Synonyms: Berserk: The Prototype
Published: Aug 25, 1989 to ?
Score: 9.211 (scored by 41083 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded. |
SynopsisGuts, known as the Black Swordsman, seeks sanctuary from the demonic forces that pursue him and his woman, and also vengeance against the man who branded him as an unholy sacrifice. Aided only by his titanic strength, skill, and sword, Guts must struggle against his bleak destiny, all the while fighting with a rage that might strip him of his humanity. Berserk is a dark and brooding story of outrageous swordplay and ominous fate, in the theme of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Volume 14: Berserk: The Prototype
BackgroundBerserk won the Award for Excellence at the sixth installment of Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002.
The series has over 35 million copies in print worldwide and has been published in English by Dark Horse since November 4, 2003. It is also published in Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Poland.
Story - 9.38
The first three volumes may discourage some of the readers because it's starts off kind of slow and the initial artwork is not quite up to today's standards. However, after the reader begins the Golden Age arc it is nearly impossible to not be pulled in and become addicted to the series. It is chock-full of action, drama, character development, twists and turns, and just a dash of romance. It defies generalization and is just damn good storytelling.
After the Gold Age arc wraps up the story come back full circle to where it left us at the end of volume 3. But by then the rhythm of the manga has changed completely. The reader has established a deep connection with Guts, Casca, and Griffith and that only grows more as the story continues. You'll be confronted with conflicting emotions and think things like "I really want to see Guts put Griffith in the ground" and at the same time "Griffith is just so damn cool". These conflicting thoughts and emotions just go to show how invested the reader becomes with the characters.
Another good thing about the Berserk story is that the protagonist (Guts) is not always the focal character in every chapter. In fact, nearly all of the major supporting cast members receive a considerable amount of page space for their own stories to be fleshed out. Each of these side-stories is not only unique and extremely well developed, but also very deep and revealing as it shows the reader why these character are the way they are. One of the side stories that I found most intriguing was Farnese and Serpico's as it was so beautifully orchestrated as part of the manga as a whole.
The only problem with the story, in my humble opinion, is the introduction of magic in the manga. I feel that the magic the group "acquires" in volume 24 is somewhat exaggerated and does not suit the dark atmosphere of the story. In fact, at times it can even make some of the chapters feel a bit shounen-esk. But even still, it's pretty much impossible not to enjoy the ongoing story that is Berserk.
Art - 9.6
The artwork in the first few volumes of Berserk won't do much to impress many of today's manga readers, but at the time when the series was first serialized (1992) it was certainly well above average. Those initial volumes feature many very unique character designs (especially the apostles) and also sport a relatively high focus on detail. However, where Miura really shows off his latent artistic talents early on is through his ability to create crisp, clear, and highly fluid fight scenes.
One of the few negative aspects of the early volumes can be identified as the simple shading techniques that Miura used. Also, sometimes the character faces will look just a bit "off" and it can be a little distracting. However, these minor quality issues were most likely due to the time constraints that were in place at the time and not entirely the fault of the artist.
Then as the series progresses the reader gets to watch the artwork literally evolve. As we learn more and more about the characters and the world in which they live, the characters themselves and their environments become more and more visually detailed. The simple shading from the early volumes is eventually replaced by a hand shading technique which gives the series a more gritty and surreal overall feeling. The character designs become more crisp and facial expressions sometimes are so vivid that one look at a character's face is often enough to tell the reader exactly what the character is thinking. By the time the reader makes it into volumes 20 and beyond Miura has made it very clear that he means for Berserk to be truly regarded as a work of art just as much as it is a masterfully epic piece of storytelling.
In my own experience I have seen very, very few other manga series that can even approach Berserk's later volumes on an artistic level and, unfortunately, I highly doubt that I will ever be able to find its peer.
Characters - 9.5
The very first character you will meet in Berserk is Guts, the "Black Swordsman" with a dark past and a score to settle with his demonic enemies. Certainly not a very revolutionary character at first glance, but even though he may start off as such, his character quickly expands, and ends up as one of the most believable and human characters I have ever witnessed.
As the story unwinds, you follow Guts through his past, allowing you to experience his personality change during his constant battle against fate. You follow Guts through waves of despair and hardships offset only by the flickering fires of friendship and trust. Eventually, Guts becomes like a maelstrom of opposing emotions, and the question arises, will he continue on his path of all-consuming revenge even if it means losing everything he has come to care for?
