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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • The famous "In this world" opening narration set against the background of a clawed hand holding a Behelit very effectively sets the mood of Berserk as being a grim tale set in a universe controlled by malevolent forces, establishing the fact that it is about man's often losing battle against forces beyond his control and failure to understand himself. However, the Narrator All Along reveal implies that far from being Word of God, it's actually making a point about the manipulative nature of the God Hand. Their omniscience and use of Villains Never Lie allows them to give a devastating Breaking Speech about how the Behelit owner has no future and has already gone beyond redemption, but the God Hand still needs the person to make the sacrifice of their own free will, which is why they are trying so hard to convince them that free will is an illusion and it is their destiny to accept evil.
  • While it could have just been determined randomly, the place where each of the hawks were marked with the brand of sacrifice could say something about their character and role:
    • Guts' brand on the back of his neck might be a reference to his first kill on the battlefield at the age of nine, and his killing of Gambino in self-defense when he was 11. Both times he was thrown to the ground but stabbed his attacker in the throat as they closed in.
    • Casca's brand on the chest might represent her womanhood, and all of the persecution it entails. And, as with Guts, her first kill was in self-defense as a child (she was 12), but her sword went through the left side of the man's chest - in the same spot as her brand.
    • Judeau's brand on the palm of his hand would represent his reliance on dexterity and slight of hand, such as with his throwing knives.
    • Pippin's brand on the forearm would represent how he has always depended on the strength of his arms, whether working as a miner or wielding the axe or mace in combat.
    • Corkus' Brand on the forehead might represent his inflated ego or arrogance, as well as his low cunning and schemes.
  • Guts gives The Count a particularly brutal death, even for an Apostle, stabbing his severed head repeatedly and forcing his daughter to watch his death throes. Makes sense, since Guts saw The Count devour Pippin, one of his best friends, and he vividly remembers everything that happened during the Eclipse.
  • The King renames the Band of the Hawk "The White Phoenix Knights." Later, Griffith dies and is reborn as Femto, while the Band of the Hawk is slaughtered and recreated.
  • The name of the Purple Rhino Knights might seem incredibly narmy at first glance. But remember: during medieval times, purple was the rarest and most expensive dye, and was hence associated with royalty. Therefor, associating the Chuder Empire's most esteemed and powerful army with it (and coloring the armor appropriately) seems pretty fitting.
  • The Queen of Midland mentions that she has been married to the King for around ten years, meaning that in all that time they have not had a child between them. Throughout history kings have gone to great lengths to ensure they would have a son, and often divorced and remarried or had bastard children, which makes the fact that Charlotte is still the King's only child puzzling. However, this makes perfect sense when you consider that Charlotte is his Replacement Goldfish for his dead wife, and that his second marriage is passionless because it could never compare to his first and he spends all his time Married to the Job.
  • The Godhand is literally a Red Right Hand.
  • The Apostle Wyald has not made his way from the manga into either the anime or the films, probably because he makes any other Serial Rapist look like an angel in comparison and partly because his chapters would be too expensive to animate and make the run time too long. So why did Miura include him in the first place? Is it just an excuse for Gratuitous Rape and ultraviolence? Maybe not:
    • Firstly, the mere fact that the Black Dog Knights were created by the King of Midland reveals that he had a ruthless side to him even before he went insane. However, he kept them away from his people because he knew what they were capable of. The fact that he unleashes the Black Dog Knights and especially Wyald—knowing that they are probably going to kill and rape some of his own subjects, even if they had earned his wrath by helping Griffith—establishes that beyond resorting to evil methods he would rather see his kingdom go to hell than let Griffith escape.
    • While it did not necessarily have to be Wyald, meaning any Apostle of similar power could have sufficed, another Apostle fight before the Eclipse is almost necessary for pacing reasons. Before he left the Band of the Hawk, Guts was a One-Man Army but not a monster killer. Although he managed to survive longer than any other mortal, he actually lost his fight with Zodd, and would have died if not for Griffith's Behelit. Wyald is the first Apostle that Guts manages to defeat purely using his own strength and cunningnote , and he demonstrates all of the skills and abilities that he will use to survive the eclipse. It's where his power level truly begins to surpass what a human is capable of.
  • It's been established that Guts' Animal Motif is a dog or wolf, but most characters portray it in a negative way (especially since his Enemy Within is a scary black dog). But just look at all of the good characteristic that Guts has in relation to his dog motif (and it should be noted that these are traits more in association with wild canines, not domesticated): he's brave, he tries to be a loner, but most canines are social by nature, and because of that, he's loyal and very protective of his "pack" (and he has shades of the Papa Wolf, since male wolves are very protective of their young), and for the romantic twist, most breeding pairs mate for life so his devotion to Casca is somewhat understandable.note 
  • A god-hand is made every 216 years. What's so special about 216? It is 6*6*6 or 666. Fridge brilliance indeed.
    • It's also 108*2.
    • And along side those calculations, everything positively bad happened in volume 13, the other unlucky number.
