Berserk is a manga series created by Kentaro Miura. It follows the story of Guts, a lone mercenary with a tragic past, as he navigates a dark and brutal fantasy world. The series delves into themes of fate, morality, and the human condition, exploring the consequences of Guts’ choices and the relentless pursuit of his revenge against demonic forces. Berserk is known for its intricate artwork, visceral battle scenes, and complex characters that captivate readers. The manga has gained a dedicated following worldwide and has had a significant impact on the industry, serving as a benchmark for dark fantasy storytelling.
Berserk, spanning over thirty years, captivated readers with its complex narrative that explored themes of fate, morality, and the human condition. Miura masterfully wove together a tale that combined elements of dark fantasy, horror, and medieval warfare, creating a narrative that was as thought-provoking as it was thrilling.
But, as all good things come to an end, Berserk had an abrupt stop when the author Kentaro Miura tragically passed. The world of manga and anime suffered a significant loss with the passing of the brilliant mind behind this dark fantasy epic. Fans expected the story of Berserk to have an abrupt pseudo-ending since the author was tragically not able to finish the story. But, Young Animal, the magazine in which Berserk was published, came out and said that he had shared the end of the story with his close friend and mangaka Kouji Mori, and gave him the green light to finish it in the case he was not able to himself.
As Berserk fans are both worried and happy that the story will be continuing, let’s review the chapters that have been released since Kentaro Miura’s passing was announced. The last chapter written by Miura was Berserk Chapter 364 named “Teardrop of Morning Dew”.
Since then, there have been 9 chapters released. Fans were worried that the art of Berserk was going to get worse or that it wouldn’t live up to the expectation of Miura’s excellent artistry. But, in Chapters 365 and 366, this was immediately shut down. Yes, there is a difference in art, but that’s to be expected with a change of artist. Even within this change of art, we are to witness beautifully detailed panels as is expected of Berserk. And in these chapters, we get to see something that had not been seen in what felt like a lifetime. We see our protagonist Guts come face to face with the man that was once his best friend but betrayed him in the most despicable way, Griffith. In this encounter, thanks to the art, we can see the pain and immense rage take over Guts, we see the effects of even seeing Griffith has on Casca, and we see the new version of Griffith who didn’t have any regard for his past life as a human. As we see Casca screaming, we are treated with a widespread of enraged Guts attacking Griffith and the latter having a confident and kind of “peaceful” look on his face.
These two chapters were crucial to the next step that the story of Berserk was taking. Chapter 366 cemented the power difference between Guts and Griffith, as Griffith doesn’t even bother lifting his hands against Guts’ flurry of attacks. We see Guts be anxious and driven by anger at the fact that he could not complete the vow he swore to himself to defeat that great evil that did nothing but ruin his and his crew’s lives. We see the darkness and destruction that Griffith and his new ‘Band of the Hawk’ are about to bring to Elfheim. This chapter’s simply a slap in the face to all the good that our protagonist and his crew had seen since getting to Elfheim.
The chapters from 367 to 372 show the destruction that was brought on by Griffith and the New Band of the Hawk. It is also the chapters that show us the impact of Guts’ sword being rendered useless by Griffith has on him.
Guts’ story with his sword is one of battle and trauma. He never had anything but his sword throughout his whole life. When he thought he did have someone to call a companion, it was either taken from him, or they betrayed Guts. So when the thing that pushed him forward, the thing that allowed him to live till the next day, that thing that made him into the man a man who was able to dominate a 100vs1 was completely obliterated right in front of his eyes, it broke him to a degree where he lost his will to fight, something we had never seen from Guts before.
The latest chapter 373 named “Rusted Iron Bands Unable to Push On” perfectly explains the situation. We see Schierke go into Guts’ mind where we see the Berserker Armor speaking to Guts’ subconscious. In this interaction, we see a helpless and scared Guts.
We see all of the trauma and pain that this situation is causing him, where the armor tries to take advantage of Guts to fully consume him. The armor teases, giving Guts power and telling him that the only thing making him weaker is the fact that he remains human. The armor tries to convince Guts to lose his human ways to gain the power to defeat Godhand and Griffith’s new army. All of what’s happening makes Guts knock out in exhaustion and anxiety.
At the same time, the ship the crew is on gets invaded by Kushan soldiers. In this, we’re treated to the last panel we’ve seen from Berserk, where the Kushan soldiers find Guts knocked out, and as always, with his sword in his hand, trying to find the strength to fight on.
In conclusion, this manga was a long story that had hiatuses and long breaks but it always delivered on the art and storytelling. Kentaro Miura’s untimely passing has left a void in the manga and anime community, but his legacy lives on through the timeless masterpiece that is Berserk. With its unparalleled storytelling, unforgettable characters, and breathtaking artwork; Berserk will forever be a testament to Miura’s immense talent and creative genius. As fans mourn his loss, we are allowed to continue witnessing this amazing story in hopes of an end to the long and hard journey of our protagonist Guts.