Something that I love about Berserk is the great villains that are prevalent in the series. Some are outright villains whilst some overs are complex, floored villains with different ideologies. I’ll be running through the villains in order of appearance in the manga and why they’re good for the series. As I’ve already talked to a large extent about Griffith I will be skipping him. As well as this I will also be talking about the anime so it will make sense if you’ve only seen one. This time we’re looking at Gambino and Corkus who aren’t outright villains in my opinion but have elements of evil about them all the same – especially Gambino.
The tragedy of this villain is that Guts didn’t really see him as much as a villain at the time as he was young but even if Gambino isn’t a villain he’s a real arsehole. He takes all of Guts’ war money whilst hoping that he’d die whilst also forcing him into battle from a young age and starting to train him while he was only 6 years old.
The way that he becomes a villain is by becoming bitter with the world and takes it out on Guts. He becomes crippled and takes this out on Guts as he thinks he’s unlucky. Through this he psychologically affects Guts for his future by turning on him.
This serves to cause Guts to leave but it also makes Guts feel deep regret and misunderstanding towards him. Throughout his life he was trying to make Gambino respect him and acknowledge him and the fact that he doesn’t really impacts Guts for the worse.
The villains in Berserk here start to be less minor and more important giving them more depth. Due to the nature of going through the manga chronologically (more or less) this has mostly been a series talking about first impressions however this will mostly change from now on as the characters start to be more developed.
Corkus is a classic example of a villain turned good. He starts off appearing to be an angry, spiteful man who hates Guts enough to kill him and he seems absolutely typical for a villain. The thing that Corkus has as an advantage is that we don’t think he’s going to be a side character on first inspection. His uniqueness in his character design therefore makes you see the band of the hawk as people instead of numbers.
The development of this character isn’t much however it’s there. He represents the type of people whom hate Guts enough to kill him in the night and the development of them. He goes from dislike to reluctant friend in his journey with Guts. In the end I believe that they end up liking each other through they’re events and companionship together.
It’s undoubtable that Guts is regretful for him in the end showing that the band of the hawk we’re able to give him a home, make him feel respected and liked and ultimately befriend him to give him fond memories. This makes the ending so much more tragic.