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Berserk  
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Description
From ANN:

Gats, known as the Black Swordsman, seeks sanctuary from the demonic forces attracted to him and his woman because of a demonic mark on their necks, and also vengeance against the man who branded him as an unholy sacrifice. Aided only by his titanic strength gained from a harsh childhood lived with mercenaries, a gigantic sword, and an iron prosthetic left hand, Gats must struggle against his bleak destiny, all the while fighting with a rage that might strip him of his humanity.

Warning: This manga is for mature audiences only, since it has sexual content and graphic violence (gore, blood, rape, etc). Definitely not for the weak hearted.

Won the Tezuka Osamu Award for Excellence in 2002

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
Берсерк
ベルセルク
ברזרק
برزرک
烙印勇士
烙印战士
เบอร์เซิร์ก
베르세르크
Berserk Max

Groups Scanlating
AOM
Band of The Hawks
Binktopia
Evil Genius
More...

Latest Release(s)
v.38 c.337 by Evil Genius (197d ago)
v.38 c.336 by Evil Genius (248d ago)
v.38 c.335 by Evil Genius (328d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 - Skips to: Vol 3, Chap 09 (1997) / Vol 3, Chap 09 (2012)
Ends at Vol 13, Chap 102 (1997) / Vol 13, Chap 106 (2012)

User Reviews
Berserk by J
Berserk by canucks

Forum
47 topics, 598 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2310 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
10
 56% (1297 votes)
9+
 23% (520 votes)
8+
 11% (245 votes)
7+
 4% (86 votes)
6+
 1% (31 votes)
5+
 1% (21 votes)
4+
 0% (8 votes)
3+
 0% (9 votes)
2+
 0% (11 votes)
1+
 4% (82 votes)

Last Updated
April 17th 2015, 12:01pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1989

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Animal House (Hakusensha)
Young Animal (Hakusensha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Dark Horse (37 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #123 decreased(-15)
Monthly Pos #97 decreased(-10)
3 Month Pos #86 decreased(-6)
6 Month Pos #77 increased(+9)

List Stats
On 7329 reading lists
On 1349 wish lists
On 211 unfinished lists
On 513 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Youve read Berserk...right? 37 days, 11 hours, 49 minutes ago
Berserk AMVs 75 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 182 days, 8 hours, 35 minutes ago
When should i start this epic? 190 days, 0 hours, 42 minutes ago
I used to be a slave trader... 250 days, 9 hours, 53 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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"I'll give it a 1/10 because... Ignorance!"   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by Lost Rabbit
March 28th, 2015, 11:55am
The manga's DEFINITELY not something that everyone should be reading due to its graphic content (something that some readers should've known ahead...). While I'd usually try to point out all the good and bad stuff that's presented in this series, I rather just make counterarguments toward the ignorant statements by a few reviewers here. I'm in no way saying that people can't dislike this series at all, but when it comes to pointing out information that's misleading/totally ridiculous from said reviewers, well... that's not reliable information at all now is it?

@hijarin
Quote
First of all, I totally admit this work is very well drawn and the author definitely knows his art, he kinda draws this stuff the same amount of time that I live.

>Ok, so you'll admit it's good, but whatever, good art doesn't mean shit for this series's overall rating, hence the 1/10.
Quote
It's clear from the very first chapters that author wants and loves to draw gore. Berserk is filled with completely unnecessary gore from start to the very last chapters and there's no end to it. To be honest, I would ban from existence any manga which has mutilated women in it, and this particular manga is all about such a things. I don't care whether the author is a sadist IRL, but please do not feed the juvenile audience (rest assured it is) with such a shit.

>Unnecessary gore? Have you never heard about the fucking MEDIEVAL TIMES, with torture and slaughterings that actually did happen hundreds of years ago? With this series taking place in a dark fantasy realm partly based off Medieval Europe, how is this "UNNECESSARY?!" And if you really need to see this for yourself how cruel history was:
http://www.medievalwarfare.info/torture.htm
Quote
Just ask yourself: why do we ever need to look at all this horrible sights? And more than that, it's not just rape, it's gang-rape or homosexual rape, it's not just murder, it's tortures and murder or mutilation. And all of this is drawn in such a details that I'm sure that author just wants his audience to be like him: a heartless monster accustomed to atrocities.

