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Nightmare Fuel / Berserk

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Welp, this is gonna take a while. Grab your comfort food and teddy bear; you're gonna need them to keep your sanity after being exposed to the nightmarish world of Berserk.

No spoiler tags will be used on this page. Examples are sorted in order of appearance.

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    In General 
  • In general, the series' artist and writer, Kentaro Miura draws some of the most terrifying (and disgusting) demons and monsters ever to grace the pages of manga, capable of rivalling the creations of similar artists such as Go Nagai and Junji Ito alike. Furthermore, by the time you get far enough, assuming that the villains commit atrocious acts of murder, rape, and torture is the norm. The true dread comes in seeing the incredibly fucked up thing they do that makes them different from the other villains.
  • No page on Berserk's horrors can begin without mention of the way that Apostles are made. It starts when somebody that possesses a Behelit hits a moment of absolute despair, where they would do absolutely anything to escape their situation. When this happens, the Behelit, a creepy little egglike thing that has human facial features scattered randomly all over its surface, rearranges those features into a human face. Which then proceeds to bleed from the eyes and start screaming. Then the angles in whichever area this happened start changing and the Godhand, the Big Bads of the series, show up to make the Apostle-to-be an offer. The offer involves sacrificing whoever the Apostle-to-be loves most in order to be reborn as a demon, which is a way of having the Apostle open themself up to evil. Since Behelits invariably activate at the Apostle-to-be's lowest point, that means that this offer sounds very much attractive, particularly if the friend or loved one to be sacrificed was the cause of the Despair Event Horizon in the first place. If the Apostle-to-be accepts the offer, the Godhand mark the person with the Brand of Sacrifice and what happens next is often a truly horrific death as demonic entities from the Vortex eat them alive. And if that wasn't bad enough, it's also mentioned that anyone sacrificed in the creation of an Apostle, in addition to suffering a Cruel and Unusual Death, also has their soul condemned to Hell for all eternity, making this a true crossing of the Moral Event Horizon.
    • And things only get worse when it comes time for a new Godhand to be born, which happens once every 216 years during what is known as the Great Eclipse. A very special Behelit makes its way into the hands of a very special individual. This individual, a charismatic leader of men, achieves great things during their lifetime, but then things start going straight to hell for them, culminating on the day of the Eclipse when they lose all hope and activate the Crimson Behelit. When the Behelit activates, the bearer and everyone currently present with them is transported to the Nexus, a nightmarishly surreal place that to mortal eyes is a scene right out of hell itself. Instead of just one or two victims like is the case with Apostles, the Godhand demand that everyone that the Godhand-to-be has led be marked for sacrifice in order to become one of their own — and instead of just a good number of demonic monsters, nearly every Apostle in the entire Berserk universe has gathered for the feast, and comes out of the woodwork to eat everyone alive once everyone is marked for sacrifice.
  • For a good deal of the series early on, before Guts found his new True Companions, became The Big Guy for the Five-Man Band and was simply a ferocious warrior with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, one of the more unnerving aspects of the series was how easily Guts could be seen as an even more horrifying creature than the Apostles he killed. Some of the Apostles are shown to be veritable Macbeths as far as their motivations and origins go. Examples follow in the respective sections.
  • The Apostles' mere form and appearance will give you nightmares, and during the eclipse, the most bizarre and horrific ones come to town. At first, the Apostles who first transform during the eclipse don't look that much different to ones seen before, but as the spectacle continues, more mutilated and disturbing ones appear, looking like deformed genitals with gaping maws, Vagina Dentata and unbelievably hideous faces. As for the Godhand themelves, Void has his lips peeled back to show off his teeth and gums and his eyelids are sewn shut. Let's not forget his exposed brain...
    • Kentaro Miura drew from the Hellraiser franchise when designing the Godhand, and it's not hard to see Clive Barker's influence in the way that they are called and the way that their Apostles are made.
    • Slan pulled a textbook example of Fan Disservice when she manifested herself in a mound of entrails from the trolls that Guts has just slaughtered in the Qlippoth to confront Guts and injure him. The most — physically — attractive of the Godhands turns into pure Squick.
  • In addition to their already horrific abilities, some Apostles have the ability to turn humans into monsters like them. These Apostle Spawn, while of lesser power than their makers, are still more than a match for most humans they face, and are fully capable of tearing people apart.
  • And to make matters worse, there's also the evil spirits that hound Guts every night, which try to claim him for their own and like to possess trees, corpses, animals, and even susceptible people to try to kill him or eat him alive. And when he sleeps, sometimes he'll be attacked by an Incubus that causes nightmares to feed on his fear (as if he doesn't have enough of them already).
  • All the Eye Scream that happens with disturbing regularity.
    • Special mention goes to Casca stabbing one of her would-be rapists in the eye with a stick and then the same guy gets his remaining eye gouged by one of Judeau's knives a moment later (only in the anime). Of course, the guy had it coming, but still. *shudder*
    • A more sentimental case - and therefore, a bit more horrifying - is what happened to Guts. After being dog-piled by a shitload of demons before he was mere feet away from saving Casca from being raped by Femto, the demon god that used to be Griffith, Guts is still desperately trying to get to Casca who, with her last sane thoughts, is now begging Guts to not look at her being humiliated, as Femto is pretty much forcing the two to look at each other at this point. Even with one arm missing and nothing but a bloody stump left, Guts tries to push himself up to try and get to her, which actually causes one of the demon's claws to drive itself into Guts' eye as it looks at its last sight of Casca's rape.
      • What's worse is that Guts remaining eye gets repeatedly threatened in the following arcs.
    • Chakrams can cut eyes in half...
    • One of Bishop Mozgus' disciples uses red-hot pliers to pull eyeballs out...
