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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 the antagonists of Berserk.
There is a spoiler character in this list who originally appeared in chapter 83. This chapter and the character in it have both been omitted from subsequent printings of volume 13 at the request of the author, because he felt that introducing them at that point put constraints on the scope of the story and gave away too much of the plot too soon. All spoilers are unmarked in that folder to prevent a wall of white. Read at your own risk.
The Big Bad Duumvirate—or rather, Quintumvirate—of the story.
All of them used to be humans before becoming members of the Godhand and are all unbelievably ancient, with the exception of their fifth and newest member Femto who is born in the Eclipse at the end of the Golden Age Arc. Their powers are of course god-like, and though they are not completely omniscient they are very close to it. All Apostles refer to them as their masters. Actually, they themselves serve the Idea of Evil and manipulate reality in order to further its goal.
Each one stands for a negative aspect of reality but none of them can actually appear in the mortal realm as they are. To do that they have to use the best material at hand, whether it happens to be rats or troll intestines, to create a temporary physical body. Femto is able to appear on Earth in the form of Griffith since he has reincarnated in a permanent physical body through the mock eclipse at the Tower of Conviction.
As of volume 34, they all seem to have reappeared in the Material World somehow thanks to the Skull Knight accidentally assisting Femto's dimension warping attack on Ganishka, fusing the Material and Astral planes.
Since the creator Kentaro Miura is a huge sci-fi fan, the original four are named after classic sci-fi books, and even Femto is speculated to be named after a scientific concept.
- Achilles' Heel: The Skull Knight and Schierke find Guts' Dragonslayer to be one of the very few weapons capable of causing actual harm to the Godhand. Because Guts had gone off on his own to wage his own personal war against the Apostles for two whole years, the Dragonslayer has been soaked in so much demonic gore that it can directly hurt the Godhand's physical bodies—as proven when Guts impales Slan's avatar while in Qliphoth.
- Angelic Abomination: While the Godhand functions as Demon Lords and Archdevils, they are also considered angels in-universe, and serve what amounts to God . They are vastly powerful and almost omniscient humanoid abominations with control over causality, and serve as the Big Bad Duumvirate of the setting. And like the lesser Apostles, they were humans who become demons through a Deal with the Devil.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: They offer you the chance to become a demonic creature and live out the rest of your days in accordance to your desire, but when your life comes to an end you will be sent to Hell for sacrificing someone you loved for your own selfish need for pleasure and salvation.
- Card-Carrying Villain: They freely use the word "evil" to describe themselves, and appreciate evil for its own sake.
- Co-Dragons: Rather than being the Big Bad Duumvirate of the story as they at first appear to be, the existence of the Idea of Evil would have them sharing the role of The Dragon to it.
- The Corrupter: All of them exist solely to corrupt people by offering them a "better life" through evildoing and selfishness.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Rosine, a little girl who was abused and believed becoming an elf would make her life better. She ends up realizing too late that not only it was a mistake but the Godhand didn't even make her a real elf.
- Dark Is Evil: They wear black, identify themselves as demonic entities, and are more or less the cause of all the horrible stuff that occur within the series.
- Deal with the Devil: Much like Apostles, every member of Godhand is born by making one of these with the previous members and the Idea of Evil itself.
- Deity of Human Origin: Going by the information from the Lost Episode, their power as gods ultimately derives from the collective unconscious of humanity.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Godhand are the five most powerful demons in the Berserk universe, and are the masters of all the Apostles as well as the rulers of the Astral Realm.
- Didn't See That Coming: In the third film, Advent, Guts manages to actually break his blade through Griffith's Deflector Shield. This simple act of defiance and sheer will absolutely stuns all the members of the Godhand, and Griffith himself is left utterly dumbfounded.
- Devil, but No God: Although it is shown that there are other powerful beings in the Astral Plane, the Godhand and their master, the Idea of Evil, still have no counterpart in their role as malevolent supreme deities. If anything, it is made apparent that the Idea of Evil is the only god around, turning the situation downright into God Is Evil.
- Eldritch Abomination: They are entities that play around with reality at will, possess things to affect the human realm, have Blue and Orange Morality (if they even have a morality) and are incomprehensibly powerful. To the degree that, if the Idea of Evil wasn't around, they would be the most powerful entities to exist.
- Evil Wears Black: All of them wear black, although their "clothing" might actually be part of their bodies. Naturally, they're card carrying villains.
- Expy: The Godhand has much in common with the Cenobites of Hellraiser fame. Extradimensional godlike beings? Check. Formerly human? Check. Interested in turning humans into monsters? Check. Reside in a hellish otherworld until summoned by an Artifact of Doom? Check. Described as both Angels and Demons? Check. Serve and worship an abstract entity beyond mortal comprehension? Maybe. To a limited degree, their designs and personalities evoke memories of the original four Cenobites as well; it's hard not to look at Ubik and see a little of the Butterball Cenobite, while Void is very much like Pinhead in personality and Chatterer in looks.
- Faux Affably Evil: Slan and Ubik sometimes mock their victims with insincere pleasantries. Slan, for instance, praises Guts while torturing him and sarcastically addresses the Skull Knight as "your majesty". The other members just skip the pretense and act with naked hostility.
- Fisher Kingdom: When Griffith crosses over the astral and physical layers of the world, the Godhand are made manifest in separate corners of the Earth, their mere presence altering the landscapes and converting them into their own Eldritch Locations, each a reflection of their respective domains (i.e., Slan's domain is made of masses of headless female forms wrapped in each other in an almost orgiastic gathering).
- Four Is Death: Before Griffith's induction, there were only four Godhand members and they were referred to as the "Four Guardian Angels."
- From Bad to Worse: Their whole existence is spent invoking this trope for all of humanity. They are literally designed to make life for humans as miserable as possible. Taken to new heights as of Griffith's defeat of Ganishka, as they have all manifested themselves within the material plane, and will almost certainly cause more, more and more havoc amongst the populace.
- Humanoid Abomination: The forms of their souls in the Astral Realm, while monstrous and demonic, still broadly resemble humans in face and body silhouette. When they manifest in the physical realm from the Incarnation Ceremony, they seem to take human form (as Griffith/Femto demonstrates) but they retain their demonic eyes and god-like powers.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: They may be demon-gods now, but they were once human and their current state as Eldritch Abominations is due to them literally giving up someone they truly cared about to the vortex of Hell. And that's not even getting into the Idea of Evil, which was created directly by the collective subconscious of humanity demanding an answer for mankind's suffering. Also unlike Apostles, it's not just one or two but a hundred of loved ones.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: They don't make much of a secret of why they exist—to make human life miserable—but it is rather in the dark why they manipulate events in order to make very specific instances occur at extremely convenient points in time. The most obvious example of this is how they've welcomed Griffith into their brood only to have him reincarnate himself into the mortal world just two years later. Eventually, it is revealed that they needed Griffith to rend the different layers of reality together so that they can manifest themselves into the mortal world and cause more chaos and discord.
- Invincible Villain: Because they can casually manipulate the currents of destiny itself, they are practically untouchable and cannot be killed through conventional means. However, Guts' Dragonslayer has directly managed to harm Slan's physical manifestation, and several characters such as the Skull Knight and Schierke have speculated that the Dragonslayer has bathed itself in so much demonic blood that it is capable of harming any supernatural creature.
- It's All About Me: They exploit the inner selfish desires of human beings in order to further drive them down the Despair Event Horizon and ultimately have them give into the temptation of sacrificing their loved ones and their humanity.
- Meaningful Name: Behelits take their namesake from Beherit, which is the Syriac name for Satan in the Satanic Bible. Also the term "Godhand" makes sense, especially if you consider the Idea of Evil canon. The Godhand aren't gods unto themselves, but in serving the Idea, collectively act as a metaphorical hand of God.
- The Omniscient: Downplayed a bit in that they acknowledge themselves not to literally know everything. What they do have is the ability to observe the world and sense the currents of destiny to a degree where they can predict just about anything, so it's a big surprise when something happens that they didn't see coming.
- Our Angels Are Different: Despite looking demonic they are referred to as Five Angels. And this isn't inaccurate, as they can be seen as the angels to the Idea of Evil's God.
- Our Demons Are Different: Quite different from the Apostles and much more powerful, even if they're created in much the same way.
- Physical God: There's nothing better to describe a Godhand who has fully incarnated to the physical realm than this trope. Femto is even able to empower Midland with magic upon reincarnating. Eventually, once Griffith crosses the astral and physical layers of reality together, they play this trope straight—they are now currently residing in the mortal world, their respective Eldritch Locations having fully manifested into Midland from their awakening.
- Pitiful Worms: They see all efforts in opposition to their own as utterly hopeless, and outright laugh at Guts' refusal to just lay down and die.
- Power of the God Hand: It's even in their name. However, turns out they play this trope straight, as they represent the power of an evil God.
- Powers That Be: They are the ones who are responsible for pulling the strings of causality upon the world, and thus the cause of so much of the utter misery that happens in that world.
- Self-Constructed Being: Since they are not part of the physical plane, the Godhand do not have physical bodies, and must manifest themselves by possessing some material (e.g. Slan possessing troll guts in order to manifest in Qliphoth). Otherwise, they have the opportunity to gain a new physical body every 1,000 years during the Incarnation Ceremony (e.g. how Griffith re-entered the human world via his reincarnation during the mock Eclipse). It is implied that through Griffith's merging of the astral and physical layers of existence they now have physical bodies and are now fully capable of interacting with the mortal world.
- Vicious Cycle: The Eclipse, which happens once every 216 years, marks the birth of a new Godhand. Also, every 1,000 years, a member of the Godhand can reincarnate themselves into the mortal realm.
- Villain of Another Story: Each member of the Godhand is implied to have gone through a Trauma Conga Line, similar to Griffith's, which led them down to where they are now. Void in particular is implied to have had past relations with the Skull Knight—the two of them are vicious rivals for an unknown reason.
- Was Once a Man: Just like Apostles, all members of the Godhand were once human before they ascended to demonhood.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Their main powers over reality.
- The Worf Effect: When we first see Guts as the Black Swordsman, he is clearly characterized as an inhumanly powerful and skilled warrior, one who can stand toe-to-toe against the demonic Apostles and win. When he's put up against the Godhand in any way, however, he's easily tossed aside like a ragdoll. It's to the point where none of the Godhand even bother trying to kill him. To them, he's so insignificant that they barely need to lift a finger to end his life.
- You Can't Fight Fate: They have control over the fates and destinies of all men, allowing the currents of causality to flow in ways they deem acceptable in order to fulfill their agendas.
Void (ボイド, Boido)
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (Japanese, Berserk (1997), Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, and Berserk (2016)), Shinji Ogawa (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), John Avner (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), César Lechiguero (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The leader of the group, Void also seems to be the Skull Knight's Arch-Nemesis. Able to control dimensions and void (as his name implies), he presides over every ritual involving the birth of a new Apostle, and is the one who places the cursed Brand on those slated to be sacrificed.
The most philosophical of the Godhand members, he's also the most cynical and scornful. He resembles a nightmarish version of the aliens from Mars Attacks! with his exposed, grotesquely oversized brain, his eyes sewn shut and his lips peeled back, displaying teeth and gums.
- All-Encompassing Mantle: His floor-length black mantle completely envelops his body (or lack thereof), making him look powerful, mysterious, and in-charge.
- Arch-Nemesis: The Skull Knight has the greatest personal hatred for him, and has made it the mission of his existence to foil his plans.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the Godhand's leader, and barring maybe Femto he is also the most powerful.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: As the first Godhand and their leader, he ties with Griffith for overall villain of the series given the Idea of Evil's lack of involvement in the main story.
- Body Horror: Aside from his head and his face, an officially licensed Figma action figure of him finally revealed that his body consists of only one single large spine◊ that leads to pelvis-like structure his head and arms are mounted on.
- Cape Wings: His mantle is webbed like the wings of a bat. Unlike in Femto's case, it's unclear whether Void can or even needs to use them for propulsion.
- Creepily Long Arms: Normally you can't see them due to his cloak, but his arms are long enough to stick out the bottom of his full-body coat and look creepily inhuman.
- The Dragon: Turns out that even the first Godhand is just The Dragon to The Idea of Evil.
- Evil Former Friend: Implied to have once been close to the Skull Knight before he turned into a Godhand and earned the former's enmity.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In all live media and especially in Berserk (1997) he speaks in a deep, sinister voice.
- Extra Digits: Has six fingers per hand.
- Eye Scream: His eyes are stitched shut. Not that he seems to care.
- Generation Xerox: The Skull Knight is to Void what Guts is to Griffith, essentially.
- High Collar of Doom: His mantle includes a high, sinister collar.
- Homage: Like all Godhand members, his name is a homage to sci-fi book: in his case, Frank Herbert's Destination: Void.
- It's Personal: The Skull Knight has a personal grudge against him, probably because of something from their past.
- The Leader: Is the oldest of the Godhand and first among equals.
- Meaningful Name: As his name suggests, he can manipulate the void and nothingness using his powers.
- My Brain Is Big: Has a giant, nightmarish exposed brain coming out of his head. It's not just for show, since he is the oldest, wisest, and most philosophical member of the Godhand as well as their leader.
- Narrator All Along: In Berserk (1997) he turns out to have been the owner of the voice delivering the "In this world" opening narration and the Next Episode Preview voiceovers.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: It is almost impossible to hurt him since he can send any physical aggression right back at the opponent using his power over dimensions and nothingness.
- Nightmare Face: Eeep! And the more you look at his face, the more you notice that, in addition to all his other "pleasant" features, he also got his nose cut off.
- The Older Immortal: Eldest member of the Godhand, and alongside the Skull Knight also the oldest being yet encountered in the manga.
- The Philosopher: As you can tell from his opening and closing narrations, he loves to reflect upon abstract philosophical mysteries such as whether human nature is fundamentally evil, or to what extent a single man can defy his fate.
- The Power of the Void: Controls dimensions and nothingness.
- Skull for a Head: His head is basically just a skull, albeit with the top removed and the brain exposed.
- The Stoic: Unlike the rest of his cohorts, Void is unflappable and never displays sadistic amusement of any sort. His mutilated face doesn't give him much room for expression either.
- Villain of Another Story: The Skull Knight and he appear to have some unfinished business that is merely hinted at and never fully explored.
