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  • The Quest: Get to Elfhelm and Find the Cure for Casca's insanity. But first we got to get to Elfhelm!
  • The Quiet One: Pippin
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Baki-Raka and Mozgus' Inquisitors.
  • R-Rated Opening
  • Rape: Oh God, OH GOD with the rape! If there's one thing that Miura has drilled in our head for damn sure, it's that nobody is safe from rape in this series. Here's how:
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Guts, and how.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: Especially Guts.
  • Ravens and Crows: Really abundant in the shittier places. The crow and raven motif was used from a more sympathetic viewpoint when some of Mozgus' deformed disciples were feeding a murder.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Discussed in volume 18, when Isidro starts following Guts around in an attempt to become the world's greatest swordsman by stealing his techniques. Guts then asks Isidro if he had ever killed anybody, to which Isidro claims he has. Obviously Guts was trying to dissuade the young man from following him further.
  • Really Dead Montage: Guts gets ones of these during his Freak-Out after the eclipse. Again, big *sigh*.
  • Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed with Farnese, who becomes one because of her parenting (or lack thereof), and this earns her the social isolation it would earn her in real life medieval Europe.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The Black Dog Knights is made up of the worst murderers, rapists and all around scum that Midland has to offer.
  • Red Baron: The Band of the Hawk was known as the "grim reapers of the battlefield." Badass.
    • Guts gets the moniker "100 man slayer" while he was in the Band and The Black Swordsman after he went on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Guts is the Red Oni, while Griffith is the Blue Oni. Also, Guts and Serpico.
    • Guts and Griffith's differences are also highlighted by almost every aspect of their appearences and personalities. Guts is a tall, masculine, heavily muscled, crew-cut, black-haired, brown-eyed giant of a man who's preferred weapon is a BFS, whilst Griffith is a small, thin, effeminate, blue-eyed, White-Haired Pretty Boy who uses a rapier-like saber like a scalpel. Even their personalities are different, with Guts being straightforward, ernest, crude, somewhat thick about non-combat matters, who doesn't think too hard about why he acts, while Griffith is mysterious, charismatic, intelligent, well-read, and introspective. Their only truely shared trait is their incredible mental drive to accomplish their goals; even then, Guts really doesn't want to hurt innocent people at the expense of his goals, but Griffith doesn't mind manipulating people in order to accomplish his.
      • The 2012 anime is even color-coding them appropriately, outfitting Guts with a red cape and Griffith with one that's blue on the inside.
    • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Griffith is the noble male while Guts is the roguish male.
  • Red Right Hand: Nearly all demons are obviously not entirely normal even before they go One-Winged Angel. On occasion this is how Guts gets pointed to one.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Happens during Griffith's Despair Event Horizon, in which his crimson behelit is activated, cuing in the Eclipse. I don't like where this going - even Guts says it.
  • Redemption in the Rain: While not redeeming himself per se, Guts has a life-changing epiphany in the rain after the Eclipse, when he gives his famous Screw Destiny speech and swears to hunt down all of the apostles and kill them.
  • Redshirt Army: Absolutely every soldier who appears.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: This was the beginning for both Nobutoshi Canna (Guts) and Toshiyuki Morikawa (Griffith)...
  • The Resenter: Two notable cases that also overlap with Green-Eyed Monster.
    • First there's the resentment that Farnese feels toward Casca. Even though Casca's state has made Guts' job difficult (in one chapter, Guts nearly drowns when he saves Casca after she fell overboard trying to get away from him), not a day goes by that Guts doesn't think about Casca and their brief time together years before. Guts is still completely devoted to Casca's cause, and most of his major decisions weigh in the well-being of Casca. In fact, this was a major reason why Guts agreed to go and convince Farnese and Serpico to come back with the group, as Farnese is Casca's caretaker and Casca is only really cooperative with her. However, not only does Farnese harbor feelings for Guts, but she feels like a huge liability to the group and strives to master witchcraft in order to be of more use to Guts and earn more of his merit (and perhaps even his romantic recognition). But beyond being Casca's caretaker, Guts doesn't give too much thought to Farnese (not that he hates having her around). For that, Casca has earned a bit of resentment from Farnese.