  • This is something that I learned from a birds of prey show at our local Renaissance faire (convenient, ay?). In the middle ages, both hawks (Accipitriformes) and falcons (Falconiformes) were trained for the hunt. You wouldn't think that there was much difference in the use of the two birds aside from general phylogenetic differences, but did you know that social class had a lot to do with the ownership of hawks and falcons? Hawks were usually owned by those of the peasantry because they were larger (therefore, considered more "bulky") and caught and killed their prey more "sloppily", tearing into the flesh more severely. Falcons, on the other hand, were only allowed to be owned by the aristocracy and royalty, because they were smaller, swifter, and killed their prey with more precision, making the kill/trophy a lot more presentable. When I was watching the display, I just couldn't help but think back to good 'ol Berserk and our favorite Badass Crew. There has been some translation debate (correct me if I'm wrong since I read both the Dark Horse translations and The Hawks' online scanlations) because the crew was first known as the Band of the Hawk, but after Griffith's reincarnation, they are referred to as the Band of the Falcon. If the name change is official, I wouldn't be surprised, since Griffith started out as a guy leading a group of misfit mercenaries, but when he came back, his battle actions are more strategic, he's as regal as can be, and has even been dubbed the Messiah, surely befitting of the new title of a falcon.
  • Meshes with a bit of horror, but it makes sense as to why Rickert was afraid of Puck for awhile, since his first encounter with "elves" was with Rosine and her minions when the Hawk that stayed behind during the Griffith rescue operation were slaughtered by the apostles.
  • The Golden Age arc more or less covers the height of the Band of the Hawks and how Guts, Griffith, and Casca, despite their flaws, were all regarded as heroes of an entire kingdom. But when the Hawks were destroyed, their golden age ended.
  • Berserk has been called a "re-imagining of MacBeth" and, at first, this is depressing because it is often teased Guts using the Behelit for the power to destroy Griffith (related to Macbeth's willingness to kill those near him for power). Except Griffith is much more related to MacBeth than Guts could be, killing his wife's father and his best friends. What does that make Guts? Macduff, the man who kills MacBeth for killing Macduff's family.
    • What's more is that Macbeth cannot be killed by anyone of natural birth ("Of woman born") and Guts' birth is far from natural seeing as he was born from a hanged woman on gallows ground. Macduff becomes obsessed with killing Macbeth and ending his evil and having the vengeance he needs
  • While Casca's pregnancy is largely hinged on Law of Inverse Fertility, it's still not surprising since Guts' enormous swords represent his virility, up to and including his sexual prowess and ability to procreate.
  • Before genetics was well-understood, in some cultures it was believed that if two men had sex with a woman within a short span of time, the resulting child would literally Have Two Daddies, taking on traits from both of them. Sounds a lot like the Child, yes? Also, some evolutionary psychologists currently believe that very young children instinctively try to cock-block their parents because another child would demand resources (food, attention, protection) that would otherwise be theirs alone, which would offer an additional explanation for why raping Casca is its Berserk Button.
  • If you've read the chapter where an insane Casca gives birth to her Fetus Terrible, the similarities here and waaay back to the chapter where we're introduced to baby Guts is striking. In both cases, an insane woman immediately shows strong maternal instincts towards an unfortunate child despite the disgust of people around her. Shizu (Guts' foster mother) even had the same hair style as Casca.
  • In the movie, during the victory parade following the Battle for Doldrey, Guts is the only named character wearing a helmet. This could just be a detail the animators chose to put in - or it could be that our fearsome warrior is embarrassed with all the attention and feels the need to cover his face.
  • Why are the Daka subject to The Worf Effect even though Ganishka treats them like a hidden trump card against the apostles? Simply put, because they're not; they're a failed vanity project that consumes too many (human) resources to ever be an effective fighting force. The Daka are Ganishka's attempt to create creatures infused with evil like apostles, but whom are loyal to him. But in the end, just as the man-made Behelit needed to make them is little more than a crude imitation of what real Behelits and the God Hand are capable of, so too are the Daka. They look fearsome, they fight like animals, but they're barely stronger than regular human soldiers. They never stood a chance against a legion of real demons.
  • The Eclipse has a... well, nice isn't the word, but a skillful and subtle Call-Back when Guts is pinned down by the Apostles: face down, one arm rendered useless and held behind his back, the other reaching desperately to attack but falling just barely short of the goal? That's the same position Donovan had him in as a child. Some people might find it diminishes Casca's trauma to say that Guts was raped alongside her in that scene, since the aftereffects and the act itself had far, far worse results for her than him, but that is the intended parallel. Watching Casca's assault and being utterly powerless to stop it is horrible, but it's that much worse for Guts because he knows exactly what's happening to her, how it feels to be betrayed and violated and all the while hoping that the only person you thought you could trust will save you... and they don't. He's not just watching his best friend commit the most vile act imaginable, he's reliving the worst moment of his life. That is why Casca tells him not to watch. She knows what's going through his mind, and that's what she does with her last act as a sane, rational woman: she tries to protect him from it in the only way she can.
  • The final piece to Casca's broken mind is her left breast. The very breast that Griffith groped during his assault. The final piece is the Eclipse itself, specifically the ordeal she suffered.

    Fridge Horror 
  • Joachim is offered soup by a goat demon and by Nina to enter their crazy cult. The soup is made out of babies. The biggest horror is when it hits you that this cult regularly participates in sex orgies. Where do the babies come from? From the sex orgy.
