"Like a bonfire of dreams."
Avaliado no Reino Unido em 29 de outubro de 2017
After watching more times than I should’ve, the ’97 anime, the films, the new anime (love it or hate it), at some point I may give the new game a try, and finally, new volume releases since 2013, the berserk hype had eventually overcome me; and could no longer sit on the fence with the manga.
Being a berserk fan for years, I had peeped over now and then on the manga here, but never fully planned to buy it, especially since I had no job and buying volume after volume would seriously begin stacking the price into triple digits; to which I have done, but with no regrets.
Finally landing myself a job, and hearing and seeing on numerous occasions of the manga going out of stock, I finally had to act. Although as of writing this, I currently lack volumes 7, 18, 33 (1-2 month dispatch time), 34, 35, and 36, I have got a majority of the volumes including the latest volume, 38, and patiently await Dark Horse’s print of volume 39, and for Kentaro to hopefully start pulling out of hiatuses and returning to form with regular and consistent releases.
Anyways, enough backstory, is this volume good you wonder, is Berserk worth a read, should I just watch the adaptions instead? Well, yes, yes and… sort of yes. I can’t give an overall manga recommendation as I need volume 7 to progress, however, this volume alone was a good read and I absolutely love berserk. The adaptions from ’97 to ’13 are what I’d recommend, but the original source material will be your ultimate experience.
Volumes 1-3 cover the Black Swordsman arc, a prologue to which covers events in the future to which is yet to occur, with the ending of the third taking us into the present. These three volumes are unsurprisingly dark, sprinkled with occasional humour, splattered with blood and guts, and oozes with deep character development and world building.
[Note: the adaptions barely cover this arc, and instead predominantly cover the golden age arc. So there’s plenty of fresh territory to step into here if you’ve already seen the adaptions]
The panels are amazingly drawn, the characters are well constructed, balance between action, serenity, and humour, amongst other themes, are well struck to form a solid bedrock, the core of what makes Berserk so interesting and not just some slasher thriller with more blood than Guts could shake his sword at.
I look forward to the day I get my hands on the missing volumes, even more the day that hopefully comes where Berserk is completed, but so far, these first six volumes were great reads with so much going on, with themes of camaraderie, humanity, good and evil, deceptive perceptions, fate, etc. The Mediaeval universe of Berserk does not disappoint, and if you are reading this at the time it’s been posted, and are still undecided, then best act quickly. Dark Horse should reprint more volumes from November to December, to which you’ll want to capitalize on and be quick before they sell out; and remember, Berserk is niche, and as a result, Dark Horse don’t print vast quantities of copies, thus the frequent emptying of stock.
Kentaro is amazing, Berserk is a brilliant experience, Susumu’s music adds greatly to it, and I greatly look forward to berserk’s volumes that are yet to come, and the note that it will end on!
P.S. Berserk is quite violently graphic, immediately starts with nudity, and contains strong language amongst everything else, so it’s not for the young or faint of heart. And finally, Volume 39 should be releasing hopefully mid-next year, assuming you get that far.
I’d also like to quickly add that Dark Horse isn’t exactly number one when it comes to handling this series. Contrast issues, translation errors, inconsistent releases after Japanese releases, incorrect bios (See volume 38 about this), new different spine prints (only problematic for those whom had volumes for many years), and some text, as well as panels being slightly printed off the page.
Besides this, the volumes arrived in rather very good condition and were enjoyable to read. And you haven’t got to be an anime or manga fan to get into this. Many others, such as myself, hadn’t read a manga until Berserk, and don’t plan on reading any others any time soon.
And don’t forget to listen to Susumu Hirasawa!
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