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Even if you force back what was lost, it still won't be the way it was.
– Guts[43]

Guts, renowned as the "Black Swordsman", is a former mercenary and branded wanderer who travels the world in a constant internal struggle between pursuing his own ends and upholding his attachments to those dear to him.

Initially driven solely by his will to survive, Guts finds purpose in life upon joining the Band of the Falcon, significantly contributing to the faction's storied successes during the Hundred-Year War as captain of the band's raiders. He eventually becomes dissatisfied with clinging to Griffith's dream[44] and departs from the band to pursue his own.[45] Following the horrors of the Eclipse prompted by Griffith,[46] Guts embarks on a two-year war against the God Hand and apostles, becoming increasingly embittered on his quest for retribution. Over time, he realizes that protecting his regressed lover is more important to him,[10] and that he cannot do it alone.[47] Consequently, he puts aside his quest for revenge and fosters comradery with his new companions.

Personality

I'm used to fighting to survive. But what grows worse daily is the pressure not to die. Have I ever before wielded a sword so heavy?
– Guts[48]

Manga E130 Temptation

Guts is a man in constant conflict with his own inner darkness, which manifests as the ever-tempting Beast of Darkness.

Known for his air of austerity, Guts is a hardened man with a brutally realistic outlook on life. This is a consequence of enduring waves of suffering and numerous betrayals since his youth, as nearly all highlights of his life have, in time, become lows. Despite his guarded, brooding exterior, he shows a more easygoing, compassionate side around the people he trusts, appearing markedly less unsociable and distant, though still retaining his dry candidness. Even as his inner darkness festers deep within him and its temptation becomes increasingly harder to resist, he retains his empathy and compassion, refusing to discard his humanity.

In his formative years, Guts is devoid of true purpose in life, killing as a child mercenary merely as a means to survive. As a blank slate, he seeks validation from those he respects most, content as long as "one person [looks his] way".[44] His precariousness slowly develops into individuality upon fostering comradery with the Band of the Falcon and particularly Griffith — someone whom he eventually seeks to stand beside as an equal. After leaving the Band of the Falcon, Guts embarks on a journey of self-discovery, in which he acknowledges his lifelong bond with and passion for the sword. Upon realizing this, he devotes himself to honing his craft and fighting ever stronger adversaries, finding a newfound purpose in life.[49]

GutsNewFriends

Eventually, Guts is able to overcome his apprehension toward comradery, grateful for the companionship of his new group members.

After surviving the Eclipse, Guts grows vindictive, wanting nothing other than to hunt down and slaughter any apostle he encounters, and, more importantly, exact revenge on Griffith and the God Hand. He leaves behind a regressed Casca for two years to embark on his warpath against demonkind. During this time, Guts becomes largely self-centered and anti-social, indifferent to the suffering of others and detesting those whom he deems weak.[1] His reclusive nature and hostility toward those attempting to connect with him stem from a fear of creating new emotional attachments, fearing he might lose new companions as he did during the Eclipse.[50] Over time, largely due to the efforts of Puck,[51] Guts ceases his solitary struggle and solicits the help of fellow travelers, slowly fostering new companionship with them.[16] Despite his initial apprehension toward displaying affection for his new comrades, he comes to appreciate the bonds he makes with them and finds himself grateful for their individual strengths.[52][53]

Above all else, Guts personifies perseverance and resilience. Through all his trials and tribulations, he has never yielded to causality and continues to subsist against seemingly insurmountable odds. Guts is an ardent detractor of the idea of destiny, believing his actions to ultimately be of his own volition and paying no heed to such supposed certainty.[26][54]

Background

Manga E0-9 Infant Guts

An infant Guts, left to die underneath the corpse of his hanged mother.

Guts was born from the corpse of his hanged mother beneath a tree, left to die alone in a mire of blood and afterbirth. A mercenary group led by a man named Gambino eventually happened upon the site, presuming the infant to be dead. When the baby began wailing, to the mercenaries' surprise, an acquaintance of Gambino's, Shisu, immediately took to the child and came to his aid. Gambino allowed the woman to keep Guts for her own personal consolation, despite his cohorts considering the circumstances of Guts' birth ominous. Three years later, Guts' surrogate mother contracted the plague and died as he watched on.[12]

Under Gambino's tutelage, Guts began honing his swordsmanship at six years of age. He joined the mercenary band three years later at nine years old, looking up to his leader as a father figure. On the night following Guts' first skirmish, a mercenary named Donovan ambushed and raped him in his tent, revealing he bought the boy for a night from Gambino. In a following skirmish, the young mercenary isolated Donovan and eliminated him, refusing to believe the man's claim from the previous night.[19]

Manga E0-11 Father Killer

Guts is forced to kill Gambino, the closest thing to a father he has ever known.

When Gambino lost his leg in battle, his relationship with Guts rapidly deteriorated. Guts was subjected to various forms of verbal and physical abuse for two years following Gambino's injury, culminating in Gambino making an attempt on his life.[19] Believing Guts to be the cause of his misfortune, Gambino revealed he had sold Guts to Donovan, expressing his disgust for the boy's existence. Devastated by this revelation, Guts retaliated in self-defense and killed Gambino — the closest thing to a father he had ever known. Consequently attacked by Gambino's men and branded a father killer, he fled with aggressors on his tail, eventually running into a dead end and being shot off a cliff. From his high fall and a bout with a pack of wolves below, he fell unconscious and was eventually discovered by another mercenary band, that enlisted him as a child soldier.[20]

Spring Flower of Days Long Passed

Manga E330 Chitch Expended

Guts is nursed to health by a forlorn flower spirit named Chitch, though at the cost of Chitch's life.

As a result of being on the losing side of a battle, Guts and his fellow mercenaries were captured and intended to work as laborers for their captors. On their way to the castle they were to help construct, Guts met a man named Martino, who befriended the injured young mercenary and seemingly aided in his escape. However, Martino used Guts' escape attempt as a decoy to make his own, leaving Guts to be recaptured and imprisoned.

In a frigid cell, Guts met the forlorn spirit of a lone flower named Chitch, who nursed him back to health as he prepared for a bout with his captor's son. In the process of healing Guts, Chitch expended all of her remaining petals and ceased to be. Grateful for her aid, Guts decided to take Chitch's remains to a valley of other blooms like her after his escape. Following his eventual defeat of his captor's son and the subsequent storming of the castle by his mercenary band — who had been notified by Martino of the castle's location and potential spoils — Guts fulfilled his resolve to lay Chitch's remains in a valley of radiant flowers.[14]

Story

Golden Age Arc

Meeting the Band of the Falcon

Manga E0-14 Griffith Claims Guts

Guts is defeated and claimed by Griffith, enlisted in the Band of the Falcon thereafter.

During the siege of a military garrison defended by the Band of the Falcon mercenary group, Guts, now fifteen, joins the fray alongside a mercenary band and narrowly defeats an enemy leader named Bazuso, lowering the enemy's morale and allowing for the fort's capture.[20] In his travels, he is attacked by several Band of the Falcon members seeking to claim his reward and exact revenge for his earlier interference. He easily eliminates most of them until he encounters Griffith, who quickly incapacitates him and has him brought to the band's encampment.[55]

Waking several days later, Guts is given the option to join the band by Griffith. He promptly refuses and challenges Griffith to a duel, stipulating that Griffith can claim him if he wins. Harboring an interest in Guts, Griffith agrees, and the two engage in battle.[56] Griffith ultimately defeats Guts and enlists him as a member of the Band of the Falcon. During the night, Corkus and a few others attempt to kill Guts, only to be stopped by Casca. While Guts expresses his thanks, Casca shrugs him off. During a night raid with the Band of the Falcon, his horse is killed and he is nearly attacked by enemies until Griffith, Judeau, and Pippin come to his rescue as the rest of the band drives off the enemy.[57]

During a victory celebration, Pippin drags Guts to join the others, with Rickert and Judeau welcoming his company.[58] The next day, Guts chats with Judeau about the nature of Griffith and the Band of the Falcon before being summoned by Griffith. He finds Griffith showering, and the two engage in a water fight. Griffith explains his necklace is a beherit given to him by an old fortune teller and tells Guts he will one day attain his own kingdom, additionally affirming that Guts "belongs to him".[59]

At an unspecified later time, Griffith pulls Guts from a large pile of enemy corpses. Griffith muses about his role in the world and what it means to be the "true elite", noting that Guts is the first person he has spoken to about these things.[60]

Encountering Nosferatu Zodd

Manga E3 Zodd Wounded

Guts is the first man in 300 years to wound the legendary Nosferatu Zodd.

