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Berserk  
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Description
His name is Guts, the Black Swordsman, a feared warrior spoken of only in whispers. Bearer of a gigantic sword, an iron hand, and the scars of countless battles and tortures, his flesh is also indelibly marked with The Brand, an unholy symbol that draws the forces of darkness to him and dooms him as their sacrifice. But Guts won't take his fate lying down; he'll cut a crimson swath of carnage through the ranks of the damned -- and anyone else foolish enough to oppose him! Accompanied by Puck the Elf, more an annoyance than a companion, Guts relentlessly follows a dark, bloodstained path that leads only to death...or vengeance.

Created by Kenturo Miura, Berserk is manga mayhem to the extreme -- violent, horrifying, and mercilessly funny -- and the wellspring for the internationally popular anime series. Not for the squeamish or the easily offended, Berserk asks for no quarter -- and offers none!

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
Berserk Max
Берсерк
ברזרק
برزرک
เบอร์เซิร์ก
ベルセルク
烙印勇士
烙印战士
베르세르크

Groups Scanlating
/a/nonymous
AOM
Band of The Hawks
Binktopia
More...

Latest Release(s)
c.357 by Evil Genius & MangaStream about 1 month ago
c.357 by Tritium Decay about 1 month ago
c.356b by Evil Genius & MangaStream 4 months ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
40 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 and skips to Vol 3, Ch 09 (1997) / Vol 3, Chap 09 (2012) / Vol 18, Chap 134 (2016)
Ends at Vol 13, Chap 102 (1997) / Vol 13, Chap 107 (2012) / Vol 29, Chap 264 (2017)

User Reviews
Berserk by J
Berserk by canucks

Forum
55 topics, 666 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2720 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
10
 55% (1498 votes)
9+
 23% (622 votes)
8+
 11% (312 votes)
7+
 4% (102 votes)
6+
 2% (42 votes)
5+
 1% (24 votes)
4+
 0% (9 votes)
3+
 0% (11 votes)
2+
 0% (11 votes)
1+
 3% (89 votes)

Last Updated
August 27th 2018, 8:26am 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 (39 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #128 decreased(-5)
Monthly Pos #102 decreased(-64)
3 Month Pos #58 increased(+7)
6 Month Pos #56 decreased(-5)
Year Pos #50 increased(+12)

List Stats
On 9152 reading lists
On 1593 wish lists
On 243 unfinished lists
On 669 custom lists

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Forum Posts
"Berserk" Manga Schedules Latest Hiatus! 5 months ago
Berserk anime vs manga 7 months ago
First god hand to be killed 7 months ago
Berserk to resume from hiatus soon 10 months ago
Berserk got adapted by an Finish Power Metal band 11 months ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Thought this was some lame, edgy manga. No: character writing, action, themes--all extremely good.   
Rating: N/A
by Swifft
July 25th, 2018, 3:58pm
So yeah I really wasn't interested in reading this series for a long time. It's gotten a reputation as a dark fantasy series for teens or something, I feel. Lots of talk about how it's full of rape, lots of talk about the Eclipse, lots of talk about how awesome and actiony it is. There's not that much rape (what is there is often handled shockingly well), the Eclipse isn't the only good thing about the series by a longshot, and yes it's full of great action but that is surely not why it's so beloved and still being discussed despite hiatus after hiatus, and almost thirty years of publication as of this writing. I've written a longer review linked below to go over what makes Berserk so truly incredible, and the main thing is that it's a fantastic journey and a cut-through-your-heart tragedy.

Full review:
https://terrenceswiff.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/berserk/
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One of the best High Fantasy mangas   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by burnchocolateforfree
July 9th, 2018, 10:00am
Well structured story, much anticipation, round characters and mesmerizing art.
I feel like the vote should be split tho, before and after he finds the Berserker armour:
from 10/10 to 8/10
Not just because waiting in between the author's continuous hiatuses is annoying, but because the feeling of danger during the fights was almost nullified. Too overpower, let's say.

still one of the best mangas I've ever read
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THIS IS REALLY LONG but berserk is actually the best thing I have ever read   
Rating: N/A
by qboss123
May 25th, 2018, 8:45pm
OK.
I'm just going to rant about why this is one of the best manga ever made.

From my experience, of everyone who has ever read Berserk, about 50% just read the golden age and liked it because goldan age is the feel good part of the manga where Guts and Griffith are OP and wipe the floor with almost everyone they meet.