- You Can't Fight Fate: He states that he can't bring himself to believe that humans control their own fates, even with his time spent pondering on human nature.
Slan (スラン, Suran)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese, Berserk (1997) and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), C.L. Jones (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Pilar Morales (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
A Vamp, Slan is lascivious and Too Kinky to Torture. Similar to a succubus demon and a sado-masochist, she is the most frequently seen of the Godhand after Griffith and takes particular pleasure in tormenting Guts personally. She also owns a splinter cult of worshippers under the moniker "The Goddess of Blazes."
- Abhorrent Admirer: She makes it quite clear that she finds Guts attractive every time they meet, mostly for his strength as a warrior. Needless to say, he doesn't reciprocate.
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: When she manifests in the real world (not the Eclipse or weird dimensions) while in Qliphoth using troll intestines.
- Boobs of Steel: One of five demonic beings who warps reality by their mere presence, so she is probably the strongest female character of The Verse.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Loves experiencing pain during battle as much as she does inflicting it.
- Combat Tentacles: Uses her prehensile hair and giant tentacles made of troll intestines to attack Guts during her boss battle in Seima Senki no Sho.
- The Corrupter: She tries to be this to Guts, suggesting he sacrifice his comrades and use his Behelit to obtain the power to kill Femto, and torturing him when he refuses in an attempt to break him.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the few women who engages in battle. And the most evil.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Comes with being practically nude all over except for that armor/scale like corset she is wearing. Also crosses with Magical Barefooter.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The way she molests and forces herself on Guts in the Qliphoth isn't depicted as sexy, normal or acceptable in any way, but rather as another testimony of how utterly twisted and horrible she is.
- Expy: She is very similar to Slaanesh
- Evil Sounds Deep: Especially in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc where her voice is sexy but also quite dismissive.
- Femme Fatalons: Has them, but doesn't really need them as she is one of five Physical God Big Bads.
- Forceful Kiss: She kisses Guts during their fight at Qliphoth.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: With the shape of a beautiful woman, she's a lot more attractive than the more grotesque-looking three original male members of the God Hand. For bonus points she resembles a Gorgon with her snake-like hair.
- Homage: Her name comes from A. E. van Vogt's Slan.
- Horny Devils: An arch demon who personifies Lust, among other things.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: The rare Gender Flipped version. She took intense sexual pleasure in molesting, dominating and torturing Guts while he stood helpless in her clutches during their encounter in the Qliphoth and made it all seem like they were having sex.
- The Immodest Orgasm: When sufficiently wounded, she lets out a loud moan as if she is experiencing an orgasm.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Guts impales her with his sword during their fight at Qliphoth. She however is overjoyed by the pain he is causing her, and grabs Guts while he has her impaled and kisses him, calling him wonderful.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Of all the Godhand, she is the one with the most personal interest in Guts, being quite enamored with the violence he is singularly capable of inflicting. Slan even suggests to Void while observing Guts fighting off the Apostles during the Eclipse that Guts would make for an ideal sixth member of the God Hand, but Void puts down this idea as it goes against the laws of causality.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Anyone able to withstand a point blank thrust from Guts's BFS and a blast from his cannon arm owns the title, especially if they're female, yes!
- Nightmare Fetishist: She loves receiving and inflicting pain, and sees rape as a beautiful act.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Not only an underbust corset does she wear, but a NECK corset too. Amp the sadomasochist look to eleven!
- Orgasmic Combat: When Guts impales her, this is the only effect it has.
- Red Baron: The Skull Knight calls her "Whore Princess of the Uterine Sea", though it is unclear if it is an official nickname or just an elaborated insult.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: She's literally almost naked except for an armor/scale like corset and doesn't mind one bit. Unlike most examples, however, this one's definitely not a fun person to be around.
- Showing Off the New Body: Seems to enjoy fondling her own breasts every time she is incarnated into a body.
- Smurfette Principle: The only known female Godhand.
- Stationary Boss: Stays put in one part of the arena during her Boss Battle in Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, preferring to let her wings and Combat Tentacles do all the work.
- Statuesque Stunner: A goddess of Lust who stands at Guts' height (6+ feet) in her human form.
- "Take That!" Kiss: When it seems like Guts has finally defeated her after impaling her, she just laughs and takes great pleasure in the pain he causes her before grabbing him and kissing him, calling him wonderful.
- Tender Tears: In a very twisted way, she found beauty in the brutal rape of Casca at Femto's hands while Guts was forced to watch helplessly, describing the scene as "magnificent".
- Too Kinky to Torture: You can cut her to pieces, blow off half her torso or impale her with a giant steel slab, but the only thing you'll succeed in doing is giving her an orgasm.
- The Vamp: She may appear beautiful and enticing but her only purpose is to doom any man she ensnares.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Subverted. She desires Guts as her personal sex-toy but she has absolutely NO romantic interest in him.
- We Will Meet Again: After Guts destroys her physical manifestation in the Qliphoth, her parting words are that he will see her again.
Ubik (ユービック, Yūbikku)
Voiced by: Chafurin (Japanese, Berserk (1997), Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Christian Collingwood (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Gabriel Pareja (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Ubik looks like a floating bluish face with atrophied tentacles. He is smaller than Conrad but pretty similar in appearance and stance.
Ubik's main role among the Godhand is to play Mister Exposition in order to convince the applicant to accept their deal by delivering a Breaking Speech that puts them face-to-face with their past, their desires and their darkest deeds. Since he never lies, his speeches are often all the applicant needs to be pushed over the edge and accept to sell his soul and offer their loved ones as a sacrifice.
- Bald of Evil: An evil bald guy, but that's easily the least scary-looking thing about him.
- Breaking Speech: He is a master at giving speeches that make his subject lose all hope, self-respect, and belief in their loved ones.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: His constant expression is a frightening evil grin, except when he sees that Guts is strong enough to break through Femto's telekinetic powers in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III.
- Evil Genius: Relies more on his intelligence and cunning than on his strength or powers in contributing to the God Hand's designs.
- Finger-Tenting: Not so much as Conrad, but often clasps his hands while floating. Subverted in its meaning, as while his intentions are deceptive, just like all the others of his kind, he only uses the truth to get to that end.
- Manipulative Bastard: Ubik doesn't lie outright, but he manipulates the truth in order to make his victim despair and come to the conclusion that they have no choice but to make the sacrifice.
- Mind Rape: Invades his victims' memories and forces them to see the truth about themselves that they cannot bear to look at.
- Mister Exposition: As a result of his role, he often ends up explaining the backstory of whoever he's in the process of breaking.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He doles them out to proespective Apostles. In Griffith's case, he tells him that even after all his previous actions and sacrifces, he's still nothing but a little boy chasing after a hopeless dream.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Forms a villainous duo with Conrad.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Compared to Conrad, who is even more of a Large Ham than he is, Ubik is more cerebral and ever-so-slightly more restrained.
- Sinister Shades: His round, black eyes look like scary sunglasses.
- Villains Never Lie: His breaking speeches are all the more devastating when the victim can't deny what he's saying, because they know it's true. That being said, however, he's not above cleverly manipulating the truth to present a distorted picture.
- What You Are in the Dark: Invokes this during his breaking speeches, often exposing a person to some secret crime from their past. He'll tell them that even if they want to seem like a good person to other people and themselves, they have always been corrupt on the inside.
Conrad (コンラッド, Konraddo)
Voiced by: Toku Nishio (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Rikiya Koyama (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Sean Schemmel (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Alfonso Vallés (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Conrad looks like a giant fat woodlouse with a puckered human face. He and Ubik are pretty similar in appearance and stance, but Conrad rarely speaks.
The least frequently seen of the Godhand, Conrad's concerns are spreading diseases, outbreaks, and pestilence in the mortal realm by using his plague-carrying rats and other vermin, which he can use to take a physical form in the real world.
- Aerith and Bob: Compared to the exotic and alien-sounding names of the rest of the Godhand, his is pretty mundane.
- Animal Motifs: Associated with rats, which are the medium he uses to spread the plague.
- Bald of Evil: Another evil bald guy.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: His lower body is never clearly seen, but his general body shape, particularly his shell-like tunic, makes him look like a human/woodlouse hybrid. Some images suggest he has multiple insectoic legs.
- Dishing Out Dirt: At least in the Golden Arc film, he seems to be the one who creates the hand tower during the Eclipse.
- Eyes Always Shut: His keeps his eyes shut most of the time, and opens them only when he speaks, which can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
- Fat Bastard: His rotund character design evokes morbid obesity.
- Finger-Tenting: Very much like Ubik, although more noticeably than him, Conrad has the Character Tic of keeping his hands in a Prayer Pose all the time. Averted in the gesture's connotations, as Conrad talks or emotes very little.
- Four-Fingered Hands: A rare example that is neither cartoony nor comical, but for one who spreads death on a wide scale via pestilence, it's very fitting.
- Large Ham: When Conrad finally does speak, he makes it count by being extremely loud and dramatic.
- No Indoor Voice: The few lines he does speak are delivered quite loudly.
- Perpetual Expression: His face has a constant closed-eyed pout. He doesn't even move his mouth when talking.
- Plague Master: Conrad's concern includes spreading diseases using his plague rats.
- The Quiet One: Of all the Godhand Members, he speaks the least.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Despite his more conservative looks, Conrad is an even bigger ham that Ubik and more passionate.
- Satellite Character: He doesn't have a very developed personality, and revolves around the other four Godhand members.
- Those Two Bad Guys: A villainous duo with Ubik.
The Idea of Evil
The Idea of Evil is a character only glimpsed at the very end of episode 82. Its nature was originally revealed in episode 83, "God of the Abyss (2)", but Miura subsequently asked for this episode to be omitted from the publication of volume 13, effectively removing the exposition therein from the canon. It is the Greater-Scope Villain of Berserk and a Monster Progenitor that manipulates reality itself. It controls the world through Causality but no one, save for the Godhand themselves, is aware of its existence. The only possible exceptions are the witches Flora and Schierke, the former having vaguely alluded to something beyond the Godhand existing in the deepest part of the Astral Plane in volume 24. Kentaro Miura stated in 2009 that the reason the episode was left out of volume 13 was because he "wanted Berserk's world to be revealed just that far, not any more than that. The appearance of God in the manga conclusively determines its range. [He] thought that might limit the freedom of the story development. [Miura himself doesn't] know if the Idea of Evil will show up again in the manga or not."
It is a huge monster created out of humanity's need for a reason for all their suffering. Its purpose is being responsible for Midland's awfulness and, to that end, it knows exactly what it has to do, which is offering the world what it desires in the person of a Dark Messiah: Griffith. It is the creator of all the five Godhand and they obey its orders. It appears as a giant human heart living in a faraway realm in the Astral Plane.
- As Long as There is Evil: As its name implies, its existence is intrinsically linked to the existence of Evil in humanity's consciousness.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Especially now that the Astral Realm and the material realm have merged. The Idea isn't about making people happy; it's about being responsible for their suffering and thus giving them exactly what they wish for, regardless if it benefits the querent or not.
- Because Destiny Says So: Because the Idea of Evil says so.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The reason we know its name is because that's what it calls itself.
- A Chat with Satan: It gives a pep-talk to all of those who will become members of the Godhand before they swear allegiance to it.
- Cosmic Horror Story: It can do whatever it wants out of Reality. Although one could argue that the fact people live in a universe that runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe is enough of one itself.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The whole reason why it exists. In fact, it's implied that the reason the Idea of Evil is as evil as it is because the Berserk world sucks so much that if people didn't believe there was a reason for their suffering then they wouldn't be able to go on. So they claim that it is evil which is the cause of suffering and since everyone believed that to be true, The Idea of Evil was created.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Many works of fiction posit on rather negative interpretations of God—such as God Is Evil, God and Satan Are Both Jerks, and God Is Flawed. The Idea of Evil is essentially both an examination and a brutal evisceration of those tropes. Of course God Is Flawed—in this world, humans are what spawned it. If God and Satan Are Both Jerks, then they might as well be the same thing. If God Is Evil, then what else can it be, if people need it to be evil in order for there to be a reason for their own suffering? And ultimately—most important of all—the Idea of Evil is a deconstruction of the notion that God is meant to be an extension of the will of man; that God is meant to cater to man's needs and wants in order to truly be considered good, and that if God doesn't adhere to men's needs, then He must be evil, and contemptuous of humanity as a whole. But the Idea of Evil exists because humans need an answer for all their suffering, and it does ultimately serve humanity in that sense. By driving humans to the pits of despair, it in turn forces them to cast aside their own humanity in the pursuit of their own selfish desires.
- Deal with the Devil: The Godhand were all instated by the Idea of Evil upon the Eclipse that happens every 216 years. If they accept the deal of the previous Godhands, the applicant gets to meet the story's Greater-Scope Villain and to hear its goals.
- Deity of Human Origin: It even calls itself "the ungodly God born from Man".
- Eldritch Abomination: Played Straight and Subverted. Despite its gruesome appearance and its otherworldly goals that even the Godhand don't completely fathom it's not an alien being older than man. Rather it is humanity's desire for there to be such a creature that made it appear.
- Evil Is Visceral: It presents itself as a horribly deformed human heart, studded with eyes.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There is no better way to describe this being's nature than its very name.
- Foreshadowing: Although none of his nature is foreshadowed anywhere, the existence of a god-like being that rules over the Godhand has been foreshadowed several times. The very fact that the Godhand members came from humans, Slan's statement that the Godhand are not gods, and the fact that the Godhand are referred to as Five Angels, all point out to the existence of a God who created and rules over them.
- God Is Evil: Inverted. It's more Evil Is God.
- God of Evil: Not literally. People unwittingly worship it simply by wanting a cause for their suffering, but it has no formal cult.
- Gone Horribly Right: People wanted there to be a rhyme and reason to their suffering. They got it, even though they don't know that the Idea even exists, nor that it's making their lives even more miserable.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Higher than the whole of the Godhand, but has no direct interaction with Guts.
- The Heartless: It was born from the human beings' desire for a cause for their suffering. As long as humanity exists and believes that all pain has a reason, it will live on.
