At the start of the Berserk anime we see a mysterious man who calls himself The Black Swordsman (aka Guts) entering a town, seeking to battle the town's ruler. In a rage, and to draw Guts to him, the evil ruler starts burning the town and slaughtering people. Guts shows up and apparently kills the ruler. However the ruler then turns into a huge lizard monster and proceeds to beat Guts to within an inch of his life. Just as Guts looks to be dead, he blows a hole in the monster with a hidden arm cannon. Guts then grabs his huge sword and cuts the monster in half.
The story then flashes back to a castle which is under siege. The castle is occupied by a group of young mercenaries (The Band of The Hawk) lead by a young man named Griffith. Defending the castle's entrance is a huge knight. A young Guts shows up and kills the knight in one on one combat to collect the reward money.
Later we see Guts walking alone when he is ambushed by some of The Hawks. Although outnumbered, Guts easily defeats them. Griffith, who is watching, orders his second in command, Caska, a young woman, to go fight Guts. Guts nearly kills Caska but Griffith intervenes and defeats Guts instantly.
A wounded Guts awakes in The Hawks camp and goes looking for Griffith to get his revenge. Guts wants to kill Griffith in a duel, but Griffith makes him promise to join The Hawks if he loses. Eventually Griffith wins, forcing Guts to join.
Berserk Story Summary Anime
In his first mission with The Hawks, Griffith gives Guts a role of great responsibility. Guts is very successful in his role, winning the support and respect of the members of The Hawks. However he does not win over Caska who dislikes Guts a great deal. As time goes on the two argue bitterly. Caska who loves Griffith, does not know what he sees in Guts and thinks that Guts' recklessness only jeopardises Griffith's goal of rising to power and becoming a king.
In a flashback we see how Guts began life. A group of mercenaries finds Guts as a baby, newly born from the corpse of his dead mother. The wife of Gambino, a mercenary, takes Guts in as her son. Years later she dies, leaving Gambino to raise Guts. We see Guts learning to fight alongside the mercenaries even though he is just a child and his sword is as big as him. Although Guts loves Gambino as a father, Gambino is cruel and harsh on Guts, believing the child to be cursed and blaming him for his wife's death. One night Gambino attacks Guts in a rage and Guts accidentally kills him in defense. The mercenaries run Guts out of the camp, trying to kill him. Though just a boy Guts must survive on his own.
We flash back and see that as time has gone on, The Hawks have had great success and their status has become legendary. The Hawks even earn recognition from the King of Midland, the country where The Hawks live. Griffith is knighted for the help The Hawks give Midland in the war against the neighbouring country of Tudor.
In one battle Guts meets a huge monster called Zodd the Immortal. Guts nearly dies but Griffith comes to rescue him. Zodd notices a strange amulet around Griffith's neck, and after warning Guts that Griffith will cause Guts' own death, Zodd flies away.
Following another great victory, Griffith is promoted to Count. Griffith plans to win the heart of the King's daughter, the Princess, and one day marry her as he knows this will be the simplest way to one day become King. Meanwhile jealousy of Griffith's fast rise to power is arising amongst the Midland nobles. General Yurius, the King's brother, conspires with a minister to assasinate Griffith. However Griffith survives the assasination attempt, and in response secretly sends Guts to assasinate General Yurius.
In another battle against Tudor, Guts and Caska become separated from The Hawks. They end up spending some time alone together and talking, as they have to hide in a cave over night to survive. Caska tells of how Griffith took her into