The other characters that appear throughout the course of the story come in all different shapes and sizes and all play their roles perfectly, just as support characters should. The more important support characters, protagonists and antagonists alike, are all draped in many layers of depth, making their characters both solid pillars and interesting ingredients within the plot as a whole. From Griffith's burning ambition to the skulduggery of the God Hand, from Puck and Isidro's antics to Farnese's troubled past and uncertain future, the characters all appear vivid and alive (Although alive might not fit The Skull Knight...) and all have their own emotions, personalities and ambitions. The supportive cast show their brilliance in how they appear to the reader as actual players in Berserk's grand game, and not just as passive plot devices.
With such a cast of strong personalities and vibrant, living characters, Berserk easily cuts it's way (no pun intended) to the top score in this category.
Enjoyment - 10
The fact that I sat and read through all 295 chapters of this exquisite manga in one sitting should justify the perfect score for enjoyment! The manga has great characters - heroes you root for and empathize with, villains you can't help but admire for their ruthlessness and charisma. The artwork is dark, brooding, and gruesome and complements the story well. And what a riveting story it is... It hooks you from the first chapter and sets the stage for the most intriguing revenge themed manga on the market. Its success is testament to its quality. My only complaint is the excruciating waits between chapters.
Also, I must throw in a cautionary note: this manga is quite definitely not for the faint hearted. There is a considerable amount nudity, sex, gore, violence, and, for the lack of a better word, bad-assery!
OVERALL - 9.69
This review is the final result of a review team composed of members from the "Critics and Connoisseurs" club. The team members were:
8GaugeBrett - Who wrote the Art section and combined the individual review parts together into a whole.
Amaity - Who wrote the Enjoyment section.
Baman - Who wrote the Character section.
Ianmessku - Who wrote the Story section.
Here are their individual scorings for the Manga:
Category - 8GaugeBrett, Amaity, Baman, Ianmessku
Story - 9, 10, 9, 9.5
Art - 10, 9, 10, 9.5
Character - 9, 9 , 10, 10
Enjoyment - 10, 10, 10, 10
Overall - 10, 9, 10, 9.75
In the club wide poll held for Berserk it received an average overall rating of 9.53 read more
"Have you ever hated someone so much, that this feeling alone would drive you to do horrific and impossible to grasp things?
Have you ever hated someone so much, that your whole life was focused on finding that person and ripping him apart?
Have you ever hated someone so much, that you would forget about your humanity, purge it all just to find enough power, for one, single fraction of a moment, one chance to get your revenge...
What would your eyes look like in that very moment...? Insane? Terrified? Passionate? Happy? Or maybe... satisfied...
Look into his eyes, and find nothing there..."
When I first learned that there is something like Berserk manga, I was a bit surprised. That was some 7 years ago and little did I know about relations between anime and manga. Either way, I took my chances and downloaded several first volumes.
You can imagine my surprise when I noticed that the manga is a far cry from the anime which really made my day some time ago. Having struggled through the first chapters I moved on to the next volumes. You know, the anime itself is, in all its ingenuity, only a small fraction of the whole manga... As small as several volumes with some deleted scenes and a bit redone ending at that. However, by the moment I reached 'the anime plotline' in manga (which is volume 3) I got already interested in the manga itself.
I think that there's no point in summarising the plot. You can read it above, and for the sake of not spoiling anything, I think you should. You have to, however know this: Berserk manga, in terms of plotline and characters development - is by far the best manga I have ever read, the most complete one, the most multi-dimensional one, the most memorable one... Nowhere else will you be told the stories of sub characters so bluntly and yet discreet that you won't even notice. Nowhere else will you receive such a huge dose of information, and yet still be able to comprehend it effortlessly. This is something uncanny, and frankly, I doubt that anyone ever will be able to reach the level.
The characters are just great. On one hand we have Gutts and Griffith, shades of black and white, fire and water. Being so different, neither can live without the other one. They're like Yin and Yang, two halves of the same coin - even in his darkest moments Griffith still finds himself as Gutts' friend, although few minutes later this friendship changes into hatred and horrific envy. Their whole story is like that, they start off as great friends who would die for each other with smiling face, but only one of them is really committed here.
Characters shine even more when we consider other protagonists and antagonists. No person is left shallow and without a story to tell. Miura-sempai explains everything in a given time and briefly enough to keep you interested. Unlike in other titles where antagonists exist only to serve as a powerup training bag for the protagonist, here all demons have their motives. Even the smallest monster is explained, by which you get attached, even to such scumbags.
The story itself is brutal, broody and hectic sometimes. But you never really lose the track if it. You can have two mini-arcs in one mayor arc, but you'll always remember what the team's real destination is. In this way, Miura-sempai makes it clear to you, that Gutts, although a little less passionately, follows his path and even if he was to be destroyed, he would neither falter nor go back. And the same goes for Griffith, who despite his appearance (nowhere else will you notice that appearance is deceitful so much as in Berserk) is a very strong-willed and straight-forward character. And in all this, having seen all the atrocities that happen in Midland, you never ever think of Griffith as the wrong one. He's not wrong, he's just following his dream, a dream that was clouded with Gutts appearance in his life.
