Berserk is a well-loved manga series that has devoted fans all around the world. There is a lot to love here, from the ultra-violent action scenes to the strong protagonist ‘Guts’ and the profound philosophical underpinnings of the plot. “Berserk” is, at its essence, a horror series.
‘Guts’ is a slayer of superhuman demons known as ‘Apostles,’ not a hero. Their monstrosity reflects his own enraged nature. The Apostles are one of Berserk’s numerous terrifying creatures. The mutilated Inhumans prowl the globe looking for unsuspecting humans to feast on.
Once upon a time, the Apostles were human. They are mortal, despite their devotion to God’s Hand. Their insatiable thirst for blood pushes them to assassinate their friends and family. In order to become an Apostle, they had to sacrifice someone dear to them. Each Apostle has his or her own distinct appearance. They frequently take the appearance of a mutated insect or animal.
They can take control of humans by forcing them to consume pieces of themselves. Guts and the remaining members of the Band of Hawk appear to be haunted by them since they are marked with the band of sacrifice. The Apostles are extremely powerful, yet God’s Hand has the ability to strip them of their authority. Let us take a look at twelve of the most revolting and mind-bending Apostles to appear on Berserk.
Zodd has killed thousands of adversaries on the battlefield over the span of three hundred years. His existence is devoted to combating. He has been in search of a worthy opponent who can put up a good fight. Zodd is ferocious and merciless but he is different from the other Apostles. He doesn’t derive pleasure from torturing those who are weaker than him.
He is not inherently sadistic or cruel, nor does he consume human flesh. His great strength also brings him sadness, as it makes him too powerful to find adequate adversaries.
Zodd respects those who prove to be worthy opponents. He holds the Skull Knight and Guts in great esteem as they have succeeded in hurting him during battle. He submitted to serve an incarcerated Griffith, after searching for the ultimate strong one. He is one of the most trusted warriors in the reborn Band of Falcon.
Zodd had earned the title of Nosferatu- the immortal battlefield god. He resurfaced after disappearing for a very long time. He served the Tudor Empire during their century-long war with Midland. Zodd was protecting the inner citadel of a Tudor stronghold when he met Guts for the first time.
He slaughtered almost fifty of the raiders who stormed the hall. He was impressed by Guts as he managed to injure him during battle. Zodd was too powerful for Guts, but he escaped after seeing Griffith’s Beherit and warned Guts of his impending death if Griffith’s dreams aren’t fulfilled. He observes Guts during the battle of Doldrey and throws his sword for Guts to wield, after his breaks in half. Once Guts defeats Boscogn, Zodd leaves, knowing that the eclipse is near. Zodd encounters the Band of Falcon a year later when they get attacked by Wyald. Zodd kills Wyald for acting against God Hand’s while using a crippled Griffith as a hostage.
Zodd doesn’t participate in slaughtering the Band of Falcon after Griffith invokes the fifth eclipse. With time Zodd gets bored of fighting weak opponents and looks forward to his combat with Skull Knight. He gets a chance to fight Guts once again while protecting Griffith.
Zodd is not only a skilled soldier but also knows how to pick his battles. He fights alongside Guts to defeat Ganishka’s mist form. They put their rivalry aside as neither of them is capable of defeating Ganishka alone.
Zodd is exceptionally strong and capable of regenerating and healing his wounds instantly. However, he was unable to regenerate his horn after it was metaphysically cut off. He can fly at supersonic speed and rip apart flesh with his wings. Zodd is different yet one of the strongest apostles of Berserk.
Void is the most polite member of the God Hand. He is more philosophical than his demonic cohorts. His manner of speaking can be considered more archaic and formal than the other members. Many of his speeches pertain to the flow of casualty. He addresses the Band of Falcon as honored guests instead of treating them as mere sacrifices.
He doesn’t let his temperament get the best of him and also doesn’t display any emotions, even when confronted by something unforeseen by him and his kinsmen. He has the ability to bend space.
He cannot anticipate everything but can see the flow of casualty. It enables him to foresee possibilities and influence the course of events. Void is the only member of God’s Hand to mark the soul of his victims with the Brand of Sacrifice.
