Alok's Reviews > Berserk, Vol. 1

Berserk, Vol. 1 by Kentaro Miura
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019-final-reading-list, manga, disturbing, fiction

3.5 stars. (Reviewing the first 14 volumes)

This is the most disturbing, darkest, most violent work I've ever read. I'd delayed reading Berserk Manga or watching the anime for years due to how violent and graphic it is.

Fair warning: DO NOT READ THIS MANGA if you're easily disturbed. This can be vomit inducing disgusting and bone chilling scary. I felt dejected so many times, if there's a dystopian world where all morality and hope is thrown out of window and truly corrupt monsters lurked everywhere, then this is what it'd be like.

Again repeating, this series is extremely dark - full of gore, violence, nudity. immorality with a dearth of positive values and virtues.

It relies too much on shock value and invoking disgust. Some pages were difficult to get through. It's much darker than the common dark works like Game of Thrones (view spoiler)

There's a dearth of morality and virtues. Hardly any character is shown to be any good at all. The protagonist is an antihero at best, if not a villain himself fighting bigger villains. (view spoiler)

Hardly 5 page would go without a gory death scene shown in nauseating detail. There are hints of molestation, pedophilia, rape. There are heart wrenching torture scenes. There's too much nudity frequently. The protagonist suffers from grave injuries and is shown in pathetic unheroic conditions. Everyone else's injuries are also shown in gravest details. There is also profanity but compared to other things in the series, it's hardly significant.

So why 3.5 ~4 stars? The bleakness is not ever present though. There's light, hope, laughter and camaraderie at least in some volumes. There is ever present valor and grit. There's fearlessness and courage in face of all pervading monsters and death. There's ambition, a lot of it. There's pursuit of dreams.

There are brilliant panels portraying fight scenes. There are brilliant sub arcs describing war. The plot and characters are well developed. Some of the dialogues are amazing.

There is doggedness despite setbacks, there's audacity in the face of overwhelming circumstances, there's strong friendship, there's good character development - drawing on the backstory of the protagonist and few other characters.

The main character is very strong physically and mentally has trained himself to do so, lead by circumstances of his life. It's well developed how he became what he became.

I read till 14th volume because this is when the story completes a full arc of backstory and the events and characters as well as the protagonist make complete sense.

The panels are also drawn incredibly well and can be seriously scary. I watch horror movies for how dumb and scary and comedic they are. But Berserk can scare you. I felt fear of some monsters. It was a strange feeling.

In short, don't read it unless you want to be disturbed by terror, disgust and hopelessness and can really take it. Till now I wasn't sure and I've known about this for the last 4-5 years.
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Reading Progress

January, 2019 – Started Reading
February, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 16, 2019 – Shelved
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-final-reading-list
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: manga
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: disturbing
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction

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