Berserk Community Re-Read: Volume 2 (current)

Guts cared if people died. He was harsh and callous in large part because he was pushing people away. There's a variety of reasons for that, including the fact that being around him was dangerous. For example he was shaken when Colette's corpse was possessed and he was forced to cut her down.
HIs reaction when he notices Vargas Foot stuck out to me It's almost as if he already knows Vargas's Story is Just as similar as His
 
A more jarring thing was Guts telling and yelling at Puck a few times "Don't touch me!" and "Don't you ever touch me..." which seemed like a reversal back to his pre-Band of the Falcon characterization. Considering he had no qualms about banging one of his enemies to take her out a few pages before, this seems a bit silly even in the context of the first episode alone.
I do not think this is inconsistent because Puck is a friendly who is trying to make connections with a Guts who is reluctant to ever make any connections knowing what happened to the last ones he had. its entirely different from fucking an apostle just to kill her
 

Judo

Midlands finest
He's mentioned a few times in interviews that he didn't specifically plan for that, but often he keeps concepts open and then later it all works out.

Thanks for clearing this up for me. It's all the more amazing how seamless he was able to integrate it in the flow of the story then.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Fans also often times misdirect their rage towards griffith when the fact is that nothing of griffith's emotional state remained after he was reincarnated, he became pure evil, so his actions past that point were not from the same man that they used to call comrade. It's an entirely different person.

It can't be said that Femto is "an entirely different person" from who Griffith was before the Eclipse. He underwent a profound transformation, but it isn't as if it absolves him of responsability for his actions. He is the villain of the story and it isn't incongruous for readers to view him as such.

HIs reaction when he notices Vargas Foot stuck out to me It's almost as if he already knows Vargas's Story is Just as similar as His

Yeah, that's what it's meant to convey. And Guts' harsh reaction to Vargas is a reflection of his own self-loathing. I've always found it to be very thoughtful and nuanced, given how early it is in the story when it comes up.

I do not think this is inconsistent because Puck is a friendly who is trying to make connections with a Guts who is reluctant to ever make any connections knowing what happened to the last ones he had. its entirely different from fucking an apostle just to kill her

Indeed. And the implication from the flashback with Chich is that he's afraid Puck would endanger himself by helping him.
 
Indeed. And the implication from the flashback with Chich is that he's afraid Puck would endanger himself by helping him.
I always thought of that as Guts afraid of touch because of the SA by Donovan, thats it was portrait in the golden age at least
 
It can't be said that Femto is "an entirely different person" from who Griffith was before the Eclipse. He underwent a profound transformation, but it isn't as if it absolves him of responsability for his actions. He is the villain of the story and it isn't incongruous for readers to view him as such.
You're right, I just think that what he did after becoming Femto could have only been done with that evil he's received with his transformation, I really doubt he would do something like that without losing his emotional attachment and no evil
 
I signed up for this forum relatively recently after doing a re-read of Berserk and decided to jump back in for the community re-read! Since signing up here and catching up with the series, I have been revisiting a lot of my favorite manga and trying to read other critically acclaimed series (Gantz, Innocent, Homunculus, Monster, etc.) that I hadn't gotten to yet. Going through volume 1, I was surprised by how much more 'magical' (for lack of a better word) Berserk is than the other works I have read recently. From the character and plot writing, subtlety in the art, fluid panelwork, worldbuilding - everything seems to work together in harmony to create this masterpiece of a story. I guess I'm preaching to the choir here, but man - what an achievement!

In regards to more specific praises, I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said in this thread. Looking forward to continuing this re-read with y'all! Hopefully I will get to the thread earlier next time haha
 
Last edited:
Hi SkullKnight.net

I know neither the original text nor the English translation but in the French translation, on page 50, Guts says to Puck
"Quel intérêt y a-t-il à survivre sans mener l'existence que l'on désire, d'ailleurs ?"
which translates to
"What is the point of surviving without leading the life you want anyway?". The wording struck me because I imagine this very question must have crossed Guts' mind around and after the turn of the Golden Age Arc.

Also Puck is riding a bird :puck:
 
Last edited:

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I know neither the original text nor the English translation but in the French translation, on page 50, Guts says to Puck
"Quel intérêt y a-t-il à survivre sans mener l'existence que l'on désire, d'ailleurs ?"
which translates to
"What is the point of surviving without leading the life you want anyway?". The wording struck me because I imagine this very question must have crossed Guts' mind around and after the turn of the Golden Age Arc.

They softened what he says compared to the original Japanese text (and added a question where there isn't one). Dark Horse's translation is more accurate: "If someone can't live their life the way they please, they might as well die."
 
The early dynamic between Guts and Puck is so priceless, makes me think how grim the rest of the story is afterwards.
Not sure if we're allowed to post cropped panels so I won't, but when Guts said that he uses that humongous sword of his for cooking I lost it:magni::magni:

Guts' reactions during the fight with the skeletons are so emotional, when Collette was killed and possesed Guts' looks so broken, Its so apparent that he's imagining the eclipse all over again. and the scene were Collette stabbed him with the sword mirrors that same predicament with Casca when they were united. I wonder how much of that was actually planned at that time.

