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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.

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.38 c.339 by Evil Genius (3d ago)
v.38 c.338 by Evil Genius (39d ago)
v.38 c.337 by Evil Genius (335d 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 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
47 topics, 612 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2374 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
10
 56% (1333 votes)
9+
 22% (532 votes)
8+
 11% (254 votes)
7+
 4% (88 votes)
6+
 1% (34 votes)
5+
 1% (23 votes)
4+
 0% (8 votes)
3+
 0% (9 votes)
2+
 0% (11 votes)
1+
 3% (82 votes)

Last Updated
July 20th 2015, 5:19am 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 #66 increased(+16)
Monthly Pos #131 decreased(-31)
3 Month Pos #104 increased(+22)
6 Month Pos #103 decreased(-15)

List Stats
On 7546 reading lists
On 1393 wish lists
On 215 unfinished lists
On 536 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Berserk to resume from hiatus soon 38 days, 16 hours, 3 minutes ago
Youve read Berserk...right? 62 days, 9 hours, 36 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 64 days, 6 hours, 31 minutes ago
Berserk AMVs 213 days, 5 hours, 37 minutes ago
When should i start this epic? 327 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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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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See the whole picture   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Temped
September 4th, 2010, 6:23pm
Well I can just say I love this Manga. It is interesting full of detail and has a great story and the autor knows how to devlop this. The only thing is I just don't know what to say about some people that start to believe Berserk is getting bad just because the direction it is taking is a little difference but hey come on it is the best fantasy themed Manga in the whole work. I just love the art the details the story so full of ideas and completely without plot lacks. It was a dark comic at the beginning then it got brighter because Guts started to have a place for himself then this was robbed and he was almost driven insane with vengeance. And now it's starting to become brighter again. All these people are complaining because they think the Manga is starting to become just some mainstream crap but no it isn't you guys have just to see the whole picture but most of you try to stay focused on a small part. It had to go in a little bit different direction or else it would have been only the same for ever, a Guts getting more and more dragged in a hate spiral and just fighting and fighting and fighting. Now he has something new which he has to adapt to and that again makes the Manga just better. Oh and believe me it will get back to the old bloody gore revenge thing. I just pity everyone who fails to realize this incredible great work. And when it is finished we will cry because everything will fit in perfectly.
So for everyone who like fantasy (dark medieval fantasy) this Manga is the non plus ultra nothing better available and believe me I looked everywhere.

... Last updated on October 6th, 2010, 12:23pm
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Starts off wonderful   
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
by jptranslator_girl
July 28th, 2010, 3:02pm
I'm going to add myself to the list of people here who loved Berserk in the beginning. It's quite a miserable story with a tragic hero (that's actually the understatement of the century, but...), but everything comes together so well that it's nearly impossible to stop reading. The Golden Age arc was (by far) one of THE BEST storylines that I've ever had the pleasure of reading in my entire life....and I've been reading manga for quite a while. That being said, I have no idea what in the living hell has been going through Kentaro Miura's mind for the last few years. It seems like he just picks up random crap character profiles and plots from the most generic RPGs on the market and uses them to fill pages. I can't even begin to properly express how disappointed I am in this series that I once held at the top of my 'favorites' list.

Here's to hoping that it gets better soon. If that's the case, then I'll just accept that and forget about all the garbage in between. I could seriously scream right about now....

... Last updated on July 28th, 2010, 3:09pm
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Really awesome for a good while...   
Rating: 9.1 / 10.0
by VampireBanana
March 29th, 2010, 6:59am
It's quite a masterpiece and the Golden Age and a few other arcs were among my favourites. The world was harsh, gritty, unforgiving, albeit with some fun moments and we get to see the epic fates intertwining Casca, Guts and Griffith as well as those from Band of the Hawks and the Apostles. It was truly awesome and well-done.

But then suddenly, the story took a huge turn into some "light, poppy" atmosphere and tried to balance both "light and darkness" and make both work together. Unfortunately it's not going so well as the atmosphere keeps switching around way too much, causing the story to cheapen over time. However, Berserk is still good to read, albeit not as intriguing or entertaining as before.

