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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.

Type
Manga

Related Series

Associated Names
Берсерк
ベルセルク
烙印战士

Groups Scanlating
AOM
Band of The Hawks
Binktopia
Evil Genius
More...

Latest Release(s)
v.38 c.334 by Evil Genius (6d ago)
v.37 c.333 by Evil Genius (460d ago)
v.37 c.332 by Evil Genius (528d 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 3, Chap 4 (1997, 2012)
Ends at Vol 13, Chap 6 (1997)

User Reviews
Berserk by J
Berserk by canucks

Forum
44 topics, 555 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2138 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
10
 57% (1217 votes)
9+
 22% (478 votes)
8+
 10% (216 votes)
7+
 4% (77 votes)
6+
 1% (28 votes)
5+
 1% (15 votes)
4+
 0% (9 votes)
3+
 0% (8 votes)
2+
 1% (12 votes)
1+
 4% (78 votes)

Last Updated
April 9th 2014, 5:14am PST

Sponsored Links
Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1988

Original Publisher

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

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Dark Horse (37 Volumes - Ongoing)
DMP (Works with Dark Horse)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #66 decreased(-52)
Monthly Pos #30 increased(+38)
3 Month Pos #42 increased(+24)
6 Month Pos #50 increased(+18)

List Stats
On 6684 reading lists
On 1227 wish lists
On 178 unfinished lists
On 430 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? 2 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes ago
Berserk to Resume on April 11 17 days, 21 hours, 15 minutes ago
Berserk to resume from hiatus soon 74 days, 9 hours, 45 minutes ago
Youve read Berserk...right? 269 days, 1 hours, 51 minutes ago
Berserk hiatus?... 323 days, 14 hours, 24 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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MANLY MANS MANGA   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Lewb
March 7th, 2014, 3:00pm
The best piece of fiction ever conceived by man, in a well crafted world with awesome art and a complete bad-ass main character Gutts, who never has anything easy in his life.

The story is on par with lord of the rings and star wars in epicness but its also filled to the brim with Gore and Nudity so if your easily offended stay away from this perfect manga.
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My rate~   
Rating: N/A
by Kuro vi Lolitannia
January 30th, 2014, 2:16am
This is a good manga. But the development is a bit too slow. Guts turning stronger and stronger, it's like your usual fighting manga, but it's quite interesting to see his progress. There are so many flashback chapters, but at least those flashbacks are necessary to find out about his past and reason.

The artwork is really good but if you don't like blood and gore stuff I don't really recommend this to you though. Like what they say 'No Guts, No Gory'
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The genre seems to change   
Rating: N/A
by Mizura
January 2nd, 2014, 1:07am
It's funny how some people mention a "Berserk experience", because my experience of a read-through is that the genre seemed to change completely between major arcs, so they have different strengths and weaknesses. In particular:
  • The first few volumes were pretty much horror/fantasy. The atmosphere is dark and despairing, the villains are pretty much stereotypical evil, and more amusingly, the protagonist himself is pretty much a bastard.
  • We then get a flashback arc which, surprisingly, reads more like a semi-realistic historical series. Though fantasy elements sometimes show up and are otherwise hinted at, the characters themselves are developed mostly as humans facing mostly human challenges. This arc does a huge job of developing Guts as a character, as well as Griffith and Casca (though, I found Casca underwhelming), though the rest of the characters are forgettable, and the villains are stereotypical as always.
  • At the end of the flashback arc, the series suddenly shifts to horror/fantasy again, and follows in that vein for the next few arcs. We see Guts being a bastard again, though now we understand the context of his struggles. The series also starts to develop side characters with more depth, including some pretty messed up ones.
  • And then things suddenly turn to fantasy. As in, not horror/fantasy. Sure, the monsters are still ugly (though many aren't even that ugly anymore), but we essentially have a fantasy party (complete with magician and useless females) destroying the big bad monsters. There is some darkness left, but no more than can be found in most fantasies, and some moments become outright funny. Now, this may sound horribly depressing, but ironically this is the part with the best development for side characters and villains, who are no longer portrayed as one-dimensional, evil cliches whose sole purpose in life is to rape and kill.
  • Lately it's become even More fantasy-ish because of a certain world event. I admit that made me raise an eyebrow. Whereas it was monsterland before, now a big chunk of it became fantasia-land.

The transitions can be pretty abrupt. For me, they ranged from jarring to outright comical. Once the switch is done though, you do get used to the new feel of the series though, until the next one comes along. Were these changes good or bad? I guess it will depend on what people like. There is a certain logic to it, since it parallels Guts' own development as a character somehow, though to some it may feel like they're no longer reading the same series, just the same characters in a different context (and then some, the series conveniently discards how dark some of the characters used to be and all the horrible things they've done. Rather curious).

