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The tapasa are a group of two to four Bakiraka clansmen that accompany Silat (whom they call "young master") during the clan's attempt at capturing the White Falcon.[1] The tapasa are always seen around him and remain present beside him throughout the story,[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][2] rarely speaking but moving to his defense when necessary.[14][15][16]


Each of these men have knots on their knuckles and markings on their foreheads. Their bodies are muscular and their skin colour is brown, like all Kushan. The clothes they wear are small and light, minimal so as to not interfere during battles.[17]


The tapasa have a strong mentality and are loyal to Silat. Even though they try to appear friendly while disguising in Falconia, the sight of their huge grinning smiles terrifies Luca and Erica.[15] They also speak their mind before undertaking certain movements, such as the convenience of attacking Guts[1] or entrusting the fate of their clan to a "demon lord".[3][18] They also show a certain humorous side between them, pointing to one another when mistaken for orcs by Erica, or feeling indignant when Silat asks them to hide away, with one intoning their fate is to live in the shadows.[15]


Bakiraka Strength

A tapasa smashing an armored soldier.

Known as the summit of the Bakiraka,[14] the tapasa are close combat fighters. Unlike other clansmen, they do not use weapons or even armor; their fists and legs are trained to the point where they can effectively be considered both. Their physical ability has been honed to such an extent that they can smash solid armour, deflect arrows[17] and throw stone pillars with ease.[19] Additionally, they are quite fast for their size, as recognized by Rakshas.[15]


Conviction Arc[]

They are introduced on a scouting mission to find the "land of oracle".[1] After the Incarnation Ceremony at the Tower of Conviction, the group arrive and surround Guts and the others, noticing that, just as the oracle proclaimed, something happened in what they perceive as a "pagan land".[20]

Millennium Falcon Arc[]

Some time later, the Midland city of Shet is under siege by the Kushan. The Kushan general responsible for the invasion chastises the clan for being unable to capture Griffith, a single man, while his forces captured six fortresses in the same amount of time. Suddenly, Silat catches an arrow meant to strike the general's face. The two tapasa by his side run toward the source of the arrow and massacre the soldiers. Silat excuses himself and his guards from the amazed general's presence, saying that they will continue the search for Griffith. A moment later, this becomes unnecessary: Griffith has entered Shet on horse.[21] As more apostles show up, Silat tells the tapasa they should take advantage of the chaos to capture the Falcon. The tapasa run together right up to Griffith and leap toward him. Partway through their jump, they are knocked to the ground. Their assailant is a black mass covered by a mask. It calls them "slow" and "obtuse", aware that they are tapasa, known as the summit among the Bakiraka. The tapasa identify it as Rakshas, a Kushan exile. Rakshas turns to Griffith. After being accepted by him, the exiled Kushan turns back to the tapasa. They fight, and Rakshas dodges them weaving between their strikes.[14]

In a decrepit Wyndham, inside the castle, Silat and two tapasa kneel before the leader of the Kushan, Emperor Ganishka. He chastises the clan for not having been able to carry out the mission of apprehending Griffith. Ganishka orders them to report Griffith's location, but to leave his apprehension to his army. Silat and the tapasa are dismissed. As they leave the throne room, the tapasa are worried that the Kushan army will overshadow them in usefulness. Silat isn't worried, knowing that they will have a chance so long as they keep their eyes on the prize. They comment on the grim situation of the city, with corpses everywhere, an ominous fog and rumors of horrors prowling about. Silat notes that the clan restoration has been their clan's dearest wish for centuries, and must use the chance for their descendants not to keep on wandering around foreign lands. Silat and the tapasa's conversation ends with them all agreeing that Ganishka is a "dread emperor" from seeing his needless displays of cruelty.[3] As they're leaving, Rakshas appears before the three men, dodging their attacks. As Griffith's plan to rescue Charlotte under the guise of an all-out attack on Wyndham begins,[4] Rakshas lures the clansmen to where the daka were being created. Once Silat witnesses the birth of a daka, Rakshas reveals that Ganishka is not human.[5]

Silat and four tapasa accompany the Kushan Empire army as it arrives in Vritannis. The tapasa discuss whether or not to inform Ganishka of the movements made by the Band of the Falcon, but none of the four are comfortable with entrusting the fate of their clan to a "demon lord". Silat just stares off into the distance.[18] The group then witnesses the arrival of the Band of the Falcon, turning the tide of the fight against the Holy See alliance armies.[6][7] Silat and the tapasa stealthily infiltrate Ganishka's mobile palace and watch the confrontation between Griffith and Ganishka from a window.[8] Griffith taunts Ganishka, who angrily causes a burst of energy which knocks away the pillars holding up the ceiling. Before the structure can collapse on Griffith and Zodd, Grunbeld and his units catch the ceiling, acting as new supports. This throws the ceiling clear off the palace, forcing the Bākiraka to find new perches.[9]

Silat, the tapasa and a scout patrol face the group leaving Wyndham under Kushan guise.

