YMMV / Berserk

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: It goes like this on forums.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Luca, despite the horrors she experienced, never loses her upbeat attitude. Her plucky attitude even impresses the Skull Knight.
  • Arc Fatigue: Myth Stall. Even though this is another example of Miura's infamous schedule slippage, it took eight whole years for Guts and his party to get to Elfhelm after setting sail. Guts "being stuck on the boat" has reached memetic levels similar to the Dragon Ball Z cast being on Namek.
  • Archive Panic: 37 volumes and no end in sight. Miura suggested in Spring 2009 that the manga is about 60% done, but since then the effects of his periodic hiatuses have made it difficult to predict how many years it will take to finish.
  • Awesome Art: Miura takes his time when working on Berserk. And holy shit, it shows!
  • Base-Breaking Character: You guessed it – Griffith. On one side, you have the fans that admire him because of all of the outstanding things that he has done over the course of the story. They see him as a three-dimensional and complex character who can't quite be called "evil", making the argument that his Lack of Empathy actually makes him Above Good and Evil (and come on - he's gorgeous looking!). But on the flip side, you have the fans that rightfully despise him (or at least, appreciate him as a villain) because his actions are ones only the truly evil would commit. Then of course, there's the fact that he ruined everything himself because he had a pissy temper tantrum for losing a battle ONCE.
  • Broken Base:
    • Everything surrounding Griffith breaks like fine china. Also, there seems to be skirmishes of who's the biggest and most hideously vile villain in this series: Femto or Emperor Ganishka. And there are other debates, like the "does the recent Lighter and Softer shift in the series mean that Berserk is going downhill?" debate.
    • Berserk's adaptations always bring debate. Which one is better, the 1997 anime, the 2012-2013 movies, or the 2016 anime? Some feel each of them have their good points and others feel none do the manga justice. It varies from fan to fan.
      • The 1997 anime has been praised for its tone, and having enough room to slowly build the story up and flesh out the themes and characters. It's also been criticized for its extremely limited animation and the story just ending on a cliff-hanger never to be resolved.
      • The Studio 4°C films are praised for their better animation, still capturing the important points of the main story, and having an ending that resolves what happened even while leaving the future open-ended. As noted below in It's the Same, Now It Sucks, the films are criticized for abridging and condensing the story too much, and the Conspicuous CG really clashing with the animation around it.
    • Is all of the depiction of sexual assault and rape part of Berserk's unflinchingly honest perspective on the worst aspects of the human condition, or is it gratuitously offensive and the result of lazy writing? There's fans who argue the former, others who argue the latter, and still others who sit somewhere in the middle.
    • What's Casca's race supposed to be, and does it matter that they made her lighter in the adaptations?
    • There is some contention over the Art Evolution since the party reached Skellig. While most still consider the art to be very good on the whole, there's also some feeling that it's not as good as his best work, that the linework has gotten simpler compared to how detailed the panels looked during the Millenium Falcon arc (some suspect that he's switched from traditional illustration techniques to digital painting), and that the character designs are getting a little off, such as Guts no longer having a Lantern Jaw of Justice and an exaggeratedly thick, sometimes anatomically incorrect neck. Some have gone so far as to parody it as being overly cutesy and feminine. Other people don't mind the changes as much and feel like the newer art fits with the current events in the story.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Many fans expressed concern that the readers would give up on the series out of frustration if Guts and the gang didn't get off the damn boat soon and get Casca's insanity plotline resolved after a seven to eight year wait. Happily the fandom has finally lived to see Guts' party arrive on Elfhelm and get their audience with the Queen of the Flower Storm just like they'd hoped, but everyone's on pins and needles to see what will happen to Casca in the next couple releases, and dreading when the next hiatus will happen.
    • And now the next hiatus has happened, with the series to resume early in 2017 (although, given what is about to be revisited, it's fairly understandable that Miura would need a few months to psyche himself up to draw it).
  • Come for the X, Stay for the Y: Many fans were introduced to Berserk from just hearing other people regale how horribly violent and gruesome the story is. If one is able to survive that much, you'll most likely end up sticking around just to see how the characters that you've grown to love (or hate) will fare through for the duration of the story. This describes a sizeable majority of the fanbase. The other portion? Well, we'll get to that below.
  • Complete Monster: Even in this Crapsack World, a few characters stand out.
    • Wyald is one of the first Apostles encountered and one of the nastiest pieces of work that Guts and company meet before the Eclipse goes down. A depraved hedonist, he works for the King of Midland and leads a band of mercenaries made up of the worst murderers, rapists and all around scum that Midland has to offer. His motto is "Excitement and Enjoyment," which translates to raping and murdering dozens, including children. He demonstrates an utter disregard for his men's lives, frequently triggering traps and getting them killed, solely so that he can laugh at their deaths. After transforming into his true shape, of a fifty-foot tall gorilla with a three-foot thick spiky penis, he attempts to rape Casca with it, bragging that she'll "feel like a virgin again" as it rips her in two. Even his own men, the aforementioned worst scum of the kingdom, follow him mainly because they are utterly terrified of him.
