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Berserk  
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Description
From ANN:

Guts, 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, Guts 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.

The 1988 Prototype chapter won a prize at the Comi Manga School Miura attended and the main series won the Tezuka Osamu Award for Excellence in 2002.

Type
Manga

Related Series

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.39 c.343 by Evil Genius (125d ago)
v.38 c.342 by Evil Genius (153d ago)
v.38 c.341 by Evil Genius (188d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Hiatus)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 and 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
50 topics, 637 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2463 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
10
 56% (1370 votes)
9+
 22% (551 votes)
8+
 11% (276 votes)
7+
 4% (90 votes)
6+
 2% (37 votes)
5+
 1% (24 votes)
4+
 0% (10 votes)
3+
 0% (9 votes)
2+
 0% (12 votes)
1+
 3% (84 votes)

Last Updated
April 13th 2016, 9:02am 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 #175 increased(+8)
Monthly Pos #174 decreased(-7)
3 Month Pos #170 decreased(-6)
6 Month Pos #128 decreased(-18)

List Stats
On 7858 reading lists
On 1452 wish lists
On 226 unfinished lists
On 572 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Berserk Gets New Anime Project Featuring Guts as 'Black Swordsman' 87 days, 0 hours, 55 minutes ago
"Berserk" Manga Schedules Latest Hiatus! 94 days, 18 hours, 48 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 94 days, 19 hours, 34 minutes ago
Berserk when does Guts show his evil smile 103 days, 0 hours, 42 minutes ago
The boat ride of a lifetime - Spoilers inside 133 days, 1 hours, 30 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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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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This manga...   
Rating: N/A
by SailorCupcake
August 1st, 2013, 4:00pm
Is definitely not for anyone who can't handle gore. Anyway it's not just about that we got our main guy Guts, and he just suffers the whole time. I want him to have a happy ending but that's not this type of manga. I get that some things like
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
when Casca gets raped by demon king Griffith a lot of people found that disturbing, and you should. This is that type of manga and it's a horrible, dark world for them.
Basically my point is the author wants Guts to suffer a lot, and I just hate that. I have never ever read a chapter from 1 to 300+. This is a first for me. I'm saying I didn't put this down because it was that good. All the side characters have personalities. Not all the girls get raped. Even some guys in this too. And let me just say the artwork is stunning. I have never seen such details in the faces and backgrounds. It is absolutely breath taking. Well done. Overall this is a wonderful manga series. I definitely recommend this to anyone who can stomach dark adult themes. @hijarian, I think the author did his good job by making you feel that way towards the manga.
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CORRECTION: Soooooooo disappointing... for the first ~100 chapters   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by Aadieu
July 23rd, 2013, 7:23pm
Chapters 5 ~ 100: 2/10. really some of the worst, most boring, bland generic crap I've ever read.
Chapters ~100 - onwards: 9/10, pretty niiice.

cumulative: 7/10

...really, I only read past the horrible "first part" (if you can call like 5+ years of serialization that) because I heard some real baaaaad shit was gonna happen to the characters - and at that point hated them so hard I wanted to see that. As compensation for my wasted time.

Then, suddenly, came the ok-ish "fake elves" story line, not bad at all. And after that it picked up entirely. And got good.

If you don' have the patience (it reaaaaaally sucks, anyone not admitting it is just too in love with the later chapters), depending on your tolerance for utter crap, read VOLUME 1, THEN start anywhere from VOLUME 9 (if you want to miss nothing of any importance whatsoever) to VOLUME 14 (if you have no patience).

The volumes 2-8 have no value whatsoever. It basically consists of our hero levelling up. All you really have to know:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Guts is born from the hanged corpse of his mother, is found by a mercenary officer's girlfriend and adopted. She dies, mercenary team blames the bad luck of the kid and treats him like crap. Eventually they take it way too far, he grows up, he kills a few of em. He starts a merc career of his own, shows promise, and gets scouted by an enemy merc captain, a girly pathologically jealous young man hell-bent on winning his own castle. Who later goads him into a duel, with the condition that he becomes "his" if the captain wins. And he does.

