Recently re-read Berserk and thought ya know what would be a great idea? Pointlessly rating all the female characters in Berserk, that’s what. Blame it on quarantine.
All characters start with 10 points that get deducted for reasons based 100% on my personal opinions.
My criteria essentially is:
- Their removal would affect the plot
- They undergo some change/character development, good or bad
- We see different sides of their personality
- They have a plot of their own that doesn’t revolve entirely around a male character. OR
- They are well-developed within the confines of the role they are written to play
- They don’t toss away every traditionally feminine trait in an attempt to be a strong, independent womyn.
If I had any complaint about Caska, it would be that it seems she was supposed to die during the Eclipse, or that she didn’t exist when Miura first began writing Berserk, but then he decided not to kill her off because GOAT. That’s the only reason I’ll semi-forgive Miura for making her generally useless angst fuel for the bulk of the manga.
Anyway, Caska is great.
- She can fight for real. Only bested by Guts/Griffith, both of whom are god-tier so they don’t count.
- While she’s physically tough, she doesn’t reject or is revolted by anything and everything feminine (she gets her period, she wears a dress, she has a crush on Griffith, she and Guts have a thing).
- She kept the Hawk together (and alive) after it was abandoned.
- She was probably the reason everyone didn’t immediately die once the Eclipse began (they died later but still).
- She was a true ride or die, willing to stick around and take care of Griffith instead of riding off into the sunset with Guts like she wanted to.
- Even crazy, she could kick butt.
- She loved her hideous child.
Caska’s Rating: 9.5/10
I actually like Charlotte, even though typically she’s the sort of female character I hate (blinded by love and generally useless and/or in the way of main characters), because she’s sincere.
- broke King Midian’s nose and refused to visit his death bed
- helped rescue Griffith. Even though she was 87% useless, it’s the thought that counts. She also took poison on his behalf, which was a nice considering her inability to control a horse nearly got him poisoned earlier
- probably would’ve married tongue-less Griffith
- something about taking care of orphans. Her world is utter trash and the fact she’s even bothering to attempt to do something positive and not wallow in despair, or sit around and eat cake proves she has grit
Charlotte is somewhat limited by her own existence as a literal damsel in distress, stuck in a tower that requires an actual miracle to be rescued from. She’s also dumbly (but understandably) obsessed with Neo-Griffith. Still, she somehow manages to not be utterly annoying when she appears.
Charlotte’s Rating: 7.5/10
For a large chunk of the story, Farnese was generally useless and in the way, both before and after joining Guts’ harem.
However, Farnese has some pretty fantastic character development. She starts off as a sincere but misguided knight templar, realizes the world is legit going to hell, and wisely decides to follow plot-armored Guts to survive. She rapidly realizes she’s utterly useless and takes steps to become useful (learning to fight/use magic). She was also willing to marry some dude just so Guts n Crew could get to the land of elves.
And she gets off to people burning at the stake.
Farnese’s Rating: 9/10
Schierke is fabulous.
- She walks around in obvious witchy attire
- She saves Guts from being consumed by the Berserker armor
- She’s an actual witch
- She fights with Isidoro all the time
- She’s not useless or generally in the way, and in fact saves large swaths of people with her magic several times, including Guts
My only gripe is that she doesn’t seem to have much of her own character arc (unless you count proving her usefulness). There is some interesting stuff around her past and relationship with Flora that’s never really explored…
Schierke’s Rating: 7/10
Luca is probably the genuinely nicest character in the entire story. She did the most to keep Nina and the other
hoes ladies safe. I’m just mad she didn’t join Guts’ squad (though that would’ve interfered with the Farnese x Caska dynamic).
