I'm Puck. Nice to meetcha. Y'see I was in a troupe of travelling performers but we were attacked by those bums. Since then I've been locked up in a mynah bird's cage and soaked in a wine bottle. It's a wonder I'm still alive. That's for sure!
Puck is an elf of the Pisky race, descendants of the ancient spirits of wind. A former denizen of Elfhelm, the idyllic elven realm of the Flower Storm Monarch, he left out of sheer boredom prior to the events of the Golden Age Arc and became Guts' first newfound companion since. Puck provides much of the comic relief in the series.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
As an elf, Puck is, at first glance, similar to a miniature naked human. Upon closer inspection, Puck's features as an elf become more distinct; his ears are elongated and pointed, he has insect-like wings on his back, and he lacks any kind of visible genitalia. Puck sports blue hair that grows out in all directions at the front (similar to a tomato stem) and uniformly points backward in the back. Puck's eyes are the same color as his hair, and he has a feminine facial structure, with large eyes and a soft jawline. He often holds a burdock, the closest thing to a weapon the elf possesses.
During comedic moments in the first manga story, Puck has exaggerated "chibi" comic features. In later arcs of both the manga and anime, Puck is drawn in his standard "chestnut" chibi form: his limbs become stubby, and his body appears short and round. In this form, his hair is represented by a blue tinged point on his head, and his eyes appear as horizontal lines.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Puck is a whimsical and lighthearted presence that stands out in the dark and unforgiving world he lives in. As such, he is a complete contrast in character to his traveling partner Guts, who in-turn, is brooding, cynical and reclusive. Not one to take people's behavior at face value, Puck prefers to find the inherent good in those he meets rather than dismiss them for what he initially sees. As such, Puck displays a great deal of patience when dealing with less-than-reputable characters, most notably his early traveling days with Guts, in which he was subject to Gut's consistent verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse. Puck does eventually come to find that they do possess some manner of morality and a reason for their brash actions.
However, this does not mean that Puck's patience is infinite. On numerous occasions, Puck and Guts have parted ways due to Puck's annoyance and inability to continue tolerating the Black Swordsman's initial cruelty and brazenness. Still, Puck returns seeing something good in Guts.
Puck can be quite stubborn at times, as seen when he refuses to return Guts' Beherit while aboard the Seahorse, wanting to use it as bait to catch fish. This trait of Puck's is, however, mainly used for comedic effect. Additionally, Puck feels quite possessive toward the Beherit; he has nicknamed the fetish "Becchi" and claims that it likes cheese.
When receiving compliments individually or as part of the group, Puck and Isidro normally brag about how they can manage things themselves. However, both vastly exaggerate their own aptitude for combat. The two are extremely close friends and Puck often sits on the young boy's head, seeing himself as a mentor of such to the boy. He attempts to teach Isidro in the ways of his "Elf Dimension Style", to little success.
In stark contrast to his close relationship with Isidro, he is often at odds with his fellow elf Ivalera. The two have a rivalry as the female elf tends to be more serious and less bubbly than the average pisky. Puck attempts to show Ivalera how similar they truly are, but is looked down upon by her nonetheless.
Despite Puck's role seeming largely to be that of comic relief, he is quite capable of being very serious when the situation calls for it. He easily befriends the more "innocent" people of the world, like Jill, and listens and empathizes wholeheartedly upon hearing their tragic histories. When he meets Guts in the Black Swordsman Arc, Guts has reverted to his mistrusting, callous, and generally contemptuous character prior to joining the Band of the Falcon. Puck frequently opposes Guts' behavior toward others as needlessly cruel. Thus, in the |Lost Children Chapter, Puck castigates Guts severely for attacking Rosine. Guts wonders if he actually held back against Rosine. Over time, as Guts regains some trust in others such as Farnese and Isidro, and shows some compassion for others, Puck lessens his role of chiding to castigating Guts back toward his humanity and becomes more a source of comic relief.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Puck has several attributes that are specific to his species, the most notable of which is the ability of:
- Flight: His main form of transportation. Due to his own miniature size and the human company he keeps, Puck is forced to rely on his wings in order to keep up with his traveling companions, though he is sometimes seen sitting on his companions or else in Guts' satchel, where Puck has made an improvised home.