Void first appears in Griffith’s vision and introduces the members of God Hand as Griffith’s fellow kinsmen. He referred to Griffith as a “Blessed King of Longing”, while he was imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth. The God Hand members convince Griffith to sacrifice the Band of the Falcon in exchange for joining their ranks.
Void tells Griffith to claim raven black wings and accept his destiny. After Griffith wills the sacrifice, Void performs the “Indication of Doom” and brands all the members of the Band of Falcon.
Guts, Casca and the Skull Knight strike at Void after Griffith is reborn as Femto. Void counters the attack with spatial manipulation. Guts and Casca are spirited back to the physical world by the Knight.
After two years of Femto’s birth, Void and the other God Hand members manifest before a wounded Slug Count. They try to convince the Count to sacrifice his daughter in exchange for a renewed life.
The Count refuses the offer and gets dragged to the Vortex of Souls. Void and the other God Hand members gain corporeal forms within the new world of Fantasia, after the merging of the physical and astral realms by the Great Roar of the Astral World.
Grunbeld, the Great Flame Dragon is the leader of the reborn Band of Falcon. He is an apostle who serves Femto along with Zodd, Locus, Irvine, and Rakshas. He was a human who fought the Hundred Years War for a decade against the Tudors before transforming into an apostle.
Grunbeld has rarely been seen without his dragon-shaped silver armor. He grew up without a father, as he died in battle. He was raised by a ferocious single mother who instilled the notion in him that only by dying bravely in a battle would he be allowed to reach God’s Manor in the afterlife. Later, Grunbeld became an apostle by sacrificing the people he loved most.
He appears beastly even in his human form, with his sharp teeth and reptilian eyes. He turns into a four-legged fire dragon in his apostle form. The incredible strength he possesses as a giant wind up slowing him down significantly. He can tear through the ranks of armored soldiers with a single swing of his hammer. As a fighter, he is quick and can spit fire in his apostle form.
Grunbeld makes his appearance during the liberation of Shet after it was conquered by Kushan invaders. He became a new member of the reborn Band of Falcon after aligning himself with Griffith. Grunbeld incinerated several soldiers after breaking down the gate which the Kushan attempted to seal. He accompanies Zodd and several war demons to destroy Flora and the Mansion of the Spirit Tree.
To show loyalty to Griffith, Grunbeld takes on Guts. He gets held off by Flora’s golems due to Guts’ injuries by Slan. Grunbeld was taken off guard after Guts donned the Berserker Armor. He stands defeated even after assuming his apostle form. He is unable to prevent Guts and his party from escaping as Flora’s wall of fire blocks him.
Ganishka, the Kushan Emperor, was one of the most powerful apostles. He is the only apostle to have defied God’s Hand. He openly opposed Griffith and aimed to transcend the lot. He wanted people to fear him, as he extended his territory all over the world. Growing up Ganishka had to survive several ploys by his family and foes who threatened his life.
All the scheming turned Ganishka into a callous, calculated, and cruel being. He devoted his life to the art of war to survive as a young monarch. He was convinced that fear was the only way to progress. He became obsessed with reigning over the entire world in order to quell his own fears. Ganishka was impressed by Guts’ swordsmanship and his ability to survive despite being branded.
Ganishka was the only apostle who refused to submit to God’s Hand. He thought of himself as the sole individual worthy of reigning over the world. Ganishka was forced into retreat during his attack on Vritannis, after coming face to face with Griffith.
He was forced to acknowledge the immense gap between his and Griffith’s strength after he was left exhausted and humiliated.
He chose to turn himself into a man-made Beherit in order to reincarnate again and surpass the God Hand. Ganishka lost his grip over rational thoughts in his twice reincarnated form. He began to perceive everyone around him like an insect. He was able to recognize Daiba but was soon consumed by his own immense power. Ganishka had lived a tragic human life.
His mother had plotted to poison him as she wanted her younger son to inherit the throne. Ganishka killed his younger brother out of anger and led a life enveloped by paranoia. He ignored his wife and son, as he focused on expanding his reign. After almost losing his life because of another assassination attempt, Ganishka sacrificed his son in order to transform into one of the apostles.