In three years' time, Guts, now eighteen, is promoted to the Band of the Falcon's raiders captain,[7] and for their efforts against the Black Ram Iron Lance Knights, the band is formally recruited by Midland in its century-spanning campaign against Tudor. Later, amid seizing a Tudor stronghold, the Band of the Falcon finds itself at a standstill while making its final push into the fortress, with roughly fifty of Guts' raiders being slaughtered by a single enemy burrowed within the inner citadel. Fed up with these results, Guts ventures into the citadel himself, where he meets the monstrous apostle Nosferatu Zodd and engages in battle with the demon. Initially taken aback by his opponent's overwhelming aura and daunted by Zodd's bone-rattling strikes, Guts ultimately gambles his life on one swing, landing a gashing blow on the apostle. Zodd is only further excited by the injury — having after 300 years finally found a human capable of injuring him — and subsequently assumes his behemoth released form.[61]

Petrified by Zodd's transformation and completely outclassed, Guts is thrashed around and nearly crushed by the apostle before Griffith and Band of the Falcon reinforcements intervene. When Griffith comes to Guts' aid, Zodd blocks their path of escape, forcing them to execute a pincer movement on the apostle, in which both of them deal substantial damage to the demon. In retaliation, Zodd tail whips Griffith into a column, but immediately ceases his onslaught upon sighting Griffith's Crimson Beherit. The beast leaves Guts with a prophecy, warning the swordsman of an inescapable death that shall befall him should Griffith's dream ever collapse, before flying off.[62]

Precious Thing

For the Autumn Hunt in Wyndham, the Band of the Falcon acts as the king of Midland's guard in place of General Julius' White Dragon Knights. During the hunt, Griffith is shot by a stray arrow but avoids injury due to his beherit taking the brunt of the blow. Sometime after, Griffith, having deduced Julius as the culprit behind the murder attempt, asks Guts to kill the general in retaliation. Guts invades Julius' manor in the dark of night and swiftly eliminates his target. When the door to the general's room opens, Guts, assuming it to be a guard, pierces through in advance, killing Julius' son, Adonis.[63] With the guards alerted, a distraught Guts battles his way off the premises and escapes through the Wyndham sewers.

Manga E12 Friend

Guts is shaken by Griffith's interpretation of a friend.

Making his way to Primrose Hall, where Griffith is set to be in attendance, Guts first meets with Casca, and together they overhear Griffith giving his interpretation of what a friend is to Princess Charlotte:

They [the Band of the Falcon members] are... excellent troops. Together, we have faced death so many times. They are my valuable comrades, devoting themselves to the dream I envision... but... to me, a friend is... someone who would never depend upon another's dream... Someone who wouldn't be compelled by anyone, but would determine and pursue his own reason to live... And should anyone trample that dream, he would oppose him body and soul... even if the threat were me myself... What I think a friend is... is one who is my 'equal'.

With the conclusion of Griffith's monologue, Guts leaves the scene, upset by the implication that he too, ultimately, is nothing more than an asset to the realization of Griffith's dream.[64]

Hundred Man Slayer

Manga E15 Rewarming

Guts rewarming Casca while waiting out the rain.

The Band of the Falcon shortly after sets out to combat the Blue Whale Knights of Tudor. During the engagement, noticing the trouble Casca is having with an enemy commander, Guts intervenes and battles the spearman Adon. After candidly defeating his opponent, Guts notices a fainting Casca staggering off a cliff edge. He breaks her fall but is shot off his horse and subsequently off the cliff by a desperate Adon. The two mercenaries free fall into the river below, with Guts pulling them ashore and finding shelter from the chill rain. Believing Casca to be feverish (which he soon realizes is actually her menstruation cycle), he removes her drenched clothes and rewarms her with his body heat while waiting out the rain.[65]

When the rain ceases, Casca wakes and immediately attacks Guts, flustered by her womanly shortcomings as a soldier. Subduing and tiring her out, Guts asks why she became a mercenary to begin with, to which she explains her idolization and devotion to Griffith as his sworn sword,[66] as well as the jarring effect Griffith's desire for Guts had on her. Their conversation is interrupted by the movements of Tudor troops near their location; realizing enemy forces will soon home in on the area, they decide to leave after sunset.

Manga E21

Guts singlehandedly combats 100 Tudor soldiers.

During their escape, the two mercenaries are surrounded by a swarm of Adon's troops. Together, they mount a counteroffensive, with Guts eventually killing Adon's brother, Samson. Acknowledging Casca's weakened condition, Guts decides to stay behind to buy time for her escape, telling her to return to her metaphorical sword master, Griffith. In an arduous battle, Guts single-handedly defeats approximately 100 Tudor soldiers in the forest.[38]

After Guts is found and carried to a Band of the Falcon encampment, he reveals to Casca his admiration for her, Griffith, and the rest of the Band of the Falcon's commitment to realizing their collective dreams. Furthermore, he reveals he does not feel his place is with their "bonfire of dreams", strongly alluding to his forthcoming departure from the band.[67]

Battle for Doldrey

With his injuries nearly healed, Guts assembles in front of the fortress of Doldrey alongside the rest of the band — their goal: recapturing the fortress for Midland. Griffith splits the Band of the Falcon's forces into two groups: one accompanying him and Guts to lure Tudor's forces toward a river,[68] and the other an infiltration force led by Casca to retake Doldrey itself.

Manga E27 Boscogn Beheaded

Guts beheading Boscogn.

When the Band of the Falcon successfully lures the Purple Rhino Knights to the river, Guts engages in a fierce duel with General Boscogn, during which his sword breaks, worn from his previous 100-man slaughter. Put in peril with only a knife to wield, a large cleaver sword suddenly lands in front of him, which he uses to behead both Boscogn and the general's horse.[69] No sooner after Boscogn's defeat, the victory cries of Casca's unit roar on from inside a recaptured Doldrey, as Band of the Falcon flags wave in celebration. With the loss of both their general and the fortress, the remaining Tudor forces scatter in defeat.[70]

The Band of the Falcon receives profuse praise from Midland citizens and officials alike upon their triumphant return, and a victory ball is held in celebration. Guts attends the ball, despite his aversion to the aristocracy, to see the culmination of the band's achievements,[36] but also to help Griffith enact a scheme to that does away with his political adversaries. He ties up loose ends by killing all of Griffith's accomplices.[71]

Morning Departure

One month later, having contributed significantly to the Band of the Falcon's success, Guts finally decides to leave the band, unable to cling to Griffith's dream any longer. On the morning of his departure, Judeau, Corkus, and a frantic Casca intercept him as he leaves Wyndham. Judeau and Corkus take him to a tavern to question his reasoning. There, Guts reveals that he wants to attain a dream of his own and stand beside Griffith as an equal.[44] After a fierce reprimand from Corkus and a solemn farewell from Judeau, the latter sees him off. They are intercepted at the outer wall of the city by Griffith and several other band members.

Manga E35 Morning Duel

Guts battles Griffith once again for his freedom.

Griffith questions if Guts truly intends to leave the band, and Guts confirms his intent. Rattled by this affirmation, Griffith draws his sword and demands that Guts duel for his freedom as he did three years prior. Unmoved, Guts draws his sword and clashes with Griffith, breaking Griffith's blade in a single swing and leaving his former leader kneeling in defeat as he departs from the band.[45]

On the night of his departure, at his campfire, Guts is met by a Skull Knight, who warns of the "Eclipse" set to take place in a year's time — "A torrent of madness, a tempest of death for which the human body could never atone" — before vanishing into the night.[2]

A Year After

I've made up my mind. I'll never entrust my sword to another again. I'll never hang from someone else's dream. From now on... every battle will be my own.
– Guts decides to find his own purpose in life[8]

In search of a purpose of his own, Guts spends his time training in the mountains and frequenting the hut of a blacksmith named Godot. Eventually, he realizes that his sword is an extension of his passion for battle — more precisely, an extension of himself. He resolves to improve his skills with the blade and face increasingly stronger adversaries to further hone his craft.[8]

Roughly a year after his departure, Guts, now nineteen, enters a combat tournament hosted by a Midland noble. He offers to fight a foreigner named Silat, proposing he would provide the tourney winner with better competition, to which the man accepts. Evading the rapid strikes of his opponent, Guts overpowers Silat with relative ease and wins the bout. The amazed tournament host offers Guts a job while alluding to the Band of the Falcon's continued activity with Casca as their leader, much to Guts' surprise.[41]

Manga E47 Sleeping

Guts and Casca cement their new relationship.

Soon after, Guts tracks down the band's location and intervenes in an enemy raid led by Silat, defeating the foreigner once again and forcing him and his forces to withdraw.[5] Guts is met with open arms and informed of Griffith's capture and year-long imprisonment, the band's newfound status as enemies of Midland, Casca's terrific leadership, and the plan to break Griffith free. Afterward, Casca takes Guts to a waterfall, where she expresses her anger over his decision to leave a year prior. Emotionally drained from her year-long leadership of the Band of the Falcon, she attempts to commit suicide by falling off a cliff, but Guts saves and embraces her, leading to the two making love.[72]

Rescuing Griffith

Manga E54 Embrace

Overcome with emotion, Guts embraces Griffith.

