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I just finished Berserk, and I found myself truly fascinated and entertained by the story. It's a genuine tragedy that Miura died before he could finish this masterpiece, and I hope he rests in peace. After having been caught up with the manga, I'm going to make a proposal for one of the few characters in the series that can qualify: Rickert.

What is the Work?

Berserk is a manga and anime created by Kentaro Miura. The world revolves around Guts, a man who tragically lost his comrades after having been betrayed by their leader, Griffith, and had to watch them all be sacrificed and eaten by monsters. In this world, there are monsters known as Apostles, all created by higher beings known as the God Hand who live to corrupt humanity and turn humans into monsters by having them sacrifice their humanity to fulfill their deepest desires. Guts goes on a revenge spree, declaring war against the Apostles and the God Hand. Rickert is one of the only surviving members of the Band of Hawk, and he serves as a supportive figure who helps Guts on his quest by making inventions for him.

Who is He? What Has He Done?

Rickert is the youngest and newest member of the Band of Hawk. He is first seen in a battle when Guts saves his life from enemy soldiers. Afterwards, when Guts is first inducted to the Band of Hawk after having lost to a battle against Griffith, Rickert is one of the only people to support his induction in spite of Guts having killed some of the Hawk members in battle.

He doesn't play a very active role in the beginning of the story, mostly serving as a side-character who is flustered by the praise he receives as the Band of the Hawk rises in status and popularity. After Guts departs from the Band of Hawk, Griffith is captured by the King after having slept with his daughter, Charlotte, in a moment of weakness. Afterwards, the Band of the Hawk are denounced as traitors by the Kingdom of Midland, Rickert stays with the group in spite of the increased dangers and constant fear they live in. When they meet Guts again, Rickert is relieved to see Guts, spilling tears of joy.

Rickert treats the injured soldiers and stays behind while Griffith is rescued by the others. When he goes to get some water, he comes back to find the soldiers all slaughtered by two Apostles. The two Apostles nearly kill Rickert, but he's saved by the Skull Knight, an enemy of the God Hand. Afterwards, Rickert goes out to search for the Band of the Hawk, only to find a giant, swirling vortex. He witnesses a fight between Skull Knight and Zodd, then he takes care of Guts and Casca when they're brought to safety by the Skull Knight. He takes the two to a place in mountains where Guts trained, accompanied by a young girl named Erica and a blacksmith named Godot. He helps Guts recover and makes him new weapons. As it happens, Casca's mind is broken from having to see the Band of the Hawk devoured by Apostles and being raped by Griffith, so she's regressed into an infantile state. Guts doesn't tell him about what happened during the Eclipse and about the fate of the Band of the Hawk, however, and Rickert doesn't feel comfortable asking him about it. When Guts leaves to start his crusade against the Apostles, Rickert tries to convince him to stay to take care of Casca.

Two years pass, and Guts returns. Rickert reveals that Erica accidentally let Casca out, where she wandered off somewhere. Rickert spent over a month trying to search for her, but had to come back to take care of Erica. Guts goes out to search for Casca while Rickert continues to stay behind. Later on, Rickert meets Griffith, who was reincarnated into his original body. They reunite at a burial ground Rickert made to honor the dead members of the Band of Hawk. Rickert doesn't know what Griffith did, and is relieved to see him again. When Guts arrives, he lunges forward in a fiery rage. Rickert tries to stop Guts and asks why he's attacking Griffith. A battle ensues between Guts and Griffith's new henchman, Zodd, and after the battle, Rickert pleads with Guts to tell him the truth about what happened. When he learns that Griffith sacrificed the Band of the Hawk to be eaten by Apostles, Rickert is driven with grief. He wants to go with Guts on his quest, but Guts says he can't because Rickert could never really hate Griffith.

Later on, Rickert takes Erica to the new city of Falconia, a city created by Griffith and the only safe place in the world after the Great Roar of the Astral World unleashed countless monsters all over the planet. Rickert is treated as an honored guest and is shown the city of Falconia, how it operates, and how the Apostles are managed by Griffith. Then, Rickert comes face-to-face with Griffith, and slaps him. Even though Rickert doesn't hate Griffith, he refuses to acknowledge Griffith as his leader after having learned what he did to the Band of the Hawk. After rejecting Griffith, he leaves Falconia, wanting to find another safe place to take care of Erica and not wanting to live under Griffith's rule.

Admirable Standard

Berserk has an EXTREMELY low admirable standard, possibly one of the lowest admirable standards in manga and anime. This is a world filled with mercenaries, monsters, and the heroes are no saints either. Guts, the main protagonist, has killed hundreds of people, held children hostage, and has shown intsense sadism toward his enemies. It is because of this that Rickert manages to stand out so much.

Rickert is an incredibly kind and accepting individual. When Guts is first inducted into the Band of Hawk, Rickert fiercely defends him, saying that he was provoked into battle and that while he may have killed one of their men, it was mostly out of self-defense. He continues to show this incredible kindness, often being driven to tears of relief when his comrades are safe from harm. He attempts to convince Guts not to leave the Band of the Hawk, reminding him that they're his family. He shows this same relief when Guts is reunited with the Band of Hawk, running up to him in joy with tears in his eyes. He does his best to try and steer Guts toward the right path, asking Guts to stay both when he left the Band of Hawk and when he left to hunt Apostles.

Rickert is also extremely devoted to his friends and the people he cares about. When the Band of Hawk were named criminals, Rickert was one of the people who chose to stay beside them instead of running away. He helped Guts recover and gave him important weapons that would help him on his journey. After the Eclipse, he spent two years in the mountains with Godot, Erica and Casca, doing his best for all of them. When Casca was lost, Rickert spent more than a month searching for her, only coming back in order to take care of Erica. After learning the truth about what happened to the Band of the Hawk, Rickert wants to go with Guts on his journey, feeling incredibly guilty for living in ignorance while Guts carried the burden of the Eclipse all by himself. Then, in his most badass moment, when reuniting with Griffith in Falconia, Rickert slaps him across the face, denouncing him as his leader and bidding farewell to him.

Rickert has also contributed quite a lot to the story in terms of actions. While in the first part he wasn't as prevalent, it was after the Eclipse that he began to make an impact. For one, Rickert was the one who created Guts' prosthetic arm with the cannon that would save his ass against several Apostles. When they meet two years later, he gives him some new upgrades to his arm and some small but highly effective bombs, both of which would save Guts' ass in the Tower of Conviction. Then, he uses his inventions to protect Erica and save them from monsters after the Great Roar of the Astral Plane.

One of Rickert's most admirable qualities, however, is his incredible heart. Guts himself would acknowledge this, and tells Rickert that he could never truly hate Griffith because he's too kind. Indeed, when reuniting with Griffith, after slapping Griffith, he even admits that he can't really hate Griffith. He slapped him not out of hatred, but out of respect for the previous Band of the Hawk who were all killed at his hand.

Corrupting Factors

I can't really think of any notable corrupting qualities Rickert might have. Since he was a mercenary for the Band of Hawk, he probably killed some soldiers in-battle, but Rickert is never actually shown killing anyone. Besides, this would fall under the rules of war.

Overall Verdict

Because of the incredible kindness and support Rickert has shown to Guts and his comrades, the impact he's had on the story with the weapons he's invented for Guts, and his inability to hate Griffith, I'd say Rickert definitely qualities.

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