The Count turned out to be extremely cruel after transforming into an apostle. He mercilessly killed heretics and their families for perceived slights. He would devour those who hadn’t been immediately executed after his experiments. He held a grudge against the heretics since he caught his wife being unfaithful to him, with them.
He had sacrificed his wife in order to transform into an apostle. He did put his daughter, Theresia, under house arrest but he deeply cared for her. As an apostle, The Count had a gluttonous appetite. He was one of the apostles to feast on the injured Band of Falcons before the Eclipse. Years later the count encountered Guts once again but it didn’t end well for him.
The Count continued his quest of executing the heretics, years after the eclipse. His plans come to a halt after Guts arrives and disfigures his captain of Guard, Zondark, and escapes with Vargas’ help. The Count recognizes the swordsman and possesses the injured captain of the guard.
Guts and Vargas defeat a possessed Zondark in an ambush. It drives the Count to abduct Vargas while he parts ways with Guts for the time being. The Count then sets up an ambush for Guts to save Vargas as he plans to execute him. Aware of the Count’s plan, Guts doesn’t intervene while Vargas is captured. Guts visit the Count’s castle to face him directly.
The door of Theresia’s room gets broken during the fight. Guts capture the Count’s daughter and use her to threaten and injure the Count. As the Count gets severely wounded, the God Hand offers to extend his life in exchange for sacrificing Theresia. The Count refuses to put his daughter in danger and gets sucked into the Vortex of Souls.
The Snake Lord was the ruler of Koka. The Apostle resided in the town castle. He demanded gold and human cattle from the mayor in exchange for not terrorizing the town residents. As a ruler, he was oppressive, sadistic, and didn’t care for human life. He believed humans were nothing more than a food source for the apostles.
He enjoyed infecting human hearts with fear and had a strong disdain for humanity. He was a little bit overconfident of the strength he possessed as an apostle. He took pride in being stronger than the humans he battled with. The Snake Lord didn’t care for gold or prisoners, he wanted to watch humans suffer in a fiery apocalypse and listen to their bones snapping under the hooves of horses.
While the Snake Lord was enjoying his meal of human flesh, he was interrupted with the news of the Black Swordsman arriving in Koka. When his henchmen were attacked in the town tavern, the mayor arrived with more gold and human cattle after placing the swordsman in jail.
This doesn’t appease the Snake Lord and he accuses the Mayor of caring more about his own safety than that of the townspeople. The Snake Lord and his henchmen set the town ablaze while killing the townspeople. The Black Swordsman escapes captivity and begins to slaughter the Snake Lord’s henchmen.
The Snake Lord accepts Guts’ challenge to a fight and attacks him with all his might. He tries to overpower Guts, but Guts blows off half of the Snake Lord’s face by firing his cannon arm. The Snake Lord recognizes Guts as the survivor of the eclipse after noticing his brand of sacrifice. The Apostle begs for his life, but Guts leaves him behind to die.
Mozgus was one of the pseudo apostles and the chief inquisitor of the Holy See. He traveled the world to purify heretics with his group of torturers. He wanted to purify Casca with his religious zeal and prevented Guts from saving her. He believed that torture was necessary to cleanse people from evil.
His face had been flattened by years of prostration and slamming his face on the floor. He was turned into a pseudo apostle by the Egg of the Perfect World. His transformed state reflected his religious ideals. He received large white-feathered wings that he could use in his human form. His feathers turned grey after his transformation. He was devoted to his God and his faith ventured into fanaticism.
Mozgus was focused on purging the world of heretics and was feared for his intense torture methods used to purify those he considered a heretic. He had used his religious interrogation to torture hundreds of people. He would brutally kill anyone who stood up to him in the name of God.
Mozgus felt no guilt or remorse for the pain he inflicted on others. This pseudo-Apostle arrived at Albion to capture the pagan cult which murdered some of the priests. Mozgus captures a group of people and misidentifies Casca as their leader. He concludes she is a witch after seeing her brand of sacrifice. After Casca’s brand starts to bleed, it triggers the initiation ceremony and the Egg of the Perfect World turns Mozgus and his disciples into pseudo apostles. Mozgus believes that his transformation means he was chosen by God to continue his task.