    • Ganishka, the Emperor of Kushan, became insanely paranoid when his mother tried to poison him for his younger brother to become the heir, only for the brother not to survive. His paranoia got to the point where his own son tried to kill him out of fear he would see his son as a threat. After accepting the Godhand's offer he has become a near-perfect example of The Caligula, which shows in mass executions, ethnic cleansing, using conquered populations as human shields or cannon fodder for his armies, attempting to rape the captive princess Charlotte and suspending women over a pool filled with hungry crocodiles, dropping thousands of pregnant women into cauldrons with stitched-together Apostles to turn the unborn babies into half-human demons that rip apart their mothers upon birth. Grandiose, megalomaniacal, and obsessed with his position as The Emperor, Ganishka revels in being as evil as he possibly can be.
    • Griffith/Femto is the Fifth Member of the Godhand. When he was still human, he was a cold blooded narcissist who dreamed of ruling his own kingdom no matter what it took, was willing to use his friends to commit political assassinations for him, and displayed intensely jealous behaviour towards Casca and Guts. When he realizes that his True Companions no longer need him to lead them and care more about each other than they do about him, he crosses the Despair Event Horizon and the Moral Event Horizon in a single go, summoning the Godhand, sacrificing his friends in an incredibly gruesome manner, and damning their souls to an eternity in Hell so that he can become Femto. As Femto, his first act is to rape Casca while forcing Guts to watch, causing her intense agony through her Brand of Sacrifice (which bleeds whenever a demon, let alone a Godhand is close), driving her insane, and leaving her in a permanent Angst Coma. This act also corrupts her child, turning it into a warped Fetus Terrible, which Femto eventually bodyjacks so that he might be reincarnated into the world, setting himself up as a Dark Messiah. Femto later tops himself by fusing the mundane world and the supernatural worlds together, which, in a harsh world like that of Berserk, is a very horrible sign of things to come. Defined by his selfishness, and positive that Despotism Justifies the Means, he is a figure of utter hatred to those who know his true nature.
  • Creepy Cute: The moonlight boy. He's a Creepy Child through and through, what with his quiet demeanor and unsettling stare that indicates he knows more than a kid his age should. But he still displays normal childish behavior, being both a notorious climber and Staring Kid, which makes him oddly endearing. And of course, he's a toddler who simply yearns to be with his parents and who uses his powers to help them, making him Creepy Good.
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome:
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Farnese seems to be aware this trope exists and tries as hard as she can not to fall into it. She succeeds more and more as time goes by.
    • Post-Eclipse Casca avoids this status with some due to being a massive woobie, but others are just annoyed that the character that they liked before because she was an Action Girl got downgraded to a mental incompetent who needs protecting all the time.
    • Princess Charlotte is pretty much the classic Damsel in Distress, and not everybody is a fan of her character.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The setting is so very crapsack and the Anti-Hero protagonist tending to be both really morally questionable and hopelessly overpowered by the main villains, and the arguably gratuitous rape and violence, means people can simply get bored of the darkness. It does get better later in the manga, though the fact that Only the Author Can Save Them Now makes it really hard to muster up enthusiasm.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Griffith is given this treatment by some Berserk fans. Yes. Yes, that's right. A handful of fans like to disregard that Griffith and Femto are the same person in order to dismiss his Moral Event Horizon during the Eclipse. Some fans go further by claiming that Casca enjoyed being raped by Femto as to discredit Casca's experience as actual rape. Not Cool.
  • Dork Age: Pick an arc other than the Golden Age, chances are some subset of fans has declared it to be the weakest part of the story. A number of the most stubborn "fans" consider Berserk's story to consist of the Golden Age Arcnote  and absolutely nothing else, completely dismissing the rest of the story. As of volume 37 the Golden Age now makes up less than a third of the story's total length.
  • Ear Worm: The Engrish opening song from the anime, Tell Me Why by the Penpals. It'll stay in your head for a while whether you love it or hate it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Skull Knight.
    • Luca, the Hooker with a Heart of Gold, who took care of Casca after she was separated from Guts. Despite her limited role, she is still vividly remembered and liked by most fans who often wish she would have joined Guts in his quest.
    • Judeau is probably the most popular member of the Hawks besides the main three because he's remembered as a loyal friend to both Guts and Casca, who helped nudge them together while putting aside his own feelings for Casca, and who supported her to the bitter end.
    • Roderick joined the party relatively late, but he's appreciated for being a capable and trusty wingman for Guts, as well as for wanting Farnese to be happy even if the one she chooses isn't him.
    • Slan is the most popular member of the Godhand because Evil Is Sexy.
    • People still remember Theresia and expect her to make a return, even to this day. She hasn't been seen or even mentioned in over 20 years.
    • Silat is a popular character, being a redeemable Kushan who forswore allegiance to Ganishka and aligned himself against Griffith due to nothing more than his own moral compass. And, of course, let's not forget his cool character design and fighting style. Quite a few fans have expressed hope that he's fated to become one of Guts' True Companions.
