Born beneath the gallows tree from which his dead mother hung, Guts has always existed on the boundary between life and death. After enduring a terrible childhood, he spends his adulthood in brutal combat, pitting his strength against others in order to build his own. Life is simple enough for Guts until he meets Griffith, the inspirational, ambitious, and beautiful leader of the mercenaries, the Band of the Hawk. When Guts loses to Griffith in a duel, he is forced to join the Band of the Hawk, and, despite himself, finds a sense of camaraderie and belonging amongst them. However, as Griffith leads his soldiers from victory to victory, the bloody wars and underhanded politics reveal a side to him that nobody quite expected. Very soon, what seems like a straightforward march for conquest becomes a harrowing struggle for humanity and life itself. Can Guts, a simple warrior, defend those who have come to mean the most to him, all the while struggling not to lose to the darkness he has carried with him his entire life?