Then we have some boring non-supernatural mercenary crap. The mercenary captain, Griffith, is a wannabe macchiavellian self-made charismatic lunatic utterly obsessed with becoming a king. And is willing to sacrifice anyone to get there. It's going pretty well with him, he gets knighted, then hired as a permanent standing army, then his whole troop gets knighted and the country's princess takes a (rather one-sided, but not enough for him to pass up using that kind of chance) liking to Griffith.

Also, the captain's kinda bi... And hence we get a silly circular love "triangle" involving these two and the merc's (female) first officer Casca, of mixed one-sided feelings of admiration, camraderie, and jealousy that goes something like Casca >> Griffith >> Guts >> Casca.

And, once Casca starts reciprocating to Guts' attention, while Guts grows disillusioned with Griffith, it really hits the fan because poor little Griffith's pride can't take that kind of hit. And starts doing stupid things. The fact that he has a demonic amulet called a Behelit that lets people sacrifice something to become a demon doesn't help matters.


BTW, WARNING: somebody's circulating a CENSORED VERSION (!), all cut up for gratuitous sex and religious references (!!!). It's got the same number of chapters, but huge chunks are cut from inside them, including entire sections of plot arcs (the hookers from pagan hunters story line, a whole bunch of the inquisition stuff, etc.). If you see any 14-page chapters, you got stiffed... other hints are missing minor dialog bubbles and oversimplified translation, and characters suddenly appearing without introduction and joining right up. One culprit for circulating it is online reader "Manga Here".

... Last updated on July 27th, 2013, 9:56am
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More shounen with each chapter   
Rating: 9.3 / 10.0
by juij
February 28th, 2013, 10:25am
The first chapters are one of the darkest things i've ever read, it keeps the adult content and then it goes for a more popular manga as everyone says.

Not everything is bad in that change as i like the comic duo Isidro/Puck. On the other hand there's some shounen content that diminish the quality, like tha "power ranger/batman" armour, totally shounen rubish, Guts goes down from a mad and complex avenger character to a sugarcoated uncle full of love for his little friends.... the apostles getting friendly with the humans, the lack of sex (adult content), and the excess of childish or weak characters (moes everywhere)

Even so this manga it's still one of a kind, the darknes goes down, but the quality keeps pretty much the same as always and sometimes you got your share of gore.

I always like to point out the things i don't like, so with all that said i still think this is one of the best mangas ever published, and i believe a lot of people don't give a chance to Berserk precisely because the first two arcs are unbearable for them, just keep reading because you probably would like more the manga once you get past the first half, it goes from the darkness of the abbysmal nightmares to be one of the finest pieces of fantastic literature out there.

... Last updated on February 28th, 2013, 3:15pm
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On JRPG   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by lolnameless
January 20th, 2013, 4:07am
You can't blame Miura for introducing "pointless" characters, knowing that Guts already is the strongest human on earth.

It is not the case that he wishes to popularize this manga by ruining it, it would be stupid.
He drew this for 20 yrs, not thinking how long it takes toward the end, with increasing quality like no manga can compete, if he wishes to do things with lesser time, lesser mind, the first symptom is degradation on quality, sorry, i can't find this anywhere, it happens only in the opposite way.
My interpretation is that if he is the kind of person who trades quality for anything, he may rather trade this stupidity for longer release cycle, that is why Berserk is still in the half-way after 20 years of work.

The underlying reason on having characters who are more stpuid than Guts, is that not everyone is Guts. Still, it would be more boring if Guts fights as a lone wolf all the time.
I cant say i like the current plot development or defend anything, i just think that if you think about "what's for" all the time, you are not reading the manga.

... Last updated on January 22nd, 2013, 12:56am
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Absolutely horrible disgrace   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by hijarian
December 24th, 2012, 2:16am
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.

But apart from that, Berserk is absolute abomination, both literature-wise and art-wise. I completely don't understand why this manga is being compared to Bastard, there's *nothing* related between them except for the longevity.
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. 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.
Story-wise, this is just a tale of revenge. Basically we have this for the freaking (almost) 25 years: a noname outcast gets into bad company
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
which turns to total monsters which raped (there's no such a thing like simple rape in Berserk so she turned to insanity afterwards) his loved one
and now he seeks his revenge by any means. Ones who've read the Berserk already can (probably) see that this spoiler does not even reveal anything useful! Story did not become anymore deep!