    • The infamous demon dubbed "Rape Horse" by the fans appears only for one scene before being offed, but is the source of Memetic Mutation due to the comically over-the-top darkness present in his short tenure. Even people who were generally unhappy with the 2016 anime had a fit of rapture over his scene being included, since many were worried it would be cut for explicit content.
  • Estrogen Brigade: So there is definitely some factor that draws female readers to this ultra-violent Seinen series and part of it probably has something to do with the two male leads that get naked or shirtless a lot.
  • Evil Is Cool: Admit it: As much as we utterly hate him, Femto might be the coolest-looking villain in the Berserkerverse.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Slan is as vamp as they come, and a vile monster, but damn if she isn't hot.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Invoked by a few characters, such as when Guts told a young boy named Thomas who he saved/used as bait during the Lost Children chapter that revenge felt good and that he should try it sometime, or when Gambino told Guts in the Spring Flowers of Distant Days episodes that you're safest when you trust your own actions and not others, not even your own parents.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • IT'S NOT "GATSU/GATTS"! IT'S "GUTS"! Since the official releases (both manga and anime) are widely considered to have good translations, fans who came into the series through shoddy scanslations are typically looked down upon for using incorrect character names.
    • Don't call Berserk a Shōnen, it's a Seinen, fans will shred you.
    • A lot of the old-timers have heard memes and complaints about the so-called "boat arc" too many times so that they'll groan if you refer to it by that name, especially because it's a misnomer anyway.
    • Similarly annoying to those who have seen it too many times is the perennial "Guts must be really stinky" thread.
    • Raising concerns about Miura dying before he finishes the manga will raise hackles fast. Not only are people sick of hearing it, but many consider such thoughts to be tasteless and insensitive.
    • In that same vein, jokes about Miura playing The Idolmaster or people actually SERIOUSLY suggesting that it is the reason for the hiatuses, since that arose from a misleading article that took a casual statement from Miura out of proportion and has since become horribly widespread misinformation due to people taking the joke seriously. More knowledgeable fans are quick to point out that Miura made similar comments about enjoying Mario Kart a number of years ago, and that it means absolutely nothing, and that Miura actually puts in an incredible amount of hours working on the manga with a 16 hour work day when he's working on a deadline.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • The main franchise non grata of Berserk fans is Sword Art Online. Do NOT bring up the words "The Black Swordsman" if both members of these fandoms are present unless you want to start a fight.
    • Some Berserk fan circles don't have a high opinion of Attack on Titan and dislike when others draw parallels or comparisons between them. This is not a universal opinion, though, since others enjoy both on their own respective merits.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Well, Miura might have been taking his sweet time getting the group to Elfhelm, but some fans have already made it there — and beyond.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • A few fans glance over Guts's grand debut on the first page of the story where he is having sex with a she-apostle, saying that it clashed with his later development in the Golden Age arc, particularly Guts's troubled backstory concerning intimacy issues and his fidelity toward Casca. That, and some fans wonder why Guts would even have needed to have sex with the apostle in the first place.
    • Some fans also disregard Wyald's presence in the story, saying that he was just an unnecessary sexist and violent addition to a storyline that would have made just as much sense - if not more - without him raping up a storm. This is encouraged by the fact that he's completely absent from both of the animated adaptations of the Golden Age.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    • Well, it's never been officially conveyed, but you can get a buttload of Judeo-Christian symbolism out of Berserk depending on how you look at it, starting with the part where both Guts and Griffith can be interpreted as messiah-like figures.
    • As mentioned in chapter 287 of the manga, Guts always seems to be saving Casca whenever she is near water. Whether this is suppose to mean something or just a Running Gag has not been explained yet...
  • Friendly Fandoms: The Berserk fandom has a lot of overlap with the fandom of FromSoftware's family of "Soulsborne" games (which includes Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne) due to their similar Dark Fantasy settings. It helps that Miyazaki is a fan of Berserk himself and includes all manner of Shout Outs to it in each of those titles.
    • Many fans also find enjoyment in Dragon's Dogma, another RPG with a dark fantasy vibe and lots of Berserk references.
  • Freud Was Right: Most apostles and other Eldritch Abomination types look like genitals, fetuses, or woodlice. Guts also holds his ridiculously huge sword at crotch level throughout the series.
    • Rosine's One-Winged Angel form places what remains of her human body inside what looks disturbingly like a vagina.
    • Ever take a look-see at Slan's corset? NSFW. Granted she's a BDSM sex goddess of evil, but you'll never look at her the same again.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Schierke's Meaningful Name requires you to know about an obscure German village and witchcraft legends to get the reference.
    • The author's sheer attention to detail rewards you for having some background in the history of arms and armor, architecture, costume design, ship construction, pre-Enlightenment science and magic, philosophy, religion, fantastic creatures, Western painting, or 20th century Japanese pop culture.
