Berserk Manga Review

Published Categorized as Review
Berserk manga review

Berserk is a Japanese manga series which was written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Set in a medieval Europe-inspired by a dark fantasy world, the story centers around Guts, a lone mercenary, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the “Band of the Hawk.” Miura premiered a prototype for Berserk in 1988. The actual series began the next year in the now-defunct magazine Monthly Animal House, which was replaced in 1992 by the bimonthly magazine Young Animal, where Berserk continues to be serialized intermittently.

If the review feels too dull, count the number of times I mentioned the word Berserk.


Berserk is quite possibly the single best thing I’ve ever read. I adore this manga; it has everything I look for in a story. The art is mesmerizing, the information is smart & intriguing, all the characters are well developed, the pacing is perfect, the fight scenes are brutal, and I can go on. Still, I also need to make this article somewhat comprehensive so that you guys can understand what I’m trying to say, so let me start over.

Berserk is a dark fantasy manga, and the story centers on Guts, an anti-hero, who to be honest, doesn’t make a good first impression. Remember, when I mentioned that this manga is quite violent? Keep that in mind before picking it up because on the 1st page, only you will see Guts having sex with a demon before he blows her up to pieces. Yeah, the first arc, The Black Swordsman Arc, of the manga is kind of edgy. You will see him brutally kill humans and monsters alike so that he can get his revenge. You don’t get to know anything about him yet; the way he is presented in this arc is a morally ambiguous character fueled by revenge only.

It does drop some subtle hints about Gut’s past, though, and you will get a feeling that there is something more to him than to just being an ultra-violent killing machine, quite possibly a deeply troubled human. You also get introduced to the main baddies of the series, The God Hand, but not much is told about them at this point.

To sum it up, the first arc does an outstanding job of establishing the characters and drops enough hints for you to come back to it. It might look like this is just another gory manga, which is the product of its time, and to some extent, that is true, but you will appreciate this arc much more after reading the second one, and that is The Golden Age Arc.

The 2nd arc is where the actual story starts, and you get to know about Gut’s past, which is anything but happy. This manga is super depressing, especially the end of this arc. It will give you nightmares. I know I have been blabbing about how violent this manga is, but what separates it from others of its kind is that at its core, Berserk is a human story.

It’s about a guy who is just trying to find his place in the world, a guy who has seen the absolute worst side of humanity but still learns to put his trust in others. Guts are my favorite protagonist of all time, says the guy who has Guts as his display picture, and that is simply because I can relate to him. Also because the way he is written is just astounding. A story can have as many crazy & over the top fight scenes as it wants, but there needs to be context. Why would I care about the character who is supposedly struggling if I don’t know him?

Berserk has those short quiet moments which resonate with me on a personal level; not only do I get more invested in the overall story because of them but also start to care for what Guts want, and if a story makes you feel that way, then maybe it’s safe to say that it’s doing something very right. One such moment in the story was this –

Here we get to learn how lost Guts is. He shares what he feels for the first time with someone, about how he has no actual goal or a dream; so far, it has all been just about surviving. He talks about how these bonfires represent the dreams of his fellow soldiers and how collectively they make a flame, which is ultimately Griffith’s goal but here he is apart from all of them without an aim of his own. This can get very cheesy, but the writing here is just beautiful. It doesn’t seem forced or ham-fisted and subtlety in these character moments is all that matters.

If you are wondering who Griffith is, he is the main antagonist of the story, and he is just as good, if not better, as Guts. A hero is only as good as his villain; every batman needs a joker…. or three if you are following the three jokers storyline. You might have come across a post on the internet, which says, “Griffith did nothing wrong,” and to be fair, everything he did was wrong but what it means is that it’s understandable why he did what he did. He is the opposite of Guts in every way, he is a leader of a group called Band of the Hawks, and his goal is to become a king one day, and he is genuinely a nice guy. He cares about his people and probably is the closest thing to a friend Guts ever got, which is why what happens, in the end, makes it all the more depressing and traumatizing.

The Golden Age arc is arguably the best out of all as it provides you with a solid backstory for all the characters and sets up the bar for what is to come and believe me, it gets only worse from here. The main story starts after this arc, and several new characters are introduced. Guts go through a lot of character development after this but discussing it would spoil the previous two arcs to stop now. The story only gets better from here on out and increases its scope, some major battle scenes take place after this, and things get more and more brutal.

So I highly recommend you check Berserk out. Still, it gets a bit tricky here because there is the OG manga, and also three adaptations that cover different parts of the story, and getting into Berserk can be a bit confusing for newcomers. So I guess I will also talk about all the adaptations as well.

Categorized as Review

By Muneeb Hashmi

I am an anime enthusiast and aspiring student working as the Editor to bring you the latest news and updates about entertainment. We work together to deliver quality content for our viewers here.