In an incredibly unusual and grotesque way of coming into this world, Guts was released from his mother's womb sometime after she was hung from the Hanging Tree. Surviving the fall without any physical damage done to his body (possibly cushioned by the pool of blood beneath her body), Guts lay apparently dead until a local mercenary party led by Gambino arrived at the scene to discover the child. Gambino's lover Shisu (having previously lost her own child) quickly scoops up the newborn infant into her arms and cradles him to life, surprising everyone around. Of course, several of the party members make observations of a possible curse that would fall upon them for taking this forsaken child, which becomes a reality with Shisu's death at the hand of a terrible disease and ultimately Gambino's own undoing.
Because of the event of how Guts was born, this event foreshadows his entire life: bloodstained and with many disturbing things to come his way. It could be that he was also born from such an unusual "death" that his desire to kill others in combat can be traced here. The Golden Age story arc of the series revolves around Guts' turbulent childhood and adolescence in mercenary bands. Including his reluctantly being adopted by the first unnamed band's leader Gambino at the behest of his lover, Shisu, and his subsequent joining with, and departure from, the Band of the Hawk. The dynamic relationship between Guts and Griffith, the leader of the Band of the Hawk, forms the primary focus of the manga for the first thirteen volumes. Griffith won Guts' service upon defeating him twice, instating him as the Raid Leader of the Band of the Hawk. For three years, Guts befriended Judeau, Pippin, Rickert, and various other members of the band. Together, they won countless battles, the final and most important being the Battle of Doldrey, which extraordinarily (because of his status as a commoner) propelled Griffith to the position of Lord Protector of Midland.
Leaving the HawksEdit
During this time, Guts encountered Zodd, an Apostle, who predicted that Griffith would sacrifice him "when his dream comes crashing down". Guts also overheard a talk between Griffith and Princess Charlotte's about friendship, saying that a true friend would have his own dream and become his equal. This upsets Guts and made him determined to find his own dream and become Griffith's equal. Guts decided to leave the Band of the Hawk after the battle at Doldrey, despite Casca's (whom he grew to be very close with) and others' effort to dissuade him. Noticing his departure, Casca then ran to bring Griffith, desperately hoping that he could stop Guts from leaving. Meanwhile, after speaking with Judeau, Guts realized for the first time how he felt about Casca, but he knew she praised Griffith, which is his reason that he refused to take her. Upon leaving the outside of town, Griffith awaited for Guts and agreed he could have his freedom back if he won a duel. Guts won easily with a single swing, leaving Griffith shocked and shattered as he had become completely dependent on Guts. Because of this, Griffith turned careless and depressed, sharing a night with Princess Charlotte. Griffith was captured the next morning, being punished by the king, and left in a prison with a torturer. The Band of the Hawk was outlawed, hunted and nearly reduced to a group of robbers if not for Casca's leadership.
After Griffith's capture, Guts was visited by the Skull Knight who called him the "Struggler" and predicted the destruction of the Band of the Hawk. This omen was still unclear to Guts, leaving him with questions. Guts spent a year in training in the mountain with Godo to search for his dream, and then left only to hear about the remaining forces of the Band of the Hawk at the border. He rescued them from a local militia attack and soon consummated his love with Casca, after which Guts asked her to come with him on his travels. He then decided to aid the Hawks on a mission to rescue Griffith, during which he hears from Charlotte about the legend of Emperor Gaiseric.
Having reached the lowest level of the Tower of Rebirth, the group walks in on the crippled form of Griffith. Guts is so taken aback at the prisoner's appearance that he at first refuses to believe that the prisoner is Griffith, though it is confirmed by Charlotte that Griffith was indeed held here.
After taking Griffith from the prison, the King was aware of the rescue mission and sent five Bākiraka assassins. Guts and his party defeated them and escaped the Tower of Rebirth. The Black Dog Knights were then sent after them and they caused great damage to the Band of the Hawk, only to be eliminated as well. Guts had his own fight against Wyald, the apostle leader of the Black Dog Knights, who was horribly injured, and later killed by Zodd when he attempted to provoke Griffith to use the Crimson Behelit. After realizing that there was no hope for the crippled Griffith to lead the Band of The Hawk anymore, Casca refused to go with Guts and decided to help Griffith.