  • Something truly horrific? The Daka. Not so much the Daka themselves, as how they are made. It is revealed that Daka are made by dipping a pregnant woman into several apostles fused together. The unborn child absorbs the demonic essence and rips it's way out of the mother's belly, killing her. Not horrific enough? It is revealed that the Kushan take women of captured cities to make the Daka, the already pregnant ones will obviously be put in right away, as for the women not already pregnant... To top it all off? The Kushan have HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of Daka. Think about that for a moment...
    • This is confirmed as of the battle of Vritannis, after the magic wore off all the Daka reverted to human forms, EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS IDENTIFIED AS A KUSHAN. If any of them were born of captured pregnant women there would be non-kushanese Daka.
  • What happens to Casca is already unimaginably horrific, there is no question. In fact, one would be hard pressed to figure out a way to make it worse, though I'm sure Miura could do it if he put his mind to it. Which is why, when imaging Guts' feelings of agony, guilt, and hopelessness, it becomes an order of magnitude more horrifying when we consider how he must feel when he failed to prevent happening the exact same thing that happened to him as a child. Then he is almost coerced by his evil half to do the exact same thing. Excuse me, but I have some sand in my eyes.
    • Just the fact that Casca was raped by THE epitome of what we interpret as "evil" - yeah, this troper thinks that Miura has done it. Period. Pass that tissue, please.
    • During the Eclipse there's also Slan commenting on how "delicious" the whole ordeal of Griffith as Femto raping Casca is while Guts is forced to watch. She even sounds like she's having an orgasm while she talks about it. Slan being female amplifies this by a few orders of magnitude. A woman gleefully approving of another woman's rape is just the bitchiest thing imaginable.
  • The sheer thought of the Eclipse and what had happened during the event is horrible enough, but we at least think that the suffering of those who eventually succumbed to the sacrifice (usually by being eaten alive) has ended. WRONG. Did you forget that once a Behelit user sells their soul to Hell in order to gain the right to sacrifice those closest to them - that will in turn give them unholy powers - the sacrifices are condemned to Hell as well? Meaning that all of the characters that we loved and/or appreciated in the course of the Golden Age arc, Pippin, Corkus, Gaston, Judeau, ARE ALL IN HELL. And unless Guts and pals do some major mojo that will undo causality itself (or unless Miura decides to give them a bone so at least one of these poor bastards will have a Bittersweet Ending in the VERY least), he and Casca are going to share the same fate eventually. Dear Lord, this series...
    • For bonus horror. Remember Count and Vargas. Vargas was only tortured and eaten a bit by the Count and was later executed. When Hell vortex came for Count, Vargas was in it. Let it sink for a minute. Try counting how many people Apostles eat and/or rape (maybe even just interact with) over the duration of manga. Now think what those Apostles did before manga began. Now, realize - ALL OF THEM ARE IN HELL!!
      • ... Is there even a point to having a heaven in this series? Hell - IS there a heaven in this series or some intermediate afterlife for these poor bastards who were unfortunate enough to be born into this world??!!
      • So far... nope. They're screwed.
      • The Idea of Evil explains that hell came into being by people needing a justification for life being so scrappy. Since "god" came into being to CREATE more misery, it means there's no GOOD deity watching over these people, no heaven awaiting the righteous who SOMEHOW avoid a horrifying death sending them to hell... Midland is a Crapsack World for a very good reason.
      • Also, when you think about it, unless Guts does find some way to reverse he and Casca's curse, his efforts in fighting apostles is a bit fruitless, since all apostles go to hell when they get killed and he's doomed to go there if he can't prevent it. That's going to be a happy reunion if that goes down.
      • Although, if I recall correctly, the God Hand tell the Count that over time, his soul would lose its sense of self and basically just "dissolve" in the maelstrom, so it seems like Guts, when/if he gets there, would only have very recently killed Apostles wanting to re-kill him.
      • Actually, the afterlife shown in Berserk isn't Hell per se, its more similar to The Land Of the Dead seen in, say, Greek Mythology, or Norse Mythology. Its not Heaven, but it isn't Fire and Brimstone Hell either. Its a land of shadows, no more, no less.
  • In volume 6, when Griffith calls Guts to his study and hands him that pornographic book, take a look at the illustrations in the book. The illustration on the right shows two people in a position that is similar to how Guts made love to Casca, which can make you think that Guts actually learned something from a book. On the other hand, and the other page, we see two people in a position that is almost a mirror image of how Griffith raped Casca as Femto. So what's also freaky is that Griffith might have also learned a thing or two from that book...
    • That certainly goes somewhere between Harsher in Hindsight, Fridge Brilliance, and Foreshadowing.
    • When you think about it, Griffith's rape of Casca is pretty much a twisted foil to Guts and Casca's love scene. In fact, this might not only be a visual literary device, but Griffith might have purposely done certain "things" to Casca to taunt and torture she and Guts even more, since he might possibly be omniscient.
    • Something that also goes in between Harsher in Hindsight and Foreshadowing was what Griffith said when he rescued Casca in the flashback in volume 6. He told the noble, "Because you're a noble, you think you're a God?" And what does he end up doing when he becomes a divine being?
  • The king raping Charlotte is bad enough, but then you realise that he most likely deliberately set it up to sate his own desires - a few minutes beforehand, he told a maid that nobody is to go near her bedroom until he says otherwise, giving him a perfect cover. That is, until Charlotte wakes up...
