Guts | Griffith / Femto | Casca | Guts's Companions | Band of the Hawk | Kingdom of Midland | Antagonists (Godhand and Apostles) | Other Characters | Video Games
BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS! While we make an effort to cover some of the most important spoilers, we cannot guarantee that every potential spoiler will be hidden, or that those that are will be hidden consistently. Character bios in particular are likely to discuss late events in the manga. Lastly, some tropes are going to be spoilers because of their mere presence. You Have Been Warned!
This page is for antagonists in Berserk who don't belong on the Godhand and Apostles page.
The New Band of the Hawk
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Yasunobu Iwata (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Robert Krakovski (English, Berserk (1997)), Dave B. Mitchell (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, as Russell Nash), Joaquín Gómez (Spanish, Berserk (1997))
Gambino (ガンビーノ Ganbīno) is Guts' adoptive father. He headed the mercenary band Guts grew up in before joining the original Band of the Hawks. Before finding Guts, Gambino's lover Sys (シス Shisu) miscarried and he agreed to take Guts along since it seemed to be the only thing that prevented her from going mad with grief.
Gambino then trained Guts and taught him swordsmanship. But while he was good at his job of teaching the boy how to fight, he had no love for Guts as a father and hated him enough to sell him as a child prostitute for three silver coins and allow Donovan, one of his men, to have his way with him. He would only get worse after losing his leg to a cannonball during a battle, ending his career on the battlefield, and causing him to take to drinking and to put the blame of everything on Guts. One night when massively drunk, Gambino came into Guts' tent one night and tried to murder him, telling him that Sys should never have picked up Guts from his dead mother. He admitted to having sold Guts to Donovan, and when asked why, he called Guts disgusting, blaming him for Sys's death and telling him that the one who killed her could not be raised to be loyal like a dog. Guts killed Gambino in self-defense and fled the mercenary camp to escape the wrath of the other mercenaries.
The traumatic childhood Guts experienced scarred him for life and for that reason, Guts Hates Being Touched and is generally mistrustful of strangers.
- Abusive Dad: During the eleven years that he was Guts' adoptive father, Gambino gave the boy beatings, cut him on the nose with a sword, forced him to fight as a child soldier, sold him to be raped by a pedophile, and finally attempted to murder him. His verbal and emotional abuse had a deeply scarring effect as well, since the last thing he ever told him was that he deserved to die and that everything was his fault.
- Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed in Berserk (1997). Since Donovan is Adapted Out, Gambino's most despicable act of selling Guts to be raped never occurs. In addition, the cannon blast only breaks his leg this time around, meaning he wasn't permanently relying on Guts so when he does try to kill him his rage is focused more on Sys's death rather than his own self-pity over being crippled.
- Asshole Victim: Despite all the genuine guilt Guts has for killing him in self-defense, this guy was such an asshole that even if he didn't abuse Guts, his ruthlessness as a mercenary leader and on the battlefield was such that you'd wouldn't feel sorry for him at all when Guts killed him.
- Bury Your Disabled: Gambino was handicapped during a battle when his leg was blown off by a cannon. He wasn't killed off because he was disabled, but his disability probably did play a role in Guts being able to overpower him.
- Career-Ending Injury: He has to retire as an active mercenary after a messy leg injury.
- Cynical Mentor: His page quote pretty much sums up the philosophy that he taught to Guts.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Depicted in the 1997-98 anime with a bronzed complexion that contrasts with his blond hair.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: If anything, having his leg blown off just made Gambino hate Guts even more.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Gambino tried to get away from his career-ending and humiliating condition through alcohol.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite being an Abusive Dad and a ruthless mercenary, he did seem to genuinely love Sys. When he is recovering from his crippling leg injury he deliriously expresses regret for not being there with her on her death bed, and a large part of his hatred for Guts stems from the fact that he thinks Guts is responsible for Sys's death because he's a bad omen.
- Evil Cripple: Losing his leg did nothing to diminish his callousness.
- Evil Is Petty: He sold out his own adopted son to a pedophile mercenary for one single night, for 3 silver coins. Said mercenary then proceeded to rape him outright. Gambino failed to exist for long after this came out. And why did he do that? Because Gambino blamed Guts for his girlfriend Sys's untimely deathnote .
- Evil Mentor: He taught Guts how to fight and kill only because a good Child Soldier brings more money than a bad one.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Saw himself as the farmer and Guts as the viper, saying that Guts gave him nothing but evil for good after he took him in. Although blatantly untrue, the other mercenaries were convinced of it when they discovered that Guts had killed Gambino.
- Gone Horribly Right: Gambino put Guts trough relentless combat training practically from the moment he could walk so he would be profitable to him as a mercenary. When he eventually tries to kill Guts, it all explodes in his face since the twelve-year-old boy is already a far better fighter than he ever was and Guts kills him in a reflex action.
- Hate Sink: He repeatedly proves himself one of the most personally hateful characters in the story, between abusing Guts, putting him through Training from Hell, and even selling him to the pedophile Donovan for a cheap price. Gambino ends up dying when he drunkenly tries to murder his own son for "killing" the only woman he loves, which Guts had no control over and could not have prevented.
- Hypocrite: While training Guts, Gambino has absolutely no qualms against hitting and slicing the kid. When Guts actually succeeds in cutting him, however, he reacts angrily with a nasty slash across the nose.
- Jerkass: Gambino was never nice to anybody, especially not to his adopted son and even to Sys, who was probably the only person he ever loved. Unfortunately, he only got meaner as the years went by, especially after he lost his leg.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Initially seems like he might have some redeeming qualities beneath his harsh demeanor, but it's gradually revealed that he's exactly as cruel and vindictive as he appears to be.
- Karmic Death: The boy he abused and turned into a professional killer eventually goes on to kill him in an act of self-defense.
- Kick the Dog: Commits several memorable acts of cruelty against Guts, such as the incident where he cut Guts across the bridge of his nose during sword practice. The worst might have been when he sold Guts to Donovan for three silver coins.
- Master Swordsman: An absolutely vile person, but to his credit he does know how to use a sword even against heavily armored soldiers.
- Maternal Death? Blame the Child!: When he tries to murder Guts, Gambino says that Sys' death and the loss of his leg were caused by Gut's cursed luck and that he should have left him to die beneath his mother's corpse eleven years ago.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: When Gambino got cut across the cheek while training Guts, he got so pissed that he slashed Guts across the bridge of his nose, incapacitating him for quite a while and giving him the first of the many scars that he would carry as an adult.
- My Greatest Failure: Nope. Not kidding. Way at the beginning of the Golden Age arc, Sys was dying of tuberculosis with Guts at her side. The other women who were attending her were shocked and ashamed that Gambino went off to fight in a battle rather than be by Sys' side at her time of need. As Guts grew up, Gambino brushed off Sys' absence; however, Gambino later revealed in his delirious sleep that he did try to get back to Sys in time, but he was too late. It's safe to say that after this happened to Gambino, he began wallowing in guilt at not being able to get back to Sys before her death, and took out his feelings on the only person nearby: his adopted son, Guts. His misplaced hatred towards Guts would ultimately lead to his downfall.
- Offing the Offspring: Tried to kill his adoptive son while raging drunk, but he had trained the boy too well and instead was killed himself.
- Pet the Dog:
- Shortly after the practice where he lost his temper and cut Guts on the nose, he gave Guts a seashell containing medicine to rub on his wound. Even if it was only to ease his guilty conscience, it was one of the only nice things that he ever did for Guts, who remembers it during his first time with Casca.
- Another was when Gambino revealed in his sleep that he tried to come back to Sys when she was dying but arrived too late, showing that he really loved her after all and misses her terribly.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears for a couple of chapters, but his crappy parenting would shape Guts's personality for years to come and start a chain reaction that led up to the Eclipse. His constant abuse, lack of validation, and selling Guts for sex ensured that Guts had no self-esteem and an inability to trust and connect with other people. This would lead to Guts seeing himself as Griffith's inferior after he overheard Griffith talking about whom he considers his equal, and leaving the Band of the Hawk and Casca in pursuit of that dream because he didn't realize his place was with them all along. This leads to Griffith's breakdown and the first chain of events leading to the Eclipse. Once Guts lost all of his loved ones, he reverted back to how he was after he killed Gambino, except even more isolated and angry.
- The Sociopath: He's all of Guts' worst, most barbaric and sadistic traits rolled into one, minus anything remotely positive or redeemable, explaining where he got them from in the first place.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After he was crippled, Gambino was largely fed and cared for by Guts since he could no longer fight. Guts, in turn, did it with more eagerness for Gambino than Gambino ever did for Guts. Gambino didn't care. He was still abusive and eventually attempted to kill Guts, blaming him for everything. Having to rely on Guts was utterly humiliating for Gambino and likely further increased his anger and hate toward Guts.
- We Have Reserves: A favorite tactic of his on the battlefield was to send the rookies and fresh recruits in first to trigger the enemy archers. Including his adopted son.
- You Should Have Died Instead: When he tries to murder Guts, Gambino says that Sys' death and the loss of his leg were caused by Gut's cursed luck and that he should have left him to die beneath his mother's corpse eleven years ago.
Donovan (ドノバン Donoban) was a brutish and sadistic mercenary in Gambino's band to whom Gambino sold a nine-year-old Guts as a child prostitute for one night for three silver coins. Despite Guts' best efforts to fight the big man off, Donovan overpowered and raped him, resulting in serious issues later on in Guts' life. During the next battle, Guts took violent revenge upon him, shooting him with a crossbow before using his sword to finish him off.
- Adapted Out: Left out of Guts' childhood in the 1997-98 anime, apparently sparing Guts from the rape that happened in the manga. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I puts him back in as Guts' rapist, albeit as part of a rather confused flashback.
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: The only male character besides Gennon in the Golden Age Arc who's unambiguously homosexual, and they're both guilty of raping pre-pubescent boys.
- Asshole Victim: As a child-rapist who is killed in an undignified way.
- Bald of Evil: He is a bald pedophile.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He seemed honestly shocked when Guts ambushed and killed him. Believe it or not, this is Truth in Television, as many real-life pedophiles never even comprehend how much misery their "games" cause.
- Fish Eyes: His right eye always seems to be drifting off to the side. The reasons behind this are never elaborated, but it does serve to make him look even more unsettling and inhuman.
- Flat Character: No time or effort is taken on elaborating his personality; his only importance in the story is that he was a bad man, and he left Guts with a permanent trauma.
- Hate Sink: Donovan is a mercenary and sadistic pedophile who rapes Guts for a meager sum of three silver coins early in his life. This act traumatizes Guts for the rest of his life and nobody spares a glance when Guts kills him on the battlefield a mere day later.
- Psycho for Hire: Implied. We don't really know him long enough to learn about his motivations, but based on how he was cackling with glee while chopping down fleeing enemies, he just plain enjoys killing people.
