Berserk/YMMV

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  • Alas, Poor Villain: The death of Rosine, one of the Apostles. After Guts mortally wounds her, she manages to fly away from him and finally realizes that elves are real indeed but she just isn't one of them. She then feels regret for sacrificing her parents to demons and in her delirious state, tries to return home, but falls to her death.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: It has been officially confirmed that the anime is being remade
    • There is now a short trailer
      • This is, in fact, the first of five animated trailers made specifically to promote the release of the manga's 35th volume, each highlighting several events in the story such as a fight between Guts and Griffith, Zodd's attack on the Band of the Hawk, a close-up on Griffith's Crimson Behelit, and even the first animated appearance of the Skull Knight. All of them are narrated by Gackt, a huge fan of the series.
      • It is still confirmed that the anime is being remade. It will feature several full lenghts OVAs rather than a regular episodic anime like the first series.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Luca, despite the horrors she experienced, never loses her upbeat attitude. Her plucky attitude even impresses the Skull Knight.
  • Arc Fatigue: Myth Stall. Even though this is another example of Miura's infamous schedule slippage, it's taking a ridiculous amount of time for Guts and his party to get to Elfhelm (or, to be more blunt, we're tired of seeing Casca insane), more so than usual. All of these apostle encounters in-verse aren't making it better either. Come on! We need Casca's insanity issues resolved - Soon! Fanfic won't cut it for long! We want our Action Girl back!!
  • Badass Abnormal: A lot of fans argue that Guts isn't a normal human anymore due to the effects that the Nexus has on him. If this is the case, then congratulations, Guts. You have attained yet another badge of badassery.
  • Base Breaker: You guessed it: Griffith. On one side, you have the fans that admire him because of all of the outstanding things that he has done over the course of the story. They see him as a three-dimensional and complex character who can't quite be called "evil", making the argument that his Lack of Empathy actually makes him Above Good and Evil (and come on - he's gorgeous looking!). But on the flip side, you have the fans that detest this guy because a lot of those actions were quite evil - unforgivably evil according to them. That, and they see him as a guy who ruined himself because he had a pissy temper tantrum for losing a battle ONCE. Again, the whole fanbase is split over this.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Ask any Berserk fan about the series' music, they will immediately think of "Hai Yai Forces".
  • Broken Base: As stated above, pretty much everything surrounding Griffith breaks like fine china. Also, there seems to be skirmishes of who's the biggest and most hideously vile Complete Monster in this series: Femto or Emperor Ganishka. And there are other debates, like the "does the recent Lighter and Softer shift in the series mean that Berserk is going downhill?" debate.
  • Complete Monster: Quite a few.
    • Emperor Ganishka deserves a special mention. Ruler of the Kushan Empire, he wins battles by using conquered peoples as cannon fodder to bear the worst casualties. Then he throws thousands of pregnant women into a pit where they are raped by demons, giving birth to monster warriors who eat their mothers. How do you make Griffith the anti-hero of the story? By putting him up against guys like this.
      • Although it's later revealed he has a Freudian Excuse... a somewhat poor one in retrospect of his numerous actions.
    • Wyald, one of the Apostles, is a nasty piece of work. He's the leader of the Black Dog Knights, a band of the worst criminal scum in Midland. He was originally hired by the King of Midland to fight during the One Hundred Years War, but was banished due to his crimes against civilians. After the Band of the Hawks rescue Griffith from Midland's dungeon, he is hired again to track them down. What establishes him as a Complete Monster is after finding a family that aided the Hawks, he and his army proceed to rape, torture, and murder them. Then they dismember their bodies and put them on display for the Hawks to see. Eventually Wyald catches up to the Hawks after either losing his men to the Hawks' ambushes or disposing of them himself. He battles Guts and knocks him unconscious and tries to rape Casca when she tries to wake him up. Fortunately, Guts wakes up and mortally wounds him and also cuts off his squicky penis before he can do anything to Casca, but he returns and tries to get Griffith to use his Crimson Behelit by threatening to kill him. He is finally killed by Zodd who intervenes on behalf of the Godhand.
    • The Beast of Darkness is Guts' Super-Powered Evil Side, manifested as a terrifying wild Hell Hound monster, which craves murder and cruelty. It acted in concert with Guts back in his Black Swordsman days, but once Guts started to care about something more than Revenge against Griffith and killing Apostles, namely Casca, the Beast took over his body and tried to force him to rape and eat her, while giving him a Hannibal Lecture about how he secretly desires to be as bad as Femto. Guts was almost Forced to Watch the worst thing possible happen to the woman he loves again by his own hands, unable to do anything, all because the Beast wants him for itself. This also ruined whatever emotional bond was beginning to reform between Guts and Casca.