  • Growing the Beard: After the first two chapters which come across as rather simple and lurid self-contained plots at first glance, and with the art being decent but not great, the story gets more nuanced with the first continuous story, the Guardians of Desire, and then takes a MASSIVE leap in quality at the start of the Golden Age Arc, particularly when Guts meets Griffith and the Band of the Hawk. By Sword Wind, the first episode published in Young Animal, the art has gotten excellent and the characters/plot have perfectly hit their stride. Fans have debated about which parts of the story after the Golden Age were good or not, but almost everybody acknowledges that the art quality only gets more amazing with every passing year.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Earlier in the Golden Age Arc, Casca is seen wrapping her shirt sleeve around a wound on Guts' arm. Though this was done purely out of first aid, this can actually be interpreted as a medieval gesture of Courtly Love, when a woman would give a piece of cloth that belonged to her, often a scarf, to a knight of her choosing; she would then bestow a favor upon it that the knight would keep in order to return it to her. While the trope was played straight between Griffith and Princess Charlotte, the audience can take this as Heartwarming in Hindsight between Guts and Casca as it foreshadows their Relationship Upgrade. However, this gesture is particularly painful to glance at after you watch the Eclipse. Why? Because the the arm that Casca wraps is Guts' left arm, the arm that Guts would eventually hack off in his last attempt to save Casca from being raped by Femto, which ultimately failed, meaning that Guts had failed his lady's favor.
    • Casca first met Griffith when he saved her from being raped, which makes the fact that he eventually does the same to her a bitter irony.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The huge, quiet, frontline-fighting, armored and hammer-wielding guy is named Pippin.
    • In May 2015, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge had a daughter. Her name? Princess Charlotte.
    • Femto's character design was always a little odd, bearing a passing resemblance to Batman. He now has a closer lookalike in Birdman.
    • Wyald telling Casca to "get ready to feel like a virgin again" thanks to his enormous demon-penis turns from horrifying to hilarious when compared with the opening monologue from Reservoir Dogs.
    • Adon Cornowitz is fond of boasting that his fighting techniques have been passed down through his family for hundreds of years.
    • When Casca comes down with her period-induced fever, Guts thinks to himself "I guess sometimes it's hard to be a woman".
  • Ho Yay: It has a whole page to itself here.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Every time Guts swings his sword. Every single time.
    • Volume 34 is probably sixty percent double-page spreads depicting events of unbelievable scale and badassery. Two-mile-tall Physical God crushing battalions under its foot? Check. The most powerful Apostles in the world ripping through untold thousands of Eldritch Abominations, backed up by troops from various countries? Check. Griffith surfing Zodd onto the head of the aforementioned god in an attempt to kill it? Check. Add the Skull Knight showing up from nowhere and taking care of the problem (with a stroke meant for Griffith) and a massive magical shockwave that consumes the planet and releases mythological creatures all across its surface, and you have a book that might just kill an unprepared reader.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Come now: do you really want to get into another discussion about Griffith's questionable sexual orientation (up to and including GutsxGriffith pairing)?
      • Griffith's morality tends to incite debates, as well (see Broken Base above).
    • God forbid if you get into the "Casca is a bitchy whore" debate. Depending on what forum you're on, you'll either come across Griffith sympathists and Guts idolizers who slam Casca for being a woman (4chan), or you'll go into Casca-worship territory where such sexist behavior is not tolerated (Tumblr).
  • Iron Woobie: Guts. Despite being a Cosmic Plaything, he keeps on moving forward, even though he may sometimes Freak Out.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: A major criticism of The New Tens film trilogy adaptation is that it adapts the same manga plot arc as The '90s' television anime series, but in roughly half the running time, meaning that several subplots and minor characters had to be cut or massively condensed. So "It's the Same, But Less of It, Now It Sucks", and fans who have been waiting for decades to see post-Eclipse content animated get to keep on waiting. It doesn't help that the animation isn't much better than it was fifteen years ago, just uneven in a different way (with stiff, low-poly CG models replacing copious amounts of still frames).
  • It Was His Sled: Everyone knows that Griffith turns evil, everyone dies, although to be fair it's supposed to be a Foregone Conclusion if you start from volume 1 of the manga.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Griffith can be considered one of these while he is being tortured in Midland's dungeons and after the Band of the Hawks rescues him. (Up until the events of the Eclipse, it's hard not to want to hug him and/or punch him in the face. However, he emphatically isn't a woobie afterwards.)
    • Also Guts, given his backstory, it's understandable why he became a revenge-obsessed jerk.
    • Even The Scrappy Nina can technically count as this because her two-faced behavior seems to be driven by fear rather than outright malice. And given the Crapsack World she lives in, she is quite justified in being afraid. Also, she's aware of what a horrible person she is, which is quite sad.
    • Farnese during the Tower of Conviction arc and prior events. She's a vicious Knight Templar with a tendency to lash out at her subordinates, to abuse her servant Serpico, killed small animals and viciously whipped a restrained and helpless Guts. All of this is the result of deep insecurities around her father not caring about her and never being there for her, being unable to stand up to anyone who holds authority over her, the knowledge that her position as the head of the Holy Iron Chain Knights is a largely ceremonial one with her being a Faux Action Girl and a repressed and screwed up sexuality that she is deeply ashamed of. After her Character Development kicks in and she drops her more unpleasant attributes can becomes more selfless though, she drops the Jerkass part and becomes a plain old Woobie.
