Today I wanted to do something different with anime because this week we may get to see what is possibly the last chapter in what many, including myself, calling this manga series one of the greatest mangas of all time and a masterwork of storytelling, character development, artistry and setting the bar for a genre that still to this day no one has even come close and that manga is Berserk by Kentaro Miura.
The series follows Guts, a lone warrior whose life started in the worst possible way, who knew nothing but fighting and death until he meets Griffith, the leader of a group of mercenaries called the Band of the Hawk. It was here where he started to learn to trust people, learn the world around him, and started to fall in love with a fellow member of the hawks, Casca, the group’s only female member. From here we see what life is like for Guts and the Band of the Hawks to the point that Guts left the group and Griffith went mad in his way that he was arrested and torture to the point of no return. During this Guts had visits from a being named Skull Knight and told him that he set off a chain of events and the world saw what the “Eclipse” was and still to this day one of the most haunting things here in manga history.
After what happened it became a story of revenge, rage, trust, questioning one’s choices, growth, and is it worth going to hell for the one you love the most. Over the 32 years of this series, we saw how all the characters changed for better and for worse, how they aged, and how their growth as people in this series world has shown what it is like to be alive, be afraid, to show all kinds of emotions and most of all, to be human and the one character that epitomizes all of this is Guts himself.
Kentaro Miura’s detail in his artwork shows what made this series worth the read. From a single blade of grass, the slice of cutting a demon body part in two, to Guts facial expression Miura art speaks for itself and has inspired many manga artists to give it their all in their artwork. Words can not do his artwork justice and if you have time go and search for his artwork and you will see how detailed his artwork is and will stand the test of time for many years to come.
Berserk as a whole is on the same level as Blade Runner in terms of how influential it is not only in its own genre but also in other genres and pop culture as well. Berserk is up with the likes of Conan The Barbarian, Red Sonja, The Witcher, and The Dark Tower as one of the most influential dark fantasy series ever and for someone who grew up reading this series, there will be no other like it in my life and in manga ever again. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up Berserk. You will see why this series and its creator have been beloved over the 30 plus years and for many more years to come.