Following Guts' return, a rescue team is formed to free Griffith. In three days, they infiltrate Wyndham through the sewers. With the aid of Princess Charlotte, the group makes their way to the ancient Tower of Rebirth, where Griffith is held.[73] After a deep descent to the lowest prison cell beneath the tower, the party is appalled at the sight of a crippled, flayed Griffith — a shell of his former self. Overcome with emotion, Guts hugs his fallen comrade — unaware of Griffith's feeble attempt to choke him — before mercilessly killing the tower jailer responsible for Griffith's ravaged state.[74]

Fighting their way through a wave of alerted soldiers, the rescue team reenters the sewers, thwarts an ambush by Bakiraka assassins sent to kill Griffith, and escapes Wyndham to a farm outside the city.[75] En route to the Midland border, the group realizes they are being pursued by the dreaded Black Dog Knights. Though their laid traps fail to deter the Dogs, the rescue team eventually rejoins another Band of the Falcon unit and combats their pursuers. Guts clashes with the Black Dogs' apostle leader, Wyald. Excited by his battle with the swordsman, Wyald transforms into his monstrous released form. After a fierce engagement, Guts temporarily incapacitates the beast. Wyald rises again, however, grabbing a defenseless Griffith in retaliation and dealing a critical blow to the band's morale by revealing the full extent of Griffith's grievous injuries. The dying, desperate apostle demands that Griffith summon the "God Hand", but is dismayed to find that Griffith is no longer in possession of the Crimson Beherit. In an abrupt intervention, Zodd tears Wyald in two and tells Griffith that his beherit will soon return to him before flying off.[76]

Eclipse

At the Midland border region, the remnant Band of the Falcon comes to terms with the severity of Griffith's injuries, acknowledging that he will never lead them again, and decides on its future. In a tender moment with Casca, Guts is urged by his lover to leave Griffith's side once again if he is to truly fit Griffith's interpretation of a "friend" as described at Primrose Hall.[77] Without warning, the overhearing and distraught Griffith, having mustered enough strength to commandeer his resting carriage, flees from the area, with Guts and the other band members in pursuit. When Griffith wrecks the carriage and lands in a lake, Guts and the others rush to his location. As soon as Guts reaches him, the mercenaries are transported to an interdimensional space by Griffith's returned Crimson Beherit.[78]

Numerous anthropomorphic beings welcome the band members to the nocturnal feast they refer to as the "Eclipse", much to Guts' shock. Four profound entities emerge from within the dimension, introducing themselves as the God Hand and revealing the purpose of the Eclipse: for Griffith to sacrifice them in exchange for being reborn as a demon of the God Hand, as preordained.[79] Proving to indeed be an inevitability, Griffith, after reaffirming his ambition and the pursuit of his dream, offers his comrades as sacrifices, causing the branding and unilateral slaughter of the Band of the Falcon.[46]

Manga E87 Betrayal

Guts is forced to witness the rape of his lover by the man he once called comrade.

Guts fights relentlessly against the ravenous demons, driven by bloodlust as he witnesses the merciless feasting on his comrades. Eventually, he is restrained by a demon biting down on his left arm, as a bared Casca is summoned by a reborn Griffith — now rechristened "Femto" — who proceeds to rape Casca. Even after severing his arm and managing to free himself, Guts is immediately pinned to the ground and forced to witness his lover's violation, all while the restraining demon slowly gouges his right eye.[80] After Femto finishes with Casca, the Skull Knight breaches the Eclipse, retrieves Guts and Casca, evades Femto's space-manipulating attacks, and escapes the Eclipse with the two unconscious sacrifices in tow.[4]

Having been brought to Godot's cave, Guts wakes four days later to the sight of a mentally regressed Casca. Overwhelmed, he runs off to a moonlit valley, only to be met by specters attracted to his brand, and by the Skull Knight, who informs him of his new life as one branded and now residing in the Interstice. Guts declares war on all of demonkind, hellbent on exacting revenge against his enemies. The restless spirits begin to flee soon after, and the Skull Knight warns that the spirits have merely found another torch in the darkness to feast on, alluding to Casca's endangerment.[26] The two move with haste toward her location, and upon arriving, witness a spectre-surrounded Casca giving birth to her and Guts' demon child — the infant having been tainted by Femto's violation of Casca — before it fades away into the Astral World at sunrise.[13]

Manga E94 Apostle Slain

Guts slays his first apostle with the Dragon Slayer.

After roughly a month of recuperating and training, Guts sets to combating demonkind, brandishing a new set of armor along with a cannon-equipped artificial arm in place of his severed left arm. To his delight, a roaming apostle attracted to his brand homes in on his location. When his newly-forged sword breaks on the transformed being, Guts wields Godot's long-forsaken Dragon Slayer and with it eliminates the first apostle in his hunt. Realizing the Dragon Slayer suits him better than any normal sword ever would, he keeps the enormous broadsword and embarks on a war against the inhumans.[81]

Black Swordsman Arc

Manga E0-1 Guts Defeats Snake Lord

The Black Swordsman defeats the Snake Lord.

For two years, Guts continues his warpath against demonkind, becoming renowned as the "Black Swordsman" in his hunt for apostles. At some point, he makes his way to the town of Koka, killing an unidentified female apostle one night while en route. Upon arriving in the town, he immediately makes his presence known by killing several thugs in a tavern, leaving one victim alive to send word of his approach: "The Black Swordsman has come." Unintentionally, he gains an invaluable ally by freeing an elf named Puck, who in return frees and heals Guts when he is caught and imprisoned in a Koka jail. Receiving word of the Black Swordsman's presence, the bloodthirsty Snake Lord rides through Koka in search of his aggressor, burning down everything in his path and leaving a trail of corpses. Guts intercepts and engages in fierce battle with the Snake Lord, ultimately incapacitating the apostle and interrogating him for the God Hand's whereabouts before leaving him to burn to cinders.[1]

Sometime later, during the trial of supposed heretics, Guts seeks out an apostle known as the Count, who serves as the ruler of a territory. The alerted town guards, led by Zondark, pursue Guts, though he easily eliminates them and disfigures their commander before escaping to a lab with the help of a diminutive man named Vargas. Inside, Vargas informs the swordsman of a secret passage into the Count's castle and reveals the beherit he stole from the apostle seven years prior. They are soon ambushed by a transformed Zondark, who ruins the lab in a fierce bout with Guts, forcing them to flee. Guts eventually parts ways with Vargas but not before taking the beherit in the man's possession for himself.[82]

Manga E0-6 Guts Battles the Count

The Black Swordsman battles the Count.

Following the capture and execution of Vargas by the Count, Guts vows to succeed where his late accomplice could not. Using the secret passage, he infiltrates the Count's castle. Storming the premises, Guts finishes off the transformed Zondark and fights his way to the Count's quarters, where the apostle assumes his massive slug-like released form. Initially overpowered by the transformed Slug Count, Guts manages to deal a crippling blow to the apostle with his cannon arm, thanks to Puck's intervention and the hostage-taking of the Count's daughter, Theresia. Fearing for his life, the Count activates his returned beherit — dropped by Guts during their battle — and summons the God Hand.[83]

The sight of Femto enrages Guts, spurring him to attack his nemesis, though his assault ends in vain as Femto casually repels him. After the Count fails to offer his daughter as a sacrifice, he is dragged by damned souls into the Abyss, and so too is Guts as one branded. However, the swordsman manages to free himself with a blast from his cannon arm as the temporal junction ends. Returned to the Physical World, Guts prevents a suicidal Theresia from falling to her death. He sows within her a hatred directed toward himself, as the primary reason for the loss of her father and all she has ever known. Theresia declares revenge on the swordsman, her will to die extinguished. Guts nonchalantly accepts her declaration and takes his leave; however, Puck observes that the typically stoic swordsman is noticeably upset by her words.[60]

Conviction Arc

Lost Children Chapter

One night, during his travels with Puck, Guts encounters a group of bandits in a forest holding a girl named Jill captive. The hostile animation of a tree infused with evil spirits causes the captors to flee, leaving Guts to battle the entity until sunrise. Guts and Puck are led by Jill to her village, where they learn of the mysterious "Misty Valley" and the ravenous attacks and child abductions by elf-like creatures said to originate from there.[84] The swordsman's brand begins to bleed soon after as the elves of the valley mount an attack on Jill's village. During Guts' fight with the elves and their apostle leader, Rosine, Puck informs him the "elves" are in fact the abducted children.[85] After the abrupt retreat of Rosine and her elves, the residents blame Guts for the state of their village and the charred corpses of children in the barn — actually the reverted remains of Misty Valley elves he incinerated in battle. Guts uses Jill as a hostage to escape the village, releasing her after gaining a safe distance and setting out to eliminate Rosine.[86]

Manga E115 Guts Fatally Wounds Rosine

Guts fatally wounds Rosine.

