I tried watching the 1997 Berserk anime but it looked too much like a flash animation. The artwork was beautiful but as with Princes Tutu there were too many still shots and panning over still backgrounds. The first episode looked like some powerpoint slideshow. Given the eye tumour inducing 3d animation of the 2016 anime adaptation I have decided to read the fucking mango.
I have reached chapter 44 and I am not sure whether it is anything as great as it touted to be. Yeah, it is violent but I have read guro manga so this is more like First of the North Star with a side dish of sexual violence.
I think the moment which convinced me this is nothing that great is when Griffith slept with that cute princess Charlotte. This was stupid and out of character though fans will excuse it as "character development" or some other nonsense. I hope that this not another one of those those hair-brained "it was all according to keikaku" Griffinth plans which Lelouch's code gay ass noodle person's plans seem actually smart. What followed the sexy time between Charlotte and Griffinth made even less senseas the princesses father coincidentally ended up being a lolicon for his daughter and Griffinth somehow knew about it which makes no sense but fans will excuse this because at how dark and gothic it all is and if you ignore the demons medieval times were just like that or some other irrelevant nonsense.
The artwork looks nice so far though the battles seem to be rather too easy and lacking in detail when it comes to tactics. I find it hard that the same characters survived all those battles only so that the author can murder them gruesomely. I mean it doesn't feel realistic when people in the MC's merry band don't die. Actually they haven't died yet as of my reading but that's what I expect will be given the sequel chapters I read.
The author, Miura as his fans call him, cannot draw tits but I rate the sex scenes and cute girls 9 out of 11. Rather like western comics he likes to draw a lot of lines though fortunately not too thick as western comics tend to be. Those lines I guess are called cross-hatchings. One reason I haven't touched this until now is because of what Berserk fans will always tell you that Miura isn't bothered to keep on drawing more chapters. I have also heard that later there is a loli character and the enemies become even more one-dimentional demons. At least Miura doesn't do what the mangaka of Battle Angel Alita has done which is to abandon his previously detailed, beautiful artwork to something that could be in an above average Shounen Jump mango.
Apparently there is some explanation about the princess looking like the king's dead first wife or something that was not properly explored. I finished reading chapter 47 and Casca and the MC are a couple now somehow. Also he tried to strangle her and is somehow still guilty for killing Gambino, his alcoholic adoptive father who sold him out to be raped by some huge black dude. Also Casca stabbed him because Griffith turned into a retard suddenly then the MC left to swing a sword on a mountain for a year as his without his knowledge his former comrades were getting murdered by the king who wanted to fuck his daughter who looked like his dead wife...Then Casca tried to an hero by jumping off a cliff but then was saved by the mc again then they had smex while leaving his stab wound untended and then he strangled her while having a flashback of getting surprise buttsec by some huge black dude and killing his alcoholic papa but then they kissed and fell asleep "licking at each others wounds." Incidnetally that line "adults licking at each others wounds" also occurs in The End of Evangelion or the final eps of NGE when Asuka sees Kaji having smex with Misato. Is this somekind of Japanese saying "licking at each others wounds"?
This manga reads like a novel. At first I couldn't realize why but then I realized it is because there are so many monologues by the protagonist that it feels like a first person novel.
I have finished reading chapter 48 and it feels like the supernatural stuff is just about to start. I remembered the MC's name is Guts. Everyone is talking about Faggith and it is in first person so I kind of forgot. Rather than just medieval Berserk has also got an ancient classical, preagricultural vibe to it sometimes with the way that strenght and power are presented in an heroic way but that illusion often falters and modernity creeps in when the "good" guys are shown to care about other people's suffering - still greatness has asserted itself over good till now with Guts choosing to become a warrior and Griffinth a King though I suspect not for long because I Guts' grievance with Griffinth is a moral one too as shown in chapter 0. Being a warrior or a warlord are both very classical, harking back to antiquity, kind of Spartan (well halfway there as the state and tribe take a backseat to the individual) goals but the preocuppation that Guts has with honing a particular "specialised" set of skills as a swordman after listening to the blacksmith reeks of modernity where we all "compete" and toil in little niches of obscure divisions of labour each none too great than any other but all "good."
