anime series opens with Gatts arriving at a town outside a castle
in Midland. However, he did not arrive in this town by accident.
He has been on a solitary journey to destroy those who associate
themselves with God Hand, the ones that destroyed everything that
he ever cared about. Armed with a massive sword, the Dragonslayer,
he pursues them relentlessly with superhuman will and stamina.
Whether this is caused by the Seal branded on his neck is not
known but it certainly renders him almost indestructible before
his enemies. Make no mistake, however, in thinking that he has
become immortal. He is still a mortal. He just happens to be able
to take more punishment than any other person in the story.
his battle with the Snake Baron, the series switches to a flashback
mode to explain how he became what he is now. Here, we see Gatts
as a very young mercenary going up against a rather large knight
defending a fort that they have put under siege. After the siege,
Gatts is on his way to another site that might require his services
when he is harassed by mounted soldiers. These soldiers turn out
to be members of the Hawks, a mercenary band led by Griffith.
He saw Gatts's fight earlier and decides that he would make a
fine addition to his army, if he can convince him to join. Needless
to say, Gatts refuses the offer but Griffith gets him in a situation
where the winner of their wager gets his wish. Griffith eventually
prevails over him, hence making him the latest member of the Hawks.
Shortly thereafter, Gatts is given command of the the Raiders,
the heavy cavalry branch of Griffith's army.
Hawks soon enters service with Midland, which is embroiled in
a hundred-year long war with the Chudan Empire. They immediately
prove their mettle when they defeated the seemingly invincible
Black Ram Heavy Lancer Knights. This catches the attention of
the king of Midland and has since led to Griffith's involvement
to crucial battles, giving him and the Hawks numerous honors.
However, the field commanders, many of whom belong to the aristocratic
class, have grown resentful of his meteoric rise within the Midland
army and thus regard him as nothing but an upstart mercenary commoner.
And to one commander, Yurius, his disdain for Griffith has come
the the point that he feels that is necessary to have him eliminated.
But the assassination fails and at this stage of the story, Griffith's
ruthlessness is revealed and proceeds to remove those who stand
in his way of achieving his dream of getting his own kingdom.
the while, with the battles and political intrigues raging around
him, Gatts has been struggling to find a purpose in his life.
He has been living his life according to what the other people
tell him. Realizing that he too can have a dream and the freedom
to pursue it and probably partly alarmed by what Griffith has
started to become in his pursuit of his dream, he decides to leave
the Hawks. Understandably, Griffith refuses to let him leave without
a fight. To everyone's surprise, Gatts wins over Griffith very
easily and thus, earns the right to leave and find his purpose
in life. This event has shaken Griffith so profoundly to the core
that it precipitates his downward spiral which leads to his fall
from grace and eventual imprisonment. The Hawks, now a disgraced
unit, is forced to flee for its own survival.
than a year has passed since leaving the Hawks, Gatts now knows
for whom he wields his sword. However, he hears news that the
Hawks have been cornered and about to be routed by the Midland
army. He arrives in the nick of time to save them from being destroyed.
There, he learns of the fate that has befallen Griffith and the
Hawks. He also learns of a plan to rescue Griffith from prison
and in the dead of night, he joins a small team lead by Caska
that will carry out the plan. With the help of Princess Charlotte's
personal attendants, they make their way through the secret undeground
passageways and into the prison tower. Upon seeing Griffith's
state, Gatts breaks down and blames himself for what happened
Having gotten to Griffith, they now
fight their way out of the prison tower and the pursuit begins.
Eventually, the castle knights catch up with the Hawks and a skirmish
ensues. While they manage to defeat the pursuing knights, they
realize that Griffith may no longer be capable of leading them
back to respectability and are forced to think about their future
as a fighting force. Meanwhile, haunted by his visions of his
earlier ambitions, Griffith takes control of a wagon and takes
off, sending the other Hawks scampering to get him back. A short
time later, his wagon tumbles out of control and Griffith is thrown
out into a shallow lake. Seeing his broken right arm, he starts
laughing like a mad man. Realizing the futility of making his
dream come true, he tries to commit suicide but only managed to
wound his neck. Griffith looks down and sees his lost pendant,
the Behelit, wrapped around his left hand. Not far behind, Gatts
and the rest of the Hawks finally catch up with him while the
morning sky is beginning to darken due to an eclipse.
is the first one to reach Griffith and he too notices the Behelit,
this time soaking in Griffith's blood but fails to see its transformation
into something that looks like a human face. Suddenly, they become
enveloped and trapped in a nightmarish environment swarming with
hellish monsters, as one by one mysterious beings begin to appear
before them. They are collectively known as God Hand, beings regarded
as "angels" and "demon kings" at the same time by those who inhabit
the world of the dead and they can manipulate man's destiny on
earth. It is here where God Hand tells the Hawks that Griffith
is destined to become one of them and in order for that to come
to pass, the Hawks are to be slaughtered as sacrificial offerings.
Hawks try to put up a fight but in vain. Their deaths too have
been pre-ordained. Gatts tries to help Caska as a swarm of monsters
comes down upon her but another monster grabs his left arm, preventing
him from getting to her. Then, they hear a sound that signals
the birth of the new demon king. Griffith has now completely transformed
into the newest member of God Hand, Femto the Wings of Darkness.
He then flies down to where Caska is. Desperate to free himself
from the monster's grip, Gatts cuts off his left arm with his
broken sword and runs towards her. But almost immediately, the
other monsters pin him down to the ground while forcing him to
watch Femto rape Caska. Soon, one of the monsters' claws holding
his head punctures his right eye. As blood begins to fill his
vision, everything fades to black.
ends the anime series, with the epilogue showing Gatts leaving
Godo's house to seek revenge against God Hand and their minions,
as we see him do in the first episode of the TV series.
Special thanks to The
Black Sun Over Midland, the Berserk Shrine for this story.