    • (As Femto, Griffith is by far the worst one in the entire series, cruel even by Apostle standards. When he first appears in the third volume of the manga, he gives the Count the Sadistic Choice of sacrificing his own daughter or suffering in Hell for eternity. His very first act after being incarnated during the Eclipse is to brutally rape Casca, right in front of Guts and only out of spite. And let's not forget how he reincarnated himself as Griffith by causing the death of an infant. An infant he had turned into a hideous monster by means of the aforementioned rape. Oh, and he recently topped himself by using the Skull Knight's dimension-warping attack to fuse the mortal and supernatural realms together, unleashing HELL ON EARTH.
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome: The anime, as well as Dreamcast and Playstation 2 videogame adaptations included soundtracks composed by Susumu Hirasawa.
  • Die for Our Ship: A minority of fans - possibly the same minority mentioned below - really doesn't like Casca that much, reasons varying from the fact that she's with Guts - which means she ain't a dutiful action girl anymore - or that she's with Guts - and not with Griffith - or that Guts is with her - and not with Griffith. That's were you get a lot of bashing, ranging from downright cruel to illogical, like the "Casca only had sex with Guts to cope with not being with Griffith" argument or the "Casca had sex with Griffith in the wagon (despite his severe physically crippling injuries)" scenario or the Casca enjoyed being raped by Griffith" claim.... Yeahhhh. It gets pretty ugly. There's but two ways to resolve this: for Casca to forgive and join Griffith if she gets cured in Elfheim, or for Casca to die soon after getting cured in Elfheim.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Griffith is given this treatment by some Berserk fans. Yes. Yes, that's right. A handful of fans like to disregard that Griffith and Femto are the same person in order to dismiss his Moral Event Horizon during the Eclipse. Some fans go further by claiming that Casca ENJOYED being raped by Femto as to discredit Casca's experience as actual rape. Not Cool.
  • Dork Age: Alot of fans don't enjoy the first three volumes. Other of us find it refreshing to read something about a protagonist with absolutely no moral compass.
    • Some fans aren't liking the current arc that much either.
  • Ear Worm: The Engrish opening song from the anime, it'll stay in your head for a while, love it or hate it.
  • Emotional Torque: Volume 13. This was THE turning point in the fandom where fans had to make a choice: either drop this series altogether and try their damnedest to forget it, or stick it to the end just to see how Miura was going to resolve all of this. Dare we say that if you didn't feel anything while reading volume 13, you probably just didn't get it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Luca, the Hooker with a Heart of Gold, who took care of Casca after she was separated from Guts. Despite her limited role, she is still vividly remembered and liked by most fans who often wish she would have joined Guts in his quest.
    • Also Judeau is liked by most fans and fondly remembered despite a small role in the series.
    • Slan is the most popular member of the Godhand due to her large assets.
    • Also the Skull Knight.
    • People still remember Theresia and expect her to make a return, even to this day.
  • Estrogen Brigade: ... Okay! So there is definitely some factor that draws female readers to this ultra violent - especially toward the women - Seinen series... and it probably has something to do with the two titular male characters that get naked or shirtless a lot. So sue us, why don't you?
  • Evil Is Cool: Admit it: As much as we utterly hate him above all of the other Complete Monsters in this series, Femto might be the coolest-looking villain in the Berserkerverse.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Slan.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: That Behelit you have there? You WILL use it. You won't be able to resist.
  • Fan Disservice: Slan uses troll intestines to appear before Guts at Qilphoth and torment him. Also counts as Squick.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Guts is also known as "Big G" or "Knight Badass". Need we say why?
    • Griffith is known in some forums as "Snowflake" for his graceful traits and his white hair.
    • Guts and Casca's child has no name of his own and is named "Guska" or "Moonchild"
    • The Beast is also known as "Hellhound" for its appearance.
    • "Skully" is a popular nickname for the Skull Knight.
    • Farnese is known as "Farnie" to some fans.
    • "My name is Serpico. 'Serp' for short."
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite being little Ship Tease between Serpico and Farnese and the fact that they're half-siblings, Serpico/Farnese is still a popular pairing within the Berserk fandom. Even though she's arranged to marry Roderick, there's not much approval for that pairing in the Berserk fandom.
  • Foreshadowing: Though it is not official and it has not yet come to being, it has been widely speculated that Puck's refusal to get rid of Behelit in Guts's possession and his rapt interest in it means that he will be the next...
