- Episodes :25
- Genre :Action, Adventure, Horror, Fantasy
- Airing Date : Oct 1997 – Apr 1998
- Producers :VAP, Nippon Television Network
Guts Preview (No Spoilers)
Based on the cult hit manga by Miura Kentarou, Berserk tells a story of lands ruled by warlords, ghosts and monsters. And the only one who can stop these threats is a behemoth of a one man army named Guts. Both the original 1997 anime adaptation and the 2012 movie trilogy re-tells the story of The Golden Age arc from the original manga. This story arc provides the origin of Guts and the circumstances to what lead him to be humanity’s last hope. A majority of the popularity of Berserk’s popularity is its no nonsense balls to the walls action sequences. In addition, Berserk has a unique choral soundtrack conducted by Hirasawa Susumu and this installment also tells a unique story of how a group of commoners conquered their backgrounds and gained royal influence only to have it all ruined.
Voice Actor: Nobutoshi Canna
When audiences are first introduced to Guts (whose name appropriately fits the atmosphere of this violent series), he is heavily armored in black, has one eye, equipped with a prosthetic arm that also serves as a cannon, and wields a giant sword that no man should be able to carry. So how did Guts came to be? Found under a hanging corpse shortly after his birth, Guts is adopted by Gambino and his band of mercenaries. Under Gambino’s upbringing, he learns to use a sword by the time he could walk. Thanks to this training, Guts can easily wield swords that equate his height and weight. However, Guts was subjected to numerous abuses under Gambino until one day, he kills his adoptive father in self-defense, and starts his own solo career as a mercenary for hire.
During one of his solo outings, he takes on the feminine looking leader of the Band of the Hawk, Griffith. Despite Guts’ superior size, Griffith’s superior technique allows him to merge victorious. Considering that Guts gave Griffith one of his toughest challenges (even though Griffith did restrain himself to some extent), Griffith knew that Guts was too valuable to kill and allows him to join the Band of the Hawk. Thanks to Guts’ incredible strength, he instantly rises to becoming a captain and leads this ragtag team of mercenaries to numerous victories and begins a deep friendship with Griffith. But that all comes to an end when Guts felt it was time to become his own man leading both men to reshaping the fate of the world.
So for today’s Honey’s Crush Wednesday, we will share some of Guts’ top 5 moments. Though he does some really awesome stuff in the manga, due to being an anime centric website, this list will be exclusive to the 1997 anime series. Maybe after some time the new series ends, we will re-explore this list. For now, please enjoy what we have for now.
1. He Killed 100 Men
Before he was The Black Swordsmen, he was feared as the 100 Man Slayer. This happened while fighting a battle against an opposing army. Due to being separated from the rest of the Band of the Hawk and needing to defend Casca who fell ill, out of desperation, Guts solely slays 100 men. This moment shows that Guts has incredible stamina and determination. Killing 100 men all by himself demonstrates that Guts is a man that is a man that he is the best at what he does, and what he does isn't pretty. Even though he was a highly skilled and seasoned warrior, this battle tested his then limits and makes audiences and friends and foes alike to question whether or not Guts is truly human.
2. His Dragon Slayer
Even though Guts’ use of the Dragon Slayer in the first anime series is exclusively limited to the first episode, this sword is an overall contributing factor to the popularity of the Berserk brand name (some of a pun intended) as a whole. Constructed by Godo, a blacksmith who once worked for a king, he was asked to make a sword that could kill a dragon and that is what he made. Seeing that the sword was impossible to use, Godo fled the kingdom and lives as a hermit but continues to make swords for mercenaries.
The sword probably paved way for Cloud’s from Final Fantasy VII from all we know. But it is incredibly big. More than 20 years later, the sword found its wielder through Guts, a man who is accustomed to wielding such heavy metal. Thanks to his freakish strength and experience, Guts handles the sword like how a geisha would handle a fan. With one swing, he can make a small company of bandits be chopped in half and slay the most fearsome of monsters.
3. His Arm Cannon
Even though this is only briefly shown in the first episode of the old anime (and the last episode shows why he lost his arm to begin with), when in desperation, it shows that the prosthetic is not for show and it packs some heavy duty fire power. While he was wrapped around by the Baron’s snake form, he fires it point blank blowing a chunk of his face. In addition to that cannon, he has a small crossbow mounted on top just in case he needs to fight in long range conditions. Plus, in a fist fight, it would help to pack a punch.
4. He defeated Griffith
Three years after he was brought into the Band of the Hawk, Guts develops a very close relationship with Griffith and his relationship with the army ultimately grows. If anything, the army would be nothing without Guts despite how powerful Griffith and Casca are. One day, Guts felt it was time to move on with his life and leave the Band of the Hawk. The main motivation for this is that he wanted to earn Griffith’s respect as a friend.
However, Griffith still sees Guts as property and challenges him to fight for his freedom. Despite how lengthy their first fight was, after being more battle hardened while Griffith’s skills rusted while playing politics, Guts makes quick work of Griffith with one swing by destroying his sword and stopping his blade at his shoulder. Even though he could have done more damage, he chose not to since he respects him as his friend and he got what he wanted, his freedom. Little did he know that this moment would further set motion what would happen.
5. He is a well rounded fighter
This is demonstrated in his first fight with Griffith who comes across as more educated and refined in his fencing style, Guts in a fantasy sense is more of a brawler. Most of his education just came from pure experience and was never taught any form or technique. He was simply taught just to kill the opponent. In his first with Griffith, Guts goes as far to throw dirt in the opponent’s eyes showing that he will do anything to win and was one of the very few people to go toe-to-toe with him despite being humiliated by having his shoulder located by a Fuji Armbar.
In his debut, even though Guts carries a big sword and has the built of a professional bodybuilder, he also has incredible speed. This is demonstrated when he fights Bazuso, a feared knight. While bragging how he he's going to kill Guts, Guts doesn't bother listening and just goes right for the kill. If anything, Bazuso doesn't see him coming. Granted Guts was an early teen in this battle, but he was still bigger than boys his age and was still carrying a sword that adult men could never swing. So he is a warrior with size, speed, agility, experience, and a undying sense of determination.
On one final note, we would like to share that Guts in some ways, was coincidentally inspired by a famous German knight, Gotz Von Berlichengen. In addition to their similar sounding names, this real life figure also happened to have possessed a prosthetic arm though with not the same bad ass features as Guts’. This was pointed out to Miura-sensei a little later on and found the coincidence remarkable. In turn, he claimed that his inspirations for the series largely came from the classic literary story of Beowulf. He also has shared that he also took influence from other famous manga stories such as Hokuto no Ken (which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world) and Devilman (which tells the crumbling friendship of Akira and Asuka and how it destroys the world).
As stated before, for those that have read the manga, yes, we could have included some of his awesome moments from there (Berserker armor!!!), but this list is exclusive to what has been shown in the anime. With the next anime installment premiering in a few weeks, we will have future opportunities to further add and/or revise this list. Hopefully the next installment will live up to the great legacy of the original source material and pray that we don't have to wait almost 20 years for another anime series.