Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife may be one of the most well-known users of massive anime swords, but it takes knowing Guts and the big sword he uses to gain serious otaku cred. Though shows like Demon Slayer are more popular and feature Japanese katana swords, Kentaro Miura wrote Berserk as a dark European-style fantasy which is why Guts uses a greatsword in both the anime and manga.
The unique sword design has made it an inspiration for several elements of Elden Ring, a souls-like video game that mimics the setting and swords of Berserk. Immediately, fans of both Berserk and Elden Ring were able to picked up on the references to Berserk’s Guts and his unbelievably massive sword.
What’s the Name of Guts’ Sword?
Guts’ sword from Berserk is known as the Dragon Slayer. It gained this name after the King asked Godo, a famous blacksmith, to create a sword that can kill a dragon.
Godo then created a greatsword so thick and heavy that the force of it being swung would decapitate a dragon. But because the sword weighed more than what any normal human could carry, the King deemed it a failed design and tried to punish Godo, forcing him to flee.
The same is true about the sword if it were made in real life. It’s so massive that, unlike other anime swords, even making it out of stainless steel would make it impossible for even a fit man to lift comfortably, let alone cosplay with.
Unless you’re Guts, that is.
What Makes the Dragon Slayer So Special?
It isn’t the Dragon Slayer itself that’s special, but the relationship that Guts has with it. Rickert, one of Guts’ old acquaintances from when he was a member of the Band of the Hawk, noticed how attached Guts became to the Dragon Slayer.
The sword is both a source of comfort to Guts and a symbol of his internal struggle. As the Black Swordsman, Guts is known for being a former mercenary who seems doomed to fight until the day he dies. For this reason, his failure to maintain the Dragon Slayer in good condition clues fans into his deteriorating mental health and emotional callousness to himself.
When Godo later reforges the sword to remove the damage and impurities it sustained, it symbolized the hope that Guts can leave his old life behind and lead a new and pure life filled with happiness.
How Does Guts’ Dragon Slayer Sword Compare to Other Swords?
Oversized swords aren’t unheard of in the Berserk anime, but Guts’ sword is a cut above the rest because of how unwieldy and heavy it is. It’s been established in the manga that the Dragon Slayer is the largest sword out of the Berserk swords by a long shot, and that only Guts can use it because of his immense strength.
This puts the Dragon Slayer above many other swords in Berserk in terms of power, but only if Guts is the one using them.
How Can I Get Guts’ Sword?
Getting a copy of Guts’ sword in real life is a difficult but not impossible task. You’ll have to keep in mind your budget, what material your Guts’ sword replica should be made of, and whether you have enough space in your display stand for a sword of this size.
Replica Swords vs. Battle-Ready Swords
Replica swords and battle-ready swords are essentially copies of fictional and historical swords. Neither are exactly the real thing, but the replica sword is less realistic because it won’t have a sharpened steel edge that you can fight with.
Meanwhile, battle-ready swords are the domain of history enthusiasts who enjoy the occasional sword fight and re-enactment as they can actually be used to fight, just like a real sword would in the days the authentic one was being used.
Steel vs. Foam vs. Plastic vs. Wood
Replica swords are typically made of steel, foam, or plastic. Though special care is taken to ensure that replicas look just like the sword they’re trying to emulate, steel typically looks more like a sword because of the way light bounces off the blade.
If the sword design is less on the realistic side, foam, wood, or plastic is often used as it may be able to get better-looking and more practical results. Fantasy swords with weird shapes are easier to make reliably using these three materials.
In the case of Guts’ sword as well as other oversized cosplay swords, foam is the preferred material because it’s lighter and thus, easier to wield.
Anime swords come in all shapes and sizes, but few come close to the massiveness of Guts’ the Dragon Slayer. This massive sword, made by a master blacksmith, could only be wielded by Guts in the Berserk franchise. In real life, many replicas of this sword are made from lightweight materials such as foam, so you can have fun while cosplaying without needing the strength of an Olympic weightlifter.
20-something freelance writer who likes games and history maybe a little too much. When I'm not writing for the web, I write notes for a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Hyperfixations include Genshin Impact, color eyeliner, true crime, and Star Wars.
Juliana has been writing for nearly thirty years and concentrates on Tudor and Medieval history. She has written for Tudor Dynasty, Tudor Writing Circle, Historian Matt Lewis, and others. Juliana currently writes for Pen and Sword Publishers and is the author of several books, including Medicine in the Middle Ages and A History of Insanity and the Asylum.