>So I asked myself this, and as stated before, I think it's good to acknowledge that these kind of atrocities that have taken place throughout history, AND STILL DO IN SOME PARTS OF THE WORLD. It's not something that we're supposed to support (like come to think that gang rape is just SO COOOOOL!), yet be disgusted by, as our protagonist must fight off all evils against him in this savage fantasy world he lives in. Oh yeah, and I'd advice you to stay away from NTR/forced Hentai, cause you'll probably think that Japan's an island of insane psychopaths + criminals (and if you somehow do come to believe that, you'll be shocked o hear that for a long time, Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world).
Quote
Honestly, just think about it a bit: this manga can be called a "masterpiece" only by the immoral people who loves to see a lot of gore and brutality, because nothing else is here!

>Oh ok, insult the people that do see this as a masterpiece. You're blind to think that they give it that kind of acknowledgement for only its gore, where it just so happens to be that YOU are the one that can't even see past that. Rather than end on a disgusted "Bleh" right back at you, I'll actually point out some reasons why this can be seen as a masterpiece thanx to a friend that gave me some more info on it (if you're reading this, thanx again for sharing bud).
>Strong historic research >Took sexual abuse seriously and was not afraid to alienate fans >Once again, INCREDIBLY DETAILED ARTWORK >Won a Tezaku + sold 33+ million copies >The crazy amount of references to classic European art or philosophical ideas (Faust, Dante´s Inferno, etc.) >The well defined political religious and worldview and conflict >Very thought provoking ideas about violence/sex and how revenge can destroy both the body and soul >Considered to be incredibly influential >It´s the second highest reviewed manga on ANN with 0.01 point behind Monster - 10/10.

@StormBreaker
Quote
putting that aside, the writer keeps going on and on and on and on about how pitiful the main character (Guts) is and how terrible his past had been. If I was in the story I would introduce him to a counselor (since he's just mentally ill) and say Get a grip man you're the main character!. But instead of a counselor He finds himself in a band.

>Yes, let's find the protagonist a counselor in A MEDIEVAL WORLD, WHERE EDUCATION AND "PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP" ARE PRACTICALLY INACCESSIBLE TO ANYONE THAT'S NOT FROM A HIGH CLASS. Sounds like you just have no desire to sympathize with a character that comes from a shitty background, and you'd rather see a protagonist that's self-aware of his/her role, having them acknowledge that they can do whatever the hell they want "coz they're the protagonist, and nothing can possibly hold them down!"
Quote
no, not a Rock band. a mercenary band leading by Griffith. a lot of warriors follow Griffith.. not just a normal following. they would die for him to the point that all end up dead. I have noooooooooooooo idea why those warriors had to serve under him. Ofcourse writer claims that everyone had gathered around him for the sake of their dreams. But this 52 year old writer seems like doesn't know that the goal that someone seeks for, if it involves violence, gore, killing innocent people and betrayal to their own friends and comrades is Not Called a dream. It's called war and It's hell what they're seeking for.

>Seriously, go read up on Medieval history. It may give you some perspective as for why people are so willing to put their faith in others, and also notice how you mentioned them being "mercenaries". Mercenary - a person primarily concerned with material reward at the expense of ethics. Maybe that has something to do with the immoral stuff they're doing for the sake of achieving a dream that could've been made a reality, but I don't think you'd care to hear that...
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
[quote]...only two main characters survived (We all know they're the writer's favorite so they won't die that easily) anyway after that, The Story goes to a slope downfall!!![/quote]

>Didn't you acknowledge Guts being the protagonist? Also Casca's the heroine, so no, I don't think he kept his characters alive because "Favoritism!"
Quote
oh, we see mermaids,demons, Thinkerbell, princess, more nudity and violence (The only reason for age limitation), the same old but much worse plot. [I think The mangaka has focused more on drawing naked people than writing a meaningful story... (pervert) *shivers*]