- Humans Are Flawed: Indirectly proven as a result of the Idea's mere existence. One could argue that Humans Are Bastards as a result of their desires literally spawning an entity that's Made of Evil, but that would ignore the fact that the Idea is merely a manifestation of humanity's simple wish to have an answer for all their suffering. The Idea of Evil wasn't born out of malice; it was born because the horror of the series' setting (what with the constant wars, rape, starvation, wanton murder, and bloodshed even without the presence of the Apostles) led humans to believe that the only answer to their suffering was that evil, as a concept, existed. They believed that such suffering couldn't be unless there was something causing it and by doing that, wished that something into existence.
- Loose Canon: As explained above, the Idea's sole appearance was excised from the volume it would have appeared in because it gave a lot away, but at the same time, it is still alluded to vaguely, suggesting that the Idea itself has not become an extracanonical character.
- Made of Evil: It is the incarnation of the human concept of evil.
- Monster Progenitor: It is the creator of the Godhand and, through them, the creator of Apostles as well. It is hinted throughout the story that it also has a connection to Beherits. Whether or not it has a role in their creation and attribution is still unknown.
- Orcus on His Throne: Doesn't act directly to stop Guts and his group, nor does it seem to really care about them at all. At least at the moment.
- Satanic Archetype: Played with. The Idea of Evil, despite its name, doesn't want to bring humanity to its doom by actively plotting against humans. It only gives people what they desire the most, especially if there's a chance for said desire to completely blow up in the person's face.
- Tulpa: A God created by humanity subconsciously wanting there to be a reason for their suffering.
- Ultimate Evil: We only catch a brief, unclear glimpse of it in the main work.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Not the Idea itself; humanity as a whole wanted an answer for all the suffering present in their world, and in doing so unintentionally birthed a creature that would make the world even worse than it already had been.
- Walking Spoiler: You can't know about it without purposely looking for the episode it happened in. And indeed, said episode explains just how the Berserk-verse works.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Invoked and Subverted. On one hand, the Idea's will seems to always take form sooner or later through the laws of Causality. On the other hand, free will does seem to exist for the Idea... but it will just rearrange the events in order for the individual to take a route that will serve the Idea's goals no matter what.
Powerful demonic monsters who (mostly) obey the orders of the Godhand, Apostles are all former human beings who each once possessed one of the Artifacts of Doom known as Beherits. Upon reaching a Despair Event Horizon that activated their Beherit and summoned the Godhand to them, they made a Deal with the Devil to get an immortal body and the freedom to follow their depraved urges as long as they obey their masters. In exchange they sacrificed the person dearest to them as an offering to be devoured, and are damned to eternity in the vortex of souls when they die. Every Apostle has two forms: a humanoid one that would let them pass as human if not for some clear deformity or Red Right Hand, and a completely monstrous One-Winged Angel form that they usually unleash when a fight gets serious.
Apostles come in many shapes, sizes, and strengths, and demonstrate a wide variety of supernatural abilities. What they have in common is that they are much tougher and stronger than normal humans, and seem to have indefinite lifespans unless they are killed. Most are sadistic predators who massacre and eat humans, and many are hideously ugly or even types of Eldritch Abomination. However, not all Apostles necessarily eat humans and the leaders of the new Band of the Hawk covered in Berserk: Band of the Hawk are scary but less ugly in their Apostle forms.
A great legion of Apostles, including those listed here, participated in the massacre of the original Band of the Hawk during the Eclipse, as part of a ceremony inducting Griffith into the Godhand as their fifth member. This is what forms the impetus of Guts' unyielding rage towards the Godhand and all those who act in accordance to their will.
- All for Nothing: Probably the worst part of becoming an Apostle: It doesn't fix anything. Rosine and the Count still want to be loved, Wyald is crippled by his fear of death, the Egg regrets not having met someone like Mozgus while he was alive to help him and even Ganishka for all his power is still on the verge of a breakdown due to fear and paranoia. Being turned into a monster is just a quick way to change the subject after hitting rock bottom but it doesn't mean the Apostles won't hit it again (and given the Godhand's relation with causality they already know it will happen).
- Arc Villain: Most of the major apostles feature as the main antagonist of a chapter or arc in the first half of the series. The Snake Baron was the main villain of the first episode The Black Swordsman, The Count of The Guardians of Desire, Rosine of Lost Children, and the Egg of the Perfect World of Birth Ceremony.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Apostles are superhumanly durable regardless of where you hit them, but if you want to put them down and keep them down, going for their still-human bits is generally your best move. As a result, most Apostle battles involve finding this vulnerable area and inflicting the most serious damage you can on it.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Their deals with demons will lead them straight down to Hell, regardless of whatever goodness may remain deep in their hearts.
- Beauty = Goodness: The nobler Apostles — particularly the more knightly members of the Neo Band of the Hawk — are notably much easier on the eyes than the more despicable ones. Contrast Locus and Irvine with the Count and Wyald.
- The Cameo: Several Apostles that Guts has encountered in his time as the Black Swordsman can be seen during the events leading up to the Eclipse.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Apostles were a major threat early in the series, with Guts needing to fight with everything he had to kill one, and there were points during his fights with the Snake Baron, the Snail Count, and Rosine where they could have killed him if not for outside interference or Evil Gloating. Now that all the Apostles in the world are serving Griffith, they've been demoted to Elite Mooks. Justified, since Guts has the Berserker Armor, which makes him much stronger and brings out his Superpowered Evil Side.
- Deal with the Devil: Every Apostle is born by making one of these with the Godhand.
- Despair Event Horizon: In order to become an Apostle, you have to have reached the lowest point of your life in order to activate that neato Beherit.
- Dragged Off to Hell: This is what happens to any Apostle who dies in the series. It's the price you pay for dealing with demons.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Part of the package: take the Sacrifice, and be reborn as a demon. How monstrous their base form is varies from Apostle to Apostle, but even the more humanoid ones embody this after going One-Winged Angel.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Their Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing, so they destroy their clothing when taking their demon form. Some of them, like Rosine or the Unnamed Female Apostle, go naked anyways in their human forms.
- The Hedonist: The Apostles are given one only goal by the Godhand: do as one pleases. Which bodes poorly for anyone in their wake.
- Humanoid Abomination: Each one has a form that's generally more human-like in appearance, but there's often something very off about it.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: You become an Apostle by sacrificing someone you truly care about to the Godhand in your greatest moment of despair, in an effort to Never Be Hurt Again. Despite events playing out largely according to the Godhand's will in the grand scheme of things, you're ultimately the one to make the choice in the end. The fact that so many Apostles are seen throughout the series just hammers home how easy it is for human beings to cast aside their loved ones for their own selfish desires.
- On the flipside, there are a few things about the Apostles which posit that Humans Are Flawed, but ultimately are good by nature. To elaborate, living in the Berserk world sucks. It's a Dark Fantasy world that runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Your Mind Makes It Real, so while not rampant until the Fantasia Arc, there are still horrible supernatural creatures around that prey on humanity, compounded by the general ignorance of the populace and the influence of a corrupt, zealous church. In spite of all this, as it's more or less stated that all the Apostles barring a few exceptions are gathered under Griffith, it is shown that there aren't that many Apostles when compared to the Earth's population. This in turn implies most people don't give into despair despite how hard their lives may be. The Apostles that are explored in depth are clearly outliers and not a typical sample of humanity as a whole, and even after their transformation are still capable of possessing conscience, honor, and nobility. Lastly, even the existence of the Idea of Evil proves humanity as a whole has an ingrained sense of right and wrong, because if people didn't believe in good or evil or that there was no purpose to anything, then everybody would have either committed suicide or humanity as a race would be a bunch of amoral entities.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: A horrifyingly twisted example; if you want to become an Apostle, prove your mettle by sacrificing someone you love to demons.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Many Apostles are not above chowing down on their former species.
- Immortality: Largely implied to be Type II, but even then it's a bit blurry, such as the case of Zodd who is in Type III territory.
- Ironic Name: Western culture usually associates the word apostle with the followers of Jesus in the Bible. These Apostles follow inverted principles, however—serving a Satanic Archetype in Griffith as opposed to a Messianic Archetype.
- It's All About Me: The Godhand visit recipients of Beherits in their greatest moment of despair, giving them an easy out by way of transforming them into demons, in turn hardening their hearts away from pain. A great many choose to become demons because it's quite easy to want a painless life in the face of torment and despair—even at the cost of your loved ones.
- It's Personal: Guts bears a huge grudge against all of the Apostles for the events during the Eclipse.
- The Juggernaut: Every Apostle is many times tougher than your average human, meaning that they are all quite hard to kill or even slow down.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: It is certain that anyone who makes the deal to become an Apostle will be sent to Hell upon death, and be trapped forever in a vortex of souls where the very essence of their being gets stripped away. Thing is, Apostles are virtually immortal, and though they can be killed, doing so basically requires an army. And, if we're looking at specific cases, like Nosferatu Zodd, then perhaps not even that will be enough.
- Kill the Ones You Love: You are required to sacrifice the soul of someone you truly care for to the Godhand in order to complete your transformation into an Apostle.
- Moment of Weakness: When details about the Deal with the Devil are shown, not only was the future Apostle desperate to remove the pain but the loved one to be used as sacrifice was likely the cause of this pain as well.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Invoked. Since the Beherits will appear to chosen people in their most desperate hour, it's only natural that most willingly sacrifice their loved ones in order to never succumb to physical and/or emotional vulnerability.
- One-Winged Angel: When an Apostle wants to eat someone, horrify someone before eating them, or take the gloves off when their regular form isn't enough, they'll take on their true monstrous demonic form.
- Our Demons Are Different: Every Apostle is different, owing to the fact that every one of them was once human and the circumstances surrounding their Despair Event Horizon are all different. They are not in the business of punishing sinners like many demons, but in doing whatever they please at the behest of the Godhand, their master. It is possible to kill them with physical weapons, but we wish you the best of luck on that.
- Power Perversion Potential: Since the Apostles are given unimaginable demonic power, many lack moral scruples or inhibitions because they are largely unbound by societal consequences. After all, they are told to do as they wish, and it would be difficult to do whatever they wish if they had not the abilities to say, escape prison or evade the authorities.
- Red Right Hand: Even in human form, they're clearly not entirely human; the Baron has fangs, Wyald looks like an ape, Rosine still has wings and long ears, Zodd is a ten foot tall demon thing that disguises himself as an eight foot tall ogre thing... the Count gets off easiest since he just gets fatter.
- See You in Hell: Likely a literal case! Anyone who has "dealings with demons" is said to be trapped within the Vortex of Souls, AKA Hell. This includes those the Apostles sacrificed to become their demonic selves. And since Apostles also go to Hell when they die, they're basically having a reunion with old friends. A very, very horrifying reunion where your identity is stripped away and your soul's trapped in an undulating tornado of souls, forever and ever and ever...
- Super Strength: While the extent varies, and there are a few particularly notorious powerhouses, all Apostles are superhumanly strong, and get even stronger in their full demonic forms. In fact, being able to even approach Apostles in strength is part of what makes Guts so abnormal.
- Super Toughness: Another automatic Apostle superpower. There's a reason Guts lugs around the Dragonslayer - there aren't many smaller weapons that can significantly hurt an Apostle, let alone kill them.
- Tragic Villain: Played with. As a requirement for getting the job, all apostles went through events horrible enough to make them sacrifice that which they loved most in order to attain power, but most of them are so horrible that they lose any possibility of sympathy from the audience. Payed straight with a couple of them, however, such as Rosine and the Egg of the Perfect World.
- This Was His True Form: Whenever an Apostle dies, in addition to their soul being Dragged Off to Hell, the body reverts to what he or she looked like when he or she was still human. This also applies to any Apostle spawns that they create, which has gotten Guts into trouble in the past.
- Tin Man: The process to become an Apostle requires you to consign the soul of someone you genuinely care for to the gates of Hell—in turn hardening your heart to the suffering of others and utterly removing your humanity. At least, that's what the Godhand tells you. However, some Apostles such as The Count and Rosine have shown the ability to love specific people and feel regret for sacrificing their loved ones despite having supposedly gotten rid of all those feelings, making it seem like their capacity for mercy and compassion is not so much completely removed as it is forgotten or repressed.
- Unishment: Zigzagged. It's made perfectly clear that any who willingly become an Apostle will be sentenced to Hell upon death. A grim fate, surely, but since Apostles are pretty much impervious to natural causes of death, and most conventional weapons barely even damage them, it's not hard to see why many of them aren't so worried about dying. Then they meet Guts, and suddenly things go very, very poorly for them.
- Was Once a Man: Every single Apostle was once human.
The very first Apostle that Guts kills in the manga, the unnamed female Apostle appears as a beautiful naked blonde human woman who entices men to enter into her embrace before assuming her monstrous Apostle form and devouring them alive. During the Eclipse, she is the Apostle responsible for eating Corkus. When she tries the same thing with Guts in the very first scene of the manga when he's having sex with her, Guts sticks his Arm Cannon into her mouth before unceremoniously blowing her brains out the back of her head with one blast.
- Boom, Headshot!: Guts kills her by blowing her brains out the back of her head with his Arm Cannon.
- Death by Irony: Hilariously enough, she dies in the same circumstances as her victims: she gets her head blasted off when having sex with Guts.
- Death by Sex: Most of her victims get eaten while having sex with her, but Guts manages to kill her instead.
- Demoted to Extra: Berserk (2016) removes her appearance at the beginning of the Black Swordsman Arc, where she had spoken lines and more importance in the manga, but she gets a non-speaking appearance in Episode 4's Eclipse flashback.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Many fans feel that Guts' having sex with her is out-of-character, since he is otherwise incredibly faithful to Casca. In a Watsonian vs. Doylist analysis, the Doylist explanation is that Miura had very little of Guts' backstory planned out in advance when he started writing and didn't come up with Casca and the Band of the Hawk until later on. At the same time, fans have tried to come up with various Watsonian explanations: Some suggest that he might have been influenced by the beginnings of his Beast of Darkness, while others say he pretended to fall into her trap in order to lower her guard. This may be why she was Demoted to Extra in adaptations.
- Expy: Possibly inspired by the Wolf Witch in Conan the Barbarian (1982), who transforms during sex and tries to devour the hero, only to get killed herself.
- Fan Disservice: Her true form is as hideous as her human form is alluring.
- Horny Devils: She is a demon who uses sex to lure men into her clutches.