    • Not to mention that according to the manga, a good solid punch to the head will make your eyes pop right out. Every time.
    • Also, Miura seems to have a fondness of drawing people's heads getting cut in half, right at eye level. Graphically.
    • And getting stabbed or shot in the eye with an arrow takes the eyeball with it.
    • Also, in the very beginning when Guts is fighting the Baron of Koka Castle. First, the Baron loses his left eye when Guts blows his head in half, then he loses his right eye when Guts shoots it with his crossbow during wholly unnecessary but well-deserved torture.
    • Serpico stabs a kelpie through the head, and then next page we see its left eyeball dangling from the socket. Lovely.
  • The Idea of Evil is just horrible on a whole philosophical level. There is no God but Evil, and humans subconsciously created it to have something to blame for their suffering, which without it is utterly meaningless, and considering the state of this world, it isn't going to leave anytime soon.
  • The Beast of Darkness - this thing is just pure evil that cares about nothing but to kill and maim and wants Guts all for himself. His scariest moment is probably when he takes over Guts and attempts to rape Casca, while giving a pretty damn ugly Breaking Speech. It was clearly looking like the Beast plans to make Guts eat her once he's done with raping. All to make Guts his again.
  • When Guts smiles, it is usually a creepy Slasher Smile. This should be your signal to run; he's usually in a blood-spilling mood when he's got that grin. This one in particular is pretty unnerving.
  • All those rapes and attempted rapes. This series has so many rapes in them that it's not even funny.
    • What's especially disturbing about the rapes and sexual assaults in the story is that they're treated realistically. Most of it is done by characters who are human, (or were human) and as we've seen with Casca's rape at Femto's hands and Guts' rape at Donovan's hands the victims all suffer very realistic repercussions. Some fans might think that Miura went way too far by drawing Casca's rape scene so graphically and some fans themselves go a bit far by saying that because of the way the scene is drawn, it meant that Casca really enjoyed being raped and that she has no reason to be in the state that she is in.
    • After Casca's rape she is seen taking a Shower of Angst under a waterfall fully clothed. At first glance, she looks totally serene and normal (granted you actually ignore what had just happened to her in the previous chapters), but when she turns around to face Guts - you know that something is very, very off.
      • The nature of insanity is always disturbing to think about, especially in Casca's case. She wasn't just reduced to the mindset of a child, but to something less than a child. A lot of fans like the theory that the real Casca is in a dreamworld where the Eclipse never happened and she has a family with Guts and she's too content to leave, but something from the Dreamcast video game brings that theory into question. What if the real Casca is actually in a nightmare world and she isn't allowed to leave? And she has been insane for over two years.
      • As of chapter 348, neither theory is fully true, though the And I Must Scream one is probably closer. She's trapped in, essentially, a coma dream that mirrors the world around her through metaphor, where a hellhound version of Guts drags around a coffin containing a broken doll (representing her) and protects it from monsters.
      • Even after she gets her memories back, Casca still suffers from the trauma from her experience in The Eclipse.
    • And to add more Fridge Horror to the mix, just the sheer thought that Casca was raped by the epitome of evil...
    • Farnese nearly getting raped by a demon possessed horse.
  • The eyes are the windows to the soul... and may account for Griffith's lack of one later.
    • There's just something very creepy about Griffith's eyes (especially in the anime) even before he crossed the Despair Event Horizon and became Femto. They become even more creepy after he loses the duel to Guts and has a Heroic BSoD which led to him sleeping with the princess out of depression. His Dull Eyes of Unhappiness are insanely creepy, punctuated with a lightning strike in the background.
      • In the last two chapters of volume 8, Griffith's eyes progressively get creepier and creepier as you turn each page, as if the moment Guts made the announcement that he wanted to leave, Griffith's sanity just started slipping.
    • Then, there's the look in Femto's eyes as he's raping Casca, also the fact that he stares into Guts' eyes the whole time he's doing that to her.
      • You know what's even more creepy? We saw some warning signs before the Eclipse when Griffith was giving them the SAME STARE when it became clear to him that Guts and Casca were a couple who were in love, and not just the blind admiration that people gave to him, which probably helped to set him off.
    • And now that Griffith has reincarnated himself into the physical world, he retains his demonic Femto eyes while in human form. And it's freaky to say that his eyes are even scarier in his human form than in his demonic form because it always looks like he's giving you the Kubrick Stare while in his benevolent facade.
  • In a more meta sense, Kentaro has admitted that he based the story of the Band of the Hawk off his high school years. Considering what happens later on, one can only think how possibly messed-up his youth must have been.

    The Black Swordsman Arc 
  • It is established in the very first episode that children are not safe in Berserk, which counted a baby among the victims of the Baron's evil rampage toward the chapter's end before the throwdown with Guts. Plus the women and children who were being carted off in the wagon bound for Koka Castle, presumably to be eaten by the Baron, that Guts passed when he first entered the village.
  • Vargas from the Guardians of Desire arc, who was horrifically disfigured as a result of having pieces of him cut off and eaten by the Count — and this was after he was Forced to Watch his wife and son tortured and then eaten alive right before his eyes. It doesn't help that this is a situation Guts is rather intimately familiar with thanks to the Eclipse.
  • Captain Zondark receiving his powers from the Count by having a huge caterpillar-like thing with the Count's face forced down his throat. This is the first time we see a human turned into an Apostle Spawn, and it's appropriately horrific.
