December 19, 2014
Kentaro Miura – Dark Horse – 2013 – 37+ volumes
Sigh. I put off reading this, because we only get one a year, if we’re lucky. We don’t get one this year, for instance, and next year’s not looking really good right now, either. Having read this, I have none left for the foreseeable future. Which is a sad thing, because Berserk is AMAZING.
Even still. I wasn’t really on board with the end of the sea monster fight at the beginning of the volume, honestly. That’s just a huge heaving mass of abstractions, with battles going on with its tentacles, in the sea outside its body, and with Guts inside. I mean, it was really cool that Guts was stumbling around inside trying to stab its heart, and couldn’t, because the beating was too loud. That’s the kind of extreme that’s hard to come by outside of Berserk. While that’s going on, the thing is being swarmed by mermaids, which is also cool.
Alas, they STILL don’t get to Elf Island. How many years have I been waiting for this, now? Unless they have another detour, or some character-building on the open sea, I expect it should happen next volume. Maybe. It’s hard to tell with Berserk.
The sea monster fight was a little abstract for me, but that was made up for by the side story we got in the middle of the volume. It went back to tell the story of young mercenary Guts and his encounter with a little flower elf/fairy. It was an adorable story, and a good reminder of what the series was about before Guts was fighting huge heaving masses of tentacles and weird stuff in dark, cursed armor.
We also get a check-in with Falconia. Nothing we don’t already know, other than it’s going to look really bad if Falconia gets invaded. We also get to see more of the demon archer Griffith has working for him, who is my favorite of those new demonic types.
The art is still super-amazing, and this is still completely and totally Berserk. It was great, the volume went by too fast, and now I have to wait forever for the next brief installment.
You know, I’ve never read the text on the ad that always appears in the back of the volume that lists all the ISBNs for the different volumes. One of the ways the series is described is… “mercilessly funny.” I don’t… know about that.