- Rape and Revenge: After the rape, Guts took revenge on Donovan by killing him during a battle with Unfriendly Fire.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His rape of Guts, combined with a lack of any redeeming characterization, is meant to show that he is a totally evil human being who deserves his death at the hands of his victim.
- Scary Black Man: Enjoys raping and murdering people and looks quite intimidating.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I, the flashback has him raping Guts but leaves out the part where Guts killed him in revenge. While that doesn't necessarily mean that Guts didn't kill him off-screen, there is no evidence in the film itself that he died; for our purposes, he's like Schrodinger's cat who may or may not be dead.
- Unfriendly Fire: In the next battle after he had raped Guts, Guts shoots him in the back with a crossbow and stabs him dead in a secluded spot of woodland where it will look like the enemy got him.
- Would Hurt a Child: Uses violence to restrain Guts before he rapes him, including a brutal kick and a Neck Lift.
Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Kendo Kobayashi (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Patric Tansor (English, Berserk (1997)), Dave B. Mitchell (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, as Russell Nash), Ramón Canals (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Bazuso (バズソ Bazuso) is one of the earliest named adversaries faced by a young Guts at the beginnings of the Golden Age story arc. He's a rotund knight with an equally round helmet, which makes Guts call him a "teapot".
He is supposedly invincible but Guts makes a quick business of him. Watching him getting defeated by Guts is what made Griffith want Guts to join the band of the Hawks.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Swallows his pride and begs for mercy when Guts defeats him. It falls upon deaf ears.
- An Axe to Grind: Favors a heavy battleaxe, befitting his brutish and intimidating nature.
- Bring It: Dares anyone on the enemy side to challenge him.Bazuso: So?! Who wants to feel my legendary axe?!? COME ON!
- Defeating the Undefeatable: None of the other mercenaries believed that Bazuso could be defeated, so when Guts manages it everyone is mighty impressed.
- The Dreaded: All the other mercenaries in the siege know his fearsome reputation, and not a single one of them is brave enough to step forward and fight him except for Guts.
- The Faceless: We never do see what he looks like under that helmet. Not that it matters because Guts very quickly splits it in two.
- Eye Scream: When Guts slams his sword down on Bazuso's head, the force of the blow dislodges his right eye from his socket.
- Giant Mook: He's a good head or two taller than the other mooks, and much heavier besides.
- Heavily Armored Mook: He's got some impressive full plate armor, although it doesn't protect him from Guts' BFS.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Was in the middle of begging for mercy when Guts sliced his head in two, a move that demonstrates Guts' lack of hesitation about killing.Bazuso: (raises his hand) No, wait... I yield to the better man. Please have... mercy on—! (Guts' sword is lodged in his head.)
- One-Man Army: Given how Guts earned his own title later on, Bazuso is presumably called the 'Thirty-Man Slayer' because he took on thirty men at once and won. They also say he killed a bear unarmed. While we do see enough of his skill and power to make the feat somewhat plausible, it doesn't do anything to save him from Guts.
- Red Baron: Known as the "Grey Knight" for his grey armor, the "Bear Slaughterer" for supposedly killing a bear with his bare hands, and the "Thirty-Man Slayer" for slaying thirty men.
- Starter Villain: He is the first enemy of note that Guts fights after leaving Gambino's mercenary company. Certainly nothing compared to an apostle or some famous warriors such as Boscone, but he's way tougher than your average mook. He is also the first enemy fought by Guts in the first Golden Age movie.
- Stout Strength: He's big, round, and strong enough to send men flying with his axe. Supposedly he killed a bear using his bare hands.
- The Worf Effect: Bazuso's entire purpose for his brief existence in the story. He is introduced as an unbeatable warrior and infamous manslayer, towering over his enemies in his impenetrable blood-stained armor as they cower before him and tell stories of his many feats. Despite all of this, Guts fearlessly dispatches him with little difficulty, effectively demonstrating his prestigious prowess even in youth.
A nobleman with a loutish, violent son whom he is overly proud of, the Viscount (子爵 Shishaku) is nothing if not a doting father. Guts ends up imprisoned by him in a story from before he met the Band of the Hawk. Believing that his son should get some practice before going into actual warfare, the Viscount places Guts in a dungeon cell and informs him that he will be dueling his son in a foot combat to the death—Guts' death that is. At first he enjoys the spectacle in the courtyard, but things do not go according to his plan.
- Adipose Rex: If not royalty he is at least high nobility, and is rather fat. Judging by his son it runs in the family, although the boy posesses Stout Strength.
- Affably Evil: Unflappably jolly, and even when Guts spits in his face he takes it as a good sign that he's full of vigor instead of getting offended.
- Blue Blood: He is very rich and presumably of an old and noble bloodline.
- Doting Parent: He think his son is the best, most talented boy in the universe and cannot be convinced otherwise. As a result he has spoiled the boy and failed to curb his violent tendencies. This is Lampshaded when Guts calls him a "Dottard Daddy", which the Viscount mishears as "Doting Daddy".
- Even Evil Has Standards: While he sees no problem in throwing away the life of a captured enemy soldier to his violent son, when his son attempted to murder a peasant, the Viscount is noted to have stepped in on the peasant's behalf.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The Viscount rubs medicine on Guts' wounds and tells his guards to stop hitting the prisoner because he needs Guts strong enough for the fight. Since he can't be too strong, however, he does not give him food or water and leaves him in a cold cell with only straw for bedding.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: He subscribes to this idea, and it's the reason he has arranged for his son to kill Guts as a warm-up for battle.
- Villainous Breakdown: He totally freaks out when Guts puts out his son's eye and takes him hostage, and simply faints when his son gets hit with a crossbow bolt aimed at Guts.
- Animal Motifs: Like Midland, each of its military units is named after a color and some fearsome animal, which is often reflected in the decoration of their armor. There's the Black Ram Iron Lance Heavy Cavalry, Adon's Blue Whale Ultra Heavy Assault Annihilation Knight Corps, and Boscogn's Purple Rhino Knights. These animals are usually represented in their highly sculpted armor.
- Bling of War: Tudor's knights are much enamored of exotically-shaped armor, ostrich-plumed helmets, colorful horse trappings, etc.
- Corrupt Church: The Empire uses the mission of spreading the monotheistic religion of the Holy See to justify its conquest of the Grand Duchy of Grant, and forces "Conversion education" on captured youths.
- The Empire: While Midland is a Kingdom whose king is just and whose people are good even if the nobles are rotten, Tudor is called an Empire and depicted as nothing but an oppressive, warmongering bad neighbor.
- Hellhole Prison: Fort Chester is a site of indoctrination, torture, and death for captured Grantian youth.
- Large Ham Title: As the light novel's narration notes of the Amphibious Raid Wild Beast Knights, it's typical for groups of Tudor knights to sport an excessively embellished title.
- Named After Someone Famous: They're named after the House of Tudor, the ruling dynasty of England, Wales and Ireland from 1485 until 1603. The original Dark Horse translation of the manga renders their name as "Chuder", but it is updated to "Tudor" in The Flame Dragon Knight.
- P.O.W. Camp: The aforementioned Fort Chester.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Grunbeld has witnessed the Empire's frequent atrocities in Grant, including rape, torture, and massacres.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: A clear sign of the Empire's evilness is that there are so many rapists in their army, from unnamed soldiers to Adon, Gennon, and Abecassis.
- Succession Crisis: A sudden crisis over the succession of the throne ties up their forces, giving Midland's commanders and Griffith a window of opportunity to retake Doldrey.
General Adon Coborlwitz (アドン Adon)
Voiced by: Tessho Genda (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Rikiya Koyama (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Mike Pollock (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Alfonso Vallés (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Adon Corbolwitz is the big and bragging leader of the Tudor Empire's Blue Whale Knights. A Straw Misogynist who thinks that all women should Stay in the Kitchen, he slanders Casca by calling her a whore who got her position by sleeping with Griffith and claims that he will teach her why women shouldn't be allowed on the battlefield. Adon makes much of his self-described military cunning and the "secret techniques" he claims have been passed down in his family for generations, but in reality he's a Dirty Coward and Miles Gloriosus who doesn't live up to his boasts. Also a disaster as a leader and strategist, he's still somewhat dangerous to the protagonists if only because of his considerable brute strength and the fact that he lacks any sense of shame about stooping to the lowest of dirty tricks.
While he manages to overwhelm Casca with his attacks because she is on her period and suffering from fatigue, Guts intervenes and serves him a humiliating defeat by cutting off a large part of his face and his right eye. Unfortunately at this moment Casca collapses from her exhaustion and Adon shoots Guts in the side while he's reaching to save her, sending both of the falling over a cliff into a river. When the two of them pull themselves together and try to rejoin the Hawks, Adon intercepts them in a forest and attacks with at least one hundred mercenaries and his own giant younger brother Samson in his vain attempts to kill them. Chastened after this incident and stripped of field command by General Boscone, he stands in Casca's way for the last time during the battle of Doldrey. Being far the better fighter at her full strength, Casca defeats the slimy Adon once and for all and raises the Hawks' flag over the castle.
- Animal Motifs: Sea creatures. At first it's whales; he's the leader of the Blue Whale Knights, and his armor and helm are all designed after whales. In his last battle with Casca, he wears shark-themed armor while his brother's armor is designed after an Angler Fish.
- Ascended Extra: He got a couple of extra appearances as a recurring minor antagonist in the 1997-98 anime.
- Calling Your Attacks: He feels the need to do this when facing off against Guts, and all of his techniques have fancy names like "Rock-Cutting Whirlwind/Ganzan Senpuu" or "Furious Attack Thunderclap Burst/Ressha Jinrai". It... doesn't work too well.
- Clingy Comedy Villain: Gets easily defeated by the heroes each time but keeps surviving like a cockroach and coming back for more, especially in the 1997-98 anime where his role is expanded.
- Combat Pragmatist: A cowardly and villainous example who keeps a crossbow on his person for cheap shots, and isn't too proud to play dead or make a perfidious surrender.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: Adon is killed by the same person — Casca — in all interpretations of the Golden Age, but the methods on how Casca kills him is different.
- In the manga, Casca uses her sword to vault over Adon's head as he's charging. Then as he's turning to face her, she lands and cuts Adon a Glasgow Grin with a single sweep. The slice cuts into his skull and he falls dead almost silently.
- In the 1997 Anime, Casca performs the same action, only she slices higher and bifurcates Adon's head horizontally, cutting a nice hairline under his eyes and above his nose. Adon stumbles backward screaming before falling flat on his back. Since it doesn't show Adon's head afterwards, it's implied that Casca cut clean through his head, and his brains spilled on the ground.
- In the second Golden Age movie, Casca manages to snatch a longsword from his belt and impales him through the mouth with it, killing him instantly.
- Dirty Coward: Prefers to attack targets who are at a disadvantage, and when the tables turn he invariably uses dirty tricks or abandons his men in order to save his own life.
