Berserk

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TheMajor5's avatar By TheMajor5 on Jan 28, 2010

The Godfather of all fantasy manga.  Berserk is considered one of the most enjoyable, mind-expanding, creative pieces of art introduced to the manga world.  There is hardly any analogy I can think of that could compare to its greatness.  Well it’s like Candyland made real or a real money tree growing in your yard.  It's one those things that just takes the words out of your mouth, if you catch my drift.  Alright! I have much to say about Berserk so this review might be a tid-bit lengthy.

Story 10/10  

Insane!!!  Few manga can compare to the pure imagination of this plot.  Few manga can stand side by side to this towering manga of awesomeness.  Few.....have what it takes to cross the line into Madness.  Berserk has crossed the bounds few dare approach and taken the plot to a whole new level. Past to present, the history of time is revealed and we are presented with one man's past and later present.  The epic journey of one man who survived the pit of hell; no, he never survived entirely. Gatts is out to defeat is old friend and along the way many unbelievable obstacles get in his way.  Faced with incredible monsters and the darkness that slowly envelopes what light he has left, it is a fierce battle the entire way. 

Seeing the monsters, incredible sword battles, and everything is truly enjoyable.  The plot is fast paced, except when you are forced to suffer for 2-6weeks with no new update.  Talk about hell.  Anyways, incredible mind numbing story with every aspect of an amazing read one can ask for.  Berserk hits hard every chapter and Gatt's situation worsens each hour.  What is great about this manga is how Kentaro (the Mangaka) builds up to the suspense and then finally drops the bomb.  That's what we readers look forward to, not some agonizing stretched out plot.  Each quest or challenge is something new, no reader has ever seen before.  Kentaro brings a new idea, new inventiveness each and every amazing chapter.  This manga is not some Bleach or Naruto where it eventually starts to get boring (like the new chapters).  One constantly wants to find out how Gatts is going to survive the next time.  Kentaro, with his gift, manages to keep people on their toes with excitement.  This fantasy is in its own league. 

A world fabricated out of the darkness and creatures of the cursed, this manga is not some happy fun time plot.  Actually, I don't think there is a bit of happiness in this manga, except knowing that Gatts survived another day.  It just does not get any darker than this, but why should it?  The plot is explaining how one man is on the brink of derangement and forced to face a GOD.  Yeah, I would want to kill myself to.  The plot exceeds all expectations and the reader never, ever guesses what could possibly happen next.  The joy of following a man over the edge to hell is not something many manga have.  Berserk does this with style though and every detail counts in the epic journey for revenge.  The plot is not light-hearted!  Showing the true nature of man: grotesque, god awful, sick, twisted, unholy, repulsive scenes are drawn out.  (Yeah its goes way beyond what any anime would show)  Adventurous, exhilarating, mind-blowing, incredible, elite, these are some of the thousand words that describe Berserk's boldness to step into a new realm.  Witness the great adventure to destroy God, but be prepared for what's in store, it might be too much to handle.  Witness a berserker.

Art 10/10

Painting is to Picasso as Manga is to Kentaro(mangaka). That should give you an idea at how great this art is.  Flawless in design, and flawless in even the smallest details.  It's no wonder why it takes so long to release mainly because the author does all his own drawing and tries to get everything perfect.  Like this manga goes beyond the normal amount of art needed to be in a manga.  Take HxH for example, I feel compelled to say I won’t read that because of the art while Berserk's art has attracting qualities.  It’s almost as if there does not need to be a continuation of the anime the manga is so well drawn out.  Each and every monster is beautifully illustrated.  The buildings and just everything is a work of art.  The dark shadings bring everything to life and truly turn Berserk into a masterpiece.

Characters 10/10

Each and Every character is well rounded and dynamic.  Meaning they all change and all have very unique personalities.  Take these 3 for example, the 3 main characters go through dramatic change of the course of time and become a different person almost.  Beautifully told characters, we find out everything about them and see ourselves hoping for them.  I can only say so much about the characters, there's a whole 300+ chapters available for one to follow their incredible adventure.  Thus I lay some foundation in hopes you all will further explore them yourselves.

