the end, leaving their future ambiguous. It is later revealed that Jerome got married to a noble girl, and Luca left him because she didn't want to be a homewrecker.
- Nice Guy: He has shades of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold when it comes to Isidro, who annoys him, but towards anyone else he is a genuinely good guy. He doesn't agree with how the Holy See persecutes people (and thinks that Farnese is positively nuts), and wants to give Luca a better life by at least making her his mistress when he becomes head of his household (and even offers to get Casca a good doctor, when Luca was passing her off as her syphilis-stricken sister). He is also quick to apologize when he finds out he misjudged Serpico, and helps Luca and her friends get out of trouble.
- Non-Action Guy: Downplayed. It initially seems the case, as most of the other sons of nobles only enlist in the Holy Iron Chain Knights to get some military notability (and otherwise have little to no knowledge on combat), yet Jerome proves to be a reasonably competent fighter and lends Guts a hand during the mock eclipse, even managing to kill the Twins with a little help from Puck. Still, he's not on Guts or Serpico's level, and prefers to run away rather than fight if he can.
- Put on a Bus: It is not clear for a while what happens to him after the Conviction Arc. We later hear from Luca that he went home and got married, and therefore did not accompany Luca on her travels.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Though he's enlisted in a troop of soldiers who hunt witches, as well as being under the constant threat of punishment from Farnese (or worse, Mozgus), Jerome went out of his way to help Luca and her company when they where in the Tower of Conviction.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Tall, black-haired, and handsome-faced, you could say he's quite the catch.
- Uncle Pennybags: As a noble son he has the disposable income to buy Luca a pearl necklace, and is such a generous tipper that it helps the prostitutes to survive in a situation of scarcity. While not a philanthropist, exactly, he's free with his purse for people he particularly likes, and Luca's girls teasingly remark they wish they had a sugar daddy like him.
Millennium Falcon Arc: Chapter of the Holy Demon War
Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō)
"The world does not exist merely in two dimensions. There exists profound depth within itself. This world could never be summarized by materialism or any single doctrine. Accept the great mysteries, and explore the universe from within your world. That is the way of magic."A witch living in solitude in the forest near Enoch Village. She served as Schierke’s mentor, and provided Guts and company with knowledge about the spiritual world as well as magical artifacts to assist them, including the Berserker Armor. She was also a friend of the Skull Knight and one of the most benevolent and good characters in the setting.
- Big Good: In the part of the story dealing with Enoch village, her power and wisdom unite the most effective forces opposing the Big Bad Duumvirate of the God Hand, including the Skull Knight, Schierke, and Gut's party. Sadly, she doesn’t live long enough to act as this for the plot afterward.
- Cool Old Lady: Despite being a Proper Lady, she is implied to have done many adventurous things when she was younger, and lived to a ripe old age without the awesome wearing off.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: See You Shall Not Pass.
- I Was Quite a Looker: When she conjures a wall of flame in front of Grunbeld, her aged appearance reverts to the prime of her life when she was ravishingly beautiful.
- Kill It with Fire: Holds back the army of Apostles attacking her demesne with a wall of fire so magical that even Grunbeld's dragon form is unable to control it.
- Lady of Black Magic: A composed and very graceful old lady, and a very powerful witch who mentored Schierke on how to use magic.
- Mentor Archetype: To Schierke.
- Mrs. Exposition: She provides information on how magic works in Berserk, and the the various layers in the world.
- Never Mess with Granny: Despite being an old lady, she's one of the most powerful magic users in the setting and can fight back against anyone who attacks her sanctuary.
- The Obi-Wan: The older and more powerful mentor to Schierke who sends her on her quest. Like many examples, she is a former hero who has become too weakened to fight the great evil herself, and therefore passes her knowledge onto a young pupil who can take up that responsibility. In the classic vein, she also dies so that Schierke can continue without her.
- Odd Friendship: She and the Skull Knight seem to be old friends. Aside from both being mentor figures, what exactly these two have in common is not (yet) known.
- Older Than She Looks: She looks like she’s aged gracefully into her 60s, but it’s implied she’s several centuries old.
- Proper Lady: A paragon of ladylike gracefulness and composure, she is also incorruptibly pure, self-sacrificing, and kind.