The next day, having been followed by Jill, Guts leaves her behind, thinking her a nuisance. He fails to anticipate Rosine's abduction of Jill and follows the apostle to the entrance of Misty Valley. Upon arriving, he encounters the bandits from earlier, who have been converted into Rosine's pseudo-apostles and tasked with protecting the valley. After defeating the "Protectors of the Children", he ventures into Rosine's emergence grounds, incinerating the cocoons of developing elves and creating a wildfire that slowly engulfs the entire valley. An enraged Rosine assumes her true apostle form and initially overwhelms Guts with her immense speed. Using Jill as bait in the growing blaze, Guts ambushes the apostle and lands a fatal blow on the false elf as she comes to Jill's aid. Just as he prepares to end Rosine, he is shot by Jill's father Zepek — who is accompanied by the Holy Iron Chain Knights — and is forced to flee.[87]

Binding Chain Chapter

Manga E119 Falcon of Darkness

The Holy Iron Chain Knights surround Guts, with the intention of detaining him as the Falcon of Darkness.

In time, the Holy Iron Chain Knights catch up to the Black Swordsman, revealing the horrors they believe to be his doing and the prophetic warrant for his detainment by the Holy See. Heavily injured from his previous encounter, Guts can only muster enough strength to ward off most of the attacking knights before being overwhelmed by their vice commander, Azan. Realizing he lacks the strength to combat the entire regiment, he attempts to demoralize and disrupt the knights by eliminating their inexperienced head commander, Farnese, but is incapacitated by her attendant, Serpico, and subsequently detained.[88]

Guts is taken to a Holy Iron Chain Knights encampment, where Farnese attempts to force a confession from him through interrogation. He remains unmoved, only mocking her hollow religious devotion. Later that night, Puck frees him from his cage and constraints, allowing Guts to reacquire his gear, take Farnese hostage, and escape the encampment. Naturally, he is pursued by spirits drawn by his brand, which he uses to further deride and shake Farnese's beliefs. When Farnese runs off and finds herself at the mercy of a possessed, lustful horse, Guts is reminded of Casca's rape during the Eclipse, filling him with enough rage to combat the possessed animals until morning. Before dawn, Guts is harassed by a possessed, bared Farnese before the spirit compelling her eventually relinquishes its hold at sunrise. Serpico soon arrives at their location and, after a brief exhibition with Guts, leaves with his charge.[89]

Later, while resting atop a hill, Guts' demon child appears before him, imparting a vision of Casca burning at the stake and a vague description of her potential location.[90] Upon returning to Godot's, he finds Casca missing, and learns from Rickert about the city of Albion — a refugee camp Midlanders were flocking to due to a recent plague — where he hopes to find his lost lover.[51]

Birth Ceremony Chapter

Manga E148 Reunion

Guts and Casca reunite after two years apart.

Journeying to Albion, Guts is cut off by a group of Bakiraka scouts and swiftly eliminates them in retaliation, unexpectedly earning the admiration of a wandering young thief named Isidro, who follows him thereafter.[91] He is intercepted by the Skull Knight, who warns him of an impending mock-Eclipse set to return "[he] who signifies the Falcon" to the Physical World.[54] Upon arriving in the city, Guts immediately begins investigating Casca's whereabouts, and with the aid of Puck and Isidro, pinpoints a cultist den where she has been taken. Amid the chaos of battle between possessed cultists and Holy Iron Chain Knights, Guts leaves Casca in Isidro's care before engaging a goat-like pseudo-apostle, slaughtering the transformed heretic and escaping the den through a back exit.[31]

As he makes his escape across a cliffside, his path is blocked by Serpico, who, having anticipated Guts' approach, uses the precarious situation to his advantage and attempts to eliminate the inhibited swordsman. Serpico underestimates the Black Swordsman's exceptional reflexes and brawn, as Guts grabs and shatters his assailant's blade, forcing the weaponless herald to flee. Afterward, rendezvousing with Isidro, he learns the young thief failed in escorting Casca, allowing the Holy Iron Chain Knights to capture her during their escape.[92]

Having returned to Albion, Guts infiltrates the Tower of Conviction and intimidates Farnese into leading him to the monastery's underground torture chamber, where Casca had been taken. Finding no sign of her in the chamber, he ascends the tower and ambushes seven pseudo-apostles: Holy See inquisitor Mozgus and his six disciples, the former carrying an unconscious Casca.[93] The swordsman manages to defeat four of the pseudo-apostles after a hard-fought battle; Mozgus and his two remaining disciples escape with Casca still in their possession.[94]

Manga E170 Mozgus Defeated

Guts defeats Mozgus.

After the tower partially collapses, Guts is dismayed to witness a city-scale Brand of Sacrifice enkindled across Albion and the impending burning of Casca in an ongoing witch trial.[95] Making up for his earlier failure, Isidro rescues Casca from the stake as Guts, diving off the collapsing tower, pierces a flying Mozgus. The pseudo-apostle transforms into a bestial armored form with two weak points: his mouth and an exposed area near his upper sternum. Exploiting these areas, Guts eventually fells Mozgus, but not before sustaining significant damage in the punishing bout.[96]

A massive tidal wave of Albion's manifested pain and anguish suddenly sweeps over droves of present refugees, taking the lives of myriads in its passage. While most retreat to what is left of the monastery, Guts — along with Puck, Isidro, Farnese, Serpico, and a knight named Jerome — mounts a defensive, lighting torches to deter the waves of malice until dawn. Before long, the monastery is completely engulfed in a swarm of tormented souls, resulting in the tower's complete collapse. The realization of both the living and dead's ultimate desire for salvation is achieved through the sudden breaking of day and the consequent eradication of the dark torrent.[97]

Manga E175 Pause

Guts' rage toward Griffith is halted by the thought of Casca.

The survivors are abruptly attacked by an onslaught of Kushan. Soon after, they are met with the arrivals of Zodd and the Skull Knight, the latter directing their attention to a concentration of light in the distance. Initially enthralled like all around him, the sight of a reconstituted Griffith quickly enrages Guts, momentarily driving him to attack. He realizes he is once again on the verge of leaving Casca behind in pursuit of revenge. Instead, he mounts a Kushan horse with Casca in tow and sets out for Godot's abode as Zodd flies Griffith away.[98]

Millennium Falcon Arc

Reunions

Manga E180 HoS Battle Climax

Guts battles Zodd on the Hill of Swords.

Returning to Godot's home, Guts learns of the blacksmith's death and is asked by Erica to stay at the hut with her and Casca. Initially considering the offer, he rushes to the Hill of Swords upon hearing of a silver-haired visitor conversing with Rickert. Atop the hill, he meets Griffith, who confesses his complete apathy toward sacrificing the Band of the Falcon while standing on ground that serves as a tribute to the sacrificed band members.[99] This revelation incenses Guts, spurring him to lunge at Griffith. The strike of his Dragon Slayer is blocked by an intervening Zodd, and a fierce battle ensues between Guts and the apostle.

As Godot's mine is destroyed by Zodd, Casca runs into the fray and is almost crushed by airborne boulders, if not for Griffith saving her. Griffith's seemingly involuntary protection of Casca gives him pause, compelling him to take off with Zodd, but not before leaving Guts with a resounding declaration: "You should have known. This is the man I am. You, of all people."[100] Following Griffith's departure, Guts explains to Rickert the reason for his rancor toward their former leader, revealing the details of the Eclipse. When Rickert asks to accompany him on his journey, Guts refuses, stating Rickert could never truly hate Griffith. With the destruction of Godot's mine and the lack of a secure place for Casca, Guts sets off in the winter with a new destination: Puck's homeland of Elfhelm, where Puck says Casca will be safe.[101]

Manga E189 Impulse Kiss

Guts forces himself upon Casca.

On his journey to Elfhelm with Puck and Casca, Guts alone wards off the innumerable evil entities attracted to their brands. One night, after momentarily falling victim to possession and strangling Casca, their relationship completely fragments, leaving Casca bearing only animosity and fear toward him.[48] When she begins to linger away, he binds her hands and pulls her along by rope. One day, she manages to escape and wanders off into a group of lustful thieves. When Guts finds her, he arrives to see the slaughtered thieves and a naked, blood-covered Casca, who attempts to strike him down in anger. Restraining Casca, he momentarily succumbs to his inner darkness, attempting to force himself upon her before coming to his senses, further damaging their relationship.[34]

Later at a campfire, Puck returns with Isidro, Farnese, and Serpico. Farnese asks to accompany Guts in his travels, revealing her recent secularization and newfound search for truth. Uncharacteristically, Guts welcomes their fellowship, shaken by his earlier displays of malice and fearful of what he might do to Casca if he continues his journey alone.[47]

Mansion of the Spirit Tree

Manga E199 MotST

The group arrives at the Mansion of the Spirit Tree.