- Literal Maneater: A female monster who uses the sexual attractiveness of her humanoid form to lure in and eat male humans.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The bangs that cover one eye in her human form make her look sultry and sexy, but also hint that she is deceitful.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Even lower than the Baron on the demonic totem-pole. She's practically a mook to Guts.
- The Vamp: She looks like a beautiful woman and lures men into her clutches so she can eat them alive.
Voiced by: Kan Tokumaru (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Lex Wutas (English, Berserk (1997)), Joaquín Gómez (Spanish, Berserk (1997)), Hiroo Sasaki (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
The first Apostle introduced in Berserk (1997) and the second to be introduced in the manga, The Baron leads a wicked band of soldiers headquartered in Koka castle who oppress the population of the outlying city. The mayor pays him tribute in gold and sacrificial prisoners—including women and children—in exchange for restraining his men from attacking.
He makes no attempt to justify his actions, saying that he simply revels in death and destruction, and his backstory is never revealed. He wears snake-themed full plate armor when he goes rampaging, and his true Apostle form is that of a huge humanoid cobra with a human face inside its mouth.
He's the very first Apostle to mention that Guts is indeed a common foe to all Apostles.
- Adapted Out: He was cut out of Berserk (2016) in the process of compressing the Black Swordsman Arc. Also, while in the manga he was seen by some lumberjacks in the woods before the Eclipse, the third Golden Age Arc movie replaces him in said scene by a gigantic version of the Unnamed Female Apostle.
- Ax-Crazy: His rampages reveal him as nothing more than a violent sadist that gets a kick out of wanton massacres.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The Baron's evil rampage through the village turns into this when Guts shows up.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Receives it at Guts' hands after he gets cut in half. Guts questions him about the Godhand, but the Baron claims he doesn't know. In any case, Guts wanted to show him how his victims felt: helpless and in unbearable pain, but still afraid of death and desperately wanting to survive.
- Dirty Coward: As long as he was convinced he was invulnerable, he killed and terrorized without fearing any consequences. When Guts proves to him that he can be killed after all, he pleads for the mercy that he would have never granted to his victims. Guts doesn't give him any.
- Eats Babies: Drinks the blood of a child impaled on his halberd during his rampage through the town, as if to show just how much of a monster he is.
- Evil Gloating: Before eating Guts, he simply cannot resist rubbing his superiority in Guts' face. This gives Guts exactly the chance he needed to unload his shiny Arm Cannon right in the Baron's face.
- Fangs Are Evil: Obligatory for a snake villain.
- For the Evulz: He enjoys the suffering of humans and does not pretend to have any other reason for his actions.
- I'm a Humanitarian: As a monster who dines on human flesh, he demands tribute from the lord mayor including cartloads of women and children to serve at his table.
- Flat Character: His whole personality is that he is unapologetically sadistic and evil. As the very first real enemy Guts has in the manga, he sets the tone for demons to come in this series.
- Karmic Death: Guts blows him to pieces, tortures him, and leaves him to burn to death in the flames of his own evil rampage. The Apostle who loved the sound of his victims' screaming gives the same satisfaction to his own killer, and dies shrieking in agony.
- Lean and Mean: Tall, thin, and deeply malevolent.
- Looks Like Orlok: Resembles the silent film vampire of yore, only he has more snake traits than vampire or rat traits.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: His quote tells you all you need to know about him.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Falls victim to this at the hands of Guts. Guts intentionally made his death as drawn out and painful as possible, but if anyone ever deserved to die in such a way it was the Baron.
- Pointy Ears: His pointy ears make him look inhuman and villainous.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Leads his men on a rampage through the town where they set the buildings on fire and slaughter people in the streets. He doesn't really care about loot, however; he just delights in the carnage.
- Scaled Up: His One-Winged Angel form is that of a gigantic humanoid snake. In this shape he comes close to killing the Black Swordsman, up until Guts unloads his cannon-arm right in his face at point blank range.
- Smug Snake: Quite literally, as his true form is also a giant snake. He did not consider Guts to be a real threat even though he was rumored to have killed multiple Apostles, and this overconfidence causes his downfall.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: As demons go, he's one of the weaker ones compared to some of Guts's other enemies.
- Spikes of Villainy: His armor's gauntlets, knees, and elbows end in spikes, as if he wasn't Obviously Evil enough already.
- Starter Villain: The first major Apostle that Guts fights in the manga.
- Tin Tyrant: Wears extravagantly evil full armor when he rides out, complete with villainous spikes and a cobra-shaped helmet that puts his face in shadow except for his terrifying eyes and fanged mouth.
- Tail Slap: In snake form he wrecks Guts with his powerful tail. His mistake was not finishing him right then.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once Guts fells him to the ground and begins to torture him with his crossbow, he wretchedly wails in pain and begs for mercy.
- Weapon of Choice: Favors a large halberd when he's in human form.
Voiced by: Kouzou Douzaka (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
The ruler of a county centered around a castle town and the father of Theresia, the Count (伯爵 Hakushaku) is the third Apostle to appear in the manga. In contrast to the barely introduced Female Apostle and the flatly depicted Baron of Koka Castle, he is a complex villain with a developed Backstory.
Once the benevolent ruler of his fief and a strong opponent to paganism, discovering his beloved wife wallowing in a pagan orgy made him completely lose it. As a result, he sold his soul to the Godhand and tore his wife apart in his first act as an Apostle. As a result of having becoming indebted to the Godhand, he has turned into an utter tyrant. Despite everything, he still cares for his daughter and keeps her sheltered in her room, bringing her gifts and trinkets as twisted expressions of his fatherly love.
He appears as a morbidly obese man as a human, and then as a giant slug as an Apostle. Chronologically, he first appears, along with Rosine, at the onset of the Eclipse and is responsible for the slaughter of the wounded camp of the original Hawks. His fight with Guts also introduces the Godhand for the first time in the manga and explains a lot about the way Apostle and the Godhand are interconnected.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Possibly before becoming an Apostle—depending on who you ask, but definitely after.
- Bald of Evil: One of his attributes, although he was totally bald even before he became an Apostle.
- Church Militant: When he was a human he led crusades against pagans and heretics, which is why the discovery that his wife engaged in pagan orgies hit him so hard.
- Completely Missing the Point: He must not have been paying close attention during his ascension to apostlehood. He appears to believe that sacrifices are chosen because of their importance to the Godhand, by which measure Guts would have been a prime choice. Instead it turns out that what's important is how great of a sacrifice it will be to you.
- Demoted to Extra: Gets his villain arc passed over in the part of Berserk (2016) where it would have happened, in the interest of spending as little screen time on the Black Swordsman Arc as possible. He still appears in a non-speaking role in flashbacks of the Eclipse.
- Despair Event Horizon: The exact moment that he despaired was when he tried to kill his wife for betraying him but found he could not bring himself to do it, and saw her smile knowingly in triumph. His despair, however, activated his Behelit and summoned the Godhand. Thinking he had nothing to lose, he sold his soul to become an Apostle and messily devoured his wife.
- Dragged Off to Hell: With the help off the victims whose lives he destroyed, including the vengeful spirit of Vargas himself.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He and Rosine were responsible for the slaughter of the Band of the Hawks' wounded camp that Rickert witnessed and barely escaped.
- Establishing Character Moment: We first see him presiding over the execution of a young woman who tearfully protests her innocence, sitting on his throne enjoying the spectacle with a cup of wine. When asked by Dahl whether the number of executions might be excessive, he replies that he wants anyone suspicious arrested as a heretic and punished. This establishes him as a corrupt and greedy Evil Overlord who oppresses his subjects under the hypocritical excuse of religion and justice, and whose own minions are afraid of him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely loves his daughter, Theresia, which is his only saving grace.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His subjects call him "the Count" and his daughter calls him "Father". We never do learn his name.
- Evil Overlord: He becomes one after accepting the Godhand's offer.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He takes extreme measures to guard Theresia from the evils of the world, keeping her inside so that she won't be exposed to heretics or find out the truth about him and her mother.
- Fat Bastard: His morbid obesity is a sign of his greed and depravity after his transformation. Before that he was still fat but less so, and also more sympathetic.
- Feudal Overlord: Since he pretty much rules the place, and neither the Pope or any other authority has much jurisdiction there, he oppresses his subjects with impunity.
- Fool for Love: Sometimes, you really can't help but feel sorry for this poor, sadistic asshole. He was a militant Knight Templar, but he truly did love his wife, and when he found out about her little "secret" his world understandably came crashing down. It even makes you wonder if she ever really loved him back.
- A Glass of Chianti: He enjoys a cup of wine while watching a young woman's execution.
- Hidden Depths: Your first impression of the Count gets an unexpected twist when he visits Theresia, showing that he has someone he cares about.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He eats those unable to withstand his "experiments".
- Hypocrite: During his reign of terror as an Apostle, he publicly claims to be conducting his executions for the sake of his people's safety and religious purity. While he once believed in this motivation a long time ago, he has since stopped caring about anything except his own pleasure in torture and cannibalism, and is just as religiously deviant as the heretics since he sold his soul to the closest thing the Berserk verse has to the Devil.
- Interrupted Suicide: He was about to fatally thrust his own sword into his throat when the Godhand appeared and offered to take away his despair.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Heavily downplayed; he was still fairly fat and unattractive as a human, but he looked a lot better than he did after becoming an Apostle.
- Karma Houdini: In both anime adaptations, due to the "Guardians of Desire" storyline being removed, he goes unpunished for having feasted on the Hawks before and during the Eclipse.
- Knight Templar: He is implied to have been this before becoming an Apostle, as he often led hunts for pagans and heretics and believed he was doing the right thing. After his transformation though he he started torturing and killing for kicks, not even caring whether his victims were heretics or innocent.
- Knight Templar Parent: And he becomes this after becoming an Apostle, partially to protect Theresia from the evils of the world, and partially to protect her from the Awful Truth.
- Losing Your Head: Although he would have eventually died if left to his own devices, he manages to cling to life for quite a long time after Guts decapitates him, even retaining the ability to speak.
- Mad Scientist: He used his subjects as guinea pigs for "experimentation".
- Pet the Dog: Even as he continues to kill and devour his people, he earnestly wants to protect the safety and innocence of his daughter, and brings her Puck as a present to ease her loneliness. He eventually refuses to sacrifice his daughter in order to escape death, even though this means his eternal damnation.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Before his transformation he was overweight and unattractive, but had a famously beautiful wife. At least he was a lot less ugly and obese than after he became as an Apostle, as Ubrik mentioned.
Voiced by: Kunihiro Kawamoto (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
Sent by the King of Midland after the Hawks after the Bakiraka fail to prevent Griffith's escape, the bestial Apostle Wyald (ワイアルド Waiarudo) looks like a cross between human and ape. Nothing is known of his past before he became the leader of the Black Dog Knights, the most savage and brutal force in Midland. They consist of murderers and rapists who have been banished from the land but spared on the condition that they fight for Midland's King.
Perverted, hedonistic, evil to the point of stupidity and a bit of a Leeroy Jenkins, his motto is "Make it fun, make it stimulating!" He rules over his troops through terror, threatening to kill anyone who doesn't charge blindly into the battle just like he does, regardless of the danger. Believing himself invincible, he is extremely surprised to find his match in Guts and the Band of the Hawk.
His Apostle form is that of an enormous three-eyed ape monster with a second large mouth at the level of his shoulders. Ironically, his human form is that of a frail old man, as shown after Zodd comes personally to rip him in half in order to stop him from interfering with the imminence of the Eclipse.
- Adapted Out: Was taken out and replaced with a generic human knight in Berserk (1997) who was given some of his lines about how Griffith was beyond crippled. The studio considered including him in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III, but ultimately they had to economize by leaving him out. He finally makes his big adaptation debut in Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, as a playable character no less!
- Animal Motifs: Wyald's negative characteristics are symbolized by his resemblance to an ape. He is inhumanly strong, sexually incontinent, and resembles a human enough to be seen as distinctly sub-human in behavior and morality.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: He leads the Black Dog Knights, a unit that exclusively recruits convicts who would otherwise be exiled, imprisoned or executed.
- Asshole Victim: His utterly contemptible behaviour and personality don't elicit much pity from anyone when Zodd unceremoniously dispatches him.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Successfully Invoked when he persuaded the King of Midland to make whichever convict proved himself the toughest the leader of the Black Dog Knights, winning the position by giving his opponent such a Cruel and Unusual Death that nobody else dared to challenge him. Also Deconstructed in that he has no qualification to lead besides being the strongest fighter, causing his men to die by using Leeroy Jenkins tactics and killing anyone who annoys him.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: His One-Winged Angel form is a giant ape.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a friggin' hedonist who kills and rapes 24/7 For the Evulz.
- Bad Boss: Kills his own underlings on a regular basis to remind them who's boss, because he was in a bad mood, or just for the hell of it. He takes this trope to self-defeating extremes, and it's the reason why the Black Dog Knights are so evil. Wyald's minions fear their boss so much they prefer to throw themselves head first on Guts' sword, and it's clear that they would desert him if not for how he'd punish them if they tried.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Gives Guts an Oh, Crap! moment by stopping his sword hand in mid-swing and almost crushing it with his grip. Downplayed in that he did this instead of grabbing the blade itself, but he makes up for it by using his teeth next. The last time he tries this doesn't go so well: When Guts ambushes him from the trees, Wyald stops the sword by taking it through his open palm, but the sword breaks in the middle so that Guts reaches his head and stabs him in the neck with what's left on the hilt.
- Belly Mouth: His Apostle form has a giant second mouth at chest level, which he uses to devour a horse and rider at the same time. It also houses his hideous 'tongue'.
- The Brute: A huge, dimwitted, and incredibly strong henchman for the King of Midland who gets sent after the Hawks after the Bakiraka fail.
- Calling Your Attacks: Shouts the names of his 'techniques' as he attacks, such as "WYAAAAALLD JUMP! WYAAAAALD BACKFIST!"
- Card-Carrying Villain: He's evil and he LOOOOVES it.
- Carry a Big Stick: Favours a crude club in both his forms - and by 'crude', we mean that he'll happily use uprooted trees as weapons.
- Catchphrase: His motto as The Hedonist is "Excitement! Enjoyment!" He makes his men repeat it to indoctrinate them.
