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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.

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 (174d ago)
v.38 c.336 by Evil Genius (224d ago)
v.38 c.335 by Evil Genius (305d 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 - 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, 598 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (2300 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.97 / 10.0
 56% (1294 votes)
 23% (518 votes)
 11% (243 votes)
 4% (85 votes)
 1% (30 votes)
 1% (20 votes)
 0% (8 votes)
 0% (9 votes)
 0% (11 votes)
 4% (82 votes)

Last Updated
March 24th 2015, 1:37am PST

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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 #106 decreased(-10)
Monthly Pos #100 decreased(-6)
3 Month Pos #80 increased(+4)
6 Month Pos #78 increased(+8)

List Stats
On 7302 reading lists
On 1333 wish lists
On 209 unfinished lists
On 509 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Youve read Berserk...right? 14 days, 2 hours, 22 minutes ago
Berserk AMVs 51 days, 21 hours, 10 minutes ago
What type of end do you wish for at this point? 158 days, 23 hours, 8 minutes ago
When should i start this epic? 166 days, 15 hours, 15 minutes ago
I used to be a slave trader... 227 days, 0 hours, 26 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Rating: N/A
by DrManga
October 31st, 2014, 9:06pm
I kinda of agree with StormBreaker but with one difference. The anime is good, the manga is repetitive and weak by comparison. Only started reading the manga, many years ago, because I loved the anime and wanted to know what happens next.

I wish I didn't. I think right now it is being continued because its a cash cow. He should have wrapped up the story volumes ago.
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I was expecting something unique and extraodinary but..   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by StormBreaker
July 27th, 2014, 3:43am
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I started watching the anime (and reading the manga) due to the high ratings and popularity among manga readers. I didn't know a damn thing about the plot or the process of the story neither did i know about the characters and such (I didn't google them since i wanted to have the full experience of the story myself).
I was was expecting something unique and extraordinary back then but it was in episode 5 or 6 (I don't wanna remember which episode was) that I realized I had overestimated "Berserk". The writer has chosen such a poor personality for his manga characters that you'll get sick of 'em eventually (still it depends on yourself. maybe the expired cereal as you were reading this manga made you sick). but really if somebody asked me so how's this Griffith guy like? I would be loss for words after thinking for hours.(knowing characters personalities help readers to get into the story and connect emotionally with characters)
putting that aside, the writer keeps going on and on and on and on about how pitiful the main character (Guts) is and how terrible his past had been. If I was in the story I would introduce him to a counselor (since he's just mentally ill) and say Get a grip man you're the main character!. But instead of a counselor He finds himself in a band. no, not a Rock band. a mercenary band leading by Griffith. a lot of warriors follow Griffith.. not just a normal following. they would die for him to the point that all end up dead. I have noooooooooooooo idea why those warriors had to serve under him. Ofcourse writer claims that everyone had gathered around him for the sake of their dreams. But this 52 year old writer seems like doesn't know that the goal that someone seeks for, if it involves violence, gore, killing innocent people and betrayal to their own friends and comrades is Not Called a dream. It's called war and It's hell what they're seeking for.

when I got up to volume 10 or maybe 11 (who cares!?) I knew nothing good would come out of this story and I was right. all the Hawk band members died in the hand of Griffith. (wait I predicted that...) only two main characters survived (We all know they're the writer's favorite so they won't die that easily) anyway after that, The Story goes to a slope downfall!!!

oh, we see mermaids,demons, Thinkerbell, princess, more nudity and violence (The only reason for age limitation), the same old but much worse plot. [I think The mangaka has focused more on drawing naked people than writing a meaningful story... (pervert) *shivers*]
*sighs* I also don't like the way that the story goes to. "Guts" (main character) seeks revenge against Griffith(after Griffith turns from a gentleman into a madman or should I say MadMonster). It's already clear that revenge only leads to more hatred. til it tears the character apart. so not a fan! (It wouldn't be that bad if Guts helped Griffith to be a gentleman once again.)

There's more than this to write about but my fingers started to get numb... at the end if you want my advice.... and If you care about your time... It's better NOT to read it! (or watch it) .

... Last updated on July 27th, 2014, 3:58am
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way too overhyped   
Rating: N/A
by mattba
May 26th, 2014, 7:40pm
For the first 200 or so chapters it looked like a good manga (albeit a bit too much senseless violence/rape for my taste). The art is really nice and detailed, the world looks interesting.

But now it feels like the author has no idea what he wants to do with the characters. Basically in from chapter 250 until now (around 340) two things happen:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
1. The good guys wander around killing some random monsters and meeting some new good guys. Standard stuff.

2. Meanwhile the bad guy gets ridiculously strong, kills mountain sized enemies in 1 hit etc.

Its like two different mangas, dragonball Z vs Fairy Tail.
There is almost no story development just the mega epic scenes or the bad guy squashing everything along its way. I get it the bad guy is very strong, why does the author wants to waste 200 chapters showing it? Plus he made him so ridiculously OP that now only some really cheap deus ex machina ending will be possible.

Finally with the current release speed (~20 pages/ 2 months) we wont reach the end of the story in this century.

... Last updated on May 26th, 2014, 7:42pm
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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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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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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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