    • Then there's the resentment Sonia has toward Princess Charlotte. As we all know, Charlotte is Griffith's Meal Ticket to the throne (yes, even after he became a Nigh Invulnerable God of Evil, but it's for show) and is now her fiance. Aside from her birthright, there is not much use for Charlotte... and little Sonia agrees with this so much that she even made a sonnet of sorts, describing Princess Charlotte as a useless duck and herself as a kite, a bird that is in much better ranks with a hawk (who is Griffith), since Sonia, who has clairvoyance - and is therefore more in-tuned to the supernatural world that Griffith is a part of - feels much more worthy of Griffith than Charlotte ever can.
  • Rescue Arc: The latter half of the Conviction/Retribution arc focuses on Guts's quest to rescue and reunite with Casca after she wanders away from the safety of the cave and is captured first by pagans who wanted to initiated her into their cult and then by Holy Iron Chain Knights who want to burn her at the stake as a witch.
    • Also, the Griffith rescue operation that occurred between volumes 10 and 11.
  • Rescue Introduction: How Guts and Puck met in the first chapter.
  • Rescue Romance: Subverted with Casca's Precocious Crush on Griffith, later turned Hero Worshipper, which started when he saved her from a sexual assault. Played straight with she and Guts, after he aided her during the Blue Whale Knights battle and their relationship grew from there.
  • Rescue Sex: Guts prevents Casca from committing suicide by falling off a cliff. Moments later, love-making ensues.
    • Their moment could also constitute as "Glad to Be Alive" Sex, since the two had just won a victory over a group of soldiers who tried to thwart the Band of the Hawk (not to mention Casca wasn't thinking of suicide anytime afterward).
  • Revenge: Oh boy...
  • Revenge Before Reason: This was Guts's big mistake when he set off on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge only a few weeks after the Eclipse, leaving a psychologically traumatized Casca behind with Rickert, Erica, and Godo, despite Rickert's protests that it was more important for Guts to be with Casca and not wandering the world fighting monsters.
  • Riding Into the Sunset: How Guts and Casca (and Puck) exit the Retribution arc at the end of volume 21. After the collapse of the Tower of Conviction, they get separated from the surviving party when the Kushan army makes its appearance. The rest of the group believe that they're as good as dead... but then see that Guts managed to mount one of their horses and slaughtered his way through the masses in order to get he and Casca to safety, riding off into the distance after.
  • Right Behind Me: Played for laughs when the pirates encountered their monstrous attackers. Also overlaps with Tempting Fate.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Anyone who says that Guts isn't this personified is either a liar or has never read the series.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Schierke, of course.
  • Running Gag: Several characters throughout the series have made basically the same comment on how Guts's BFSs, primarily the Dragon Slayer, aren't really swords, but more like big slabs of iron.
    • Casca is repeatedly shown trying to eat Puck's head, which has the shape of a chestnut when he's in his SD form.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: The typical scenario can be explained via this equation: Dedication to area of expertise * Amount of years away from normal social situations + Possible crappy childhood ^ 2 = Crappy social skills and rampant badassery.
  • Save the Princess: While Guts' mission is to Find the Cure for his lover, one of Griffith's missions upon being reincarnated in the physical plane was to save Princess Charlotte from Ganishka.
  • Say My Name: "GRIFFITH!!!"
    • Guts also does this with Casca a lot during the Retribution Arc and henceforth. "CASCA!!!"
    • And Casca did this a fair amount of times for Guts back when she could speak. "GUTS!!!"
  • Scar Survey: Rare gender-flipped example with Guts inspecting Casca's scars when they are about to make love.
  • Scenery Gorn: Miura loves to draw frightening places strewn with mangled and decayed corpses and indescribable horrors in intricate detail...
  • Scenery Porn: ...And the same can be said for many pleasant-looking and beautiful locations
  • Schizo-Tech: Played with regarding Guts' prosthetic arm, which can equip a high-volume repeating crossbow and hides a man-portable gunpowder cannon. However, seeing as both these things actually existed in medieval Europe, the only thing schizo about the arm is the fact that Guts' fake hand is shown gripping his sword - and that's finally been Handwaved as a magnet.
  • Shotacon: Donovan, the soldier who Gambino sold Guts to for one night, liked little boys a little too much.