During their journey to Vritannis, the group stumbles upon an injured older man of Enoch Village named Morgan, who, in light of recent troll attacks on his village, seeks the aid of a witch residing in a mansion deep within the forest.[102] They agree to escort Morgan back to Enoch. During their journey, they find the mansion Morgan spoke of, having breached a hidden Interstice barrier due to Guts' and Casca's brands. After a brief skirmish with golems guarding the grounds, they are welcomed by a young witch named Schierke, who escorts them to the Mansion of the Spirit Tree's mistress, Flora. Anticipating their arrival, Flora offers to create talismans to suppress the effect of Guts' and Casca's brands in exchange for Guts and his companions assisting Schierke in resolving Enoch's troll threat.[18]

The group protects Enoch Village from a troll invasion, significantly aided by Schierke convening with the "Lady of the Depths" river spirit to wash the invaders out of the village. When Schierke temporarily becomes mesmerized by her astral mergence with the spirit, Farnese and Casca are lost to the strong rushing current; Schierke comes to her senses too late to end the flooding in time. With the clearing of the village and end to the expunging flood, Guts, Isidro, and Schierke set out to retrieve Farnese and Casca, leading them to the trolls' place of origin: the Astral World's region of darkness, the Qliphoth.[103]

Qliphoth

Manga E220 Pierced

Guts runs the Dragon Slayer through Slan.

Deep within the depths of the Qliphoth, Guts and company locate Farnese and Casca as they are swarmed by trolls, and also free numerous Enoch women and children being held captive. Opting to stay behind to combat the troll horde and buy his retinue time to escape, Guts is left to his own devices, unmitigated by the need to protect others. Amid his ferocious assault on the trolls, from the intestines of those he has slain materializes Slan, a member of the God Hand. He lunges to attack her but is blocked and restrained by the angel, who, delighted to meet him again, envelops the swordsman inside herself before opening a gaping slash on his chest — all in an attempt to coerce his use of the beherit in his possession.[104] With the timely arrival and intervention of the Skull Knight, Guts, wielding his malice-tempered Dragon Slayer (imbued with the malice of the innumerable astral beings slain with it), runs through and dissolves Slan's assumed form.[105]

Slan's abrupt advent and disappearance destabilize the Qliphoth, causing its gradual collapse. The Skull Knight unveils his Sword of Beherits and sends the multiplying swarm of arisen trolls and ogres into the Abyss, thereafter returning Guts to Schierke and Isidro. With the subsequent shutting of the Qliphoth and his reunion with the others, Guts realizes that after a long period of self-isolation, he once again has people he can call comrades.[16]

Berserker Armor

While returning to Flora's mansion to report their successes, Guts momentarily collapses from an astral wound on his chest inflicted by Slan. Soon after, Schierke reveals a sudden breach of the mansion's barrier, and Guts' brand begins to bleed profusely. Upon reaching the mansion grounds, the group witnesses the blazing spirit tree and a multitude of invading apostles. Guts is aided by the Skull Knight, who assists him against the apostles primarily to support Flora. The two are eventually met by Zodd and his fellow apostle Grunbeld, the latter proclaiming to be, along with the other invading "war demons", a warrior of the Band of the Falcon — a revelation that shocks Guts.[106]

Manga E226 Guts Enthralled

Spurred by the violent Od of the Berserker Armor, Guts submits to his inner darkness.

Initially gleeful due to having found a presumably worthy opponent in the Black Swordsman, Grunbeld becomes dissatisfied with Guts' weakened showing of strength and decides to eliminate him. With Schierke's aid, Guts narrowly withdraws into the treasure chamber beneath the spirit tree, where his companions clad his injured body in the Berserker Armor.[107] Sedated of his pain and empowered by the armor, the resurgent Guts decisively outclasses Grunbeld in battle, forcing him to transform. As the fight continues, Guts begins losing grasp of his ego, becoming enthralled by the immense Od of the Berserker Armor coupled with his inner darkness. Only after Schierke dives into his subconscious mind and reminds the turbulent swordsman of who he is does Guts regain hold of his ego. Flora, in a new existential form, then returns to obstruct Grunbeld, paving the way for the group's escape.[32]

Roar of the Sea

Manga E238 Like a Family

Guts and Casca with the mysterious boy.

After nearly a month, having slowly recovered from injuries sustained in his previous battles, Guts and his companions set up residence in a seaside cabin on their way to Vritannis. One night, the Skull Knight appears before Guts on the moonlit shore, warning of the influence and toll taken on users of the Berserker Armor. Additionally, the knight informs Guts of Elfhelm's ruler, the Flower Storm Monarch, who potentially possesses the power to repair Casca's mind,[3] though he warns that what Casca wants may differ from what Guts does. After the Skull Knight vanishes, the group is met by a mysterious boy, who appears seemingly from nowhere and displays a particular interest in Guts and Casca.[108]

While sleeping, they come under attack by crocodile familiars being manipulated remotely by sorcerers from afar. Serpico finds and eliminates the hidden Kushan spellcasters, but following this success, the group is attacked by a giant makara. Guts engages the beast, only to be overpowered and once again surrenders to the Berserker Armor. With the armor's power, the Berserker swiftly defeats the beast. Having dispatched all of his initial targets, the turbulent swordsman turns his gaze toward his companions. Before he can attack, a childlike luminous body appears in his subconscious mind, reminding him they are not his enemies, allowing Schierke to free Guts from the armor's influence.[109]

Vritannis

Arriving in Vritannis, the group searches for a ship to sail to Skellig but finds none, as most of the city's ships have been commandeered for the Holy See's war effort against the Kushan. Wanting to help her companions, Farnese reunites with her Vandimion family in the city. They offer to cover all of the party's sailing expenditures in return for Farnese's safe return.[110] Sending Puck and Ivalera to perform reconnaissance on the Vandimions' residence, and learning of a gentleman's courting of Farnese, Guts concludes that she is intended to be engaged as collateral for getting them a ship. Curious about Farnese's true desires and not wanting to lose Casca's primary caretaker, Guts decides to attend a wartime ball to meet with her.

Manga E256 Duel Begins

Guts duels Serpico in Vritannis.

In their attempt to gain entry to the ball, the group faces difficulty due to heavy security on the premises. Schierke is contacted by Serpico via thought transference, who waits for them at the rear entrance of the ball. When they arrive at a colonnade chamber at the rear, Serpico, rather than helping them gain entry, brandishes his sword and engages Guts in a duel — wary of Guts' inability to control himself as a Berserker and believing Farnese to be safer away from the swordsman. Using the pillar-strewn chamber to capitalize on Guts' impeded movement, Serpico initially holds his own against Guts. The swordsman eventually destroys all but one of the pillars within their immediate radius before subduing Serpico with the falling debris of the remaining pillar, thus mostly assuaging the attendant's fear by not resorting to using the Berserker Armor.[111]

Guts and the others enter the ball as tiger familiars begin mauling Vritannian nobles and Holy See officials. At Farnese and Schierke's behest, the swordsman reluctantly stays to help slay the beasts and avert further casualties. He then asks Farnese if she truly desires to return to the aristocracy, to which Farnese jokingly states she merely missed and wanted to briefly revisit her former life. Soon after, the mist cloud of an apostle appears before the partygoers, introducing itself as Emperor Ganishka of Kushan, and making a formal declaration of war against the Holy See Alliance.[112] Realizing strife will soon befall Vritannis, and having made a new ally in a ship captain named Roderick (and, inadvertently, in Farnese's brother, Magnifico), Guts and company leave the ball for the port to set sail aboard Roderick's warship.

Manga E277 Human Bullet

In an uneasy alliance, Guts and Zodd are able to defeat Emperor Ganishka.

To their dismay, the group witnesses a horde of the Kushan's pishacha army upon reaching the port. Through Schierke's summoning of a "god of woe" fire spirit,[113] Guts' controlled use of the Berserker Armor (with assistance from Schierke's luminous self), and Serpico's sylphin assistance, they are able to eliminate the pishacha horde and defeat the Kushan leader controlling the beasts, Paramarisha Sen'an'i Daiba.[114] Enraged by Daiba's failure, Ganishka materializes and strikes his subordinate, as well as Guts, with lightning. After Guts is beckoned to join the apostle's cause — having impressed the emperor with his exceptional might and resilience — and defiantly rejects the invitation, the apostles of Griffith's reborn Band of the Falcon enter the fray just as the emperor readies to deal a final blow to the swordsman. Headed primarily by Zodd, the band members unleash an airborne attack on Ganishka, but to little effect, with the emperor subsequently striking them all down from the sky. A struck Zodd is sent beelining into a rafted Guts, with the swordsman thereupon resurfacing on the flying apostle's back. Atop Zodd, he forms an uneasy alliance with the apostle and is able to pierce through Ganishka's ethereal body with the Dragon Slayer, forcing the emperor's mist form to dissipate.[115]

Following Ganishka's defeat, the exhausted Guts nearly provokes Zodd into further confrontation by inquiring about Griffith's whereabouts — hinting at his animosity toward the apostle's new leader — before clarifying his disinterest in their affairs. Zodd, deciding to settle their score at a later time, leaves with the other apostles. Guts and his party board Roderick's Seahorse and set sail for Elfhelm.