- I Control My Minions Through...: Wyald controls his mooks through a combination of fear, sadism, and power. He became leader of the Black Dog Knights in the first place by killing the other guy who fought him for it in a gruesome and inexplicable manner, such that no one dared to challenge him afterwards. This overlaps with Authority, since the King of Midland appointed him as their leader upon seeing that he was the strongest. Since then, Wyald's minions have obeyed even his most unreasonable orders for fear that he will kill them at the slightest excuse. He also appeals to their sadism by letting them rape and kill as much as they want, but they undoubtedly follow him mainly because he would kill them if they hesitated.
- Dead Guy on Display: Not only does he rape and murder a young woman who helped the Hawks, but he also kills every one of the innocents with her, and then carries their naked dismembered bodies on poles into battle with the Hawks.
- Dirty Coward: Despite unjustly killing countless people, and forcing his own subordinates to ride into battle without any concern for their own survival, he becomes terrified when faced with his own mortality and contemptibly grovels for his life before Zodd kills him.
- Dragged Off to Hell: After Zodd rips his body apart, the ghastly arms of tormented spirits come out of the wound and drag him to his damnation in the vortex of souls.
- Due to the Dead: The disgraceful way that Wyald and his men treat their victims' corpses is yet another sign of their villainy.
- Dumb Muscle: Though super-strong and not a force to be taken lightly, Wyald certainly is one of the dumbest apostles on the scale. He substitutes brute force for skill, and never plans or thinks ahead.
- Establishing Character Moment: Wyald is introduced having an orgy with dozens of women when a the messenger brings the king of Midland's orders. As he gets to the end with the woman he's with, he chokes her until she's about to pass out and discards her when he's finished. This establishes him as a hedonist Psycho for Hire and sets the tone for the rest of his appearance.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While Wyald is beyond redemption by the time of his story, in order for him to have even become an apostle, he had to have sacrificed a loved one to the god hand. Although, given how bad he is in his story appearance, he was probably never a nice person.
- Evil Old Folks: Before becoming an apostle, Wyald was an old man. After Zodd kills him, he turns back to his original form, much to everyone's surprise.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: In Apostle form, his ape body has three extra large eyes in unnatural places: One above his giant mouth and one on each of his giant shoulders.
- Eye Scream: Guts cuts Wyald's ape body's middle eye with his sword, and then one of his real eyes with his dagger.
- Faux Affably Evil: Has a tendency to sometimes talk friendly with certain people such as the Midland King, when it's clearly obvious he's nothing more then a depraved psychopath who's enjoying every moment of it. He even "apologizes" for roughing up Casca while preparing to rape her to death, and to Guts while attempting to hunt down and kill him.Wyald: Bad. Bad. It's been 100 years since I've had to suffer such misery. I'm sorry I got so mad. Hey... Why don't you come out... I will kill you painlessly...
- For the Evulz: His delight in wickedness just for the thrill of it is so Exaggerated that he qualifies for Stupid Evil. See that entry as well.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Throws his spear at Guts with the young woman he killed earlier still impaled on it.
- Groin Attack: The deserving victim of a groin attack, both in the size of the organ attacked and the size of the weapon. Guts "takes his weapon away from him" in order to stop him from having his way with Casca and put an end to Wyald's raping days for good. It is satisfying to see him punished in a fashion appropriate to his crimes.Guts: Don't go swinging that filthy thing over my head!
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Before he can harm Griffith any further, Zodd rips Wyald's body in half on his horns. It's quite a gory mess.
- Hate Sink: Wyald seems determined to be as big a repulsive monster as he can in his relatively small screen-time. He leads a band of mercenaries in raping, torturing, and murdering any unfortunate man, woman or child who crosses their paths For the Evulz. He also casually kills his men, either for questioning his orders, fleeing from battle, or simply to amuse himself. In addition, he's also a massive misogynist, raping any woman he comes across, and even claims that women "look best with nothing on" during his Attempted Rape of Casca.
- The Hedonist: As evil and short-sighted as a hedonist can get. Not only does he pursue instant gratification for himself with no respect for the lives or happiness of others, but he even endangers his own survival with his reckless debauchery. His motto is "Make it fun, make it stimulating!"
- Horny Devils: When he's not fighting, he is having sex with women at random. Willing or not.
- Hypocrite: Criticizes his own men for not wanting to ride blindly into danger like him (despite how this is obviously a bad idea), but panics at the prospect of his own death. He also insults Griffith's Torturer by calling him a pervert. Rather funny seeing that coming from a depraved Serial Rapist.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Captures Casca as a hostage while she's trying to defend an unconscious Guts, strips her clothes off, and gloats that he's going to have his way with her while the the other Hawks watch helplessly. He's about to rape her with his horrifying penis-tongue, when Guts wakes up just in time and pulls the most righteous cock-block in the series.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Killed Barbo, the only convict who was cocky enough to fight him for the top spot, by gruesomely and inexplicably sticking him on the pinnacle of a tower. Ironically he himself meets a similar fate when Zodd gores him with his horns before ripping him in half.
- Killer Gorilla: He looks rather like an ape even in his human form, and transforms into a giant, King Kong sized gorilla in his Apostle form.
- Kick the Dog: All the time and enjoys it immensely.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His utter disregard for his men's lives, going so far as to set them up to get killed so he can laugh about their deaths would make you feel sorry for them, if it weren't for the fact that they're the worst murderers, rapists and all-round scum in Midland. He ends up on the receiving end of this when Zodd tears him in half, not for any of the other crimes he's committed but for trying to kill Griffith.
- Large and in Charge: Through his stupid nature, he still imposes fear among his much smaller subordinates.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Plan? What Plan? Even when he already knows there's a trap or ambush ahead, he won't consider any option besides charging right into it.
- Magic Pants: Averted. When he transforms to his full size, he bursts out of his clothes and armor, sending them flying in all directions.
- Meaningful Name: Wyald is wild. He has absolutely no inhibitions.
- Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: As if the sword catch wasn't enough, Wyald manages to stop Guts' huge sword by biting it, and then knocks out Guts' horse with a punch. Guts quips as soon as he frees himself, "What the hell do you eat with those teeth?"
- Oh, Crap!:
- He has a very abrupt and karmic moment of panic when Guts pulls off the mother of all cockblocks on him to save Casca. The look on his face is hysterical.
- He also has two in such quick succession they count as one when he realizes that (A) Griffith does not have the Behelit on him, and so there is no way to summon the Godhand and save himself from the wounds Guts gave him and (B) Nosferatu Zodd has just landed right behind him, in FULL APOSTLE MODE, and he is not happy. See it here, it's very cathartic.
- Pelts of the Barbarian: Seemingly institutes this as the Black Dog Knights dress code, to reinforce just how barbaric and wild they are. They grow their hair long and wild, wearing little besides their cuirasses and the furs around their loins and shoulders. Wyald himself wears a great wolf pelt with the animal's face still on it over his head and shoulders, as well as black fur pelts lashed around his shins and forearms by leather thongs.
- Primal Stance: Seeing that his apostle form is a mutant ape, it's only practical that Wyald's reborn human form has ape-like characteristics, including his posture and gait.
- Psycho for Hire: He was once a psychotic prisoner who willingly let himself be captured to allow himself to work for the king. He's loyal to the King of Midland only because it gives him the chance to rape, torture, and kill people without being punished. Even his evil masters hold him in contempt for being so mad and unrestrained.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Wyald and his Black Dog Knights' modus operandi whenever they encounter a settlement is to rape the women, kill every man, woman, and child, and stick their corpses on poles. It's a very effective way to Kick the Dog, and even the king's subjects suffered this treatment. This made them so infamous that the king had them exiled to the border.
- Rasputinian Death: Because of his Super Toughness, the heroes try just about every method of killing him until one finally works. They try to blow him along with the bridge using great kegs of gunpowder, and that doesn't work. They try to bury him under a rockslide of giant boulders, and that doesn't work. It ultimately takes Guts castrating him, stabbing out his eyes, and burying his sword in Wyald's neck to stop him, and even then he staggers to his feet one last time before Zodd gores him upon his horns and tears his body asunder.
- Serial Rapist: Probably the most egregious rapist in the series, he raped dozens or even hundreds of women while serving the King of Midland. His motivation is a combination of misogyny, unrestrained lust, and sadistic pleasure in dominating and harming people.
- The Sociopath: A far more low-functioning example than Griffith and Emperor Ganishka, Wyald is extremely impulsive and is always pursuing instant gratification for himself with no respect for the lives or happiness of others, or even his own.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Wyald is one of the weakest Apostle but the strongest enemy the Band of the Hawk faces Pre-Eclipse. This shows the difference between men and monsters and also how Guts has evolved as a warrior.
- Straw Misogynist: Thinks "all bitches should be naked" and generally acts as though the only reason women exist is to be raped. He's introduced raping and killing a large number of them.
- Stupid Evil: Goes out of his way to commit evil deeds even when it makes no sense to do so, to the point of figuratively shooting himself in the foot. For instance, he and his men stop to rape and kill a peasant family, taking time out of their pursuit of Griffith, and he leaves himself vulnerable by trying to rape Casca in the middle of a fight with Guts. He also kills off his own men at an alarming pace, when keeping them alive might have enabled him to win.
- Super Strength: One of the archetypal Apostle powerhouses, ridiculously strong even by the standards of his demonic kin. He's introduced throwing a (considerably bigger) man so hard that he's impaled on a church steeple, despite his hands being manacled together, and likes to use entire trees as clubs.
- This Was His True Form: Wyald's a notable case in that after Zodd bisects him, he reverts from his ape-like Apostle body into that of a frail old man, implying that he became an Apostle on his deathbed, and used his loved ones as his sacrifice.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: In his apostle form, he's enormous... aside from his head, which is very puny in comparison.
- Token Evil Teammate: He and the Black Dog Knights serve as this for the Midland army, being a band composed entirely of the kingdom's worst criminals who regularly Rape, Pillage, and Burn every settlement they come across.
- Too Dumb to Live: On top of his general stupidity, he tries to murder Griffith, the one and only person he is absolutely not allowed to kill under any circumstances due to the Godhand's orders. This ends badly for him when Zodd shows up and kills him for his disobedience.
- The Unfettered: He is completely driven by impulse and acts with no morals, reason, or common sense.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As they swordfight, Guts determines that Wyald isn't even using any technique; it's just that his reflexes are so inhuman that he's still managing to match blows with Guts, a Master Swordsman. Moreover even in his human form he's much stronger than Guts, being able to tear down a tree with his bare hands.
- Villains Want Mercy: When he's at Zodd's mercy for trying to kill Griffith, Wyald begs for his life, pointing out that he was just following the Godhand's law of "do as thou wilt." Zodd turns that logic against him by declaring that very law to be his reason to kill Wyald for endangering Griffith, and rips him in half.
- Weapon of Choice: A very crude wooden club, which accentuates his rough and brutish personality.
Voiced by: Nobuo Tobita (Berserk (2016))
A minor Apostle who tracks Guts' scent over a long distance shortly after the Eclipse and finds him living with Godo, transforming into the form of a grossly obese bulldog as he attempts to devour the branded struggler.
In Berserk (2016) he is introduced in a context different from the manga and given an expanded backstory as the antagonist of episode 3, in which Guts discovers him in a deserted mansion while fleeing the Holy Iron Chain Knights with Farnese as his hostage. According to Serpico, the house was built by a certain Count Lansdown who governed Midland's Western outskirts and was inordinately fond of hounds and hunting. Back when he was merely a grotesque human, the Apostle took care of the master's hounds, but the master would beat him and look down upon him as ugly and inferior. The master's lovely and innocent daughter was the only one who showed him any kindness, and when he used a behelit to summon the God Hand in his moment of despair, she was his sacrifice. He ate his master, and dressed up his lady's half-eaten remains as a trophy on the wall. By the time Farnese and Guts find him, he is living alone with the possessed hounds and has eaten many travelers and pilgrims. He tries to devour Guts in rage over the slaughter of his dogs and so that he can enjoy eating Farnese next, but Guts uses his cunning to exploit his obsession for his dead mistress, and kills him after a fruitless interrogation.
- Adaptation Expansion: As the bio above indicates, he gets a greatly expanded role and backstory from the 2016 anime.
- Animal Motifs: Resembles a jowly, obese bulldog with an under-bite and protruding fangs, though at first glance it's easy to mistake him for a pig. He took care of his master's hounds and had more sympathy for them than any person except for his masters' daughter.
- Bald of Evil: He's got one or two hairs on his head, and is a hideous monster to boot.
- Berserk Button: In the 2016 anime, besides hurting the hounds he loves, the one thing guaranteed to enrage him is someone else touching the preserved head of his mistress that he keeps as a trophy on the wall.
- Call-Back: Rickert refers back to the Keeper of the Hounds in episode 340, telling Rakshas that he decided to prepare an ambush instead of fleeing because he's seen an Apostle track someone for leagues, and knows that such pursuit isn't easy to shake off.
- Composite Character: In the 2016 anime, in which neither the Snake Baron nor the Snail Count appear, he takes over aspects of their roles. As a formidable opponent whose Apostle backstory is revealed over the course of his plot he stands in for the Count, and he stands in for the Baron as a minor Apostle whom Guts interrogates and finishes off after establishing that he knows nothing useful about the Godhand.
- Dumb Muscle: Speaks in a halting and inarticulate fashion, but is strong enough to smash through buildings and send Guts flying.
- Fat Bastard: Probably the most obsese apostle except for the Count, and just as evil.
- Jabba Table Manners: Guts cracks a grim joke that he's got no table manners. Not only does he eat people, he does it messily.
- Lecherous Licking: Lewdly licks Farnese's face with his tongue in the anime, saying that he loves the taste of a refined noblewoman.
- Picky People Eater: Not that he's picky about which parts to eat, but he claims that some people are tastier than others. After eating Guts, he's looking forward to cleansing his palette with a noblewoman like Farnese.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: He smells a branded sacrifice miles away, and follows the scent all the way to Guts' hiding place.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Will hunt his prey for miles, and refuses to give up on trying to eat Guts even when the payoff in food is clearly outweighed by how much Guts is butchering his body. Then again, Apostles aren't exactly governed by the normal rules of biology.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Declares Guts hurting his hounds to be unforgivable, saying that even the master of the house deserves to be fed to the dogs if he is cruel to them.