    • Governor Gennon of Doldrey, whom Griffith had to sleep with in order to get the funds for his growing mercenary band, and who had many young boys attending him.
  • Schedule Slip: Kentaro Miura's irregular scheduling is legendary.
  • Screw Destiny: "THIS IS MY DECLARATION OF WAR!!!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The mercenaries that General Adon hired to track and kill Guts and Casca showed no hesitation to leaving at that very moment instead of throwing their lives away for Adon's petty task - until he increased their wages. It wasn't worth it, especially since Adon was the one who got away.
  • Screw You, Elves: Guts doesn't care if you're some super-powered apostle - he'll tell you where to shove your peculiar extremities. In fact, he'll do it for you.
  • Security Blanket: Ever since Guts was a small child training as a mercenary, he was often seen sleeping with his BFS. He kept on this tradition into his adult years, saying that he gets restless if he sleeps without it.
  • Security Cling: Happens twice during the Griffith rescue. First, Casca clings onto Guts' cape when she gets anxious during the operation, and later, Charlotte does this to crippled Griffith when she gets frightened during Guts' Extreme Melee Revenge rampage. This trope is most commonly scene post-Eclipse from Casca, who clings to Farnese whenever she is fearful of something.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: Guts tries this twice with Femto and fails both times as expected.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Despite the heroic efforts of Judeau and Pippin in order to save Casca, it was all horribly deconstructed in the end. We don't think we need to tell you how.
    • Why not go further with adding insult to injury by mentioning how Guts sacrificing his arm to save Casca didn't do shit in the end? Ouch.
    • However, the Arm Cannon has been a crucial tool for Guts ever since, so hacking off his arm may have had it's purpose after all even tough it was definitely not what Guts had planned.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Inquisitor Mozgus' Quirky Miniboss Squad all fight with torture tools, including serrated blades.
  • Sex Is Evil: In Berserk having sex can literally give birth to evil, mainly due to demonic entities raping and impregnating human women with their spawn. Heavily related to damn near every rape example in the series, but even when its not rape, sex is used to show how depraved and twisted humans can be and makes us want to barf more than get it on.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Happens in the anime when Guts and Casca make love. They kiss, Casca has an inner monologue about her Love Epiphany, then a white-out showing Casca being lowered to the ground with no visible top on, and then a Pastel-Chalked Freeze-Frame of Guts and Casca kissing and embracing each other, which was actually taken from a scene in the manga - though a lot more censored. After another white-out, it just shows Guts and Casca the morning after.
  • Sex Equals Love: Can be applied to a minimal degree with Guts and Casca after they are reunited after a year and consummate their relationship no more than 24-hours after Guts's return, thus becoming official. They were falling for each other prior to their separation though, but neither of them acted on it until it was too late. When they do get together, it's very realistic, since they aren't spouting love sonnets to one another, but the love and affection is there.
  • Shaming the Mob: Guts gave quite the uncharacteristic one during his Black Swordsman days in the Lost Children Arc, where he chastises the town for abandoning a little boy right after his parents were killed by Rosine's minions. Of course, Guts did use the kid as bait for his own plans... but he also made sure that the kid was okay afterward and gave him his own form of comfort (by basically telling the kid that revenge felt good).
  • Shining City: Falconia.
  • Ship Tease: Normally avoided, as most ships tend to "sail" relatively quickly. There's still been oodles of teasing between Guts and Griffith, though. And the relationship between Isidro and Schierke has a lot of elements of Slap Slap Kiss Puppy Love; they just haven't quite gotten to the "Kiss" portion yet. 'Course, they're still just kids, so that one may take a while.
  • Shout-Out: Miura seems to be an UltraSeven fan. In this panel, pay very close attention to the swordsman. Part of that helmet look familiar?
    • Apparently, Miura is also a Puro Resu fan.
      • The Godhand seem very much like his take on the Cenobites from "Hellblazer" especially Void's face resembling Chatter's. Also Guts calls his iron arm 'groovy' in volume 14 though that could have been the translator's doing.
    • This may very well be unintentional, but Griffith's helm, especially as Femto, bears an uncanny resemblance to Winslow's Owl Mask from Phantom of the Paradise.