- Empath: Puck is able to feel people's emotions, and this translates directly to his own well-being; Puck feels pain proportionate to the amount of negative feelings the people around him feel, and he is put physically at ease by good thoughts.
- Elf Dust: Puck's most useful trait is his ability to produce elf dust, which naturally sloughs off his wings. Elf dust has healing properties, greatly accelerating the average human's healing process and soothing pain almost immediately. This ability was one of the main reasons as to why a disgruntled Guts allowed Puck to travel with him.
- Puck Spark: He can also emanate light, which he has re-purposed into a diversionary attack called "Puck Spark" that briefly blinds his opponents and can kill small demons.
Background[edit | edit source]
Originally from the elven kingdom of Elfhelm, Puck picked a fight with a seagull in a fruitless dispute over fish, after which he rode upon the bird to return home. However, despite later claiming he left his kingdom only out of boredom, Puck ended up rolling off the seagull's back while asleep and got stranded on the mainland by accident. Puck eventually joined of a troupe of performers, catching a glimpse of Guts by chance after he left the Band of the Falcon, and he then befriended Rickert a year later while the boy traveled with the troupe to reach the Midland border. It was only after Rickert left that Puck visited a fortune teller. She saw an omen in her crystal ball: an armored figure with two unconscious people following a solar eclipse. Sometime between then and two years later, the troupe were slaughtered and Puck ended up in the village of Koka, where he became a captive of the Snake Baron's Bandits, who used him for target practice.
Story[edit | edit source]
Black Swordsman Arc[edit | edit source]
While attempting to free himself and evading a knife being thrown at him by a bandit, Puck ends up being indirectly saved when Guts slaughters the bandits, allowing one survivor to inform the Snake Baron. After managing to untie himself, Puck feels indebted to the swordsman and later returns the favor by visiting the now imprisoned Guts with keys to his cell. Initially, Guts reacts violently when Puck touches him; however, as Puck proceeds to heal Guts' wounds with his dust, Guts calms down. Learning of Guts' plans to attack the Snake Baron, Puck accuses him of not caring about the townspeople he had endangered, and he is mortified by the swordman's retort that the weak get themselves killed in someone else's battle, and he senses Guts' emotional pain. When he asks Guts why he saved him, Guts laughs at the idea of him risking his life "for a little bug." An angry Puck flies hard into Guts' chin, then flies away from him with tears in his eyes. Guts, for his part, does not understand why Puck became angry, hit him, and left.
Having witnessed the destruction of Koka and Guts' fight with the Snake Baron, Puck watches the swordsman walk off into the distance while uttering the word "berserk". Puck later finds Guts by chance as they both hitch a ride with Adolf and his daughter Collette, witnessing their deaths at the hands of the spirits pursuing the branded swordsman not long after. Puck attempts to console Guts, only to recoil as he cruelly comments that the event has proven his opinion of the weak. Despite Guts' reluctance to have the elf as a traveling companion, Puck ponders over the fact that death is the only thing Guts knows and decides to follow him.
Puck later learns more about Guts' mission when he makes a public war declaration on the Count, the elf befriending the Apostle's former physician Vargas and becoming enamored with the Beherit in the man's possession, which he names "Mr. Becchi". When Vargas is captured and sentenced to death, Puck refuses to do nothing like Guts and ends up getting captured and presented to the Count's daughter, Theresia, as a present. Astonished that she is Count's daughter, Puck strikes up a small friendship with the young girl and convinces her to let him free with the promise that he will come back and return the favor. When Guts' fight with the Count enables Theresia to leave her room, Puck expresses disgust at Guts for using her as a hostage to kill her father. Puck then bears witness to a brief appearance of the God Hand, noting Guts' murderous hatred toward the one he calls "Griffith". After the Count's death, and seeing Guts restore Theresia's will to live in his own way, Puck notices tears in the swordsman's eyes before he quickly wipes them away.
