Berserk 32

January 14, 2010

Kentaro Miura – Dark Horse – 2009 – 34+ volumes

So before I get into the actual review, I’m in the middle of the book here.  I feel compelled to comment on the fact that… well, there’s this page with the archer that’s teamed up with Griffith.  There are several panels showing his arrows tearing into the Kushan army.  These panels… I can’t tell if they’re supposed to be funny or not.  All the panels show the arrows piercing heads in various ways, and some are clearly serious.  Some are only slightly ridiculous, with the arrows protruding from the mouth.  Others have the arrows entering through one eye socket and out the other, with the eyeballs gathered at one end like a kebab.  One shows a body that has been entirely decapitated, along with an arm.  Another shows the arrow tearing a jaw off, another shows no head, only an arrow flying through the air with a nose pierced on it.  My favorite shows the point coming out of an ear, with what appears to be the cochlea and the rest of the inner ear skewered on it.  The last panel only shows disembodied eyeballs and bits of brain.

Oh, Berserk.

While the story was mostly exposition in this volume (a confrontation between Guts/Zodd/the Kushan King, a war between Virtannis and the Kushan army, a conflict between the Kushan Army and the Band of the Hawk), there was still a lot to like.  It’s the massive war scenes that you see in this book where Miura’s art shines its brightest.  There are a good number of large illustrations of sprawling armies, each member drawn individually with their own features.  For all the conflict, there’s not a ridiculous amount of gore like we normally see, so really, there’s just a lot of soldiers riding around looking impressive.  And I mean… looking very impressive.  Nobody can draw an army like Kentaro Miura.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the end of the book contains a chapter where Farnese and Shierke begin to train in separating the astral body from the physical, so we get some truly gorgeous and fanciful scenes of the two flying around a ship at sea.

Good stuff.  Next volume looks like it might contain an actual, all-out war between the Kushan Army and the Band of the Hawk, something I didn’t think woud come until much later in the series.

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