    • In vol 34, one panel is very obviously a Shout-Out to Hieronymus Bosch (the same painting as on that page).
    • Puck frequently makes puns and meta-references to pop culture. Example: this page where he's drawn like Yoda on one panel.
    • Guts' new Berserker armor makes him look like an armored Batman if he's in control.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Miura is extrememly talented when it comes to communicating without text via the subtle expressions of his characters. You could say this series has exellent actors, even tough they are ink on paper...
  • Shower of Angst: After being raped by Griffith, we first see Casca under a waterfall.
  • Sick and Wrong: When Guts was fighting the swine apostle, Godo commented that it was sickening to him to think of how many people that monster must have killed.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Silver is effective at both harming and protecting against spiritual entities like trolls.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Zodd vs Griffith's Falcon Spirit. in volume 17. Also how Guts defeated Griffith in their final rematch as he left the Band of Hawks.
  • Sinister Minister: Bishop and High Inquisitor Mozgus.
  • Sinister Scimitar: Nosferatu Zodd uses one.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Was revealed in chapter 325 that the merrow can use singing as their weapon.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Guts does this to think about dreams and ambition and all of that good stuff... Also to stalk his assassination targets.
  • Skunk Stripe: Guts gets one on using the Berserker Armor for the first time.
  • Skyward Scream: *ahem* "GRIFFITH!!!" Yes - two on one page.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Guts and Casca share their own variant when they're acting Like an Old Married Couple during the Griffith rescue operation, mainly on Casca's part. Isidro and Schierke has been slowly picking it up.
  • Slasher Smile: The only kind Guts ever seems to have, with few exceptions during the Golden Age Arc.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Definitely horror dominant. Most often, whenever comedy is presented during a suspenseful moment, it does not take away from the mood. Some examples take place immediately after the Eclipse, such as when Rickert, upon receiving the unconscious, mutilated, and violated bodies of Guts and Casca from the Skull Knight, makes a brief SD face at the sight of Nosferatu Zodd, or when Erika trips down the stairs in the elf cave where Guts and Casca are recuperating after the Eclipse, causing quite a moment of Mood Whiplash, but the drama returns moments later when Guts sees Casca's post-Eclipse state and has a Freak-Out as a result. It's otherwise interesting to point out that Berserk does not rely on Black Comedy for its humor, rather opting for sarcastic comedy. That said...
  • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: Since the Berserk-verse is highly dictated by causality, the scale tips between "Because Destiny Says So" and "Fighting Fate Is Hard." Guts, who struggles against causality, is either not able to truly overcome it or just barely gets by, maintaining the struggle indefinitely.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Slides between Level 4 (Men Are More Equal) and Level 5 (Almost Perfectly Equal), because overall, the women who are most crucial to the plot or arc either contribute something and/or are competent enough to get out of sticky situations on their own, even if they aren't bona fide action girls. Heck - even Princess Charlotte has her moments! On the other hand, background women are usually complete sluts or are completely useless and are only present to be raped and killed off, which would be at Level 2 (Whores, Whores, Whores...) and 3 (Male Superiority).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very cynical, but not so much that absolutely no hope remains at all. Still pretty close though.
    • The manga has become a fair amount lighter than it was in the past. It was oppressively dark back after the Golden Age arc, but more recently it has felt a fair amount lighter. The addition of multiple kids to the gang probably helped...heck, the fact that Guts is no longer travelling alone is enough to make it easier to take. This is not to say the comic is not dark. It still very much is. But not quite as dark as it was.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: On the gritty end of the spectrum, Berserk takes place in a dark and edgy Crapsack World in the middle of the Dung Ages. On the shiny end, the Berserk-verse is also a land of phenomenal beauty in certain locations, not to mention all of the nobles in Gorgeous Period Dress. Two good examples from each:
    • Gritty: The entire St. Albion area is crawling with pestilence, corruption, and dread and is very dry, dark, and gloomy in composition.
    • Shiny: Guts and Casca's love scene in the wilderness is beautiful and soft on the eyes, with great detail on natural aspects such as flora, waterscapes, and sunlight.