The art itself, is a state of art to watch and read. Detailed panels, hundreds of characters on one page during a hectic battle, highly textured monsters and what I love the most - fluid, realistic and clear fighting scenes. You don't need Kubo trolling with ink to see that Gutts has his speed even despite the weight of his sword. You don't need hundreds of straight lines to increase the dynamics of the scene - Miura-sensei manages it all without a loss in quality.
Facial expressions are something completely else. Even if you cannot follow the plot for some weird reason you can always judge whether the character is good or bad by just looking at his or her face. Those are very detailed and so rich in expressions that you never get bored. You can feel the difference between smooth and angelic appearance of Griffith and a brute, yet kind rectangular face of Gutts.
The mangaka puts a lot of effort into shade and light in Berserk. By that we get a very distinctive nights, sunshines and sunsets as well as dynamic shadows (however awkward it sounds) that no anime director can mime. It's simply sensational to look at all that and even be able to read the story of it... It is clear to me, that Miura-sensei is trying to end up with a sort of masterpiece in terms of manga. And you know what? He's pretty close to achieving this.
There are, however, some bad points too. The manga is not for everyone. I would strictly add parental advisory and 18+ to it. Nowhere else will you see so much nudity, sex and violence as in this manga. It's not a hentai-like nudity and sex though. Berserk shows a violent world with all its aspects, hence these parts were as relevant as any other to make the story as believable as possible.
I'm glad I was able to read the manga. It's one of the best titles ever, if not the best so far. I sincerely hope though, that Miura-sensei lives up to the expectations and finishes this story in a fitting way. Judging by his up-to-date work, it's more than possible.
This series already gets plenty of praise, so I will mostly focus on criticism for this review, despite the fact that I do have plenty of positive things to say about Berserk. I want to make a review that will be legitimately helpful to people, rather than simply echoing the beliefs of every other reviewer on here. Look at the myriad "10" reviews for raving about how amazing it is, there is plenty of that already. This series does not get nearly enough proper criticism. Or it's just that critique and anything vaguely negative mentioned about Berserk and its supposed perfection (this praise largely stems from a single arc) is quickly buried by hordes of screaming fanboys. Please read the whole thing before marking the review "helpful" or "not helpful." Because if you don't finish it then you don't really know, do you?
The first flaw that is quickly apparent is in the first three volumes, or is simply the first three volumes in their entirety. They are a tad cliché and they follow our beloved lone wolf anti-hero and his elf buddy (comic relief sidekick who also heals out of convenience to the plot) on a couple adventures. The villains are cliché, everything is kind of cliché, the art is nothing special (yet), and it seems sort of generic. Not the best exposition to any series. This would have been best moved into chronological order.
The true glaring issue here is that, after this, there is a lengthy flashback/reverse-time-skip that lasts around 11 volumes and is called the "Golden Age" arc. This arc will now be called the "GA" arc because typing on my iPhone is inconvenient. It is easily and widely acknowledged as the best part of the series, to the point where people dub berserk the greatest manga of all time simply because of this one arc, but it is still seriously held back by the first three volumes.
The conclusion of the astounding GA arc is one of the most intense and emotionally impactful scenes in manga and it would have been, additionally, one of the most unexpected, but we already knew it would happen, due to the first three volumes, which greatly lessened the impact. It was a great scene, but it could have been even better and had an even greater effect on me as a reader. I would not have seen it coming if not for the first three volumes, despite some masterful foreshadowing within the GA arc itself. There was a marked lack of foresight shown in the first three volumes. It seems like Miura was trying to show how everything built up to the situation in the first three volumes, but by the time I finished the GA arc, I really didn't care about the first three volumes anymore. I could nitpick some elements of the GA arc, but it's so superior to the rest of the series that I won't even bother.
The art slowly became some of the best and most detailed art in manga, but it was also often used as a crutch after the GA arc. The misty valley arc is the earliest example of this. The image of the “elves” slaughtering each other and “playing human” was one of the most brutal in the series, and it may fit in thematically, but the arc lacks overall significance and character development, especially considering its length. It would have established Guts's personality after the GA arc and how he had changed, but we already knew from the first three volumes. It was also the perfect opportunity to turn Puck into something more than a pointless comic relief character that we've seen a million times before, but that potential was quickly squandered as well, and Puck's character never really develops beyond a comic relieving plot device.