Gatts

The perfect protagonist.  A man who has seen the depths of hell yet returned, physically. A part of him rotted and was consumed on that day while the other part is slowly going insane.  As we watch Gatts kick ass and fight for revenge, we witness the single shred of light slowly start to trail off.  He's not your average hero, well he's is not really a hero; he does not have high moral values or anything and seeks revenge and a new life.  His past was brutal filled with killing and death.  We know everything about this man and his dark past yet root him on to fight another day.  He cares about human life and has no remorse for the demon bodies he endlessly slaughters.  He swings a big ass sword and later gains an evil even he finds hard to control.  He is the single most badass mortal non superpower character in any manga.  Mental worn yet still carrying a huge burden to save his people, his adventure, his pain, and his story is not any among this world.

Griffith

The evil that consumes all the light.  This man is who is tearing the world apart and releasing cursed beasts to roam around.  He is the unattainable, seemingly unbeatable enemy Gatts must face.  Cunning in his persuasion to the people, he has managed to make it look like he is the light in the dark.  He is the White Hawk.  Nothing compares to his power, he was once the legendary leader or the band of the hawk, which represented all that is holy, yet still remains the same.  He changes from respect to feared and as we learn of his past, we feel compassion and some remorse.  In the end though, what he does is inconceivable and just leaves us horrified yet amazed at his power. 

Caska

As many come to find out, she’s like a bag of sand, a dead weight to Gatts.  In the beginning she was 3rd in command of Band of the Hawk but after that fateful day, she has never been the same.  She fears men, cannot understand the world around her, she’s a mere shell.  While in the past Gatts started to love Caska, though he still protects her, he only wishes to change her to how she was now.  Caska is helpless and only a burden.  Yet we hope for her well-being in the name Gatts will have a glimmer of hope, something to hold on to.  I wait every chapter knowing they are that much closer to helping Caska.  In a world with hell on Earth, it’s amazing to see a woman such as Caska still alive.

Overall 10/10

Overall if you have not already read this or will not then I seriously pity your soul.  The best mind-blowing, adventurous, tragedy, thriller, fantasy, and romance a manga can get.  It is the Godfather of manga.  It paves the way for future bound breakers.  Berserk has an imaginative, unthinkable, fresh plot.  The story flows like water.  Darkness consuming the world bit by bit, there really is not a whole lot of hope.  A man at the breaking-point with not shred of hope to hang on to.  This is an Epic tale that should be read by all.  Honestly I'm having trouble; there isn't a big enough word to describe how amazing this manga is.  Sadistic leaders, ferocious monsters, if everything could go bad, it has in Berserk.  This is a story of a struggling man to free the world of darkness.  It’s a thrilling manga with every aspect of a read a reader could ask for.  This deserves every bit of the score it received, it is a manga with immense potential and really enjoyable.  All fantasy/epic tale lovers should read Berserk and find out this manga is much deeper than it appears to be.  Anyone who has read Berserk will tell you it's worth it.  An adventure not worth missing.

10/10 story
10/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
RoyalOss's avatar By RoyalOss on Jul 7, 2014

Here goes my first attempt to a review, so dont be to harsh ^^

Story

Summary
The story revolves around Guts a man out for revenge but soon his background is explained as a boy who didnt have parents from the day he has born, but instead has been raised by a band of mercenaries who had found him. Being in a band of mercenaries he enters battles at a very young age. We see him go from battlefield to battlefield while he grows up which leads to a great tragedy hurting himself and all his dear friends. Will he search for revenge with the danger of losing himself in his own anger and hate to become a monster himself. Or will he protect what he got left. We see him struggle with these internal conflict while constantly being attacked by demons and mythological creatures.

Review
Personally Ive split up the story into 3 seperate sections.
1. The anime section
Which has no big differences with the anime, we see Guts searching for revenge which is followed by the flashback of his life up towards the present day.
If you have seen the anime there is not much to add, it shows the hard life Guts has had and how he rages through the battlefields with his enormous sword and strenght.

2. The revenge section
We continue where the anime has stopped and continue the story while he searches for ravenge. This is personally my favourite part, it is extremly grim and dark while he slowly gets consumed by his own anger and hate. He will not hesitate to cut down anyone who oposes him. I just REALLY REALLY LOVED this part, Guts fighting and trying to survive having no moments to rest often covered in blood, surrounded by darkness, flames and bodyparts. With chapter 16 as my personal favourite.
Guts does not speak much but when he does it creates good quotes and onelines:

''If I have to worry about the ants I crush beneath my feet....
..I couldn`t even walk around.''