Griffith's dreams came crashing down after foreseeing his future, a vision came to him and made him drive the carriage to follow it. After crashing it on the river, Griffith obtained his Behelit that was found on the stream. He then calls up the God Hand that coincided with the Eclipse. Despite Guts' desperate bid to reach Griffith and avert this, Griffith sacrificed the whole Band of the Hawk to become Femto, the fifth God Hand, in order to fulfill his dream of his own kingdom. The demons and Apostles then feasted on the soldiers, leaving only the principal members of the Hawks to fight for their lives. Guts furiously beat back demon after demon, at one point using the broken-off horn of one of them to grievously wound and kill them. Eventually, he fell into a pool of blood, where he was faced with the horrific sight of his comrades having been killed and eaten by the Apostles, including Corkus and Pippin. He then spied Gaston, who seemed to have survived the horror, only for him to be killed horrifically when a parasitic demon made his head explode. But the worst was yet to come for him, as he saw Casca naked and surrounded by Apostles, having been captured, knocked out, tortured and on the verge of being raped. Guts rampaged in fury, tearing through the demons in front of him in a desperate bid to reach her, but before he could do so, an Apostle by the name of Borkoff snapped his jaws around Guts' left arm, holding him fast. Guts could only watch as Casca was about to be raped, only for Griffith to finish his rebirth, becoming Femto.
Femto flew down to Guts and Casca, then commanded the demons to bring Casca down to him. Before Guts' horrified eyes, Femto began to rape her. In an attempt to save his lover, Guts attempted to use Gaston's sword to kill Borkoff, only for it to break against the demon's impenetrable hide. He used what was left of the sword to stab his left arm above his elbow multiple times before finally chiseling it off and freeing himself from Borkoff's jaws. Screaming out Griffith's name, Guts charged Femto, determined to kill him and save Casca, but was pinned down to the bloody ground by more Apostles, who subjected him to this horrific sight until it was finished. Guts' final vision was Casca lying on the ground breathless before his right eye was punctured by an Apostle's claw and completely covered in blood. When they both passed out, the Skull Knight saved them and brought them to Godo's place.
Guts wakes up days later to find Rickert and Casca have been saved as well, while still not knowing how. When Guts meets with Casca, she is timid and scared of his actions toward her. Rickert comments about Casca not remembering anything to her memory loss, as well as only accepting the company of Erika and terrified of both him and Guts. Guts, in a tearful rage, then runs out in the fields to release his anger. Stampeding until the sun had gone down, he remembers his friends from the Band of the Hawk. He later stops and is confronted by the Skull Knight, and is attacked by demons attracted by the brand of the sacrifice. The Skull Knight gives Guts his Sword of Thorns and defeats the demons that appears. He then makes a vow to kill all demons in his path. Guts then gets a ride on the Skull Knight's horse.They arrive in front of Casca to only see her give a premature birth. Her child is formed in a small state of pure evil. Guts comments about it being a hell-spawn and tries to kill it. Casca protects it, and Skull Knight says it's Guts' child tainted by Femto's rape. Guts ensnares the child to only to have it disappear in the light when the sun again rose. At least a month later, Guts finally set on his quest to annhilate the apostles to exact revenge. Preparing to leave, Guts wore the black armor, saying that he will "Fight in the dark a lot" and Rickert gives Guts a mechanical arm to use in place of his severed left arm. He is about to leave, but is attacked at Godo's place by an apostle drawn in by the scent of the Brand. Guts makes good progress until his new sword made by Godo is broken from overuse against the transformed demon. Now unarmed, Guts is almost subdued by the demon and hurled straight into Godo's storage until Rickert's cannon arm manages to save him from his predicament. Noticing the Dragonslayer, he picks up the sword and finishes the apostle in one sweep of the blade, commenting that something much more suitable to his fight had been here all along. Godo is stunned and surprised that Guts could wield the massive sword. Guts leaves to start his quest to kill the God Hand with the message that Casca, their leader, was alive and well and so were Rickert and himself, and the Band of the Hawk still lives. Declaring that as the Raiders Captain he must raid the enemy camp, Guts set foot on his long and arduous war against the Apostles.
The Black SwordsmanEdit
Guts tracked down the Female Apostle that killed Corkus, having sex with her before blowing her brains out the back of her head with his arm cannon when she transformed to eat him alive. As he entered the village of Koka, he saw women and children in a wagon bound for Koka Castle. Entering a tavern, he came across the Snake Baron's Bandits tormenting an Elf who he would later learn was named Puck. Guts killed all of the bandits except one, who he tasked with delivering the message that "The Black Swordsman has come."
Guts was captured by the Mayor and his men, who took him to a dungeon to be put to the torture. Guts quickly earned the Mayor's anger by revealing that he knows about the deal the Mayor made with the Baron to protect his own skin. Puck healed Guts after the torture session is over, and when the Snake Baron made his assault upon Koka, Guts hid among the corpses of the people killed in the attack to ambush the Baron's raiders. Guts took heavy damage in the fight against the Baron himself when he transformed into his true Apostle form, but finally prevailed by unloading his arm cannon directly into the Baron's face before taking up the Dragonslayer and slashing him in half. He tortured the Baron with his repeating crossbow before leaving him to burn in the flames of the village. Puck is horrified by the level of anger and hatred emanating from Guts.