    • Many of the Apostles qualify, as passing the Despair Event Horizon is a requirement for becoming one.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: So, the other portion of the fanbase who aren't here for the story are mainly in it for the gratuitous violence and rape, character development be damned. So disgruntled some of these fans are for the shift in mood that the story has recently taken up that they actually go so far as to say that the lack of 1-2 rapes scenes every other volume is killing the story. Yup you heard right.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Griffith, who manages to win several battlefield victories, capture Doldrey with a devious Batman Gambit, and foils two assassination plots while he's at it.
    • Martino from "Spring Flowers of Summer Days", who manages to get on the good side of the notoriously mistrustful and antisocial Guts while they're shackled together in a chain gang, manipulates him into acting as a decoy while he escapes himself, and then shows up with a perfectly executed surprise attack on the castle in the nick of time, even convincing Guts to call it even.
  • Memetic Molester: Rape Horse, the demonically possessed horse that tries to rape Farnesse before Guts kills it, who has become a minor symbol of how excessively dark Berserk is.
  • Memetic Mutation: See the Memes page here.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Crosses over with Just Here for Godzilla. Some fans heavily dislike the much lighter tone the series has taken on after the Eclipse (there's especially some resentment with Guts' new True Companions), wishing that the extremely dark tone of the earlier volumes would return, and that Guts would return to being the massive killdozer he was at the very beginning. What these fans don't seem to understand is that the series absolutely does not condone Guts' behavior as the Black Swordsman, and that Guts' growing empathy for his new allies is actively being pushed by the story as a good thing.
  • Moe:
    • Puck is a youthful little pixie with a big mischievous streak, but also a deep sense of morality and empathy. The Black Swordsman Arc would have been way too dark if he wasn't around to lighten the mood and restore your faith in the goodness of people. His Berserk (2016) seiyuu Kaoru Mizuhara says she's trying to make all of her character's lines sound cute and lovable.
    • Rickert is the Band of the Hawk's Cheerful Child, whose sunny personality is just adorable. You can understand why the Midland noblewomen at the victory ball were lining up to pinch his cheeks.
    • Jill is a timid, gentle, vulnerable peasant girl who makes you want to rescue her from her shitty life, because it's so heartwarming when she feels even a little happiness or confidence.
    • Erika, Godo's adoptive daughter whom he found as a war orphan, is cute as a button with her Genki Girl antics.
    • Charlotte is a beautiful, shy, and sensitive princess who hates violence and blushes whenever Griffith compliments her. She also doesn't look down on commoners or hold herself above anyone, which is uncommon for a royal. In fact, she's such a Nice Girl that you just want to warn her that her fiancee is the devil incarnate.
    • Anna, Charlotte's maidservant, is a lovable scaredy-cat who makes you want to soothe her nerves whenever she's getting the heebie-jeebies.
    • Schierke is Wise Beyond Her Years, being an extremely powerful witch despite probably being 12 or 13 at most, yet she's still just a kid in many ways, with her lack of social skills, attachment to her mentor, and inexperience with the human world. Her Precocious Crush on Guts is especially precious.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Where do we start?
    • Griffith's Face–Heel Turn during the Eclipse, Mozgus's torture of innocent refugees, Gambino's selling of young Guts to the pedophile Donovan for three silver coins, everything Ganishka does...
    • Everything that each Apostle does. For starters, becoming an Apostle requires them to sacrifice the person that they care about the most, which they always do. Then every last one of them (Except Zodd) took part in the Eclipse, massacring the Band of the Hawk and helping Griffith rape Casca. To make things even worse, the Eclipse takes place every 216 years, so some of the older ones could have very easily have done this more than once. And this is without getting into what most Apostles get up to on their own time, be it Wyald raping and murdering civilians, the Count executing and torturing people on trumped up charges, the Baron eating humans, and Rosine kidnapping children and turning them into Apostle spawn.
    • The Godhand has the nerve to hand out behelits to little girls like Rosine who cannot possibly be expected to fully comprehend what they are doing. For that matter, the Godhand made almost every one of the aforementioned Moral Event Horizon crossings possible: that's gotta count for something.
  • Narm:
    • An Apostle from the Eclipse that killed Judeau has a silly appearance that cannot be taken seriously.
    • The infamous "Rape Horse" scene would've been terrifying (like all of the other nightmarish rape scenes in Berserk) if not for the goofy facial expressions that the demon makes. Many cite the scene as being darkly (if unintentionally) hilarious even in-context, due to the darkness in the scene being over-the-top even by Berserk's standards.
    • In the second movie, Charlotte's over the top reaction to Griffith merely touching her breast.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The Engrish opening and ending themes for the anime are simultaneously hilarious and awesome. The ending, with its droning, melancholy tone takes a few levels in chill factor in the last episode.
    • Also, in universe, an example in the eyes of Isidro. Flora golems are flat out stupid to him, but he knows they're dangerous.... and yet he can't stop laughing.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Adding all the instances of Gorn, Fan Disservice and Squick, you make the whole series a Nausea Fuel station...