Guts's showdown with the evil apostle fairy chick foreshadowed a descent into fights that are shounenesque in both verbosity and length, a serious depart from the gritty fantasy realism that the series is so often praised for. The realism further deteriorated as it went on, proportionally to the increase of clear shounen elements. Guts gathered a crew à la one piece, an inexplicable depart from his character, including an uninteresting masochist, a loli witch, and a motherfucking veritable shounen protagonist. The loli witch was one of the worst things to happen to the series. The thief kid/shounen protagonist was another one of the worst. I have no idea what Miura was thinking there.
The masochist chick was actually quite an interesting character before she fell in love with Guts and started rolling with his crew. She was a powerful reflection of the pervading theme of masochism that usually manifests itself in the oft depicted self-destructive nature of humanity. Now she's the epitome of cliché. She shows some promise of recovery, but at the pace the plot is moving that will likely be in the distant future. The women are all in love with Guts by the way. No shounen is complete without a harem of women who exist to make the protagonist look cooler.
The Skull Knight was another promising character, but it's been a while since we've seen him, he appears infrequently anyway, and having next to nothing known about him, after all this time, is simply bad writing. There has been some fairly obvious clues regarding his identity and origin, but there has been no true follow up on that, and we still know very little about him as a character. He's only existed to make a couple of convenient actions and philosophize about Guts's fate. Therefore, he too, has been reduced to more of a plot device than an actual character. There is also a possible major contradiction in his backstory, but I can't get into it without spoilers and I suppose it could still be explained somewhere down the road.
Magic was introduced along with the witch and the crew gained shounenesque (I'm using this word a lot) power ups and thus realism went entirely out the window. Guts got a power-up that was reminiscent of Sasuke's curse mark early in the Naruto series. The theme of camaraderie is more omnipresent and becomes more about the “power of friendship,” harem elements develop, the ruthlessness is reduced, there is a moe loli witch, there is now campy abilities and gimmicks, there is shitty power-ups, there is in-battle commentary by secondary characters, battles are often increasingly drawn out, yesterday's enemies are today's friends, characters announce special moves when they are preformed, the general purpose becomes a noble fight against the very idea of evil, there is a general saturation of overused clichés and tropes, and there was even a slapstick comedy fanservice shower scene. Yup, berserk is undeniably in an increasingly noticeable downward spiral into battle shounen territory. Many fans deny this, but they are, well, in denial. This is sort of funny seeing as so many Berserk fans are pseudo-elitists who hate on popular battle shounens. It may be more explicit than a typical shounen series, but that superficial aspect of it does not grant it any sort of inherent maturity.
Now, the mangaka clearly has no idea of what to do with the story. It's been ongoing for over twenty years and the story isn't close to being done; it is moving at a snail's pace, both on the rate at which it's released and the actual speed of plot development. It has been a half a year since the last chapter came out. Recently there was an arc where the motley crew nobly fights off a sea god/kraken thingy and mermaids are somehow involved. And they actually teamed up with comic relief pirates. My one piece comparisons are getting more accurate. Now, exactly what was the point of this arc? No one knows, but it sure as fuck isn't the fucking elf island that they've been trying to get to for over 10 fucking volumes. Fuck... He's clearly stalling because he's out of ideas. The dude does have serious myopia and a strange method of storytelling. He once decided that a published chapter of Berserk didn’t count because it gave too much information and insisted that it never be printed again. Seriously. If you’re putting that little thought into what you publish and how it will affect future chapters, that’s a problem. These 18 pages introduced a huge concept (although they didn’t go into great depth about it) that has yet to be seen again, even over 200 chapters later. Ummm, maybe you should have just kept the chapter after all?
Despite my criticisms, the GA arc is a tragedy of epic proportions and it is a must read for any manga fan. There is a reason that this is the highest ranked manga on MAL. It has extraordinarily wide appeal and some very good qualities, despite it often falling into the "sex and violence=depth" trap.
Make no mistake, I may compare it to shounens, but it is still far superior to shit like Naruto; you won't hear the word nakama being tossed around, although similar themes of companionship are increasingly echoed in a more subtle manner, and, unlike the worthlessly lazy Tite Kubo, Kentaro Miura puts an incredible amount of effort in his artwork. Although he made many mistakes in the plot, his artwork is indisputably among the best in later volumes. I've seen maybe one or two mangaka that come close or are on the same level.
Guts is a powerful and tragic character and Griffith and Casca are compelling, until something happens to Casca, which kills her value as a character, and reduces her to a plot device for the majority of the series. One of the early themes of Berserk was how every man had his own dreams and motivations and, at least during the GA arc, it showed. All of the characters were detailed and had their own emotions. You could make an argument that, at that point, not a single character was a one dimensional plot device.
Later on we get Guts's aforementioned posse, plus at least three or four comic relief characters with no depth to speak of, or higher purpose to serve in the storyline. I'd say that Guts and Femto are the only true quality characters, as it stands right now.. The fact that I still have sympathy for Femto after all that he did, really drives in what a great and multi-faceted character he is, his character is full of symbolism, and his rivalry with Guts is incredible.
The antagonists have become less convincing over time. Despite interesting theories about and the philosophical nature of Void, and despite the fact that they all have awesome character designs, only one of the God Hand members is truly developed and compelling. One of them has only really existed for fanservice. Did I mention that berserk is actually pretty big on fanservice? Shit, Conrad isn't even good for fanservice, the Majin Buddha lookin fat fuck. Conrad's "personality" section in the Berserk Wikia is blank for a reason. He just kinda floats there while everybody else does all the hard work.
And don't even get me started on Ubik. There's a reason his Berserk Wikia page doesn't even have a personality section. And at least Conrad made that big rock hand thing during the eclipse, this tentacle-ass motherfucker does absolutely nothing at all. What does Ubik even bring to the table? They oughta fire him or something..... Femto is an incredible and complex character that is the perfect foil to Guts while paralleling him in many ways. I don't expect all of the God Hand to be that, but at least give us something.
I rate highly on conclusions as well as expositions, and from the looks of it, this series will have a very bad conclusion, or not have one at all. The climaxes of the series were often vastly epic, although the arguable biggest climax was pretty early on and the story never reached that height again in terms of intensity or quality, but the exposition was sub-par to say the least, and we'll have to see about the conclusion, but I'm not too hopeful. The GA arc is kind of rendered pointless if the overall series fails to deliver on its promise and delivers a lackluster conclusion. That's just speculation though. He may pull it off yet. But, at the pace he’s going, I seriously doubt it.
Art: 9.5/10 (it wasn't as incredible in early volumes and there were some minor mistakes and inconsistencies throughout, so minus .5)
Characters: GA arc 10/10, post GA 5.5/10
Story: GA 10/10, otherwise 6/10
Enjoyment: 9/10 Easily, it's only recently that my enjoyment of it has significantly waned, but enjoyment is the least important category by far and I don't usually count it, except when I'm deciding whether to round up or down.
Actually a very good rating, considering this was a mostly critical review. I just felt like the series wasn't getting properly called out on its flaws, although I like it. The fact is that it's far from perfect and I believe my "7" rating is a somewhat generous one, inflated due to nostalgia and other similar biases.
In addition, the GA arc is simply too amazing for me to give the series anything below "good." That arc will stay with me forever and I've read it around 7 times. Too bad the mindless fanboys will not consider any of this and will simply click "not helpful" without reading the review, despite the fact that "7" is a positive score. On the other hand, haters may deem "7" to be too high a score and they will be butthurt as well. Well, I said what I had to say and I stand by it.
Initially the first impression when i began to read were: "what about the context of the story?". Actually it came later with the next chapters but i was so excited to understand the story that i kept questioning "what next, what next?". The main character seems to be a cold heart man, killing without thinking, but the story "Berserk" it's all about that. Gutts suffered his entire life, borning from a dead body, walking the path of blood with his sword in his youth. Pain, pleasure, agony, wickedness comes with this story specially when he meets Griffith, his bestfriend that shares his dream of being the future king of Midland and use Gutts' power to do that. Soon or later, you'll uderstand how much Griffith betrays Gutts. I trully recommend you to read this mangá, without taboos, everything is explicit and relates with some issues from the past about wars and abuse at all levels, powerfull story with a art that grows better and better. read more
While Claymore may not be just as dark and gory as Berserk, it still holds plenty of bloody battles and monsters. The characters are interesting, and so is the story.
And Claymore is full of nice women. Just so you know.
Violent action sword fighting manga that is extremely well drawn.
Monster fighting, not always ends well, dark ambience.
claymore is basicly a less explicit version of berserk except claymores characters are almost all female
Both Berserk and Claymore involve the main character battling against monsters that take the form of a human for the sake of revenge, however that is not the only thing that the two series' have in common. Both have a dark atmosphere and contain a flashback arc revealing the reasons for the protagonists goal of revenge. Aswell as that both protagonists are burdened with taking care of someone they care about. Chances are if you enjoyed Claymore, you'll enjoy reading Berserk, or vice versa.
Both mangas have a dark medieval setting. They are both also very violent. The main characters both wield giant swords in order to kill demonic monsters. I feel berserk has a richer plot but claymore's fighting scenes were on par with if not better than berserk's.
Both stories are dark and violent. Both main characters wield huge swords to kill monsters.