- Establishing Character Moment: His very first appearance shows him making an Incoming Ham announcement stating his chauvinist principles and boasting of his power, but then Guts curb stomps him and he has to resort to shooting Guts while he's rescuing Casca. Already we know we're dealing with a Large Ham, Straw Misogynist, Miles Gloriosus Dirty Coward.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Implied when he watches Guts kill Samson. He looks shocked and horrified as his brother falls dead from a crushing blow to the head, implying that he genuinely cared for Samson... of course, not enough to actively do anything about it. Rather he just sends more men after Guts instead of going up to face Guts himself. Some brother...
- Eyepatch of Power: At the battle of Doldrey he shows up wearing an eye patch, and indeed looks very dastardly and menacing, but the trope is subverted when he gets his ass handed to him even harder than before by Casca.
- Glasgow Grin: In the manga, Casca kills him by slicing through both his cheeks with her sword, cutting into his skull. This is a rare case where this is inflicted in the heat of battle rather than on a helpless victim.
- Hate Sink: While the Hundred Year War is strictly business from the point of view of the mercenary protagonists, and Tudor as a whole isn't really painted in a villainous light, Adon is such an obnoxious, cowardly and misogynist individual, that it's easy to root for the Hawks and Midland's victory over the empire when he's the most recurring antagonist they have to face. Of course, he's not Gennon, but...
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the second Golden Age movie, Casca kills him this way by snatching a sword from his belt and stabbing him with it... right in his bragging mouth.Casca: Chew on that, bastard.
- Incoming Ham: Adon is constitutionally unable to enter a scene without trumpeting the size of his ego:
- Upon meeting Casca on the battlefield, he bellows the challenge quoted above at the top of his voice while twirling his trident above his head. The fact that he has such an outrageously long title for his knight division tells you what kind of braggart he is.
- During the battle of Doldrey, when Casca is about to reach the castle's battlements, he reveals himself at the top of the stairs wearing elaborately villainous armor and exclaims, "Sha-sha-SHOCK!!! ADONNN!!!" Casca's annoyed expression seems to say, "Oh no, not this loser again."
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: General Boscogn doesn't literally rip his insignia off, but he sends a pretty clear message when he puts an ax an inch in front of Adon's face, calls him a disgrace for his incompetence and cowardice in the Hundred Man Fight fiasco, and revokes his command authority for the remainder of the war, all in the presence of his lackeys and within earshot of Governor Gennon.
- Karmic Death: Adon gets his repeatedly provoked and richly deserved comeuppance when Casca viciously curb-stomps and slays him in a very one-sided duel.
- Large Ham: Loudly boasts about his purported combat prowess, and often overplays his antics to the point of looking outright buffoonish.
- Laughably Evil: One of the most hilarious villains in the series, although in his case we're definitely laughing at him, not with him.
- Little Big Brother: Adon is a large man, but still smaller than his humongous younger brother Samson.
- Miles Gloriosus: Presents himself boisterously as the winner of many battles but is quick to retreat when he meets an opponent strong enough to stand against him.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- If he hadn't let Casca's division inside the castle in order to ambush them, Doldrey might not have fallen to the Hawks in the manga and the 1997-98 anime.
- As crazy as it sounds, had Adon never pulled that dirty stunt on the cliff, and later brought 100 men to track and kill them, Guts and Casca might not have ever have reconciled with each other.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: More notable in the anime where his recurring role lends him to comedic buffoonery. After two previous encounters ending with Adon screwing up and running away, he's able to unhorse Casca when he finally has a head to head confrontation with the Hawks. Even though Casca had a case of Worf Had the Flu at the time, he also takes on a squadron of Hawks by himself and tears through them with ease. Adon may be a cowardly Butt-Monkey but that doesn't mean he can't be a threat.
- Prongs of Poseidon: The trident is his weapon of choice, in keeping with his army's sea creature theme. At the Battle of Doldrey, he trades it for a ranseur.
- Ranged Emergency Weapon: While he mainly uses his trident, he keeps a crossbow handy for cheap shots. Ironically he does more damage to Guts and Casca this way.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: He was commanded by General Boscone to stay in the castle during the Battle of Doldrey so he wouldn't screw anything up anymore than he already did. However, Adon's capacity for failure made even that a fiasco.
- Running Gag: His bragging about the various "secret" battle techniques that have been passed down to him through the Corbolwitz family, in increments that keep getting bigger from 140 to 200, 700, and eventually 1,000 years. And how almost none of them actually do him any good. The only one that actually helps him is the simple act of playing dead.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Constantly tells Casca that women are unfit for battle. She eventually shows him up.
- Straw Misogynist: A nasty misogynist who always brings up Casca's sex as a reason why she shouldn't be involved in battle at all, but of course he gets proven wrong.
- I Surrender, Suckers: While fighting Casca inside the castle and finding himself outmatched, he suddenly kneels in front of Casca and begs to be spared. Casca and even Adon's own men are disgusted by this shameless grovelling, but it distracts Casca enough for him to shoot her with a poisoned crossbow bolt that will quickly paralyze her.
- Talking Is a Free Action: He acts as if this is true, but it bites him in the butt whenever he opens his mouth to boast to Casca or Guts about how awesome he is and how each of his attacks was passed down through the Corbolwitz line for however many years, as they use it as an opportunity to attack him when he's not paying attention.Adon (as Casca attacks him as he's talking): AT LEAST WAIT UNTIL I'M FINISHED SPEAKING!Casca: (points her sword at Adon's throat) How about shutting your mouth?!
- This Cannot Be!: His last words are ladden with this as Casca prepare to land the fatal blow on him.Adon: What...?! Impossible...!
- Threatening Shark: When Casca's team secretly invades Doldrey under the main army's nose, he and his men ambush her, with him clad in elaborately embossed shark-themed armor. Ultimately subverted, as he is of absolutely no threat to her.
- Villain Decay: As far as the manga imagery goes, Adon's first appearance is actually pretty intimidating, as he kills a few of the Hawks and manages to get Casca in a vulnerable position. After his first defeat by Guts, well, the rest is history.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: He successfully escaped death in situations that he blatantly got himself and his men into, usually by playing dead.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Adon had boasted that no mere woman could beat him in a fight, until he was utterly trashed in his final duel with Casca.
- Weapon of Choice: As stated above, a trident that harmonizes with his knight division's whale/shark theme. He later uses a ranseur when he dons his shark armor at Doldrey.
- We Have Reserves: Sends wave after wave after wave of mercenaries (numbering about a hundred in total) on Guts. There are no survivors except Adon himself.
Samson Coborlwitz (サムソン, Samuson)
Second-in-command of the Blue Whale Knights and Adon's Big Little Brother, Samson is a hulking giant whose weapon is a massive flail.
- Alluring Anglerfish: His Cool Helmet is shaped like the head of an anglerfish, fitting with the Blue Whale Knights' sea creature theme.
- Big Little Brother: Although younger than Adon and subservient to him in rank, Samson is by far the bigger and stronger of the two.
- Dumb Muscle: Seems limited to a two-syllable vocabulary, and relies on brute strength to crush his foes.
- Epic Flail: His Weapon of Choice is a spiked ball on a long chain, which he spins so fast that one can barely keep track of it. Adon boasts that Samson's iron ball can crush the skull of a water buffalo in one strike, and when Guts first deflects it the ricochet crushes the head of a hapless Tudor mercenary inside his helmet.
- Heavily Armored Mook: His full plate armor is three times thicker than normal, and Adon claims that Samson could get buried by a rock slide without even being dented. Unfortunately his opponent happens to be Guts, against whom Armor Is Useless.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: When Guts shatters the ball of his flail and comes rushing toward him, he doesn't even have time to finish saying "fast" before Guts cleaves his head in two.
- Shields Are Useless: Carries a stout shield for protection, with three wavy blades attached to it for good measure, but putting it up doesn't save him from Guts, who chops right through it.
- Spikes of Villainy: Wears spike-studded armor for extra intimidation.
Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Takayuki Sugo (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Richard Springle (English, Berserk (1997)), T.J. Storm (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Santi Lorenz (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The highest ranking general in Tudor, and commander of the empires most powerful army, the Purple Rhino Knights, General Boscone (ボスコーン Bosukōn) is both an expert battlefield commander and a One-Man Army in his own right. He leads the defence force at Doldrey, and is one of several reasons why the fortress remains impregnable. He is first seen confronting Adon about the fiasco in which he lost a hundred men to Guts, displaying his intolerance of irresponsibility and cowardice. Placed under the authority of Lord Gennon, Boscone treats the Governor with polite deference but is privately disgusted by Gennon's sexual tastes and frustrated by his master's ill-advised interference with strategy.
During the Battle of Doldrey, Boscone suspects from the start that Griffith is up to something. Noting that even a complete amateur wouldn't make the mistake of attacking with such a small number of troops on terrain where they can't retreat, and what's more divide his already small force in two with the leader at the front, he cannot understand what Griffith is planning right away, even though he still intends to fight against him full force.
In the meantime, Casca's cavalry rushes in the undefended entrance of the castle and fights the defenders inside. Boscone confronts Guts in a climactic duel in which he manages to unhorse the Hundred Man Slayer and sunder his weapon, but just as Boscone is about to give the finishing blow, Nosferatu Zodd throws Guts a giant sword out of the blue with which Guts decapitates Boscone and his horse in one stroke. Without their general, and seeing that the castle has been taken, the Tudor forces scatter and are driven from the field.
- Adaptational Wimp: Not the biggest downgrade, but still noticeable: In the manga and 1997 anime, Guts only manages to defeat Boscone thanks to Nosferatu Zodd throwing him a sword to replace his shattered one. In the Golden Age movies, Guts manage to defeat him without that help.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Hes the most skilled and esteemed general in Tudor, and is easily a match for Guts!
- Bald of Evil: His shiny pate signifies that, while not pointlessly evil, he is a big scary person on the bad guy team.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Not only are his eyebrows huge, they're kind of shaped like batarangs. Appropriately, they make him look macho and serious.
- Consummate Professional: He believes that a soldier should never let personal feelings impede their duties, and refuses to let Adon's irresponsible actions go unpunished. He is also frustrated with Gennon's tendency to let his own private whims dictate strategy.
- Cool Helmet: His elaborate helmet is shaped like a cross between a rhinoceros and a triceratops.
- Da Chief: He revokes Adon's command privileges and reassigns him to the Garrison as punishment for his recklessness.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: When Guts beheads Boscone, Tudor's soldiers gawk in disbelief that the undefeated Boscone met his end. Afterwards, Guts is hailed as a hero for defeating Tudor's strongest general.
- The Dragon: Gennon is the Arc Villain, and Boscone his second-in-command. In order to topple Gennon, the heroes have to defeat Boscone first.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Everyone knows that Boscone is the most formidable fighter and tactician in Doldrey, while Lord Gennon is clearly out of his depth. Even though he has no choice but to acquiesce when Gennon takes over personal command of the battle, it is his death that crushes the morale of the army and wins the battle for the Hawks.