''Look. Look around you carefully. Strain your eyes at the darkness around us.
At the darkness around me.
You said anywhere but here, this is where, here at the border.''


3. ''The pursuit of happiness''
While slowly gaining new friends we see him and his party search for happiness by escaping all the demons. From here on the story gets alot lighter as he tries to forget his revenge. This is noteable in the dialogues but the drawing style aswell. Though he cannot forget/escape his search for revenge completly as they still are being attacked by demons and mythological creatures at regular intervals. This part also contains alot more fantasy elements such as trolls, witches and mermaids.

Art
The art is great, good attention to the small details and a changing drawing style depening on the emotions/''feel'' of the characters and events. For example, when the storyline gets more dark and evil and battles occur the background will become (pitch)black, there will be much use of black and big dark lines and many scratches to make it look chaotic and dark. Though (tiny point of attention) it is sometimes to chaotic in my opinion, sometimes during the most chaotic periods of a battle some of the bigger pictures are to chaotic and you need some more time to figure out what exactly is happening.
And when the battles ar eover and the story gets more cheerfull this is also reflected in the drawings with alot of white, great sceneries and a good attention for the small details. Here aswell Ive got a tiny point of attention as sometimes the dialogues are very big and there is alot to read suddenly, especially when something is explained.

Characters
Not much to say about it, the characters and their backgrounds have been made very well. You can understand their actions because of their backgrounds and feel sympathy for them. I especially liked how the manga did make fun of itself by having puck explain why he keeps following Guts. ''Without me the manga would be to dark and not sell as good''. One thing I miss so far is the loss of (strong) Casca. But it does create new openings as Guts must choose between what he wants and what is best for Casca.

So overall because of the small points and the fact I liked the extreme darkness which has subdeud alot at the third section I will give this anime a 9,5.


10/10 story
9.5/10 art
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
kitamisensei's avatar By kitamisensei on Aug 27, 2010

As a fan of seinen, I find Miura's Berserk to be a masterpiece of adult manga, fantasy adventure and a touch of horror.

The story is a little weak and tends to wander here and there.

However, the scale of the manga makes you feel as if you are sucked into a different, dangerous fantasy world, far away. The feudal environment is depicted in a realistic-feeling way.

Aside from Miura's outstanding and continually improving art style, the character designs are impressive. As is the massive detail of the feudal designs and archetecture.

Last but not least, the monsters are incredibly creative, grotesquely detailed and seem to alight from a mortal's deepest, grimmest nightmares.

At the least, Berserk is an honest-to-good grisly seinen that will not disappoint fans of the genre, even if it has a continuing story that seems to have no end in sight.

6/10 story
10/10 art
8/10 characters
10/10 overall
bollier's avatar By bollier on Nov 28, 2010

Ahh...Berserk.  Welcome to my guilty pleasure!  This series is filled with gore, beautiful people, and muscular men fighting demons.  This may sound like your typical Seinen fodder, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  The series is very deep, dealing with politics, as well as ones ability to escape their position in life.  The artwork starts out being really good, and just gets more and more beautiful as the series progresses.  What makes this series stand out above others in its genre are the characters.  The band of the hawk  are by far some of my favorite characters.  Griffith and Guts are by far the best of them, and the way their relationship develops is the main draw of this series.  Other characters, such as Casca and Judeau make it even better.  I must say that this is one of the most manly series out there.  If you are into that sort of thing and haven't started it yet, do it now.

10/10 story
10/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
11bowman's avatar By 11bowman on Nov 4, 2010

This manga just simply blew my mind. I finished reading it about a mont ago and I'm now waiting for the next chapter :). The story is just amazing it starts off with giving you the feeling you'r reading just some extreme bloody monster killing manga but it turns out that after about 10 chp the real story begins. It is an amazing quest of a man who want's to go in against his destiny and change the way things "should" be. The story keeps evolving and you get some plot twists and unexpected events that will make you read with open mouth. The art is magnificent. Every detail is shown background are detailed and the double page pics look like posters so awesome is it drawn. The charecters are great they evolve greatly through the story and you won't get bored of them. To get this straight even if you aren't into the bloody type of "monster slashing" manga you should read this one underneath the slaugthering of monsters is a storyline that goes so deep and is so interresting that it will suck you in and you will end up reading chapter after chapter without wanting to quit.

To get it clear in one sentence: This manga is a masterpiece and everyone who loves to read manga should start reading it.

10/10 story
10/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall