Instead of writing all of my Berserk posts after I’ve finished it I’ve decided to just write about it whenever I’ve got something to say instead of finishing. This post will contain huge spoilers for Berserk which are mentioned early on in the manga but late in the anime adaptation.
The Guardians of desire arc is probably my most favourite arc for the Berserk and takes place over the first three volumes. In my opinion it does so much for the Berserk series that it’s a shame that it gets cut out in both anime versions. As it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the anime’s I’ll do a quick summary of the arc before getting into discussing it.
Guts approaches a town where the count is persecuting far too many “heritics”. He then declares war on the count and retreats with a person willing to help him who shows him the Behelit. Guts displays clear knowledge of this artifict and says that it’s a key used to summon the god hand. He is then attacked by a demon who is part of the count and agrees to kill the count in exchange for the Behelit (he was going to kill him anyway but he also would have taken the behelit by force anyway). This is the introduction to the arc and it’s fairly average to start out with the drama then occurs massively as it does a great job about introducing you to the nature of the behelit.
Puck is captured and taken to the counts daughters’ room which she has never left to be her friend and the part that I like so much is to do with his daughter. She is scared of the count due to his horrifying powers and wishes that he would change. It’s constantly mentioned that he changed after his wife died but there’s no more explanation than that. Puck has faith that Guts will save her and promises that she’ll help her leave her room (I’m not sure if Puck is a guy or a girl).
While Guts fight is going on the daughter leaves her room to see what’s happening to find her father transformed into a demon. Guts puts her in front of him to block a blow from the monster and he stops fighting showing that he at least has some human elements too him. After then getting beat up he uses to Behelit to transport to the god hand and who’s there but Griffith. Through this we then learn the fate of Guts and how the count got his immense source of power.
The god hand try to make him sacrifice his daughter for immortality just like he did for his mother; showing how the demons are made and that the fate of anyone with the brand or who gains power from demons is fated to float around as skeletons forever. We also learn that Guts was a close friend of Griffith of the god hand and we also know that Griffith most likely sacrificed Guts with the brand in exchange for his demonic powers.
The daughter then claims that she’d rather be dead and Guts tells her to kill herself then. She then falls through a crack in the ground and is suspended by holding on to Gut’s insanely sharp blade, cutting her. It’s through this that she realises that she has a huge survival instinct and wants to live on. She then claims that she wants to kill Gut’s and he says that she’s welcome to try but as he leaves he’s crying, scarred by his past.
This arc is brilliant and does so much for Guts as a character as well as world building next time we’ll be discussing the significance of this arc and the implications of skipping it out.