    • Volume 13.
    • This probably doesn't cross our minds much, since we're too busy being horrified at what he does, but has anyone ever processed that Femto is so evil that he's made of evil? Even his friggin' semen. It not only compels a developing zygote to go to the dark side, but it also makes said zygote rapidly develop into a six week old embryo straight into an eighteen week old fetus all in under about four days, adding the fact that the semen is a mutagen. If Femto's semen can do all that, just think of what his spit is capable of doing. It'd probably change the whole coarse of evolution. And that's kinda scary. He seems to have an infinite supply of the stuff. There was a sick, almost voyeuristic aspect to Griffith forcing Guts to watch as he raped Casca, as if he wanted Guts to watch him (Griffith) having sex, albeit very violent and vile.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Berserk fans will always remember Guts' confused expression when he saw Casca in a dress.
    • Fans aren't letting go of the fact that Guts ate a whole rat raw during his imprisonment by the Viscount when he was 15.
    • It's almost memetic now to remind fans of the pleasant memory of Griffith sacrificing the original Band of the Hawk to a horde of demons.
  • Nightmare Fuel: More than you can shake a stick at.
  • No Yay:
    • For as much Ho Yay (male or female) and Foe Yay present in the series, expect there to be just as much No Yay in the same sentiments from many fans. Need a reminder?
    • Griffith's Yandere thoughts and actions toward Guts.
    • Rosine's relationship with her best friend Jill.
    • The King of Midland's unhealthy relationship with his daughter Princess Charlotte.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Guts and his party will eventually have to fight Griffith, his army, The Beast, the four god hands, and possibly The Idea of Evil. Miura is going to have to do something to level the playing field. Then again, he might not…
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Everyone, everything, and every entity is out to get you in this world, so you really can't trust anybody but yourself to be extra safe. And that's stretching it!
    • One particular horrifying source of paranoia fuel is how some people who have already become apostles, and therefore have already sacrificed at least one person, might be keeping other people around them as "spares"... In the event that they need to renew their life again. What makes this so disturbing from the get go is that those chosen by the behelits don't sacrifice you because they hate you, but because they love and care about you. How screwed up is that?!
  • Periphery Demographic: While statistics aren't clear, Berserk does have a female minority fandom that isn't completely composed of girls who are in it for the guys (to see the flip side, see above). It's probably because Berserk is one of the more "female friendly" Seinen series (considering what you call "friendly" in this world), with the series having a good romantic focus, but also a lot of realistic Character Development, cynical realism, non-flat female characters who aren't there only for Fanservice purposes and an ever evolving story plot that you just can't get from a lot of Shoujo.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Farnese. Her initial appearances see her doing little else besides getting in Guts' way and acting like a hypocrite, and after she joins Guts, she tends to be The Load. She gradually starts getting better as she has to help protect Casca and gets to know Schierke better, but she really proves herself to have changed when they reach Vritannis. She essentially allows herself to be married off so that the rest of the group can get a ship, and shortly after she attempts to fend off a demonic tiger with nothing but a silver candelabra, demonstrating clearly that she's finally taking initiative for herself. By casting the protection spell during the battle with the sea God, and learning how to heal Guts' wounds afterwards, she's getting more heroic all the time.
    • Nina is easy to hate for most of the Chapter of the Birth Ceremony because of her cowardice and tendency to throw her friends under the bus when she panics, but the fact that she hates herself for being that way and tries a couple of times (unsuccessfully) to put others before herself make it possible to hold off on condemning her entirely if you're inclined to give her a second chance. At the end of the chapter she acts like she's really learned to appreciate Luca's unconditional love and wants to make it up to her somehow, and when she decides to go away with Joachim so that she can learn to be a better person it feels like a redeeming step for her.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Inverted, possibly due to the Schedule Slip and myth stall. Some fans complain that Miura is focusing too much on Guts fighting random enemies and monsters and less on just getting Guts and his team to Elfhelm so that Casca can get cured.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Puck is hated by some readers who dislike his breaking the fourth wall antics, and think that he doesn't fit the work's Grimdark tone. Others actually liked him earlier when he had more of a serious role and acted as Guts' conscience as well as a small spot of light and humor, but feel like he's been flanderized as silly comic relief since the Chapter of the Holy Evil War. With the growth of Guts' party so that he isn't as important, he has little to do but go chibi and make pop culture references that are lost on the non-Japanese readers.
    • Similarly to Puck, Isidro has haters in the readership who call him a bratty, useless kid who's around for annoying comic relief.
    • Conviction Arc Farnese is bound to tick readers off by being a tyrannical Knight Templar Hypocrite.
    • Nina from the Birth Ceremony Chapter. Being a spineless, indecisive, hysterical and painfully weak-willed character who partakes in the worshipping of Slan, some readers hate her even more for making it out of the arc alive.
    • Captain Bonebeard and the Pirates are widely considered annoying, mostly for being overused in place of more satisfying opponents and because they're heavily associated with the long stretch of real-world time when Guts and co. were "stuck on the boat".
