September 3, 2009
Kentaro Miura – Dark Horse – 2008 – 33+ volumes
I always somehow forget just how cool Berserk actually is until I read a new volume. I mean, I remember it’s pretty cool, but then… you know, massive troll destruction, Cenobites summoned from the entrails of trolls, “Whore Princess of the Uterine Sea,” you know. Berserk is the coolest thing I own.
So, as expected, troll slaying commences for the first half of this volume. I actually figured this would be a lot more violent than it actually was, but I think that has something to do with the fact the design on the trolls is less human-looking, so the violence isn’t registering as much for me. They’re still having their heads and bodies cleaved in half and literally there is page after page of Guts splitting them with his sword, so don’t think the battle is skimping in any way. It’s not. Guts is taking extra delight in the fact that he’s sent all the children away so he can actually cut loose in a hundred beast brawl for the first time in a long time.
He loses his shirt in one of the most horrible/erotic scenes in the series yet. I was seriously recoiling from the book in horror at the “Whore Princess of the Uterine Sea” section. I mean… what was even going on there? Was it pleasure as well as pain? It seemed… it seemed like they were both into it. Though “it” doesn’t really mean anything here, since this was uncharacteristically chaste for a fight climax in Berserk.
Guts stays shirtless for the entire second half of the book. We get to see the first confrontation between Guts and the new Band of the Hawk, but not with Griffith just yet. Guts is rather mortally wounded in both body and spirit in the… uh, “Uterus of Darkness” (again, unusually for Berserk, this is not what you think). He can’t put up much of a fight against the great warrior of the Band of the Hawk, so he gets some help. Some excellent help. Berserker armor.
Also, “The first form I’ve taken in some time… alas, troll entrails make for a revolting ethereal figure” is one of the coolest lines in the series yet. It rivals the one about Guts losing his desire to kill a few volumes back.