- Villainous Glutton: Greedily gobbles up humans to feed his hunger.
Rosine (ロシーヌ Roshīnu) is the youngest apostle introduced so far and the Arc Villain of the Lost Children chapter. Born to a village woman who was raped by a soldier, and thus possibly a Child by Rape, Rosine grew up abused and unhappy. As a result, she developed an obession with the Changeling Fantasy of becoming an elf like the ones in the stories she loved, especially the tale of a boy named Peerkaf who was ostracized for having pointed ears and red eyes. One night she ran away from home to search for elves in the Misty valley, and when her parents caught up to her, she sacrificed them to the God Hand and took the form of a human-sized elf with the wings and features of a butterfly.
Rosine used her new powers to create a sick version of her childhood fantasy, calling herself the queen of the elves and kidnapping children from her former village to turn into her servants. They frequently terrorize the people and their livestock, delighting in cruelty as if it were a game. If she has one shred of humanity left, it's her fondness for Jill, her childhood friend whom she tries to make one of her "elves".
Against Guts, she proves being a particularly tenacious opponent, so much indeed that Guts is too worn out to fight off the subsequent attack of the Holy Iron Chain Knights - which are regular humans - and ends up captured by Farnese. Rosine is then seen flying away, heavily wounded and delusional, before eventually falling to her death from the sky.
- Abusive Parents: Her mom was weak and utterly incompetent. Her dad was an outright asshole. Both paid for it the hard way!
- Alas, Poor Villain: Her final moments has her realizing she feels hungry for the first time since she became an apostle, falling from the sky while wondering "what's for supper..."
- Ambiguous Innocence: She and her elves commit great evils as if they were childrens' games, partly because they lack a grown-up understanding of the difference between right and wrong.
- Ambiguously Bi: Her obsession with Jill borders on Single-Target Sexuality, but she flirts with Guts during their fight.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted. Rosine and her elf children are drawn with both nipples and genitalia to indicate the fact that they're transformed humans rather than real elves like Puck, who is depicted like a Ken doll.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: She sacrifices her mother and father in order to transform into an elf like she always dreamed of, but in the end she realizes that she would have rather been a normal girl who was able to live happily with her parents.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Rosine has unusually thick eyebrows for a girl, which kind of suits her Tomboy personality.
- Break the Cutie: As a child she only wanted to be loved and have someplace she belonged, but the abuse from her father drove her off the deep end.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Rosine doesn't connect the dots between her crimes against the Band of the Hawk and Guts' vendetta against her, and when she asks who he is he doesn't even bother to answer:
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Yeah, she's a moth, but it can still be applied to Rosine's story, as she sacrificed her parents to the Godhand in order to be reborn into her dream life: a beautiful luna moth who is the queen over her elves. And then of course, she dies after realizing that she misinterpreted the existence of elves and regretted sacrificing her parents, and she dies in a more graceful manner than other Apostles have.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Rosine takes this viewpoint, claiming that she and her elf children are superior to humans both morally and as a species. However, the story shows her to actually be a Hypocrite with Moral Myopia.
- Changeling Tale: Because she was abused and unloved, she escaped into a fantasy and convinced herself that she was an elf being raised by human parents, and that her real home was in the misty valley. She was tragically wrong about this, but practiced it herself after becoming an Apostle by abducting the human children from her village and turning them into (rather than replacing them with) elves.
- Child by Rape: Her mother was raped by a soldier when their home village was attacked, and it's highly possible that Rosine was conceived through this union, though nobody can say for sure. As a result her legal father rejected and abused her.
- Child Hater: Inverted; Rosine is an adult-hater who thinks that all grown-ups are rotten because of how her parents treated her, and decided to create a paradise where she and Jill would never have to grow up.
- Childhood Friends: She and Jill were inseparable playmates, and they still feel a special bond from having grown up together.
- Crapsaccharine World: Rosine's Misty Valley is filled with flowers, fruits, chirping birds, elves playing by decapitating each other and skewering one another in the ass... Wait, what?
- Cool Big Sis: Rosine was the older playmate who Jill looked up to, and even referred to her as "sister" ("Rosine-oneechan", in the Japanese original).
- Corruption by a Minor: Not only does she corrupt other children into evildoing and an eternity to suffer in Hell, she also turned a bunch of adult men into bug creatures to protect the entry to the Misty Valley.
- Cute and Psycho: Apostle-Rosine looks pretty as a button, with a cheerful personality to match. She maintains this demeanor whilst openly engaging in "playful" cruelty, torture, and other sadistic pleasures.
- Cute Is Evil: Despite her fairy-like appearance, she still radiates an ominous aura when in her elf-queen form. That impression disappears when she takes her "human" form - the ones with translucent wings.
- Cute Monster Girl: Compared to most male apostles who are ugly and/or terrifying, Rosine is pretty attractive even though she's obviously not human.
- Death Equals Redemption: When she's mortally wounded and there's no way of saving her, her personality seemingly reverts back to how she was before she became evil. She regrets having sacrificed her parents and tries to go home, only to crash and die.
- Demoted to Extra: She is reduced to a cameo in the Apostle attack on the Hawk wounded camp in Berserk (1997). In Berserk: The Golden Age Arc said scene is cut out, but we get a glimpse of her in a swarm of flying Apostles.
- Driven to Villainy: Make no mistake, Rosine as an Apostle does some pretty terrible things notwithstanding her love for Jill, but the unfair and traumatic circumstances that led her to become an Apostle in the first place were outside of her control.
- Dying as Yourself: Upon dying, Rosine meets a true elf for the first time in the person of Puck, realizing that neither her nor her "children" are elves, that they never were and never will be. As she soars for the last time, she acts like a young girl again, wishing to return to being what she originally was, but her wounds are too serious and she eventually plummets from the sky to her death.
- Ear Ache: Gut's final blow to Rosine results in her losing most of her left ear (and all of her left arm).
- Early-Bird Cameo: She makes a brief appearance in the Golden Age arc among the apostles who massacre the Hawks' wounded camp before the volumes centering on her come up. Even in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc where this part is cut out, she is included in a scene where apostles are swarming in the sky and even dive-bombs the camera.
- Enfante Terrible: She and her pseudo-elves qualify big time. One should remember that she's the one to have ordered Rickert's execution pre-Eclipse, which would have happened hadn't the Skull Knight pulled a Big Damn Heroes on her and the Count.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In her own twisted way, Rosine genuinely cared for Jill, and saves her from death several times. Unfortunately, Guts kiboshed any potential chance for a HeelFace Turn by impaling her, rekindling her rage. Puck considers trying to heal her for Jill's sake, but her injuries by that point are too severe.
- Face Death with Dignity: Once she's finally spent and Guts is about to finish her off with one last stroke of his sword, Rosine simply looks up at him with quiet acceptance.
- The Fair Folk: Rosine and her children may look like Puck except for a certain sense of wrongness, but they're NOTHING like the true elves of the series, being wicked creatures who delight in torturing and killing humans.
- Full-Frontal Assault: She fights completely naked, and with no Barbie Doll Anatomy in effect. Even in her One-Winged Angel form her chest is uncovered.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: The terrifying monster dreaded by the villagers is actually a cute teenage girl. Of course, it's hard to appreciate her looks while she's trying to kill you.
- Hair Wings: Her moth wings grow out of the back of her head and are actually her hair, which partially transforms back when she changes to her more human form in front of Jill.
- Kids Are Cruel: Exaggerated with her elf children, who think that gruesomely killing animals and humans is fun. They even dismember and rape each other.
- Killer Rabbit: She looks like a cute green fairy with moth wings, antennae and a furry collar... but her forehead proboscis is actually a Whip Sword and the dust from her wings is highly poisonous.
- Lecherous Licking: While Guts is clinging to her flying form with his arm impaled on her proboscis, she creepily licks his face while enjoying his suffering and remarking how it's like a romantic date in the starry sky.
- Lightning Bruiser: In her Apostle form, she moves fast enough to create sonic booms and easily tossed Guts around while doing so.
- Macabre Moth Motif: Rosine's full apostle form, which contrasts with her more beautiful and delicate butterfly form, is that of a terrifying giant luna moth, with a lot of emphasis on the alien-like and insect traits of her body.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Her mother conceived her after being raped when their home village was attacked by soldiers. Although it wasn't confirmed that Rosine was a Child by Rape, her father abused her because he doubted whether she was his own daughter.
- Moral Myopia: Rosine thinks that she and her elves are superior to humans, so it's justified when they go slaughtering them by the dozens. When Guts shows up, starts splatting her minions, and eventually physically wounds her, she calls Guts a monster and declares undying revenge against him.
- Onee-sama: Rosine is this to Jill, since Jill regarded her more of an older sister since she was four years her senior.
- Organic Technology: Her Apostle form is basically an organic jet fighter plane, with air compression replacing jet combustion engine.
- Outdoorsy Gal: Rosine loved to go exploring in the woods from dawn till dusk, often taking Jill with her. In hindsight Jill realizes she did it to avoid her home, where her parents were always fighting and she would be abused.
- Pet the Dog: She saves Jill from being sliced in half by Guts (who was targeting Rosine) and later saves her again from a forest fire... also started by Guts (who was, again, trying to kill Rosine).
- Pointy Ears: Has very elongated pointy ears as a result of her desire to turn into an elf.
- Pretty Butterflies: Her basic Apostle form is that of a humanoid butterfly. This shape reflects her girlhood fascination with fairies, and her delicate wings make her beautiful in a way that few Apostles are. At the same time she reflects the darker symbolism of butterflies, such as being poisonous and having characteristics of The Vamp.
- The Runaway: One rainy night she ran away from home to escape from her father's abuse, telling Jill that she was going to join the elves in the misty valley.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Since becoming an Apostle, she eschewed clothing and has no modesty about appearing naked in front of humans.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her name is spelled "Roshinu" in katakana, and was rendered as such in some English translations, but it's a safe bet that Miura meant for it to be "Rosine".
- Stepford Smiler: In her youth, Rosine always put on a cheerful face around Jill to convince both her friend and herself that she was happy despite her miserable home life.
- Sugar Apocalypse: Guts set her cocoon-filled emergence grounds on fire, burning down the entire Misty Valley.
- The Swarm: Rosine's flying elf children are small but dangerous because of their sheer numbers. They descend on the village like a swarm of insects and tear apart any living thing in their path.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jill recalls that as a human child, Rosine liked playing in the woods and streams like a boy would and liked to catch bugs and small animals, which she would proudly show to Jill. Jill was a girly girl in comparison, being freaked out by snakes and such and acting more feminine.
- Tragic Villain: Rosine's backstory is tragic enough that it even gives Gut's childhood a run for its money. A possible Child by Rape, her father beat and abused her constantly, thinking she wasn't really his. Her mother was completely weak and pathetic, incapable of compensating or protecting her from the abuse. An outsider in her village, Jill was her only friend, and she used a Changeling Fantasy to deal with the trauma of her home life. Eventually, it gets too much, and she runs away from home to live with the elves from the stories she loves so much. She eventually discovers that there are no elves to be found, right in time for her parents to show up to drag her back home. She crosses the Despair Event Horizon, at which point the Godhand offers to make all of her dreams come true, at a price. Rosine may be a monster, but Miura makes extra sure to remind the reader that at heart, she's still a traumatized little girl who was pushed over the edge.
- Troubling Unchildhood Behavior: Although she was in her early teens at most when she became and apostle and still looks very youthful, she is entertained by the slaughter her elf children inflict on the villagers and each other. When Guts enrages her, she becomes completely Ax-Crazy.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Guts stabs her from behind while she's rescuing Jill, she acts increasingly desperate and crazed.
- Villainous Crush: While she has Guts impaled in the sky, Jill tauntingly calls the view of the moon romantic and says that he's quite handsome, and she can see how Jill might have fallen for him. She even lecherously licks and kisses his face before she intends to tear him apart, since she can't let him take Jill from her. It's definitely one-sided, as Guts feels nothing but rage and loathing for her.
- We Can Rule Together: Offers this to poor Jill, who refuses. She then tries to make her one of her elves by force.
- We Have Reserves:
- Although she called her Apostle Spawn elves her "children", when pushed by Guts, who was destroying her "paradise" with fire, Rosine was willing to dump the place and start over again hopefully with Jill, letting all of her elves die.
- This is also the essence of her reply when Jill points out that her "friends" so-called games are actually killing them. Rosine cheerfully replies that it's all OK, because all she needs to do is transform more kids, and she'll have new friends to play with. Completely Missing the Point at its most chilling.
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
The Egg of the Perfect World (完璧な世界の卵 Kanpekina Sekai no Tamago)/Nameless Apostle is an Apostle shaped like a giant Behelit with tentacles, whose original form was a nameless outcast shunned for his appearance. After giving demonic powers to Father Mozgus and his mooks, he remained in the shadows of the Tower of Conviction for a long time and contemplated the pain humans were willing to inflict themselves in the name of God. His wish was to give birth to a perfect world. Which he eventually achieves by giving birth to Griffith, after devouring the deformed child of Guts and Casca who was lying in the debris of the Tower after using all of its energy to protect his mother from the ghosts. The Nameless Apostle did this as an act of pity for the dying child, and both him and the child died in the process. He conveys his story and purpose to Luca, a prostitute who will be the only one to know about his existence.
He is the only Apostle so far whose death has not been brutal (mainly due to Guts not killing him), and one of the rare sympathetic Apostles along with Rosine, Locus and Irvine.
- And I Must Scream: After he retreated into his hole, the people above turned it into a corpse pit and he was buried under rotting bodies. He could do nothing but cower in fear as he slowly suffocated.
- The Collector of the Strange: What he calls his "garden" is actually the well aligned decaying corpses of the tortured from the Tower of Conviction.
- Combat Tentacles: From what little "offense" he's shown to be capable of, he tries using the many tentacles surrounding his body to attack the Skull Knight, who responds by slicing them all to ribbons in the blink of an eye.
- Egg MacGuffin: An unusual case; while usually this trope is a character discovering an egg and protecting it until it hatches, this character himself is the Egg, and has to keep himself alive until he can hatch the perfect world that he dreams of.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was nothing as a human. He has no family, name or identity. He was just a hideously malformed human forced to live in squalor and scavenge for scraps. Then he became an Apostle, caused a lot of suffering for the refugees from the shadows, invoked a cataclysmic event that killed thousands, and set in motion the first major step to ushering in a new world order.
