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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.


Related Series

Associated Names
Berserk Max

Groups Scanlating
Band of The Hawks
Evil Genius

Latest Release(s)
v.39 c.343 by Evil Genius (48d ago)
v.38 c.342 by Evil Genius (76d ago)
v.38 c.341 by Evil Genius (111d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Hiatus)

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

50 topics, 637 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2447 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
 56% (1367 votes)
 22% (546 votes)
 11% (270 votes)
 4% (92 votes)
 1% (35 votes)
 1% (24 votes)
 0% (9 votes)
 0% (9 votes)
 0% (12 votes)
 3% (83 votes)

Last Updated
February 8th 2016, 7:19am 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 #181 decreased(-7)
Monthly Pos #163 increased(+5)
3 Month Pos #92 increased(+5)
6 Month Pos #102 increased(+10)

List Stats
On 7783 reading lists
On 1444 wish lists
On 220 unfinished lists
On 560 custom lists

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

Forum Posts
Berserk Gets New Anime Project Featuring Guts as 'Black Swordsman' 10 days, 10 hours, 32 minutes ago
"Berserk" Manga Schedules Latest Hiatus! 18 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 18 days, 5 hours, 11 minutes ago
Berserk when does Guts show his evil smile 26 days, 10 hours, 19 minutes ago
The boat ride of a lifetime - Spoilers inside 56 days, 11 hours, 7 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by N0X
October 25th, 2009, 6:17pm
You know, kotto, you actually have a point there. When I read the manga for the first time, I also thought the same thing. Miura bringing the magic and everything in put it almost "over-the-top", but somehow it all balances out with the demons and God Hands and the bad guys. Besides, it was refreshing, and Guts certainly needed something else than his sword to be able to kick some serious apostle ass (which he did after he got the armor). ^^
As for the characters, in a way they also balance eachother out, you have the comedic relief (Isidro and Puck), the all-so serious women of the squad (Schierke, Farnese and that female fairy), and last, but not least, a mastermind and a tactitian (Serpico) being Guts' opposite when it comes to fighting, as Guts is more of a up-front kinda guy, while Serpico will cunningly find the best way to defeat someone, even if it's "fair" or not. Serpico can in a way have similarities to Griffith, but that's another story. My point is that Miura makes it all balance out perfectly, and with all the different character's background stories and introductions done so magnificently, this deserves nothing less than a 10 on my account.

A girl actually does survive in the beginning of the manga. --> Chapter 8, the daughter of the apostle Guts' fights when we first see Femto.

... Last updated on October 25th, 2009, 6:20pm
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Great manga but I dont what to say about it now.   
Rating: N/A
by kotto
October 20th, 2009, 10:50pm
I watched the anime before I even started reading Berserk. I enjoyed the anime and continue to rewatch it when I have time. In the beginning the manga was great. Im not saying it isnt great now but I kind of disappointed that it all magic and stuff. I didnt mind Gutt's armor(cant remember the name) but the witch and the little annoying little boy character....its like in the beginning of the manga you see a little girl then....BAM she gets killed. So how is this annoying little punk alive and WTF is with the magic and shit. I understand that there are demons and stuff but we didnt need fairy magic. I will give the manga a 9 since some of the villains in the beginning of the manga were too childish. Sadly its hard to read more of the manga since it has lost it touch for me and if I read any of its to see if any happens to Caska(Getting memory back or something) or Gutts not for any of the other chars.(Hoping they would die or something)

... Last updated on October 20th, 2009, 10:56pm
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So not for kids   
Rating: N/A
by heatguyj
October 12th, 2009, 9:02am
I started reading this series when I was around 14, and I had to stop, although I read up to everything that was scanlated up to that time. It's a really good series, great art, story, and everything, but I had to keep looking over my shoulder every minute that I was reading this. That's actually the only reason why I stopped, not because of the gore or graphic scenes, but because I kept stressing over the fact that someone was gonna walk in on me reading it ^_^. But I definitely plan on starting it up again. Well this didn't help anyone at all, but just really don't read it if you don't wanna be caught doing so.
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Pros and Cons   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by OppKnox
July 11th, 2009, 11:29pm
Berserk’s pros and cons can be summarized rather simply. Among its flaws are its excessive mayhem and debauchery; its poor transition from adult tragedy to children’s fairytale; its incorporation of every medieval cliché known to man in a seemingly pointless mélange; and its longwinded mysticism. Among its assets are its staggering art; the mythic resonance of Guts and Griffith’s saga; Volumes 4 through 13; and the many memorable flights of fancy that follow, from the creepy Lost Children bit to Griffith’s colorful minions.

