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Trivia / Berserk

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  • Cash Cow Franchise: Berserk has made it a long way for what many used to consider a niche Dark Fantasy seinen franchise, with a manga that's been ongoing since 1990 with 39+ volumes and finally hit 40 million volumes in circulation in February 2016. Adaptations include Berserk (1997) by OLM Incorporated; two videogame adaptations by Yuke's, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage (Dreamcast, 1999) and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō (PS2, 2004); The Berserk: The Golden Age Arc theatrical anime film trilogy (2012-2013) by Studio 4°C, which produced this amusing fast food cross-promotion; Berserk (2016), a TV anime by GEMBA and Millepensee which picks up after the movies; the videogame Berserk and the Band of the Hawk (Fall 2016) developed by Omega Force; a light novel, The Flame Dragon Knight; and an Official Guide Book. Fans can spend hundreds of dollars on high quality figurines of Guts, Griffith, or Casca, and all of the animated versions are available in deluxe Blu-ray box sets. Japanese fans can also buy Berserk keychains, pillows, and even underwear!
  • Character-Specific Pages:
  • Colbert Bump: Some shows with more of a mainstream Western fanbase have helped Berserk to get noticed:
  • Demand Overload: The news of Kentaro Miura's untimely death caused volumes of the deluxe hardcover edition of the manga to sell out on Amazon, thanks to a massive influx of new fans curious of the work he has left behind.
  • Died During Production: Kentaro Miura suffered a fatal aortic dissection on May 6th, 2021, leaving the manga's future uncertain.
  • Extremely Lengthy Creation: Rather famously so among manga fans. To the point it ended up outlasting it’s creator.
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  • Fan Community Nicknames: Berserkers; also occasionally used are Apostle Spawn, The Godfans and The Fans Of The Hawk (the latter two in reference to, respectively, the Godhand and the Band of the Hawk.)
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Guts and Casca's child isn't yet named in the story and is usually called simply "The Child" or "The Moonchild" since he only appears in human form when the moon is full. Others call him "Gusca" since he looks like a perfect cross between them.
    • The Beast of Darkness is also called the "Hellhound" for its appearance.
    • "Skully" and "Skull Bro" are popular nicknames for the Skull Knight.
    • Farnese is known as "Farnie" to some fans. This is also what Puck usually calls her.
    • Serpico is also affectionately known as "Serp" or "Serpie".
    • "Rape Horse" for the demonically possessed horse that tries to rape Farnese. It's often used as a symbol for how over-the-top the depictions of rape and depravity can get, and he is the unofficial mascot of r/berserklejerk.
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    • "Schnoz" is the nickname fans have bestowed upon a certain creature from Qliphoth that looks like a Waddling Head with a Gag Nose.
    • Roderick is called "Broderick" for being a "bro", i.e. a chill and selfless wingman for Guts.
    • Judeau is "Jubro" for the same reason.
    • For better or for worse, Guts' post-Golden Age adventuring group has been labelled the "J/RPG Party".
  • Fountain of Expies:
    • Berserk and its characters have been a significant influence on Japanese fiction, inspiring many a hardcore, brooding badass who takes after the original hundred-man slayer.
    • Guts is pretty much the ur-'90s Anti-Hero for Japanese media, so he's got quite a few expies running around in other works. Caim from Drakengard, Artorias from Dark Souls, and Arngrim from Valkyrie Profile are just some of the most blatant examples. Other really notable examples include Father Nier, Siegfried, Goblin Slayer, and seemingly half the bosses in the Dark Souls series.
    • Dragon's Dogma's Mercedes Marten: expert swordswoman, leader among her men, badass attitude, dusky complexion... almost sounds like Casca. There's also a Schierke-expy in Selene, a girl-witch who lives in the enchanted woods under the tutelage of an old grandmother figure whose hut is also guarded by rock monsters, and a Zodd-expy in Daimon, a powerful winged demon.
  • God Never Said That:
    • There are pervasive rumors that writing Berserk has given Miura repeated Creator Breakdowns which require him to take long hiatuses to recover, but there is no official evidence that this is true.
    • Tying into the above, many people are under the impression that Miura has been putting off working on Berserk due to him becoming addicted to The Idolmaster. This is a very large extrapolation of comments made by Miura commenting on him playing the games a few times and commenting about internet videos of it with friends, propagated by a few websites pushing the angle of him being some addict who can barely work on the series anymore due to this.
    • Actually involving another series, but which is so frequently cited by Berserk fans that it deserves mention: Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has cited Berserk as an influence on the Dark Souls video game series in several interviews. In this interview, he acknowledged he is a Berserk fan and that it has greatly influenced the series since the first game. In another interview he gives a Shout-Out, noting that when Art Designer Masanori Waragai showed him his Catarina armor design, he felt reminded of Bazuso from Berserk and thought that old design was appropriate for Siegmeyer's character concept. He also said that the greatsword arts and playstyle in Dark Souls III were inspired by Guts. However, fanon sometimes exaggerates it, with some fans of both Berserk and the Souls games suggesting that Berserk was the primary inspiration of Souls. Miyazaki didn't cite it as the primary inspiration, but mentioned it among other sources of inspiration, including other manga such as Saint Seiya, Devilman, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, as well as his collection of Tabletop RPGs and Fantasy Literature, the earlier FromSoftware game series King's Field, and the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.
  • Image Source:
  • Late Export for You: Despite being in publication for over a decade, the manga wasn't given an official English translation until 2003 to concede with the release of the dubbed version of the 1997 anime adaptation.
  • Missing Episode: One chapter of the manga (where during his transformation into a Godhand, Griffith meets the Idea of Evil (A.K.A God) who explains its origins and its goals) that should have been in volume 13 was supposedly pulled by Miura because he felt that it revealed too much about the setting at the time; it was later released as supplemental material.