This manga has way too many internal monologues. Too many characters just spelling out what they are all about too often. This is like opposite of Ashita no Joe lol. I guess not all 'classic' anime is that good. For a manga it is quite heavy with text though not nearly as bad as western comics which have so much text they might as well be illustrated novels. I mean that manga have less detailed pictures but have many of them and so have better movement whereas the overly detailed coloured western comics can fill rather still almost like a story-board. The worst offender when it comes to piling on text I have seen in manga is Detective Conan though it is not nearly as bad as in western comics. By western I mean American. Nobody outisde France and Italy cares about the comics made in those countries. Western comcis also have the worst, dullest story-board like paneling though maybe not as bad as Korean webtoons made to fit the mobile screen.
I have reached chapter 50 and no evil canibalistic raping demons have showed up yet.
Chapter 52. Finally some demons showed up and ate a bunch of people. I am getting some Go Nagai vibes here though I guess the demons in Devil Man didn't eat people for food. I wonder if Attack on Titan got some ideas from Berserk. I have heard that the game dev for Dark Souls did get some ideas from Berserk but that's just some rumour I heard on the internetz. Devilman was a lot more campy than this. Sure the world was coming to an end but I lolled at that joke when Lucifer pretended that there was no way out. Also the characters in Devilman looked a lot more derpy and wore campy clothes and hairstyles. Here instead it's a medieval setting and everything is not explained at once. The demons so far have also not gone around cities like Kaiju destroying whole nations like in Devilman thus revealing themselves to the whole world. Another similarity with Devilman is how the demons can pretend to be humans but in Devilman demons possesed just about anyone whereas they only posses powerful people. Another difference is that there are no half-human good demons and that the goals of the demons in Devilman are pretty clear and straightforward (kill all humans, regain the earth) whereas here in Berserk the demons' goals are not very clear except maintaining the status quo given that they are already more powerful than the humans and view them as food and entertainment whereas in Devilman the humans were a threat to the demons. Also the powers that the demons have in Devilman are pretty clear and they are not trying to be Gods from another dimension or anything but are just aliens. I guess Devil man takes a more scientific explanation for the demons whereas in Berserk the demons seem to be supernatural in a religious sense. In this manga it seems that it is Guts who tries to upset the status quo "fate" rather than demons in devilman upsetting the status quo. I guess devilman is more edgy horror (romantic interest's head on a pike) whereas the demons in Berserk are less animalistic/kaiju/dainosaur like but try to evoke another kind of fear than just death and the destruction of the world does not cover. For example there is a lot of human on human violence in Berserk but it is not portrayed as horror inducing but rather as reasonable, tactical, pragmatic and even glorious at times whereas in the romantic interest's head on a pike scene in devilman the mad mob are clearly there to induce horror at humanity. Devilman portrays the weakness of modern order by showing it being toppled and subverted whereas in Berserk there is no order. It seems more like a forested land dotted with little areas controlled in efffect by the local war lord with some tragic backstory possesed by a man eating demon. I didn't see that many rotting corpses in Devilman, Berserk looks at some terrifying ancient evil whereas in Devilman the humans are not powerles and the evil outcome does not feel as unavoidable.
Chapter 55. Nice to see Fraggith didn't get away with his idiocy unharmed. Guts is way overpowered now just because he swinged a big sword in a forest. And there isn't even some martial arts gobbeldygook to try to justify it as in fist of the north star but maybe it is better this way. How the hell did the king age so much in a single year? Too many bad characters look physically disgusting.
Chapter 59. Oh my god how much do they want to tease us with demons. Meanwhile the mysteriously aged king keeps sending out death squads that were never talked about before. No matter how much Miura tries to talk them up now it just feels forced like they came out of nowhere even more so than the demons.
Chapter 63.Hurray!Finally a demon. Looks more like a Kaiju or a Titan from attack on titan though rather than a demon. I guess monkeys are not really animals I associate with demons but more like King Kong.
Chapter 65. Guts should have died several times over but I guess he has plot armour. Why doesn't this "eclipse" thing happen already. It is becoming a chore to read.
Chapter 66. The stupid unscary giant ape demon died. The only to thing remarkeable since the retarded prison escape plan has been Griffith's reaction to Guts power. Griffith looks a bit jealous imo and my guess is that he will sell out his comrades in order to get a new body or something. I hope Miura shows us Griffith's fucked up face without armour plate before that happens. It is good that Griffith lost his tongue otherwise he could have just spoken and thankfully Miura has spared us from any inner monologues from Griffith for now.