Fantasia Arc

Sea God

Manga E316 Guts Pacified

Having again lost his ego to the Berserker Armor, Guts is pacified by a childlike luminous body.

Aboard the Seahorse on the Western Sea, Guts and his crew witness the transfiguration of the world.[116] Following the emmergence of Fantasia, the crew is twice attacked by Bonebeard and his crew. During the second encounter, the Seahorse sustains extensive damage from the newly undead Bonebeard Pirates and their "ghost ship". The crew docks at a remote island for repairs, soon realizing that all but one of the island's inhabitants have transformed into tentacles of the Sea God, like Bonebeard and his crew. When Guts battles sea slug extensions of the Sea God, Bonebeard's ship arrives and unleashes its own tentacles on him. Pushed to his breaking point, Guts resorts to using the Berserker Armor to annihilate the tentacle swarm, his rage once again abated by the childlike luminous body.[117]

Manga E327 Surfacing

After felling the Sea God, Guts is brought to surface by merrows.

Guts realizes that setting sail again without slaying the Sea God will only bring further complications at sea, so he sets out to defeat it himself, with Schierke's luminous self safeguarding his mind from the Berserker Armor's influence. Reaching the Sea God's den beneath the island, Guts navigates past the Sea God's tentacles and slides down into its stomach. From there, he slices an opening into the upper stomach lining and is carried upward toward the creature's heart by its escaping intestinal gas. The growing intensity of the Sea God's heartbeat, coupled with the adverse effects of the Berserker Armor and a swarm of monsters safeguarding the creature's heart, weigh heavily on Guts, eventually rendering his senses near-null. As Guts lies immobilized, the song of attacking merrows outside negates the intensity of the Sea God's heartbeat. With urging and guidance from Schierke's luminous self, Guts musters the strength to cleave his Dragon Slayer into the Sea God's heart, felling the deity.[40] A gush of the Sea God's bleeding heart engulfs him afterward, separating the swordsman from Schierke's luminous self. In the darkness of the dying Sea God's body, as Guts begins accepting his impending demise, the childlike luminous body comes to his aid yet again, guiding him toward the inner lining of the Sea God's heart chamber, allowing him to pierce open a puncture for merrows to enter and carry him to the surface. For their efforts in defeating the Sea God, the merrows offer to escort the Seahorse crew to Skellig.[118]

Restoration of Casca

Manga E344 Elfhelm

Guts and his companions finally reach Elfhelm.

Finally reaching the island of Skellig, Guts and his group encounter several defense mechanisms designed to ward off trespassers. Overcoming these obstacles, they are met by Skellig sorcerers, including archmage Gedfring, who escorts them to his manor. Eager to restore Casca's mind, Guts immediately requests to meet the Flower Storm Monarch, though Gedfring advises the group to rest and unwind from their long journey first. The next day, Gedfring and the archmages' attendant, Danan, guide them through Elfhelm to the Flower Storm Monarch's spirit tree palace. There, Danan transforms and reveals herself to be the sovereign of Elfhelm.[119]

Danan informs Guts she can likely mend Casca's regressed mind using the "Corridor of Dreams". However, she requests only Schierke and Farnese's assistance, explaining that Casca's fear of Guts would impede the process. Guts leaves Casca in the care of the young sorceresses while he and the rest of the party wait out the ceremony.[120] After the ceremony is complete and Casca is restored to her former self, Guts returns to see her. The mere sight of him triggers Casca's memories of the Eclipse, causing her to scream in horror.[121]

After the incident, Guts decides to keep his distance to allow Casca time to recover. However, Farnese explains the situation to Casca, who then approaches Guts as he is behind a tree. Casca talks with Guts about their journey and their companions, comparing Isidro's sword style to Judeau's. This conversation brings back memories of Judeau's death and the Eclipse, sending her into a state of shock again. A visibly saddened Guts walks off.[122]

Elsewhere, Guts swings the Dragon Slayer by a cliff, questioning what to do next. He is met by the Skull Knight and soon after Gedfring, who tells them that meeting with the dwarf named Hanarr would provide answers regarding the Berserker Armor.[123] Skull Knight and Guts agree and meet with Hanarr, who shows Guts what donning the armor means by hitting it with a hammer and triggering various memories of the previous user of the armor, which were dyed into it.[124] Guts questions whether he and the Skull Knight are the same. That night, Guts reflects on how Gedfring told him that the Skull Knight sees the swordsman as a reminder of who he once was, until he is greeted by the mysterious boy.[125] The boy plops himself atop Guts' head, and Guts decides to bring him to his companions, who then bring him to Casca.

The following day, Guts trains by a waterfall, where he starts to lose grip of the Dragon Slayer and notices his vision blurring, commenting to himself that he still needs to rely on the armor. At the same time, the boy pops out of the armor and plays with Guts briefly. His friends begin looking for the boy, so Guts tells him to go back with them and spend time with Casca. That night, the boy walks outside, where both Guts and Casca witness him transform into Griffith.[126]

Continuation-specific information begins.

Fall of Elfhelm

With Griffith's advent in Elfhelm, Casca's memories flood in and her Brand of Sacrifice bleeds profusely, sending her into shock.[127] Guts attacks Griffith, only for Griffith to phase through the swordsman's strikes and approach Casca as Zodd momentarily impedes Guts.[128] Griffith reaches for an unconscious Casca, and an incensed Guts lunges to strike him down. However, Guts halts his sword just above Griffith's shoulder upon seeing Griffith holding Casca in his embrace. As the earth of Skellig begins collapsing, Guts is separated from Griffith and Casca. Griffith picks up Casca and stands while cradling her.[129] When a mass of dark entities similar to that present during the Incarnation Ceremony begins devouring all in its path, Griffith mounts Zodd and departs with Casca in his capture.[130]

Guts is rescued by Roderick's crew and brought aboard the Seahorse. He secludes himself in the back of the hold, deeply depressed by his inability to harm Griffith and prevent Casca's capture. In her luminous body, Schierke peers into Guts' memories of all his battles with the Dragon Slayer before catching a glimpse of the Beast of Darkness breaking its chains as Guts sinks deeper into despair.[131] The Beast of Darkness asks Guts if he wants power, urging him to yield everything to it. Just then, Kushan soldiers burst through the ship and restrain everyone, including Guts. He does not fight back and is dragged to the front deck, shocking Isidro and Serpico. Eventually, a soldier reveals himself to be Rickert and explains to Roderick that the Kushans need to seize the ship.[132]

It is revealed that Guts' astral body is being swept away, but is ultimately tethered by Schierke. He is taken to a Kushan dungeon for his safety and that of everyone else, according to Silat.[133]

Continuation-specific information ends.

Abilities

Master Swordsman/Tactician

Manga E179 Swordplay

Guts is a master swordsman capable of contending with the legendary swordsman Nosferatu Zodd on equal footing.

Ever since he was six years old,[12] Guts has wielded oversized swords, developing incredible strength and master swordsmanship. Despite his Herculean stature, Guts is notably dexterous and agile in battle, capable of dodging and countering even the most rapid strikes. He is a combat pragmatist and versatile improviser, capitalizing on any opportunity to overcome opposition. On several occasions, he has used children to bait and distract enemies when overwhelmed.[134][135][136] Even combatants known for their keen combat intellect, such as Silat[5] and Serpico,[111] have fallen to Guts' adaptive capacity and combative wit.

Peak-Human Conditioning

Guts has been a struggler on the battlefield since the raw age of nine,[12] and over nearly two decades, he has refined himself into the formidable warrior he is today. During his days as a mercenary in the Hundred-Year War, he became renowned for single-handedly slaying 100 Tudor soldiers,[38] and even earned the respect of the legendary swordsman Nosferatu Zodd for being the first human in three centuries to wound the apostle.[61] Following the Eclipse, his strength and reflexes improved drastically, honed to their peak in his constant struggle against otherworldly creatures as one branded. Guts' combat prowess becomes so great that he can rival the normal forms of the most formidable apostles, allowing him to contend with them on equal footing.[137] On the Hill of Swords, Guts demonstrates the ability to contend with Zodd's released form, with the match ending in a draw after Griffith orders Zodd's retreat.[138] During her first time watching Guts fight, Schierke noted that he indeed possesses superhuman capabilities. She theorized that it was due to him existing in the Interstice, where the mind can influence matter to a degree.[139]

  • Superhuman conditioning: With the power of the Berserker Armor, Guts is able to ignore the physiological and subconscious safety mechanisms of his own body. In this state, his already superhuman physicality is tremendously amplified. During his fight with Grunbeld, he trades blows with the apostle's enormous draconic release form and even cracks his corundum skin.[140] While utilizing the armor, Guts also demonstrates the ability to both catch and toss aside a ship's falling main mast, which Roderick notes would take dozens of men and a crane merely to lift.[141]

Indomitable Will

Manga E86 Guts Armless Wrath

Guts' remarkable pain tolerance is due in part to his force of will.