Guts arrive at the scene to rescue Casca. Mozgus’s disciples fight Guts off while he tries to burn Casca at the stake. Guts use a bomb to crack open Mozgus’s chest wide enough to stab him with his sword. Mozgus’s body gets consumed by the flames and he accepts death to meet his God.
Rakshas was exiled from the Kushan Clan of Bakiraka. He became the commander of the demon search and destroy a squad of the reborn Band of the Falcon, after turning into an apostle. He joined Griffith’s squad to behead him in the near future. He possesses knowledge of Kushans as well as the kingdom of Midland, in addition to their war.
He is an agile shapeshifter with exceptional strength. A mysterious faceless being, he used to fight to wear a mask even in his human form. As an apostle, he became monstrously larger and his tentacles gained more dexterity.
He is intimidated by Griffith despite wanting to kill him. He is also arrogant and demeans others for their incompetence. He enjoys playing with his victims before he kills them and is relentless while chasing a target. He is a master of camouflage and a skilled assassin. He noticed Ganishka wasn’t a human while sneaking up on his shadow and revealing the fact to the other members.
He conceals himself under Zodd’s wings after Ganishka transcends into his apostle form. He was a witness to the cause of the Great Roar of the Astral World after Griffith flew to the top of Ganishka’s apostle form. On Falconia’s establishment, Rakshas tried to assassinate Rickert after his encounter with Griffith. Silat breaks off Rakshas’s mask, and accompanied by Tapasa, they force him to flee.
They tell him to go after Rickert after nightfall, but in doing so he falls into a trap set by Rickert and Silat. Rakshas is forced to assume his true form after Tapasa douses him in flames by means of Rickert’s modified water spraying machine. Rakshas captures Erica but he gets distracted by the rats and snakes attacking his cloak while Daiba rescues Erica. Rickert and the others try to escape with Daiba’s Garudas while Rakshas flies after Rickert. They manage to escape after Rickert fires a rocket at Rakshas, splitting his body into two.
Wyald was the leader of the Black Dog Knights. They were an army of convicted criminals who served the Kingdom of Midland. As an apostle, he resembled an ape and possessed abnormal fighting abilities. He was defined by his bloodlust and carefree personality.
Driven by his motto of “Excitement and Enjoyment”, he would put his men in danger just for the fun of it. Wyald was not a skilled fighter but his apostle form helped him in battles. He enjoyed torturing women and children. He didn’t have an ounce of morality and derived sadistic pleasure from being cruel. He was desperate to save himself after he was injured fatally by Guts. He wanted to be restored by deceiving Griffith and the God Hand but he was killed by Zodd.
Wyald was imprisoned by the King of Midland after transforming into an apostle. Five years prior to Griffith’s escape, the King ordered all able-bodied criminals to be drafted to war. Wyald claimed he was the rightful leader of the army as he was the strongest of them all. He was challenged by Barbo for the position and the two fought to death.
Barbo was impaled by Wyald on the spike of a tower. The Black Dog Knights gained the reputation of being the cruellest army in Midland. The Black Dog army was tasked with hunting down Griffith after he was rescued by the Band of Falcon.
They fell prey to the traps of the Band of Falcon after coming in contact. Only Wyald and a few of his men continued down the path, as it turned into a battle against Guts. Wyald assumed his true form after realizing that they were on the losing side. Guts were the first one to critically injure him in over a hundred years.
He takes Griffith hostage and intends to start the eclipse to extend his own life. Zodd impales Wyald for his deception. Wyald’s spiritual essence gets sucked into the Vortex and his body reverts back to the old man he used to be.
Irvine serves as the Captain of the archers in the reborn Band of the Falcon. He resembles a slender human who stands out because of his white eyes. He is an expert at ranged combat. Unlike the other apostles, he doesn’t dress up in his armor. In his apostle form, his slender form blends with a wolf-like creature.
His animal body has thick fur along his neck and long horns protruding from his forehead. He is introverted and doesn’t get involved in matters beyond his efficacy on the battlefield. He is quiet and well-mannered. He enjoys hunting, camping, and playing the lute in his own company.