Funny footnote: all the naked women being raped and killed have great bodies for some reason. I found that pretty funny, considering how ugly male and monster characters are often portrayed. A thing I found less amusing is how the series keeps bringing out "super strong and famous" fighters to serve as fodder villains out of nowhere.

... Last updated on January 2nd, 2014, 1:11am
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Entertaining, perhaps. A history lesson? Not even close.   
Rating: 7.8 / 10.0
by IWannaKatsup
September 18th, 2013, 8:17pm
Exactly what the subject header says, folks. If you're looking for a history lesson, despite what others have said, this isn't a good start. What you've heard about the Middle Ages is wrong with a capital "W."

In the case of what really went on in the "Medieval" ages, read Regine Pernoud's "Those Terrible Middle Ages" as a starter, as she was an actual archivist, scholar, and all around intelligent lady on the subject of the real middle ages and what they were really like.

TLDR; If the middle ages really were that bad, we'd never have made it to today.

Now, onto more important things. Such as the question "Is Berserk entertaining?"

The answer, in my opinion, is yes, but my opinion is wavering. But let me explain why I feel this way in further detail below.

You see, when I first started the series, I thought it would be a simple Guts vs. The World with that world being a dark, cruel, and overall not nice place to live in. And, for the first 13 books, that's what I got, and it was good. Real good. Not a thinking man's story, just pure unadulterated entertainment and, despite it's flaws it was truly a great romp. Suffice it to say, as I saw how long it took to get where I'd come in at (I think I came in around the mid 200s) I was concerned that it had started before I was born, and wouldn't end until long after I was dead. I have yet to be proven wrong on this, and that knowledge frightens me greatly.

But as of late this view is slowly eroding as, with each chapter that comes out (beginning with the Berserker Armor and the Loli-Witch, I'd hazard a guess) it feels less and less original and more and more like it's falling into normal fantasy which I'm greatly concerned over. Perhaps the guy just started getting too depressed and wanted to liven things up, but if that's the case then he went about it the wrong way. It feels like, with each successive chapter since the world acquired this weird full on fantasy approach that it's beginning to look less like Berserk and more like... well, that's just it. I don't know what it looks like, and that's a problem since it's obviously not the Berserk I entered into with joy and excitement all those years ago.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Some of my issues are with the party: Puck should be less comic relief; Ishidro just feels... gleh; Serpico and Farnese could have been salvageable if, perhaps, they'd been just as screwed up and actually did get incestuous (I can't believe I'm advocating this... dear me) as the rest of the story is screwed up just as bad, if not worse; and Isma... Isma is actually one of the few additions I have no problem with, actually, except that I wish she'd been around during the darker chapters, honestly.


So my opinion is that I hope it gets darker from this point (chapter 333), and with recent events Miura seems to hint at it, but I honestly have my doubts, and these doubts are very big doubts indeed that it will ever match it's former greatness.

At the end of the day, a story's worth is based solely on how entertaining it is, and so I'd say this story has, in it's earlier chapters, a lot of worth (beyond the ratings available to us here) and, perhaps, greater worth ahead. But as of current chapters? Well, not as much worth as I wished it had, honestly.

Hopefully this helps, folks. And here's to hoping of better things ahead.
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Well...   
Rating: N/A
by ramnor
September 17th, 2013, 7:45am
Cruel dark crude blunt and difficult
Ladies and Gentlemen this is Berserk
i wont give away anything but i'll say this
be warned if u start this for everything
and for ur safety avoid eating while reading this
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incredible   
Rating: 9.8 / 10.0
by whitespade
August 26th, 2013, 8:09am
when i first read this, i had to stop because back then i was still too green, i can't stand the dark art and the bleak atmosphere. but after maturing, i decide to give this another go, and dang am i regretting this decision. this is so freakishly good, and i'm just setting myself up for disappointment, waiting and waiting for new releases.

sure this gets more and more shounen, but i don't mind much. i just love the whole black vs white theme but in the opposite way. i really really want to find out how will guts take on the most beloved messianic figure in the world.
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This manga...   
Rating: N/A
by SailorCupcake
August 1st, 2013, 4:00pm
Is definitely not for anyone who can't handle gore. Anyway it's not just about that we got our main guy Guts, and he just suffers the whole time. I want him to have a happy ending but that's not this type of manga. I get that some things like
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
when Casca gets raped by demon king Griffith a lot of people found that disturbing, and you should. This is that type of manga and it's a horrible, dark world for them.
Basically my point is the author wants Guts to suffer a lot, and I just hate that. I have never ever read a chapter from 1 to 300+. This is a first for me. I'm saying I didn't put this down because it was that good. All the side characters have personalities. Not all the girls get raped. Even some guys in this too. And let me just say the artwork is stunning. I have never seen such details in the faces and backgrounds. It is absolutely breath taking. Well done. Overall this is a wonderful manga series. I definitely recommend this to anyone who can stomach dark adult themes. @hijarian, I think the author did his good job by making you feel that way towards the manga.
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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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