  • The Count returned from an expedition against heretics to find his wife in the midst of a pagan orgy, was driven mad with the pain of the betrayal, and used the Behelit to take away the emotions that hurt him so much. Even then, he still showed sorrow (as an Apostle, mind you) over the way that his daughter treated him differently, even though he had gone to great lengths to keep the cause of her mother's death a secret. In the end, he allows himself to be sucked into hell by many of the people he'd killed rather than sacrifice his daughter. Guts, inversely, not only killed an elderly priest to use as a decoy against the Count, but even used the Count's innocent daughter Theresia as a human shield to halt his attack...before proceeding to blast him with his Arm Cannon, brutally decapitate him, and then torture him further because the Count is still alive after all of this...all right in front of Theresia. He actually dragged the Count over to her so she'd have a front row seat.

    The Golden Age Arc 
  • Guts' horrifying childhood and family situation, which scarred him for life. Guts was adopted by Sys, Gambino's lover, after she miscarried, despite superstition that states that you shouldn't pick up a child from a dead body. Several years after Guts was taken in, Sys died of the plague, which was tragic enough because it left Guts without a significant mother figure in the years to come, but it also hardened the heart of Gambino against Guts, whom he felt should have died instead. Despite Guts looking up to him and doing everything in his power to make the mercenary leader proud, including bringing him his part of the pay for every battle, Gambino hated Guts so much that at one point, he sold the poor kid to one of his men, a creepy pederast by the name of Donovan, for three silver coins, which leads to Guts being raped despite his best efforts to fight the big man off. Things between Guts and Gambino come to a head when Gambino, after losing his leg to a cannonball, gets drunk one night, comes into Guts's tent, and tries to murder him, forcing Guts to kill him in self defense.
  • Casca's past isn't much better—she lost her village at an early age and was sold to a noble who wanted a new serving girl, only for it to transpire that he wanted her for sex. Just as he's about to rape her, though, Griffith shows up. Instead of killing her would-be rapist, however, he makes her do it instead.
  • Griffith's past wasn't much of a walk in the park either, as Ubik reveals just before goading him into crossing the Moral Event Horizon. He felt the burden of all the followers who had died to help him make it so far, and decided to sell his body to Lord Gennon for a night so that he could make money without anyone having to die. Afterwards Casca finds him washing himself in the river, complete with a wonderfully disturbing scene of him angsting while clawing at his arms until they bleed when washing himself. He only stops when Casca tearfully embraces him from behind.
  • Griffith had already been established as a vicious Manipulative Bastard, but his one and only trip into Magnificent Bastard territory comes after he just singlehandedly won the Hundred Year War. A group of disgruntled nobles led by the queen are planning to poison Griffith, then blame it on a rival kingdom that Griffith has just defeated. Griffith seemingly falls for it, but later, the conspirators realize that the castle they are in is burning. The queen rushes to a balcony to see what is going on, only to find Griffith, alive and well, standing outside the castle. Griffith calmly explains to the queen and her fellow conspirators that they are the losers, and death on the battlefield does not distinguish between nobility and commoners before the last of his enemies burn alive. Foss, a minister who had taken part in the conspiracy and had acted as Griffith's mole after Griffith kidnapped his daughter, finds himself shaking after the fact. Not because he's worried that he will be executed if anyone ever finds out, but because Griffith is just that scary. Also a Moment of Awesome for Griffith.
  • The relationship between the King of Midland and his beloved daughter Charlotte looks innocent enough, but turns out to be the kindling of disaster. She looks identical to her mother, the Queen, which caused some problems. He ends up trying to rape her, after his rage that Griffith slept with her. The idea of this is very disturbing, and definitely requires a ton of Brain Bleach. This alienates her from her father to the point of disowning him and refusing to see him when he's on his deathbed, his health having seriously deteriorated because of the guilt of what he had done and his obsession with destroying Griffith.
  • As the Hawks go into the Tower of Rebirth to rescue Griffith, Princess Charlotte mentions how Emperor Gaiseric, the founder of the kingdom, was cast down along with his great city by four angels sent by God, and that the remains of the great city could be found in the deepest part of the Tower. And then we get a good look down below when Casca accidentally drops her torch down there, where it lands in a pile of the skeletons of the ancient dead. All of whom have the Brand of Sacrifice burned into their skulls. Just what the hell happened all those years ago, and which of the God Hand ascended from this event?
  • Wyald and his Black Dog Knights take the Sociopathic Soldier trope to nightmarish extremes. The group is shown in graphic detail to rape, murder, and destroy entire villages before sticking the dismembered body parts of the dead and raped on their spears to parade around in front of their enemies. They did this so many times to enemies and nobles alike, the King of Midland himself had them banished to the country's borders because they were too dangerous to be around but too strong to be rid of.
  • Guts almost strangles Casca when he has a flashback to what Donovan did to him while he and Casca are having Their First Time. Imagine how frightening it would be if your true love suddenly put his hands around your throat and tried to squeeze the life out of you, without warning or explanation. Imagine the distress and fear of yourself you would feel if you suddenly lost control of yourself, and came to to find that you had just violently attacked the person you care about most in the world!
    • It gets better. Guts had that flashback because when he was doing Casca from behind, the position that he had her in was quite reminiscent of the position that Donovan had him in — meaning in short that he was seeing things through the eyes of the man that raped him. This sparked some very deep self-loathing in Guts, such that he was trying to strangle what he thought was his past-self to death before he snapped out of it and the truth of what he was actually doing and who he was actually doing it to was revealed.
  • As he endures a year of torture, Griffith is unable to move or talk on his own, and is tormented all the time by thoughts of Guts. The reveal of his tortured, mutilated and emaciated body when Guts and the Hawks come to rescue him after all that time is nothing short of horrific. The first panel where they get a good look at him shows a big chunk of skin missing from his back, and when they examine him further, he's missing several more patches of skin, with some wounds even showing bone. That's horrible, but when you see Guts take off his mask, gasp in horror, and put it back on? Nothing is scarier indeed. The torturer gloats about how he cut the tendons in his wrists and ankles, and cut his tongue out as a souvenir. Guts then proceeds to tear out the torturer's tongue on seeing him wearing Griffith's tongue around his neck - "I'm not letting you go to Hell two-tongued!". The fact that this is a moment of Tranquil Fury from a man more known for other traits really makes you realise just how unbelievably furious Guts is at that point.