>YES! Drawing naked people makes anyone a pervert! The mandatory figure drawing sessions for my advanced art classes in High School weren't to help us learn how to gain a proper understanding of human anatomy! No, they were mandatory coz my teachers wanted us to all be perverts!
[But in a more proper defense toward the series, it sounds like you mainly have an issue with nudity itself (to which I'd suggest that you stay away from the nude European artwork in museums). It's like you're saying that the series features it for meaningless fan service and thus doesn't give two shits about anything else when it comes to the writing or the art... Which clearly is not at all true...]
Quote
There's more than this to write about but my fingers started to get numb... at the end if you want my advice.... and If you care about your time... It's better NOT to read it! (or watch it) .

>Or, ya know, give it a shot if you (talking to anyone who hasn't read the series yet) really want to see for yourself. If it's your kind of series, that's fine, and if it's not, well that's fine as well. You can't be totally sure unless you see for yourself...

... Last updated on March 28th, 2015, 11:58am
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Not   
Rating: N/A
by DrManga
October 31st, 2014, 9:06pm
I kinda of agree with StormBreaker but with one difference. The anime is good, the manga is repetitive and weak by comparison. Only started reading the manga, many years ago, because I loved the anime and wanted to know what happens next.

I wish I didn't. I think right now it is being continued because its a cash cow. He should have wrapped up the story volumes ago.
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I was expecting something unique and extraodinary but..   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by StormBreaker
July 27th, 2014, 3:43am
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I started watching the anime (and reading the manga) due to the high ratings and popularity among manga readers. I didn't know a damn thing about the plot or the process of the story neither did i know about the characters and such (I didn't google them since i wanted to have the full experience of the story myself).
I was was expecting something unique and extraordinary back then but it was in episode 5 or 6 (I don't wanna remember which episode was) that I realized I had overestimated "Berserk". The writer has chosen such a poor personality for his manga characters that you'll get sick of 'em eventually (still it depends on yourself. maybe the expired cereal as you were reading this manga made you sick). but really if somebody asked me so how's this Griffith guy like? I would be loss for words after thinking for hours.(knowing characters personalities help readers to get into the story and connect emotionally with characters)
putting that aside, the writer keeps going on and on and on and on about how pitiful the main character (Guts) is and how terrible his past had been. If I was in the story I would introduce him to a counselor (since he's just mentally ill) and say Get a grip man you're the main character!. But instead of a counselor He finds himself in a band. no, not a Rock band. a mercenary band leading by Griffith. a lot of warriors follow Griffith.. not just a normal following. they would die for him to the point that all end up dead. I have noooooooooooooo idea why those warriors had to serve under him. Ofcourse writer claims that everyone had gathered around him for the sake of their dreams. But this 52 year old writer seems like doesn't know that the goal that someone seeks for, if it involves violence, gore, killing innocent people and betrayal to their own friends and comrades is Not Called a dream. It's called war and It's hell what they're seeking for.

when I got up to volume 10 or maybe 11 (who cares!?) I knew nothing good would come out of this story and I was right. all the Hawk band members died in the hand of Griffith. (wait I predicted that...) only two main characters survived (We all know they're the writer's favorite so they won't die that easily) anyway after that, The Story goes to a slope downfall!!!

oh, we see mermaids,demons, Thinkerbell, princess, more nudity and violence (The only reason for age limitation), the same old but much worse plot. [I think The mangaka has focused more on drawing naked people than writing a meaningful story... (pervert) *shivers*]
*sighs* I also don't like the way that the story goes to. "Guts" (main character) seeks revenge against Griffith(after Griffith turns from a gentleman into a madman or should I say MadMonster). It's already clear that revenge only leads to more hatred. til it tears the character apart. so not a fan! (It wouldn't be that bad if Guts helped Griffith to be a gentleman once again.)

There's more than this to write about but my fingers started to get numb... at the end if you want my advice.... and If you care about your time... It's better NOT to read it! (or watch it) .