20% are off-put by the initial gore (which, to be fair, is somewhat over the top in the first couple of volumes. This is not to say that it isn't necessary, which it is and I will explain why later, but still it kinda makes sense that someone would stop in chapter 2)

20% read the whole thing, understand what the symbolism, motifs, and themes actually mean and do

10% read it with the expectation that it will be really good or bad, and either way they let that get in the way of understanding the story

As for me, I am in the second to last group, who read it (4 times in my case) and still finds new insights into what makes berserk work. ANYWAY
I won't be going into a lot of detail about what actually happens, but I will try to explain what makes it the best manga of all time.
What really makes berserk what it is are the characters. The art is beautiful (objectively) and the story is visceral, but those don't really set Berserk apart. Plenty of other manga have that claim to fame. No manga, however, has included such incredibly human protagonists and antagonists. So that's what I will explain. Like what makes them so good.

Guts
Guts is my second favorite character in the series. Initially, before the golden age arc, he is a man with a weirdly strong determination to kill demons. From the perspective of someone who didn't look any deeper then that, that would be the entirety of Guts character. However, even from the beginning, Berserk alludes to the fact that he is something more. I mean, even though, on the surface, he seems cold and distant, he cares about the people he meets. At least, he cares enough to save Puck, and later, is visibly upset when the girl and her father die because of the demons chasing him. There is a scene when Puck, who can feel his emotions, remarks on Guts deep hatred, despair, rage, and pain. Right before the golden age, we find guts true enemy, how immensely powerful he is, and the environment that made guts who he is.

That brings us to the golden age. Guts, from a very young age, was abused, neglected, beaten, and raped, and thus had an outlook on the world that is very different from the 21st century, 1st world people reading the manga. Ima go on a tangent for a second and say that this is where a lot of people get mixed feelings about guts, because they feel that he is an evil, immoral human due to the things that he did. But it really is hard to make judgements about him because NO ONE who has ever read berserk has gone through what he has. The ?but he?s immoral? argument is stupid because one would be basing that off of their own life, which is many times easier then his. The point is that he is not a psychopath from birth, but was molded by his experiences. He becomes darwinistic, thinking that the strong live while the weak die, and to some degree he is right, given that he is a mercenary. This thinking gets shifted when he meets Griffith and Casca. Instead of the kill or be killed situation that he has had to deal with his entire life, has met with friendship and camaraderie (although that wouldn't happen for a while with Casca). He opens up to people and understands the value of human companionship. At this point, we see human nature in full. Before, he was only shown cruelty, and was cruel as a result. But he grew trust towards his comrades, and grew as a person as a result. Ironically, as a result of giving up his darwinistic worldview, he emotionally and psychologically evolves.

THEN we get to the eclipse, where everything comes crashing down. His lover gets raped, his friends die, and one of the only person that he ever loved and respected betrays him. Afterwards, his only outlet is revenge, killing anyone who had anything to do with the eclipse. Eventually, he regains trust and allows people back into his life, like Puck. He learns gratitude, and all the other qualities that left him in the eclipse.

Im not saying that Guts is right or wrong, bad or good. He certinantly acts like a villain, but has the motives of a hero. But he can't really fit any category, because he isn't a trope. He is just a human, who goes with what he's got, and makes do with what he can, and through all of it, stays true to his goals. In all of manga, anime, and literature in general, I have never found a more compelling character then guts (with the possible exception of Griffith).

Casca
CASCA has equal character value to guts or griffith, but undervalued by the Berserk community and seen as a victim. However, she is the counterpart to Guts and represents a very different moral outlook. Growing up under harsh conditions, almost as bad as guts, she also does not find value in camaraderie with her soldiers. Griffith, being the one who saved her, is the target of her affections. It's not like its actual love though. To casca, Griffith is the shining light (or hawk) of hope in her life filled with hardship. To be fair, she is a female soldier in a mercenary band in a wildly sexist society, so for her, hardship is exceptionally easy to come by. Thus, whatever Griffith thinks is her primary concern and nothing else holds any importance. However, Guts shows her that her artificial feelings for Griffith are far less powerful and meaningful. She stops caring only what he thinks, and while relying on other people, builds self confidence and emotional strength. She makes herself vulnerable, and in the scene right before the eclipse (yeah, the one that everyone writes off as fan service) she totally exposes herself to Guys. During the eclipse, she is totally betrayed, and while Guts uses revenge to vent his rage, the effect of the eclipse makes her mentally incapable to do anything as a coping mechanism. She, while human, is also undeniably one of the most tragic characters in manga.

