Berserk's setting is inspired by medieval Europe. It centers around the life of Guts, an orphaned mercenary warrior, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the Band of the Hawk. As he ages, Guts changes from a solitary boy to a man who realizes the value of comradeship. The story contains elements of both fantasy and horror, as it explores both the best and worst of human nature. Both the manga and anime are noted for their heavy violence.