How Guts and Casca grew together – Part 2

Leaving the Hawks

Judeau makes it clear to Guts that there would be indeed a place for him in Casca’s life. Neither Judeau nor Casca nor Griffith could change Guts’ mind. Casca realizes how she started to change. She is incredibly sad and hurt at Guts’ departure and we see her missing him as well.

A month later: Guts prepares to leave.

Casca is still awake reading a book (which is an interesting characterization of her), sees someone outside, realizes it’s Guts and hurries out.

She appears to have troubles finding words. Just look at the expression on her face.

She looks like she’s sad, or isn’t she? Then finally she is asking him whether he really wants to leave. Note how she clenched her left hand into a fist, holding it close to her heart – because it is aching.

She states how it’s been tense between them in the beginning, but because they have been through so much together, there is no reason to depart (he could have stayed for her after all). The Hawks were about to earn the fruits of their hard labor.

However, Guts insists that he already made up his mind still wishes to leave because he refuses to remain in the shadow of Griffith’s dream.

This little exchange is interesting to say the least. She is acknowledging their relationship wasn’t always the best and by saying this to him, she is trying to be considerate towards him, hoping to change his mind. I believe that Casca nailed it when she brought up the initial tension between them and it was a very good call of her to bring it up, too. As far as we have learned in the first part of this article series, her bitter treatment in the beginning is something that affected him greatly.

But even so, this is still not the entire reason why Guts is leaving. You have to consider the observations we made based on the previous part of this article: by the time he heard Griffith’s fountain speech, Guts started to focus on Casca instead and attempted to form a bond with her. However, after she revealed to him how she became part of the Hawks, and her obsession with Griffith, it made him feel like he is the fifth wheel on a wagon. What is he doing here with everyone having a dream when he himself has none? It pained him so much he was willing to lose his life during the 100-Man-Slayer scene. He could not bear seeing BOTH Casca and Griffith having a dream and a goal to work towards to, when he does not. This is what the final straw was. And this is also why nothing Casca or Judeau said to him would have changed his mind.

Then, he goes on to say that despite of all, he wishes her and Griffith well. He wanted her to be happy, but if you look at her face, she knows very well that Griffith doesn’t have eyes for her at all.

After this, we see Judeau, Corkus and Rickert join on them. Judeau is dragging Guts to the side to have a talk with him. We get to see more details about Guts’ way of thinking.

Then we see Judeau asking him why he wishes to leave:

“It ain’t sudden, I decided before our last dispatch”, which only confirms what we already found out earlier: he decided to leave the Hawks before the Battle of Doldrey – meaning after the Campfire of Dreams!

However, because the details surrounding Guts’ motivation to leave the Hawks isn’t particularly necessary for Guts and Casca’s relationship, we will skip this for now. However, if you’d like to read more about this, you can read further here: Why did Guts leave the Hawks?

Later on Judeau drags him outside to have a talk with him in private. He’s asking him about him and Casca.

Judeau brings up how him and Casca have grown closer. Guts doesn’t seem comfortable with talking about her and possibly already knows where Judeau is going with this.

It seems like Guts he acknowledges that Casca had her reasons for the hostility she initially had towards him. Perhaps he is also thinking of how she was sold out to the noble by her parents and how she was assaulted by him later.

Guts is a bit defensive here, as if he’s ready to deny there is nothing between them. But Judeau does not hesitate to go there: he asks Guts why he is not trying his luck with her.

Guts, as dense and caught up in his own feelings of worthlessness as he is, of course denies it’s even possible: “Every old dog in the Hawks knows that she and Griffith…”

But Judeau interrupts him.

What Judeau is doing now is to make Guts understand how unbearable the situation is for Casca. The one she is infatuated with is completely out of reach for her because Griffith has other plans, namely to woo the Princess so he could get his kingdom.

Guts comments how this must be unbearable for Casca. That reason alone could have been a reason for Guts to stay. But he fails to realize there might be a chance and spot in her life for him.

And because it is impossible for Casca to be happy in this situation, Judeau is asking Guts whether he would be the one who would wish to hold her. Remember that Guts wished Casca the best for her and Griffith earlier. The intention that he DOES want her to be happy is there, at least.

Guts first pauses, then goes on to say that Casca is indeed special and to his liking: “I… she’s a fine woman”. He appears to speak about her with respect and admiration. However, at the same time he’s avoiding Judeau’s question.

Judeau asks him “So?”, probably because he notices that Guts was avoiding it and because being comrades first doesn’t necessarily exclude the possibility for romance.

Judeau looks at him, and what follows seems like Guts catches himself making an excuse or perhaps lying to himself. Then he corrects himself:

He basically states that them being comrades actually isn’t an obstacle to them advancing romantically. It was Griffith who still has Cacsa’s attention and focus, and he probably wouldn’t be able to bear this even if he tried. Even at this point in the story, Guts is admitting that he is not seeing Casca as a comrade.

He explicitly states that as long as Griffith is this important in her life, that he is no good for her and that there is no space for him.

Perhaps Guts also thought that in order to gain Casca’s favor, he has to be a man like Griffith: someone with a dream and goal. He realizes he was no match for Griffith.

“If she LOVES him, shouldn’t she want to be held by him?”
– Judeau

Is this the reason why Casca was usually reluctant to get closer to Griffith? Mere infatuation with someone rarely means love or capacity to form a serious relationship with them. This is a parallel that happens to Guts/Farnese dynamics as well, with Farnese acknowledging it is not love she feels towards Guts.

Because Guts is actually capable of voicing these thoughts, we can assume that he must have thought this way long before him leaving the Hawks – namely (as I have pointed out before) possibly right after falling off the cliff together with her.

Anyway, after Judeau and Guts had their conversation, they end up at the outer skirts of Wyndham. There, they meet the Casca, Rickert, Pippin and Corkus who have gathered to see Guts one last time – or prevent him from leaving (or just scoff him in Corkus’ case).

Again, Casca seems very glum here. Note her body language. Her head looking down, her hands in her pockets.

I hate to say it but our favorite asshole Corkus nails it when he says “Like you’re in some kind of agony or something” . The sad part: given everything we found out in this article series, he doesn’t even know how right he is

When Guts had his moments with Rickert begging him to stay and Corkus scolding him for the decision, he looks over to Casca. I still can’t get over how moved and sad she looks here. It didn’t get into Guts’ head that he mattered more to her than he maybe thought.

What I found confusing about the following page is that at the end of it, he has this weird smirk on his face as he recalls Judeau asking him whether he’d like to hold her.

Right after this, he just moves past her. Casca looks back at him, and I can’t quite decide whether her facial expression is surprise, shock or perhaps also something like outrage. Then Griffith stops Guts by drawing his sword.

Okay hold the hell up for one second.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit messed up? Just to walk past Casca like this, without saying a word, without maybe a gesture of goodbye after you’ve been through so much together? AFTER you just thought about whether you’d like to hold her? As if all that never mattered to you? Perhaps that’s exactly why Casca looked so surprised.

Was this guy so blinded by his own lack of purpose and self-worth that he seriously thought he didn’t matter to Casca at all…?

Not to justify Casca’s murderous breakdown she has after he returned, but no wonder she was so mad at him. Him leaving (together with Griffith and ultimately her dream crushing down), and the burden of keeping the hawks alive for an entire year that followed must have utterly broken her.

Anyway – Griffith is demanding a duel so Guts would fight for his freedom from the Hawks. Casca would like to prevent this, because she does not like seeing the men she cares for fight.

She reminding them they are comrades and need to sit down and talk – which would have been a very reasonable approach. I mean, Guts could have disclosed his reason for leaving (the fountain speech) and Griffith could have explained himself and maybe also insisted that despite of this, he still needed him as soldier (and possibly friend, too). However, Guts and Griffith BOTH acted strictly according to mercenary code, rather than to acknowledge they may have been more than just mercenary and mercenary leader (i.e. real friends). Given how Casca reacted here, by trying to make them talk it out instead of fighting, she seems to be the only person that really understood this.

The fact Griffith just swings his sword as a response shows how serious he is and that she has no say in this.

The fact Guts and Griffith see each other as ordinate and subordinate in this moment was only perpetuated by the others.

Just by calling Griffith to the scene, Casca already showed that she would like Guts to stay. However, this realization only hits her now:

She pauses and stops as she starts to reflect on her own thoughts.

She appears to be confused at her train of thought. Why would she want him to stay…? Wasn’t she supposed to hate him…? She does not. Because Guts has proven multiple times to her that all he wants is to make her wish to be close to Griffith come true.

Unfortunately, even Griffith was unable to make him stay.

In the following pages it seem like Casca is paralyzed. She doesn’t even know what to say or do anymore. She appears in distress, holding her hand in front of her face. It’s like she thought: “This can’t be happening, he is leaving now and I cannot do anything”.

When Casca calls Guts’ name, he stops for a moment and it looks like he is flinching at the presumably desperate tone of her voice (at least, judging by her face and the looks of the speech bubble).

Turn around you goddamn idiot!!!

Sadly, while her calling him did make him pause for a second, it did not make him stop leaving altogether.

In the Corridor of Dreams we also see this very same scene. Farnese notes how Casca was torn between Guts and Griffith, unable to do anything. She also mentions the sadness that tore her heart into two – so our previous interpretation of Casca’s facial expression as being sorrowful were correct:

During Guts’ departure Casca makes a certain realization, one that she will bring up during the waterfall scene (it is connected to her wish for him to stay), and we can make a very good guess about what she realized as well. In fact – it appears like Farnese might be hinting to this in the above panel too. More of this later!

Once Guts departed, we get to witness two entirely different worlds of coping with loss.

Casca is looking out for Griffith, possibly to talk to him about Guts leaving and perhaps to connect with him and deal with the departure of their valued comrade. Given how Casca tried to make Guts and Griffith talk earlier, it seems like her way of solving problems is talking things out (which is a very healthy thing to do). But Griffith at this point has gone nuts already, climbing into Princess Charlotte’s chambers to take her virginity.

While Griffith is screwing the Princess as a way to cope (which can be seen as way of re-focusing on his dream), we see Casca deal with the grief very differently – and as far as I am concerned, in a much healthier way.

She is making space for her emotions: she experiences them instead of running away, suppressing or distract herself from them e.g. by swinging her sword in combat.

We see how she is going to Guts’ room to see what he left behind as an attempt to cope, as if she was trying to connect to him despite of his absence. And she does so because whenever she felt insecure and distant to Griffith, Guts was there to take it away and comfort her – up until now.

Someone was missing – someone she needed the most right now. This is the very sword Guts protected her with after they fell off the cliff. And now it is broken – just like her heart.

9 thoughts on “How Guts and Casca grew together – Part 2

  1. Compliments, I have been following all your analyzes for a long time and they are extraordinary and accurate. Rich and interesting. Thank you. I just wanted to tell you what I look for this part of them, when how they make love. Because I, after following up to here, want to see what you saw, understood and connected. As an example, the book Griffith shows to Guts, and if it as a connection or as they both consider “the thing” to their past, which they show in those scenes. How they behave or not, letting the other do it. Or after Albion when he heads and acts that way. I hope for your in-depth analysis, and if there is anything else I haven’t noticed. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Deia!
      Thank you very much for reaching out and letting me know! It takes quite a while to write each one of the articles on this blog so I’m glad I can provide.

      It’s true that both Guts and Casca show the other their deepest vulnerabilities and fears and as they do so, they are deeply understanding of each other. In that mutual understanding they find comfort, and end up making love beneath the waterfall. I think it’s that comfort and understanding that Guts has experienced with her that makes him protect her selflessly after Albion. At the same time, he seems to be so attached to Casca and these old memories he has of her. In some way it’s completely understandable that he is trying to cling on a tiny shred of hope after losing literally everything that was dear to him after the eclipse. But at the same time, he’s forgetting there are other people around him that may are capable of giving him some comfort as well (e.g. Farnese and Schierke, who both are capable of understanding him). It’s like Godo said in volume 18: “He turns and starts running towards something one way, without noticing some other thing, and nicks himself.” I am looking forward to witnessing whether Guts has learned this lesson after episode 359 – something tells me he did. There is still a lot of material for new articles!

      There is another reason why I decided against covering Guts and Casca’s love scene directly, and that is wordpress’ mature content policy (the pages can be considered pornographic, which – from what I understand – can results in a ban at the staff’s discretion). Maybe I will find a way around that though.


      1. Thanks for your answer. It’s true what you said, besides Casca is the only person who made Griffith and Guts open with her, only her, and not between them. And she didn’t understand this, that she really got to know them, and in things that the two friends didn’t know about the other. She is the only one in the manga to be the person who knows them deeply and made them naked despite the suffering they wear like armor. And in return they have made her what she is, she changes and accepts everything, about herself and others, about Guts and what it was for her. but it would be long 😀
        In fact there are things that they do not know about the other, but only Casca, and between her and Guts there is an understanding of various things that make them characters (and couple) better created in the panorama of the anime. And as Miura said, try to make the characters and their choices (and the epilogue of the story) as if it were real and lived by humans. I understand the problems of the theme of the scenes, I hope then that it is possible to be able to read even that piece, because it also contains that part of Guts that it holds inside, and external only with her and would like to live again. Thanks, I’m sorry if I can’t comment many times but I only have time to read (sometimes at different times) but I follow every post. Thanks for all your analysis and the futures you enter.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Next, Casca asks Guts what made him show himself in a place like this, since he never was someone to to show up on parties or celebrations. He states that he wishes to see the end by himself.”

    WOW what a reference to the eclipse.

    Nice work as always 🙂

    At a first glance I thought Guts was acting like a jerk with Casca, c’mon Guts you are not that dumb to not see Casca has give up Griffith and is constantly giving you sights of interest.

    Then I though that maybe Guts thinks everybody else should be as stubborn as he is, so Casca should insist with Griffith.

    But if you check it twice, specially those finals “ilogical” frames where Guts leaves in front of Casca without a word. Why Guts did that? Well my though is, that’s the awkward way to flirt of Guts, a flirt that probably no one there, specially Casca, understood. But think about it, Guts was playing fair, with Casca and with Griffith, he wouldn’t say things to influence their thoughts, that’s the way Guts is, fair. Guts doesn’t wanted to start an affair with Casca in the Hawks, but at the same time he refuse to told Casca he is open to that outside the Hawks, waiting or hoping, Casca’s free will would do that or not, finally it was not.

    He just said to her instead he hopes thing will be well to her and Griffith. This would also be jerk style if I wouldn’t think that Guts truly believes that somehow Casca would be capable to make Griffith feelings towards her change.

    So another reason to leave the Hawks could be to put Casca in question, does she want to leave with him or does she want to stay with Griffith? I don’t have much evidence to back that, it’s just my opinion on what the hell is doing Guts there. If it was that, it was a sounded failure because Casca don’t even consider the possibility of leave with him, that’s why Guts smirk in that frame, he’s laughing on how profound he has fail with Casca, not making her able to understand his feelings and his true purposes with that departure.

    PS: I hate you for saying Farnese and Guts doesn’t share true love haha, joke. Farnie is my platonic love I ship her with everybody, specially with Guts and Serpico for obvious reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

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