After killing the Snake Baron, Guts met up with a priest and his family on the road, who offered to take him on as a passenger on their wagon. Because of the dangers posed by his Brand, Guts refused, but eventually relented and rode with them. As Guts slept, he was plagued by a nightmare about the corrupted Child he had with Casca, which turned out to be induced by an Incubus, one of the evil spirits that plagues him because of the Brand.
The wagon passed through the remains of an ancient battlefield, and the evil spirits caused the remains of the dead to rise up and attack the wagon. Colette, the priest's young daughter, was brutally killed in the initial attack, and her body was taken over by another evil spirit, resulting in the priest's death as she attacked and killed him. Guts had to kill Colette again, along with every one of the skeletons used by the evil spirits to attack him.
Guardians of DesireEdit
Guts' next destination was the city ruled by an Apostle known as the Count, the slug-shaped giant monster who had previously attacked Rickert only to be chased away by the Skull Knight, and killed and ate Pippin in front of Guts' eyes. Arriving at the execution ground, he took hold of the decapitated head of a woman killed to feed the insane, obese Apostle lord under the pretense of hunting heretics and inscribed the Brand on her forehead and punching one of the foot soldiers who'd been guarding the site before hurling the lifeless victim to the Count as a war declaration.
He was soon met with chase and killed many foot soldiers before defeating their captain Zondark and fleeing to the hideout of Vargas before things got ugly. It was there that he discovered the tortured, vengeful victim of the Count's atrocities, who'd already lost his wife and sons to grueling torture, had stolen his Behelit and ran after feigning his death seven years ago.
Soon Zondark, having been overshadowed and enhanced by the demon powers of the Count, soon found their hiding place and attacked. Having realized his merge with the Count's daemon had turned him into an inhuman himself, Guts engaged in a fierce duel where he succeeded in apparently subduing the abomination and escaped with Vargas and Puck in the sewers. Soon enough, however, Vargas was captured by the possessed Zondark, who at this point had become truly demonic and dragged him to the execution grounds, where he was beheaded yelling for the Black Swordsman to slay this unholy fiend in his last breath. Guts briefly glimpsed again into his similar past with the God Hand's atrocities toward his comrades and lover and declared to the hateful victim that he won't fail the way he did.
Soon Guts reached the secret passageways to the Count's castle where he was met with yet another ambush by Zondark and managed to kill him for good, though he sustained blood loss from an attack to the head. Unfazed, he then annhilated the remaining troops who stood in his way and made his way to the Count himself, where he eventually fell before the latter's seemingly infinitely expanding body and its regenerative capacities. Only by taking his daughter Theresia hostage was he able to land a fatal blow, and in desperation the dying demon summoned the God Hand, warping them all to the Astral Realm where he reunited with his undying, mortal nemesis Femto and the rest of his profane gods. When the Count asked for the deities to kill Guts on his behalf, they instead laughed at the prospect of him being an enemy worth their notice. Now overrun with rage, he charged Femto yet again with intent to kill him and nearly swung the massive Dragonslayer at him before being hurled hundreds of feet away by the villain's psychic power and his armor destroyed.
Laying on the ground nearly dead yet again in front of his former friend and despicable opponent, Guts watched as Ubik revealed the secrets of the Count's rebirth as the demon slug to his own young daughter and offered to restore him his powers and intact body if he sacrificed her this time. When the Count couldn't bring himself to lose another loved one to the inhumans, he was pulled out from his mortal body by a torrent of vengeful lost souls, including Vargas himself. With the Brand attracting the remainder to Guts, he mustered the last of his strength to reload his cannon and fire it at Femto, who effortlessly dispelled the blast before gleefully disappearing from Guts' grasp.
Now back in the world of the flesh, Guts inadvertenty saved Theresia from a deadly fall, seeing his own similar past in losing his parents Gambino and Shisu in her but found himself rebuked by her tearful proclamation that one day she will hunt him down and kill him. Shedding his own tear, Guts left the site of this massacre staggering.
The Tower of ConvictionEdit
When Guts received a vision from the child that Casca was being burned on a pole, he came rushing back to Godo's place, only to find out that she was missing for 2 months. Godo, on his death bed, reprimanded him for coping with grief in his own way, and leaving Casca, the person he cared about the most, behind. Guts reflected on this and decided that being with Casca was much more important than revenge. He went to St. Albion, which was the only clue he had, to rescue her. Along the way to Albion, Guts met the boy Isidro, who had followed him after witnessing his unbelievable sword skills against the Kushan Bākiraka Assassins. Upon searching for Casca, Guts was told by the prostitute Luca that she was held in the Tower of Conviction. There he fought Mozgus and his personal guards, which he defeated. Guts was then caught up in the Incarnation Ceremony, orchestrated by the Egg-Shaped Apostle and the God Hand to bring Griffith back to the human world, using the Child's body. That night, nearly everyone was consumed except Guts and a few other survivors, including Casca, Isidro, Farnese, Serpico, and Jerome. Throughout the night, they fought the darkness with fire.