  • On Casca's backstory, when she was given to the nobleman as a "servant", and she only later realized what he was intending on doing with her, since she said later that no noble was ever kind enough to take in a dirt poor girl as a servant in order to help out her family's situation. But did you ever think that Casca's parents might not have been so oblivious to this? Think about it: it happens in third world countries all the time. Being very traditional, parents set such high moral standards on their daughters' virginity (sometimes, a bit too far), but when push comes to shove, they know how high their virginity will catch on the market if they sell them to some wealthy sleaze bag - a lot more than a servant girl's wage (not that the status of being a servant would stop rape from happening). So, Casca's parents most likely had the full intention of selling their youngest, virgin daughter as a prostitute.
  • It's weird that the Torture Technician never mentioned it in his graphic description of what he did to him over a year, but Griffith was probably castrated during his torture. It was probably the first thing to go, in fact, since his crime was having sex with Charlotte, so it would make sense that the instrument used to commit the crime would be the first to be destroyed. Eek.
    • He probably didn't got there because Guts rammed his sword through him, and the door. However, by the completely depraved tone the guy spoke... He might have also done... other things to Griffith.
  • Femto, now being a member of the Godhand and having insight in causality may actually have gained a form of omniscience revealing to him the fact that Guts was ruined by his childhood rape experience and Casca was the one who cured his trauma. It makes sence because Femto seems impossible to catch off guard unless it's needed in the grander scheme of things. This would also make what he did to Casca EVEN WORSE then it would have been by itself.
    • It may also be possible that Femto also knew Casca was pregnant and that the resulting Fetus Terrible would serve as a vessel for him to reincarnate in this physical world as Griffith. This would also make what Femto did a Gambit Roulette, for how utterly convoluted it would've been to have all the pieces needed (Namely the aforementioned Fetus Terrible and the Behelit Apostle) in place at the exact time of the ceremony to begin, which happen exactly each 1000 years! It seems that by turning into a demon, Femto took his Chess Master skills to a whole new level.
    • As anyone ever thought of the possibility that Griffith knew that Casca would go insane as a result of being raped by him (possibly being a chance that his demonic seed is literally poisoning her body and is a direct cause to her insanity) and was in fact, Revenge by Proxy? In other words, "If I can't have either of you, neither of you can be together!" Diabolical indeed.
  • Judging from Wyalds true form it is easy to deduce that he sacrificed the family members who where taking care of him on his deathbed. Even his Freudian Excuse doesn't make him look any more likable.
  • Anna, Charlottes handmaiden and best friend, is still around, being just a bystander. She may look like a pointless character, but then you realize what good friends are all to often used for in this series and you start to worry about what our cute little princess is going to do once she finds out the truth about her lover...
  • It's not canon, but there was an implication in Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage that the real Casca is in a persistent bad dream that she can't wake up from it unless she is cured of her insanity. And this bad dream has been at it for two years... If this is true, and considering everything that she's been through, Casca has every right to come back as fucked up as humanly possible!
    • The Passage of Dreams reveals this to actually be the case. Casca herself is aware of what is going on with 'Elaine', but cannot actually control anything. And beneath the layer of childish views that she portrays, the horrors of the Eclipse and the previous trauma are all around, with Casca being a broken doll dragged through a wasteland by a dog that represents Guts.
  • This is actually on the ley lines of fridge horror and fridge brilliance, but concerning Griffith's imprisonment and torture, Griffith's became crippled on account of his tendons beings severed (not to mention that he most likely suffered massive muscular damage), but the actions that led up to his imprisonment was on account of his haughty and prideful nature. What's the supposed punishment for pride in Hell? The breaking wheel, which breaks the victim's limbs, deeming them horribly crippled (if not just flat out dead). For the actual horror part, who is the patron demon of pride? Lucifer, in which Femto, Griffith's Godhand ego, is essentially.
  • Whenever i see a glorious picture of the Power Trio in the good old days, commanding an army, being unbeatable and wearing their shiny armor and wind blown capes i somehow get hit by the realization that all three of them are taken up the rear by some disgusting creature at one point. That's one thought you can only have about this series!
  • The Child, obviously, is composed of both Guts' and Casca's genetic material... but he's also got some of Griffith's genetic material after what he did to Casca... meaning that Griffith is technically the Child's parent as well. I do NOT want to see how this custody battle from hell is going to end.
    • That's not how genetics work.
  • Remember that beautiful scene where Griffith preforms sending off of every man that had died during the battle? Since we have learned that everyone who associate with apostles goes straight to hell it is safe to assume that Griffith is intentionally feeding hell with every one of his followers who is unfortunate enough to die.
  • The Behelits are powered by love and friendship. The same way a car is powered by gasoline. Horrifyingly inspirational.
  • Knowing the shit Casca normally goes through in the story, those apostles probably had no intentions on eating her during the Eclipse: they were most likely going to rape her to death.
    • As if we needed more horrific realizations about Casca and the Eclipse: Casca and Judeau only got as far away from the carnage as they did because of Pippin's Heroic Sacrifice. While Femto is... gestating, for lack of a better word, the apostles just gorge themselves on their victims unchecked, and one of them is effectively about to sodomize her with a long, sharp talon attached to its face and surely kill her. It only stops because that's when Femto is born and able to properly exert control over them... if not for Pippin and Judeau he would have been too late. In the end, they really did save her life. And that's how shitty the universe is: She escapes the most horrific scenario possible with only minor physical injuries because her comrades gave their lives to protect her, only for her to end up suffering a much worse fate because she's still damned anyway. At least if she'd been killed, she wouldn't have had to suffer everything that came after Femto showed up.
  • It seems unlikely, given everything we know about him and how the Eclipse played out, but we only have the God Hands' word for it that it was truly what Griffith wanted, and not the desperation of a broken man who just wanted his own dignity back? It's bad enough that he betrayed his friends in the worst way possible, it's even worse that the Eclipse has ruined the man he used to be so completely that not only is he beyond redemption, he's beyond wanting redemption in the first place. If all he really wanted was a chance to escape the shame of helplessness, of being pitied, of feeling worthless and filthy, he got it. We'll never really know if he might have felt remorse, or if it was done in earnest or just out of extraordinary-but-temporary madness borne of unimaginable pain... and neither will anyone else.
    • Femto's conversation with The Idea of Evil implies that Griffith's rise to power has been orchestrated for countless generations, his entire ancestry carefully arranged to eventually produce him, specifically, so that he would be the ideal candidate to become Femto into the first place. For a being that exists outside of time and is the only real godlike figure in the story, that's not the fridge horror part. The fridge horror part is the fact that this not only means that the Band of the Hawk only ever existed be the cobbles of Griffith's road, it means all its soldiers, and their entire lives, were orchestrated in the same way and for the same reason. All the awful things they experience, particularly Guts and Casca's childhoods, were all just devised to be the meal that fattened Griffith for the slaughter. And the worst part? This is implied to have happened before, with Void and Skull Knight, who saved Guts and Casca from the Eclipse. So much suffering, designed to explain suffering itself, just to keep escalating in a horrible, horrible upward spiral. If The Idea of Evil exists to provide a reason for the suffering of humanity because that's what humanity needs, it's only natural that we want everything to be part of a divine plan, and the God Hand makes references to this more than once... but they never said the divine plan leads to humanity's redemption.
  • The God Hand in general. They were all human once, and given what we know about Femto's appearance and how he looked just before he became what he is, what the Hell happened to them to make them look the way they do? How low did they have to be, to make what they are now seem like the better existence? Who did they have to forsake to to get their powers? It doesn't matter. They're terrifying because they exist. Every 216 years, somebody is taking up that mantle. Somebody who was ordinary once.
    • And when you think about who they sacrificed, what's really horrifying is how it's implied that a bloodbath on the scale of the Eclipse happens each time a new member of the God Hand is created. They require not just one sacrifice, but hundreds! During the Eclipse, every single member of the Band of the Hawk was branded, and Griffith's body was nourished by the rivers of their blood. If you remember when Anna accidentally dropped a lantern down the shaft of the Tower of Rebirth, and the ruins of Emperor Gaiseric's empire were filled with corpses, and all of them bore the brand of sacrifice. Could it be that that's what's left over from the summoning of one of the original four, and that each one was created in such a horrible ceremony?
      • This just keeps getting worse. We know because of Guts and Casca that it is possible to escape the Eclipse alive, at least for a while. Obviously survivors would be few and far between, but consider the world this takes place in and how incredibly terrible it is. After what's implied to be a thousand years, those corpses should be unrecognizable, much less be visibly branded. Given the story, that's probably just a bit of artistic license, but think about it: there are stories about "angels" descending to appear to men of greatness, implied to either be the arrival of the Godhand and the commencement of the Eclipse or the ascension of a new member of the Godhand. What's stopping someone from making the connection between the Brands and the "angels" and deliberately attempting to make the Eclipse happen? We know damn well you can make sacrifices that will make you an Apostle even if you don't have the capacity to understand what you're really doing, much less just basic ignorance. With all the horrible things that happen in this Crapsack World, killing a few hundred people to get the attention of Heaven and plead with the divine to save the world would barely be an inconvenience, let alone an unacceptable price to pay.. or worse, what would stop someone from doing the same thing to intentionally make themselves one of the Godhand, figuring that it's better to reign in Hell?
  • The Skull Knight and Void have... history, of some fashion. There's a bit of wiggle room for exactly who they were in life (there's at least some speculation that Skull Knight is, or was, Emperor Gaiseric, and we know fuck-all about Void) but it's implied that Skull Knight is a Brand of Sacrifice victim and knows way more about what it all means than anyone who didn't experience it firsthand possibly could. If it lines up the way it's suggested, Skull Knight is one of Void's sacrifices who managed to give the ceremony the slip and has been fighting for his life ever since exactly the way Guts and Casca have been. That's not the horror part. The horror part is that he's still somehow alive after at minimum 216 years, probably longer. And Guts is essentially retracing his footsteps now...
    • Even more about that, the Skull Knight shows some strong disapproval when Flora gives Guts the Berserker Armour, implying he has some past experience with it, and that nothing good came out of it in the end. The armour even had a skull motif before it changed its shape to fit the "form" of Guts's rage.
  • The creeping horror of The Idea of Evil and the concept of causality, a creature that seems to have the ability to perceive time not as a linear flow, but as a chain of events that can be followed both forward and backward. If humanity needs a god to justify their suffering and that god is as much a product of the past as the future, creating suffering to provide a reason for the pain of humans, where did suffering really originate? If such a creature uses the suffering it causes to press people into its service, do those servants really have free will, or are they just progressing along a chain made of links forged by the creature? Is it still free will if they were compelled through torture? Are the various emotionless/sociopathic/philiac traits it lends to its servants the closest thing it can give to a blessing? The ability to enjoy or the inability to feel pain? Or worse, is it the other way around and the God Hand are the only beings with true sentience and free will, while the rest of the world exists solely to suffer?
  • Griffith attempting to rape Casca when she was changing his bandages. Leaving aside the fact that he's too weak to succeed and is barely worth feeling threatened over, it provides an ugly, ugly window into his state of mind and the ugly, ugly depths of his personality. Rape isn't about sex, rape is about power. He was so brutalized he could barely move, but his drive to prove his strength by forcibly violating a woman gave him enough strength to sit up under his own power and throw himself on top of her. Using rape to boost his ego was, in that moment, more important to him than medical attention.
  • Femto's body is sort of a weird blend of bird feet and claws and bat wings combined with Griffith's armor plating and helmet, all on a humanoid frame, but he's definitely got human skin (or something like it) on his face, so... at the risk of being puerile... We know for damn sure that he's got a penis and it works, but... what if it's not one of his humanlike parts? Squick.
  • Just about everything about the Behelits once you read upon them. These things can, by their description, manipulate destiny and causality itself to drive their selected owners into Despair Event Horizon. Think about that for a second: ''Just how much of Griffith's behavior pre-Eclipse was his own free-will or the Behelit doing its thing?'' Or the people around him? From its description and effects on the plot, Behelits are basically the One Ring or the Pieces of Eden of Berserk-verse; at first, they seem benign, but subtly, unconsciously control people around it to make certain choices, sometimes somewhat out of character, all in order to ruin their lives. A few examples:
    • When Zodd is about to kill Griffith, he twitches and the Behelit reveals itself, making Zodd stop and realize what is going to happen to Griffith. That alone has One Ring Expy written all over it, slipping and moving out of nowhere to escape or reveal itself. Later on, when Griffith meets Charlotte. Did she trip naturally... or was it the Behelit doing it, so she would get attracted to Griffith? And, of course, when it blocks the arrow from Julius' assassin; that thing is usually hanging just above Griffith's chest and, when an arrow comes, it just happens to be positioned over Griffith's heart?
    • Griffith confronting Guts on his leaving. In Berserk (1997), he doesn't seem like himself at all. He looks very psychotic, his eyes look almost like Femto's after his resurrection in the mortal world. He doesn't even bother trying to change Guts' mind, and his attacking Guts instead of waiting Guts to strike so he can counterattack like he always does all feel out of character for him.
    • Griffith's bedding Charlotte, especially in the movie. In the movie, unlike the first anime, Griffith comes into her room seemingly on a whim, but then comes to his senses and decides to leave... only for Charlotte to hug him and cry on his chest. In fact, his whole behavior after Guts leave could be the Behelit subtly manipulating him into getting himself tortured and crippled, as well as making the King of Midland become a pedophile.
    • At one point it is revealed by Flora that the Behelit that Guts took from the Baron is now his. Knowing Guts, he will never resort to using it, being a defier of fate and all that, but still, its a scary thought that Guts is destined to become an Apostle.
  • Griffith's creepy eyes when he's in bed with Charlotte. They're almost exactly like Femto's when he's raping Casca. The implications are unsettling, not just because it's fucked up, but because with Charlotte, it was consensual sex. Either Griffith's sexual predilections just have that effect on him and he goes to a dark place during sex, or he's being affected by his own horrible destiny through Causality. Either way, it's friggin' terrifying to think about.
    • Not only that, but watching the movie, it's possible he wasn't blinking at all during the act.
    • One additional point— yes, Charlotte consented, but knowing who Griffith is and what he does later in his desperate attempts to feel powerful, who's to say he cared even then? Griffith is notably making forceful advances even before he gets her consent. Charlotte may very well have narrowly avoided a similar fate to that of Casca, and she never even knew it.
  • Do you think that if Guts never left the Hawks so Griffith wouldn't have slept with Charlotte, the Hawks wouldn't be outlawed and there wouldn't be any horrible things like Griffith's torture or Eclipse? Right? Wrong. Ganishka was preparing the invasion to Berserkverse's equivalent of Europe al the time! What did the Midlanders have agains his army? Pretty standard knights and infantry. The Kushans, on the other hand had loads of sorcerers, magically enhanced Super Soldiers and beasts. It would be eventually a Curb-Stomp Battle for the "Europeans" if the reborn Griffith hadn't united them and hadn't made a pact with Apostles. And he could do it only after his transformation into Femto. So basically, everyone would have died horribly and all Midland, Tudor, etc. would have been enslaved by Kushans if Griffith hadn't crossed the Moral Event Horizon. Brr...
    • Now there's a chilling thought for you: the possibility that the Godhand really does have a benevolent higher purpose. Obviously it doesn't work out for everybody and horrible, horrible things happen to people all the time, but the world keeps going and life goes on, and the forces of evil that plague humanity still haven't won. It ties uncomfortably back to Femto's ascension, too: Ubik's whole argument during the Eclipse is a global-scale version of "hey, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and holy shit did you break yourself some eggs, you better make a seriously kickass omelette or it'll all go to waste!"
  • Going off from the above Horror, think about the Eclipse. It's certainly true that Guts and Casca survived the Eclipse because the Skull Knight took them out of it, but then you recall the Idea of Evil and it saying that Griffith's ancestry had been manipulated in ways to all end up in this way. And even with the Skull Knight saying that he's an enemy to the Godhand and wants to get rid of them as much as Guts — it's implied that all of that was on purpose. Guts and Casca survived because the laws of causality wanted them to survive. The Skull Knight got them out because it was meant to happen. Just how far does Fate actually play a factor in any person's actions? And can it really be said that Guts may be 'outside of Fate' and have a chance at changing the laws of causality, if his survival was meant to occur because of Fate?
  • The village of Enoch was saved from swarms of trolls by the combined efforts of Guts' group, the Qliphoth was sealed meaning the trolls wouldn't return, and considering that this is Berserk, everyone got a happy ending there, right? Well, what about after Femto fuses all the realms?
    • Maybe, maybe not. After Guts and company chased off the trolls, the villagers voiced interest in erecting a shrine to the river spirit, so they might have the protection of a more benign entity whose presence has only gotten stronger in the wake of the calamity.
  • Griffith is seen as the Messiah, a being associated with light and eternal peace on Earth. Lucifer's name means "Light-Bringer," and he is seen as an angel of light which the worldly and the unbelievers would bow down to under the assumption that he is sent by God.
  • The Idea of Evil is essentially if God gave people what they wanted rather than what they needed.
  • Rosine is the Enfante Terrible of all the apostles. Because Rosine is a Child by Rape her father hates and abuses her. This abuse combined with her innocent desire to belong and to be loved eventually drives her to despair, to fall into escapist fantasy, and to choose to become an apostle to realize that fantasy. What she does as an apostle is horrible but her culpability for her actions is questionable because of her childhood and young age for an apostle. During her final battle with Guts Rosine repeatedly repeatedly saves her friend Jill whom Guts repeatedly endangers in order to outmaneuver the apostle. Rosine gives up her fantasy upon meeting Puck and learning of real fairies and has but is ultimately denied a potential Heel Faceturn. Rosine even manages to begin reverting to her pre-apostle self as she genuinely regrets the choices she had made and wishes to just be a child with a family that loves her. The horror is that this now vulnerable child reverting back to her pre-apostle form was likely dragged down into a personal hell of eternal torment at the hands of all of her victims, including her father.
  • Becoming an Apostle doesn't harden the heart, it just adds bloodlust to all the other emotions. Also, all sacrifices shown are loved one that turned against the Apostle so not only is the chosen human desperate but angry at the person he sacrificed. So why are the Apostles so sadistic if their hearts never hardened? Because they just killed their Morality Pet and while some like the Count and Rosie found another one the other Apostles have nothing left but anger, grief and bloodlust to go on. Basically they are what would happen to Guts if the Berserker Armor makes him kill Casca.
  • The circumstances of Guts' birth signified he was doomed to be unlucky from the start, but they're even more horrifying when you realize coffin births, where the woman's body expels ''everything'' in her body, fetus included, were a somewhat uncommon but still recorded occurrence before the prevalence of 19th century embalming practices and formaldehyde.
  • Guts mentions that for Griffith, the ends are the means. That he will try to climb ever higher. Now remember that Femto and Griffith are meant to be Satanic Archetypes and how Griffith disposed the idea of being controlled by others and how making his own fate defined him. Now think on this, if Griffith really just following the Idea of Evil's plan or did he just see becoming a member of the god hand a means to an end. While he is told to do as he will, does the Idea and the other members just expect him to go along as they did? Or is Griffith just using all of this and the destabilization that fusing the astral realm and the physical realm will bring to set up an opportunity. We all know how Griffith just uses allies as pawns and will dispose of them as needed. What if Griffith is using all of this to get rid of the other members of the God hand and a shift in the collective unconsciousness of humanity to depose the Idea of Evil so that he's number one.
    • That's a bit irrelevant, considering that the Apostles and God Hand do not have any kind of order from the Idea of Evil. Their free will is the will of their master, that's the whole point of all the Causality talk, everyone is stuck in this predestined nightmare, God Hand and humans alike. So, even if Femto somehow betrays the other God Hand in a bid for even more power, this will also have been part of the plan before he could even conceive of the possibility, for doing what he wants means furthering the Idea of Evil's plan. This is best exemplified when Wyald tries to kill Griffith, saying the Apostles don't really have to respect the next chosen one, and he can exercise his free will and crush him before the Eclipse. Zodd agrees, and then says he's exercising his own free will in killing Wyald before that happens. Everyone's free will adds up to Causality, which is the Idea of Evil's plan coming together.

    Fridge Logic 
  • Guts performs CPR on Casca when they fell into a river and successfully revives her. Although the act is pretty realistic compared to other anime examples, and though it is a medieval fantasy series, CPR was only innovated in what we would know as the modern era (1950-60s roughly).
  • Another one and it concerns the book six assassination plot. You think Miura should have drawn Guts with a normal sword instead of his typical BFS? A lot of people saw a clocked man hacking away guards with a very particular sword that also happens to be wielded by a very particular man very close to Griffith. Perhaps everyone was so terrified of Guts by then that they said nothing?