  • Sliding Scale of Unavoidable Versus Unforgivable: This is hotly debated within the Berserk fandom, as most of the fandom is split in half over the idea of Griffith's Face Heel Turn. Basically, you're probably on one of two sides:
  • Small Annoying Creature: Puck, and everyone treats him like one, to boot. Later on, Evarella also applies.
    • Isidro, too. He's small, he's revoltingly annoying, and he tends to act like an animal (especially after pissing off Schierke).
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Princess Charlotte on Griffith and then Sonia, who is even more childish and shallow about it.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Interesting case for this series. While there's a healthy cast of female characters, Casca was the only main female characters for the first fifteen or so volumes, and is still considered one of the three main characters of the story. Not only that, but she was the only female member of the original Band of the Hawk, and still remains the series only genuine Action Girl, albeit she's in remission for the time being.
  • Sneaky Departure: Guts tried this... it didn't work on account of Casca spotting him. But they had a Snow Means Love moment because of it!
  • Snow Means Death / Snow Means Love: Combined twice. Once when Casca tries to dissuade Guts from leaving the Hawks, right before the Guts vs Griffith showdown. Also when she screams Guts' name upon watching him walking away after defeating Griffith. The second time when Guts fights off snow demons in order to protect post-eclipse Casca. Even before that, Guts makes his vow that he would never leave Casca like he did two year prior again as they leave Godo's house for the last time as it begins to snow.
  • Socialite: Farnese's mother.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: "Waiting So Long", a song that manages to be both endearingly Engrish-y and genuinely haunting.
    • Soundtrack Dissonance: I don't know about you, but having to hear that same song right after seeing Guts in utter physical and emotional agony from having to watch Casca get raped to insanity is REALLY unsettling.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The power of the apostles varies widely. Ranging from "Man eating predator that loves to bite your head off" via "Giant insect that flies with super sonic speed" to "Towering behemoth that makes Godzilla look puny". How strong an apostle can get seems to be related to the severity of the sacrifice that was made. In true Shonen style, the monsters Guts fights of course happen to get more dangerous with every new encounter.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Well, Guts always had a BFS to begin with, but when he started hunting apostles, he had to get an even bigger BFS in order to actually do some damage to their bodies (bonus points in that the Dragon Slayer is magically upgrading itself as the story progresses). Same can be said for the various armors that he wears, each a bit better than the last set, until Guts finally gained the Berserker armor (unfortunately, it is a case of being a doubled-edged sword).
  • Spared By Adaptation: Unlike the manga, Collette and her father were not killed off, as they replaced Puck in the tavern scene in the first episode of the anime.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Oh, lordy. Given how long the series has been going (all the way back into the early 90s), there's been a ton of ways of spelling many of the character names over the years. Gatts vs. Guts vs. Gutsu vs. etc.
    • Other prominent examples: Farnese/Farneze/Parnesse, Isidro/Ishidoro, Casca/Caska/Kaska/Kjaskar, Puck/Pak, Rosine/Roshinu (this one's still very popular). Schierke in particular caused everyone to facepalm when she debuted because nobody was sure what that was supposed to be in English; "Silke" was popular for a while until her name was actually printed later on.
      • In universe, we have Isidro giving his name as Ijidodo when he gets so beat up he gets mush-mouthed, which his opponent takes as his name.
    • Even more common is Sys/Shisu, with no one ever realizing the latter is simply a romanization of the Japanese pronunciation of her name, much like Rosine/Roshinu.
    • Notably, several decades after the manga's debut, there's a lot of suspicion that a once-universally accepted translation was in error; with all the recent talk of "Falconia" and Miura's indication that one arc should be called "Millenium Falcon" (for the obvious reference on several levels), many people suspect the proper name of Griffith's mercenary company should be "Band of the Falcon", not "Band of the Hawk". (This was caused by the word for both birds being the same in Japanese.) Two decades of fandom inertia make it basically impossible to correct in the zeitgeist at this point, however, and Band of the Hawk remains as the official translation.
    • Another famous one is also the Clingy MacGuffin of the story: Behelit/Beherit/Berith. The actual spelling IS Beherit, which is one of the many variants of the pagan idol of Judeo-Christian demonology known as Baal-Berith.
