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The definitive Seinen
I must admit that this series never ceases to impress me, especially with the quality of the artwork.

As said in the main entry, Berserk possesses by far the best art of the industry hands down. Miura also pans out his plot by playing with Heroic Fantasy and Shonen clichés only for subversion and deconstruction purposes. Guts himself subverts some tropes of the expected heroism of a protagonist. Hence the characterization is almost flawless. This gray morality each and every character display makes them even more realistic and easy to relate to. In fact, I personally don't remember finding a "bad" character, except when said "badness" is done on purpose.

The story line itself hardly ever flounders and "filler" arcs are pretty scarce, which makes the rhythm steady. Plot twists are sufficient to keep us hanging on and the whole story brims with philosophical undertones, yet anvils are never dropped. The tone of the series is always very dark, almost depressing due to its position on the scale and a happy ending is anything but certain . Extremely graphic violence, rape, sleazy sex, sadism, graphic torture, betrayal, hurt... All of these negative themes simply highlight the more happy, peaceful moments that are so rare they immediately stand out. The short-lived anime is pretty worthy by itself but doesn't feature some of the goriest moments of the manga for obvious censorship reasons. Hence it stops dead upon the Eclipse but a new anime is on its way as of late 2010.

The only thing that I (and many fans) find pretty annoying about Berserk is the sloppy release of each issues. But then again, Miura works the old-fashioned way and never uses CG for his drawings so we can't really blame him.

Bottomline, the series flows and goes around naturally, never out of surprising twists, never out of fuel, despite the sometimes awkward first 3 volumes. However, it is not intended for children and even less for Moral Guardians since the graphic violence and uncensored sex scenes might give their squeamish little hearts a stroke.

Berserk has filler arcs? When? Every single story arc has served as either story advancement, character development, or both. The closest thing one can find to 'filler' is the current arc involving the battles between the Band of the Hawk and Ganishka, and that is extremely important to the story.

All in all, though, hell yeah - you nailed it. The definitive Seinen indeed. This Troper says one the finest manga ever written.
comment #177 Anoniguy 6th May 09
No doubt.
comment #1039 207.188.29.244 23rd Sep 09
Agreed.
comment #4259 starspawn17 1st Sep 10
Just in case you all missed it:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-09-27/new-berserk-anime-project-launching

It's been my favorite since way before I SHOULD have been reading it. I probably have covert emotional scars that will crop up when I'm in my forties.
comment #4996 24.7.129.47 2nd Nov 10

comment #5335 starspawn17 4th Dec 10 (edited by: starspawn17)
Yes I actually found the new anime and made the editing on my original review.
comment #5597 Alrune 1st Jan 11
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