  • Freud Was Right: Most apostles and other Eldritch Abomination types look like genitals, fetuses or woodlice. Guts also holds his ridiculously huge sword at crotch level throughout the series.
    • Rosine's One-Winged Angel form places what remains of her human body inside what looks disturbingly like a vagina.
    • Ever took a looksie at Slan's corset? Highly NSFW. Granted she's basically a BDSM sex goddess of evil, but you'll never look at her the same again.
  • Growing the Beard: From the very start of the Golden Age arc and onward.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The huge, quiet, frontline-fighting, armored and hammer-wielding guy is named Pippin.
  • Ho Yay: Laid on so thick between Guts and Griffith that it's got to be intentional. At one point they even have a naked water fight. Griffith comments on his many "conflicting feelings" for Guts moments before turning into a demon, ripping out his eye, and raping his love interest. There's also some Les Yay introduced into the mix. For more, see here.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Every time Guts swings his sword. Every single time.
    • Volume 34 is probably sixty percent double-page spreads depicting events of unbelievable scale and badassery. Two-mile-tall Physical God crushing entire battalions under its foot? Check. The most powerful Apostles in the world ripping through untold thousands of Eldritch Abominations, backed up by virtually every human army in the known world? Check. Griffith surfing Zodd onto the head of the aforementioned god in an attempt to kill it? Check. Add the Skull Knight showing up from nowhere and taking care of the problem (with a stroke meant for Griffith) and a massive magical shockwave that consumes the entire planet and releases mythological creatures all across its surface, and you have a book that might just kill an unprepared reader.
  • Internet Backdraft: Come now: do you really want to get into another discussion about Griffith's questionable sexual orientation? God forbid if you get into the "Casca is a bitchy whore" debate...
  • Iron Woobie: Guts. Despite being a Cosmic Plaything, he doesn't suffer a mental breakdown; he just keeps moving forward.
  • "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It" / Looks Like She Is Enjoying It: Related to the argument against Casca below, some fans often discredit Casca's ordeal at the hands of Femto as "rape" because of the various physiological responses that Casca gives off that correspond with having sex (sweating, panting, possible orgasm) that Miura made sure to depict in graphic detail... Of course, this doesn't mean that she is emotionally, OR even physically, enjoying what it happening to her, since those are all reactions that one can't help even if they tried.
  • It Was His Sled: Griffith turns evil, everyone dies.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Griffith can be considered one of these while he is being tortured in Midland's dungeons and after the Band of the Hawks rescues him. (Up until the events of the Eclipse, it's hard not to want to hug him and/or punch him in the face. However, he emphatically isn't a woobie afterwards.)
    • Also Guts, given his backstory, it's understandable why he became a revenge-obsessed jerk.
    • Even The Scrappy Nina can technically count as this because her two-faced behavior seems to be driven by fear rather than outright malice. And given the Crapsack World she lives in, she is quite justified in being afraid. Also, she's aware of what a horrible person she is, which is quite sad.
  • Les Yay: Disturbingly, between Jill and her childhood friend (and Apostle) Rosine. Jill seems to regard her like an older sister, but Rosine is a bit...well, just look at it. HIGHLY NSFW.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Griffith, prior to the Eclipse.
  • Memetic Mutation: A good number of the fandom tends to notice how many bags and pouches there are in any given scene or panel of the manga.
    • Also Mozgus's Gonk face has become a meme on 4chan.
  • Moe Moe: Erika, the adopted daughter of Godo, and Charlotte.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Griffith's Face Heel Turn during the Eclipse, Mozgus's torture of innocent refugees, Gambino's selling of young Guts to the pedophile Donovan for three silver coins, everything Ganishka does...
    • And in one lump sum, everything that each Apostle does. The Apostles are basically the living embodiment of the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Rosine needs to be mentioned here. Not because she herself is so evil (compared to her peers, she is actually rather nice) but because the God hand has the nerve to hand out behelits to little girls who cannot possibly be expected to fully comprehend what they are doing.
  • Narm Charm: The Engrish opening and ending themes for the anime are simultaneously hilarious and awesome.
  • Nausea Fuel: Adding all the instances of Gorn, Fan Disservice and Squick, you make the whole series a Nausea Fuel station...
    • Volume 13 deserves specials mention, of course. You don't feel that you need ten gallons of Brain Bleach? Then you, my friend, have problems.