Guts possesses an indomitable will that enables him to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His force of will is so great that he has mutilated his own body in pursuit of his goals,[80] and let himself be injured to create openings and execute counterattacks on opponents.[142] It is his personal determination that drives him forward as one branded, and it significantly contributes to his retention of his humanity.

Death Defiance

Manga E82 Struggler

Guts has eluded death many times in his life, largely due to his relentlessness, though many instances have been mere coincidence.

He is still alive. He contested with fate... survived it.
– Flora regarding Guts[143]

Though much of his survival is predicated on sheer determination and willpower, Guts' life has been filled with instances where his survival was largely coincidental. As an infant, he was left to die beneath the corpse of his hanging mother, yet he still released a healthy cry upon being discovered by Gambino and his mercenaries.[12] The Skull Knight notes that Guts "began [his] life from death" and possesses a flair for escaping it.[2] Such instances include, but are not limited to:

  • During one of Gambino's mercenary operations, Guts is the only survivor of a decoy charge, where his fellow mercenaries are all killed by a volley of arrows.[118]
  • After being shot off a cliff by Gambino's mercenaries, he survives the fall, fends off an attack from a pack of wolves, and is taken in by another mercenary band.[20]
  • During his hostage-taking of a noble's son, he reaches out for Chitch's unclasped flower, causing an archer behind him to miss a shot aimed at his back and instead hit the noble's son.[14]
  • In his duel with Bazuso, his survival is heavily dependent on Bazuso's ax cracking before it can cleave his head.[20]
  • Between his enlistment into the Band of the Falcon and his reappearance as the band's raiders captain three years later, he survives a battle where he is the sole survivor among a myriad of fallen soldiers, leading Griffith to marvel at his "luck of the devil".[60]
  • Despite Zodd's prediction of Guts' demise during the Eclipse,[62] he contends against the hordes of apostles — even after nearly all of his comrades are slaughtered — and ultimately survives the sacrificial ceremony.[4]

Brand of Sacrifice

Main article: Brand of Sacrifice

The brand Guts receives during the Eclipse sets him apart from those residing solely in the Physical World. By residing in the Interstice, Guts exists "outside the reason of the [Physical World]", giving him a "half-step" over most others in the flow of causality.[54] The brand also allows Guts to sense the approach of certain astral beings, as it starts to bleed and ache if entities such as incubi, evil spirits[30], apostles,[1] or a God Hand member is nearby.[144] It also reacts to Flora[18] and Daiba[145], as well as events such as the Incarnation Ceremony[146] or the advent of a twice reincarnated Ganishka.[147]

Weaknesses

Beast of Darkness

Main article: Beast of Darkness

The personification of Guts' inner darkness is constantly seeking to overtake the swordsman.

Brand of Sacrifice

Main article: Brand of Sacrifice

Guts' brand attracts all manner of evil entities, which he must constantly fend off if no protective measures are taken. When near an immensely powerful demon, such as a member of the God Hand, the brand bleeds profusely and induces crippling pain.[25] The primary effects of the brand can be subdued with the application of a magical talisman.[148] However, the presence of a member of the God Hand is sufficient to nullify such a talisman entirely.[104]

Berserker Armor

Main article: Berserker Armor

The drawbacks of the Berserker Armor are at least as numerous as its advantages. The primary downside is the violent Od of the armor that empowers its user. Combined with Guts' own inner darkness, the Od can overwhelm his psyche during serious battles, turning him into a feral monster unable to distinguish friend from foe. The only demonstrated ways to bring him out of this state are powerful magical projections into his mind, such as Schierke's luminous body or the interference of the Moonlight Boy, which can suppress the armor's Od and allow Guts to regain conscious control. However, even when under control, Guts is at constant risk of losing bodily functions and even his life due to the armor's suppression of his ability to feel pain.[32] Additionally, when a debilitating injury like a broken bone is sustained, the armor extends metal spikes deep into the wearer's flesh, forcibly reconstructing the impairment while causing significant blood loss.[140] From using the Berserker Armor, Guts has developed progressive and noticeable visual impairment.[43]

Equipment

Dragon Slayer

Main article: Dragon Slayer

Made from the "ultimate steel",[51] Guts wields this enormous sword to cleave through humans and demons with ease. When combined with the Berserker Armor, the Dragon Slayer's cutting power increases significantly. During Guts' battle with Grunbeld, he is able to shatter the knight's cannon fire-deflecting shield[140] and crack the corundum skin of the apostle's released form.[149] The sword also serves defensive purposes, being broad enough to act as a shield against arrows and bolts, and capable of diverting lightning into the ground as a lightning rod. Guts uses it to mitigate blows by holding the sword level with his body, absorbing the brunt of impacts.

  • Astral properties: The Dragon Slayer has been tempered by the malice of the countless inhumans slain during Guts' journey,[105] making it capable of harming both astral and physical beings.

Berserker Armor

Main article: Berserker Armor

Given to him by Flora,[150] the Berserker Armor serves as Guts' ultimate weapon against overwhelmingly powerful foes. The armor's primary function is to override the body's natural limitations, allowing Guts to exert force beyond what would normally cause self-injury. This enhancement significantly boosts his already formidable physical capabilities to superhuman levels. While wearing the armor, Guts can eliminate hordes of massive monsters and decisively overpower apostles in their released forms.

Cannon Arm

Manga E94 Cannon Fire

Guts' cannon arm has saved him a number of times in his journey.

Main article: Cannon Arm

The cannon in Guts' mechanical arm is one of Rickert's inventions, provided for his hunt on demonkind.[9] It has been invaluable, saving him from peril numerous times. The cannon has a highly effective blast radius, capable of tearing into even the most sizable monsters and apostles. When unable to use his right arm, Guts uses his teeth to pull the cannon's ignition cord, often fooling enemies into believing he has been outdone before blasting them. He has also used the cannon's recoil to launch into one target and perform a reversing slash into another with the Dragon Slayer, effectively eliminating two enemies in a single motion.[151][94] Additionally, he has used the cannon to deal lethal internal damage to opponents already pierced by the Dragon Slayer, bypassing armor or hide too tough or thick to penetrate effectively with the cannon alone.[152]

Repeater Crossbow

This is another weapon Guts receives before setting out on his war against demonkind. He uses the crossbow by attaching it to his mechanical arm and filling its magazine with bolts, releasing a volley of bolts upon turning its crank. The repeater crossbow is used extensively until Guts acquires the Berserker Armor, at which point its use seems to be deferred. However, he still employs it against human or humanoid foes on occasion,[153] provided he is not facing a large number of them.[144]

Throwing Knives

Main article: Throwing Knife

Having been taught the basics of knife throwing by Judeau,[9] Guts has developed remarkable accuracy and precision with them over the years. Their effectiveness relies on hitting vital points, making them less effective against larger foes but quite lethal against smaller targets. Guts often uses the knives to target the eyes of larger enemies or for precision strikes when needed.

Miniature Bombs

Main article: Miniature Bomb

These are a later addition to Guts' arsenal, fashioned for him by Rickert. These small, mine-shaped bombs are remarkably powerful for their size, but have a contained blast radius, usually only lethal if vital areas are hit. Therefore, they are typically used to slow down or distract larger enemies. For instance, against makara pishacha, Guts uses the bombs to target their eyes, similar to how he uses his knives against smaller creatures.[152] Guts has also given a number of these bombs to Isidro.[154]

Creation and Conception

Early concept art - Guts

A very early concept drawing of Guts featured in Berserk Illustrations File.

BTP Guts

Guts' design in Berserk: The Prototype.

In Berserk: The Prototype, Guts originally wore an eyepatch over his right eye and bore noticeably longer sideburns. Personality-wise, the prototype Guts was more brash, cocky and whimsical in nature. Additionally, the crossbow he utilized did not attach to his prosthetic arm and his Dragon Slayer also possessed a slightly different design.