GRIFFITH
MY FAVORITE CHARACTER
As it says in the title, Griffith is my favorite character. Not because he?s cool, or badass, or smart, but because he represents moral dilemmas that very few have a definitive answer to. He also grew up is a terrible environment (kinda a theme at this point) and wants full control over his life. He doesn't want to be subject to anything, even fate, and will do anything to avoid that. He sees fate as a cruel, depressing mechanism for the world, and wants to replace causality with something far more kind. His ambition is nothing more or less then that. However, with his goal of denying the supremacy of fate, he also sees a clear hierarchy of people. Why only he can challenge fate, while everyone else remains it?s slave. Until, that is, Guts arrives. Guts is, in many respects, Griffith?s equal. Griffith sees that, and treats him like a true friend. The deepest bond in the manga, by far, is between Guts and Griffith. They are the true meaning of brothers in arms, family where neither had any. More than anything else, both of them value their relationship. However, guts comes to understand that Griffith would only consider one a friend if they followed only their dream, their ambition, and thus seeks his own and abandons griffith in the hope that griffith would have more respect for him. When guts leaves, Griffith realizes he has very little power at all, spiraling into the events of the eclipse. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SCENE IN BERSERK. In it, Griffith has the opportunity to seize power, to end fate?s tyranny and save the world from chaos. If he did so, he could be a benevolent god, giving everyone the peaceful, safe, happy life that he never had. However, the cost was everyone he ever loved and knew, including Guts. While many would instantly see Griffith as evil for choosing the world over his friends, there is definitely another side to this argument. After the eclipse, Griffith truly is a savior to his people. He defeats monsters, kills slave traders and other determinants to society, and ends the invasion. But was it really worth it? Should the few be sacrificed to save the many? Is that right? That is the heart of Berserk. It is, in essence, a moral argument between guts and griffith, and neither side is right or wrong.
Summary: the characters and kinda everything about berserk is amazing. Some of the relizations I have come across in berserk have had a huge effect on my life and it has been the most personally influential thing i have ever read. HOWEVER. DO NOT GO INTO IT THINKING ITS THE BEST THING EVER. TAKE IT FOR WHAT IT IS CUZ OTHERWISE YOU WILL THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT IT ISN'T.

Tips fedora and scratches neckbeard
Im right your wrong I win
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Such waste   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by PZcolo
September 2nd, 2017, 6:46am
Could have been the undisputed number one in my list but probably will never be because I doubt it will ever be finnished. After 10 years of getting 5 ch. a year if lucky, I've given up. I hope to be proven wrong for once.

... Last updated on September 2nd, 2017, 6:49am
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i hate it but it's captivating   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by reivatin
April 28th, 2017, 11:37am
i hate the story, really i hate it,
more blood, not so cool MC, broken heroine, best friend as main villain
more over it twisted story, it jumbled over and over, long hiatus and not understanding the meaning of the title till more than 100++ or even 200++ chapter

but it's captivating, the more you read, the more you want to know how will it end
good ending, bad ending, normal ending, all possible and you can't expect anything

in chp 348 more of the "main" story is revealed, what these what those


I hope you will endure it, it's more like drama less then action manga for me
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Definitely one of the Best Ever!!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by SSJR2
July 8th, 2016, 9:49am
Been meaning to review this series for a while so i guess i finally should do it. Anyway this series as my title says is one of the best ever. Its probably one of the best medieval adventure mangas ive seen (if not the best). And i have read a lot. I pretty much broke it down to categories to explain why:
Story: The is basically a tale of Revenge and survival, its basically involves are lead going through the hardships of life trying to live in a fanasty world that has many hardships including demons and just over all the horrible aspects of human natures. Despite being a fantasy series this series shows this world and its horrors as REALISTICALLY as possible. So yea this has a lot of Dark moments like Blood, gore, torture, rape Etc. IF you cant stomach that dont complain and just read something else. The story and adventure of this lead a great and you definitely are along for the ride after finding out his past.