Taking place in a fantasy setting, Claymore and Berserk outlines the cruelty of their world by the lives of the main characters. There are bloody battles, a thirst for vengeance, and evil that roams in their world. The main characters from both series has great skills in swordsmanship that they display throughout their journey. Yet, they suffer internally by the past actions of certain adversaries they've encountered. Their stories constitute a grim adventure filled with dangers and challenges the audience will feast their eyes on.
Both are placed at a medieval world with a lot monsters.
Berserk has a superior art and gore level, but Claymore still pretty good.
If you like dark fighting stories that feature a lot of blood and gore then you should read these manga. Both of them take place in a very mysterious and dark fantasy setting. The fights in them are stunningly beautiful and the main characters are both on a long journey where they have to kill a lot of monster.
Both are set in medieval style fantasy setting, although Claymore has main female character and Berserk male, they both figth with big swords, slay demons/monsters from time to time... If you liked one of them you will certainly like the other because they`re so amazing that it can`t be explained with words without spoiling the content.
Although Berserk is senien but the killing and fighting is quite similar just is that Claymore is less dark and better IMO.
Claymore seems like a rip-off of berserk . It has similar atmosphere , swordfighting , nice art , bad-ass MC , sad story. I actually liked claymore a lot.
Both focus on an antihero of sorts with extreme proficiency in slicing dudes. Beautiful artwork, complex and mature themes, and a (while not yet present in Vagabond) hostile rivalry between the two main characters. Berserk is set in a high-fantasy setting while Vagabond is set in medieval Japan and on historical events.
The character of Guts (of Berserk) is ostensibly inspired by the legendary Miyamoto Musashi, both of them being unmatched swordsmen who overcame death and tragedy, emerging from obscurity to mix with the ruling class. Vagabond has "Musashi and the Seventy" while Berserk has "Guts the Hundred-Man Slayer".
Berserk and Vagabond are classic tales that shows the journey of an anti-hero protagonist. There is a lot of purpose for their actions and both series focuses a good amount of characterization for its other characters too. Their artwork is also highly distinctive (although Vagabond is more realistic). Throughout their journey, we see the characters develop relationships and rivalries with others. Both series also maintain a good amount of mature themes. Do note that Berserk has fantasy elements mixed in with its story while Vagabond adapts more historical content.
- Both have anti-heroes as the main character
- Beautiful artwork that is easily noticeable
- Lots of blood and gore
The manga that is not most similar to Berserk but you will probably like the most if you liked Berserk would surely be Vagabond. They are two amazingly highly rated seinens for a reason with amazing main characters. They both have some badass firey rage inside with the best manga fights I've ever seen. Beautiful and inspiring artwork for you aspiring artists, mature themes, a few historical events. Definitely the best samurai/sword manga out there with it's great plot. This one had me hooked after the first couple of chapters, only 2 manga have done that to me.
Both stories are about characters who's life revolves around violence. While Berserk is about a quest of pure rage, Vagabond is the path of a warrior and where it may lead.
Both series start out with a main character and follow him as a lonely little boy who grows up to become incredibly powerful.
Both series have incredibly detailed art, but vagabond's is far more realistic with a dirtier art style.
Guts (Berserk's main character) and Takezo (Vagabond's main character) start off being very much alike. Their father's disliked them, they were both strong children in terms of sword skill, they are both incredibly over powered in their stories, but Vagabond handles this aspect better, and they both fall in love with a woman.
Story wise they are not a like at all, except that they focus a lot on the main character.
Both series have psychological aspects in them, even though they are action series. Vagabond has psychological aspects in fights and how our main character thinks about his life. Berserk has psychological aspects in relation to the main character and main antagonist.
Both are very action heavy, with Vagabond having a little bit less action. Action is very brutal, detailed and with gore.
Neither series has ended at the point of the recommendation.
Mature, bloody, and beautiful.
Main characters with troubled childhoods and high proficiency in killing. In doing so, they are stuck in the constant chain of life and death and seemingly cannot escape it.
Both manga cover very philosophical themes if you read them not passively.
Both of these manga have very similar protagonists: sword wielding "demon-children" with turbulent childhoods on a quest to become stronger. Why? It first starts off as them simply wanting to become the strongest and die on the battlefield, but soon enough they find something they love and want to protect, while simultaneously they despise it for standing in the way of their primary goals.
Both are violent and got nicely done action scenes and interesting flashbacks. Berserk is set in a more fantasy medieval world while Vinland Saga follows the life of Danish Vikings.
Berserk Golden age part is very similar to Vinland saga, both is about a strong young boy who is a part of a mercenary group and got full respect from the leader who gives him the most important missions.