- The Dreaded: The whole Midland army fears him as an unbeatable opponent, and even Guts gets scared while fighting him.
- Establishing Character Moment: When we first see him, he calls Adon a disgrace for getting one hundred mercenaries and his own brother killed in pursuit of a personal grudge and coming back alone. He practically scares the pants off Adon with his axe and angrily reassigns him to Antarctica before apologizing to Gennon for making a scene. This establishes that he is both a scary guy and a consummate professional devoted to honor and discipline.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While he doesn't have a problem following Gennon's orders, he is privately disgusted by Gennon's pederasty.
- Four-Star Badass: He is both the highest ranking general and one of Tudor's strongest warriors.
- Genius Bruiser: Colossal and mighty, he is also Tudor's military mastermind.
- Homage: In keeping with Kentaro Miura's love of classic science fiction, his name is one to the evil civilization of Boskone from the Lensman novels.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: His loyalty to his country and his duty is what motivates him, and he merely obeys Gennon because despite his incompetence and loathsomeness he still represents that authority.
- Off with His Head!: Guts spectacularly decapitates both Boscone and his horse in one swing.
- One-Man Army: During the Battle of Doldrey, Guts has to admit that fighting Boscone by himself feels worse than facing Adon's hundred mercs, and that there is a very real possibility that he will die this time.
- Punch-Clock Villain: There doesn't appear to be any fault in his personal moral character, and he is simply fighting for his countrys interests.
- Purple Is Powerful: He and his Purple Rhino Knights are Tudor's most powerful warriors.
- Rhino Rampage: The theme of his armor and army.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name is variously spelled Boscone, Boscogn, or Boscogne.
- Spikes of Villainy: His pauldrons and couters end in points much like the horns of a rhino.
- This Is Unforgivable!: He calls Adon's behavior in the 100 man fight inexcusable, and swings down his axe as if to kill Adon before stopping short and revoking his command authority.
- Tin Tyrant: He's the chief antagonist in the battle and wears the heaviest, scariest-looking suit of armor in the Tudor forces. Justified because in a medieval battle that's what you'd expect the commander to be wearing.
- Weapon of Choice: His favorite weapon is a long-hafted berdiche, with which he is capable of cutting men in half.
- Worthy Opponent: When he encounters Guts on the battlefield he is forced to admit that the rumors of his prowess might not have been far from the truth, and recognizes that he will be a worthy challenge.
Voiced by: Shoji Oki (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Kazuki Yao (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Fred Velde (English, Berserk (1997), Episode 5), Rick Mann (English, Berserk (1997), Episodes 15-16), Steve Kramer (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Gennon (ゲノン Genon) is an extremely wealthy high-ranking noble of the Tudor Empire. A homosexual and notorious pederast, he keeps many young male Sex Slaves. During the early days of the Band of the Hawk he hired them for a number of jobs, during which he developed a lust for Griffith that culminated when Griffith agreed to sleep with him for a night in exchange for funds to support the growing Band.
Some years later, Gennon manages to rise through bribery rather than merit to the position of Governor-general and Supreme Commander of the Tudor Army's Northern battlefront, placing him in charge of the defense of Doldrey and Boscone's Purple Rhino Knights. He is intrigued when spies inform him that the Band of the Hawk will be attacking Doldrey, and sees this as an opportunity to win the prize he has lusted for ever since their parting. Gennon orders Boscone to take Griffith alive, but during the battle he fears that Boscone will disobey his orders and personally takes command.
Griffith's plan all along was to use Gennon's predictability to lure the army away from Doldrey so that Casca's force could take it by storm, and after his armies are routed Gennon is killed by Griffith so that he cannot tell anyone of the night that Griffith sold his body to him.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc makes him less of a sexual predator. Rather than keeping clearly underage boys as Sex Slaves, he has a Paid Harem of attractive young men who seem to genuinely enjoy the life of luxury he offers them.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: While he has black hair in the manga and the 1997-98 anime, he's depicted as white-haired in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II.
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: Like most villainous gay characters in the story, he is only attracted to young boys and adolescents.
- Antagonistic Governor: Serves as the governor of Doldrey and is not only an enemy of the Band of the Hawk, but sexually depraved to boot.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: A very powerful, very malicious nobleman.
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: This is what he intents to do when he gets his hands on Griffith in the Battle of Doldrey, except he never gets the chance.
- Bald of Evil: Being bald and having a large beard are played for sinister unattractiveness.
- Beard of Evil: See above.
- Blue Blood: He's high nobility and obscenely wealthy, which is probably what allows him to get away with things like bribery and pedophilia.
- Depraved Homosexual: He keeps boys from nearby villages in sexual slavery, and hopes to capture Griffith and make him his by any means.
- Dirty Old Man: Despite his advanced age his sexual appetite is insatiable. Unlike most examples he is only attracted to little boys, and is definitely villainous.
- Evil Old Folks: An old man whose evil deeds only multiply with age.
- Eye Scream: Griffith disposes of him by thrusting his sword through his eye.
- General Failure: No military credentials, but he insists on ignoring the instincts of his world famous general and orders a disorganized pursuit. Since he has both civilian and military authority this overlaps with Pointy-Haired Boss.
- A Glass of Chianti: Sips lecherously from a wine goblet as he gives Boscone his orders.
- Has a Type: In Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II he has a Paid Harem composed of young men who bear a remarkable resemblance to Griffith.
- The Hedonist: What he cares about most is his own pleasure, and especially sex. This is emphasized more in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc where he has an enormous hot springs installed on top of the fortress, and frolics there with large numbers of frisky, attractive young men.
- He Knows Too Much: Griffith kills Gennon partly because he doesn't want him blabbing about their night together.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Due to his lustful feelings for Griffith, he does everything he can to prevent the Purple Rhinos from using their full might on the Hawks, going so far as to take command during the battle despite Boscone being a much more competent military leader. Griffith himself counted on this trope as part of his battle plan.
- Paid Harem: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc depicts him with what looks like one of these; While the manga portrays him with boys in their early teens or below who are obviously abused sex slaves, his companions in the movie are Griffith look-alikes in at least their late teens who seem to be enjoying (or at least pretending to enjoy) the life of luxury that Gennon offers them in exchange for their sexual favors. They all end up dead by the time the battle's over.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: As a governor, Gennon is as incompetent as he is evil. He would probably be an Upper-Class Twit except for the fact that he has actual responsibilities, unfortunately for his underlings.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He promoted himself to the status of Supreme Commander of the front lines of Tudor through his financial assets - not that that means he actually knows what he's doing.
- Serial Rapist: Most of his servant boys have been raped by him so many times that they've become numb with resignation.
- Smug Snake: He thinks that he's unassailable because he has a mighty fortress, a powerful army, and an enormous fortune, but he didn't earn any of these things himself, fails to make proper use of them and ends up losing them because of his inflated view of his abilities.
- Tin Tyrant: He goes into battle wearing some fancy armor patterned after fashionable clothes, but this does him little good besides showing his vanity.
- Unwitting Pawn: Doldrey was captured only because this moron honestly saw Griffith as the love of his life and he thought the feeling was mutual. Something Griffith was completely aware off and didn't hesitate to take advantage off. When you think of it, that does come off as a little sad. (but not too much)
- I Want Them Alive: His number one order to Boscone is to capture Griffith alive, since Griffith is his Lust Object.
Kushan Empire and Bakiraka Clan
Tropes that the Bakiraka and Kushan have in common:
- Beast of Battle: The Kushans make frequent use of magically-altered and/or -controlled animals called Pishacha as shock troops, scouts, and terror weapons. Elephants and crocodiles are given increased intelligence, including the ability to walk upright and and carry weapons; tigers become horse-sized and gain More Teeth than the Osmond Family; whales are transformed into nightmarish elephant/fish monsters that sink ships with ease.
- Decadent Court: The royal court is full of backstabbing, and Ganishka was only able to become emperor by killing several of his own family members.
- The Empire: An expansionist state with a huge military that takes over and enslaves other countries, it is ruled by an emperor who wants to Take Over the World.
- Interservice Rivalry: The other elements of the Kushan army look down on the Bakiraka Clan, who were driven from the empire because they supported the deposed former ruling family, while Silat is determined not to give up the chance to capture Griffith and win back his clan's freedom. Locus explains to Mule that the Kushan are made of multiple factions brought together by force, and that their internal divisions can be exploited.
- Made a Slave:
- Slavery exists in the Kushan Empire, and it might not be too much to say that every person beneath the emperor is a slave in some fashion.
- As Schierke finds out in Vritannis, the countries in the Holy Alliance also enslave Kushan people and treat them horribly. When Vritannis is designated as the capital of the alliance against the Kushan Empire, all the adult Kushan slaves in the city are hanged as a scapegoat and their children rounded up to be sold elsewhere.
- The Magocracy: While it may not have always been this way, with Ganishka in charge and Daiba as his right-hand wizard the empire is ruled by those with magical powers.
- Million Mook March: The Kushan invade Midland and the neighboring countries with seemingly endless battalions of soldiers arranged in neat formation. The defenders of Virtannis despair at the display of force outside the walls, estimating there must be hundreds of thousands.
- Punch-Clock Villain: While the leaders and officers are depicted as cruel, many of the rank and file foot soldiers are implied to be Just Following Orders or afraid of what their superiors will do to them if they don't obey.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The Kushan are cruel and rapacious conquerors who take whatever they can use and destroy what they can't.
- Religion of Evil: The religion the Kushan practice seems to involve a lot of Powered by a Forsaken Child and Human Sacrifice.
- Sim Sim Salabim: Their whole theme is based on The Theme Park Version of India, or specifically the real life Indo-Persian Kushan Empire. They've got an evil religion based on Hinduism, yogis and gurus with supernatural powers, turbans, elephants, exotic weapons, the whole shebang.
- Slave Mooks: The War Slaves are captured enemies of the empire forced to fight in the front line, lest they be killed by the troops behind them for trying to desert. They will either kill or be killed by their own countrymen, which the Kushan use to break the enemy's will to fight.
- This Was His True Form: Whenever Daka or war beasts are killed, they revert to the human or animal forms they were created from by morning.
- We Have Reserves: Ganishka's military machine is based on sheer manpower, and his commanders will typically first send in the War Slaves as Cannon Fodder before the regulars overwhelm the enemy with discipline and numbers. His regular soldiers are treated better than the War Slaves, but when push comes to shove he will sacrifice as many of them as he has to in order to win.
Voiced by: Yūichi Nakamura (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, Berserk (2016), and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), JB Blanc (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, credited as "John White"), Lex Lang (Japanese, Berserk (2016)), Jordi Nogueras (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 182 cm (5 ft, 11 in); Weight: 75 kg (165 lb, 5 oz); Age: 25
Silat (シラット Shiratto) is a proud Warrior Prince of the Bakiraka (バーキラカ Bākiraka) clan first encountered by Guts as an opponent in a tournament during his one-year absence from the Band of the Hawk. Using his clan's martial arts techniques and an array of exotic weapons he defeats all comers in the tournament, until he is bested by Guts. Soon after he is hired by Midland to lead an ambush on the outlawed Band of the Hawk, managing to put Casca in dire straights, but Guts intervenes and defeats him, forcing him to withdraw. For a while afterward he is not seen as part of the story.
