It’s amazing to me that we only just got a proper adaptation of these chapters in the Memorial Edition anime. This is one of the most iconic and beloved scenes in Berserk and every anime adaptation before now has avoided it like the plague!
Which makes sense. The material covered here ain’t exactly light and breezy.
Guts and Casca break away from the rest of the Hawks to have a private chat. But this confrontation may have more in store for both of them than they are prepared for. The two are about to face their true feelings together. But will love be enough to overcome trauma?
Holy shit, the character drama in these chapters is insane! It’s a genuine rollercoaster of emotions! One minute your heart is breaking, the next it’s melting, and then you’re sobbing your eyes out because it’s all just too much to handle! I love this shit, dude!
When Casca confronts Guts with the truth, that Griffith’s fall and the current state of the Hawks is because of him, his reaction is genuinely heart shattering. He thinks so lowly of himself and so highly of Griffith that he can’t imagine it being the truth. But when he can’t deny it anymore, he breaks down, allowing Casca to wound him and demanding to know just what he was supposed to do. It’s such a grounded and powerful reaction.
In the last few chapters, we got a brief glimpse at how hard things have been for Casca. But in ‘Confession’, we see that things are even worse for her than we originally thought. After being abandoned by the two men she loved the most, thinking she never really had a chance with either one, her self-esteem is at an all-time low. A state only worsened by her having to hold the remnants of the Hawks together, an effort that we’ve seen is barely working. Poor lady is so beaten down, so emotionally exhausted, that she tries to kill herself!
But then, just as we hit an emotional low, the two embrace. After so many chapters of buildup, they finally kiss. And it is beautifully done; Miura perfectly captured the awkward tenderness of the moment, giving us half a dozen smaller panels dedicated to the small awkward movements the two make before finally coming together. It’s a gorgeous page.
Then we enter ‘Wounds’. Which is an even more wild ride than ‘Confession’ was!
And I can show you none of it because Guts and Casca are both in the nude the whole time. Sorry, guys. No nudes on this blog.
Tempting though it may be. I mean, have you seen Guts? God damn!
I’m making bad jokes because I have no idea how to broach this next subject.
To say that Guts has issues would be putting it lightly to say the least. For the majority of the Golden Age, they’ve been suppressed, hidden away by Guts himself. The only time we saw his childhood trauma leak out was when he killed Julius and Adonis.
Here, his trauma explodes with all the force of a nuclear bomb. Turns out, he didn’t just forget about being sold by his father and getting sexually assaulted as a child. What was supposed to be a moment of intimacy between Guts and Casca quickly takes a horrific turn as Guts is consumed by trauma-induced hallucinations. He even attacks Casca!
And then we see Guts finally break. After suppressing his trauma all his life, he can’t keep it in anymore. He spills everything to Casca, rambling only semi-coherently while she tries to piece it all together. It’s as uncomfortable as it is tragic.
But again: just as our emotions hit an all-time low, we end on a heartwarming note. Casca, having seen all of Guts’ pain, embraces him. The two acknowledge that maybe all they’re doing is licking each other’s wounds. But they decide that that is more than enough. It’s genuinely beautiful.
One last point: I love how this whole scene is basically the opposite of Griffith and Charlotte’s sex scene. That was a purely physical encounter; the two didn’t even talk to each other. With Guts and Casca, it’s more about emotional intimacy than physical; the two spend more time talking than they do having sex. Griffith’s scene was cold and dark, while the scene with Guts and Casca is bright and warm and comforting. It perfectly demonstrates the contrast between these two relationships.
This section is absolutely incredible. It’s easily one of the best scenes in all of Berserk. It perfectly highlights everything that makes this manga amazing; it’s dark and horrific, but it has pockets of genuine happiness and beauty.
Now it’s time for things to get worse. And I’m not just talking about the tone.