And the whole 332 chapters so far ALL we have is just Guts spilling the guts out of everything that comes for it. And yeah, while he does this, there's a bunch of people appeared which happened to stick to him by unknown reasons.

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!

In "Elfen Lied" we at least had the story of the horrors of xenophobia which lie in humans. Here we don't have even such a small amount of moral, there's just a absolutely disgusting world filled with disgusting deeds which author relentlessly throws at his audience. Bleh.

... Last updated on October 26th, 2014, 8:58pm
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There can be only ONE   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by residentgrigo
September 15th, 2012, 8:25am
I have been reading Berserk since 2006 and deem it to be the best long-form comic of all time even if i consider URASAWA Naoki to be the better overall mangaka due to his wider reach and his vast amount of separate works.
Grant Morrison´s somewhat comparable seminal run on Batman is my 2nd favorite and i am stone cold serious when i say that Miura´s wildly influential bestselling masterpiece can only be rivaled by the works of William Shakespeare or Dante Alighieri as not even master Tezuka´s equally ambitious Hi no Tori (10/10) can managed to reach this epic.
The "Golden Age" arc for example featured parallels to Hamlet and the series constantly recreates European paintings to boot. My favorite part is still the "Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc" that began in Vol.22 and the overall historical research is top notch. A lot of the characters/events featured have real life counterparts so look em up.
The whole epic further needs to be read multiple times to be fully understood due to the highly layered structure and the meticulous foreshadowing that began after the admittedly uneven "Black Swordsman" prologue. Miura began to solely focus on Berserk right thereafter which lead to an explosion in the fidelity of art and writing and the often discussed art in the post flashback volumes is lastly only inferior to Frank Quality´s much slower output in the history of the comic book medium. In the Tezuka winning Miura i trust and i can´t be the only one as Berserk´s ANN entry managed to become the highest rated series on that site! I will give one last warning that i am incapable of recommending the series to just anyone due to the unflinching focus on gore, sex and rape. These aspects are handled with meretricious care and the series inverts expectations by having a strong focus on emancipation but my warning still stand.
Even Guts himself ended up being a conflicted and not always sympathetic loner who deserves some of the suffering the chain of causality throws at him.
Miura´s output slowed down during the last decade but he is still fast if compared to A-level international artists and the stellar work speaks for itself. Berserk´s popularity only continues to grow too. Some may complain about a "lighter" tone in the later volumes but i am not sure if they read the same manga i did and i like all the later introduced teens as much as i liked the original Band of Haws. Guts himself is only in his 20s too and the Griffith focused chapter are further some of the best the manga has to offer and prove that a strong narrative doesn´t need a "hero" who always takes the center stage or constantly wins. I could have lived with a chapter or two less about the ultimately goofy pirates and one could complain that the manga could use more nudity from less appealing women to "even the scales" but these minor issues or only pebbles on the road. I have lastly written a review for all of the manga that were fully authored by the master and i can recommend the somewhat rushed first anime, which even features a better pilot than the manga, and the 2 games that were also written by Miura. The success-less later anime movie trilogy though wasn´t overseen by him and is an insult to any fan so stay way. Now pick up your sword and face destiny True Believers!
I even got a Brand of Sacrifice tattoo to prove my intelligence to Miura´s timeless masterpiece and thus look forward to the next decade of industry leading quality as the series is planned to run for about 50 volumes.

... Last updated on January 30th, 2016, 7:29am
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Superb   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by strixflash
September 10th, 2012, 3:27pm
Earlier I decided not to read it further after reading first 3 volume as they were terrible, but I am glad that I didnt followed my decession. The true interesting story starts after first 5-6 volumes.
Its one of the best seinen I have ever read. The story is well framed,characters are really well characterised except for few and the art is really well drawn (not including the starting).
So dont give up on it for it slow starting because you will surely regret that you missed such a masterpiece work.
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