Silat reappears in the Conviction Arc where he is trying to capture Guts and Co right after the end of the mock Eclipse, but gets interrupted by the resurrection of Griffith and is forced to retreat. Upon reuniting with the Kushan army he gets berated for his inefficiency in stopping the growing influence of the new Band of the Hawk. He thus far has stayed in the background, watching the events unfold without interfering and has been seen briefly chasing after Rakshas, with whom he has some bad history. Despite his position in the Kushan army, he is not especially loyal to Ganishka.
At the onset of the Final Battle between Griffith and Ganishka, he clearly questioned Griffith's legitimacy as a messiah and told his fellow Kushans who allied themselves to him that he despises those who blindly follow so-called demigods.
He reappears in Falconia, still mistrustful of Griffith, and forms an unexpected alliance with the deserting Rickert, whom he saves from an assassination attempt from Rakshas. Learning that Rickert shares a dislike for the so-called Falcon of Light, he offers to spirit both Rickert and Erica away to his home village hidden in the mountains, in exchange for all the information Rickert knows about Griffith. Helped by the reformed Daiba, Silat and his bodyguards pull a spectacular Indy Escape from the pursuing Rakshas, with both Rickert and Erica in tow, as they all fly away from Falconia.
His motives thus far, apart from returning his clan to its previous glory, are pretty unclear just like his allegiances, making him a Wild Card.
He has the appearance of a dark-skinned Biseinen with long hair and is always accompanied by his grotesquely muscled bodyguards, the Tapasa.
- Adapted Out: In the 1997-98 anime he is nowhere to be seen, probably because of the limited nature of the adaptation which could not account for how prominent he and the Kushan would be in later story arcs. For the tournament where Guts fought him in the manga, Guts instead fights the guy that Silat defeated before fighting him in the original version. His role in the night attack on the Hawks' camp where he almost kills Casca before Guts rescues her is given to an anonymous soldier. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III brings him back, leaving out the tournament and instead introducing him in the night attack so that he can potentially appear in future adaptations.
- Agent Peacock: He uses graceful weapons such as his urumis, likes to perform and fights hand-to-hand in She-Fu style. So yeah, he appears a tad fruity... but Silat is just another proof that judging a book by its cover is a very bad idea in the Berserk-verse.
- Arrow Catch: While being chewed out by a Kushan general for failing to complete his mission, Silat catches an arrow in fight just inches before it hits the guy's face. He makes it even more badass by saying in Dramatic Deadpan, "There are more pressing issues."
- Biseinen: Silat is a lean-muscled, long-haired, and androgynous man who fights in an elegant manner.
- Badass Normal: He has no supernatural powers, but years of dedicated practice have made him a highly skilled and deadly martial arts practitioner, rarely finding warriors who can match him, and looks cool while kicking ass. He expertly uses deadly exotic weapons that could easily decapitate their own wielder if used by the less trained, catches arrows in midair, and just has an air of smug confidence. After Guts defeats him, he becomes less cocky and works to become stronger. By the time he's re-introduced post-Eclipse, one of Griffith's top apostles, Rakshas, acknowledges Silat's improved abilities when they fight.
- Calling Your Attacks: During his fight with Guts in the Hawks' camp, he yells "Suffer the dance of ten blades!" while twirling his urimis.
- Character Development: In the Golden Age arc, Silat is initially a proud and spoiled exiled prince. He receives a wake-up call after being twice defeated by Guts and experiencing the dishonour of his house. Upon realizing the harshness of the world, he becomes more reserved, intelligent and cautious. He also trains to improve his abilities.
- Consummate Professional: He takes his clan's profession very seriously, which is why he hates Rakshas' Psycho for Hire attitude:"Hedonist murderer. You may be God's gift to killing, but to be Bakiraka is to be lethal. Assassins administer death! They do not toy with it!"
- Cool Mask: Silat usually wears a scarf over the lower part of his face, although he can frequently be seen without it.
- Crazy-Prepared: Judging by the variety of weapons he's carrying, Silat wants to be ready for anything.
- Deadly Disc: His chakra are small discs of metal sharpened on the outside, which he uses with deadly effectiveness. They also act as a Precision-Guided Boomerang and can be made to follow improbable trajectories.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Silat and the Bakiraka clan in general tend to go barefoot everywhere. Silat does have a pair of boots which he wore during the Golden Age Arc, but he's been barefoot since then.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Silat is pretty ruthless, but even he is appalled by Ganishka's use of forbidden and unnatural magic such as the Reincarnator. He also detests Rakshas, a former member of the Bakiraka clan, for treating killing like a sadistic game, saying that Bakiraka are supposed to have higher standards.
- Excellent Judge of Character: He seems to be one of the few characters to completely see through Griffith's charisma. Most people tend to be sucked in, especially after the founding of Falconia; even Rickert, who knew some of the truth, was almost convinced. Silat distrusted him from the start, and immediately sought out someone who could prove his suspicions, recognizing that Griffith wasn't human.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Downplayed. Most non-Kushan opponents unfamiliar with his weaponry are bewildered by their capabilities: he uses his katars to trap and break opponents' swords, and no one before Guts was able to avoid the blades of his urumis. They do have drawbacks, however, and once Guts figures out how they work he manages to counter them and beat Silat.
- Fragile Speedster: So speedy that he survives Guts' sword strike by dropping his urumis, switching to his katars to block it, realizing they would break anyway and finally jumping away to dodge it. It all happens in less then a second. But tripping him is all it takes to defeat him, and he dodges a lot because he knows that he can't shrug off a direct hit.
- Funny Foreigner: Guts doesn't regard him as anything more than a foreign circus performer, which annoys Silat greatly.
- Guyliner: He wears eyeliner despite being a male, adding to his androgynous appearance.
- Handy Feet: Uses his toes to wield an extra blade in an attempt to catch Rakshas off guard.
- Hazy Feel Turn: He's no longer a truly antagonistic force in the story, sitting out the Kushan war after learning of his emperor's true nature and eventually aligning himself against Griffith, but whether this puts him squarely on Guts' side isn't clear.
- Hidden Elf Village: He apparently comes from one and offers to escort both Rickert and Erica to this location so they can elude Griffith's troops looking to eliminate them.
- Hyper-Awareness: Not much escapes his vision or hearing, and he detected the arrow he caught using his freakishly attuned senses.
- Indy Escape: His Run for the Border with Rickert and Erica from the pursuing Rakshas is definitely one.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: The tricks he is able to perform with his exotic weapons are way past what can be done in real life. He makes his chakra fly in any trajectory he wants and still have them come back to him like a Precision-Guided Boomerang, while claiming the ability to manipulate each of a total of ten urumi blades independently like Combat Tentacles! How does he do it? Rule of cool, son. Rule of Cool.
- Know When to Fold Them: Even though he's a proud guy who doesn't like to admit defeat, he knows when he's outmatched and has the sense to withdraw in order to gather more intelligence and try again later. This is demonstrated against Guts when he leaves as soon as he realizes that his techniques have been cracked and his forces are in disarray.
- Large Ham: For a serious guy he is surprisingly fond of grandstanding during battles, to the point that Guts calls him a "circus performer".Guts: "What are you up to?"Silat: "Your DOOM!!"
- Logical Weakness: Guts figures out that because the blades of Silat's urimis are flexible and being manipulated by centrifugal force, he can make them stall in the air by generating a sufficiently powerful gust of wind and immediately rush in before Silat can get them back into play.
- Meaningful Name: IRL, Silat is a type of martial art indigenous to Indonesia and Malaysia. The usage of the term is similar to Kung-fu in China, where it's actually a catch-all term that encompasses a large variety of styles. It's a fitting name for a person who fights with such exotic weapons and unorthodox styles.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: His ripped but lean musculature, very similar to that of Serpico, cements his status as a Fragile Speedster.
- Mysterious Watcher: Spies on the various actors within the conflict without interfering and clearly waits for the right moment to act.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Silat and the Tapasa try to keep a low profile in the city of Falconia by wearing hooded cloaks, but the Tapasa's massive size and scary faces are enough to frighten a small girl while Silat's spiked helmet and face scarf stick out under the cloak like a sore thumb. It's even Lampshaded by those helping them how bad their disguises are for supposedly sneaky assassins.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Silat knows from experience that Guts is too powerful a warrior to fight, which is why he refuses to pursue or attack him unless it's absolutely necessary for his mission. He also decides to let the disguised refugees from Windham pass unharmed and sits out the final confrontation between Griffith and Ganishka, rationalizing that just he and his Tapasa can't deal with such a huge number of people anyway.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Not literally but he is the last prince of a once prestigious mercenary clan and is a highly trained assassin who takes great pride in his mastery of killing his targets efficiently and is indeed very skilled at wielding his exotic weapons, decrying Midland's weapons as crude and imprecise and looking down on Rakshas for deriving pleasure from killing and death.
- Razor Floss: His urumis each have five very long, flexible blades that can slice off a man's skin "like an apple peel".
- She-Fu: A Rare Male Example of a usually female fight choreography trope who attacks in a dance-like fashion with kicks, backflips, and a focus on avoiding his enemy's hits. It doesn't make him any less of a badass, and from a female perspective you could even say it's played for a bit of Fanservice.
- Spikes of Villainy: Silat's later armor has spikes on the shoulders and helmet shaped like lightning bolts. He isn't as heinous as the other bad guys though; it just makes him look cool.
- Token Good Teammate: "Good" might be a stretch, but while most Kushan characters of any significance are amoral at best and monstrous at worst, Silat is consistently fairly sympathetic. Even in his early appearances where he's an out-and-out antagonist, he clearly displays a lot of Villainous Valor, and his general morality and code is by far the most fleshed out.
- Villainous Rescue: In episode 338 he saves Rickert from being killed by Rakshas, apparently because he wants to find out what he knows.
- Walking Armory: Silat carries two katars, two urumis, several chakrams, and has concealed blades in his shoes. That's a lot of blades!
- Warrior Prince: The last prince of the Bakiraka clan, Silat risks his life and leads his followers personally in battle.
- Weapon of Choice: He has a lot of exotic and weird - but nonetheless cool - weapons that deem him a circus freak. Warriors from the Kushan empire and the Bakiraka especially are notorious for using these types of weapons.
- Weapon Twirling: He intimidatingly twirls his chakram around his fingers before throwing them, and uses his urimis by swishing the blades in circles.
- We Wait: His default strategy when faced with the Gambit Pileup going on around him is to bide his time while gathering more information.
- Wild Card: Silat only cares about preserving his clan and sees any alliance or service as a means to that end. He is wary of throwing his support behind any power that goes beyond human comprehension, and he might unexpectedly switch sides or cooperate with enemies if he has the right incentive.