And yes... I can't believe I used to hate this series.

... Last updated on March 29th, 2010, 7:32am
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Awesomeness   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Tinboy
February 21st, 2010, 3:48pm
The beginning is VERY BORING but if you get past that it becomes a masterpiece imo. There is a lot of gore and the plot is very interesting; it always keeps you entertained (not including the beginning).
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The art is the stuff of masters.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by malk
February 20th, 2010, 9:18am
This was the first manga I ever read. Since then, I have read hundreds of series over the past 2-3 years, and I have never seen better art than that in Berserk. I honestly don't think it exists anymore. The storyline is amazing, the art work is godly, and in all honesty the only things I can truly say bad about it is the same afflictions that any manga gets with time and that is a decrease in the quality of storyline at the later chapters.

The story does seem to drag on toward the end, whether that is because I have to wait sometimes 3 months per chapter or because of an actual quality decrease in storyline, I honestly can't say. The quality of the art is the best, but that comes at the cost of an extremely slow production of new chapters.

That being sad, if I didn't rate this a 10 no manga on this site would be worthy of it. I recommend this manga to anyone who doesn't mind alot of gore, bloodshed, and nudity. I personally find those things to be a plus.

... Last updated on February 20th, 2010, 9:18am
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docking a point   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by hamburgers
February 3rd, 2010, 4:53pm
I'm docking a point for too much rape, but aside from that this is definitely one of the most emotionally and visually stunning manga I have ever read. The artwork is so incredibly detailed that I have trouble taking it all in; you could spend hours looking at a single panel to spot the little details that you would otherwise have missed. The monsters are gross and horrific, while the bad guys are incredibly easy to hate. This is as honest of a review as you're gonna get. But remember, there's lots of raep and other traumatic events. Like the description above says: definitely not for the weak of heart.
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A MUST read manga   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Bloodfall
January 9th, 2010, 10:37am
Berserk is a must-read for any manga fan.
In my pov, berserk is like "the godfather" on the manga world.

The best art i've ever seen so far, great plot, great characters....
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....   
Rating: N/A
by dreamer00013
January 8th, 2010, 11:38am
ugh.....I'm still reading the first volume and ....wow. this is nothing like I expected. I heard people say "This is so awesome" and all, another person kept telling me that it's so great and that the graphic scenes aren't that many and that horrible - but I was surprised. It was NOTHING like I imagined. Actually, the graphic scenes really aren't disturbing (yet?) and the art was good. Not catastrophal like many say. And the art is sure to get better - there are 20 volumes, it HAS to get better! I'll see about the characters and plot.

but still, one tip: Do not eat while reading.....

... Last updated on July 7th, 2010, 5:31am
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Going steadily downhill   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by lordyupa
October 25th, 2009, 10:20pm
I used to love Berserk more than life itself. The Golden Age story arc remains some of the greatest storytelling in manga history, and many of the subsequent chapters were also excellent. However, I feel like I can no longer recommend Berserk with a clear conscience. In recent years it's been slowly transforming from a gritty low-fantasy book to a generic J-RPG. Guts, the main character and one of the most psychologically complex action heroes I've ever read, has been pretty much replaced by a cast of extremely boring stock characters, including the hot-blooded young kid who wants to be a warrior, the super-cool skilled swordsman who rarely speaks, the kawaii-magic-girl-chan ^_^, and a couple of useless girls who spend their time being victims.

In the beginning, Berserk was about Guts fighting a continually losing battle against fate itself, supported in his hopeless endeavor only by his titanic force of will. Now, it seems that he and his gang spend their time fighting a series of trite "boss battles" straight from Final Fantasy, and nearly every problem is solved by the witch girl busting out some new and unprecedented magic power that resolves it automatically. Frankly, it's sucked for the last 3-4 years.

So should you read it? I want to say yes. Some parts of Berserk are truly perfect, the epitome of the mangaka's craft. Other parts (and sadly these parts indicate the current direction of the story) are more like an insult to the reader.
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