- took care of Caska for no reason
- listened to that Egg apostle wax poetic about his life’s goal
- rightfully beat Nina’s bottom
- refused to be a homewrecker
- made a tribute to the Egg apostle after he died
- somehow managed to survive a demonic assault mostly unscathed despite having no supernatural abilities or super skills/strength
Luca’s Rating: 9/10
I initially thought Isma was the HBIC of the island causing all that mayhem. She’s actually a mermaid/merrow. Anyway:
- – 1 for predictability. Like it was very obvious something was up with her and being on an island made it clear she was some sea creature
- – 5.5 because I actually completely forgot about her existence between the last time I read Berserk and this time, meaning she was that irrelevant to the overall story. The merrows could’ve saved Guts without her.
Isma is kinda cool as she lived on a creepy island alone and she did jump into the water to save Isidro, but those are about the only memorable things about her.
Isma’s Rating: 3.5/10
She’s a godhand. She’s probably been through some ish to get there. Maybe she’s that female Griffith looking chick in that flashback? Who knows.
She serves her purpose though, which is to cause mayhem and be generally intimidating. Also, she appears to be team schadenfreude, which I can always get behind.
Slan’s Rating: 10/10
Sonia is like a Caska-lite except 10000000000001 times as annoying. But she has some general usefulness in that she:
- is a seer and able to see the future, among other things
- is probably the only reason everyone didn’t flee in terror after Griffith released his demon army on the Kushans
- helped the army get through those tree branches or whatever
- generally dgaflip
Her devil may care attitude wins her major points. Girl walked right into a group of apostles and was totally unbothered. Also, her generally being jealous over Neo-Griffith’s non-attraction to Charlotte is great, since in a tale as bleak and otherwordly as Berserk it’s nice to see some normal, human pettiness.
Sonia’s Rating: 7/10
She takes care of Caska for a bit (though she loses her) and fulfills her role as cute kid. She’s with Rickert all the time.
Erica’s Rating: 5.2/10
If Luca was the main character, Nina would be her foil. Nina’s sole redeeming quality is that she’s entirely aware she’s a useless coward, and makes an effort to change herself in the end by running away with the same man she tried to kill a few chapters ago.
In fact, here’s a list of people Nina would’ve let die:
- All those goat worshippers
- Literally anyone who’s not her
She’s dying of some disease, which makes it all the more ironic she tries so hard to live… Anyway, she has some fantastic character development and most of us would be Ninas in a story like Berserk anyway.
Nina’s Rating: 8.5/10
Jill likely would’ve been what Farnese became to the squad if Guts had actually let her come along. Sadly, he wasn’t ready to open his heart and gain True Companions 2.0 yet. However, Jill is generally awesome in that she is, like Luca, someone without any strength or fighting abilities, yet she manages to both survive against incredible odds and be useful.
- is not afraid to speak up for herself against her trash father
- refuses to escape her miserable life to become an elf, yet doesn’t judge Rosine for it
- shields Guts with her own body
- brought Guts food/generally acted like his daughter
I’m kinda sad Jill didn’t join his squad, mainly because at this point in the story she’s either dead or in Falconia…
Jill’s Rating: 8.7/10
The HBIC of the evil mini elves. Also a generally tragic villain. I didn’t really feel sad about any of the apostles dying except her, because she was really just a kid wanting a better life.
Rosine’s Rating: 9/10
The Female Apostle Who Killed Corkus
She did her job. Which was to kill Corkus. Without her, Corkus would’ve lived a little longer. Thus her removal would’ve affected the plot.
The Female Apostle Who Killed Corkus’s Rating: 10/10
My hope is that after Guts somehow obtains god-tier powers and kills Griffith, she kills Guts.
Anyway, she will always stand out as being an example that not all apostles are total monsters given her father couldn’t sacrifice her even though doing so would’ve saved his life.
Theresia’s Rating: Godhand/10.
Gosh, there are more female character in Berserk (Flora, Isma’s mom, Fricka, Guts Dead Mother, Sys, Elf Queen, Morda, Chitch/that flower, That Ugly Witch Who Trained Morda, the other witches, the other hoes, Colette, Female Griffith In Skullknight Flashback, Female Apostle Who Looked Like Maleficent, and so on) but this is getting long…