Millennium Falcon ArcEdit
During the early sunrise, Guts, Serpico, Azan, and Isidro fought off Bākiraka assassins, only to be disrupted by the appearance of Zodd. After wondering why Zodd was in such a place, Guts saw Griffith in the distance, who was reincarnated. Rather than chasing Griffith, Guts chose to protect Casca and brought her back to Godo's place. Here he found Griffith on the Hill of Swords, speaking to Rickert. Guts grew with anger after hearing Griffith say he was free from everything. As he charged Griffith, his sword was blocked by Zodd, who now belongs to the White Hawk. Guts and Zodd broke into a fight and brought down the old elf-mine, but soon Griffith asked Zodd to leave, considering Guts now irrelevant.
Seeing that Guts and Casca could not stay at Godo's place, he decided to take her with him, but found that protecting someone is an unfamiliar and over-demanding task. During Guts' travels, his Inner Beast Casca injured by him, and he was overwhelmed with guilt afterward. Casca started hating him after the experience, as Guts could not trust himself either. He wasn't able to defend Casca the whole time, so he realized help was required. As a result, he accepted Farnese's request to follow him, so there was someone to look after Casca, Isidro and Serpico joins as well. They eventually came across a Tree Mansion, where the Witch Flora and her apprentice Schierke resides. He agreed to allow Schierke to join him, as she is useful with magic. With his new party, Guts saved the Enoch Village from the Trolls, and he once again learned to live and fight for others.
As they returned to the Tree Mansion, Guts and his party noticed it was being burned by the Apostles, led by Zodd and Grunbeld. Guts was given the Berserker Armour, and he fought "care free" against Grunbeld, who was forced to change into his Apostle form. While enabling him to defeat Apostles with much more ease, it unleashed his inner beast, the battle-lust Hellhound, endangering everyone in vicinity. Schierke found a way to protect his consciousness, by merging with hers, but using the Berserker armor was still walking a knife's edge.
They came through many ordeals, particularly when caught up by the Kushan's attack on Vritanis, but the companions helped Guts take care of Casca and are finally on their way to Elfhelm, where Hanafubuku is known to be capable of curing her. Guts was no longer interested in "a fight between monsters", refusing Emperor Ganishka's offer to join forces against Griffith. After fighting the Sharkrider pirates and sustaining damage to the ship, Guts and party currently docked on an island where the villagers worship the Sea God.
The party was attacked by these villagers who were revealed to be monsters. The villagers were tentacles of four main tentacles of the sea slugs whereas the sea slugs were part of the Sea God's 'beard'. After finishing a few main tentacles Guts realizes that he can't easily kill the sea slugs with no casualty so he dons again the violent nature of the armor and finishes many sea slugs quickly with ease, this time the armor grew strong that even Schierke in her astral form cannot enter the armor or is blocked from entering.
The berserker is still on a killing spree and saw Casca (Berserker's vision) running to a unknown point where Farnese followed her directly and Serpico was supposed to follow them but was blocked by a falling carcass of a recently killed sea slug. It is revealed that Casca was hugging the same child she found on the beach before Vritanis and was almost attacked by a sea slug however the berserker jumps on the sea slug and does a fatal blow, after observing for a while, the Berserker then proceeds to jump down then all sorts of emotions are circling inside Guts' consciousness as his inner darkness is influencing him to give in but an unknown astral body appears in the Berserker's vision and reveals to him that the dark silhouettes were actually his party, after that it touches his chest, by doing so, Guts is able to see clearly his group and is fighting to break off the armor's bond, immediately Schierke jumps on his back and does incantations to help in retracting the furious state.
With his sanity restored, Guts and his party return to the ship to decide what to do next. Schierke instructs Farneze to construct a barrier around the ship in order to protect them while Schierke and Guts go to kill the Sea God. Farneze erects the barrier and Guts and Shierke connect astrally in order for Guts to use the Berserker Armor with his sanity intact. Guts and Schierke head into the cave where the Sea God is located and encounter an army of tentacles. Guts sees the Sea God in the back of the cave and decides to completely avoid the tentacles by saying "I'm gonna jump straight into that bastards' mouth." Guts leaps around the tentacles and jumps straight into the Sea God's giant mouth. The tentacles then head for Farneze and the ship to destroy them. Guts makes it into the stomach of the Sea God and jumps on one of the many ships inside it's stomach. Stomach acid begins to fill up the area and Guts fights armoured parasites until the acid fills up enough. Seeing his chance, Guts leaps straight up the mast and jumps off the top and makes a slash into the stomach wall. The Dragonslayer slides out but the stomach gases push Guts through the hole that was just made into another part of the Sea God's body.