Episode 231
Dread Emperor

Japanese voice

Tessho Genda (2016 Anime, Berserk Musou)




180 cm (5'11") [1]


92 kg (203 lbs) [1]

Hair color



Human (formerly)




Kushan Nation


Emperor of Kushan

Emperor Ganishka (ガニシュカ Ganishuka?) is the head of the Kushan Nation and main antagonist of the Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc. He is also an apostle, but one who opposed the God Hand in contrast to the other Apostles.


Ganishka is a large-built man with a thick beard and mustache. He wears the Royal sherwani with a turban. While his eyes were originally normal when he was human, they changed to light blue irises with blackened sclerae and his mouth became wider and filled with sharp teeth.


Ganishka is a merciless king who killed countless people in order to secure his life and throne. While he acted fearless, he was in a constant state of fear and mistrust toward those around him. This led Ganishka to believe that only fear could ensure his survival. Truly evil and inhumanly cruel, he would string up women to be eaten by crocodiles for his amusement and had hundreds more imprisoned to be raped and violently killed by dunking them in his artificial Daka generator, causing the infant Daka to tear their way out of their mothers. Even other apostles were not safe from his cruelty, as Ganishka used some of them and stitched them together alive to create the Reincarnator that creates the Daka.

Ganishka is shown to be very arrogant, as seen when he stated why he would not follow Griffith. When he met and discovered a branded Guts, he offered to join forces to defeat Griffith. He admitted that he thought favorably of those who possessed enough strong hate to survive the inescapable fear and despair of the endless night of spiritual torture. However, when Guts rejected his offer, he didn't second-guess his decision to try and kill him.


File:Ganishka's Mist Form.jpg

As an apostle who tapped deeper into the Astral plane, Ganishka's apostle form is second only to the God Hand in power. Unlike other apostles, who transform directly into their alternate forms, Ganishka's apostle form is a monstrous proxy he creates out of fog. This proxy is several hundred feet tall and resembles his face, and he can in fact speak and hear out of it and is capable of triggering it anywhere, from any location he wishes. This proxy can generate lightning strikes that give it an extremely powerful offense. It had only one weak point, and only Schierke was able to locate it through her magical powers: the spot directly between its eyes. Striking this point destroyed the proxy and caused Ganishka's real body, many miles away, some measure of pain.

Griffith, however, being one of the God Hand, shamed Ganishka in front of the ruined Kushan forces easily. When Ganishka became enraged and triggered his proxy, Griffith blew it away with a powerful wind he summoned, and claimed that he should be careful not to do such a thing on windy days.

Second Transformation

File:Ganishka's Shiva Form.png

After his stalemate with Griffith, Ganishka decides to enter the Man-Made Beherit he commissioned for creating his Daka to transcend into a form equal to Griffith in power. This transformation that Ganishka undergoes requires that he tap the depths of the Astral Plane itself, and must use all his forces within Wyndham's walls as sacrificial offerings. Only Daiba survives the sacrifice, safe behind a barrier as he witnesses his lord's rebirth destroying the entire city once dawn approaches.

In this state, referred by Daiba and the other Kushan to be their god "Shiva" incarnate, Ganishka becomes a giant taller than Midland's mountains with whip-like arms and a mound of multiple heads on his shoulders that all breath fire. Despite his power, Ganishka loses all sense of rational thinking and self, unable to register the fact that he is now a huge entity and sees everyone around him as insects. It can be observed that his mental state deteriorates as he stays in this form. At first he is able to recognize Daiba, but is then disoriented and starts to lose himself under his sheer power. He crushes his army under his footsteps and considers the gore thus produced as "crimson flowers" while sired familiars emerge from the corpses' remains.




Ganishka nearly assassinated.

