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Ho Yay / Berserk

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Hooo boy. Where to even begin?

  • Guts and Griffith are the first to come to mind, as they have some seriously suggestive subtext going on.
    • Griffith's penchant for declaiming long, soulful speeches to Guts while completely naked for no real reason is probably a good place to start. Or just relies on the phrase, "Naked water fight."
    • After they meet, Griffith mentions to Guts that he wants him to join his mercenary group because he thinks Guts fighting is "magnificent" and he thinks Guts is "fascinating" and says "I find you much to my liking." While this occurs the same music that plays when Guts and Casca made love starts playing.
    • Not to mention how he frequently reminds Guts, "You are mine."
    • The whole duel between him and Guts before Guts left has Griffith acting like he was being rejected by his lover, and reacting like a possessive Yandere about it. In fact, during Griffith's Ho Yay-tastic fight with Guts before Guts left the Band of the Hawk, Griffith is shown having thoughts of If I Can't Have You… towards Guts. He considers all the different possibilities of attacking Guts, realizing that one way, if executed properly, would most likely end in Guts' death. He hesitates, but then thinks to himself, "But... if I can't keep him here..." and ends up attempting it. Of course, he fails. And then there's how his Heroic BSoD was caused by Guts leaving him, resulting in him acting irrationally, and what looks like him rebounding by sleeping with Princess Charlotte.
      • The movies (and the manga) decide to ditch any pretense of subtlety with Griffith having flashbacks to Guts leaving... while he is having explicit sex with Charlotte. Just to make sure everyone gets where his mind is. It is amazingly creepy.
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    • There's also why Guts left in the first place. He decided he needed to search for his own dream because Griffith said to Charlotte that only someone with a dream independent to him could stand at his side. Clearly Guts was unaware that he was the exception here.
    • Pre-Eclipse Griffith grows green with envy when he notices that Guts and Casca have become an item, Kubrick Stare and all. It is unclear who he envies more due to his ambiguous sexual orientation. It's possibly both.
    • Let us not forget that Griffith tries to commit suicide right after he learns Casca and Guts are an item and are considering leaving him behind, in addition to the fact that he knows since he is permanently crippled from torture it means the chances of him getting and running a kingdom for himself is very low.
    • After Griffith was physically invalid from torture he was resigning himself to a quiet life as a cripple with Casca as his wife complete with child. He always viewed Casca as a back up of sorts if the thing with Charlotte (meant to earn a kingdom as she is a princess) went south. Which it did, as sleeping with Charlotte earned him the torture. But then he learns Casca and Guts are an item. So he can not go for Casca either. And why did he actively try to lay claim sexually to both Casca and Charlotte (In the events before the Eclipse and during the Eclipse in regards to his heinous rape of Casca as Femto)? Because Guts left the Hawks and he could no longer control his life or death. It seems almost like both Casca and Charlotte were meant to be a rebound/back up of sorts for Griffith after Guts left. These actions towards both woman surely contained a lot of sexual frustration during both events his focus was on Guts the entire time...
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    • Don't forget that even before that, Casca was really jealous of the attention that Guts got from Griffith because she was in love with Griffith, and she makes a point to think about how Griffith never talked to anyone before the way he talks to Guts.
    • Or how Guts during their first fight says that Griffith has a "pretty face".
    • Guts simply could not stop staring at a naked Griffith when he was giving him his soulful speech. Or at naked Griffith after he was reborn as Neo Griffith. He even reflected that for a second he forgot his urge to kill.
    • They tended to have No Sense of Personal Space around one another and would come to the others rescue a lot.
    • In the movie when Guts was about to fall over the side of a building, Griffith quickly reaches over and catches him, preventing him from falling to his doom.
    • Though after the Eclipse, shipping these two would count as Foe Yay as well as Ho Yay.
    • Berserk was inspired, in part, by the western film Lady Hawke, in which two lovers are kept apart by their respective transformations. A woman into a hawk by day; a man into a wolf by night. Hawk and wolf (or wolf-like beast). Two lovers. Hm.
