Gambino (ガンビーノ Ganbīno?) is best known as Guts' adoptive father. He was the leader of a mercenary band, taught Guts how to fight with a sword, and gave Guts the scar he bears across his nose. In the manga, it was given during a practice fight, but in the anime, he scraped Guts' nose on the night he attacked him with intent to kill.
Gambino was a man with average height, with hair similar to Guts, with short and spiked hairstyle. Gambino also had a muscular body. After he lost his leg he carried a crutch to hold himself.
Despite his impressive combat and leadership experience, Gambino was a man who was easily angered, careless, and had no love for Guts. He sold Guts as a child prostitute for one night to Donovan.
During the next battle, in which Guts took revenge upon Donovan, Gambino was hit by a cannonball, resulting in the loss of his right leg and ending his career as a mercenary. This incensed his anger towards Guts even further. He blamed Guts for the death of his lover and Guts' foster mother Shisu, as it is considered a bad omen to pick up a child from the corpse of its parents.
Despite the end result, Gambino did not always treat Guts with hostility. Flashbacks revealed he did at least train Guts in the life of a mercenary, was more casual towards Guts when the latter reacted with anger upon realizing he was used as a decoy, and gave the young boy valuable lessons in combat.
Gambino was the leader of a band of mercenaries and he was introduced in the first chapter of the Golden Age Arc. He is first seen when he and his band of mercenaries see a pile of corpses hanging from a tree, until one gives birth to a child. His lover Shisu, who has gone insane after her miscarriage takes the baby into her hands, but Gambino tells her that it's dead as he takes it off her. Once the baby hits the ground it starts crying, and so Gambino and Shisu take the baby in and name him Guts. However, some of the mercenaries believe that a baby born from the corpse of it's mother is an ill omen.
Three years later, Gambino was not present at the time of Shisu's death by the plague, much to the chagrin of the nurses because he was at a castle siege instead of being beside his wife. The death of Shisu would impact Gambino in a negative way and would harbor a resentment towards Guts. Three years later, in a battlefield, he orders Guts to hand him a spear in which he uses against an enemy soldier. The dead body falls in front of the scared Guts, who is hit with the baseless spear by Gambino, berating him to not be slow.
Gambino would train Guts in the ways of the sword, but Guts holding an enourmous sword is too slow. Gambino knees him in the stomach and tells him to expect to not get anymore free meals as he has to earn his own food. Guts charges with his sword, but Gambino slashes him a few times. Guts counters with a thrust, cutting Gambino's cheek, and in a fit of rage, Gambino cuts Guts' nose. His men then take Guts and tell Gambino that his attitude was childish, yet he did not care.
The next day, Guts trains with his sword and makes it to a hundred swings until he is called by Gambino to gather the water for food and not take long enough. Gambino gives him a medicine for the wound on his nose. Three years later, Gambino tells Guts to work hard on his first real battle. When Guts kills an enemy soldier, he is put to the ground by another one who is killed by Gambino. Gambino berates him to not get excited just because he killed one. After the battle Guts gives Gambino his share and in return he gets a coin for good work.
Gambino then sells Guts to a pedophile soldier called Donovan as his prostitute. After Guts is molested by the pedophile mercenary, he asks a drunken Gambino for an answer, who instead tells him that it's to early to train. In the next battle, Gambino has been mortally wounded and is missing a leg and he can no longer go into battle and lead his band of mercenaries. For this, he would pin the blame on Guts.
When Guts shows up with the bonus for killing the enemy general, Gambino instead asks for the meat for his dog and furiously demands it to be brought to him, hitting Guts in the cheek with his crutch. A few mercenaries crack jokes about him, however he angrily asks them about it and they say nothing as they leave.
That night, Gambino enters Guts tent with the intent on killing him. There he begins a rant on Guts, blaming him for the death of Shisu and his condition and telling him he should have died with the corpse of his biological mother hanging from that tree and even going so far in calling him the son of a devil. When he attempts to slash Guts, he is stabbed and killed by the former and the tent is set on fire.
Gambino's mercenaries chase Guts to avenge their former leader and manage to wound Guts with an arrow. Guts falls into a ravine and is left for dead, believing that Gambino can rest in peace along with Shisu. The last time he appears is in a nightmare Guts has after his encounter with Griffith.
- Gambino's adoptive child Guts grows to share several traits with him, including an insane lover, a hatred for their respective sons, an abandonment of their respective lovers for another important ideal (Gambino abandoned a dying Shisu to attack a castle. While Guts abandoned Casca to take revenge on Griffith for the events of the Eclipse), and loss of half a limb.
- Gambino's death in the anime was different from how it was depicted in the manga, with the young Guts running his sword through Gambino's heart as he attacked Guts with intent to kill.
- Gambino is an Italian word derived from 'gamba' meaning 'leg'. It is used as a nickname for someone who has short legs, forshadowing the injury he receives later in his life.
|Golden Age Characters|