  • Name's the Same: Don't mistake Gaston with the other Gaston, okay?
  • The Other Darrin: See Berserk: The Golden Age Arc Trivia for how they got new Japanese voice actors for all of the characters who had been in Berserk (1997).
  • Referenced by...: See the Referenced By page.
  • Role Reprise: While the voice cast for the Japanese anime was Darrin'd out, the main cast of the English dub returned. Vocal Evolution ensues as Marc Diraison, Kevin T. Collins, and Carrie Keranen, the respective voice actors of Guts, Griffith, and Casca, have gotten at least a decades worth of additional voice acting experience under their belt.
  • Schedule Slip: When Miura was on a roll, chapters came out once a month and new tankobon volumes once or twice a year, but he was notorious for frequently putting the manga on hiatus, which delayed the release schedule by months. Most egregiously, he ended one hiatus to start another one just two months later. These breaks were likely necessary to stave off breakdowns. Still, just look at this chart for how much his releases slowed down after 2000.
  • Series Hiatus: Kentaro Miura was about as infamous as Yoshihiro Togashi for his long breaks in the publishing of Berserk, so much that the fact that Guts and his companions were on a boat for years in real time became a meme. There were all sorts of rumors as to why, but no one really knew the reason. Miura was more open about some of the reasons for the later hiatuses, such as his struggle to transition into a fully digital workflow to make it easier to work on the series, as well as trying to pace himself so as to not compromise his health. And with his untimely death on May 2021, the series is on a permanent hiatus.
  • Similarly Named Works: This manga coincidentally shares its title with numerous unrelated works, such as a zombie novel by Tim Lebbon, a 1967 B horror movie with Joan Crawford, and a classic arcade game (spelled Berzerk).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Back when he was trying to think of a gimmick to make Guts stand out, Miura considered making him the only katana user in a medieval fantasy setting before ultimately hitting upon the idea of the Dragon Slayer.
    • As mentioned on previous pages, Berserk could have ended up being a particularly gory yet frequently lighthearted Shōnen manga rather than the grim seinen story we're familiar with. In The Prototype, Guts is a snarky vagabond on a quest to avenge the death of his mother and possibly fight the Ultimate Evil, Varna, For more info, go to the The Prototype stub here.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Berserk Encyclopedia.
  • Word of God: Miura gives interviews in which he sometimes reveals his intention behind events that fans found to be open to interpretation:
    • On the symbolism of Guts' BFS: "I think the big sword of Guts, the main character could be some kind of consequence to make readers feel extreme reality."
    • On the significance of the Demon Child: "I made the one-eyed child show up to Guts in vol. 1 as a symbol of the 'weakness' which Guts hates. But I also think the child is connected to the image of Griffith (vol. 10-12) in my subconciousness who lost the freedom of his body because of the horrilbe torture when he was still young. For this reason, I think I made a setup which the child played a role to accept his spirit when Griffith as a demon king got his new body (vol.21). The story gets much bigger because of this."
    • On whether it's supposed to be the Band of the Hawk or Band of the Falcon: "“Falcon” or “Hawk”, both mean [鷹] in Japanese. In some dictionaries, “Falcon ” is translated as [隼(はやぶさ)] but there’s almost no difference. I used "Falcon" from the great name of the “Millennium Falcon" ship in Star Wars."
    • On how much time had passed from the end of the Golden Age Arc to where the story was in 2009: "I’d say it’s been 3-4 years, though it’s not been clearly decided."
    • Some of Miura's translated interviews include:
      • A December 1996 Interview published in the Berserk Illustrations File.
      • This interview from DVD 3 of Berserk (1997).
      • A September 2000 interview with Yukari Fujimoto, a writer/professor of gender studies and shojo manga, shortly before volume 20 came out.
      • An interview Miura did when he won the 2nd Osamu Tezuka Prize in 2002.
      • An interview he gave to Davide Castellazzzi, originally published in the Italian magazine Jappamondo n. 3 and reprinted in the issue n. 8 on "Scuola di Fumetto" February 2003.
      • A 2009 letter responding to questions from the members of
      • Appearing here in Nico Nicholson's Challenging the Manga Dojos.
      • A 2016 discussion with Hakusensha President Kazuhiko Torishima, published in Young Animal. First part translated here.
      • The interview he gave for the Berserk Official Guide Book: Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Miura once quoted Susumu Hirasawa as saying "I think Guts' sword represents a penis and the monsters destroyed by it represent women's genitalia."note 
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Miura said he hadn't even come up with the Band of the Hawk when he drew Guts' confrontation with the Godhand in volume 3, and there were a lot of details that he made up as he went along but which fell into place later. In fact, it fits together so well that it's surprising to learn he didn't plan everything ahead in great detail. A prime example is that the creepy fetus Guts sees in the first three volumes wasn't originally supposed to be Guts and Casca's child, but Miura later realized that this would work really well and made it into an important Recurring Character. Another is that Casca and Guts getting together wasn't predetermined.note 
  • Write Who You Know: The author partly based the core group of characters in the Band of the Hawk on five of his friends in high school, except for Casca since they didn't have a girl in the group. There was one friend, Mori Kouji (Suicide Island), with whom he had a really complicated relationship, but rather than one of them being Guts and the other Griffith, it was like their roles were always switching back and forth.note  He later based Isidro on the child of one of his assistants, who wasn't brave like Isidro but had a similar sense of immodest ambition and looked up to Miura the same way Isidro looks up to Guts, asking him, "What do I do to become like you, Miura-sensei? Tell me the easy way."note 


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