    • Last and not least (at the moment), Femto/Phemt. While the former is widely known as the last Godhand's name, the real spelling is very likely to be PHEMT, the technical concept after which he is named, for strangely symbolic reasons once you understand the meaning of the concept.
  • The Squadette: Casca, Farnese, and Sonia are in their respective parties, but only one of them was an actual Action Girl. Guess.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Subverted pre-Eclipse, where Guts and Casca get into an argument, escalating when Guts grabs Casca by the arm, stopping her in her tracks, but she eventually snatches her arm away from his grip when Griffith arrives on the scene. Post-Eclipse, this serves as another unfortunate deconstruction of Casca's behavior, since she now doesn't like being touched - especially by men - and is understandably terrified whenever somebody grabs her.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Would have happened if all had gone according to plan for Griffith the first time.... Later on, it pretty much happens when Griffith defeats Emperor Ganishka with his Apostle army and his dream kingdom, Falconia, becames real, along with having Princess Charlotte's hand in marriage.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Guts and Casca never catch a break.
  • Stepping Stone Sword: Guts climbs a tower of human heads with daggers.
  • Step Three: Profit: When a Wrong Genre Savvy kid who wants To Be a Master is introduced into a show, of course this is going to pop up! Isidro's plan?

 Step One: Follow Guts around.

Step Two: "Steal" Guts's techniques.

Step Three: ???

Step Four: Become the world's greatest swordsman!

    • Then again, given that Guts himself became insanely strong by killing a bunch of things - and his half-assed tutelage toward Isidro is slowly paying off - this hairball scheme could actually work out. Now, Isidro only has to kill a man...
  • Sticks to the Back: Guts's Dragon Slayer
    • Justified in that the mechanism is visible (hook on his back, ring on the sword, leather strap with a notch for the end of the blade), and even used for effect (said leather strap looks like a stereotypical pointed devil's tail when the sword is drawn).
  • Story Arc: In order:
    • The Black Swordsman Arc (Volumes 1-3)
    • The Golden Age Arc (Volumes 3-14)
    • The Retribution/Conviction Arc (Volumes 14-21) - with three major parts
      • Chapter of the Lost Children (14-16)
      • Chapter of the Binding Chain (16-17)
      • Chapter of the Birth Ceremony (17-21)
    • The Millennium Falcon/Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc (Volumes 22-34) - with two major parts
      • Chapter of the Holy Demon War (22-27)
      • Chapter of Falconia (27-34)
    • The Fantasia Arc: The current arc, which has yet to be released in a volume.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: One of the rare cases where the target survives. Casca is raped into insanity, and now has the mental abilities and speech of an infant. She requires constant babysitting, whereas before she was once one of the leaders of the Band of the Hawk. Doesn't count as Chickification because we saw all of this brutal Break the Cutie happen with all kinds of details, whereas Chickification is an invisible and unjustified shift in the story.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Played tragically straight after the Eclipse concerning Guts and Casca's unborn child being miscarried.
  • Surreal Horror: This is a given since the Berserk-verse is basically Hieronymus-Escher Land. Some things are just so jaw-dropping, batshit weird that it's friggin' scary. Just take the entire landscape of the Eclipse, or some of the apostles themselves. Seriously - what the holy hell is this thing???
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The New Band of the Hawk is strangely similar to the Original Band: Griffith is still the leader but then Sonia is Casca (the only female and infatuated with Griffith except she's not an Action Girl), Mule is Rickert (a naïve kid), Locus is Judeau (the nicest and most considerate of all), Rakshas is Corkus (not seen acting much and rather smug) and Grunbeld is Pippin (although he's more talkative but the war hammer is still there).
    • Last but not least, Irvine is... Guts. Yes, seriously. Compare their attitudes: Guts was at first aloof, solitary, dismissive and usually avoided his comrades in the Hawks .... just like Irvine is. Irvine has developed a relationship with the band's sole female Sonia which strengthened after he saved her life ... just like Guts and Casca back in the days. Plus his Apostle form is strangely similar to The Beast, Guts' Enemy Within.
      • Not to mention their inclination to Nice Hats. Suspicious... but tasteful!
