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The 10 worst ‘Berserk’ characters, ranked

There are quite a few baddies in anime 'Berserk'

Femto from Berserk.
Screengrab via YouTube/rafiqapros

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for all Berserk anime adaptations.

There’s no shortage of baddies in Berserk. In Kentaro Miura‘s medieval-style fantasy world of nightmares, bloodthirsty demons, ruthless thugs, and power-hungry leaders lurk around every corner, waiting to pounce on the next victim. In fact, evil faces are so prominent in Berserk, it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

To help out, we’ve created a list describing the 10 worst Berserk characters, ranked backwards from last to appear to first in the anime storyline. (Considering how awful all these people are, it would be hard to rank them by their level of wickedness, so we went a different route.) After reading to the end, who would you add to this list?

10. Father Mozgus

Father Mozgus
Screengrab via YouTube/Joe

As the chief inquisitor of The Holy See, Father Mozgus of Berserk (appearing in the recent 2016-2017 anime adaptation) is nothing if not committed to his mission of spreading the utmost mental and physical anguish wherever he goes, determined to bring all so-called heretics to gruesome justice. One look at his face, abnormally flattened by years of brutal floor-slamming penance, reveals how serious and driven this guy is about his beliefs.

Most people travel for sight-seeing purposes, but this man, decked in a cloak of self-righteousness and armed with a “holy” book (which he literally uses as a weapon), traverses Albion seeking out “heretics” to torture and execute, accompanied by his band of expert torturers, who are willing to work spur-of-the-moment on the road or in the more formal setting of The Tower of Conviction. He later tries to have Casca burned at the stake as a witch, and faces off with Guts after becoming an apostle. We honestly don’t think he becomes any worse of a being after his demonic transformation.

9. Farnese di Vandimion

Farnese de Vandimion
Screengrab via YouTube/saithvenomdrone

Although she later becomes a better person through her experiences traveling alongside Guts and his companions, Farnese de Vandimion has a dark past behind her, as revealed in a flashback in Berserk‘s latest 2016-2017 anime adaptation. Born as the privileged daughter of a high-ranking noble, she was once proud, entitled, and ill-tempered, experiencing pleasure through witnessing people’s suffering, especially with fire as the source of torment.

She treated her manservant Serpico terribly, ordering him to fight duels on her behalf and even making him set his mother aflame (although she wasn’t the one who sentenced her to death by fire). She also abused him after he rejected her inappropriate sexual advances, setting the house on fire during her reactive meltdown. Her position as the commander of The Holy Iron Chain Knights, The Holy See’s ceremonial guard, excited her because she could witness the brutal torture and death of so-called heretics, a feeling of cruel satisfaction that she had in common with Father Mozgus, the chief inquisitor of The Holy See.

8. Femto

Screengrab via YouTube/Mirauder’s Gaming

The word “betrayal” takes on a whole new meaning through the creation of Berserk‘s Femto, a demonic member of The Godhand who once hailed as Griffith, The White Hawk, leader of The Band of the Hawk. As we see in the 1997-1998 anime adaption of Berserk as well as in the film Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent, this transformation is the result of a cataclysmic mental and physical breakdown.

Having been left maimed for life owing to his torture in The King of Midland’s dungeon, Griffith loses his mind when he realizes that he can’t fulfill his long-held dream of becoming king, and becomes envious when he sees Guts and Casca finding new fulfillment in leadership and romance. He also holds a grudge against Guts for leaving The Band of the Hawk, which led to his destructive ravishment of Princess Charlotte and subsequent imprisonment by the king.

As a result of his feelings of despair, Griffith tries to take his own life, but his Beherit is activated by his blood when he fails, summoning the Godhand. As a horde of demons appears around The Band of the Hawk, The White Hawk finds himself facing a choice (offered by The Godhand) between the renewal of his lofty ambitions and the sacrifice of his loyal supporters, or the acceptance of his current dismal situation. Griffith chooses his dream, allowing his comrades to be ripped apart by demons. Then, after his transformation into Femto, he rapes Casca while a temporarily incapacitated Guts is forced to watch, losing his right eye and left forearm.

Unfortunately, the suffering of his surviving victims doesn’t end there. After The Eclipse, Casca loses her mind, gives birth to a demonic child, and nearly gets killed after wandering away, while Guts goes off on a quest of revenge and continues to have to rescue Casca, with demons chasing them both to claim the escaped sacrifices.

Even before this event, Griffith didn’t care about his comrades as he should have (although they were precious enough to him for the Beherit to be activated). From the very beginning of Berserk‘s Golden Age Arc, Griffith shows himself to be a man driven by relentless ambition. Although he derives no pleasure from anyone’s suffering, he’s willing to harm both himself and others to get where he wants to be. Ultimately, he has no problem using people to advance his dreams, either through force, manipulation, or exchange.

As a human, Griffith not only kills his adversaries in battle but also, arranges the assassinations of powerful enemies, such as The Queen of Midland and General Julius. He brutally double-crosses former allies and blackmails opponents into obeying his will. He also lies, manipulates, and coerces himself into Princess Charlotte’s bed, and throws a fit when Guts decides to leave his enforced servitude and follow his own dream. Sadly, even before his demonic transformation, he isn’t a good person.