Its interesting to me that that name of the last episode is "Guardian Angels of Desire", the guardian angles themselves being the god hand members obviously, but the inclusion of the word 'desire' directly reference the (now excluded) Idea of Evil. I wonder if that was Miura sensei's intentions right off the bat this time (which is not obvious because in the pilot the concept was completely different).

Overall 10/10, the hyper-realistic panels are such a such a treat!
 
The early dynamic between Guts and Puck is so priceless, makes me think how grim the rest of the story is afterwards.
Not sure if we're allowed to post cropped panels so I won't, but when Guts said that he uses that humongous sword of his for cooking I lost it:magni::magni:

Guts' reactions during the fight with the skeletons are so emotional, when Collette was killed and possesed Guts' looks so broken, Its so apparent that he's imagining the eclipse all over again. and the scene were Collette stabbed him with the sword mirrors that same predicament with Casca when they were united. I wonder how much of that was actually planned at that time.

Its interesting to me that that name of the last episode is "Guardian Angels of Desire", the guardian angles themselves being the god hand members obviously, but the inclusion of the word 'desire' directly reference the (now excluded) Idea of Evil. I wonder if that was Miura sensei's intentions right off the bat this time (which is not obvious because in the pilot the concept was completely different).

Overall 10/10, the hyper-realistic panels are such a such a treat!
Hasn't Miura said that it wasn't all that planned in the start?
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Guts' reactions during the fight with the skeletons are so emotional, when Collette was killed and possesed Guts' looks so broken, Its so apparent that he's imagining the eclipse all over again.

Not so apparent to me that he's thinking about the Eclipse, rather than about the fact an innocent young girl has just been killed "because of him".

Its interesting to me that that name of the last episode is "Guardian Angels of Desire", the guardian angles themselves being the god hand members obviously, but the inclusion of the word 'desire' directly reference the (now excluded) Idea of Evil.

No, the word "desire" doesn't directly reference the Idea of Evil. It's a reference to the fact the God Hand grants a prospective apostle's desire, not to mention the way its members have an affinity with certain humain traits. Furthermore, the God of the Abyss whom the God Hand serves is still part of the story, it's just kept in the shadows.

I'll wait for Aaz for conclusive answer, but as far as i remember he said in interviews that he got the main outlines planned but he did thought of the story as it progressed.

He didn't have the entire story planned from the start. He finished mapping the outline (all the way to the end) when he drew the Eclipse, according to Kouji Mori.
 
What I really like about the very first scene of the manga is that it sets the tone perfectly. IF you want to keep reading, you will, and therefore you will enjoy it, guaranteed. But if it's too much for you, you'll probably stop right there. Also, the manga doesn't start with an info dump, it's mostly a show don't tell approach, which is nice.
 

Dark Emperor

I’ll gnaw right through your arteries!
One thing that I've never quite understood is how Guts knows what an incubus is called and how they are made. Obviously, he's encountered them many times and knows what they do through experience, but how he knows the details of their creation and naming eludes me. I guess an easy "explanation" is to just assume that Miura didn't think that far ahead when crafting the story during the Black Swordsman arc, but just about every loose end during said arc that I can think of has been explained in the subsequent ones, except for this one.
 
Last edited:
One thing that I've never quite understood is how Guts knows what an incubus is called and how they are made. Obviously, he's encountered them many times and knows what they do through experience, but how he knows the details of their creation and naming eludes me. I guess an easy "explanation" is to just assume that Miura didn't think that far ahead when crafting the story during the Black Swordsman arc, but just about every loose end during said arc that I can think of has been explained in the subsequent ones, except for this one.
Given the time, I suppose it would be cool to explain such a creature like that to your audience. Puck should've been the one to explain it given that's usually his role, but Guts didn't elaborate as much about it. It's something simple to me in that sense.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
One thing that I've never quite understood is how Guts knows what an incubus is called and how they are made.

Like you said, knowing what they do is easy to understand from having encountered one. For the name and origin, there are folk tales in Berserk's world and people commonly know about beings like elves, dragons, trolls and so on. No reason that wouldn't apply to incubi. Given his predicament, Guts no doubt took an interest in such things, assuming he hadn't already been told such tales around mercenary camps over the years. "If you die on the battlefield with hatred in your heart, they say an incubus will be born from your corpse..."
 
Puck should've been the one to explain it given that's usually his role,
I don't think that's the case, because he just met Puck very briefly prior to the Incubus encounter. And he was obviously very familiar with this kind of monster by then. Aaz's explanation makes more sense here.
 
Vol. 01

There are not many stories that start with a bang (get it? Bang! ...sorry about that:sad:) and leave such a lasting impression upon the reader. Whether is done for that reason, for shock factor or anything else, it definitely succeeds at grabbing your attention. I started buying Berserk after I finished the 1997 anime, wanting to relive the magic moments accurately and to continue the story after the devastating cliffhanger.