Silat, the tapasa and a retinue of Kushan scouts intervene when Laban and his Arklow Knights lead a massive rescue effort of all the captured female prisoners of Ganishka out of Midland's capital as well as the rest of city inhabitants. Silat reveals that he is aware that Laban and the Kushan regiment behind him are disguised Midlanders, and he derides Jarif (a Kushan Band of the Falcon's espionage division member who had helped the exodus pass through a garrison) for turning traitor. Jarif recognizes the assailants as members of the Bākiraka clan and extends an offer to the clan of Bākiraka to serve the Falcon. Though intrigued, Silat ultimately dismisses it and decides to leave. The tapasa object, but Silat points out the simple fact that they can't capture so many people on their own. With that, the Bākiraka take their leave.[10] Shortly afterwards, Silat, the tapasa and some scouts observe the final battle against a twice-transmigrated Ganishka and Griffith's forces.[22][12][23] They liken Ganishka to Shiva, the God of Destruction.[22] The Bakiraka also bear witness to the Great Wave of the Astral World.[13][24]

Fantasia Arc[]

The flamethrower being ignited by two tapasa.

After Griffith establishes Falconia, as Rakshas attempts to assassinate Rickert after the latter's encounter with Griffith, two chakram fly through the air around Rickert's head, change course and head straight for Rakshas, who dodges them and detaches from Rickert. A giant segment from a column is then thrown at Rakshas, who dodges once again. The chakram and column were thrown by Silat and his tapasa.[19] Then, sensing Rakshas, he throws two chakram at the assassin, who catches and sends them flying back at Rickert. But before they can strike, the tapasa intercept them between their palms and attack Rakshas, who tosses them about. As they are thrown around, however, the tapasa restrain Rakshas' arms. Rakshas had created a "false" body out of his cloak to wear the mask while the real Rakshas slithers behind and attacks Silat. While the tapasa break free, the strange being laments the loss of his mask, claiming that he will return with a new mask once the moon is risen.[15]

Rickert returns to Luca's inn with the cloaked Silat and tapasa in tow, frightening Luca and Erica when they come to greet him. They enter the inn's premises, where they are noticed by Daiba. Silat commands the tapasa to hide in the stables lest their builds garner unwanted attention. Daiba silently deduces their identities as they leave.[15] True to his word, Rakshas resumes his hunt with a new mask, and is doused in flame by the tapasa using Rickert's modified water-spraying machine. This forces Rakshas to assume his true form, taking to the air while using the blood of a horse he killed to put out the fire and then capture Erica.[16] Erica is rescued by Daiba, who manages to distract Rakshas with snakes and rats attacking his cloak. He then proposes the Bakiraka to accompany them. Rakshas tries to fly after Rickert and the others as they escape using Daiba's garudas, and the tapasa flee on a garuda each. However, Rickert fires a rocket at Rakshas from point-blank range when he pursued, allowing them to escape.[25]

Four tapasa accompany Silat as Kushan galleases surround the Seahorse.[2] They're seen again when Silat returns to the Kushan capital.[2]


  • The word "tapasa" means "sage" or "hermit" in Malayalam and Sanskrit (both Indian languages).
  • In Berserk (2016 Anime), each member is voiced in Japanese by the same actor, Kōji Ishii.
  • They resemble the Niō (Ni-ou), the two protectors of the Buddha in East Asian traditions of Buddhism. The Niō are based on Vajrapaani, who is from Indian Buddhism. Interestingly enough, the meaning of the word "Vajrapaani" from sanskrit is literally "one with diamond hands" ("vajram" = "diamond" and "paani" = hand or fist), which aptly describes the fighting style of the tapasa.
  • During the scouting mission to capture the White Falcon, four tapasa accompany Silat.[1][20][6] However, their number went down to two during the audience with Kushan higher-ups[17][3] as well as the establishment of Fantasia.[19] Their number returns to four during the Kushan assault on the Seahorse.[1]
  • Silat never address them by any name.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Berserk :: Volume 18, "Kushan Scouts (2)"
  2. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume TBA, "Is the Sleeping Dark Beast Just Standing Quietly?"
  3. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 27, "Dread Emperor"
  4. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 27, "Daka"
  5. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 27, "Demon Knight"
  6. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 32, "Great Invasion (2)"
  7. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 32, "Advance by Flight"
  8. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 32, "Torn Battlefield"
  9. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 32, "Gust of Wind"
  10. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 33, "Exodus"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "Roaring Heavens"
  12. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 34, "Inhuman Battlefield"
  13. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 34, "Fissure"
  14. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
  15. ^ a b c d e f Berserk :: Volume 38, "Capital City in the Moonlight"
  16. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 38, "Night Battle"
  17. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 22, "Onslaught of the Kushans"
  18. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 32, "Great Invasion (1)"
  19. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 38, "Twilight Assassin"
  20. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 21, "Dawn"
  21. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (1)"
  22. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 33, "End God"
  23. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Soaring"
  24. ^ Berserk :: Volume 35, "Falconia"
  25. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Soaring Escape"