Conviction Arc[edit | edit source]
Puck continues to follow Guts for a few days until they save a girl named Jill, who fearfully mistakes him for an elf from the Misty Valley. Puck is greatly offended by this and, after being run out of town alongside Guts, considers burning the village of "twisted sex offenders" to the ground. Soothing his anger, Jill explains that their animosity stems from a series of attacks on her village perpetrated by a swarm of elves spiriting away the children and eating the villagers' livestock and loved ones. It is only when the swarm arrives that Puck, placed in Guts' satchel for his safety, senses the "elves" to be children taken by the Apostle Rosine. When Guts takes Jill hostage to escape being killed by the angry mob who assume him to be a child murderer, Puck flies off in anger at Guts' lack of empathy and eventually reaches the Misty Valley where he finds Jill. The two are welcomed by Rosine into the paradise of her own design, however the whimsical nature of Misty Valley proves to be a facade when her elves begin to play war. After Guts mortally wounds Rosine, the swordsman running off due to interference from the Holy Iron Chain Knights as he tries to land the finishing strike, Puck gives the Apostle some peace of mind by revealing himself to her to reaffirm her belief that elves truly exist. Puck later finds Guts unconscious and fends off the weaker spirits attempting to take his body. Guts sees this when he comes to and finally accepts Puck as his traveling companion, though Puck does not get the chance to heal him as the Iron Chain Knights quickly surround them.
Hours after Guts' capture, Puck manages to steal the keys to the swordsman's cage and reaches him at nightfall. Despite the danger of spirits starting to awaken, Puck forces all manner of humility on Guts in exchange for freeing him, demanding his apology and plea for help, though Guts promises he'll pay for it later. Puck then proceeds to heal Guts and accompany him during his escape, explaining to the swordsman that their hostage Farnese cannot see him; the knight commander thinks Guts to be talking to himself. While Puck takes advantage of this by comically pulling at Farnese's face, the hellish ordeal that follows from night to dawn distresses the elf as he senses the conflicting and sad emotions emanating from Farnese.
Millennium Falcon Arc[edit | edit source]
After Griffith and Zodd leave the Hill of Swords, Puck hears the story of the Eclipse for the first time, connecting it as the cause of the pain emanating from Casca. Due to the destruction of the elf cave that had kept her safe before, Puck tells Guts that his homeland may be a safe place for her. Guts agrees with his suggestion and they set off. After Casca tries to run off, Puck disagrees with Guts' solution of tying her up to keep her in tow, but resigns when he realizes there's no other way. Puck comes across Isidro, Serpico, and Farnese. He brings them to Guts, as they wished to join him. To Puck's surprise, Guts accepts them as traveling partners.
With the party on their way to the holy city of Vritannis, they come upon a forest in which Casca and Farnese are abducted by what Puck identifies as trolls. Isidro and Puck attempt to aid the women but are unsuccessful, requiring the intervention of a witch known as Schierke.
Fantasia Arc[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Puck is named after a type of woodland fairy from the Celtic myth who inspired the trickster of the same time in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
- Puck is the first companion to accompany Guts on his travels after the Eclipse, making him the first member of Black Swordsman Party.
- Puck sometimes demonstrates the ability to breach the fourth wall at will, acting as if he is aware of his status as a fictional character. In the Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey in which he otherwise does not appear, his chibi form flies behind a chibi Casca as she reacts to Adon suddenly offering an apology. No one seems to acknowledge his presence, nor is an explanation given as to why he would be in Doldrey, know Casca, et cetera. Like his anachronistic chibi transformations, this appears intended to let the reader and viewer share the extreme absurdity of the situation.So far, he has compared his friendship with Isidro to the relationship between Yoda and Luke Skywalker multiple times, and also to that of Tange Danpei and Joe Yabuki. He has proposed that Rickert add a cartoonish pincer to Guts' left arm, described the ghosts of those who died via breaking wheel torture as "bikers", compared the telepathic communication employed by Schierke to the newtype powers in Gundam - even appearing himself disguised as the titular mecha - and likened the Berserker Armor to the mystical clothes shown in the anime series Saint Seiya. He also stated that the story of him leaving Elfhelm is the prologue to "Berserk" itself. However, these are merely intended as intentional Easter eggs from Miura, as the other characters simply seem to acknowledge what Puck means to say without any other explanation.
- It is noted that his memory is somewhat limited, as seen when he could only remember the general shape of the God Hand.
- A running gag throughout the series is Puck's insistence that Guts, and later Isidro, learn his secret fighting technique "Elf Dimension Style", which simply involves Puck swinging a burdock in his hand like a sword. Despite its comedic intentions, Puck has actually managed to defeat both Guts and Isidro with this technique in a sparring match.
References[edit | edit source]
|Four Kings of the World|