    • The Berserk anime movie art staff drew a sketch of Griffith's face post-torture.
    • Looking at Griffith after he has been rescued from the torture. His body is completely emaciated, and he has absolutely no strength to do anything of his own. Swinging a sword is impossible, meaning he cannot fight anymore. The guy can barely even sit up without any help. That level of helplessness is utterly terrifying. No wonder Griffith attempted to kill himself, among other reasons.
  • Rickert's group were all waiting excitedly for Griffith's return. Unfortunately, Rosine and the Count had other plans, and horrifically slaughtered pretty much everyone except poor Rickert, who would have been slaughtered too if not for the intervention of the Skull Knight.
  • The arc of Guts, Griffith, and Casca's relationships with each other. After meeting and being defeated by Griffith, Guts moves up in the ranks of Griffith's mercenary band, eventually becoming a commander of raiders, and the two of them form a bond that is very much like brotherhood (or if you're that way inclined, more than that). Meanwhile, Casca has been Griffith's trusted Number Two ever since Griffith saved her from being raped as a little girl. Griffith gradually becomes obsessed with Guts, such that when Guts decides to leave the Hawks after deciding that he's not going to be a part of Griffith's dream, Griffith's thoughts during the resultant duel, about how he would not let him go, are very Yandere-ish. And after being defeated, he goes to see Princess Charlotte and proceeds to bang her, which he mainly did as a rebound, which gets him thrown into the Tower of Rebirth to be put to the torture. By the time Guts and Casca have rescued Griffith (and fallen in love), Griffith has come to hate him, and the focus of his obsession gradually moves to Casca. But when he finds out that Guts and Casca are in a relationship and are thinking about leaving him behind...oh boy, does he lose it. And to make things even worse, this is the point where Griffith finds his Behelit again, triggering the events of the Eclipse, which are better covered elsewhere on this page. No one, especially not Guts and Casca, walks out of the horror that follows unscathed.
  • And now, it's time to experience what's arguably the most nightmarish moment in Berserk - The Eclipse. (volumes 12-13, Berserk (1997) episodes 23-25, and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - Advent, respectively):
    • When the Eclipse goes down in the series proper, it marks a crucial turning point, where things turn from grim and gritty medieval fantasy into straight up horror as Griffith does a truly malignant Face–Heel Turn, accepts the offer to become a Godhand, and marks everyone he's led, including Guts and Casca, with the infamous Brand of Sacrifice. Things go From Bad to Worse for them and the rest of the Hawks very, very quickly. Many people we had come to like get killed very horrifically, many of them being eaten alive until only Guts and Casca are left. When Casca's sword breaks at the very worst possible time, she learns that the demons have other plans in mind for her, in addition to being eaten. Guts in the meantime has made a very badass showing against a whole mess of demons, but when he sees Casca naked and in the hands of the demons, Guts tries to save her, only for a demon by the name of Borkoff to clamp his massive jaws around Guts's left arm before he can reach her. And then Griffith, reborn as the fifth member of the Godhand, Femto, flies down right in front of him, brings Casca down to him, and then starts having his way with her — which is made even worse due to the fact that, because the Brand causes serious pain when its bearer is in the presence of a demon, and she's as close as anyone can possibly get to a member of the Godhand, she is in complete and utter agony all the while that Femto is doing this to her. Guts tries to kill Borkoff with his shortsword but breaks it on his impenetrable hide and is forced to chisel off the arm with what's left of the sword in order to get free. But when he finally gets free and goes after Femto? He is dogpiled by a whole mess of demons that claw out his right eye and is Forced to Watch as Griffith, who used to be his best friend, brutally rapes the woman he loves to insanity, right in front of him and purely out of spite, and staring straight into Guts's eyes the entire time he's doing this to her, without Guts being able to do a thing about it.
    • The way it starts and gradually builds to it is sheer horror at its finest. As Griffith's bungled suicide attempt fails, a blood red sun slowly overlaps with a dark moon as completely naked people slowly gather in the distance. They don't seem dangerous at first, except they're subtly exaggerated in terms of facial features and there's an ominous danger about them in spite of not doing anything. Then, they they turn into the Apostle forms- far more disturbing than Zodd, Wyald, the Baron, and the Count, looking appropriately like legions of hell itself coming straight out of a nightmare and Guts outside describes the sight as visual despair. It's followed by a nerve-wrecking tension leading to the massacre- not how the Band will escape, but when the massacre will inevitably occur. And when Griffith gives the go-ahead, those Apostles lunge at them with full force, devouring the helpless Band.
    • The Behelit's misshaped face upon Guts touching him after contacting Griffith's blood, finally arranges into a natural human face as it then screams complete with crying tears of blood, causing the entire area to shift into a an entire area and sky composed of red, gigantic human faces.
      • The movie ramps up the Behelit scare by having a repeating shot of a closeup of the Behelit screaming face as the interior of the mouth reveals another Behelit to repeat the cycle with glowing eyes.
    • The movie adds another terror of ominousness, as unlike the original anime, it starts off as an eerie purple until Griffith commits to the sacrifice, the area changes red to fit the nightmarish mood.
    • How Corkus dies is dark. He goes insane from Griffith sacrificing his men, his fellows being eaten alive by Apostles and believe that everything from Midland to the Eclipse has all been a dream. He then sees an alluring beautiful woman in the middle of the madness, but he's fully aware it's an Apostle disguising itself to eat him, hugs her anyway and whimpers how his death will be horrible as the Apostle reveals her true form. He's that damaged at that point.