- Go Out with a Smile: Upon hatching to give birth to Griffith, he's last seen smiling in contentment.
- Greater-Scope Villain: For the Conviction Arc's Birth Ceremony chapter. Guts doesn't even encounter him in battle, but the Egg is responsible for the invocation of the mock-Eclipse—the events of which constantly get in Guts' way of saving Casca and serve as a reincarnation ceremony for Griffith's rebirth into the mortal plane.
- The Grotesque: Born with a hideously deformed face, which caused normal folk to drive him away.
- Loners Are Freaks: As a human, he used to lurk in a collective ossuary and got shooed off viciously for his hideous appearance the only time he showed up. He even wonders what his life might've been like if Mozgus had found him before his transformation.
- Man Behind the Man: He is the man behind the Great Goat, Mozgus, and his Mooks gaining powers.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Enacted a plan that he knew would end his existence, knowing it was necessary to give birth to his perfect world and reincarnate Griffith.
- Mysterious Watcher: Lurks in the shadows watching events unfold, only interfering at specific points while showing himself as little as possible. He has an agenda of his own, which doesn't become clear until later.
- Never Given a Name: Because he was cast out of human society, he never had a name or identity of his own.
- Oh, Crap!: The moment he realizes how hopelessly outmatched he is against Skull Knight...
- Tragic Villain: While most Apostles wholeheartedly embraced evil after their transformation no matter how good their intentions before, the Egg does not seem to be willfully cruel and causes death because it is necessary to his plan. He never had any choice but to become an Apostle since no one ever accepted him, and he thinks that perhaps if he had been found by Mozgus he would have turned out differently, but goes through with his destructive hatching because he thinks it's the only way to create his utopia.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: In order to create a world where even wretched outcasts like him would be accepted, he is willing to break a few eggs. By which we mean envelop the refugee camp in flesh-devouring darkness and give birth to the incarnation of a supreme malevolent being.
- Weak, but Skilled: Unlike most Apostles, he's physically unimpressive, never directly engages in combat, and can only run when the Skull Knight has him in his sights. But the Egg is capable of turning people into powerful pseudo-Apostles very quickly, and he manipulates things behind the scenes to bring his plan to fruition.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wants a better world for everyone, but his method requires the sacrifice of tens of thousands of people.
Many Apostles have the ability to taint other life with their demonic powers. Some have even been known to raise the dead. While the typical transformation process gives the entity more strength, other methods are also known. Like Apostles, any Apostle spawn will usually have separate humanoid and One-Winged Angel forms and revert to their original human forms when they die.
One of The Count's Elite Mooks, who was gravely injured after a fight with Guts and wanted to exact revenge. The Count agreed and gave him some of his powers... in a way you really don't want to know about.
When first shown, he is wearing full plate armor with a personalized mask visor complete with a detailed human nose, mouth, bone structure and eyes. His actual face is somewhat brutish and he has short, scraggly black hair. After becoming an Apostle-Spawn, his appearance alters to show sharp, demonic teeth and snake-like eyes... in addition to the multiple changes his body goes through as Guts damages him.
Guts might have taken much longer getting rid of him if Zondark hadn't told him how to destroy him.
- Body Horror: At first is his arm◊ and later he goes to this Horrific Form.◊
- Blade on a Stick: Uses a halberd to attack Guts after he receives the Count's 'power'.
- Combat Tentacles: Grows two where his arms used to be.
- The Dragon: To the Count. Before facing the Count, Guts has to defeat Zondark first.
- Demonic Possession: How the Count gives him his powers, which include superhuman strength, being able to grow Combat Tentacles, and regenerating any damage unless his head is cut off.
- Drop the Hammer: Wields a war hammer against Guts in their first fight, attacking mainly with the beaked end.
- Elite Mook: He was one of the Count's best soldiers.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: He is stupid enough to tell Guts the only way to kill him, which Guts immediately capitalizes on.
- Giant Mook: Towers over the other guards.
- Heavily Armored Mook: First appears wearing full armor with a visor hiding his face. After the Count transforms him he even switches to a different armor with more Spikes of Villainy but no helmet.
- Mauve Shirt: More than a Red Shirt, but he doesn't last long.
- Mouth of Sauron: After possessing Zondark, the Count speaks to Guts through the slug sticking out of Zondark's head.
- Sanity Slippage: His sanity goes flying out the window after his first defeat against Guts, becoming obsessed with revenge.
- Starter Villain: Although tougher than usual.
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Ray Chase (English, Berserk (2016))
Guidebook Stats (Human):note Height: 222 cm (7 ft, 3 in); Weight: 145 kg (319 lb, 11 oz); Age: 42
Guidebook Stats (Apostle):note Height: 280 cm (9 ft, 2 in); Weight: 299 kg (659 lb, 3 oz)
Mozgus (モズグス Mozugusu) is a fanatically religious Knight Templar who hunts heretics on behalf of the Holy See's Inquisition. He is infamous for having no reason or mercy in his judgements and punishing accused sinners with horrific tortures and cruel forms of execution. Helping him to carry out his will is a group of physically deformed professional torturers, whom he rescued from lives of prejudice and abuse when they were young and who are consequently unwaveringly loyal to him. Through the influence of the egg-shaped Apostle he eventually becomes an Apostle Spawn with supernatural powers.
Guts meets Mozgus upon trying to retrieve Casca who had run away from the magical cave he had confined her in before going on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Believed to be "unnatural" due to her speech impairment, unwillingness to curse at other supposed heretics, and more importantly, her identification by various heretics as a witch, Mozgus had her tortured in the Tower of Conviction but her Fetus Terrible of a child summoned several ghosts to save his mother, draining itself out and convicting poor Casca of witchcraft in the bargain, for which she almost got burnt at the stake. Mozgus and his torturers died in the ensuing battle against Guts.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Downplayed, at least. In Berserk (2016), his square facial features are noticably less inhuman and exaggerated, so that the expressions he makes when he's in a good mood can look downright compassionate and reassuring compared to the constant sense of uncanny valley he evoked in the Manga. Even though his vein-popping angry expressions are also shown in the anime, they don't quite approach how foaming-at-the-mouth crazy they were in the original either.
- All Crimes Are Equal: Mozgus does not acknowledge any difference in severity between criticizing the Church for not providing enough humanitarian aid and being a part of a demon-worshiping cult that practices cannibalism. As far as he's concerned, anyone who questions him is a heretic who must be tortured until they confess to heresy or put to death if they refuse.
- Badass Preacher: An enormous, imposing priest who becomes an apostle spawn.
- Bait the Dog: When he takes mercy on a woman with the starving baby and promises to get more aid for the refugees, it seems for a moment like maybe he has a compassionate side to him after all, but then he shows just how sick his sense of justice is when he escorts her into the torture chamber and tells her she still needs to pay for her blasphemy, even if she spoke it for the sake of her child. Afterwards, Farnese finds her back among the refugees having lost her mind from the torture and carrying her dead baby in her arms.
- Bald of Evil: He's got a bald head, and is Obliviously Evil.
- Berserk Button: Mozgus is absolute in his faith to God and the Holy See. So he's quick to turn to violence when somebody has the audacity to say that God's wrath will come down upon him one day.
- Berserker Tears: The killing of his henchmen causes him to weep in rage (see also Tears of Blood), promising to destroy Guts as a tribute to their memory.
- Big "NO!": When Casca slips out of his grasp through Isidro's cleverness, Mozgus expresses his displeasure as only someone with antiquated linguistics can:Mozgus: "THOU SHALT NOT!!"
- Breath Weapon: The Egg of the Perfect World gives him the ability to incinerate demons by breathing fire from his mouth.
- Bring It: Shouts "Come at me!" to the approaching blob monster that had just swallowed Casca, beckoning with his hand and standing his ground despite his followers begging him to withdraw.
- Calling Your Attacks: Once he becomes an Apostle Spawn, he starts shouting the names of his attacks while he's pummeling Guts.Mozgus: "GOD BREATH! GOD THOUSAND-FIST CANNON!"
- Church Militant: Views his struggle against sin as a battle that must be waged with force, for which he employs his torturers and the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
- Comically Missing the Point: He refers to the power of his scripture (book in his possession), and while doing so, theres a very obvious massive chunk missing from it due to damage. This is an obvious allusion to how much of the scripture Mozgus ignored for his own personal ends, and the characters promptly lampshade it.
- Death by Irony: Mozgus' book of scripture saves him by acting as a Pocket Protector, and when he becomes a stone angel he absorbs it into his chest to represent his confidence that his faith will make him invincible. However, Guts realizes that the hole he tore in the book earlier is the only weak point in Mozgus' impenetrable carapace, and Mozgus is defeated when Guts sets off bombs inside it, creating a gap into which he can thrust the Dragon Slayer.
- Disproportionate Retribution: This is his calling card. He once burned down an entire village, killing all its women and children in the process, just because the inhabitants petitioned for relief from the Church's taxes during a famine.
- The Dreaded: Everyone knows him. If you want to live, make sure he never even notices you.
- Due to the Dead: He vows to avenge his four fallen disciples and cries Tears of Blood for them.
- Eating the Enemy: When Farnese brings out his manifestation from her dream — his head, which she had been using as a washboard — in Casca's mental world, it grows to an enormous size and begins eating the penis-monsters embodying Casca's memory of being raped.
- Feather Fingers: Exaggerated in his stone angel form: not only can his wingtips clench their feathers into fists as if they were fingers, but each of his wings' individual feathers can do this, which basically gives him dozens of fists with which to pummel Guts all at once. He doesn't practicularly need them for grabbing things since he still has his human arms too; the wing fists are just for Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
- Flowery Elizabethan English: In the Dark Horse English version his speech is based on what you might find in the King James Bible, with pronouncements like "Thou shalt not avert thine eyes!" Not always grammatical, but gives his words the appropriate gravity.
- Gag Nose: It's square and flat. Serpico jokingly suggests it became that way because he repeatedly slams his face against the floor in ritualistic prayer. Interestingly, his nose isn't all that different from Azan's.
- Game Face: Whenever he get angry or passionate, Mozgus' inhumanly smooth face becomes even more inhumanly wrinkled, the veins in his temples and cheeks bulge disgustingly out, and his eyes become unfocused and fish-eyed.
- Gonk: Compared to most of the other characters in the manga, of whom even the caricatures are more or less exaggerations of naturalistic human faces, Mozgus has an inhumanly smooth, square face that looks like it was sculpted by someone making modern art. When he's calm, there isn't the slightest line or wrinkle on it, nor even any hint of the underlying muscles or bones you'd expect a human to have, creating a creepy uncanny valley effect even when he's smiling. When he's angry, on the other hand, his facial muscles become hyperdefined, his veins pop out, his eyes bulge, and his teeth flash, making him look like he's enraged himself to the point of having an aneurism. His unnatural form gets poked fun at much later when he makes a posthumous appearance in Farnese's dream, in which she uses his flattened head as a washboard to scrub her teammate's laundry and Guts's Berserker Armor gnaws on his scalp while she scrubs it.
- Hellish Pupils: When Mozgus is turned into an Apostle spawn, both his irises and pupils become square-shaped. And when he changes to his final form, his eyes become these big inhuman orbs that are completely blank save for the veins running through them.
- Hot-Blooded: Mozgus in his stone angel form can rival any mecha pilot's passion for battle, making him a notable villainous example. He even spits fire and bursts into flames when he dies.
- Invocation: Upon transformation, he asks heaven to give him the supernatural power to destroy Guts:Mozgus: "COME HITHER, GREAT STRENGTH! COME HITHER, SUPER POWER!"
- Knight Templar: Mozgus is convinced that his mission is just and righteous, and in fact the pagan cult lurking in Albion is just as wicked as he says. What makes him an unwitting villain is that he sees people who only want justice and help from the Church in a time of famine as heretics who are going against God's will, and applies the same horrific punishments no matter how small the 'crime'.
- Large Ham: His facial expressions and oratory are exaggerated to the point of straddling the line between hilarious and horrifying.
- Laughably Evil: Despite all the terrifying things he's responsible for, he's one of Berserk's few comic villains, an absurd-looking Large Ham with equally absurd mannerisms who the story pokes fun at on multiple occasions. It says a lot about him that while most enemies Guts has killed tend to be memorialised as fearsome, terrifying spectres, he shows up again in a bizarre dream sequence for Farnese as a stern but friendly piece of laundry equipment, which she takes with her into Casca's mental world and uses as a weapon against the phallic monsters embodying her memory of being raped by Femto.
- Light Is Not Good: His status as a church militant and his apostle spawn form - he even describes it as "a gift from God"!
- Mask of Sanity: A poorly maintained one at that. Mozgus tries to present himself as an approachable, deeply pious individual, but it only takes one look at him going on a temper tantrum to shatter the facade... and reveal the ghastly madman underneath.
- Mighty Glacier: In human form he is a solidly built person that can cave someone's head with a bible, but his penance ritual has ruined his knees so he can no longer run. While he briefly gets a speed upgrade from gaining wings, his ultimate form puts him back in this class, as he gains an impenetrable carapace of hardened feathers, plus enough punching power to smash apart stone battlements.
- Mood-Swinger: He can swing from stern, to kindly, to frothing-at-the-mouth furious and back again within the span of a minute.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Mozgus is just plain odd looking in his human form, with unnaturally squarish features.
- Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: He manages to pull this trick on Guts. By biting the freaking Dragon Slayer!
- Obliviously Evil: He honestly believes that his methods are for the good of his flock, which only makes him more determined to arrest and torture any who seem like heretics.
- One-Winged Angel: When it becomes clear to him that he'll have to unleash his full might in order to beat down Guts, he takes on his final form resembling an angel covered with stone feathers.
- Pet the Dog:
- Horrific as he is, he actually picked his followers from people who needed a second chance and told them that their deformities did not make them monsters, but rather meant that God created them with a special purpose. The scary thing is that he might have tortured them to death without hesitation if they refused to carry out his will. When he learns that his disciples have been killed in battle, he cries Tears of Blood and vows to avenge them.