In earlier designs, Guts possessed long hair and wielded a katana. According to Miura, it took him a while to conceive of Guts as the swordsman appears today, but upon coming up with the character's current overall design, Miura "felt like [he] really nailed it".[155]

Portrayal

Adult
Child

Notes

  • The Berserk Official Guidebook states that circa the Fantasia Arc, Guts is 24 years old, 204 cm, and 115 kg. (NOTE: The Berserk Official Guidebook is highly questionable in its veracity.)
    • The manga, however, provides ways to deduce Guts' ages throughout the Golden Age Arc, with the mercenary being 19 at its end.[41] As two years pass from then, he is 21 during the Black Swordsman Arc and Conviction Arc.[42]
  • The first English voice actor of Guts is not Marc Diraison but Michael Bell from the video game Berserk: Millennium Falcon Arc - Flowers of Oblivion Chapter. Despite the fact the first Berserk anime came out in 1997, the English dub came out in 2002, while Berserk: Millennium Falcon Arc - Flowers of Oblivion Chapter came out in Japan in 1999 then in North America in 2000.
  • Guts reacted badly to touch for much of his teenage years.[12][118] During this time, only Casca's and Griffith's touch escaped his immediate ire.[57][8]
  • Guts bears no reverence or respect for a "God". On the contrary, he would like nothing more than for the entity to "leave [him] the hell alone".[96]
  • Guts still carries the Count's beherit. It has not been confirmed to be his, however; both Flora[143] and Gedfring[119] have suggested that he may merely be its means of arriving to its predestined owner.
  • Guts has proven successful in gambling and won against several opponents ten times in a row at Chō-Han Bakuchi during his time in the Band of the Falcon.[156]
  • Though Femto claims Guts' existence is beneath the God Hand's notice, Slan is particularly interested in the swordsman,[104] and has expressed wanting him to become a member of their rank.[25]
  • Daiba refers to Guts as "Kshatriya of Durga"[141] (狂神の戦士ドウルガー クシャトリヤ) and "Viravadana Kshatriya"[157] (獣面の戦士ヴイーラバグナ・クシャトリヤ).

Trivia

  • Despite the similarities between Guts and the historical German figure Götz von Berlichingen, Kentarou Miura stated in an interview released with Media Blasters' 1997 anime US release in 2002 that this resemblance is only a "strange coincidence", as he had only heard of Götz von Berlichingen after he had already started Berserk. Miura also mentioned that he was not thinking of any specific person when creating Guts. In the same interview, Miura stated that Guts was based on actor Rutger Hauer in terms of looks, having enjoyed Hauer's roles in Flesh+Blood and The Salute of the Jugger.[158]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 1, "Black Swordsman"
  2. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 9, "Skull Knight"
  3. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
  4. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 13, "Escape"
  5. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 9, "Fighter"
  6. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Sprint"
  7. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 5, "Sword Wind"
  8. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 10, "Sparks from a Sword Tip"
  9. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 14, "Armament"
  10. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 17, "Feeble Flame"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 27, "Departure of Flames"
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Berserk :: Volume 3, "Golden Age (1)"
  13. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 14, "Demon Child"
  14. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 37, "Spring Flower of Days Long Passed (3)"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 37, "Spring Flower of Days Long Passed (2)"
  16. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 26, "Companions"
  17. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Cracks in the Blade"
  18. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 24, "Astral World"
  19. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (2)"
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (3)"
  21. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Ready to Die (2)"
  22. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (4)"
  23. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Bakiraka (1)"
  24. ^ Berserk :: Volume 11, "Demon Dog (4)"
  25. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (5)"
  26. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 13, "Vow of Retaliation"
  27. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Hell's Angels"
  28. ^ Berserk :: Volume 35, "Ghost Ship (2)"
  29. ^ Berserk :: Volume 35, "Denizens of the Sinister Sea"
  30. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 1, "The Brand"
  31. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 19, "Ambush"
  32. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 26, "Berserker Armor (2)"
  33. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Jumping Fish"
  34. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 23, "Fangs of Ego"
  35. ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Roar of the Sea"
  36. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
  37. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Battle"
  38. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 7, "Returning Alive"
  39. ^ Berserk :: Volume 1, "Black Swordsman"
  40. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 37, "Siren"
  41. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 9, "Tournament"
  42. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
  43. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 33, "Bubbles of Futility"
  44. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 8, "Snowy Evening..."
  45. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 8, "Morning of Departure (3)"
  46. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 12, "Parting"
  47. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 23, "Reunion in the Wilderness"
  48. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 23, "Winter Journey (2)"
  49. ^ Berserk :: Volume 9, "Comrades in Arms"
  50. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "Howl from the Darkness"
  51. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 17, "To the Holy Ground (1)"
  52. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Landing"
  53. ^ Berserk :: Volume 39, "Corridor of Dreams"
  54. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
  55. ^ Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (4)"
  56. ^ Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (5)"
  57. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (6)"
  58. ^ Berserk :: Volume 5, "Golden Age (7)"
  59. ^ Berserk :: Volume 5, "Golden Age (8)"
  60. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
  61. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (2)"
  62. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
  63. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Assassin (3)"
  64. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Precious Thing"
  65. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Casca (1)"
  66. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Casca (3)"
  67. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Bonfire of Dreams"
  68. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (2)"
  69. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (5)"
  70. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (6)"
  71. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (2)"
  72. ^ Berserk :: Volume 9, "Confession"
  73. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (2)"
  74. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Reunion in the Abyss"
  75. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Flower of the Royal Palace of Stone"
  76. ^ Berserk :: Volume 11, "The Immortal, Again"
  77. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Warriors of Twilight"
  78. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Eclipse"
  79. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
  80. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 13, "Birth"
  81. ^ Berserk :: Volume 14, "One Who Hunts Dragons"
  82. ^ Berserk :: Volume 2, "Guardian Angels of Desire (2)"
  83. ^ Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (4)"
  84. ^ Berserk :: Volume 14, "Coming By Flight"
  85. ^ Berserk :: Volume 15, "Queen"
  86. ^ Berserk :: Volume 15, "Will-o'-the-Wisp"
  87. ^ Berserk :: Volume 16, "Road Home"
  88. ^ Berserk :: Volume 16, "Holy Iron Chain Knights (2)"
  89. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Morning of Truth"
  90. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (3)"
  91. ^ Berserk :: Volume 18, "Kushan Scouts (2)"
  92. ^ Berserk :: Volume 19, "Cliff"
  93. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Those Dancing at the Top, Those Crawling at the Bottom"
  94. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 20, "Martyrdom"
  95. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (1)"
  96. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 21, "One Who Clings, One Who Struggles"
  97. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Dawn"
  98. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Determination and Departure"
  99. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Reunion on the Hill of Swords"
  100. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Prologue to the War Chronicle"
  101. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Onslaught of the Kushans"
  102. ^ Berserk :: Volume 24, "Mansion of the Spirit Tree (1)"
  103. ^ Berserk :: Volume 25, "Qliphoth"
  104. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 26, "Vicinity of Hell"
  105. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 26, "Whore Princess of the Uterine Sea"
  106. ^ Berserk :: Volume 26, "Flames (1)"
  107. ^ Berserk :: Volume 26, "Berserker Armor (1)"
  108. ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Boy in the Moonlight"
  109. ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Jñānin"
  110. ^ Berserk :: Volume 29, "White Lily in the Field"
  111. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 30, "Suzerain of the Religious Domain"
  112. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Rusty Birdcage"
  113. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Blaze Rod"
  114. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Bursting Flames"
  115. ^ Berserk :: Volume 32, "Human Bullet"
  116. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Creation"
  117. ^ Berserk :: Volume 36, "Full Moon (1)"
  118. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 37, "Spring Flower of Days Long Passed (1)"
  119. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 39, "Great Gurus"
  120. ^ Berserk :: Volume 39, "Flower Storm Monarch"
  121. ^ Berserk :: Volume 40, "Beneath Sun-Dappled Trees"
  122. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Barrier"
  123. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Ravine"
  124. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Vision of Death"
  125. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Leaping Monkey"
  126. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Teardrop of Morning Dew"
  127. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Lull of the Waning Moon"
  128. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Eye of the Maelstrom"
  129. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Vanishing Cherry Blossoms"
  130. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Devourers"
  131. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "A Dying Light in the Pitch Black Night"
  132. ^ Berserk :: Volume TBA, "Morning After a Steady Foggy Night"
  133. ^ Berserk :: Volume TBA, "Water's Wavering Surface and War's Shadow"
  134. ^ Berserk :: Volume 5, "Sword Master (1)"
  135. ^ Berserk :: Volume 14, "Evil Insect"
  136. ^ Berserk :: Volume 16, "Between Man and Demon"
  137. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Beast Swordsman vs Black Swordsman"
  138. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Unchanged"
  139. ^ Berserk :: Volume 25, "Mirror of Sins"
  140. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 27, "Fire Dragon"
  141. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 31, "Eastern Magic"
  142. ^ Berserk :: Volume 16, "Firefly"
  143. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  144. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 28, "Familiars"
  145. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Wind Coiler"
  146. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
  147. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "Roaring Heavens"
  148. ^ Berserk :: Volume 24, "Elementals"
  149. ^ Berserk :: Volume 27, "Depths of Hellfire"
  150. ^ Berserk :: Volume 26, "Flames (2)"
  151. ^ Berserk :: Volume 15, "Pursuers"
  152. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 30, "City of the Demon Beasts (2)"
  153. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "City of the Demon Beasts (1)"
  154. ^ Berserk :: Volume 26, "Retribution"
  155. ^ mangabrog.wordpress.com (by awarenayorikku (translator)) :: "Berserk Artist Kentarou Miura Interview"
  156. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (1)"
  157. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Thunder Emperor"
  158. ^ Media Blasters interview

Appendices

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