... Last updated on July 11th, 2009, 11:35pm
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great manga but!!!   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by razuraw
July 7th, 2009, 3:10pm
it has way too much rape scenes. women getting raped by monsters WTF. turns my stomach just thinking about it and your realy going to hate just how many times the main female character gets raped, its sickening. so if dont mind that stuff then read it as its has a great story and fight scenes.
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The best i ever read   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by linkindc
June 16th, 2009, 4:28pm
The drawings are Excellent, the story are excellent, im kinda like to see grifith suffering , and i like to see guts in fury , the only thing i hate is the time that takes to come new mangas =(... but its excellent
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Rating: N/A
by SoY
April 29th, 2009, 6:18am
yes! it has a good storyline, the "wild" art and detail is also great.
Bearing to read until volume3 is worthed.
Skip some "speech" how they describe about the religion,belief, fairy world, etc, if you didn't have much time.
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good but a total mind****   
Rating: N/A
by ssuasw
April 27th, 2009, 10:31am
Awesome manga but id advise you njot to read it if your weak of heart . i am personally dropping this manga to avoid any more mental scarring.
This stuff is more ****ed up than Ichi the Killer
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The Berserk Experience   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by IASeldon
April 8th, 2009, 11:56am
My first experiences with Berserk came not through the manga, nor even from watching the anime: but actually from seeing a preview on the Samurai Deeper Kyo DVDs. One day I was scanning through the previews on the fourth disc and randomly decided to watch the one for Berserk. Let me tell you, I was floored. Not by the art, not by the amazing way it was cut together, but actually by the music they had playing in the background. Seeing that trailer set me on two passions: Berserk and Susumu Hirasawa (if you have not checked out his music, do so. Some of it is hit-or-miss, but there are more than a few golden pieces in his works).

In any event, after seeing the trailer I had to find the anime; at least, that is what my thinking went to immediately. No such luck. Berserk is quite possibly one of the hardest collections of DVDs to find unless you order on-line, which almost seems like cheating. In any event, stymied by the failure, I put it out of my mind for a time and went on with life...until I saw the first fourteen volumes of Berserk one day in Borders.

I will say this - I did not read Berserk in order. I read books 1-2, then went to 4-6, 8-10, then went back to 3 and 7 and on from there. It is a fascinating story, filled with violently beautiful art and distinct, emotionally fractured characters. It is quite possibly the most realistic portrait of medieval times ever shown (and that from a Japanese mangaka!), despite the magic and demons and elves.

It is also delightfully humorous - something that even the darkest of stories need, if only to relieve the tension - especially for someone who has read a lot of manga and watched a lot of anime. All of the overblown attacks called out by Guts' enemies in the Golden Age, promising utter defeat and devastation - only to have them fail spectacularly - is clearly a thumb to the nose at all of the shounen manga in existence.

Now, there are some complaints that the story in the Millennium Arc is moving away from the dark aspects of the story. Not True! Think back to the Golden Age arc, and how happy and cheerful it seemed then! The story is only becoming happier because of the terrible things yet to come. Nothing makes despair deeper than the fond memories of good times.

For those who have reviewed this story poorly I have only this to say: you did not try. You read the story with skepticism, a critical eye and a sneer upon your lips. You refused to let yourself go and just accept the story for what it is: A Story.

Let all who read Berserk after seeing this review read it with this in mind: Experience it for what it is - the story of Guts - and not for what you believe it should be, or with any comparisons to the manga you have read in the past. Because I can guarantee you one thing - any manga you have read recently came after Berserk.

I would also recommend searching the internet for Susumu Hirasawa's Berserk soundtrack. You can find it if you look hard enough. Reading the manga while listening to the music is a sublime experience.

I will agree with one negative point mentioned in the previous reviews - it could be done faster. Not blindingly fast, like some Shounen Jump teeney-bopper fight manga, but once a month like Gantz would be superb, and would no doubt lead to ecstatic frenzies amongst the Berserk community.
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