Vagabond and Berserk are the two most popular Seinen manga characters ever written; unlike Shonen manga, Seinen focuses more on character development and story and less on fights and stuff.
Both characters are tremendously influential in their verses and had a traumatic experience, enough to shake someone to their core. Still, they have decided to move forward, hoping for a better future.
Berserk was written by legendary author Kentaro Miura in 1999. Still, due to always prioritizing his love for the story, he never paid attention to his health and passed away in May 2021.
Vagabond is well known throughout the industry due to its unique and deep physiological characters and their journey, as well as its breathtaking art. The manga series began in 1999, but in 2010, due to the poor health of the mangaka, it went on hiatus.
Guts is often claimed to be the character who has suffered the most across all the characters; he was ra*ed when he was a child while also seeing his mother die and the only father figure in his life trying to kill him, his own best friend ra*ing Casca which is enough to break someone, buts Guts still continues.
Musashi, who only lived in his own world where nobody could defeat finally learned about life and how things work while also becoming a different man in his spiritual journey.
In this article, we will take a look at Guts and Musashi, the two powerhouses of the Seinen industry, and discuss what makes them so different from other characters and each other.
Table of Contents
I. Guts: Berserk
Guts often goes by the name Black Swordsman, which he acquired by slaying thousands of people. He is a former mercenary who travels the world to seek out strong opponents who could help him become more stronger.
Guts is a colossal man; he also has a lot of muscles, which he gained during his battles, along with several slashes across his whole body. His height is 6’8, and he is 115 kg or 253 lbs. He also has an evil smile on his face most of the time.
3. Power and Abilities
Guts’ most powerful asset is his superhuman strength and endurance. He can withstand some of the heaviest blows you can imagine. Indomitable will is also one of his strong points. He would defy the gods to achieve something, as he has done many times in the series.
4. Berserker Form
Guts berserk form is when he equips his dragon armor, which is said to be the strongest in the series and capable of going head-to-head with some of the elite materials found in the demon realm.
5. Maturity Level
Although he has grown physically and mentally since Griffith raped Casca in front of his eyes, he still learns new things daily. Compared to his previous versions, where he would kill without a single thought, he is now in a stable condition and only draws his sword when it is unavoidable and wants peace.
Guts has only lost two fights throughout the story, and he lost to
When Guts came face-to-face with Zodd for the second time, he could stall the fight, but due to the interference of Casca, he panicked and lost the fight, which he would have won.
The only person Guts cannot defeat is Griffith, who is from the beginning in a different realm compared to Guts. No matter how much Guts trains or fights, Griffith seems like a dream he cannot achieve.
His only dream is to kill Griffith and make him pay for betraying the band of falcons for his gain. He also wishes to live a peaceful life with Casca when everything is over.
II. Musashi Miyamoto: Vagabond
Miyamoto Musashi was one of the greatest samurai and lived in the 17th century. He claimed to have fought over 60 death battles and won all of them. He was also a writer and wrote many books before passing away.
His appearance has changed a lot since the beginning of the series. Initially, he used to keep his hair open, but he started tying it up after it grew too long. He also has a lean build.
His height is almost 180 cm (5’11”). He is currently 28 years old in the latest arc of the manga. He has many slashes on his skin, which he earned by fighting several death battles.
3. Power and Abilities
As an average human, he had no power or ability. He only knew how to fight using a sword and small knives, but other than that, he did not possess anything else.
He does not have any Berserker form like Guts, but when he lost control at the beginning of the series, he had the habit of shouting and running straight toward the enemy with his sword aimed at the head.
4. Maturity Level
Regarding maturity, he is one of the best characters in fiction. Through his journey, he learned that one needs to look at the bigger picture while making decisions to avoid disappointment in the long run.
When the village exiled him, he did not attack the villagers; he just swiftly left. Even when his villagers attacked him, he did not say anything to them until they decided to kill him.
What makes him arguably the greatest samurai of all time is that he did not lose any of the battles he fought. Sure, he did run away from some battles, but in the end, he returned and always ended what he had started.
He has fought many formidable opponents throughout the series but has never lost a single battle. Although some claim he cheated, that is incorrect.
For example, during his fight with Isshun, he threw dirt in his eyes and landed a good blow to his ribs. Many fans consider this cheating, but even Isshun said that anything like this is, in fact, a good sense of awareness and should not be termed as cheating.
He wishes to become invincible under the sun, achieve what we can call unconquerable, become the most vital human in existence, and become the greatest swordsman ever.
However, he has also stated numerous times that he does not have a particular goal but is currently on a spiritual journey and wants to see where his life will take him.