... Last updated on July 27th, 2014, 3:58am
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way too overhyped   
Rating: N/A
by mattba
May 26th, 2014, 7:40pm
For the first 200 or so chapters it looked like a good manga (albeit a bit too much senseless violence/rape for my taste). The art is really nice and detailed, the world looks interesting.

But now it feels like the author has no idea what he wants to do with the characters. Basically in from chapter 250 until now (around 340) two things happen:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
1. The good guys wander around killing some random monsters and meeting some new good guys. Standard stuff.

2. Meanwhile the bad guy gets ridiculously strong, kills mountain sized enemies in 1 hit etc.

Its like two different mangas, dragonball Z vs Fairy Tail.
There is almost no story development just the mega epic scenes or the bad guy squashing everything along its way. I get it the bad guy is very strong, why does the author wants to waste 200 chapters showing it? Plus he made him so ridiculously OP that now only some really cheap deus ex machina ending will be possible.

Finally with the current release speed (~20 pages/ 2 months) we wont reach the end of the story in this century.

... Last updated on May 26th, 2014, 7:42pm
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MANLY MANS MANGA   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Lewb
March 7th, 2014, 3:00pm
The best piece of fiction ever conceived by man, in a well crafted world with awesome art and a complete bad-ass main character Gutts, who never has anything easy in his life.

The story is on par with lord of the rings and star wars in epicness but its also filled to the brim with Gore and Nudity so if your easily offended stay away from this perfect manga.
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My rate~   
Rating: N/A
by Kuro vi Lolitannia
January 30th, 2014, 2:16am
This is a good manga. But the development is a bit too slow. Guts turning stronger and stronger, it's like your usual fighting manga, but it's quite interesting to see his progress. There are so many flashback chapters, but at least those flashbacks are necessary to find out about his past and reason.

The artwork is really good but if you don't like blood and gore stuff I don't really recommend this to you though. Like what they say 'No Guts, No Gory'
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The genre seems to change   
Rating: N/A
by Mizura
January 2nd, 2014, 1:07am
It's funny how some people mention a "Berserk experience", because my experience of a read-through is that the genre seemed to change completely between major arcs, so they have different strengths and weaknesses. In particular:
  • The first few volumes were pretty much horror/fantasy. The atmosphere is dark and despairing, the villains are pretty much stereotypical evil, and more amusingly, the protagonist himself is pretty much a bastard.
  • We then get a flashback arc which, surprisingly, reads more like a semi-realistic historical series. Though fantasy elements sometimes show up and are otherwise hinted at, the characters themselves are developed mostly as humans facing mostly human challenges. This arc does a huge job of developing Guts as a character, as well as Griffith and Casca (though, I found Casca underwhelming), though the rest of the characters are forgettable, and the villains are stereotypical as always.
  • At the end of the flashback arc, the series suddenly shifts to horror/fantasy again, and follows in that vein for the next few arcs. We see Guts being a bastard again, though now we understand the context of his struggles. The series also starts to develop side characters with more depth, including some pretty messed up ones.
  • And then things suddenly turn to fantasy. As in, not horror/fantasy. Sure, the monsters are still ugly (though many aren't even that ugly anymore), but we essentially have a fantasy party (complete with magician and useless females) destroying the big bad monsters. There is some darkness left, but no more than can be found in most fantasies, and some moments become outright funny. Now, this may sound horribly depressing, but ironically this is the part with the best development for side characters and villains, who are no longer portrayed as one-dimensional, evil cliches whose sole purpose in life is to rape and kill.
  • Lately it's become even More fantasy-ish because of a certain world event. I admit that made me raise an eyebrow. Whereas it was monsterland before, now a big chunk of it became fantasia-land.

The transitions can be pretty abrupt. For me, they ranged from jarring to outright comical. Once the switch is done though, you do get used to the new feel of the series though, until the next one comes along. Were these changes good or bad? I guess it will depend on what people like. There is a certain logic to it, since it parallels Guts' own development as a character somehow, though to some it may feel like they're no longer reading the same series, just the same characters in a different context (and then some, the series conveniently discards how dark some of the characters used to be and all the horrible things they've done. Rather curious).

