The Story of Niko - Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage
I think this might be Miura’s crowning achievement so far when it comes to absolutely devastating apostle back-stories. Just looking at these images makes me want to cry.
Once upon a time in a village lived a boy named Niko. He was crazy, had no home, and lived freely, wandering the mountains and forests. Sometimes he would steal harvest growing in the fields, but he was kind and shy at heart, and never hurt anyone.
Even though some of the villagers tormented him because of his ragged clothing and wretched appearance, and other villagers threw rocks at him and beat him with sticks, Niko often brought a dog with him - his best friend - and visited my church. In this village, which was ravaged by war and famine over the years, only I listened to his stories.
Niko was very thankful for the food, which he still managed to scrounge up back then. When the sky was clear, he was overwhelmed with emotions. No matter how hard he had it, his smile never left his face. However…
One time in the winter, due to hunger and cold, Niko found himself on the brink of life and death. That year there was an unprecedentedly bad harvest, and there was not a single person who could spare food for NIko.
And so… using the last of his strength, Niko managed to crawl to the church… Except… I didn’t notice he was there. His knock on the door wasn’t heard over the ringing of the bells announcing the New Year.
When I found him, it was too late… Niko never did anything wrong… He was just a little different from other people, yet he was constantly bullied and mocked by them… Why was it Niko’s fate to die?… He was truly pure and innocent. Just an ordinary boy as you’d find anywhere…