|Lord Mayor of Koka|
|Also known as||
Ikuo Nishikawa (1997 Anime)
Richard Springle (1997 Anime)
The Lord Mayor of Koka, also known as the Minister in the anime series, is subservient to the Snake Baron and offers the lives of his townspeople to him to preserve his own life.
In the manga, his appearance is that of a short, old man with a bushy white mustache. The mustache does not extend lower than his lip and, in addition, his eyebrows are similar in appearance to his mustache. He is clothed in a minister's robes, presumably white in colour, with embroidery going across the chest and around in a circular fashion, featuring an extending portion that breaks off in the front and goes to the bottom of his robes. Also, he wears a white minister's cap at all times, thus relating him more to a minister than a mayor for this time period (hence his name in the anime).
His appearance in the anime is near identical to the one shown in the manga, excluding a few different features. The colour of his mustache and eyebrows are brown. In addition, his robes are coloured orange instead of the white shown in the manga. Finally, his minister's cap is black rather than white.
Interestingly, his personality differs between his original manga depiction and his portrayal in the anime. In both the manga and anime he is shown to be a paranoid man, completely submissive in the presence of the Snake Baron, yet easily offended when his moral choices are questioned. While on the outside he appears to care for the civilians, he is truly a selfish man that cares only to sustain his own life by giving away as many prisoners as possible to the Baron in order to avoid his own death. When Guts confronts him about this he displays absolute shock, while also panicking that somebody understands his true intentions. As a result, he has a slight stroke that brings him to his knees. Despite this, he orders his torturer to do whatever he wishes with Guts without taking his life (as he desires to give him to the Baron later).
Black Swordsman Arc Edit
Following the killing of the Baron's bandits by the Black Swordsman, word passes to the Mayor who orders for the Black Swordsman's capture. Later on, while the Black Swordsman is being tortured in the town dungeon, the Mayor enters with his guards to observe. He commands the torturer to stop and notices the stockpile of weapons confiscated from the swordsman. In shock, he asks if he is a mercenary and begins to explain to him what a terrible thing he has done by killing several of the Baron's bandits. It is his fear that by doing this, the Baron would take out his rage on the town and utterly destroy it and the Mayor himself.
Guts retaliates by insulting his guards, infuriating one of them, but the Baron halts him to continue his explanation. He considers the Baron an absolute monster, despite not knowing his true nature as an Apostle, and fears no human could bring him down. It is then that the swordsman comments on the Mayor's offering of women and children to the Baron. Outraged, the Mayor approaches the Black Swordsman, demanding to know how he could understand his actions being a mere vagrant in his eyes. Blind sighted by Guts' accusation, the Mayor proclaims that it is his duty as the mayor of Koka to do what he must to protect his people. Guts concludes that the Mayor's methods are a selfish way to protect himself. As a result, the miserable man experiences what appears to be a stroke. He falls to his knees and orders that the torturer abuse the Black Swordsman as much as he wishes to without killing him, for the Mayor intends to pass him onto the Baron as an exchange for his own life. He looks up and prepares himself to head to the castle.
When he finally arrives, the Baron welcomes him in an eerie manner that elicits more fear from the Mayor, prompting him to ask for forgiveness. He then proposes to double the output of gold and prisoners for the Baron's desires. However, the Mayor is suddenly interrupted as the Baron reiterates that the frightened man is only interested in his own safety despite his position as mayor. With that, the Baron flicks the food he was eating at the Mayor, revealing that it was, in fact, human flesh. This scares the Mayor beyond comprehension and the Baron reveals to him his intentions for the town; burning it to the ground and murdering all of the inhabitants. The Mayor is then dismissed and taken away.
- In the anime, it is revealed that the Minister was killed as he is shown impaled on top of a spear, being carried by Guts and is then thrown to the ground in front of his aide, who dies shortly thereafter along with two other guards.
- The Mayor and The Count's minister, Dahl, are similar characters in both appearance and personality as both fear their masters, would willingly sacrifice human lives for their own sake, and wear minister clothing with some minor differences.