    • I always thought Nosferatu Zodd was Guts; both are Griffith's right hand man, both are phenomenally ferocious BloodKnights who love to fight just for the sake of it (at least before Guts' Character Development), both are prone to spending long periods sitting and brooding before being approached and called to battle, both are unstoppable LightningBruisers, both can be trusted to perform tasks other than straight-up fighting ( assassination for Guts and rescuing Princess Charlotte for Zodd), both are fiercely loyal to Griffith beyond the call of duty, and both have a head injury they never recover from (Guts lost an eye, Zodd lost a horn). The connection between Guts and Zodd is also brought out by their relationship with each other, where they constantly clash without decisively beating the other, and where they respect each other as WorthyOpponents (as much as Guts is capable of respecting any apostle).
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Guts and Schierke are a non-Battle Couple example, instead being a Badass and Child Duo example. However, Isidro also has his moments with Schierke and it's implicated that they might become a straight example of this trope in time. Both dynamics are type 1.
  • Sympathetic POV: The second Band of the Hawk get this when seen from the POV of their Morality Pet, Sonia, and compared to the Emperor Ganishka, who is somehow even worse than they are in his day-to-day life.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Used for reasons other than just general punishment... just ask Farnese.
  • Tasty Gold: Guts does this after killing Bazuso.
  • Take Our Word for It: We've seen mountains of Eye Scream, graphic rape and sexual assaults, horrific torture, Gorn, and a buttload of ass-ugly monsters (and Mooks).... but we're never allowed to see Griffith's post-tortured face. We're assuming that it's worse than his torturer's face (and Take Our Word for It: he's no spring chicken).
  • Team Killer: Both Guts and Griffith are guilty of this. Guts' case was more sympathetic, in that he first killed the man who raped him the previous night, and then later on, he accidentally killed his adoptive father out of self defense. Griffith, on the other hand, sold out all of his comrades during the Eclipse in order to gain nigh invulnerability.
    • Guts also offed at least two members of the Hawks (ya know -Dante and Errol), but that was technically before he became part of the group.
  • Tears of Blood: The most notable being the activation of a Behelit. Its scrambled facial features rearrange into a normal face, its eyes open and blood streams out.
    • Guts during the rape of Casca, where his undamaged eye cries normal tears and his ruined eye cries tears of blood (although this isn't tears so much as the punctured eyeball pouring out blood). The same during his recovery as he recalls all of the friends he has lost (actual blood tears this time).
    • And also Griffith, during his Despair Event Horizon into the start of the Eclipse.
  • Tear Off Your Face: Another yummy way of dying a gruesome and painful death in the Berserk-verse. Especially seen with the cultists during the Conviction Arc, who rip off the faces of several of the Holy Iron Chain Knights when they got possessed by demons. You have to ask though: would being possessed by demons really stop these people from doing something like this?
  • Tempting Fate: In world that is dictated by causality, characters, good or bad, major or minor, just love to make the Godhand's job easier and more enjoyable by setting themselves up for failure.
    • A comedic example with the pirates.

  Pirate Captain: Ghosts?! Monsters?! Superstitions, mates. Superstitions! Listen up, ye scallywags! Yer all outrageous! Look at me, livin the pirate life for all these 25 years! Lively as can be right before ye all! If all that garbage be true at all, I'd be the first one ter be haunted, wouldn't you say?! *ghosts come up right behind him*

  Guts: "THIS IS - MY DECLARATION OF WAR!!!"

  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • Villain example: Rosine, the Big Bad of Berserk's Lost Children arc, uses this line on Guts after he destroys the tree that she has been using to make her creepy little pseudo-elves out of the children she's kidnapped, which has the effect of supremely pissing Rosine off -- badly enough in fact, that she decides to transform into her true Apostle form, a really creepy insect-like monster.
    • Another villain example from Berserk: when Nosferatu Zodd's duel with Guts is interrupted, he roars this at the interlopers. This guy takes the Worthy Opponent Blood Knight dynamic really seriously.
    • An actual (anti) heroic example comes from Guts in volume 17, where he says something to the same effect. After getting a What the Hell, Hero? lecture handed to him, Guts rethinks how he dealt with avenging the Hawks, and that since he technically played a role in the group's downfall, he didn't have a right to avenge them... however, for what Griffith did to Casca during the Eclipse, Guts said that he would never forgive Griffith.