    • Guts finds Gaston in the middle of the carnage, his seeming survival means that he's alright at least, relieving Guts of any worry. However, it turns out Gaston has already been eaten alive from the inside out as a small Apostle bursts out of Gaston's head. Guts turns around to see the other Apostles showing the dismembered corpses of his comrades out of sadism. It's little wonder Guts wants to hunt down every Apostle after this point after the undignified treatment of his colleagues.
    • The Count playing with Pippin's hollowed out corpse just to torment Guts.
    • Casca's ordeal alone crosses SO MANY LINES. As if being raped and being in excruciating pain because of her brand is bad enough, but it's the way that Femto is raping her that deems the act as so heinously vile. Femto does some truly horrific things to Casca that can only be described as pure sexual sadism... things that you don't even want to describe just out of respect for this woman. Casca is being violated sexually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not to mention that that Hope Spot stunt that Femto pulled was really nasty as he allowed Guts to get just close enough to he and Casca after he chiseled off his arm only to get him dog-piled mere feet away. It's as if Femto did it just so Guts could get front row seats to see exactly what vulgar things he did to Casca.
      • And if all that wasn't bad enough, Griffith saved Casca from being raped when they'd first met. That's right, not only is her brand BURNING with literal Hellish AGONY as she's being violated, her tormentor is none other than the very same man who had previously saved her from the selfsame fate.
    • This is the point where the anime ends, and in the manga, that's only the beginning. Because it turns out later that Casca was pregnant with Guts's child when she got raped by Femto, and as a result of this, the child was horribly tainted by Femto's evil, and is born premature and deformed. Despite being tainted by evil, the child still cared for its mother a great deal, to the point of summoning ghosts to protect her from Bishop Mozgus's Cold-Blooded Torture. It's then used as the vessel for the rebirth of Griffith back into the mortal world when it's devoured by the Behelit-Apostle, basically a giant Behelit with tentacles, dying along with him.
    • For lack of a better word, volume 13 can catch you off-guard: it makes you want to throw up, cry, throw up again, guzzle down five gallons of Brain Bleach, and eat an adorable puppy for good measure just to get over it because you will feel as if you're getting raped yourself. It is truly a nightmare in itself to have to read volume 13. We understand if you don't want to - and we aren't forcing ya.
  • 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, and can be shown cupping her own breasts in sexual pleasure while she and rest of the Godhand look.
    • Slan being female (among other female-looking Apostles around Casca) amplifies this by a few orders of magnitude. A woman gleefully approving of another woman's rape is just the bitchiest thing imaginable.
    • Notice how during the Eclipse the demon apostles stripped Casca naked, one of them raised its horn close to her vagina in between her legs and looked like it was going to rape her had it not stopped to watch Femto being born with the others. And take a good look at the other apostles surrounding her. Freud would have a field day.

    Conviction Arc: Chapter of Lost Children and Chapter of the Binding Chain 
  • Rosine's little Crapsaccharine World is fairly disturbing, specially due to the fact that her "elves," who rape and kill each other, are basically still children playing. When we see the cocoons in which they are transformed, things reach a really disturbing angle when we learn she plans to turn her childhood friend into one of the little bastards; thankfully we later see (courtesy of Guts destroying the cocoons) the deformed children inside then.
    • The absolute worst part of Rosine's "elven kingdom" is the "Adult attack", where they pin each other to the ground and rape each other with their stingers. Depressing, horrifying, and slightly narmful in a way that produces an entirely new feeling of awkwardness mixed with terror.
    • When Rosine's "elves" play "war", they actually kill each other with little stick-spears — and we know from an earlier scene that every one of Rosine's apostle-spawn that dies turns back into what it used to be. And then they try to make poor Jill eat one of those dead kids, which is around the point where she very understandably decides to get the hell out.
    • All those transformations - from little fairies into hornets and back, in all possible phases.
  • Rosine was in an abusive household, and discovered to her despair that the stories of elves in the distant forest were nothing but myth. Then, as her father is beating her mother on the very ground that her dreams and innocence were shattered, the Behelit takes away them both and turns her into a "elf," and grants her the ability to turn other children into "elves." When Guts finds her, not only does he leave a trail of mutilated and burnt child-corpses in his wake (the converted children turn back into humans when killed), he gleefully burns the "elves"-in-progress, and outright terrifies Rosine.
  • The beginning of the Chapter of the Binding Chain, which introduces the Beast of Darkness proper. The evil spirits have not let up in their torment of Guts, telling him about how he will soon become like them and become a monster.
  • Those creepy spirit-possessed dogs with human faces that try to eat Guts and Farnese. Dogs should not have faces like that.
    • And then one of these demons possesses the horse that Guts kidnapped Farnese on, which very nearly rapes her, only stopped by Guts flashbacking to the very worst moment from the Eclipse and shearing off its head in a berserker rage — and very nearly decapitating Farnese along with it!
    • And then there's what happens when Farnese winds up possessed herself. She pins Guts down, completely naked, and then starts choking him with string while begging Guts to "slowly cut her in two" with the Dragonslayer. It's a sexual moment, but also a very creepy moment, because both Guts and the audience are quite aware that Farnese is most definitely Not Herself.

    Conviction Arc: Chapter of the Birth Ceremony 
  • The plague sequence that begins the Chapter of the Birth Ceremony, particularly the scene where the rats carrying the plague converge into the form of Conrad, the God Hand presumably responsible for spreading it.
  • Farnese is shown to be turned on by people burning alive to the point where she spends some "alone time" thinking very hard about that. Nausea Fuel as well.