Characters: The characters are pretty good, i dont wanna spoil anything so ill forcus on the lead. He is pretty much the definition of a bad ass Lead. Has a big ass sword, kicks ass of anyone and thing who crosses him. and isnt afraid to do what ever it takes to survive and or save those close to him. He does have some cynical and asshole tenancies but in terms of what hes been though you really cant blame him at all. Just gotta be touch to survive.
Other characters become interesting in their own way. This has several being introduced so yea cant really cover them all.
Art: Despite all great things ive said about this so far this has to be the best part of this manga by far. The art is so amazing and one of the best out there. you can tell the author puts so much detail into so many of his designs even if its just the background or a crappy beast or enemy that gets one offed. It will still have detail. Plus the has one of the best art evolution too. Cause the art starts off good and over time gets better and better.

Progress: This is one of the more longer series (as you can see by its start date) so sit back and know it will take a long time. Both story wise and chapter release wise. This series is an adventure in ever sense of the word so going to destinations and progressing does take a lot of time to go though but still along the way there are a lot of encounters so its not like its boring or anything. The problem only come from the author and his hiatuses here and there.

Over all this is a great series to read for someone who enjoys Fantasy action adventure mangas and is okay with Dark and rated R moments (cause there is a lot as i keep saying). Its one of the better longer series out there.
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It's fantastic!   
Rating: N/A
by Mr. White
May 3rd, 2016, 1:53am
Here are the reasons why you should read Berserk:
* Unpredictable story
* Thrilling action
* Ridiculously detailed artwork - if there was an art gallery dedicated to artwork from this manga I would go in a heartbeat
* Characters you can care for
* Good scares
* Good humour to be had
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A mess   
Rating: 4.0 / 10.0
by NazarethSTG
April 19th, 2016, 7:41pm
This is a very uneven manga. It has a pretty weak start, where it is violent for the sake of violence with little interesting happening and an one-dimensional main character. Then it starts getting very good with the Golden Age volumes, where lots of interesting characters are presented, the protagonist gets developed and there's a good story and action besides only grimdark violence. The Eclipse is one of the highest points in action manga.

But sadly it's all downhill afterwards. The plot goes nowhere, the events get stupid, the author releases chapters at a snail's pace, and the whole manga gets corrupted by Miura's newfound moe obsessions. At this point it's pretty much unreadable garbage and anyone still reading it is hopelessly waiting for it to get decent again. But we all know it won't.

I say, if you haven't read this yet save yourself time and pain and read something else, like Blade of the Immortal. It's just not worth it.

... Last updated on April 19th, 2016, 7:43pm
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Dangers of Expectations   
Rating: N/A
by JapanRocks
December 7th, 2015, 2:29pm
I try not to prejudge stuff I really do. But whether we like it or not our opinions on things can be affected by other people's opinions. It's just human nature to want to feel accepted, to find the same enjoyment in things that other people do.
I saw a recommendation for Berserk when I first got into anime/manga a couple of years ago. Sadly I was not ready for that kinda story, being both underage and only having read and watched a few shoujo and shounen. I got scared off by the first chapter. Maybe if I'd pushed through it would've made an impact on me. But I waited through all the hype until I'd read enough manga to find my pace. That first impression left a huge "This is big people's manga, I'm not ready for it." feeling in me so I kept putting it off. And several years later I thought I could handle Berserk. Sadly I was right.

To cut a long whine short, it's good. But I went in with expectations through the roof and it didn't blow them away. It didn't change my life. I read over a hundred chapters in a short period of time but it didn't blow my mind. And according to a couple of comments I've seen, the first hundred or so chapters is arguably the best part of this manga.
Don't get me wrong I winced and cringed just like any normal human would. I felt frustrated and sad at the appropriate times. But it's not changing the way I'll look at other manga. This must be what people who weren't raised on DBZ feel when they watch it for the first time and see the glaring flaws. That feeling of missing out on something that everyone else feels. It tends to build hostility, like you're the odd one out.

Despite my long backstory I don't hate Berserk, it's great. Miles above your average manga. I'm just disappointed I won't be able to love/fan girl over it like everyone else. But I'm glad I read it. It's just a fact of life that not everything will affected people the same way I guess.
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A Legend   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by taichokage
June 4th, 2015, 7:08am
For me, this is still the most masterfully put together manga I have had the pleasure of reading. I still search for one that is better. After having gone through masterpieces like Monster, Vinland Saga, Lone Wolf and Cub and touching upon the likes of Vagabond, Berserk still reigns supreme for me. I look forward to the day I find something greater.
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