Long ago, Ganishka was born the son of the ruler of Kushan, yet his mother favored his younger brother and sought to poison him. But Ganishka survived and took his revenge by killing his own brother, forcing their mother to commit suicide out of grief soon after. Though he had political rivals, Ganishka managed to properly maneuver his way through the dangers as he grew into an adult. When Ganishka met the emperor, his father, in person he noted the man's eyes were full of fear and suspicion before arranging the emperor's death and killing the assassin he hired in order to cover his tracks. Upon taking the throne, Ganishka realized the best way to remain on the throne is through fear and conquest, his campaigns not leaving him time to spend with his remaining family whom he secretly feared. Years later as he began to envision himself as the rightful ruler of the entire world, Ganishka attended a banquet in his honor before learning it was an assassination set up by his own son. Being poisoned and then stabbed numerous times by the spears of the surrounding guards, Ganishka lived long enough to reach an oddly-shaped stone that was given to him by Daiba. Ganishka activates the Beherit, sacrificing his son to be reborn an apostle so he would never again feel pain inflicted against him by other humans. Despite being an apostle, rather than be their follower like the others, Ganishka instead acts against the God Hand for his own whims.

Conviction and Falcon of the Millenium Arcs

During the plague that has struck Midland, Ganishka takes over Wyndham as a foothold to begin his campaign to conquer the country while sending Silat to find and capture Griffith. After Griffith escaped and formed the new Band of the Falcon, Ganishka ends up losing his captive Charlotte when the band distracted him and his forces. Ganishka later mounts an assault on the city of Vritannis as the Holy See are gathering an army to oppose him, sending his monstrous armies to decimate the population for an easy conquest. But Ganshika's inhuman armies are slaughtered by Guts and the apostles serving Griffith, who leads the rest of his forces against the main army and allows Ganishka to retreat in a humiliating stalemate to prepare for a final battle at Wyndham.


Ganishka, motivated to become Griffith's equal, is prompted to dive into the Man-Made Beherit he had Daiba create to offer lives of his own men within the city walls to undergo a transformation. The result destroyed Wyndham as Ganishka, compared by Daiba to their god Shiva, became a miles-tall monstrosity while gradually losing his mind and siring Pseudo-Apostles from those crushed under his feet. Griffith eventually reaches Ganishka's human face and redirects the Skull Knight's attack on him towards it, causing Ganishka to explode with a giant tree growing from where he stood.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

Ganishka serves as the final boss of the 2016 game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.

Ganishka appears in the final chapter, "Pishaca Invasion", wherein his forces have invaded Vritannis. Once they are defeated, he arrives and begins overseeing the assault, only for his appearance to trigger the arrival of the Band of the Hawk Reborn, who are intent on killing him. Once this begins, Ganishka will create an environmental hazard in the form of lightning strikes, preceded by glowing circles on the ground that spark with electricity. Once the party reaches the harbor, Ganishka will appear to block their progress, spurring Zodd and Guts to team up in order to take him out. Rather than instantly being defeated as in the manga, Ganishka is made fully corporeal as a result and the boss battle ensues.

Ganishka is quite a chaotic and dangerous boss, but not overtly difficult thanks to the Berserker Armor. Ganishka will enshroud himself in lightning, aim lightning bolts at the player, and and set large spheres of lightning running around the arena to stun the player. Each time a life bar is taken (he has a total of five, the highest in the game), he will materialize either in the center of the arena or back at the edge of it. Due to Ganishka's size and lack of a guard or evasion, he is not difficult to land strikes against. Nonetheless, players should keep on the move at all times, particularly in the late stages of the boss fight, as Ganishka will train lightning on them constantly and many different attacks can be covering the arena at once. Players should particularly beware if playing as Apostle Zodd or Apostle Wyald, as Ganishka possesses one of the few attacks in the game that can stun them and the recovery time for these characters is abnormally long.

Ganishka also appears as a boss in the Endless Eclipse, being challenged on Level 95 and offering an environmental hazard from Level 91 all the way until he is defeated. Certain characters can also be given one of his missions, wherein he desires to wipe the world clean of Griffith and his followers, culminating in a boss fight at the harbor with Zodd.


  • Emperor Ganishka is based on Kanishka, who was a king of the Kushan Empire in Central Asia, from 127 AD until 151 AD.
  • Ganishka is the only apostle not to revert to his original human form upon death. This is due to his body being transformed into the World Spiral Tree.


  1. ^ a b Shikaisha., Nakajima, R., Shimizu, Y., Mochizuki, M., Okada, M., Suzuki, M. (2016). "Berserk Official Guide Book". Tokyo: Young Animal Comics.


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