- Worthy Opponent: Silat gains serious respect for Guts after being beaten by him twice, openly acknowledging his skill with the sword and deciding that it's better not to push his luck against him. Some years later he admits that ever since then, he spent every waking moment trying to get better because of him.
- Would Hit a Girl: Tells Casca that wearing a sword means she's a warrior, and that he won't go easy on her just because she's a woman. Kind of a refreshing contrast to Straw Misogynist Adon Coborlwitz in that he doesn't assume that girls make inferior warriors, although it also means he would have chopped her head off without hesitation if Guts hadn't arrived.
Voiced by: Kouji Ishii (Japanese, Berserk (2016)), Jamieson Price (English, Berserk (2016),credited as "Taylor Henry")
Silat's loyal bodyguards, the Tapasa (ターパサ Tāpasa) are four grotesquely muscled martial artists capable of destroying enemies with their bare hands. They look identical, except for each having a different symbol marked on their foreheads.
- Ambiguously Human: Their grotesque builds, large sizes and identical appearances leave unclear whether they are simply very disfigured musclemen or downright mutants, which would not be weird given what both the Kushan Empire and the Bakiraka Clan have among their ranks.
- Bald of Awesome: They lack any hair in their bodies.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: A quartet of martial artists so strong that they use their bare fists and feet as their only weapons.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: The Tapasa demonstrate the ability to catch flying blades between their palms when Rakshas tries to kill Rickert by throwing Silat's chakram back at him.
- Body Horror: Judging for their looks, all of the skin in their bodies is heavily scarred to the extent of desfiguration. The kind of Training from Hell they must have endured is unimaginable.
- The Brute: They are the bodyguards of the Bakiraka leader, Silat in this case. Later become The Big Guy.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Their first and second knuckles are visibly enlarged, probably as a consequence of calcification due to extensive barehanded punching training, very much like the most hardcore Karate practitioners do in real life.
- The Comically Serious: In battle, the Tapasa are very formidable and scary-looking. Off the clock, while trying (and failing) to blend in with their goofy smiles? Hilarious.
- The Dividual: Identical, interchangeable, and never seen apart.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Unlike Silat, they are never seen with footwear.
- Hermit Guru: The meaning of tapasa in Sanskrit. This is a particularly badass version, as real life tapasa were usually not warriors.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: All the four look exactly the same, only with different forehead sigils, yet are never stated to be quadruplets or something alike.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Tapasa are strong enough to crush men in full plate armor to death using their bare hands, yet agile enough to keep up with fast opponents. Rakshas says that they are surprisingly swift for their size.
- Meaningful Name: In real life, a tapasa is a practitioner of tapas, which translates as ascetism or body mortification in ancient Indian religions. Seeing the marks left by those guys' hard training, it fits pretty well.
- Satellite Character: To Silat. They're his followers and an important aspect of his character, but they don't really have enough personality to stand alone and have not yet been seen without him.
- Walking Shirtless Scene:
- What Happened to the Mouse?: There were initially four of them, but only two appear with Silat since their introduction. Whether the missing two were killed in action or are away for some reason remains unknown.
A squad of Elite Mooks employed by the King of Midland, these deadly assassins belong to the exiled Bakiraka clan.
After freeing Griffith from his cell, Guts and the infiltration team from the Band of the Hawk try to escape the Wyndham castle through its sewers with Princess Charlotte and her maid Anna in tow. They encounter the Bakiraka Mercenaries and have a hard time fighting them due to the ambient darkness that helps their enemies conceal their presence. Notably, Judeau gets to display his major strategic skills against them.
All of them are dispatched by the Hawks during the battle, except for the female one who gets executed after bringing an injured Charlotte to the King and reporting the failure at stopping the Hawks from fleeing.
- Adapted Out: Both the 1997-98 anime and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc cut them from their treatments of the Golden Age Arc. Apparently they couldn't spare the run time or animation budget.
- Ambiguously Human: Like the Tapasa, it's hard to tell whether they were regular humans or some kind of mutates. They have truly inhuman traits, like possible nyctalopia, absurd diving abilities and exceedingly bizarre body shapes and sizes.
- Body Horror: Less so than the Tapasa and other Kushan creatures, but the leader and their smallest member have really creepy bodies, one for being inhumanly lanky and the other for being smaller than a human head. Even the other two male members look a bit off.
- The Brute: The tallest one is indeed a very bulky man but, unlike most brutes, he uses long-ranged weapons instead of going head on against his foes.
- Blow Gun: The smallest uses a blow dart gun as his main weapon.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Possibly. if they weren't mutated through sorcery, their body traits might have been accomplished through artificial bone deformation and lifetime training.
- Dark Chick: The female doesn't fight physically like her teammates, rather relying on her inflammable powder (see below).
- Does Not Like Shoes: As accustomed for the Kushan.
- Femme Fatalons: The female one has long fingernails.
- Innate Night Vision: Possibly; none of them shows any difficulty at working skillfully without torches in a dark tunnel, which plays as an additional advantage against Guts's gang.
- Javelin Thrower: The big one throws javelins as his main weapon and aims very well, even in dimly lit places.
- Lean and Mean: The group's leader is a lanky, emaciated man with extremely long limbs.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Their female member is the only of the Bakiraka band that doesn't look weird to the point of inhumanity. For the rest, one is a fish-looking midget, another is literally a shoulder-sized person, the third is a brute with a neck worthy of Brock Lesnar and the leader is an impossibly thin and lanky man.
- Playing with Fire: The female uses a special inflammable dust that ignites at the slightest spark.
- Poisoned Weapons: The tiny one uses a blowpipe with poisoned darts.
- Pragmatic Villainy: After accidentally shooting Charlotte with a poison dart aimed at Griffith, the leader calls for a truce, explaining that they own the antidote and that it would also cause them trouble if Charlotte were to die. Therefore, he offers to give the princess the antidote in exchange for letting them bring her back to her father.
- Prongs of Poseidon: The short, fat one uses a trident as his weapon.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Implied. They strictly go after their targets; their leader tells Anna that she isn't part of this conflict and will be safe so long as she doesn't interfere.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: While these Bakiraka mercenaries don't last long enough to qualify as major antagonist characters, their varied body types and exotic fighting styles set them apart from the rest of the King's mooks. They work as a team to put Griffith's rescue team in a very tight spot, and the Hawks in turn have to use each member's unique talents to defeat the Bakiraka.
- Sole Survivor: The female is the only mercenary who survives battle with the Hawks, and reports the mission's outcome to the king. Who then executes her for exposing Charlotte to danger.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: The short mercenary dives underwater and through narrow passages like a freaking fish, and he is not shown out of the water for a good few minutes.
Voiced by: Tessho Genda (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 180 cm (5 ft, 11 in); Weight: 90 kg (202 lb, 13 oz)
Ganishka (ガニシュカ Ganishuka) is a rogue Apostle, the only one refusing to submit to the Godhand. In his human form he is an overweight, bearded, turban-wearing ruler whose mustache conceals an unusually wide mouth full of fangs. Extremely powerful, he began his campaign by holding Charlotte as his prisoner so he could marry her against her will and claim the crown of Midland, since only a pureblood royal could contend for it. Ganishka then launched a genocidal war against Midland so that the Godhand would be forced to confront him.
Helped by his legions of Mooks, he has already personally fought Zodd and Guts in his Apostle form of a towering cloud of mist. After failing to defeat Griffith in this form, he eventually resorted to changing himself into a gigantic tentacled monster (to the point of being too tall for anyone to see his face) made of demonic flesh known as Shiva and engaged the whole new Band of the Hawk and Midland's army in a massive Final Battle, which results in his demise as he opens the breach that fuses the Astral and Natural worlds.
- Adipose Rex: A fat monarch of the Fat Bastard variety.
- Alas, Poor Villain: A cruel, psychotic despot though he was, his last thoughts end up being simply reflecting on his life and wondering where his men went, because in his current state, he can no longer recognize them.
- Almighty Idiot: In his final form he has almost godly levels of power and is capable of truly horrifying amounts of destruction, but his ego has completely collapsed. He can't even remember who or what he is.
- The Assimilator: After turning into his Shiva form, anyone he crushes underfoot reform into truly ghastly things that look like Ganishkas face with tentacles.
- Arch-Enemy: Though his beef is with the Godhand in general, he considers Griffith/Femto to be his arch nemesis in particular because he is the greatest obstacle to his conquest of Midland, as well as the beacon around whom all the other Apostles in the world are gathering. His vow is to defile Griffith's perfect beauty.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: After the Millennium Falcon Arc, it seems that Ganishka's body has now been transformed into the proverbial Tree of Life whose branches spread all over the world.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Attack of the 1,000 Foot Tentacle Apostle Emperor!
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the emperor of the Kushan, and quite probably the single most powerful Apostle seen in the series, being more than a match for all of Griffith's new Band of the Hawk's strongest Apostles.
- Beard of Evil: Seriously evil facial hair. The enormous beard and mustache with upturned ends are wicked enough, but at least they hide his teeth.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He's an Evil Sorceror Caligula willing to wage war against the Godhand themselves all because he believes his status as the Emperor of the Kushan Empire supersedes their authority. Nevertheless, for all his power his astral form can easily be defeated by a single strike from the Dragonslayer (and the wind). Even when he becomes a horrible Almighty Idiot Eldritch Abomination in his mad dash to get more power, Griffith easily defeats him with a touch. Ultimately, all Ganishka did was further advance the Godhand's plans.
- Bishōnen Line: He is the only Apostle whose demon form is a manifestation external to his body and not a physical mutation of the latter, which allows him to remain human-like while using it. Subverted in his second form, in which he does mutate... a lot.
- Bling of War: He wears some very ornate but still functional-looking armor when he goes to battle, with Oni-like faces adorning his pauldrons and metal rivets decorated with eyes all over the suit.
- The Caligula: He is pointlessly cruel, doing things such as feeding prisoners to crocodiles, and is prone to violent moods that make it dangerous for his subordinates to be around him. It's downplayed in that he conducts his Empire's wars ruthlessly but effectively, but even this qualifier goes out the window when he turns into Shiva and stomps on his own army.
- Despair Event Horizon: He reached his when his own son, whom he secretly feared, orchestrated a coup d'état and attempted to have him assassinated during a banquet held in his honor. Dying, with his drink having been poisoned and repeatedly impaled with spears, his bleeding wounds combined with his despair activated his beherit, resulting in him sacrificing his son in exchange for being reborn as an apostle.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: Wants to Take Over the World, and will use any means, however awful, to this end.
- Disappears into Light: Upon being given the Coup de Grâce by Femto, he dissolves into a dazzling breach into the fabric of reality.
- The Dreaded: When he was human he waged wars because he wanted people to fear manyfold his own, and since he was a paranoid heir to the throne in a court full of traitors he had a lot of fear to give.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: When he succeeds in becoming all-powerful at the cost of his sanity, he loses all restraint and proceeds to flatten both Windham and his own armies!