Chapter 70. The dream is finally over. It is sad to see Griffith so jealous over Casca and Guts relationship. I guess the reason that it feels so bad is because he has fallen a lot after rising so high but that is merely the obvious. I am so tired of the demons being so mysterious about the eclipse given that it is obvious to the readers what it is going to be about so it makes the characters look like a bunch of dunces. Why couldn't Zodd just say X to guts what is going to happen? I mean he believes that what will happen is fate right? Come to think of it Zodd is the only Demon so far which isn't so demented so as to not constantly sabotage himself so far.
Chapter 71. There is some love triangle nonsense going on probably faggith being jealous about casca stealing his man. If he knew that the king was into his daughter when why did faggith sleep with her. Makes zero sense. Lol its dawning on Guts that he hasn't gained anything much other than physical strenth by swinging a sword up a mountain for a year. Actually couldn't he have just swung that sword in the city or just said he was temporarily leaving to get stronger? I guess he is an equal to Griffith. As in equally retarded. Did Casca just pityfuck Griffith? It sucks for Guts but I guess Casca feels guilty because she loved Griffith when he was more powerful than Guts but now that that is no longer the case she can only pity(fuck) Griffith even though she prefers Guts.
Chapter 72. Man these cliffhangers suck cock. Anyway we are finally getting to the betrayal, what we were all looking forward to. Griffith has a vision of what a homely life with Casca now would mean now that he is a cripple. He tries to an hero as they used to say on the chans but obviously he doesn't die cause otherwise the story ends. Anyhoo I can see why such a peaceful life would be empty and mediocre to a man like Griffith who sought to be great. It is reasonable that Griffith has been drained of any goodwill by what has happened to him.
Chapter 74-78. I think Faggith did the right thing by choosing to sacrifice everyone at one fell swoop and that Guts and the others kind of deserved what came to them for following Faggith after he idiotically had sex with the princess knowing that the king was a pedo for his daughter. The Godhand kind of have a point. Faggith has been sacrificing others for power so what's stopping him now other than faggotery? Everyone would have died there anyway probably even if he had refused that offer. I mean the demons would not just have peacefully gone away just cause he said no, or would they? We do not know and neither did Faggith. Faggith also had a point when he said that the hawks had been following him willingly and I might add for their own personal gain. And if they weren't there for personal gain then that's even worse... As they selflessly sacrificed themselves to follow the dream of another but now are we supposed to suddenly feel sorry for them when Faggith follows through and sacrifices them for his own gain? As much as Faggith can be blamed for selfishness so can his comrades be blamed for selflessness and blind following. To put it bluntly, they wished to sacrifice themselves for Faggith and Faggith sacrificed them for himself. As a commenter on kissmanga put it "These people chose to follow me unconditionally, even if it means their death and sacrifice. So why not exchange all that for me to not only be whole again, but be able to fly even higher? If their dream is mine, what's the problem?" The problem is that it is bad optics. But Faggith said "Screw your optics, I'm going in." From the start Faggith was shown to be a ruthless, selfish person before, yet the Band of the Hawk still followed him and pledged their loyalty to him due to thinking he was gonna make it and so were they as his followers. Their investment did not pay off. That is all. The reason people hate Faggith is because they would too have chosen to betray everyone if they were in that situation probably much faster than Faggith too. This is also why people like to read about self-insert light novel protagonists who have no real faults saving damsels in distress and getting more powerful just cause the script says so. Basically the opposite of Faggith. Maybe Faggith read the script and realized he has no plot armour.
I nearly read chapter 83. Don't read chapter 83. Miura wanted that chapter removed rightly because it is an infodump by the big bad boss who is supposed to be this evil god who controls fate behind the scenes so just having the evil god exposition everything ruins the story. On some mango sites it is not there which is messes up with the chapter numbering. An evil God who is Chtullu shouldn't be just speaking like that explaining what he is all about as it ruins any horror there could be.