- Your Days Are Numbered: By the time we see her, it's strongly implied that she doesn’t have much time left. In fact, she outright tells Guts and the gang that she's going to die soon.
- You Shall Not Pass: Pulls a successful one on the Apostles by conjuring a wall of fire, blocking them off from pursuing Guts and his companions.
Masaru Motegi (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō)
"As travelers you might not know this, but this area has for a long time held many legends of fairies, witches, and the like. Although that is the realm of fable and folklore, there were some who said they had actually seen them. But there had been no hard proof, and even among natives there were not many who believed the legends through and through, until that cursed night came."An old native of the Enoch Village found unconscious from injuries in the woods by Guts and his companions, Morgan tells them after being revived that his village is being terrorized by trolls. With the local lord absent because of the war against the Kushan Empire and no chance of getting anyone to believe such an outlandish story, Morgan and five other villagers entered the woods to find and beseech help from the witch Flora. They were attacked by trolls before they found anything, and all but Morgan were killed. Upon returning to the village Morgan is met with skepticism and disappointment, as the villagers doubt that a child dressed as a witch could save them.During the fight against the trolls, Morgan grows close to Isidro and tries to offer him guidance. As a parting gift he gives the boy a small falchion that had belonged to his father.
- Ancestral Weapon: The falchion he gives to Isidro was a possession that Morgan's father won in a bet with a sailor long ago. Morgan notes that its light weight is more suited to someone Isidro's size.
- Cassandra Truth: Not everybody believed his story about meeting Flora in the woods, and he faces skepticism when he brings Schierke and Guts' party to fight the trolls.
- Cool Old Guy
- Mentor Archetype: He tries to be one to Isidro.
- The Runaway: After the fight in the village, Morgan confesses to Isidro that when he went into the woods 50 years ago he was running away from his responsibilities at home rather than seeking a cure for his ailing mother. If he had not met Flora by chance, he doesn't know what he would have done.
- Taking the Bullet: When Isidro loses his balance while fighting trolls inside the church and is about to be killed, Morgan dives on top of him and is hit by the troll's morningstar. Thankfully, because of Puck, he survives and recovers.
Enoch Village Priest
Voiced by: Yoshimitsu Shimoyama (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō)
"This is a test given by God to this village. All we can do is pray and endure."The parish priest of Enoch village is a stern and serious man. He doubts that the oddly dressed companions and child witch brought back by Morgan will be of any help, and tells his flock not to put their faith in magic or superstition. After Schierke's magic saves the village, however, he admits that he was wrong and promises to be more tolerant.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Played with. He was unwilling to try something that might save everybody just because it would be against orthodoxy, and has to be persuaded by the results. Schierke explains that there's nothing wrong with believing in something beyond normal human perception; the problem is assuming that the force you're reaching out to will conform to your expectations. Magic-users believe, all right, but they don't believe dogmatically.
- Character Development: At first he is intolerant of magic and worship of the old spirits, but Schierke and Guts' companions persuade him to become more open minded.
- Face Death with Dignity: He attempts to do this when the trolls close in on the rooftop, but he is visibly in a cold sweat and clenching his teeth. Fortunately it isn't necessary, as Schierke's spell overpowers the trolls.
- Principles Zealot: At first he believes that it would be better for the villagers and himself to die than to receive magical assistance, considering the fate of their souls to be more important than their lives.
Millenium Falcon Arc: Chapter of Falconia
Federico do Vandimion
"Ability? Manifico. You've done nothing more than walk upon the road I've paved."The patriarch of the illustrious Vandimion family in Vritannis, whose children include Farnese, her brothers Giorgio, Poliziano, and Magnifico, and her half-brother, Serpico. He’s a cold, calculating man who burdens his children with the expectation of maintaining the family's dignity and wealth, and shows little affection for them as a father. He is also a major financial backer of the Vritannis Alliance, a gathering of armies from various countries put together under the auspices of the Pope to combat the Kushan threat.
- Control Freak: According to his wife, he needs to arrange things and people so that they fit exactly into his plans, or else he can't relax. The fact that he can't control Farnese makes him fear her, although Farnese doesn't even realize this because she hasn't the courage to say no to him when in his presence.
