In this world
is the destiny of
by some transcendental
entity or law?
Is it like the hand of god
it is true...
that man has no control
even over his own will.
- What is Berserk?
Berserk is a long-running dark fantasy manga written and drawn by author Kentaro Miura. The first volume was released in December of 1990 and it's still being released to this day with the 39th volume releasing in the west on Summer 2018.
Over the years Berserk has received a ton of recognition for its unparalleled art and a story that has fans squirming for the tale to continue after every single release.
- Yeah, but what's the actual story about?
The story centers around Guts, a lone mercenary going from battle to battle to survive in a harsh world named Midland which is inspired by medieval Europe. Soon enough the leader of an up and coming mercenary group - Band of the Falcon - becomes infatuated with Guts and insists on Guts joining his army with the hopes of one day conquering Midland.
- Alright, how do I get into this?
The obvious answer would be to buy the manga, supporting the author for the work he's put into this over the years and Dark Horse for the great localization.
However, my recommendation would be to watch the 1997 anime first. It stays true to Berserk's original art style and has a fitting and widely acclaimed soundtrack by Susumu Hirasawa - Guts and Forces never fail to come up when discussing music from anime.
After that you'll definitely want to read the manga. The anime covers volumes 3-12, but under no circumstances should you skip those volumes after watching the series. The show smartly omits some characters and events which wouldn't have made sense to include considering the story arc they adapted.
- Notable Related Works
Berserk (1997 anime) - This is the good one
Berserk (2012/2013 movies) - Mediocre
Berserk (2016/2017) - An embarrassing heap of garbage
Berserk 1997 anime OST playlist - Blessed
Ash Crow - Second Berserk inspired album from Susumu Hirasawa. Also blessed.
Berserk (Dreamcast game)
Berserk (PS2 game)
Berserk and The Band of the Hawk (PS3, PS4, Vita and PC) - It's a mediocre musou game with a Berserk skin
Full credits to EvilKatarn, nowWhite Glint