Chapter 86. The eclipse was just some guro and some NTR+rapu, is that it? I have wanked to worse(i.e. better) things than this. The comment section as expected was pathetic and except for one commenter unable to call a spade a spade, that Casca liked to be raped by Griffith and only said no out of pity for Guts, and yes sometimes no means yes unless you are some idiotic literalist about everything who doesn't understand that human language is bound by context. I wanted not mention NTR but I guess I have to call a spade a spade too. Also everyone forgot that the Casca already NTRd/cheated pn Guts with Griffith. Having said all that I wonder how much of it was just to spite Guts and to make us spite Faggith. Rather than a Hawk Faggith's helmet/mask always looked like a serpent to me.
Chapter 87. Casca was literally telling Guts not to look because she was enjoying it and wrapping her arms aroung Faggith and yet so many commenters ignored this in order to look and feel virtuous rather than be honest. I am not saying that Casca is at fault for feeling good, she couldn't help it but to say she did not feel good is a lie out of a desire to pile on the hate onto Griffith and because they couldn't Casca on a pedestal if the acknowledged this simple fact. Absolutely pathetic. She sticks her tongue out and blushes but the pathetic white knight simps cannot simply bring themselves to see that it is not only Griffith's actions which hurt Guts but also Casca's reaction. I think these people should go watch Sword Art Online instead because Asuna is a character they can put on a pedestal rather than Casca.
Chapter 92. Demon child. I hope it shows up again later and isn't a bad guy. Casca has become useless so that she can be temporarily put out of the way for Guts to be our 90s brooding JRPG hero. I hope Puck shows up cause it is getting pretty tedious. Good guy Skeleton is being needlessly mysterious again. I meant makes sense in terms of the plot not to spill the beans already but it doesn't make sense in the story unless some reason is retconned into the story for all this self-sabotaging secretiveness.
Chapter 97. Puck is back, back again. Guess who's back, tell a friend. I am glad to see that sexy moth-like demon monster-girl. The latest damsel in distress looks cute too desu. I wonder if the Puck in Re:Zero is based on this Puck. This Puck is cuter though./
Chapter 99-99.5. C99 Ending on a nice ass. The damsel in distress in the Berserk Prototype kinda looks like Griffith and Guts used to look a bit like Lupin less like an edgelord more comedic.
C101. Puck is being a cute androgynous neonatal thing as usual. Lol Casca's, Gut's and Faggith's demon blob featus is back as a demon blob baby. Faggith is called Femto now, you know like how super heros and popes have special names. I wonder if Femto means anything but I am not bothered to look it up. I doubt it is a reference to Griffith androginous appearance probably some obscure reference about falcons or hawks or whatever. Miura really knows how to draw cute girls. Jill looks cute. It's a pity he doesn't usually draw areola that don't look like they are lactating.
C102. It is a pity all the cute girls Miura draws are annoying retards and wastes of space who almost get Guts hurt trying to save them from leaping right into death just like Jill in this chapter. Even Casca nearly got Guts killed by going to battle on her period. Thinking back about it the only character male or female in the Hawks I felt any pity for dying is Corkus. The rest all felt so stupid. Rosine has got a nice ass. People are acting retarded when it comes to the pedo-lolita issue but oh well if it makes them feel like they are good people why bother arguing with them.
C110. It is a pity that Jill didn't transform into a demon, would have liked to see Miura draw a naked monter girl version of her.
C117. Good. Another demon with a sympathetic backstory. Hope that the next demons are gonna be like that too rather than one-dimensional evil assholes.
C112. The commander is cute with her hair down and her top off. Charming, one might even say.
C123. Finally tits that are not lactacting. It all looks a bit less dark though.
C125. Porn. The commander has the perfect bodytype all things considered, perfectly balanced. She suffers a bit from Jojo part 7 face (androginy) but that is fine too. Chapter bookmarked for reference in case I ever wonder what she looks like naked later.
C130. There is nothing much left to say really...Maybe I have said enough about this mango. My expectations were not met but they were very high given how much praise I have seen Berserk gets. There are still 300 odd chapters or so but I am losing the will to read. Then again I have not got anything else to read or watch either. It takes me forever to read a single chapter. Guts is just too strong and can get away without using his head too easily for me to feel any tension. Now that the eclipse is over and done with there is no sense of foreboading. Now it just seems like Guts has to gather his forces and a new group of people to go and attack the demons rather than the demons coming to attack him and his group. It's just that Guts is not making any progress... It feels like he is grinding in an RPG.