- Eldritch Abomination: His inconceivably monstrous final form, Shiva, is a many-tentacled giant that towers over Windham and has his face endlessly reproduced on all its surfaces.
- The Emperor: Has the title of Emperor and rules an expansionist empire that conquers and enslaves lesser nations.
- Enemy Mine: He offers this to Guts after realising the Black Swordsman is as much Griffith's enemy as he is. Guts, while glad that the apostles aren't above infighting, declines.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite fearing his son his whole life, and despite said son having orchestrated his assasination, he still loved him... which was why he was the sacrifice through which Ganishka was reborn as an apostle.
- Evil Overlord: He rules his endless legions ruthlessly and cares nothing for them.
- Evil Sorcerer: He and Daiba, his elderly wizard general, are particularly profuse with Kushan black magic.
- Eviler Than Thou: His goals are just as grisly as those of the Godhand, but he still believes his are better than theirs.
- Fat Bastard: In addition to being fat, he is cruel, greedy, egomaniacal, and just plain evil.
- Faustian Rebellion: He feels the compulsion all Apostles have to obey the reincarnated Griffith, but resists it, plotting instead to rise up against his "god" and reign over whatever remains of the world as its demon king. However, it's ambiguous just how much of this rebellion was his own will and prerogative and to what extent he was manipulated; his public role as the Hawk of Light's vile antagonist, up to and including his own personal actions and decision-making, proved crucial to Griffith's master plan.
- Friendly Fire: Frequently. He kills his own soldiers and war-beasts to power himself up, and crushes them like bugs (mistaking them for such, even) when his mind is frayed after becoming the towering "Shiva".
- Game Face: He frequently lets his monstrous nature slip by exposing his More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
- A God Am I: Played with. Ganishka is fully aware that he isn't god. At the same time, he believes that his position as Emperor of Kushan makes him superior to the "gods" like Griffith and the Godhand.
- Hate Sink: Emperor Ganishka is the sadistic leader of the Kushan Empire, who commits depraved acts on a regular basis. While his goal is to challenge the similarly villainous Godhand, Ganishka is destructive and idiotic about the matter, permitting mass rape to spawn his demonic soldiers, the Daka, kidnapping Princess Charlotte in an attempt to rape her, and attempting unsuccessfully to kill everyone in Midland.
- Humanoid Abomination: Even in his most monstrous form he retains a bipedal humanoid shape. Although this was also apparent in his normal form, where he looks almost perfectly human if one were to ignore his unnatural, animalistic eyes and the needle-like teeth hiding under his beard.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Does this to Charlotte, noting that if her child is also his it will make holding Midland all the easier.
- Intangible Man: His mist Apostle form, given that it is composed of, well, mist.
- Kick the Dog: His attempt to rape Charlotte; while he outright tells her it's so that she can bear his child and secure his rule over Midland, his inner monologue makes it clear he's really just seeking amusement.
- Large and in Charge: Ganishka is both wide and tall. When you see him, you know he's the boss.
- Logical Weakness: Conventional attacks are useless against him when he turns into mist, but wind puts Ganishka in danger of dissipating, leaving him no choice but to revert to his humanoid form when it blows.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Ganishka is the only Apostle yet whose monster form appears as a completely separated spirit rather than a physical change of his own body.
- Offing the Offspring: He sacrificed his own son to become an Apostle.
- Ominous Fog: Whenever this appears, you know Ganishka's up to no good. He can take the form of a giant humanoid mist cloud with lightning powers, and he can also sense anything that happens within his fog, making it very difficult to surprise him.
- One-Winged Angel: In an effort to defeat Griffith, he turns himself into a mountain-sized giant with numerous tentacles.
- Properly Paranoid: In his backstory he tried avoiding his wife and son because he feared betrayal due to his own upbringing. His Despair Event Horizon that made him activate the behelit was when his son tried to assassinate him at a banquet. Which the son did because he was also justifiably scared that his father saw him as a threat and would try to kill him.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Although he was quite capable of a truly nasty offensive when he could transform into a humanoid lightning storm, he goes over the line and beyond when he re-emerges as Shiva. He smashes up Wyndham just by emerging from the Temple, squashes entire battalions of soldiers by accident and transforming their remains into horrible monsters, using his many mouths to spit full-blown firestorms onto the ground below (also by accident) and manages to create a thunderstorm just from his presence alone.
- Rage Against the Heavens: How he views his rebellion against Griffith and the Godhand.
- Red Right Hand: He appears mostly human until you get a good look at the large, toothy maw hidden within that beard.
- Refusal of the Call: He is the only Apostle who stands up to Griffith and refuses his authority.
- Royally Screwed Up His backstory implies that backstabbing, madness, and paranoia run in the family. As a youth, he was The Unfavorite, and his mom tried to kill him so his half-brother would rule the Empire. In retaliation he stabbed his brother, causing her to commit suicide. His father was constantly terrified of being assassinated, and sure enough Ganishka arranged his father's accidental death riding an elephant.
- Scary Teeth: His mouth is adorned by a lovely set of shark-like teeth.
- Self-Made Orphan: After his mother tried to poison him, he murdered his brother thereby driving her to commit suicide. He went on to kill his father by having an assassin shoot a dart at the elephant he was riding, causing the animal to go wild and kill him.
- Shock and Awe: He is capable of calling down bolts of lightning on his enemies.
- Smarter Than You Look: He's vile, cruel, looks like a buffoon and is generally one of the most unpleasant people in the entire manga, but one would be gravely mistaken to ever call him stupid.
- Sorcerous Overlord: It is established that at least some of his powers are of sorcerous nature, and not just demonic abilities gained from his status as an Apostle.
- Super Smoke: The crux of his powers as an Apostle, but his final form is a thousand times more powerful indeed.
- Unwitting Pawn: His attempts to rebel against the Godhand only brought their agenda to fruition. May also double as You Can't Fight Fate, since the Godhand have vast power over causality.
- Villainous Underdog: Strangely, this is his relationship to Griffith, though to characters within the story, it seems like it's the opposite. On paper, Ganishka has thousands of demonically-enhanced monsters, hundreds of thousands of troops, and the resources of the world's largest nation, while also being one of the most powerful Apostles on the planet, while Griffith starts off with no evident abilities beyond his great charisma and only a few thousand soldiers at most. But Griffith has the flow of causality on his side, and therefore every time him and Ganishka come to blows, circumstances always turn out as good as possible for Griffith and as bad as possible for Ganishka—and while Ganishka is an Apostle, Griffith is an incarnation of the God Hand, and miles above him on every level. He is doomed by fate itself to only ever be an impressive foe for Griffith to vanquish, and the one time they properly face off, Ganishka quickly realizes he is utterly outclassed.
- Villain Respect: Develops it for Guts, admiring his capacity for destruction. He then tries to recruit him against their mutual enemy, Griffith.
- We Can Rule Together: Not necessarily "rule", but he tries recruiting Guts to his cause, knowing they have a common enemy in Griffith. Guts adamantly refuses, as he sees him as just as much of a monster as Griffith.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In order to empower himself against the Godhand, he throws himself into the pit he used to create his army. He emerges far, far larger and more powerful, but his mind completely dissolves, causing him to forget who he is and begin crushing his own army underfoot.
- You Have Failed Me: Subverted, he gives Daiba a zap and a lecture after his second-in-command loses to Guts, but leaves it at that and lets him retreat safely while he steps in to finish the job personally.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Slits the throat of the assassin he hired to kill his father, because dead men tell no tales.
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 165 cm (5 ft, 5 in); Weight: 44 kg (97 lb)
Daiba (ダイバ Daiba) is a Kushan sorcerer under the employ of Emperor Ganishka, and the one behind most of the Kushan military's sorcery. Extremely knowledgeable about the inner workings of the world, he knows much about Apostles and Behelits, going so far as to create the Reincarnator, a "man-made" Behelit of sorts that can make demon soldiers. He is also responsible for giving Ganishka the Behelit that would turn him into an Apostle.
- Barefoot Sage: Mixed with Magical Barefooter, given that he is both a spiritual teacher and an expert sorcerer. He adopts boots when becomes a barn worker in Falconia, but discards them again upon departing.
- Beard of Evil: An evil sorcerer with an extra long beard.
- The Beast Master: Most of his magic comes from the array of creatures, both normal and supernatural, he has at his command.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He takes a liking to Erika after she gives him a brace for his leg, as well as to Luca for her hospitality, to the point of saving the former from Rakshas and giving the latter a pouch of valuable gems.
- Black Eyes of Evil: He has these very weird, almost completely pitch black eyes, which are never explained, and is (initially) a powerful antagonist.
- Black Mage: He is a sorcerer who specializes in combat-oriented magic. Possibly subverted, however, given that if he is really the creator of the Reincarnator and all the Kushan magic paraphernalia, he probably knows much more than simply offensive spells.
- Bring It: Surprisingly for someone his age and mindset, he performs this gesture to Guts and his companions, urging them to throw everything they've got at him so he can judge how strong they are.
- The Bus Came Back: He returns in Falconia arc, and is seen working in a horse stable.
- Call to Agriculture: He uses his animal control talents to take care of a barn in Falconia, following Ganishka's destruction. Given that he later shows a hidden stash of diamonds, he probably took the job in order to remain unnoticed in the city.
- Child Hater: Has this reputation in Falconia; if children get near his barns, he punishes them by controlling their bodies through magic to work an entire day for him. However, it turns out he has a very good reason to keep them away, as the barns contain garudas, which might perfectly kill and devour a meddling kid.
- Common Tongue: Averted at first. When he speaks, neither Guts nor Serpico can understand his language, and it's only when he uses mind communication that they can. However, he seems to be able to communicate with Erica when he encounters her later on.
- Cool Pet: Is frequently seen riding a garuda. After he joins up with Rickert's group, it and a few others of its kind becomes their method of escape from Falconia.
- The Dragon: Ganishka's second-in command, and probably second only to Ganishka in terms of power.
- Dragon Their Feet: Outlives his emperor, but his loyalty to Ganishka's cause dies with him. When he's next met, he's taking care of Falconia's stables.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: He is embarrassed by the knee injury he got from Guts and his partners, pretending he is has just achy joints.
- Dub Name Change: The Spanish translation renames him as Deva, a Indian word related to but different from his name.
- Enlightened Antagonist: Ganishka calls him a sadhu, which in real life means a spiritual ascetic, and Daiba certainly looks the part, with all the levitating yoga and emaciated looks.
- Ethnic Magician: A wizard from a Sim Sim Salabim empire.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even he, the guy who thought up the Reincarnator, protests the heinous method by which Ganishka intends to transcend apostlehood. He also pleads with Shiva-Ganishka to cease crushing the Kushan soldiers beneath his colossal new feet while marching across the battlefield, but the emperor's mind is so broken by his transformation that he can no longer hear or even recognise Daiba.