- Jerkass: Despite his many qualities as a leader and his Pet the Dog moments, one must remember that this is not a kind man we're dealing with here.
- Lack of Empathy: The feelings of others mean little to him.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: One day in the mansion he happened to notice a young Serpico wearing a locket around his neck and, upon seeing the portrait it contained of himself and Serpico's mother, realized that the boy was his bastard son.
- Manipulative Bastard: People, including his children, are by and large only useful to him as pawns to preserve his family’s status, influence, and wealth.
- The Patriarch: He rules over his family with an iron fist and isn't concerned much with his children's wellness.
- Parental Neglect: Puts all of his attention into his financial empire, and ignores his children insofar as they don’t bring him shame.
- Pet the Dog: For all of his flaws, he did grant Serpico a title of nobility after finding out the latter was his son.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, yes! After Guts and company saved his and many other nobles' lives from a Kushan attack, he jumped to their defense as the aristocrats started to grow suspicious of them and the "heretical" magic they seemed to wield. Before that, on realizing Serpico was his son, he calmly explained that he couldn't legitimize him for solid reasons (he had three legitimate sons already fighting for inheritance, a fourth would make everything worse for everyone) and gave him a position in his household.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All of his children want his approval, and he gives or withholds it based on whether they meet his unforgiving standards. Giorgio and Poliziano have achieved what he desires by becoming powerful and successful, but he dismisses Magnifico as a mediocre businessman and considers Farnese to be a source of shame.
- Your Cheating Heart: During his younger days he had an affair with a certain maid, which led to the birth of Serpico.
"Listen to some advice. Be careful of her when she's obeying what someone says. Especially when she seems submissive. She's not the kind of woman who's at peace with the schemes of men. You'll be sorry if you don't listen, just like your father."The highly intelligent and perceptive wife of Federico do Vandimion, and the mother of their children Farnese, Magnifico, Giorgio, and Poliziano. She is a well-known socialite who used to be more concerned with attending various parties and spreading her husband's influence rather than minding her kids, who she never really took care of. Still, she is very supportive of Farnese, and warns Magnifico against trying to manipulate his sister.
- Deadpan Snarker: Fond of sarcastic remarks.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She's "Lady Vandimion" to the public, and "mother" to her children.
- Hands-Off Parenting: As was usually the case in noble families back in the Medieval Era (up until World War I in fact), she only gave birth to her babies but let them in the care of nannies and servants in the Vandimion estate.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Always wears the finest garments, especially when attending balls.
- Satellite Character: She works mainly in her husband's sphere of influence, and prefers to work behind the scenes rather than being the center of events.
- Shipper on Deck: Believe or not, it looks like she's one for Farnese and Serpico, despite him being Farnese's half-brother.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She may be a refined lady and lack physical combat ability, but her will doesn't bend for anyone. She is very good at reading people, knows what makes her husband and sons tick, and uses this knowledge to subtly manipulate them.
- Socialite: She is most in her element at fancy parties where she can enjoy the atmosphere and watch the interactions of others unfold.
- So Proud of You: Tells Farnese, "I don't exactly remember raising you as such, but as a mother, I'm proud to have a daughter like you."
- Strong Family Resemblance: You can see where Farnese got her looks from.
- Women Are Wiser: Despite not acting directly against her husband, she's indeed much less of an asshole than he is, and tries to encourage Farnese to stand up to him. She often remarks how Vandimion men make the same mistakes, whether it's the father or the sons.
- Your Cheating Heart: Possibly. She spends a lot of time away from home, and is not exactly shy about how "strong" the soldiers in the army are. She doesn't seem too fond of her husband, not acting in any way against him, but she is quite the attractive woman, and she does travel without her husband a lot.
