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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.

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.


Related Series

Associated Names
Berserk Max

Groups Scanlating
Band of The Hawks
Evil Genius

Latest Release(s)
v.38 c.337 by Evil Genius (231d ago)
v.38 c.336 by Evil Genius (282d ago)
v.38 c.335 by Evil Genius (362d 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 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

47 topics, 601 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2324 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
 56% (1305 votes)
 22% (522 votes)
 11% (246 votes)
 4% (86 votes)
 1% (34 votes)
 1% (21 votes)
 0% (8 votes)
 0% (9 votes)
 0% (11 votes)
 4% (82 votes)

Last Updated
May 11th 2015, 8:20am PST



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 #148 decreased(-15)
Monthly Pos #109 decreased(-11)
3 Month Pos #92 decreased(-12)
6 Month Pos #83 increased(+3)

List Stats
On 7383 reading lists
On 1368 wish lists
On 211 unfinished lists
On 520 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 11 days, 9 hours, 13 minutes ago
Youve read Berserk...right? 71 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes ago
Berserk AMVs 109 days, 10 hours, 41 minutes ago
When should i start this epic? 224 days, 4 hours, 46 minutes ago
I used to be a slave trader... 284 days, 13 hours, 56 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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One of my favorites   
Rating: N/A
by ZanathKariashi
November 2nd, 2011, 9:18am
It took me a while to finally get around to reading it, mostly due to all the bad press, and admittedly I almost dropped it before finally arriving at the golden age arc.....that was the turning point. The gratitous violence with some very vague back story angst was a bit put offish, but, the golden age is a major turning point. It's clear why they based the anime on that arc rather then doing the entire black swordsman arc first (though, the way things turned out, I don't see why they bothered with the first episode, not only does it spoil the entire rest of the series, it makes the way they ended it all the more disappointing).

Now, RE-reading the first arc, a lot of what happens is so much better as you understand FAR more deeply the significants of his actions and makes it much better. However, I do agree that things have gone down hill of late. My enjoyment began to slip after the witch joins up. It wasn't bad before then, but that was the point where the story as started getting side tracked, which with the extreme wait between very short drawn out chapters, it's hard to keep interested in the story.

That said, the new OVA series that's getting kicked off in 2012 has got me excited again. I was always disappointed in how badly the first anime was handled, so I'm glad it's getting the Ultimate treatment. A lot of people have complained about them remaking the Golden Age arc first, but that's fine with me. The golden age, in my opinion was the best of the bunch by far. And since it's never been animated accurately in its entirety, I see no reason for people to gripe about it. The anime interpretation was horribly watered down and cut out quite a few things, some of which there was no reason to (like Silat or Wyald) beyond having a crappy budget.
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I am growing old.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by junaid_9j
July 12th, 2011, 6:28am
When will this manga end.....although I like the story and the art, I wish it would end soon, and the mangaka should work on a new story instead of just dragging the same old thing. Its not like the release dates are weekly as's already 31 years now.....
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For every seinen readers out there!   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by riverside
July 4th, 2011, 6:48am
Well this manga is one of the best i've ever read, however i'm giving it an 8, because of the time that the releases are out. Because I read a chapter only once, by the time the author gives us another release i've already forgot the whole plot and the enthusiasm of the last release is already lost.
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All Hail the Seinen King.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by GoldenKaos
June 23rd, 2011, 1:11pm
The only reason I gave this a 9 was that I rate out of enjoyment, not out of quality (what's the point of a top-quality manga if it's not enjoyable?) and that there were certainly some of the more disgustingly mature parts that I winced at. Plus, why on earth is the Pope in there? Weird.

But, it is still the best gore-fest hack'n'slash fantasy seinen out there. Hands down. Well, except maybe Blade of the Immortal, but that's only slightly fantasy and mostly samurai, and even then I'm torn between which is better. But Berserk is more epic, the enemies have those magnificent unique monster designs that are so characteristic of the East. Guts is a man truly torn between darkness, revenge, slaughter and love, friendship and life, and the way the manga simply builds everything up to occasionally bring it crashing down again is breathtaking. This is a journey and a half, and if you have a strong stomach for gore and/or rape as well as don't mind a few odd Japanese stereyotypes/perceptions of Western culture, this will blow your mind.

... Last updated on July 19th, 2012, 7:20am
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GREAT !   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Auwx
June 1st, 2011, 4:08pm
Actually for a little while it has gone a little below its previous level, but there is one reason i have to give it a 10 : Guts's youth, from volume 3 up to volume 13. It is without a doubt the best story which has ever been and will ever be written /drawn. I have read it at the very least 15 times, and it keeps being as awesome as it was maybe not the first time where i literally couldn't take my eyes off the manga, but as the second time I read it.
Oh and don't misunderstand me : the chapters afterwards are still good. However they have more of a basic seinen feel, with a plot that does not seem to really go anywhere. I would usually lower the grade a little for that, but the first part is an absolute must read, so I don't. You can stop afterwards if you wish, but please read the first 13 volumes.

No matter what it is the first manga i would recommend to any one whos asks me "Hey, do you know a really good seinen ?". So if you don't have read it already, drop everything else right now and get down to work !

... Last updated on February 20th, 2012, 8:44am
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I also skipped this gem for a while.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by tiankioo
May 30th, 2011, 8:01am
This manga is fantastic. It has a great story with very, very great characters. Each character has so much depth. I remember in the past avoiding reading it due to how much gore there was in the beginning and the drawings were a bit shabby. Do not make this mistake.
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WOW!- no not the stupid game   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by alexj2936
May 26th, 2011, 8:21pm
I don't know why I avoided this manga for so long but I regret it. Guts is possibly THE best main character in ay manga so far. He's strong, doesn't complain or make dumb jokes and when he's getting his ass kicked (which happens often against apostles) he doesn't scream out " I'll never give up" or [insert generic and cliched shonen quote] he just gets up and shoves a sword up their asses!