    • Don't forget that Guts thought Griffith was gay when they first met, which lead to Guts telling him that "if you can beat me I'll be your soldier, your lover, whatever you want." This, however is simply one of several translations and "lover" is about as tame as you will find. It's more commonly translated as "fag boy".
    • In the movie Guts says, "you can have anything, my sword or my ass." Again, not very subtle.
      • The more Squicky bit of Ho Yay has to be when Griffith comments on his many, many conflicting feelings for Guts, moments before sacrificing his men to the Godhand, turning into a demon, and then raping Casca, his love interest, which was all most likely done purely out of spite that Guts and Casca tried to leave him. And the entire time he's doing that last bit, he has Guts held down by some demons so he's forced to watch and his eyes never leave Guts's face.
    • Griffith/Femto was able to get ahem hard enough to have his way with Charlotte and Casca while Guts was either in the area or was heavily weighing on his mind.
    • Griffith’s dream means everything to him, it’s something he would go to the ends of the earth for. However, before turning into Femto when he’s commenting on how he feels about Guts he says “Of all the thousands of comrades and enemies, only you and you alone made me forget my dream.” As soon as he sees Guts face, he gives him a sad smile before performing the sacrifice necessary to become Femto while Guts tries desperately to reach him.
      • And then there's when Guts and the Hawks discover Griffith broken and tortured body, Guts cries while holding him and then goes... well, berserk all over the Midland guards holding Griffith captive, killing them in great swaths.
      • As well as Griffith’s rage at seeing the reason (Guts and his leaving Griffith) he was put to horrific torture show up. He makes like he’s trying to strangle Guts but doesn’t have the strength to in his state, Guts cradles him in his arms and hugs him to him while crying and Griffith’s glare and rage softens and he slowly rests his hand on top of Guts’s hand. In the movie in particular much emphasis is put on his gaze when he sees Guts after a year of torture like he’s in awe of him.
      • It's especially interesting to note that Guts Hates Being Touched except by his Love Interest Casca (and even with her, Guts was triggered the first time they touched), and yet he didn't seem to mind when Griffith held his face in his hands, got really close following their first duel, looked into his eyes, and said "You belong to me now, Guts” even though the two had just recently met.
      • If you go by Freudian imagery there's also the part during their first fight where Guts put Griffith's sword in his mouth.
    • Also, Griffith trusted Guts with the seedier elements of his power plays and opened up to him more than anyone, even Casca.
    • Adding to the tension between Guts and Griffith is what happened after the Eclipse, when Griffith comes back to create his new army and build his kingdom on earth. The first thing he does is encounter Guts at the Band of the Hawk burial. He tells Guts that he just wanted see if feelings once again surfaced in his presence, and was happy that they no longer did.
    • And then there's the manga-only scene in the library where Griffith is reading what appears to be the Kama Sutra and offers to lend it to Guts.
    • Or before Guts and the Band Of The Hawk rescue Griffith after his year long torture Griffith is shown thinking about all his feelings of hate, indignation, friendship, sorrow, and affection towards Guts. Or how he thinks the only thing that helped him retain even a smidgen of sanity through it all is his feelings and thoughts for Guts. He says the man who he used to have a hold on slipped from his grasp and will now be the sole reason for his survival. He thinks about how Guts radiates so brightly in his mind that it blinds him.
    • When Casca fell off a cliff feverish from her period with Guts taking her to a cave Casca says the following line when Guts came into the Band of the Hawks: “But even so...I tried to convince myself that Griffith wanted you...Just for your strength. But calm and composed...always gets so impulsive when it comes to you! It’s as if...”
    • Everyone knows Casca is in love with Griffith. She knows what love looks like. Perhaps she saw a form of what she felt for Griffith in what Griffith feels for Guts. Some fans think the full line could be “As if...he’s in love with you”
    • Guts fights for all his friends, and Griffith makes a point to tell him “How you fight is all for me. Because you are mine.”
  • Berserk does have quite a bit of Les Yay, such as between Luca and Nina. And Casca and Farnese as well.
    • Rosine the "Elf Queen" Apostle and her childhood friend Jill, two minor characters in a story arc shortly after the Eclipse, get some Les Yay moments. Also counts as Squick given the age of the two.