III. Guts vs. Musashi: Comparison
1. Based on Strength
One common thing between Guts and Musashi is that both are born without any powers. You may have thought that Guts had some power.
Gut strength is superhuman and far surpasses that of a human being. The reason for this was that he was raised in an insensitive environment, and to survive, he had to go through hell. It was do or die for him.
On the other hand, Musashi does not have superhuman strength, but he is more powerful than the average person because he was raised in the mountains and endured through training. However, in terms of raw strength, Gus outweighs Musashi heavily.
2. Based on Abilities
Guts abilities include super strength, peak human condition, and the most important one, Indomitable Will, which was why he survived the eclipse—a desire so strong that he managed to defy death to achieve his goal.
Musashi only had a few abilities, except for his ability to throw knives and use anything available in hindsight as a weapon. During his fight with Isshun, he used bamboo to save his limbs.
3. Based on Swordsman Skills
In his skillset as a swordsman, Musashi outclasses Guts by a mile, the sole reason being that Musashi, being a samurai, was well aware of swords and different types of blades and often used them in battles.
Meanwhile, Guts was also an excellent swordsman, but he only knew how to swing his big sword; any more miniature swords were formidable.
4. Based on Enlightenment
Guts needed someone who could share his knowledge with him. The only thing that made Guts think was violence, although deep down, he was not very fond of it; since he had a dream to kill Griffith, he could not afford to cause problems for anyone.
Meanwhile, Musashi was also similar but was blessed to meet people who helped him throughout his journey. From a man who only knew how to kill others and considered himself the greatest to a man who always helped others, looking out for people, and only fought to become physically and mentally strong
5. Based on Struggles
The journey of both Guts and Musashi was extremely tough and enough to break a person’s willpower and demolish him to extreme darkness. Guts was born from a corpse and labeled as bad luck. When he was a child, he was raped by one of the members of the mercenaries.
To live, he had to kill and face uncountable battles where he was supposed to die. On the other hand, his mother left Musashi alone, and his father was known as the demon.
Due to being a demon child, everybody avoided him; he endured hard training in the jungles and sometimes did not have anything to eat besides water. But in terms of struggle, it is safe to say that Guts suffered and struggled more.
6. Based on Character Development
In terms of character development, both have grown tremendously. When they started their journey, the only thing they both knew was how to kill, but eventually, they learned how to love, live, and what the true meaning of being alive is.
IV. Why Are Guts and Musashi the Anime Series’s Best Characters?
Guts and Musashi are two of the best characters ever written, which is evident due to their journey. For context, Guts grew up in an environment where more than 99% would die. As has been mentioned several times throughout the story, Guts was the type of person who defied fate to achieve his goal.
During his early stage as a mercenary, he used to kill everyone and had no one whom he wanted to protect or spend time with; however, that changed after he joined the band of falcons and met Griffith, who was the first person in his life who ever gave him any form of respect and treated Guts as equals.
At that time, he finally found people who appreciated him, and as soon as he was about to join them, an eclipse happened, which ended up taking the life of every band member.
After what happened at the eclipse and the betrayal of Griffith, he decides to go on a killing hunt, but he realizes that he is now in love with Casca, and she is his responsibility.
Like every other character, he has sheer willpower and discipline. Also, even though he appears to be a monster and the type of guy who would kill in an instant, deep down, he has a perfect heart and just wants to be happy.
The same goes for Musashi. Even though he was rejected by his people and hated for being born, he still decided to learn about life, how to be alive, and how to truly become strong.
Musashi was always being hunted, as he was cursed with abilities that nobody else came close to. When he lived in the wild, he considered himself the strongest, but when he left his comfort zone and wandered the world, he discovered how large the world is and how many strong people there are.
What fans love about him the most is his desire to learn new things, and somehow, even though he is a fictional character, he connects with the readers.
The journey of both Guts and Musashi has not been easy, but it is one of the best to watch compared to all the characters, and this is what separates them from all the others.
Guts and Musashi are both extremely well-written characters and have proven time and time again that it is always necessary to keep moving forward. Although there are thousands of characters, Guts and Musashi need a connection with the audience as strong as they are.
Even though it is a manga, there is always something you can learn from the story.
From Musashi, you can learn how to become a better person and why hurdles are always essential for us. From Guts, you can learn that it is always necessary to keep going, even in a challenging position.
Do small things with great love.
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I am a first-year student pursuing Data Science and Artificial intelligence and have always been mesmerised by AI and wish to build one for my own in future. In my free time, I like to watch Romance Anime or read Seinen Manga.