Nate: It is a great pleasure to see a classic manga receive the deluxe edition hardcover treatment. Battle Angel Alita, Fullmetal Alchemist, Akira, and now the epic fantasy turned modern-day classic: Berserk. I like the simple design of the exterior; matte-black all-over with the Brand of Sacrifice front-and-center, a smooth, glossy black symbol amidst the faux-leather texture of the cover. The title stands out in bright red, declaring itself very simply.
The interior is impressive. As an oversized printing (7” x 10”) I feared that the art might be fuzzy or pixelated from being printed larger than originally intended, but the detailed linework and shading of every page is sharp and clear. For fans of the original color covers, they can be found reprinted in the back. Also important for a book this size is the binding. The spine does appear to be well put together, although only time will tell for certain, I suppose. It is possible to lay the book flat while open and easily view the spread. The edges of the panels don’t get lost in the crease where the pages come together. Altogether, these elements make reading the manga itself more enjoyable.
I am relatively new to the story of Berserk myself, but I was immediately drawn in. It is a detailed world, both gritty and intense, where the strong take what they want and the weak are ground under their heel. A product of that world is Guts, the black swordsman. Right away you can tell that Guts is not your average character. His brutal one-of-a-kind weapon matches his gruff personality and revenge mentality. There is nothing gentle or subtle about the weapon, or the man. This is not a story for the faint of heart. Ultra-violence? Check. Sex? See page one. Torture, slavery, corruption, demons, and betrayal just scratches the surface of this complex epic-fantasy, and I cannot wait to see the next volume.
Will: Since Nate did a great job describing the book itself, I’ll talk about the story as a first-time reader. Set in a dark fantasy world where apostles of the mysterious, evil God Hand terrorize the inhabitants, the story follows Guts, a nihilistic jerk who dreams of killing the God Hand and their apostles. A few chapters in, it seemed like this dark fantasy was going to just be, “Grimdark big guy kills monsters with a big sword,” which is okay, but not worthy of being called the greatest manga ever. Then the first proper arc happened and I was like, “Whoaaaaaaaaaa.” All of a sudden the world (and underworld) bursts open. The “heroes” and villains are given dimension, and we see that there is so much more under the surface. There are compelling motivations behind the grimdark, and it shows this series can (and probably will) achieve greatness.
Berserk Deluxe Edition Manga Omnibus Volume 1 contains volumes 1-3 in a hardcover omnibus format featuring story and art by Kentaro Miura. Have you got the Guts? Kentaro Miura’s Berserk has outraged, horrified, and delighted manga and anime fanatics since 1989, creating an international legion of hardcore devotees and inspiring a plethora of TV series, feature films, and video games. And now the champion of adult fantasy manga is presented in an oversized 7“ x 10” deluxe hardcover edition, nearly 700 pages amassing the first three Berserk volumes, with following volumes to come to serve up the entire series in handsome bookshelf collections. No Guts, no glory!Add to CartLearn More