Berserk vol 1 by Kentaro miura
A mysterious, powerful warrior named Guts hunts down different demons and Apostles, powerful demons who have large segments of human population under their thrall. Guts inadvertently saves Puck, a tiny fairy, and gains a companion he doesn’t want. Puck tags along with Guts, at first because of a life-debt, and after that because he thinks he’ll see some amazing stuff in Guts’ company. Guts goes up against a powerful reptilian demon who is threatening a whole town and feasting off of its villagers. We find out later that Guts is also looking for more members of Godhand, a group that can be identified by the same brand he has on his neck.
Guts is vey much an anti-hero. He is rude, doesn’t really care about anyone else, and is super gruff. He tells Puck that anyone who dies in the battles of other people are not worthy of living anyway, and it’s his basic mantra for dealing with difficult situations where innocents get hurt. He can absolves himself from guilt by telling himself they didn’t deserve to live, but I think it still eats away at him and makes him frustrated with his mission in life. There is a good amount of set up in this volume with just a dash of intrigue between the Apostles and Godhand, neither of which is explained in this opening volume.
The illustrations in this title are very graphic and there are tons of blood and other people's guts strewn about on several panels. Miura employs lots of heavy lines and tightly packed detail that was very typical of series in this time period, like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Fists of the North Star.
This volume is rated for mature audiences, and it definitely is. It starts off with a sex scene between Guts and a lady where you can see her chest. There's also the aforementioned violence, as well as plenty of language in this first volume. I don't doubt that there will be more adult scenes as well as we get on in the series. Most times I see this series in stores, it's wrapped in plastic, and that means one two things: freebies, or scenes we don't want kids seeing.
Note: there are several editions of this book. The one I read was a paperback from the early 2000s, but there's also a Deluxe edition currently in print that is hardcover and has 700ish pages (about 2.5 of the earlier paperbacks).
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Adult
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: November 4th 2003
ISBN: 9781593070205 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Adult, Manga, Paranormal, Demons, Dark Horse
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