  • The thought process and methods of Inquisitor Mozgus, who is just as horrible as you'd expect a fanatical religious nutjob with too much power and not a shred of objectivity can get. While it's pretty obvious from the start that he's Bad News, his vilest act we see is when a band of starving refugees attempts to steal some of the ample foodstuffs sent to Mozgus and his retinue, and he spots among them a woman with a starving infant. When she begs him to feed her child, he gently takes her along to his residence, lauding her courage and dedication. He sends away the child to be fed and cared for, then escorts her to a room while extolling the fact that while her intentions were good, she still has to expiate her sins... And then he opens the door, where we see the other refugees being horribly tortured, and the poor woman is dragged, stripped, and tied to another torture device over her increasingly frantic pleas... Then the door closes. It's as nightmarish as it sounds, if not more so. And somehow, the fact that he truly believes he is doing the right thing makes it even worse. An unrepentant Card-Carrying Villain like Wyald is certainly horrific, but the idea that someone can commit even worse atrocities and still consider themselves a good person is even more terrifying, especially when history has proven time and again that humans are fully capable of this without being demons.
    • To make matters even worse, we're shown later that the woman was driven insane by the torture, and that her baby is dead.
  • The cult dedicated to Slan, which among other things involves eating human remains as part of its initiation ritual. They're also quite rape-happy.
    • The demons drawn by Casca's Brand possessing the cultists during the battle with the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
      • Still not as bad as when it happened again in the refugee camp, which led to children being eaten alive by their own parents when they got possessed and turned into monsters.
    • The Great Goat Head was originally just a cultist leader with a goat head mask and a snake largely used for ceremony. But when the Egg of the Perfect World turns him into an Apostle Spawn, he becomes a real monster who wants Casca in the worst way. Thank goodness Guts arrived when he did.
      • The Great Goat's intentions for Casca become even creepier in that both he and his Mouth of Sauron say they only want Casca to "become family," completely ignoring what's going through her mind.
  • The Egg of the Perfect World collecting human bodies as part of his garden, including a huge symbol of the church decorated with flayed human skins. Not to mention the Egg himself, who looks like nothing less than a giant living Behelit, Humpty Dumpty if he were designed by Pablo Picasso and Tim Burton.
  • During the second Eclipse, when Griffith is reborn, we see Guts get up after the tower has crumbled into a hand-shaped edifice disturbingly reminiscent of the ginormous hand from the first Eclipse. He is alone. He looks down. His facial expression changes to awe and terror. On the next page, the refugee camps are shown. With a HUGE Sacrifice symbol made up from all the burning huts and houses running across them.
  • When fighting Mozgus, while Mozgus is established as a monster, after becoming infected by the Egg of the Perfect World and becoming a real monster, he has the appearance of an angel, as do his interrogators. While he does intend to sacrifice Casca to placate the demon tides, he's also the only one protecting the refugees from said demonic flood. Guts, of course, tells the refugees to shove it and die like men, and then kills their angelic guardians, cementing his status as the demonic Black Swordsman. Even in death, fire consumes Mozgus' body, which actually holds back the flood as a handful of remaining refugees kneel around him in prayer.
    "Mommy, the angel fell!"
  • What happens as soon as Mozgus is gone? Unspeakable tides of pure evil surge forward and start devouring the crowds of terrified men, women, and children.

    Millennium Falcon Arc: Chapter of the Holy Demon War 
  • While an awesome moment for Casca it was also quite creepy how post-Eclipse when she ran away from Guts out of fear and ran into some bandits, who then tried to gang rape her... but by the time Guts found her, Casca was naked and covered in her would-be rapists' blood after she slashed all of their throats.
    • It's disturbingly implied that Guts has In Love with Your Carnage toward insane Casca when he finds her naked and soaked in the blood of the men who tried to gang-rape her after she killed all of them. Various panel shots have the Male Gaze over Casca's body, and it's implicated that despite the disturbing scenario of both Casca's insanity and her near-assault, Guts is turned on by this display (possibly due to years of being desensitized to violence and being emotionally deprived after so much trauma), which leads him to nearly rape Casca himself soon after finding her. Guts just barely stops himself from going through, but it leaves him SEVERELY messed up and EXTREMELY aware how far off the deep end he's been going.
    • If you look closely at the panels where Guts assaults Casca, the two are posed exactly as Casca and Griffith were during her rape at the Eclipse. The Beast even commands Guts to "tear her up, like Griffith did," after which readers are shown an Imagine Spot of the Beast raping and devouring Casca. Thankfully Guts realized what was happening and stopped himself, or the Beast probably would have killed her then and there.
  • After being reborn into the mortal world, Griffith doesn't actually seem to have changed that much. If anything, his cunning, military prowess and inhuman charisma have increased, making him even more successful than he was before.
    • In the bit where he meets Guts again, he calmly declares that he feels no remorse for anything he did, and says it all so damn reasonably that it's almost as if he thinks Guts is the one being irrational, is truly horrifying. Even if you didn't know what he was capable of with his demonic powers, the sociopathic lack of remorse would be frightening enough on its own. This aspect of him rattles even Guts, and considering how much he's been through without batting an eye, that says a lot.
    • Casca actually seemed affectionate towards him. She collapsed before long due to the pain his presence caused her Brand of Sacrifice, but apart from that she didn't seem bothered by him. Presumably it was the remains of her child (whose body Femto had used to transform into his physical vessel in the mortal world) she was reacting to, but that doesn't stop it being horrifying that she seemed willing to embrace Femto when Guts struggled day and night to keep her safe and she still wouldn't trust him.
