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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


Related Series

Associated Names
Berserk Max

Groups Scanlating
Band of The Hawks
Evil Genius

Latest Release(s)
v.38 c.337 by Evil Genius (174d ago)
v.38 c.336 by Evil Genius (224d ago)
v.38 c.335 by Evil Genius (305d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

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

47 topics, 598 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2300 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
 56% (1294 votes)
 23% (518 votes)
 11% (243 votes)
 4% (85 votes)
 1% (30 votes)
 1% (20 votes)
 0% (8 votes)
 0% (9 votes)
 0% (11 votes)
 4% (82 votes)

Last Updated
March 24th 2015, 1:37am PST

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Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

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

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Dark Horse (37 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #106 decreased(-10)
Monthly Pos #100 decreased(-6)
3 Month Pos #80 increased(+4)
6 Month Pos #78 increased(+8)

List Stats
On 7302 reading lists
On 1333 wish lists
On 209 unfinished lists
On 509 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Youve read Berserk...right? 14 days, 2 hours, 15 minutes ago
Berserk AMVs 51 days, 21 hours, 3 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 158 days, 23 hours, 1 minutes ago
When should i start this epic? 166 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes ago
I used to be a slave trader... 227 days, 0 hours, 18 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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
This is the best manga of all time and can only be rivaled by the works of William Shakespeare or Dante Alighieri. And i am stone cold serious.
Together with the Grant Morrisons seminal run on Batman, this is the most fun i ever had reading a Comic/Manga/Bande dessinée.

... Last updated on October 11th, 2012, 8:35am
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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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A blessing to the manga world   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by zimzimbadabim
August 28th, 2012, 9:32pm
There are a handful of mangas that are so good they provide inspiration for other mangakas to up their game and raise the quality of mangas as a whole. This is one of those mangas.

I would have given this a ten if some of the characters weren't missing some fundamental, human character traits. Of course, most mangakas make the same mistake, but I am more greatly dissapointed to see it here.

... Last updated on August 28th, 2012, 9:36pm
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Berserk has everything   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Gamezob
July 14th, 2012, 8:44am
This manga so well rounded:
We're shown struggle, strife
And some awesome fights
Then we see tender love:
Big Damn Kisses and hugs.
There are scenes of blood and gore
Yet still we chant: more,more more
Then glimpses of a young hearts' fight
There and then my soft heart takes flight

See this manga is so awesome it makes me want to write poetry
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The Build   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by burntskullcandy
July 11th, 2012, 6:59pm
When I read this story everything builds on everything else and although the oponets get bigger and badder the main character doesn't grow at the same rate. This is why I have unfailingly gave it a ten as their has never been a point when I questioned if this manga is moveing forward.
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Finally found death   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by inkstorm
June 2nd, 2012, 3:01pm
I feel odd saying this but it's refreshing to see a character die. Two bitter enemies don't magically see eye-to-eye after participating in a bloody brawl, nor does a friend live after receiving a fatal blow. Gats, the main character, takes after the first point as he tends be the unforgiving type. If you can't stand blood and gore then you should probably keep moving on, otherwise there is a reason Berserk has a Rating of 9 despite 74 1's.

... Last updated on September 13th, 2012, 8:02am
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