When Sonia asks him if she could warm herself by his campfire, he doesn’t refuse and also engages in a friendly conversation. Irvine covers her with his coat after she falls asleep. Even in his human form, Irvine is capable of firing multiple arrows with perfect accuracy. His arrows are fired with enough force to dismember humans.
Irvine first appears during the battle of Lumias and is seen decapitating multiple Kushan soldiers with his arrows. Irvine beheads the opposition when the Kushan reinforcements begin to arrive. With his demon lancers, Irvine breaks the Kushan lines while assaulting Wyndham Palace.
They are confronted by Dakas, Pishachas, and Ganishka, and are unable to stop Ganishka in his apostle form. Irvine kills almost all Kushan Generals at the battle of Vritannis. He protects Sonia in his apostle form in the final battle against Ganishka. Irvine helps refugees escape astral creatures, with the help of Laban and other Falconia soldiers.
He fights the Cockatrice after it emerges from the forest’s darkness in his apostle form, and kills him by firing a large arrow directly into his mouth. When the Band of Falcon an army of Jötnar years later, a massive hydra is ordered to sic on the Band. Irvine supports Zodd as he engages with the massive hydra and Grunbeld burns down the hydra with his fire breath. Irvine and his fellow soldiers triumphantly return to Falconia after defeating the army of Jöntar.
The Demon Child was Guts and Casca’s offspring, who was tainted by Femto. It was born as a small misshapen imp that grew exponentially moments after its birth. The child would manifest mostly during nighttime and appeared in shadowy areas during the day.
The actions of the child revealed its intelligence to be higher than that of a two-year-old. The child resembled a monstrous fetus with a reddened left eye. It was hairless and had a tumorous bump on his infantile face covering his right eye. The child was born with a tail and fingerless tendrils in place of limbs. The Demon child did not speak but had cognitive superior abilities.
The Skull Knight had predicted that the child had accepted an evil nature, but it maintained a kindred bond with its parents. The child followed around Guts for quite some time and appeared to protect Casca when her life was in danger. It displayed no obvious malicious intent and even motivated Guts to avenge the death of Vargas.
The Demon child had the ability to control regular spirits residing in the astral realm and could induce hallucinations in the people. The child was tainted in its fetus form when Femto violated a pregnant Casca after transforming into God Hand.
It led to Casca giving premature birth to a malformed fetus which kept increasing in size. Guts tried to kill the child after realizing that Griffith had corrupted it but Casca stopped him and bit his arm. The infant faded before their eyes during sunrise. The child followed Guts as he left on his quest for revenge.
When Casca was being held captive by Mozgus, the child warned Guts about its mother being in danger. The child exhausted itself shielding Casca from the restless supernatural entities trying to harm her until Guts appeared to save Casca. The child was swallowed by the apostle Egg of the Perfect World in his dying moments. The demon child evolved into a human infant who gradually matured into a part of the vessel where Griffith’s essence resided.
Borkoff is an apostle resembling a large salamander with six legs, a club-like tail, and a body covered in dense dark scales. He is seen carrying a shield and a Lance. He is one of the members of the new Band of Falcon in the demon lancer unit. He first appeared during the eclipse while the Band of Falcon was being slaughtered.
He had snapped his jaw around Guts’ left wrist to stop him from saving Casca. The other Apostles were gathered to eat her but they were stopped by Femto as he proceeded to violate her. Guts used Gatson’s sword to break free of Borkoff’s jaw. Guts amputated his arm with the broken blade to free himself and save Casca.
As a member of the new Band of Falcon, Borkoff and the other demon lancers assaulted the Wyndham Palace to break the Kushan’s lines. The Apostles were confronted by numerous Daka, Pishacha, and Emperor Ganishka himself. They couldn’t stop Ganishka in his apostle form despite being rivals of the Daka demons and the war elephants.
It was part of Griffith’s plan to distract Ganishka as he and Zodd freed Princess Charlotte from captivity. Locus ordered Borkoff to cross one of the palace walls to charge Daka and use it as a battering ram. Berkoff appears in the final battle with Ganishka and the assault on Kushan in Vritannis. Berkoff also defeated an ogre in gladiatorial combat. Even though it seemed like the ogre was winning, Borkoff managed to kill and devour the creature.