The art in the two are very close, tho Vinland Saga is a more clean while Berserk is more sketchy and more detailed.
Drawing is almost exactly the same. Not to mention the fact that the stories are very similar. Not nearly as much nudity in Vinland Saga though.
It's similar to the first volumes of Berserk, a kind of medieval historical war story, revolving around a young man.
Similar artwork and also similar level of detail. Also plenty of similar over the top fight scenes however Vinland Saga has more strategy elements than Berserk and has a more merciful approach to the slaughter of women and children
if you read berserk and like it and haven't started reading vinland saga what is wrong with you. vinland saga is very similar to berserks golden age story like before the apostles and sh!t but vinland saga is so much better. berserk was the first manga i read and have been a fan for some time now but vinland saga takes the cake i think. so if you like berserk take a look at vinland saga while you are waiting for the next chapter to come out we all know how long that takes.
Both of them have similiar art. Stories are big and epic. only differense is that vinland saga has no monster it´s more realistic. Its must see series if you like manga like beserk
Technical wise, Berserk and Vinland Saga shares an adventurous tone of storytelling. In their perspective stories, there is a main protagonist who seeks revenge for what has happened to him in the past. They also strive to obtain absolution by any means.
Both series takes place in a setting that is considered more of medieval/historical as opposed to modern times. And in that period is violence, war, and bloodshed. There is considerable amount of mature content in both series but is presently vividly to illustrate the cruelty of their worlds.
Berserk and Vinland Saga are alike in many ways... Pacing, Art style, characters, etc. Vinland Saga starts off with Thorfinn who yearns to avenge his fathers death, and works for his fathers killer, while berserk follows the much more mature protagonist Guts, who also yearns to avenge his fallen comrades by cutting down his former ally Griffith. Both characters have similar appearances and goals despite their age difference. Another similarity in pacing is that both stories have an extremely long back story shown early on. Vinland Sagas backstory being around 10 chapters around 5 chapters into the series and Berserks backstory being around 7 volumes 3 volumes in.
The stories are both focused around a character that is morally dark and trying to find himself a greater purpose for his existence. In Berserk Gutts is brought from his depression by attaching himself to Griffith, in Vinland Saga Thorfinn loses his way from an ideal and becomes like Gutts when he was a solo mercenary.
Vinland Saga takes a great deal of inspiration from Berserk in multiple areas such as plot progression, art, morality, and combat. There is no magic in Vinland Saga, so the battles are more realistic with only select characters having skills that allow them to take on large crowds.
Shin Angyo Onshi is the Korean Berserk. It is as simple as that. There are too many similarities to count, such as even the more superficial things like the lead, Munsu, being branded with a 'curse'. Few manga/manhwa can compare to Berserk in terms of art, but SAO even rivals Berserk in that area. Although Munsu looks... off at the start (similar to Guts in Berserk), the artist quickly became my favourite.
For the sake of spoilers, I'll avoid going into detail, but I will say this: the structure of SAO as a series is VERY SIMILAR to Berserk and Munsu's personality / actions mirror Guts'. His hatred and need for vengeance are powered by what forces Guts forward (the 'betrayal' of a best friend, as well as a woman in the middle of them and a word starting with 'R'). And as for SAO's villain, not only does he look like Griffith, he has the same creepy smiling-but-evil/manipulative aura.
Need I say more than highlight that SAO has its very own 'Golden Age' flashback arc? Not really. HOWEVER, the one thing SAO has that Berserk probably never will have is an ending. And with how similar Munsu is as a character to Guts and how his nemesis is so overpowered... let's just say SAO's end is a decent substitute for Berserk's current non-ending hiatus hell.
Another Seinen series dealing with a character who later has much of his past introduced via flashback. Also includes large swords, magic, and violence.
Both are EPIC. I also find them to be kinda similar, except that SAO doesn't drag out.
The main character, Munsu, is a lot like Guts, and the main antagonist, Aji Tae, is superficially similar to Griffith. Likewise, the major theme here is revenge for what Aji Tae has done to Munsu and everything he loved. The number of superficial similarities to Berserk are too many to count, to the point of me suspecting plagiarism, but this is not a bad thing. The series is very violent, very epic, and has plenty of demons, so if you're looking for a quick fix while waiting for new Berserk chapters, I think this can keep you entertained.
Struggling against a god like entity. ATOMIC RAGE guranteed
Both have a anti-hero as a protagonist and an untouchable hero as a protagonist.
Overall the story's development is the same, and so is the goal. Both protagonists are seeking revenge and are cursed, they later encounter companions and form a group to fight.
Shin Angyo Onshi is the Korean Berserk.