      • This probably doesn't cross our minds much, since we're too busy being horrified at what he does, but has anyone ever processed that Femto is so evil that he's literally made of evil? Even his friggin' semen?? It not only totally compels a developing zygote to go to the dark side, but it also makes said zygote rapidly develop into a six week old embryo straight into an eighteen week old fetus all in under about four days, adding the fact that the semen is a mutagen. Ew! Just - ew! If Femto's semen can do all that, just think of what his spit is capable of doing. It'd probably change the whole coarse of evolution. And that's kinda scary.
      • Not to mention he seems to have an infinite supply of the stuff. eeeew! Why am i even writing this?
      • I always got this sense that there was a sick, almost voyeuristic aspect to Griffith forcing Guts to watch as he raped Casca, as if he wanted Guts to watch him (Griffith) having sex, albeit very violent and vile. Just coming from a guy who was thinking about another man when he was having hard sex with a woman, this gets amped to actual Nightmare Fuel territory when Griffith might have done this to break Guts even more by invoking his memories of being raped by a man.
  • Never Live It Down: Berserk fans will always remember Guts' confused expression when he saw Casca in a dress.
  • Nightmare Fuel: More than you can shake a stick at.
  • No Yay: for as much Ho Yay, Les Yay, and Foe Yay present in the series, expect there to be just as much No Yay in the same sentiments from many fans. Need a reminder?
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Guts and his party will eventually have to fight Griffith, his army, The Beast, the four god hands, and possibly The Idea of Evil. Miura is going to have to do something to level the playing field. Then again, he might not...
  • Paranoia Fuel: Everyone, everything, and every entity is out to get you in this world, so you really can't trust anybody but yourself to be extra safe. And even that's stretching it!
    • One particular horrifying source of paranoia fuel is how some people who have already become apostles, and therefore have already sacrificed at least one person, might be keeping other people around them as "spares"... In the event that they need to renew their life again. What makes this so disturbing from the get go is that those chosen by the behelits don't sacrifice you because they hate you, but because they love and care about you. How screwed up is that?!
  • Periphery Demographic: While statistics aren't clear, Berserk does have a female minority fandom that isn't completely composed of girls who are in it for the guys (to see the flip side, see above). It's probably because Berserk is one of the more "female friendly" Seinen series (considering what you call "friendly" in this world), with the series having a good romantic focus, but also a lot of realistic Character Development, cynical realism, non-flat female characters who aren't there ONLY for Fan Service purposes and an ever evolving story plot that you just can't get from a lot of Shojo.
  • Puppy Love: Schierke, the Child Mage, is sometimes shipped with Isidro, the child swordsman of Guts' Nakama.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: A fanbase example. Most of us especially despise Griffith and his Moral Event Horizon because of the sole fact that he horrifically raped Casca. Most of the fandom and Guts himself agree that the most vile crime in the entire series. You know it when you see it.
  • Double Standard Rape (Male on Male): Another trope used by the minority of the fandom who discredit Casca that is ultimately deconstructed. Some fans say that Casca should have "gotten over" her rape ordeal, using Guts' rape ordeal at the hands of Donovan as an example, saying that he got over it. Er, no. No he didn't. Male-on-male rape is just as impactful as male-on-female rape in Berserk.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Poor, poor, poor, poor Casca. She's suffered so much in the series alone: now she has to be ravaged and mangled by pissed off fans who think that by her becoming Guts's love interest, she's less of an action girl. Being brutalized to insanity? Chickification, they say. Need more details and other examples? We have a page now.
    • Charlotte is a close second. Being a sheltered Royal Princess and a bit of a Shrinking Violet and a Moe, especially at the beginning, more than a "feminist" fangirl call her out on being "just another doormat who only exists in relation to a man and whose sole purpose is to be taken advantage of and impregnated". Nevermind that her Princess Classic characterization is depicted as not being the best thing in the world...
  • The Scrappy: Puck for really vague reasons. Often it is said that his jolly personality has nothing to do in a Darker and Edgier series, or that his being naked is inconvenient for male viewers. Other than that, the reasons are seldom heard. Evarella also applies at a lesser level.
    • Nina from the Conviction Arc. Being a spineless, indecisive, emotional and painfully weak-willed character who partakes in the worshipping of Slan, many readers hate her even more for making it out of the arc alive.
    • The Pirates have also entered this, mostly for being overused and heavily associated with the current arc
  • Squick: Void, one of the Godhand, has a grotesque face. It's basically a skull with a brain protruding out of it.
    • The Baron of Koka Castle's One Winged Angel form. His mouth looks like a vagina.
    • Also Wyald's Gag Penis.