7. The Godhand

Two members of The Godhand
Screengrab via YouTube/Khada Jhin

Made up of toxic individuals who have chosen to sacrifice their former loved ones after suffering a betrayal, after that transforming into powerful demonic entities devoid of human emotions, The Godhand in Berserk (who grace the screen in the 1997-1998 Berserk anime adaptation in addition to the film Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent) wastes no opportunity to continue the dark cycle for certain special people who possess the activating Beherit. Their interference creates a horde of victims with no end in sight as they continue to take advantage of the despair of future members.

6. Griffith’s Torturer

Griffith's Torturer
Screengrab via YouTube/loseFist

If The King of Midland from Berserk offered an Employee of the Year award, it would definitely go to his dungeon torturer, a man who clearly enjoys his job. In both the 1997-1998 version of Berserk and in the film Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent, we cringe at the maniacal joy this sadistic monster displays while describing the horrors he has gleefully visited upon the captive Griffith, including severing the tendons in The White Hawk’s arms and legs, skinning him in several places, cutting out his tongue, slicing off his nails, and more. However, it turns out that he can’t take what he’s happy to dish out, as evidenced by his reaction to being run through with a giant sword and hurled to his death by an enraged Guts.

5. Gennon

Screengrab via YouTube/Carnage Counts

A high-ranking noble from the country of Tudor in the world of Berserk, Gennon uses his political and financial leverage to victimize others. As we find out in Berserk‘s 1997-1998 anime adaptation as well as in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey, the targets of the aristocrat’s lust are children, including the teenaged Griffith as depicted in a flashback, who was offered an army in exchange for the arrangement. When The White Hawk uses a sword to snuff the old man out, it’s a relief to know that he won’t be able to harm any more innocents.

4. The King of Midland

The King of Midland
Screengrab via YouTube/unseen truth

At first, The King of Midland in Berserk (as depicted in the 1997-1998 Berserk anime adaptation in addition to the movies Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey) seems like a decent guy who simply wants to preserve his kingdom and protect his only daughter, Princess Charlotte. However, after Griffith beds his daughter without seeking his blessing, we find out the dark truth of who the king really is, a pervert who carnally desires (and eventually molests, in Berserk‘s manga) his own child.

Enraged that Charlotte has been with another man, he places her under guard and locks Griffith in the dungeon to be tortured (an outcome that plays a huge role in The White Hawk’s decision to sacrifice his band and transform into Femto). He’s also not the best leader, judging by the state of his kingdom, with poverty and violence rampant. His death of illness doesn’t come a moment too soon.

3. Nosferatu Zodd

Nosferatu Zodd
Screengrab via YouTube/Mr. Anime & Watch

Although Berserk‘s giant-beast apostle looks pretty cool, sporting a pair of killer teeth and horns and light-up eyes while in his ultimate demon form, he’s also a bloodthirsty killing machine, egotistically going through thousands of men to find someone capable of matching his prowess. In Berserk‘s 1997-1998 anime adaptation, along with the movie Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King and the recent 2016-2017 anime series, the monster’s aggressive nature is on full display. He also starts working for Guts’ archenemy, Femto, another reason to dislike him.

2. Gambino

Screengrab via YouTube/unseen truth

With his wretched excuse for parenthood depicted in a flashback in the 1997-1998 anime adaptation of Berserk, Gambino is revealed to have been one of the primary reasons for the dysfunction of his adoptive son, Guts. He routinely emotionally and verbally abused the boy, displaying an attitude of dissatisfaction with everything he did, making him fight in battles and collect material items off corpses, and blaming him for his mother’s death, something he had nothing to do with.

After losing his leg in battle, the spiky-haired blonde became even more erratic and cruel, jealous of the boy’s increasing capabilities as his own strength steadily waned, and spiraled into an abusive alcoholic. After selling Guts to a child rapist for the night and trying to kill him in a drunken rage, Gambino fittingly met his end at the point of his foster son’s blade.

1. The Snake Baron

The Snake Baron
Screengrab via YouTube/CaesarAX

Although he doesn’t get much screen time in Berserk‘s 1997-1998 anime adaptation, the Snake Baron is still a memorable villain in the first episode, serving as the first antagonist to appear. Presiding over the town of Koka, the apostle takes full advantage of his position of power, divesting the trapped inhabitants of property, feasting upon their flesh, and using his henchmen to spread terror.

After Guts arrives on the scene, the snaky villain decides to simply lay waste to the whole town, reveling in the idea of human suffering. When Berserk‘s giant-sword-wielding hero gives him the same ending he wished upon others, we can’t help but feel that justice is being served up on a fiery platter.

About the author

Caitlin Craig

Caitlin Craig has been an avid reader of manga, watcher of anime, and writer of novels for the past decade, with these three obsessions dominating most of her existence. In her spare time, she enjoys correcting other people's grammar, looking for new manga and anime, and going to anime-related events. Since graduating from The University of Georgia with a Bachelor's in English back in ancient times, she has divided her time between writing, editing, and teaching.