Much like Berserk, Shin Angyo Onshi is about the struggles of a human who is seeking revenge against a demon god.
Character back story is similar , seinen stuff , deep and engaging action sequences . Overall the were really similar and both were fantastic
If any one has an Ounce of Love for Berserk then please read Shin Angyo Onshi.
it's definitely worth it.
This has countless similarities with Berserk i.e MC can withstand great hardships and still carry on, was once appreciated by his comrades and was a great Fighter but now is against them,gets haunted by his past most of the time,carries a curse.
Both have violent but cool fighting scenes and even some sex together with interesting stories. Beserk follow a medieval fantasy world while Gantz is set in alternate present cyberpunk. Both main characters are also affected by unknown forces.
This is a very mature, violent, bloody, seinen, dark manga. The manga has been around since like 1990 (so it's been over 20 years!!!) and the story is simply AMAZING. I am very impressed by the creator of Berserk. I watched the anime first and then jumped straight to read the manga. The anime only covers like 10% of the whole story and the manga is not even finished yet. This is another AMAZING manga.
Hundreds and hudreds of very graphic and detailed deaths. Lots of main characters die. There are explicit sex scenes, violations and a lot of gore. Probably the two hardest mangas I have read.
Both have a lot of gore and some sex/ecchi elements.
If you like stories with a fantasy setting then you should read on. Both of these manga take place in a fantasy setting, but that's not all they also contain a lot of violence, blood and gore. So if you are interested in these type of manga then you should give these two a try because they are the best in their genres. If you like one of them you will probably enjoy the other one as well!
Out-of-this-world monsters, violence, blood gore and sex... It is so similar in this aspect is was surprising. However, one revolves around revenge while the other is more about saving humanity. If you just love violence and gore, then both these are just for you.
Berserk and Gantz have quite a bit common. Be it the very mature themes, to nudity, language, to over the top violence. They are both very dark in theme, and the characters are very detailed and fleshed out. Once you start reading either manga, they are hard to put down.
In Berserk, the main character, Guts, is fighting off supernatural forces, whereas in Gantz, the main character(s) are fighting extraterrestrial beings. Both mangas have the people battling against the odds, making it feel like it's a few people fighting the world. Oh and they both have gigantic swords.
- Both are Seinen
- Very detailed artstyles
- Huge amounts of violence, gore, and sexual content
- Both have nightmare fuel incarnate creatures (Aliens and Apostles) The enemies get stronger and more insane as each chapter progresses in both manga's
- No one is safe in both worlds
- Both manga's have the main protagonist and others battling the unknown and trying to win even when they are pushed to the limit
- Both manga series have had long runs
- Well written and well designed characters
Ubel Blatt is essentially a "newer" version of Berserk. It shares many general themes with Berserk, such as a dark fantasy setting, swordfighting, sex and the theme of a lone hero betrayed by his friends and is out to get revenge. However, the mangaka of Ubel Blatt is no Miura; the art is of a more typical manga style than the extremely detailed drawings you'll find in Berserk. Consequently, the character design looks similarly generic.
This difference is rather apparent when you compare Koinzell, the main character who looks like a scarred version of Link and is indeed an Elf/Fairy thing, to Guts who is pretty much the complete opposite with his massive frame, huge sword and chisel-jawed features. There is also some silliness with special attacks being named (another common anime/manga trope) unlike Berserk, where Guts just sort of cuts everything to pieces.
That being said, we all know that Berserk has a rather lengthy interval between releases. Ubel Blatt is more of the dark fantasy setting with similar themes of hopelessness and while it's not as good as its inspiration, it still makes for an enjoyable read.
Two dark action adventure series that feature both male protaganists seeking revenge as an important goal. Both series provide an interesting journey of different encounters for both male leads.
Another seinen with a sword-wielding character with a flashback-seen tragic past. This main character is stuck in a small elf-like body, but that doesn't stop him from being more sexually active than guts. Crazy violence and awesome
Same-ish medievil, dark atmosphere. Blood and gore similar to Berserk, although not same art style. All in all, great manga. More chapters need to be translated though!!
Ubel Blatt and Berserk takes in place in a fantasy world with mature themes. Both series' main male protagonist embarks on a quest for revenge. Throughout their story, they encounter both allies and enemies. They also improve their own abilities through many battles that tests the limits of their strength. Both series are infamous for their graphic violence to portray the reality of their dark fantasy elements.
Ubel Blatt's main character Koinzell is on a quest of vengence because he was betrayed by his close compainions just like how Guts is betrayed in Berserk.
They are also similar in having monsters to fight, the murder of innocence, some cases of rape and orgys.
Both are about master swordsman who have been wronged by their friend(s) and left for the dead(or undead)
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