Funny footnote: all the naked women being raped and killed have great bodies for some reason. I found that pretty funny, considering how ugly male and monster characters are often portrayed. A thing I found less amusing is how the series keeps bringing out "super strong and famous" fighters to serve as fodder villains out of nowhere.

... Last updated on January 2nd, 2014, 1:11am
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Entertaining, perhaps. A history lesson? Not even close.   
Rating: 7.8 / 10.0
by IWannaKatsup
September 18th, 2013, 8:17pm
Exactly what the subject header says, folks. If you're looking for a history lesson, despite what others have said, this isn't a good start. What you've heard about the Middle Ages is wrong with a capital "W."

In the case of what really went on in the "Medieval" ages, read Regine Pernoud's "Those Terrible Middle Ages" as a starter, as she was an actual archivist, scholar, and all around intelligent lady on the subject of the real middle ages and what they were really like.

TLDR; If the middle ages really were that bad, we'd never have made it to today.

Now, onto more important things. Such as the question "Is Berserk entertaining?"

The answer, in my opinion, is yes, but my opinion is wavering. But let me explain why I feel this way in further detail below.

You see, when I first started the series, I thought it would be a simple Guts vs. The World with that world being a dark, cruel, and overall not nice place to live in. And, for the first 13 books, that's what I got, and it was good. Real good. Not a thinking man's story, just pure unadulterated entertainment and, despite it's flaws it was truly a great romp. Suffice it to say, as I saw how long it took to get where I'd come in at (I think I came in around the mid 200s) I was concerned that it had started before I was born, and wouldn't end until long after I was dead. I have yet to be proven wrong on this, and that knowledge frightens me greatly.

But as of late this view is slowly eroding as, with each chapter that comes out (beginning with the Berserker Armor and the Loli-Witch, I'd hazard a guess) it feels less and less original and more and more like it's falling into normal fantasy which I'm greatly concerned over. Perhaps the guy just started getting too depressed and wanted to liven things up, but if that's the case then he went about it the wrong way. It feels like, with each successive chapter since the world acquired this weird full on fantasy approach that it's beginning to look less like Berserk and more like... well, that's just it. I don't know what it looks like, and that's a problem since it's obviously not the Berserk I entered into with joy and excitement all those years ago.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Some of my issues are with the party: Puck should be less comic relief; Ishidro just feels... gleh; Serpico and Farnese could have been salvageable if, perhaps, they'd been just as screwed up and actually did get incestuous (I can't believe I'm advocating this... dear me) as the rest of the story is screwed up just as bad, if not worse; and Isma... Isma is actually one of the few additions I have no problem with, actually, except that I wish she'd been around during the darker chapters, honestly.


So my opinion is that I hope it gets darker from this point (chapter 333), and with recent events Miura seems to hint at it, but I honestly have my doubts, and these doubts are very big doubts indeed that it will ever match it's former greatness.

At the end of the day, a story's worth is based solely on how entertaining it is, and so I'd say this story has, in it's earlier chapters, a lot of worth (beyond the ratings available to us here) and, perhaps, greater worth ahead. But as of current chapters? Well, not as much worth as I wished it had, honestly.

Hopefully this helps, folks. And here's to hoping of better things ahead.
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Well...   
Rating: N/A
by ramnor
September 17th, 2013, 7:45am
Cruel dark crude blunt and difficult
Ladies and Gentlemen this is Berserk
i wont give away anything but i'll say this
be warned if u start this for everything
and for ur safety avoid eating while reading this
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incredible   
Rating: 9.8 / 10.0
by whitespade
August 26th, 2013, 8:09am
when i first read this, i had to stop because back then i was still too green, i can't stand the dark art and the bleak atmosphere. but after maturing, i decide to give this another go, and dang am i regretting this decision. this is so freakishly good, and i'm just setting myself up for disappointment, waiting and waiting for new releases.

sure this gets more and more shounen, but i don't mind much. i just love the whole black vs white theme but in the opposite way. i really really want to find out how will guts take on the most beloved messianic figure in the world.
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