    • Some of the first glimpses of Farnese's Character Development are based on her relationship with Casca and how she grows to learn how to try to take care of someone else. She gets pretty protective over her and when she temporarily leaves the group, Farnese constantly thinks and worries about Casca, rather than Guts whom she had developed feelings for and was bedridden with injuries at the time.
    • Post-Eclipse Casca gets a few bathing scenes. Cue in the Les Yay with either Farnese or Schierke. ** After Danann, Farnese, and Schierke restore Casca's sanity and the Four finish introducing themselves, Danann decides that Casca's clothes aren't fitting for her upcoming reunion with Guts, and promptly turns the robe she was wearing into a dress. Casca complained, saying she's a warrior and that it doesn't suit her, but Danann insisted on it, saying it's perfect, that she looks beautiful, and that she also looks like a 'dark elf princess'. Schierke and Farnese also comment positively on how Casca looks good in the dress.
  • During the Hawks parade to the castle after winning the final battle of the war, lots of women in the crowd Squee! over the warriors. Including (or especially, seeing as how she's the only one they're seen mentioning by name) Casca, though it’s also likely the women are mistaking Casca for a man.
    • In the Count arc, during the giant orgy in front of the Goat statue, The Count's wife can be seen being hugged from behind by a naked woman, whose planting kisses on her naked back. Can't get more blatant then that.
    • Nina is shown making out with several other naked women during the cultist orgy.
  • Many guys in the series tend to find Griffith attractive. Following his rebirth into the physical world, several male characters describe how just hearing his voice makes them feel strange things.
  • Owen and Laban, who are Heterosexual Life-Partners, have a Stupid Sexy Flanders moment towards Griffith, and late in the volumes are overjoyed to find each other again after a long separation. Admittedly their closest physical intimacy is a fist bump, but at the very least it's a serious platonic bromance.
  • Pre-Eclipse, when the Hawks parade to the castle after winning the final battle of the war, in addition to Casca getting praised by women in the crowd a male character appears to praise Corkus much to his disgust.
  • Rakshas is the latest in the new Band of the Falcon/Hawk. He jumped to Griffith's aide only to state that he will protect him as long as he gets to have his "beautiful head" when the time comes to kill him.
  • Roderick was very impressed to see the skills of Guts against the Kushan's familiars in Vritannis and immediately accepted him as a leader and he rescued Guts from sinking into the ocean because of his steel hand.
  • Rickert slaps Griffith across the face with the latter joking he was “rejected”.
  • When Rickert slaps Griffith across the face Sir Locus becomes livid and would have demanded satisfaction if not for the White Hawk's orders. Afterwards he is seen fuming with anger while clenching the stonework so hard that it breaks in his grip. Not only that, he may have ordered Rakshas to murder Rickert. He also firmly believes Griffith can bring about a better world.
  • Pippin and Guts were very close and Guts later Roaring Rampage of Revenge is in part due to Pippin’s horrific death and the subsequent desecration of his body by the Count Apostle during the Eclipse.
  • Zodd has this mixed with Foe Yay going on with the Skull Knight. The two of them have had this sort of dynamic going for centuries, and he even refers to Skull Knight as "My beloved opponent" at one point. Also, despite his denial, Zodd deeply respects Guts and is extremely fond of fighting with or against him. Zodd has two worthy opponents in Skull Knight and Guts. With the Skull Knight it's because Zodd has never beaten him and the Skull Knight has proven time and again that he is the better fighter and more powerful than Zodd. With Guts it's because he was able gain enough strength and skill to challenge both Zodd and the apostles while still remaining human (barring the the use of the Dragon Slayer sword and the Berserk armor). More than that, Guts was able to survive the eclipse and having monsters hunt him every night while never giving into despair or giving up. It's implied Zod admires his spiritual strength along with his martial prowess. Given how apostles become apostles in the first place, this makes sense.
    • The Worthy Opponent feelings Zodd has are confirmed with a prophecy given to him by Sonia just before he rides into battle against the demon emperor, where they are described as being towards the ones Zodd admires by Sonia.

Alternative Title(s): Berserk 1997, Berserk The Golden Age Arc, Berserk 2016


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