    • Corkus can get on the reader's nerves for being a Jerkass toward Guts and having almost no likable traits.
  • Shipping: Two words: Brace yourselves.
    • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Though they tend to be small and localized, the Berserk fandom nevertheless falls victim to the occasional Shipping War, the biggest armadas being the U.S.S. Gutsca (Guts/Casca) and the H.M.S. G×G (Guts/Griffith). Some skirmishes go as followed:
    • Against Gutsca: "Guts and Casca don't really love each other! They're just compensating for not having Griffith to themselves!"; "Guts only keeps Casca around to remind him of Griffith!" "Casca is only a reward for Guts to satisfy his ego!"
    • Against G x G: "Griffith only saw Guts as a tool!"; "How can you possibly ship them after the Eclipse?!" "Guts isn't gay!!"
    • Cargo Ship: Guts and his sword. At one point, Casca even tells him to "go fuck your sword!"
    • Die for Our Ship: And then there is the minority ship that ships Griffith and Casca together, though it's really weird and kind of twisted depending on how you look at it. Before that, Casca as a character often gets a lot of flack from a minority of fans (possibly from the same fans mentioned above); reasons vary from the fact that she's with Guts - which means that she isn't being a dutiful action girl anymore - or that she's with Guts - and not with Griffith - or that Guts is with her - and not with Griffith. That's where you get a lot of bashing, ranging from downright mean to illogical, like the "Casca only had sex with Guts to cope with not being with Griffith" argument or the "Casca had sex with Griffith in the wagon (despite his severe, physically crippling injuries)" scenario or the " Casca enjoyed being raped by Griffith" claim... After all of that, sentiments range from fans wanting Casca to return to Griffith after she is cured to Casca dying after she is cured if she can't quite fit in the paradigm. If you were never in the Griffith x Casca ship and were shipping for G x G to begin with, Casca's existence is but an anomally in the story and is brushed off altogether.
    • Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite being little Ship Tease between Serpico and Farnese and the fact that they're half-siblings, Serpico/Farnese is still a popular pairing within the Berserk fandom. Even though she's arranged to marry Roderick, there's not much approval for that pairing in the Berserk fandom (although it's important to note that this lack of approval does not extend to Roderick himself.)
    • And a very, VERY small, likes Judeau and Casca.
    • Toy Ship: Schierke, the Child Mage, is sometimes shipped with Isidro, the child swordsman of Guts' True Companions.
      • Other times Isidro is shipped with Isma, the half-merrow girl.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Despite its length in time, Berserk seldom drops any Anvil. However, when it does, it's rather upfront and direct about it. Aesops that the story conveys include:
    • There's a huge difference between what God is and what people want or believe Him to be.
    • Everything you do has an effect on you or your surroundings. Everything.
    • Fighting destiny is all well and good, but even a Determinator isn't assured to win in the end. It can go either way. Fate isn't always victorious but neither is willpower, no matter how strong.
    • There is no external reward for good actions. The only reason to do the right thing is because you choose to. Do not expect the universe to give you a pat on the head, or even refrain from kicking your ass. Likewise, there is no external punishment for wrong actions. The only reason not to screw your neighbor in the most horrific way possible is because you choose not to. (Interestingly, The Bible expressed much the same sentiment in Matthew, often quoted as "the sun shines on the righteous and unrighteous alike.")
    • Humanity is responsible for its own suffering.
  • Squick:
    • Void, one of the Godhand, has a grotesque face. It's a skull with a brain protruding out of it.
    • The Baron of Koka Castle's One Winged Angel form. His mouth looks like a vagina.
    • Also Wyald's Gag Penis.
    • The King of Midland's obsession with his daughter Charlotte.
    • How Slan manifests herself in the real world.
    • Rosine's Apostle-spawn elf-children sodomize one another to death with hornet stingers while crying, "Adult attack!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some fans view Casca's status in the story as such, seeing her as an interesting and complex character in her own right that had a lot of potential for character growth plot wise, but that was suddenly brought to a halt when she was driven insane by the Eclipse; some fans take it a bit further by saying how it was unfair for Casca to be fridged for the sake of Guts' character arc. Fans eagerly await for the day that Casca will be cured so that maybe she'll get some more development in.
    • Fans of Puck and Isidro often claim that they got pigeonholed as nothing but comic relief at some point, lamenting that their more interesting personality facets are being neglected.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Child in his demon form. Yes, he's squeamish, malformed, and was created under the most horrible circumstances, but you gotta remember that he is still a baby. So you notice that he still retains the infant-like chubbyness, puckered lips, and he even crawls like a five month old (in one panel, he crawls up to Casca's chest and laps up the blood from her brand as a twisted parallel to breastfeeding)! Call him a "freak" if you must, but he is an adorable one.
    • The little creature from Qliphoth, nick-named "Schnoz" by the fans because he's basically a head on legs with a giant nose. He's odd-looking to say the least, but the fact that he's pretty much harmless and is a Gag Nose personified makes him rather endearing.