The art is so good its actually kind of ridiculous, the story is so interesting that it took up about two whole days of my life while I was reading it and the battles....what can I say about the battles that hasn't been said about sex.... they're just amazing.

If you don't read this then you're missing out on a good chunk of manga heaven, but its not like you'll die if you don't read it smile
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give yourself up   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Sunahm
May 3rd, 2011, 10:34pm
This manga is, without a doubt, in my top 2 and has been for the last 9 years. Initially I only saw the animated series and at the end of it I was like *_* so like a total FIEND I had to find the manga and keep up with it. Maybe I shouldn't even admit it, but during the few weeks I was catching up I was perpetually gloomy, morbid and nihilistic; all from this manga! My brain was HAUNTED by it 24/7, I would even dream about it at night (lol).

Albeit, yes, lately it is getting a tiny bit silly with all the goofy people who are suddenly joining the pack. But 95% of it is just so incredible and raw and teeth-grittingly powerful it doesn't even matter right now (I know it is just temporary). I sometimes get annoyed with how slowly the chapters are released, but the art is magnificently detailed so I wouldn't want that to be compromised.

I don't know why it took me so long to write this review, but Berserk is the most carnal and beautifully crafted manga I've ever read; both in the art and the story. As someone else had mentioned, it is the godfather of manga; this series has literally been running since I have been alive haha. It paved the way for so many of its genre. It is not labeled seinen without good reason, but I would definitely not limit the enjoyment of it to either gender. A must-read for all, but prepare yourself!
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Don't Miss Out On Something This Good   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by liquidsin
February 8th, 2011, 12:09am
There's a reason why this series is rated so high despite the sheer amount of people who voted 1. It's not because of the hype, but the simple fact that this piece is undeniably good. Obviously, there are those who picked this up only to realize that seinen and bloodshed wasn't their cup of tea. If you're reading this, however, you've come here with an expectation in mind and I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed. Take a chance. live a little, and experience this epic series.

... Last updated on April 9th, 2011, 6:05pm
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Brilliant * some spoilers   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by kiron216
January 21st, 2011, 6:47pm
This manga is hands down the best I have ever read with Team Medical Dragon coming in as a close second. It accurately portrays the nature of humans and delves into the political structure of ancient Europe. What really secures the top position for berserk is not just how emotional it is or how detailed the art is. No matter what the author wants to portray in his manga he does it successfully and there is no better example than the nobility of the countries controlled by the Vatican and how the church was used as an instrument to monopolize wealth. The author also shows how the Vandimion family places its members into high positions and funds the Vatican's war through the use of banks and uses the pope as a figurehead to control the people. They are accurately characterized as the power behind the power and because the author includes this level of detail there is no more accurate portrayal of medieval times.

Something else that impresses me is his portrayal of strong emotion or being so obsessed with a person that it continually burns you. This is mentioned in several instances sometimes from the perspective of guts and sometimes from the perspective of griffith. Anyone who has ever cared deeply for someone, known that they are better than you are, and recognized that the see you as a mere annoyance and the level of your love for them is in stark contrast to the lack of emotional significance you hold for them (in my case an ex girlfriend from an Eastern European country who was stronger thanks to her upbringing than I could ever be). Its a very difficult thing to get over and this sort of inspiration can be found in every level of his work from Griffith describing the count as a pebble in his path that he had no affection for to Griffith acknowledging that Guts felt that way when he left the band of the hawks, to Guts thinking that casca is only a sore that griffith left behind and that he wants to take a bite out of the true light that burns him. This can be seen when Guts asks griffith if he thinks nothing of his betrayal and Griffith casually says that he doesn't care.

It also realistically shows the pursuit of griffiths dreams. There is a segment where griffith needs to pile corpses to reach a castle upon a dream and that that is the true nature of his ambition. It reminds me of a quote from Hajime no Ippo where the coach says, "to move higher an shine brighter you must use other mens dreams as stepping stones". Everyone wants success and everyone wants power. Ultimately to become rich in any sense of the word you must be willing to take from someone else. This manga accurately mirrors reality.

This story is visually, emotionally, and metaphorically rich. It is realistic and inspired written from the perspective of someone who understands the true nature of reality. Other stories might show human beings as infinitely clever, reasoned, and compassionate but this story shows human society for what it really is which is harsh and unforgiving, and political institutions for what they really are which is organizations that monopolize and redistribute wealth away from the bottom rungs of society and consolidate it amongst the financially elite. Also the protagonist guts has true strength not only because of his fighting ability but because of his ability to persevere in the face of absolute despair. This manga is by far the best I have ever read and not even George R. R. Martins a song of ice and fire is more inspired than this masterpiece. By conjoining artwork and an incredibly detailed plot the author has created a true gem of storytelling.

My brother once described his computer skills to me as a back burner skill that he didn't consider to be his main talent despite the fact that massive corporations would be willing to pay close to 100000 dollars a year for these backburner skills and the fact that he has started a successful business based on them. Everything I have just mentioned whether its the Vandimion family, to the Church, to the relationship between the characters despite being incredibly rich is just an appetizer. The main course is Guts and the challeges he faces and well as the demons he fights. The authors means of increasing the value of Guts to the reader is incredible. First he shows him as unrivaled amongst humans and then he shows Guts facing off against demons with capabilities far beyond a humans. Every fight is set up masterfully and the fights themselves are breathtaking. Berserk is truly a complete package.

... Last updated on January 21st, 2011, 6:53pm
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