  • This Was His True Form: Apostles and everything that was once human are all into this. Since Apostle-dom is acquired in moments of extreme despair, it is not rare that their original forms are highly weakened/disfigured (e.g. Wyald, Griffith). The trope causes problems for Guts sometimes.
  • Throw the Book At Them: Mozgus does this once. Being Berserk, this is a large, metal-bound book that crushes the skull of the victim. HERETIC!
    • He got off easy, considering how Mozgus had the rest of the men executed.
  • Thrown Down a Well: Although the facility is never named, the Black Dogs Knights, for their atrocious war crimes, were banished and imprisoned to the outskirts of the kingdom. At least until the ruler decides that an amoral bunch of raping, slaughtering, homicidal lunatics is exactly what he needs...
  • Time Skip: Lots in the Band of the Hawk arc. Since it covers Guts life up to the Eclipse, it comes with the territory.
    • For instance, three years between episode 4 and 5.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Guts takes nothing but levels in badass all his life: as a child, he trains with a sword nearly twice his size that he takes into combat. After Griffith's Face Heel Turn, he is marked as a target for demons and ends up just taking more levels into the epic class of badass by getting a sword the size of his body that is a slab of iron with sharp edges and a mechanical arm that doubles as a cannon. After he gets his True Companions, he receives the Berserker Armor, which was once worn by the Skull Knight, which increases his physical abilities by making him immune to pain and reinforcing his body when it's wounded. It also makes him attack everything around him, friend or foe.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The only thing Guts succeeds in doing when he impales and blows off half of Slan's torso is giving her an orgasm.
  • Torture Technician: The guy responsible for torturing Griffith; also, Mozgus's retinue.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The entire finale of the anime and one of the most climactic moments of the manga uses this.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Dear lord. Sometimes you have to ask yourself: does Miura just hate seeing Guts, Griffith, and Casca happy for more than five minutes? Good grief.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Thanks to Griffith and what he has done to her Casca was so traumatized by the events that her mind has regressed to the mind of a child, but shows no clear memory of the events that transpired beforehand. The only time that she is shown to remember anything at all is when she is on the verge of being raped, as she has visions of what had happened to her during the dreadful Eclipse. Fortunately, this also brings back memories of her fighting skills, at least temporarily.
    • There's also a moment when she falls down a cliff, and displays her former considerable acrobatic talents in landing unharmed.
  • Tranquil Fury: Very unusual and thus rare coming from the poster child of batshit insane rage-o-hol, but there have come times in Guts's career that he was so pissed off at something that he just had the calmest expression. Be warned: Guts's tranquil fury facade is quite possibly more frightful than his usual Uh-Oh Eyes, and should be taken with the utmost seriousness if you want to live.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Animals possessed by spirits in Berserk get deformed human-like faces
  • Triang Relations (Everyone loves Griffith, including himself.)
    • Considering he spends large amounts of time pre- (and during the) Eclipse torturing himself over what he's put his soldiers through, that he deliberately destroys all he's built by sleeping with the Princess, and that wonderful scene where he claws at his arms until he draws blood as he tells Casca about how he prostituted himself to get money for his army... no, it's probably safe to say that he doesn't. He's in love with power and status, not himself.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: In the beginning stages of her insanity, Casca was very paranoid of her surroundings - being especially distrustful of men - and would often huddle into corners or against women for protection. After the time skip, Casca seems to have entered into a more aloof stage of her insanity, not really aware of the dangers that surrounded her.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Guts all the way, since he was not only forced to kill people since the age of five or six, but every event that happened in his childhood just hardened him even more. Now in his adult years, killing people is as natural as breathing to this guy.
    • Farnese also counts during her childhood. Any servant working in the Vandimion mansion at the time who had any shred of sanity would have left after the first minor incident - which could have very well have been being set on fire!
  • True Companions: Guts has had two groups: the original Band of the Hawk and his current traveling companions.
  • Try Not to Die: First said by Casca to Guts when he makes a path for her to escape from the Tudor ambush army. Later said by Isidro to Guts multiple times.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Guts, Griffith, Casca. The sole purpose of these three's relationship is to get more complex as the story goes on...
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