  • Uncanny Valley: Aside from the invoked example in Rosine's elf minions, there is Griffith in his reincarnated form. The guy is so amazingly beautiful that you know something is wrong with him. Maybe it's in his eyes, which still retain his eerie slitted pupils that his Godhand form, Femto, has and thus he always seems to be giving you the Kubrick Stare constantly; or maybe it's just the way that he carries himself now, nearly completely devoid of emotion and, at worst, empathy, making any smile that he gives really unsettling. Either way, Griffith is on a divine level, and if Judeo-Christian mythos rings true, we are not suppose to be seeing him like this. Unfortunately, whenever this trope is invoked by the characters, they see him in the direct opposite light.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Mozgus says that all what he does is just God's will, and he did give some freaks a second chance, but he still believes that starving refugees and torturing them for the sake of it is perfectly justified.
    • It might give one a really weird, even disturbing, feeling when reading volume 9 where Guts described how Gambino sold him out to Donovan as a child prostitute or just how he was treated like shit by this complete asshole his entire childhood… and Guts doesn't say one bad thing about Gambino, a guy who downright said that the kid disgusted him and that he should have died instead of Sys (who was one of the few people who truly loved Guts in his whole life, along with Casca and a few of the Hawks Raiders and Guts' new True Companions in a hero-worship-y kinda way), just leaving little Guts utterly heartbroken to tears. Just looking at how a guy who runs on rage when fighting monsters, seethes with hatred toward the man who betrayed him in the same fashion, and is brutal toward anyone who gets in his way (for better goals or for not so good goals) and how he doesn't show any animosity toward the man who orchestrated such an horrific, traumatizing evil kinda says that if there is one magical entity that needs to manifest itself, now that the magic has come back to the world, it's counselors.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Whose ideas was it on the Tudor side to leave the gate of Doldrey wide open during the battle, so that Casca could rush her force inside the castle? If it was Adon's plan it was stupid even for him: he should have split up the invaders by closing the gate after Casca and the vanguard were inside, leaving the rest locked out. However, that also means that both Gennon and Boscone screwed up by leaving him the authority to do that in the first place, since it would have been much safer to lock them out and let Boscone's army mop them up. If they just left the door open as a matter of course, however, that really takes the cake.
    • While we're talking about Doldrey, Griffith would have to be pretty stupid and overconfident to count on his enemy making such a mistake as leaving the front door open while the main force was too far away to defend, when he seemingly had no inside help or intelligence that would help him make sure they would. Even if Adon hatched a harebrained scheme to lure Casca into a trap, Griffith had no way of knowing that, and clearly didn't since it came as a complete surprise to Casca, whom he would have told if it was part of the plan. Fans who found this irritating appreciated the movies for changing the whole operation to be much more plausible.
    • Again, Griffith. If you absolutely had to go throw away all of your hard-earned work by sleeping with the princess you should have at least taken Lupin's advice and take an alternative route.
  • Whole Plot Reference: A quiet and reserved warrior forms a friendship with a beautiful and ambitious warrior. The latter, however, makes a very wrong choice because of his ambitions and ends up brutally mauled. He overcomes his new-found handicaps and slaughters everyone involved in his ordeal. The reserved warrior becomes mad with the ambitious warrior and swears to kill him. The first time he tries it, he loses a hand. It's the first chapter of Suruga-Jō Gozen Jiai, a Japanese historical novel. Said chapter was later adapted into the manga/anime Shigurui.
  • The Woobie:
    • Both Guts and Casca qualify, especially post-Eclipse. As mentioned before, they just can't catch a break at all.
    • Jill. Let's see she has abusive parents, has to deal with her father's drunken friends, her best friend wants to turn her into an elf whether she likes it or not, and she lives in the Berserk Universe.
    • Pre-Eclipse Griffith, after sleeping with Charlotte. Yes, he wasn't innocent and had serious Yandere overtones, but still. He got tortured for a year, horrifically, merely because he beat the king to the punch in deflowering her. Then he became a powerless cripple in And I Must Scream situation. Then the Eclipse happened, he saw his former friend happen there (and yet knew exactly what was going to happen but was powerless to stop him) and he was Mind Raped into betraying his former friend. Femto/Griffith, however...
    • Theresia. Her mother was murdered. Her father become an evil demon and locked her in a room for most of her life. When she finally escaped her prison, it got even worse.
    • The Egg of the Perfect World. He was a deformed outcast who abused by the residents of St. Albion and forced to live in a hole full of dead bodies to protect himself. After he obtained his Behelit and become an Apostle, he wanted to create the perfect world. To do so, he sacrifices his life to give birth to Griffith.
    • The Baby. It's one thing to be born into the Berserkerverse, it's a more horrifying thing to be born into it under the worst circumstances imaginable. If none of this had happened, he would have been a normal little kid growing up with his parents - and they probably would not have made bad parents either. This whole family is just one. Big. Woobie.
    • Shit, every ordinary person in the Berserk universe probably qualifies. Shit, every person NOT under the Complete Monster entry.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Berserk