    • Casca can subconsciously remember her ordeal during the Eclipse when other characters are trying to force themselves on her, but she didn't seem to do that when she was near Griffith... One could argue that she didn't see a reason to fear Griffith at the time because it was Griffith as Femto who raped her but remember that Casca INDEED recognized the demonic entity as Griffith before he violated her. This just brings on an onslaught of bad thoughts and assumptions.
    • What about the way Femto builds up the new Band of the Hawk? The readers know that he's a monster, but not many of the characters do, and seeing a new bunch of people looking for a purpose in life flock to his banner just as they did before sets off no end of alarm bells for what might happen to them.
    • Femto actually went so far as to replace the original leaders of the Band of the Hawk, even after claiming that he felt no remorse for selling out the first batch. It was no wonder that Guts was so pissed when Grunbeld mentioned that he was part of the new Band of the Hawk.
  • Trolls from the Qlippoth, whose primary method of reproduction involves forcibly impregnating captured women from villages, with the births of new trolls being every bit as horrific and lethal to the poor women involved as that of Ganishka's demon soldiers. Particularly wretched is the fate of Hannah of Enoch village, whose husband and brother are killed by those creatures while she is raped and captured. Later, Farnese and Casca encounter her in their den, desperately pleading for help before the troll spawn rip their way out of her stomach.
  • When Schierke taps into the powers of darkness and reminesces that when you look into darkness, the darkness looks back at you. And does so in form of Cthulhu-esque nightmare. Okay, it was later revealed to be just an Earth spirit, but his first appearance and build up to it was damn creepy.
  • When the Kushans take over the capital of Wyndham, they literally Paint the Town Red, by decorating the city with the corpses of all the people they killed. Meanwhile Charlotte is being held captive in a tower, when enter Emperor Ganishka intending to rape her and force her to carry his heir just to secure the throne. As if being threatened with rape by an Apostle wasn't horrifying enough, Charlotte is immediately reminded of her father's previous attack and sees Ganishka as her own father, and considering this is a literal demon we are talking about, there is little chance she would have been able to fight him off like she did before with the King. The only thing that saves her was screaming for Griffith's name, making Ganishka have second thoughts about going through the deed.
    • Ganishka gleefully calls the occupied Wyndham palace his "demon castle." Why? He's "decorated" it with the mangled corpses of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of murdered Midlanders. Statues have their heads knocked off and crudely replaced with the real thing, and gargoyles have their mouths stuffed with yet more severed heads. Worst of all are the live, naked women dangling from rafters above a pit of crocodiles, to be slowly Eaten Alive piece by piece for Ganishka's amusement. He has applied a similar treatment to the entire city; countless corpses are skewered on steeples and hanging from church rafters. These massacres, compared with the enslavement of men for war and women for sex or daka production, claim the majority of Wyndham's population, leaving an entire national capital a nightmarish ghost town stalked by ravenous Kushan-made monsters.
  • Ganishka's moustache conceals More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and you do not want to see what they look like.
  • Ganishka's method of drawing new soldiers for his demon army? He throws pregnant women into vats made up of stitched together Apostles, their children become monsters and rip their ways out of their mother's wombs, and the remains are given to the newborn for food.
    • Fridge Horror What is not explicitly stated is that Ganishka's army of daka is extremely large and that even bearing in mind the number of prisoners he takes, it stretches the suspension of disbelief that so many women were already pregnant when they were captured...

    Millennium Falcon Arc: Chapter of Falconia 
  • The second time Guts used the Berserker Armor, Guts greatly overestimates his ability to control it, resulting in him barely avoiding splattering all his friends. And only because the moonlight boy intervenes. Guts had lost control completely. The really scary part is thinking about the potential aftermath of this: it would probably result in Guts never being able to escape the armor's grip, randomly killing anything that moves until he dies or turns into another Skull Knight.
  • The dinner party in Vritannis, when the first tiger shows up. It's really unnerving to see Miura toy with classic horror tropes (not showing us the tiger initially, the lights going out, blood splattering on bewildered onlookers...) when most of the other monsters have been so in-your-face. It's almost less frightening when the rest of the pack burst in, just because they're immediately spotted.
  • Ganishka's 'Shiva' form. It starts off as a mass of faces, which swells into a towering, multi-armed figure, which dwarfs the city of Windham and towers over the new Band of the Hawk, to the point where even powerful apostles could surely do nothing against this unstoppable behemoth of destruction. To make matters worse Ganishka seems to forget who he is and doesn't seem to understand his sheer size, wondering where his army has gone as he unknowingly tramples his own soldiers to paste and breathing fire at his chief sorcerer, believing him to be an insect.
    • Also anyone he steps on reforms into smaller apostle spawn in his own image, with fangs and tentacles, which will eat anything in their path.

    Fantasia Arc: Chapter of Elf Island 
  • Guts and co. are resting in a inn in a remote island in which people look odd and worship the Sea God, and when they go out, they are greeted by a mob of Humanoid Abomination creatures lurking in the darkness.
  • The final page of chapter 347. Most of the chapter is lighthearted interaction with Danann and exploring Farnese and Schierke's dreams. But then the witches reach the deepest part of Casca's dreams... The final page of the chapter is simply a shot of The Eclipse. Yep, it's time to relive one of the most horrifying moments in manga history. And it is very unlikely that Schierke and Farnese are prepared to experience it.
  • The horrendous monsters that Schierke and Farnese have to fight off in Casca's dreamscape, which are quite reminiscent of the monsters that Casca had to face during The Eclipse, including a group of thin tentacley monsters reminiscent of the Apostle that killed Judeau and became Casca's only Apostle kill before she was overtaken by the demons. It doesn't help that Casca considers these creatures "viscerally disgusting", which casts some pretty ugly light on what those demons may have done to her before handing her off to Femto.