"Here me now, all of you children of God gathered in this place. A divine revelation has been given! The Hawk of light you see here is your savior! Weigh all your hopes upon him!"The supreme leader of the Holy Church, the Pope has spent most of his reign acting as a figurehead to be manipulated by his more ambitious and powerful subordinates. He is introduced lying on his deathbed as he overhears the gossip of church officials and looks back on his life. Born into a noble family where he received both parental love and material comfort, he grew up without experiencing any strong positive or negative emotions and feeling disconnected from the world. He entered the church because he had no interest in the secular world, not because of devotion to God, and became pope practically by accident because of the machinations of others. Just as he is about to accept his death, Griffith appears to him in a prophetic dream and he wakes up overcome with religious fervor.Guided by Mule and Sonia, he arrives at Vritannis in the aftermath of Griffith's victory over Emperor Ganishka's army, declaring to the assembled armies that Griffith is the foretold savior who will deliver the people from darkness. He is currently ministering at Griffith's side, and looks forward to the day when he will conduct Griffith's marriage to Princess Charlotte and crown him as the new King of Midland.
- Big Good: In his capacity as the shepherd of all believers and the source of legitimacy for both the Holy Alliance and Griffith's Midland Regular Army, he has some claim to be head of the good guys. Even though Griffith is considered the messiah, everybody still looks to the Pope for reassurance.
- Blue Blood: He is from a distinguished family and probably became pope partly because of his lineage.
- The Call Put Me On Hold: Rather than superpowers, the call he was waiting for was divine inspiration. He spent his whole life waiting for a message from God that never came and was resigned to dying without a purpose, only for it to be granted to him on his deathbed. Now that's a late bloomer!
- Character Development: In the space of just one scene, he Jumped at the Call and Grew a Spine.
- Cool Old Guy: He is wise, humble, and kind, especially towards young people such as Charlotte, Sonia, and Mule.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: His dream of Griffith arriving as the messiah was prophetic, and when he woke from it he recognized Mule and Sonia as the messengers who would lead him to Griffith.
- Extreme Doormat: Before his Character Development, he had no will or desires of his own and simply did whatever he was told to do by the ambitious people who made him the pope.
- Good Shepherd: He is highest religious authority in the land and wants to lead his flock into a peaceful and happy future.
- Grew a Spine: When he wakes up from his dream, he suddenly begins making decisions for himself and dismissing the protests of his subordinates, reminding them who's boss.
- Hat of Authority: His jeweled papal tiara is nothing to sneeze at, since it represents his authority over all believers.
- Jumped at the Call: As soon as he receives divine purpose, he wants to go to Vritannis without delay and gets more energized and excited than he's felt in his whole life.
- King on His Deathbed: When first introduced he is lying in bed expected to die at any moment, with the officials of the Church already passing judgement on his reign and discussing who should replace him.
- Like You Were Dying: He knows that it's only a matter of time before he really dies, but has resolved to make his last mission the time of his life. He is determined to live at least long enough to crown Griffith and conduct his marriage to Princess Charlotte.
- Puppet King: He spent most of his reign as a figurehead, up until he Grew a Spine.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: When Mule and Sonia appear uninvited in his pavilion, he quiets the protests of his officials and listens to what the young messengers have to say. Next he goes to Vritannis and arrives just in time to give his blessing to Griffith and the Midland Regular Army when the Midland Nobles and Federico Vandimion are questioning their legitimacy.
Fantasia Arc: Chapter of Elf Island
- "Welcome home...Isma."
A merrow who fell in love and had a child with a human fisherman, Isma's mother left them for unspecified reasons with the promise that she would one day return for her daughter. In the meantime, she left a magical sea charm on the door to protect them from harm. Isma has grown up without knowing her mother, and isn't sure whether to believe that merrow exist or that her mother will ever come back for her.During Guts' battle with the Sea God, Isma's mother reveals herself to Isma in an emotional underwater reunion. Singing together with her daughter and a school of friendly merrows, she helps Guts to vanquish the Sea God and rescues him from its collapsing body. She and the merrows guide the Seahorse safely to Elfhelm, where she temporarily wishes Isma goodbye at the shore, warning the party that if they stay too long in its time flow they will be cut off from the outside world.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Despite being the mother of a teenage girl, she looks young enough to be her daughter's older sister. Possibly a case of Older Than They Look, since it's unclear whether merrow age at the same rate as humans.
- Action Mom: Saves her daughter from Sea God's tentacles, and teaches her how to fight like a merrow by dodging attacks and wielding her voice.