So, volume 1: As a whole, I consider it a good start for the story, but I think that it shows its age and it reads as a pretty standard fantasy series nowadays. Although a little rough around the edges, as is to be expected, it keeps the interest of the reader, especially if the reader has experienced the anime first and wants to see the canonical beginning of the story. I’m curious about the readers that didn’t see the anime and started the manga without being a fan already. Did the first volume grab their attention immediately or it grew on them with the passing of time? If there's anyone here, I'd like to read their initial reaction.

In the fantasy literature field, the inclusion of the horror element is relatively common, but Berserk takes it to a whole new level, and it can be felt even from this first sample. The atmosphere and the depiction of the bleak and unforgiving world is well realized and established, and for me the strongest elements of this first taste, the things that Miura excelled from the get-go, are easily his visual storytelling and paneling in combination with his aesthetic depiction on everything he draws. Visually, they show character and identity even this early on, Berserk stands out of the crowd, at least regarding fantasy genre aesthetics. Also, some very nice monster and armor design, like Zondark with the mask near the end of the volume who is pretty Dark Souls-esque, I didn’t quite remember the way he looked, another pleasant reminder that Miura was able to imagine cool character designs from the start.
Z1IsvbFoJjiFf-5m2GbqMS5MPA5Gx2MRsa9SpBEvEec.jpg

The final pages with the reveal of the behelit plant the seed for the greatness that follows and serves as a nice bait for the reader in order to grab volume 2 as soon as possible.

Not perfect, but an interesting and good enough start in order to keep reading and gradually discover one of the best stories ever.
 
Been awhile since I done a reread, so this is a great time.

Volume 1 sets the foundation for the characters of Puck and Guts and the setting they reside in. The dynamic between the Black Swordsman and the fairy is solid with the both of them trading dialogue that further characterizes the two. Guts is the vengeance-seeking loner who laughs at the dead who can't save themselves while also hiding instances of grief and empathy in order to pursue his goals. Puck is the fairy who is naive and good-natured with a "strong sense of duty" for Guts who rescued him.

There are people I have talked to that say that the Black Swordsman arc is a bad beginning due to the arc's edgy nature being a stark contrast to the rest of the series. I disagree with this notion. As early as episode 2, there is something hidden beneath the cold exterior of Guts. There are clear instances of Guts showing a softer side to him which helps build the mystery of Guts and how he became the man he is. Even with the edgy dialogue, there are extra layers within them that characterizes Guts and why he puts up his facade. Plus, Puck helps bring some light-hearted banter.

Each episode has at least one action scene that shows off the Guts' fighting prowess and the technical marvel of the art (even though the art ranks lower on my scale compared to later on). From the first few pages, Berserk puts its best foot forward in the visual department in the double-page spreads. Out of all the manga I have read, I haven't seen a series that puts out double-page spreads as regularly as Berserk.

Writing-wise, it is fairly consistent as Guts and Puck act within what the story set up. There are plenty of story beats that are established here that will be explored later on such as the God hand, apostle, brand, and the demon child. Although, I have one question: in episode 3, what was Guts' plan beyond throwing the dead girl's head at the count? It was a fairly risky maneuver exposing himself to potentially plenty of soldiers with no clear escape route. I know he wants to make his presence known to the apostle as the branded swordsman, but wouldn't there be easier ways to do this?

All in all, this first volume is a solid introduction to my favorite manga.

Edit: with no clear escape route
 
Last edited:
I don't think that's the case, because he just met Puck very briefly prior to the Incubus encounter. And he was obviously very familiar with this kind of monster by then. Aaz's explanation makes more sense here.
What I meant is that Puck is usually the talkative one, even in the first volume. Though it's not like Guts elaborates that much on it in the first place, that's why it really doesn't matter to me if he's the one that mentions it, it's still not an issue to me that Guts knows about them.
 

Judo

Midlands finest
I just finished vol. 2... are we doing seperate threads for each volume or are we continuing the discussion here?
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Volume 2 Review starts now!

02high.jpg


To guide your review, try to include some of these things:
  • What stuck out to you?
  • Context for the big picture?
  • What impressed you about how Miura revealed something or portrayed something?
  • Any new discoveries for you?
 

jackson_hurley

even the horses are cut in half!
Well, I'll post late my volume 1. Missed the deadline, sorry.

I dont have much to add to what has been said already. My input though is on the art. Berserk has influenced me a lot in my comic book drawings. Not storywise but artwise. The level of details always made me want to add more on my comic. Of course I'm leagues aways from Miura and my style has nothing but his. Only the detail aspect.

That said, the segment I admire the most in vol 1 is "the brand". The fight with the skeletons always fascinated me.

I also have to point out the vagueness of what the f is happening in the beginning. Its leaving so much mystery especially after the fight with the snake baron.

Its a very noce introduction to the story in my opinion.

That said Ive already started vol 2 so I wont miss the deadline that time and will put more work on ky appreciation of that one.
 
Top Bottom