- Evil Old Folks: This guy's not your nice grandpa, what with the tyranny and human sacrifice. Not at first, anyway. He joins the good guys eventually.
- Evil Sorcerer: He controls magic of a foreign and unholy nature, and is a very serious antagonist for the heroes in Vritannis.
- Game-Breaking Injury: The blasted knee he gets while fighting against Guts and company. He later muses to himself he would prefer just float around rather than walk on it.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: His first appearance depicts him breathing out very thick clouds of smoke from a hookah.
- Grumpy Old Man: When he's not out using his sorcery to further any sort of war effort, he comes across as a cantankerous elder with an annoyance towards disrespectful children.
- Hand Seals: He controls his magic by using hand gestures or mudra.
- HeelFace Turn: Since taking a liking to Erica, he is helping Rickert and co. to escape from Falconia.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Subverted. After the inevitable defeat of Ganishka, he appears relocated in Falconia as a lowly barnyard warden. However, he later reveals he had a whole bag full of diamonds, implying he got the job in order to keep a low profile after the war.
- In the Hood: Uses one to hide himself in Falconia.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Practices yoga as a way of focusing his magical powers, and likes to float high in the air sitting both lotus and half lotus style while he lets his magical conjurations do the fighting.
- Meaningful Name: Daiva is an ancient Indian religious term meaning "divine", sometimes applied to a worshipper of the gods, which goes along Daiba's role as a religious specialist with supernatural powers. It also means "fateful", which describes what his encounter with Daiba turned out for Ganishka.
- Odd Friendship: With Luca, who treats him like a stubborn grandfather, and Erica, who gives him a leg brace.
- Sole Survivor: He's the only living thing present that Ganishka knowingly or not spares during his transcendence ritual.
- Squishy Wizard: He relies entirely on his magic to fight. While he's visibly in great shape for his advanced age judging by his yoga poses, he is probably neither a trained physical fighter nor young enough to become one, and clearly wouldn't last a second against Guts or Serpico in a hand-to-hand battle.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He's still a crotchety old man, but he's hardly the remorseless Evil Sorceror he was when he faced Guts.
- Toothy Issue: He's missing a lot of teeth.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ganishka; he only makes a turn for the better after his emperor's death.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He only wears simple pants, although in this case it is not for fanservice, given that he is a very, very old guy with all the looks of an ascetic lifestyle.
- Wizard Beard: Has a long, fluffy white beard, and is a wizard to boot.
The demonic soldiers of Emperor Ganishka, created through a forbidden sorcery that Daiba has spent his whole life perfecting. This involves fusing together multiple chained-up apostles into a "demon womb" filled with amniotic fluid that acts as a kind of reincarnation vessel or artificial Behelit. Captive pregnant women are lowered into the vessel, where their unborn babies become infused with evil and tear their way out of their mother's bodies. The monstrous babies are promptly collected in cages and raised to kill. Although they are shown to be inhumanly ferocious, their actual battlefield effectiveness is surprisingly abysmal.
- Chest Burster: Once corrupted in the womb they violently burst out of the abdomen, killing their mothers in the process.
- Elite Mooks: Subverted. These things are sent in when human mooks fail to slow down Locus' lancers, but they fare little better.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Monsters raised from unborn humans that were corrupted at birth.
- Horned Humanoid: Their bald heads are covered in small horns.
- Meaningful Name: Daka is a practitioner of transformative supernatural powers in Indian religions. In this case, they are human fetuses transformed into supernatural creatures.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Daka have mouths full of bristling tusks and fangs, much like the monstrous tigers they sometimes ride.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: They are probably a terrifying infantry - it's just that their only deployment in the series is against monsters no infantry has true chance against.
- Weapon of Choice: The maduvu or maru, a real-life Southern Indian weapon made of two metal-tipped horns facing in opposite directions connected by two hand grips and sometimes fitted with a shield. This appropriately complements their own horns and emphasizes their beastly nature.
- The Worf Effect: Although introduced as a step above the Empire's human soldiers, they still get mowed down in droves to show how strong Griffith's apostles and Gut's companions are while getting even fewer chances to show that they can be effective troops.
Millenium Falcon Arc: Chapter of Falconia
Captain of the Captain Sharkrider, Bonebeard (髭骸骨) was a pirate-turned-slave trader (turned pirate again) who attacked Schierke and Sonia before being driven off by Isidro. He reappears, having returned to piracy, and attacks Captain Roderick's ship only to have two of his three ships sunk and his flagship badly damaged. When the World Transformation occurs, Bonebeard and his crew are attacked by evil spirits and devoured by the Sea God, who transforms them into sentient tentacles. He retains his personality up until the Sea God awakens, and then he and his crew lose their humanoid forms and presumably perish alongside the Sea God.
- Armed Legs: Has a knife blade concealed in his peg leg, with which he attempts to surprise Isidro during their first sword fight.
- Bad Boss: He's quick to whack, or even bite, his subordinates if they annoy him even slightly. He'll also ditch his men if the ships they're on are too damaged to keep up with his.
- Child Hater: Claims that he hates kids because they have no respect for their elders or the rules of adult society. He certainly Would Hurt a Child, and is first seen preparing to sell Kushan orphans into slavery.
- Combat Pragmatist: Uses the rocking motion of a boat to make Mule loose his footing, and twice tries to kill Isidro with concealed weapons.
- Combat Tentacles: He and his crew become them after being eaten by the Sea God.
- Dope Slap: Rebukes his crew by biting their noses.
- Dressed to Plunder: As Puck notes, he ticks most of the boxes for stereotypical pirate clothes. All he's missing are a parrot and a hook.
- Eyepatch of Power: It completes the pirate look, but just like Adon, all it really does is make him look scarier than he actually is.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: In just about any other story, he and his pirates probably would have come across as a more serious antagonist, but when he's up against Guts' crew, who routinely deal with threats worse than him on a near daily basis, he's just an annoyance. Even after being assimilated by the Sea God, they still regard him as a joke.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It only takes the slightest questioning of his authority to make him angry.
- Handicapped Badass: Is a surprisingly capable swordsman despite having a peg leg and using a crutch. He's even turned them into weapons!
- Humanoid Abomination: After being assimilated by the Sea God, he becomes an extension of its body.
- I am a Humanitarian: After being assimilated by the Sea God, he remarks how he's looking forward to eating Guts and his friends.
- Large Ham: Much like Adon Corbowitz, he's a loud, self-aggrandizing buffoon.
- Leg Cannon: Also has a miniature crossbow hidden in his crutch, which he uses to fight with even after he becomes a tentacle and no longer needs it to walk.
- Man Bites Man: Has a habit of biting his first mate's face when angry or panicking.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: After losing his humanoid form.
- Mouth of Sauron: He speaks on behalf of the Sea God after he is assimilated.
- Nice Hat: A big, tricornered one.
- Pirate: Given his appearance and manner of speaking, he is a perfectly stereotypical pirate, as pointed out by Sonia.
- Resistance Is Futile: After becoming a tentacle, he tends to gloat and prattle on about how the Seahorse's passengers should just give up and let the Sea God turn them into tentacles too.
- Seadog Beard: Doubles as a Beard of Evil.
- Seadog Pegleg: Just to complete the standard pirate look. In a realistic take on the trope, it's not a perfect replacement for his lost limb, and he still needs to use a crutch to get around. In a more Rule of Cool turn, he also keeps a blade hidden in it.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: He insists that his men call him "boss" or "boss man" instead of "captain," and hates being referred to as a pirate instead of a legitimate trader (of slaves). All this despite being the most stereotypical pirate of all.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Downplayed in the official English translations. His speech is rough and uncouth, but not really all that piratey, save for a couple "Argghs" thrown in during moments of great stress. He only starts regularly talking like a pirate once he's been absorbed by the Sea God. Averted in the original Japanese, of course, where his speech patterns are more militant.
- We Can Rule Together: Invites Isidro to join his crew after seeing potential in him, but insults him as an inexperienced brat when he refuses.
- Worthy Opponent: He tries to treat Guts as one, but the latter isn't particularly impressed.
Fantasia Arc: Chapter of Elf Island
A very ancient and formidably powerful deity that was sealed away in a cave beneath Solitary Island by the Merrow. It remained dormant for a very long time, until Femto's wave of Pure Energy awakened it just as Guts and his team arrived on its island. Its "resurrection" is one of the first known effects of the fusion of the Astral and the Material World.
A very tough opponent, Guts is beaten to an inch of his life while battling him and is eventually saved by the mermaids who help him defeat the Sea God and pull him out of its belly.
- Animalistic Abomination: It's a massive, hideous conglomeration of countless deep sea animals that's capable of possessing and assimilating all organic life.
- The Assimilator: Anyone it eats is transformed into a tentacle.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: It's the size of a freaking island!
- Beard of Evil: When the "beard" consists of thousands of Combat Tentacles that are themselves horrifically twisted hybrids of sea creatures, you know it's got to be malevolent.
- Brown Note: Uses insanely loud sound waves to protect its heart, nearly pummeling Guts to death.
- Combat Tentacles: Its main form of attack. The combat tentacles of its combat tentacles have combat tentacles.
- Eldritch Abomination: It's an ancient supernatural entity that was once worshipped as a god, but was deemed so dangerous it had to be sealed away. Once it awakens, it's like a nautical version of Ganishka's Shiva form, and also proves that Guts' party is just as capable of taking out a world-level threat as Neo-Griffith. The eyes on its heart also make it somewhat similar to the Idea of Evil.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: There are eyes on its heart. This makes it look a lot like the Idea of Evil.
- Hive Mind: Its body houses a myriad of sea creatures that act as its immune system.
- Kraken and Leviathan: It's so big that its body constituted an entire island.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The main body is effectively a giant mollusk with teeth. It has a "beard" of tentacles, all of which are in fact giant sea slugs. The slugs in turn spew out tentacles of their own which take the form of giant sea cucumbers, which in turn have their own lamprey-like tentacles formed from the Sea God's victims. And its innards are guarded by all manner of deep sea creatures that are under its command, if they're not a part of its body to begin with, including goblin sharks, lampreys, gulper eels, and hagfish.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: A mouth that big needs a lot of teeth.
- Oh, Crap!: The Sea God's heart of all things makes this kind of expression when the eyes on it open wide in sheer terror upon seeing Guts approach with his sword in hand.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It was sealed within the island by the merrows and was reawakened sometime after the Layered World was merged.
- Sea Monster: Taken Up to Eleven. It's a sea monster that can easily eat other sea monsters, and is practically made up of sea monsters.
- Swallowed Whole: Most of the ships it sank ended up that way so its belly looks like a shipwreck cemetery.
- Villain of Another Story: Apparently this thing has been terrorizing the sea for ages. Guts and company just happen to run into it, and decide to take it out before it causes more trouble for everybody. Notably, it's one of the few supernatural villains in Berserk that seems to have no connection to the Godhand or the Apostles.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Its lamprey-like tentacles can take on humanoid form and retain elements of their old personalities.