- The Cavalry: Shows up with merrow reinforcements just in time to save Isma from a tentacle, neutralize the Sea God's heart beat with their song so that Guts can land the final blow, and rescue Guts from drowning inside the Sea God's collapsing body.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: It's not entirely clear why Isma's mother had to leave her husband and daughter, and Isma must have wondered if it was because her mother didn't love her, but in fact she loved them dearly and probably wouldn't have left them unless she had no other choice. Perhaps the intolerance of the villagers or the anger of the dormant Sea God forced her into hiding with the other merrow. In any case, Isma has forgiven her now that she knows her mother was watching over her all along, and they're currently making up for lost time.
- Godiva Hair: Has long bangs that tend to partly cover her breasts when she surfaces, but it's Downplayed because her hair floats freely while she's swimming and the author doesn't go out of his way to cover her all the time.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Merrows are inhuman enough to not need clothing and have no taboo against nudity, which is about as Justified as this trope can get while still functioning as Fanservice. Since she lived with humans she probably understands the concept of human modesty, but still isn't ashamed to appear before humans in the state that's natural for her species in the sea.
- Interspecies Romance: She, a merrow, loved and had a daughter together with Isma's dad who was a human fisherman. Evidently they got around the Mermaid Problem somehow; perhaps she has Voluntary Shapeshifting like Isma.
- I Know Your True Name: All spirit creatures have a true name, and by telling Isma hers she became able to transform. It's a secret that they can only tell to one whom the absolutely trust.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Isma never refers to her mom and dad being married, but in any case it seems that the villagers were intolerant of them being a couple.
- Mama Bear: Fights and risks her life against an all-devouring sea monster to protect her daughter.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Like other merrow, she has the power to harm evil creatures such as the Sea God using her magical song.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Merrow, as they're called in Berserk, have some distinct features. They have fish tails from the hips down, gills, ears shaped like fins, and live underwater. As far as we've seen, they might be a One-Gender Race and require human mates to reproduce. Other powers include powerful song that can be used as a weapon. Berserk merrows are definitely benevolent towards humans, although lately they have been in hiding because of human prejudice.
- Missing Mom: Was absent for most of her daughter's growing up, but she's back and trying to make it up to her.
- No Name Given: For the time being, we have nothing to call her except "Isma's Mother". Presumably her true name is a secret since anyone who knows it would have power over her, and she hasn't given us a mundane name either.
- Open-Minded Parent: Seems willing to let Isma go on her own adventure and make her own mistakes, leaving her with a means of contacting her in case she's in trouble.
- So Proud of You: When Isma and her mother are reunited, you can see how proud she is that her daughter grew up to be so beautiful, kind, and brave.
Berserk the Prototype Only Characters
These characters only appear in Berserk: The Prototype. This story, which was included in volume fourteen of the Dark Horse translations, is part of Berserk's Early Installment Weirdness continuum (and when we say "weird", it's almost on the boundary of extreme surrealism), created in 1988 when Kentaro Miura was still in college. The installment is non-canonical, but would have taken place during the Black Swordsman Arc.Some general differences between Berserk: The Prototype and the official story run:
- Several differences in Guts' appearance and characterization, including a more cocky but also humorous (and dare we say, UPBEAT) attitude, a badass eye patch over his right eye, and his artificial arm does not have the repeating crossbow attached.
- Guts and Puck travel together from the start of the story.
- Guts' main motivation for hunting apostles is to avenge the death of his mother, since neither Casca nor the Band of the Hawk as a whole are present.
- The Brand of the Sacrifice has an alternative design, being more rounded at the bottom.
- Guts' brand is located on his chest instead of his neck and is much more obvious.
- The apostles seem to worship a deity named Varna (or Vana), a god of darkness.
A young girl whose family and neighbors live under the heel of the evil lord Vlad Tepes. She was going to be given as a sacrifice to him, but would have instead been raped by the bandits who attacked the wagon carrying her had Guts not killed them while he was (supposedly in search of food). He takes her back to her village where her parents embrace her and explain the situation to Guts. Her father thinks she should run away, but Fricka doesn't want to because some other girl would be sacrificed instead of her. She ends up being taken to the castle again, but Guts comes just in time to save her and to kill Vlad Tepes, after which she is joyfully reunited with her family.
