Berserk 33

May 5, 2010

Kentaro Miura – Dark Horse – 2010 – 33+ volumes

Aaand… here we are, caught up with Japan.  I think there’s approximately one volume of this series a year, so now we wait for the ending to roll around.

This volume’s all about setting up another prophecy for Griffith.  While we do get to see the primary cast on board their ship, fighting pirates, the majority of the focus is on Midland and getting the citizens out from under the Kushan invaders before something really bad happens.  King Ganishka is mad about his defeat at the hands of the Band of the Hawk, and he decides to gather more power than what he has as an apostle and go full demon.  While his transformation is happening, the people of Midland take the opportunity to flee the city while he’s not looking, and they’re intercepted by the Band of the Hawk just as Ganishka’s transformation is unveiled.

On one hand, this is a very slow volume, and it’s a shame we seem to be getting less and less time for Guts’ mission to kill Griffith.  On the other hand, it’s pretty incredible that Berserk is continuously developing its world like this, and even situations not involving the main characters are still as good a read as this.  It’s slow, but I still tore through it pretty fast.  The pirates provide a little action, but my ache for twisted demon transformations was satisfied by the horrible new form that Ganishka has taken (which isn’t as spectacular as some other demons, just incredibly massive).

Guts is in pretty bad shape, too, so he’ll need time to recover while the ship leisurely sails on towards Elfhelm.  Hopefully… hopefully that’ll only be one more volume. While we’re waiting for that, apparently Griffith is going to remake the entire world, so there’s also that to look forward to in the meantime.  Always something in Berserk.

6 Responses to “Berserk 33”

  1. […] on vol. 33 of Berserk (Slightly Biased Manga) Michael C. Lorah on Black Blizzard (Blog@Newsarama) Michelle Smith on vol. […]

  2. Teresa Says:

    Actually we are still behind Japan by one volume. Vol 34 came out at the end of last year. I own it, and can easily say it’s one of the best volumes yet. And the cover is an awesome picture of Femto and Zodd.

  3. Connie Says:

    Ooh, thanks for pointing that out. That’s exciting, since that’s one more volume to look forward to.

  4. Sivek Says:

    Berserk is probably my favorite series and I started rereading it when 32 came out and was hoping to space it out enough that 34 would be out by the time I caught up. Didn’t happen.

    Rereading from the the beginning did surprise me in a couple of ways. There are a lot more color pages int he first 10 or so volumes than I remembered. Miura pretty much stops doing any color in the mid-teens and since I didn’t see a gray scaled page in years I figured he must of never done much color but no, there’s a good bit of color in the early goings.

    Another thing is there being about 2 distinct spots where I noticed the artwork improving. The first being around 4, where I think marks the shift in serializations and the second being the start of the fairy arc. Seeing how nice the fairy arc looks makes me a bit sad that it happens right after the Eclipse and I can’t help but wish that his art was as good for that point. I wonder if he took some time off after the Eclipse as everything just looks much better right as the fairy arc starts.

    Also can’t imagine Casca ever being normal again since more time has passed of her being an invalid than normal. I imagine Miura feels the same way. I mean damn, it’s been 14 years since the Eclipse.

    It’s too bad that 35 looks to be at best a late 2011 release DH release since I don’t believe he even has half a volume worth of chapters done for what would be 35. I’m happy that DH was at least smart enough to run right in the jp version instead of going the Blade of the Immortal route and keeping releasing it every 6-8 months despite being constantly being around 4 full volumes behind. It’s been six months since 22 came out and still no sign of 23, makes me kind of angry since it’s not like they’re releasing it monthly anymore.

  5. Connie Says:

    I did notice that first shift in artwork you mention. I have tried to go back and re-read it a couple times, and I’m always struck by how completely different absolutely everything is at the beginning. There are a lot of traits that are more typical to manga that Berserk usually passes over, and reading Guts’ character is almost like a slap in the face. I always peter out at volume 5 or 6 and try from the beginning again after several months, but I really, really want to re-read the eclipse section. That knocked my socks off the first time through.

    I wondered about the Blade of the Immortal release schedule. I was disappointed when I started picking it up recently that several of the early volumes are out of print, and I’m a little surprised that a re-issue hasn’t been attempted to get rid of the mirrored art and move away from the storyline-centric volumes. I tend to like those collections better in other DH series (3×3 Eyes, Oh My Goddess), but I think I might be in the minority. The weird way they mirror the artwork in BotI is jarring, though. Do they still do all that work with the English adaptation in the new volumes? Maybe if it’s still passing through a lot of hands, that could explain the production delay.

  6. Sivek Says:

    It’s still released l-r and I remember reading somewhere that there was no interest in re-releasing BotI in r-l format a while back. I think maybe 20 or 21 of the DH version marks the switch to the same content per volume as the japanese book, but while the DH book now has the same amount of chapters per volume as the original, it’s still off by one volume. For example, jp 22 is DH 21, JP 23 is DH 22.

    I can never understand the business sense of letting running series to fall out of print, which happens in manga way too often. You’d think that if you can’t get volume 2,3,5 of a 20+ running series that you’re just cutting off potential customers. You gotta spend money to make money.

    One of the longer sereis I’ve had this problme with is Basara. I’ve had the first volume for a long time and want to get more of it but it’s useless to try since you’d have to pay obscene amounts for some of the books. The current climate of manga seems to be getting worse in the last year or so with books getting even smaller print runs making them harder to find not long after their release than I can ever remember.

    If the cut and pasting of the art factors in the delay, I’m just dumbfounded by DH then. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. They already switched the format of Oh My Goddess half way and gone out of their way to re-release new formats for the first 20 books. They re-release Gunsmith Cats in the r-l format and release its sequel r-l. It just makes no sense to me.

    Almost as bad as Kodansha USA branch rereleasing Ghost in the Shell l-r and censored when DH already released a r-l uncensored version of it. KUSA also is rereleasing Akira l-r. Even worse, these books were supposed to come out every 3 months but Akira 2 just came out 8 months after the first one and the second GitS still hasn’t come out 8 months later. And it’s not like they’re re-translating it, it’s the same translation and lettering as the DH version. There is practically no difference between the versions and yet they still can’t put out one in a six months. I doubt they end up finishing Akira.

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