    • And it only gets worse in Chapter 351: Schierke and Farnese have to traverse a treacherous forest of innumerable brambles with the trees and bushes looking like corpses. And the monsters that Schierke and Farnese have to get past here are disturbingly phallic, and elicit even more visceral revulsion from poor Casca. The things are numerous enough that Schierke needs all of the summons she brought with her to get them away from her and Farnese, including the Rotting Root Lord. As they close in on the final fragment, we can only tremble in horrid anticipation, because we know that neither Schierke nor Farnese have any idea what they are in for.
    • The massive bird-like creature that guards the final fragment of Casca's mind. It looks disturbingly like a dark version of the large white hawk Griffith is usually symbolically portrayed as, and is all but stated to be the representation of Femto within the dreamscape. Schierke's assessment that it must be stronger than any other creature encountered thus far is spot on as well, as it effortlessly tears through her golem with its talons. It then proceeds to pick up the casket and Guts with the intent of having them drop from height to their deaths. The creature is powerful enough to force Dog-Guts into donning the Berserker armor.
  • Chapter 354 has Schierke and Farnese thrown headlong into the horror that was The Eclipse, and we learn just what the hell Casca's ordeal did to her. Not only did what happened to her completely emotionally devastate her, not only did it violate her completely, but what the demons and Femto put her through had the effect of tearing her very soul apart, represented by Casca's body getting gorily ripped apart. And not only that, but some kind of curse has taken root in the representation of her heart, and we don't know whether it was an effect of The Brand, or something even worse. While Casca's mind has been restored, we can only speculate as to what the ultimate fallout will be.
  • Chapter 355: Sure, the entire chapter is heartwarming since Casca has finally regained her sanity, been given a beautiful dress, and is slowly regaining her memories as she starts walking toward the giant cherry tree. Everything goes fine until the last few pages, because the moment she sees Guts and tries to speak his name, her PTSD kicks in as we're given two double-page spreads of Guts with the Eclipse behind him and a close-up shot of a highly-detailed pre-Eclipse Griffith's tortured body! The full implication of that scene is that Casca is about to remember everything that happened in the Eclipse.
  • Chapter 356 begins with exquisitely detailed shots of flayed bodies, and only gets better from there.

  • Despite all its adaptation faults, Berserk (1997) manages to give the Eclipse a completely new tone, very different from the manga and movies. Unlike them, the anime could believably look at first like a series about a mercenary warrior in a world very similar to our Middle Ages, without any shadowy overtone lurking at its back. The opening sequence only shows Guts in his pre-Eclipse look, the episodes are slow-paced and focused on the characters and their human struggles, and most of the manga's supernatural/bizarre elements (the female Apostle, Puck, the Count, Wyald, the Bakiraka, the Skull Knight and the Baron of Koka if the viewer missed the first episode) are expunged, so it's easy for a casual viewer to think that Zodd was a random fantasy cliché monster, that the Behelit is just a weird amulet, and that there are no problems in the setting which cannot be solved by Guts's sword or Griffith's smarts. Then the Eclipse happens almost out of nowhere and, surprise, things CAN turn bad beyond any hope for our beloved characters after all. Their world happens to be ruled by a pantheon of near-omnipotent evil gods who not only turn the Band of the Hawk into an all-you-can-eat monster food buffet, but also turn one of our heroes into one of their kind, who proceeds to horribly betray his friends and rape the female lead. And if that's not enough, the Eclipse sequence ends fading to black in its most horrible climax, and the next and last thing we see, a surviving Guts going to a presumable quest for revenge, is set after an unknown amount of time. We end up without any explanation of how Guts survived the carnage, what ultimately became of Casca or simply what the hell happened.
  • The track "Behelit" in the 1997 anime. It's especially nightmarish when it plays while Femto is raping Casca while Guts is held down and forced to watch. It's the first track on the OST too. Such a pleasant introduction having to be reminded of the most nightmarish scene in the series right off the bat.
  • The anime might have toned down the violence, but still: some scenes are still extremely horrifying when you attach sound effects, voice acting, and full motion depictions to the mix.
    • Guts actually screaming in pain as Nosferatu Zodd prepares to tear him limb from limb.
    • Guts hacking off his arm with his broken sword, while badass, was also incredibly disturbing. And in the anime the sound of him hacking at his arm.
    • And to end, Casca's rape itself. Yes, the anime was more lenient on us to at least show less of their bodies, but it's still sickening having to watch her writhe in agony as this is being done to her.
    • Not to mention The Scream that Guts gives after seeing it all happen before his eyes - it's very powerful and effective in bringing the viewer to their knees.
  • If you thought that some scenes from the TV series were disturbing, don't even talk about Berserk: The Golden Age Arc. All gory battle scenes are played out precisely how they are in the manga. Most disturbingly is that sexual violence is played up in the movie; for instance the noble who assaulted Casca was not only trying to rape her, but he also beat the CRAP out of her. The Advent, the movie where the Eclipse goes down, has reached notoriety in Japan as being one of the most violent and disturbing animated movies PERIOD. In fact, it was so disturbing that some people reportedly had to leave the theater. And this was the edited version!!
    • Related to the above of how adding sound effects and voice-acting to the mix makes thing more horrific. Now in the movies, since it covers the Eclipse to its completion, both English and Japanese voice actresses of Casca nailed it when expressing her sanity and hope crushing despite her not saying a lot during the scene: Casca's tone of disbelief when she realizes that Femto is Griffith, her whimpering and weeping in fear and pain during her violation, and her last tearful words to Guts are just plain awful to listen to. At her lowest point, she sounds almost childlike and innocent, almost a brilliant but twisted nod at how Casca's sanity would eventually slip to that of a very young child.

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


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