- Attempted Rape: Right off the bat, we see the bandits who attacked her wagon are about to rape her. She's saved when Guts arrives in the nick of time and kills them with his crossbow and humongous sword.
- Damsel in Distress: Vulnerable female character who gets kidnapped and has to be rescued by Guts twice.
- Good Parents: Unlike a lot of parents in the series proper, both of Fricka's parents love their daughter and want to save her from being sacrificed.
- Memento MacGuffin: She asks for something belonging to Guts as a keepsake, so he gives her his eye patch.
- Precocious Crush: Naturally she falls for her hero, Guts, even though she's still just a girl.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Fricka or Flicka (or Frikka)? No translation can seem to agree.
- Take Me Instead: After Guts saves her from the bandits, her father calls her foolish for not running away. She replies that if she doesn't go then some other girl will be taken, and goes quietly when the troops come for her rather than let someone else take her place.
- Virgin Sacrifice: It's implied by her young age, beauty, and pure heart that Vlad Tepes enjoys preying on girls who are likely to be virgins. Granted, it's not like there's any ritual reason, he's probably just an evil pervert.
The monstrous tyrant who lords over Fricka's village, Vlad Tepes is an Apostle who received his powers from Vauna, the God of Darkness. He earned a fearsome reputation in a war with another country ten years ago when he impaled five hundred prisoners on stakes and left them on the border as a warning. After he ran out of enemies he turned on his own people. He has been killing young maidens from the village, four of whom were never seen again, and Fricka was to be the fifth. At first Guts refuses to aid the villagers after he saved Fricka from her first abduction, but later changes his mind and confronts Vlad Tepes in order to slay him.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Surprise, surprise. Yet another nobleman who not only opresses his people, but is also a people-eating monster.
- Bald of Evil: Not to mention, he's bald and evil.
- Berserk Button: Guts challenges him as a "Dog of Vauna", provoking him into transforming and demanding to know who would know the name of the God of Darkness who rules Apostles.
- Compelling Voice: When he tells Fricka to come closer, she finds her body obeying against her will.
- Composite Character: He is like a combination of the Baron of Koka Castle and the Count from the Black Swordsman Arc. Actually, since he preceded them, each of them is a Decomposite Character based on Vlad Tepes.
- Eyes Always Shut: Initially has the appearance of squinting all the time, which combined with his habit of smiling makes him look like a pleasant fellow from a distance. Don't be fooled, though: as soon as the guards have left, he opens his eyelids to reveal Hellish Pupils.
- Eye Scream: Guts begins the fight against him by shooting a crossbow bolt into his eye, which he pulls out with his eyeball still stuck to it as if it only made him angry!
- Fat Bastard: A corpulent, throne-sitting tyrant who has clammy hands and smells like something rotting. Not quite as obese as the Count, we'll give him credit for that.
- Faux Affably Evil: When Fricka is brought into his presence he welcomes her with a smile and complements her youthful beauty, but he's just cruelly toying with his victim.
- Feudal Overlord: He's the local lord, and it seems there's no higher authority to prevent him from oppressing his peasants.
- Hellish Pupils: When Fricka sees his vertical-slitted pupils, she realizes he's definitely not human.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: As indicated by his obvious namesake, he executes prisoners by impaling them on stakes and leaves them on display.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Gee, I wonder who. Maybe this guy who was also famous for impaling people on stakes.
- One-Winged Angel: When Guts survives his initial attack and provokes him to fight seriously, he transforms into his terrifying Apostle form with the legs of a bull or goat, clawed hands, and a head with horns, a pig snout, and fangs.
- Red Right Hand: When Fricka gets close to him in his human form, she notices his hands are cold and he smells like something rotting before his Hellish Pupils alert her that he's definitely inhuman.
- This Cannot Be!: After Guts mortally wounds him he says, "Impossible! There's no way a human could beat me, an Apostle of Vauna..."
- What the Hell Are You?: At first he underestimates Guts as a mere human, but when it becomes clear that Guts is a match for him he demands to know who he is, refusing to believe that any human could beat him. Guts answers this by showing him his brand and saying "Who else but a human would hate you bastards this much?"