C131. Guts is getting some more steampunk James Bond gadgets from the blacksmiths. Puck is cute and funny. Nothing like that cringe worthy comedy in Hellsing Ultimate and Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood. I suppose it makes sense that old people die easily in medieval times. I mean first it was the king and now the blacksmith too. I am starting to get bored. I want to see the crazy sadomasochist church girl again. We are reaching Detective Conan levels of exposition through text and there is no murder case to be solved.
C132. Casca looks pretty with long hair, also lol at the church getting turned on by the villagers getting tortured. I wonder if she is going to be turned into a smexy demon. I would approve of that but would Miura? Let us see.
C149. The point of this whole chapter seemed to be for Guts to show off his medieval Batman gadgets. Casca looks prettier than ever. I what flat-faced lego creep inquisitor is doing right now. He seemed like a rather boring villain to be honest.
C150. Your Casca is in another castle. Aw shit here we go agen. That stupid kid is not cute at all and he is stealing screen time from Puck. The only good child characters in anime and manga are lolita characters the rest are only sligtly less annoying and uninteresting as real chilens.
C176. Faggith is back. This arc is over. I guess the reason he raped Casca was to be reborn to this world or something. How could he have known that things would turn out this way? I guess it was fate, well at least it is better than if Faggith had returned to the human world with no excuse. Hopefully we will get to see more of the bdsm church girl's naked form come the next arc. Lucia, Jerome and the rest of the prostitutes seemed to be rather pointless to me. I am kind of tired of the evil cultist medieval church trope in anime. Hopefully this will be the end of it. The invaders from the east are kinda bland, a mix between ayrabs and indians. Street performer is back. That annoying brat will be there too. I don't see the point in his character given that Puck is already there for comedy.
Chapter 268. Now Guts is not the only one with plot armour. The loli is cute and her fanservice is good but the exposition about the magic system she brings is so bad I feel like I am reading some wuxia novel rather than a manga. The berserker armour is a shounen manga tier power up. Really just bad. Casca is less annoying and useless but at least she isn't an active hindrance to Guts as she was when she was sane. The blonde bitch is cuter than ever and her incestuous brother is meh. Griffith is somekind of ghost or something now. The princess is as useless as ever. I am skim reading more and more. The Kushan arab indians came out exactly out of nowhere. The trope of the church been evil for not being polytheistic has been overdone in so many series (e.g. Spice and Wolf). Funny that the Japanese used to kill Christfags. Then again look at how ugly, crazed and unsophisticated Christfaggotery has gotten over in South Korea, can't exactly blame the Japs after looking at that. The lolita magical girl is seriously overpowered too. I liked it more when it was just Puck and Guts telling Puck to get Pucked. The demons have either become too monstrous or so human that they are not terrifying anymore. It doesn't help that there are so many monsters who are just willing to show that they are monsters to everyone.
Chapter 269. That stupid berserker armour screams "look at how edgy I have become."
C270. There is so much magic it is no longer is a medieval setting anymore but just another medieval fantasy setting.
C271. Guts looking more and more like a medieval batman in that armour.
C275. This has pretty much turned into a kaiju battle. The humans don't matter anymore and Guts doesn't give a fuck so why should I? There are just too many monsters and too many monsters that are too powerful. Earlier I said it would make sense if demons ruled humans but what I had in mind was a few demons lording over a few kingdoms from above. Not this Go Nagai crap.
C360. So much bloat. If this were an operating system it would be Windows 10. Finally caught up with the mango. There has been so little progress that I don't even care anymore. Shounen manga and anime have less fluff than this. The only good bit was when it was only Puck and Guts. The sacrificial lambs of the original band of the hawks were meh except Judeau - all the death flags in that arc made me care less about those characters. They seemed pretty generic and Guts' attraction to them seemed pretty meh too. The new characters like Isidro, the loli witch, Farnese and that low IQ mermaid suffer from the opposite problem as they have as much plot armour as Guts they feel like some sort of JRPG party. Miura can't even sacrifice them because that would be repeating the same trick. There is too much text and it is so boring I just skimmed over it again and again. The world building is all over the place. There are too many monsters/demons everywhere in the light that they don't seem that dark and mysterious anymore. Griffith is not that smart so everyone around him has to be made an idiot to make him look smart. I will still keep reading on but mostly for Miura's drawing skill rather than his writing skills.