Previously I explained the guardians of desire arc in Berserk and the events that took place in it so now I will continue to detail its significance and the implications of skipping it out. Spoilers are ahead so don’t read on unless you’ve seen the anime or read the first three volumes of the manga.
First of all it kind of spoils the entire ending of the golden age arc in Berserk – I think, I’ve not actually finished it yet – by showing the way in which Griffith got his powers and the way in which he betrayed Guts in the end. This could be a positive or a negative as it removes the tension and surprise when the event does indeed happen as we know it’s inevitable but it also is interesting to read the manga from the perspective that you know what’s going to happen but you don’t know why it’s happening.
It also reveals that Guts is just a weakling in the grand scheme of things. The demon that he fought only had the fraction of the power of the god hand however he was still able to crush Guts for the most part. It shows that Guts has an uphill struggle if he ever wants to win as a human.
What I also like is that the arc shows Guts’ despair and tragic ending as he’s seen the fate that he’s doomed too and doesn’t like it one bit. It shows the horrors that Guts faces daily. When he said “Go ahead… kill yourself” it was probably meant sincerely as he knows that if she died she wouldn’t suffer the same fate that he will.
The only thing that seems to be keeping Guts alive in this instance is the fact that he knows that where he’s going is far worse and his struggles and personality reflects that.
He’s putting on false airs of bravery when he’s leaving the girl due to the fact that he’s hiding his tears almost definitely showing that he has seen this kind of thing happen before. The girl was very nearly sacrificed for power and almost suffered the same fate as Guts. The situations that the two of them were in with the god hand were probably very similar except for the fact that one was branded and one wasn’t.
It’s hard to say the reasons for why he’s crying. It could be because he’s annoyed that the girl got away whilst he didn’t, the fact that Griffith humiliated him, happy to survive another encounter or just crying because of his wounds. When he cries and you don’t know why it can create a complex character with many aspects of their life that could have gone wrong in the past to make him the way he is. The fact that he cries shows that he’s not just some generic tough guy who’s an arsehole but that he’s a complex guy with a tragic past.
The guardians of desire arc does so much for Guts’ character that it’s a shame it’s cut out. I understand that it’s dropped for valid reasons but I really hope that it’s visited again later just to show that complex moment about the post Griffith Guts.