  • Apparently, having sex with Casca completely heals the bleeding abdominal wound that she had given Guts just moments earlier.
    • Clearly, you've never played the interactive crime documentary Grand Theft Auto
  • Either Midland is a very large country, and Guts has the amazing ability to walk incredible distances in mere days or weeks at best, or a lot more time has passed by than we know of, or nobody is very vulnerable to weather conditions, or Midland is the American Midwest (or was inspired by Great Britain), because they have some pretty funky weather patterns.
    • While at it: Guts needs to do everything on foot because any horse he used would quickly become posessed by demons whenever night falls. It's more trouble then it's worth.
  • So, Guts and Casca did the duty, and Guts succeeded in knocking Casca up. Congrats. They're expecting... a demon baby! But seriously, Guts and Casca conceive, they go to Wyndam to rescue Griffith, which took about four days, and then they had to get back to wherever they were going in the first place, which we'll say took about the same amount of time. So Casca has been pregnant for a week at this point. Then the Eclipse happens, and horrible, horrible things happen that result in Guts and Casca being Asleep for Days - four, actually. And then, no more than a few hours after have a grande mal Freak Out, Guts witnesses Casca miscarrying their child, which is in its embryonic form. Overall, Casca has only been pregnant for not even an entire two weeks. Now, human embryogenesis is a lot more complicated than how we would comprehend it (sperm and egg meet up, hook up, and start dividing away all in about twenty minutes), and I'm not sure how much time must elapse for fertilization to be successful and how long cleaving of the zygote takes, but I'm pretty sure that you don't get a six week old embyro in under two weeks. ... Unless of course Femto's demonic semen induces super fast gestation and development which just brings in more Nausea Fuel on our part.
    • The last point gains favour when you see the embryo quickly morphing into a, very deformed but still reconizable as a, fetus right after Casca miscarries it.
    • Not only that, but there are some hints that a lot more time had passed from the time Guts rejoined the Hawks and the Eclipse. If you watched the third movie, contrary to the Weather Dissonance mentioned above, you notice that Guts and Casca's love scene takes place during a seasonably warm time of the year. But in the later stages of the Griffith rescue arc, the leaves on the trees have changed color, so the child might have been conceived during late summer/early fall, with Casca having a miscarriage around mid fall, and Guts leaving Casca around late fall. Or, depending on what translation you read, Skull Knight outrights says that Casca's child was conceived a month before the Eclipse, which would match the child's development during the first trimester.
  • I had initially put this as a candidate for Contrived Coincidence, but the lingering motif of fate and destiny prevented me from making it official. Still, it is still worth mentioning: there really isn't any excuse that Guts couldn't have heard about the Hawks becoming outlaws sooner. Guts attempts to justify that the reason why he hadn't heard of the Hawks' trouble until a year later was because he was sequestered in the mountains training. That's all well and good... except that there really isn't a reason why he wouldn't have been able to pick up on it sooner, like, the twenty-four hours since he'd left sooner. The fame of the Hawks and the accusations of the supposed crimes they had committed would have sent the capital and the nearby countryside into firestorm of commotion, and Guts couldn't have been too far out of the vicinity to have not caught wind in order to help (hell, since the Hawks were on the run in the countryside, Guts should have come across them first before any rumor about them!). And he just happened to pick up on it a year later, either from a tournament, or even more conveniently, a messenger who went out of his way to get to Godo's house in the TV series. Alas, it did give the plot enough time to totally ruin Griffith and edge him closer to despair in preparation of horrid events to come, which is all that matters, I guess.
    • It's more complicated than that. Considering how the Berserk World is realistic, relatively speaking, information travels slowly. Even big news end up traveling with messengers, who might not be that concerned in informing some random mercenary on the road. Civilization is more sparse, too. Any village or town is very far away from each other. Also, Guts is the type to Walk the Earth, without plans or routes.
  • Here's the thing about the whole merging of the worlds so that dragons, merpeople and other creatures exist in the world of Berserk. Initially, I thought that it was very unlike Miura to include such cliched concepts in the unique world of Berserk which contained such a different mythos than other western works of fiction with the Apostles and God-hand etc... but then somebody told me that it was SUPPOSED to be cliche because since the Idea of evil was brought about by the collective consciousness of humanity wanting a reason for their suffering, it made sense that the creatures of the astral realm should also be conjured by humanity's consciousness and made physical by Femto's actions. So it's best not to think of Berserk becoming a generic fantasy story but just being invaded by the dreams of the people living in Berserk's world.
    • That distinction is bound to become really important in the future, as the reason the Idea of Evil chapter was cut out from publication was that it "revealed too much, too soon". The world of Berserk right now is literally a world where humanity as a collective can shape reality directly.
  • Serpico fights Guts on the ledge of a cliff in volume 19. When Guts is about to start cranking his crossbow, Serpico cuts near the crank to prevent him from doing so. Guts then tries to draw the Dragon Slayer from his back, but Serpico sticks his sword up there to prevent that as well. Guts was holding the crossbow out towards Serpico, meaning his hands were closer to Serpico than his body; sniping the hand made sense for Serpico. But Guts draws his sword from over his right shoulder, and he's still got his left foot forward, so at that moment Guts's hand is actually farther away from Serpico than his head is. Why doesn't Serpico just stab Guts in the face?

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