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.
Golden Age Arc
- 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.