- While he really isn't one to the human population in general, Mozgus is a Reasonable Authority Figure towards Farnese. He forgives her failures, praises her successes, and is happy to offer his (twisted) wisdom to her whenever she is in doubt.
- Pocket Protector: While Mozgus is in winged human form, Guts thrusts him in the chest and thinks that he has killed him. However, Mozgus turns into a stone angel and produces his book of scripture with a large hole in it, crediting his faith with protecting him.
- Principles Zealot: Farnese comes to him while he's praying and admits her doubts about their mission, recognizing that their paranoid and brutal inquisition against heresy is hated by the people as well as the knights enforcing it and has so far failed to end the attacks on priests. In response to her asking if they are merely causing needless suffering instead of helping anybody, Mozgus tells her a parable with the lesson that since you cannot predict how your actions will be perceived by the people you are trying to help, you should not worry about it as long as your intentions are righteous. While he admits that he doesn't like to cause so much pain, he feels no guilt because it is in the name of God. Therefore, he urges her not to question God or the scriptures, but instead execute her task no matter what the consequences will be for herself or others. Unlike Farnese, who eventually realizes the error of her ways, he himself hangs onto his misguided principles until the very end.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Unleashes a torrent of punches against Guts in his stone angel form's "thousand-fist cannon" technique.
- Red Baron: He is known and feared by the people as "Bloody Scripture Mozgus" for his fanatical use of torture and execution to punish heresy. His use of an iron-bound scripture book as a lethal bludgeon makes this fearsome name well deserved.
- Taking You with Me: He planned to take Guts down with him after he was struck by a fatal blow, but Guts threw him off the tower before it could come to that.
- Tears of Blood: After transforming and realizing that the four torturers he left to hold Guts off are dead, his grief and rage cause gushers of blood shoot out of his tear ducts.
- Tender Tears: An extremely twisted example that shows how warped his mind is. When he sends the mother of the malnourished baby to her torture he is moved to tears as he exclaims "You posses such courage!! I do so want you to overcome this trial provided by God!!"
- Throw the Book at Them: The picture of him smashing some poor sap's head in with his iron-bound tome and screaming "HERETIC!!" has almost reached Memetic Mutation levels.
- Torture Technician: Mozgus has set up an elaborate and ghastly torture chamber staffed with his trained experts to aid him in extracting confessions. What's worse is that he sincerely believes it's for his victims' own good!
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's puritanical, brutal, and utterly lacking in mercy, but there's no insincerity in Mozgus; he genuinely believes he's carrying out the will of a righteous God in a world spilling over with sin and evil. He's capable of empathy and compassion, the backstory of how he gathered his disciples and gave them a purpose in life being a major Pet the Dog moment despite the work he put them to. He's also as much an enemy of demonkind as any mortal, and uses his new-found powers granted to him by an impartial apostle to fight and destroy them.
Voiced by: Kenji Fukuda (The Bird), Daigo Fujimaki, Riki Kagami, Shougo Nakamura, Taaki Uchino (Berserk (2016))
Bishop Mozgus' personal body guards and disciples. All of them are deformed or suffer ailments that make them appear monstrous or affect their livelihood. Saved and given a purpose by Mozgus, they serve him loyally even though the Bird admits that he dislikes their dirty work.
- Anti-Villain: The Bird, who dislikes his work, despite his devotion to Mozgus.
- Beam Spam: The Bird unleashes a storm of sharp feathers against Guts after turning into an Apostle spawn.
- Bishōnen: The Bird is actually quite handsome under his mask. Serpico even notes this.
- The Brute: The Angel Face, a mass of muscles who fights using his strength. His name refers to his incongruously childlike face. Whether or not he has the mentality or IQ of one is never mentioned.
- Cool Mask: All of them wear masks that make them look even more frightening and monstrous. The Bird's in particular stands out in that his is designed to look like a bird's head while also protecting him from sunlight and contagion.
- Creepy Twins: To be expected for the Twins when they torture people for a living. It's not the case when they're seen playing with some crows, though.
- Depraved Dwarf: This goes without saying for the Imp, though being a societal outcast due to his dwarfism is implicitly the reason he was driven to become a torturer in the first place. He's also not without standards.
- Determinator: The Angel Face and the Bubblehead take the most damage but keep fighting Guts.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Imp criticizes Nina when she won't stick up for Casca. The Bird is also disgusted by the things he does, calling himself a monster.
- Evil Albino: The Bird, but he's a Punch-Clock Villain.
- Expressive Mask: The Bird's mask gets a lot more expressive... when it becomes his face briefly.
- Eye Scream: The Imp tends to pluck out eyes with his pliers.
- Face of a Thug: Inverted for The Angel Face. His body is grotesquely muscular, and he executes people for a living, yet he has an innocent-looking face.
- Famous Last Words: The Bird's last words on behalf of all of them as he is the last one killed by Guts.The Bird: "Dear Lord, I thank thee, that in the last moments of our lives burdened by grotesque form and harsh destiny, you saw fit to prepare for us a miracle such as this. And more than anything, for the miracle that we chanced to meet Father Mozgus".
- Feather Flechettes: After their angel transformation, the Bird sends a blizzard of sharp-tipped quills from his wings flying into Guts' face. They don't penetrate the skin very much, but their real purpose is to momentarily distract and blind Guts so that the Bird can seize him with his catch pole.
- Flight: They all gain wings and the ability to fly after being transformed into angels.
- Fragile Speedster: The small one is incredibly swift but as frail as he looks.
- The Grotesque: Played with. They're all Torture Technicians who have performed many cruel atrocities in life, but they never had any other choice because of how they were treated for their deformities.
- I Am a Monster: Quoted above. Bird admits that perhaps he wouldn't be able to inflict such pain on people if he didn't already see himself as one.
- Ill Boy: The Bird, who has a very weak immune system and severe photosensitivity. His uniform is as much for protection from the sun and pathogens as it is for intimidation.
- Improbable Weapon User: All of them use what are more properly called tools or torture instruments rather than weapons. The Bird uses a catch pole, the Angel Face an iron-shod breaking wheel, the Twins a pair of two-man saws, the Imp two pairs of pliers, and Bubblehead a chain with spiked claws on the end.
- Light Is Not Good: Like Mozgus, they take on the appearances of angels when transformed into Apostle spawn.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Angel Face is quite agile for being so large.
- No Name Given: They are only referred to by what they look like. We never learn their names, and perhaps some of them were abandoned by their parents before they even received one.
- Off with His Head!: The Twins get their heads chopped off by Jerome after being stunned out of the sky by Puck.
- One-Winged Angel: The Nameless Apostle grants them super-powered final forms just in time for their big showdown with Guts.
- Pet the Dog: When the Twins are seen playing with some crows and Bird explains that he does not enjoy causing pain, the torturers are shown to have kindness and humanity hidden beneath their monstrous appearance and actions. They also wholeheartedly love their master, and put their lives on the line to defend him.
- Plague Doctor: The Bird has this design aesthetic. Bonus points for it serving a similar purpose to the old Plague Doctor garb, that is to protect from contagions.
- Punch-Clock Villain: All of them, their defining trait in fact. They see themselves as monsters but they owe their lives to Mozgus.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: A team of Elite Mooks who each have a unique strength or gimmick.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Imp calls out Nina on her cowardice twice, the second time being when she confesses about Casca's 'powers' after not even losing a finger nail.
- Torture Technician: All of them have a lifetime of experience in inflicting pain and mutilation and do so on a continuous basis. It is not so much their job as the only thing they've ever known.
- Undying Loyalty: Because Mozgus saved all of them from lives of being treated worse than animals, they would go to any lengths or sacrifice their lives for him.
- Variable-Length Chain: The Bubblehead's weapon of choice is a chain with spiked claws at the end.
- Winged Humanoid: They all acquire angel wings after being tainted by the Nameless Apostle.
- You Shall Not Pass!: When Guts finally catches up to Mozgus, the torturers stay behind to defeat or at least delay Guts while Mozgus goes ahead with the Twins to burn Casca at the stake.
The Great Goat is the leader of Slan's depraved cult near St. Albion. He's initially a tall human with a great goat mask on his head. His worshipers bring him Casca as a bride, believing her to be a witch, but Guts and Isidro rescue her just in time from an unholy mating ceremony. As he tries to escape from the Holy Iron Chain Knights, the Egg-Shaped Apostle stings him and turns him into an actual Goat-human monster. He dies in the ensuing battle with Guts, along with a good numbers of his cultists.
He bears resemblance to the demon Baphomet, whom the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping during their trial by King Philip IV of France in 1307-14.
- Ambiguously Human: The goat head is apparently just an elaborate mask, but its wearer is still inhumanly lanky, and on top of it he has six fingers on each hand. Whether he is meant to be a malformed human or an entirely different kind of humanoid creature is unclear.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: His plan for Casca.
- Animal Motifs: The Goat, which is associated with satyrs, the cult of Bacchus, and untamed sexuality.
- Bald of Evil: The one time we actually see what he looks like under that mask is after he's already lost his head. He's bald under there.
- Black Speech: Part of the conversion ritual for his cult is to recite the words he speaks that defile God. In the manga, they're depicted as formless scribbles to display how unknowable the language is, and likely also how unpleasant it sounds.
- Creepily Long Arms: Even before he's transformed into a monster, his arms are inhumanly long.
- Cult: He runs one, which seems more focused on sex and cannibalism than any kind of ideal.
- Disease By Any Other Name: His Creepily Long Arms may be a result of Marfan syndrome.
- Eats Babies: His cult brews a tasty mixture containing human body parts, including babies. Understandably, Joachim freaked out when he discovered this.
- Exotic Equipment: Has a snake penis, although the one of his human form is implied to be an hallucination.
- Expy: Of Baphomet, as already mentioned. Also a case of Faux Symbolism.
- Extra Digits: Six fingers on each hand.
- Fan Disservice: The orgies that he presides over are anything BUT sexually appealing. Among other things, the worshippers eat babies during these celebrations. That's not even mentioning his snake penis...
- Hellish Pupils: Has the creepy horizontal pupils of a goat.
- Lean and Mean: One lanky and depraved bastard.
- Lecherous Licking: Gives Casca a lewd lick with his extremely long tongue as he prepares to rape her.
- Lightning Bruiser: There aren't many creatures in the Berserk-verse fast enough to dodge Guts' attacks. The Great Goat Head combines this with enough strength to land a blow that Guts himself says would have been fatal without his armour.
- Male Frontal Nudity: His penis is like a living snake, and we get to see it uncensored and erect. You may faint now, Moral Guardians.
- No Name Given: Just "the Great Goat."
- Overly Long Tongue: Which makes Lecherous Licking all the easier.
- Rasputinian Death: He takes a lot of punishment before going down. First Guts cuts off both his arm and his penis, neither of which slows the Great Goat down. Then he takes a few quarrels to the chest and head. Then Guts tosses a bomb into the beast's face, horrifically disfiguring him, before finally cutting off the Goat's head.
- Red Right Hand: Six fingers on both hands.
- Religion of Evil: The cult that worships him is the sort that has drug-fueled sex orgies, flays the skin off priests, and consumes brew containing human babies. Mozgus may be a Knight Templar, but these guys are just as bad in their own way.
- Snakes Are Sinister: The drugs used by his cult make it look like his penis is a snake, and it actually comes true post-transformation.
- Villainous Crush: On Casca. He wants to marry her as soon as he hears of her, and even after becoming an apostle spawn he's hell-bent on "consumating" his "union" with her.
- You No Take Candle: His transformation turns him inarticulate and animal-like, speaking in broken sentences:Great Goat: Witch... Mingle with... Become family.
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. He was that much of a General Ripper.
- 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.
- Evil Mentor: He taught Guts how to fight and kill only because a good Child Soldier brings more money than a bad one.
- Famous Last Words: "You killed... Sys."
- 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: Gambino is the adoptive father of Guts. Gambino 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 killed 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Empire: While Midland is a Kingdom whose king is just and whose people are good even if the nobles are rotten, Chuder is called an Empire and depicted as a warmongering, authoritarian, territory-stealing bad neighbor.
- 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 Chuder 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 Chuder 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 none of them actually do him any good.
- 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 Chuder 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.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: 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 Chuder, 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. He wonders what kind of connection Griffith must have had with Gennon for him to be ordered to take Griffith alive, but he dismisses this and resolves that whether the Hawks' commander lives or dies will be decided by chance.
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 but intends to meet such foolishness with force. When Guts appears cutting his men left and right, with the Hawks surprisingly forcing the Purple Rhinos back, Boscone figures that Griffith's strategy must be to take out the enemy leader with one push and rallies his men for a counter-charge. No sooner has he done this, then Griffith orders the Hawks to retreat. He is perplexed that such a renowned opponent would put up such a poor fight, and hesitates to pursue out of caution, but his subordinate's impatience and Gennon's personal intervention forces him to give chase.
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 Chuder forces scatter and are driven from the field.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Hes the most skilled and esteemed general in Chuder, 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, Chuder's soldiers gawk in disbelief that the undefeated Boscone met his end. Afterwards, Guts is hailed as a hero for defeating Chuder'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 Chuder's strongest warriors.
- Genius Bruiser: Colossal and mighty, he is also Chuder'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 Chuder'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 Chuder 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 Chuder Empire. A homosexual and notorious pederast, he keeps many young male servants no older than being in their teens, who are actually his unwilling pleasure 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 Chuder 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 Heroism: 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 Chuder 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:
- Deadly 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. 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: Yuuichi 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"), 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.
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.
- 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.
- Hyper-Awareness: Not much escapes his vision or hearing, and he detected the arrow he caught using his freakishly attuned senses.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 urimis, 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))
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: Presumably, the reason why their body shapes and physical skills are so unusual.
- 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: 50 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring It: 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 forbidden and unholy nature, and is a very serious antagonist for the heroes in Vritannis.
- 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 achy joints and an annoyance towards disrespectful children.
- 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. He later reveals he had a bag full of diamonds, implying he got the job in order to keep a low profile after the war.
- 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.
- 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 in great physical shape considering his advanced age thanks to his practice of yoga, he 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: Hes missing a lot of teeth.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ganishka; he only makes a turn for the better after his emperor's death.
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.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Daka have mouths full of bristling tusks and fangs, much like the monstrous tigers they sometimes ride.
- Weapon of Choice: The maduvu or maru, a real-life 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: 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.