    • The King of Midland's obsession with his daughter Charlotte.
    • How Slan manifests herself in the real world.
  • The Woobie: Both Guts and Casca qualify, especially post-Eclipse. As mentioned before, they just can't catch a break at all.
    • Jill. Let's see she has abusive parents, has to deal with her father's drunken friends, her best friend wants to turn her into an elf whether she likes it or not, and she lives in the Berserk Universe.
    • Theresia. Her mother was murdered. Her father become an evil demon and locked her in a room for most of her life. When she finally escaped her prison, it got even worse.
    • The Egg of the Perfect World. He was a deformed outcast who abused by the residents of St. Albion and forced to live in a hole full of dead bodies to protect himself. After he obtained his Behelit and become an Apostle, he wanted to create the perfect world. To do so, he sacrifices his life to give birth to Griffith.
    • I think some special mention goes to Casca. This woman has been through THE WORST EXPERIENCES IN THE STORY: Sexually, she was raped by the Anti Christ; if that doesn't make you go mad, what the hell does? physically, she was the closest anyone has ever been to a Godhand and was in excruciating pain because of it due to her brand psychologically, she had to see her friends get eaten alive while they were trying to save her and emotionally. virtually all of this happened in front of a man she loved as she was forced to look him in the eye (as Femto was raping her from behind) and was BEGGING him to not look at her even though Guts was just as forced as she was. Oh yeah - AND SHE LOST A BABY ON TOP OF ALL OF THESE TRAUMATIZING EXPERIENCES. Seriously, it's a wonder that she didn't just die immediately following the Eclipse or in the weeks afterward. And it just gets worse for her post-Eclipse, now that even MORE men want to have their way with her - including the only man able to protect her (a la horrific Hellhound beast who is hellbent on manipulating Guts into hurting and killing those whom he loves the most). I'd say that she's a determinator, but not like this!!
      • Speaking of said baby... the baby. It's one thing to be born into the Berserkerverse, it's a more horrifying thing to be born into it under the worst circumstances imaginable. If none of this had happened, he would have been a normal little kid growing up with his parents - and they probably would not have made bad parents either. This whole family is just one. Big. Woobie.
    • Shit, every ordinary person in the Berserk universe probably qualifies.
  • Values Dissonance: Mozgus says that all what he does is just God's will, and he DID give some freaks a second chance, but he still believes that starving refugees and torturing them for the sake of it is perfectly justified.
    • It might give one a really weird, even disturbing, feeling when reading volume 9 where Guts described how Gambino sold him out to Donovan as a child prostitute or just how he was treated like shit by this complete asshole his entire childhood... and Guts doesn't say ONE bad thing about Gambino, a guy who downright said that the kid disgusted him and that he should have died instead of Sys (who, by all means, was the only person who truly loved Guts in his whole life, aside from Casca), just leaving little Guts utterly heartbroken to tears. Just looking at how a guy who runs on rage when fighting monsters, seethes with hatred toward the man who betrayed him in the same fashion, and is brutal toward anyone who gets in his way (for better goals or for not so good goals) and how he doesn't show any animosity toward the man who created the first traumatizing event in his life kinda says that if there is one magical entity that needs to manifest itself, now that the magic has come back to the world, it's counselors.
  • The Verse: Even though Berserk is a single epic with not a whole lot of spin-offs, so much goes on in this crapped up universe that we just have to refer to it as a single body. We usually call it the Berserk-verse or the Berserkerverse.
  • What an Idiot!: Griffith. Dear, dear, Griffith. If you absolutely had to go throw away all of your hard-earned work by sleeping with the princess you should have at least taken Lupin's advice and take an alternative route.
    • Also, when the King stormed into Charlotte's bedroom the next morning and uncovered some blood stains in her bed from her hymen being broken, she could have saved herself some trouble by saying that her period just started. It might have only had a 50-50 chance of convincing the King with all of the other evidence present, but some guys just stop with no questions asked when a girl starts talking about her time of the month.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Well, it's never been officially conveyed, but you can get a buttload of Judeo-Christian symbolism out of Berserk depending on how you look at it, starting with the part where both Guts and Griffith can be interpreted as messiah-like figures.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Guts. Heavy emphasis on the "destroyer" part. He just wants to destroy every demon and his former friend Griffith after years of suffering at their hands.
    • Rosine. She snaps and becomes evil after years of abuse by her father.
  • World of Woobie: ... This entire planet just needs a hug. 'Nuff said.
  1. This in itself can also count as a minor Wham! Episode to those who were expecting FUNimation to license it.