Read & Discover: Berserk #1

Topic started by Lemon on Oct. 27, 2010. Last post by Chak 3 years, 7 months ago.
Post by Lemon (3 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Post by newmarcom (10 posts) See mini bio Level 6
It's been far too long since the last AnimeVice original video.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,638 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator
Hey, as long as it's not a VIZ title. I'm happy to see more video content. Darkhorse used to be nearly as bad as VIZ, but in the past few years they have been releasing unedited version of mangas they used to heavily edit.

It's some rather harsh criticism, but I think you were completely fair. Having sex, violence, and over the top action is fine, but it needs to serve a purpose. To move toward something or influence something. To serve as motivation toward a goal.
 
It does seem very IN to give a protagonist a ridiculously large weapon. In something I'm working on. I'm giving him a jutte. It's a pretty cool weapon that I think is seriously under used. Probably because the aplications are more defensive.
Post by Mezmero (69 posts) See mini bio Level 10
I agree that the manga had a lackluster start but the series is totally worth watching.  I could never fully get on board with the surplus of dark fantasy shit they toss into most of the plot but the origin story introduced later on is far more subdued on those aspects and focuses more on a tale of political intrigue and military struggle.  Personally I'm a fan of Gut's character design.  Too many fantasy protagonists opt for the cliche` sword and shield combo and it's awesome to see something as unique as giant sword and clockwork arm cannon combo instead.  As stylish as the world may be the art style is quite rough throughout the manga.  All the grotesque monster designs would be hard for ordinary people to stomach I'd imagine.  
 
At least I'm not the only grown ass man who was reminded of Serpentor.  Great to see an attempt at more video content but I cannot stress how much better it could be with better audio quality.  I'm curious to see how you react to the show.
Post by Six (8 posts) See mini bio Level 11
interesting, even though i am not an avid anime/manga fan
Post by craigbo180 (6 posts) See mini bio Level 5
The first ever video I have watched on Anime Vice. Hopefully more to come!
Post by blaakmawf (59 posts) See mini bio Level 5
MANGA KNIFE! Cool video dude. I had been considering the Berzerk anime, but you've confirmed my suspicions.
Post by gla55jAw (109 posts) See mini bio Level 13
I'm pretty sure I tried watching Berserk a while ago and couldn't get past the first episode or two.
Post by sora_thekey (1,097 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Moderator
Great Video Review Tom... 
I would really like to know your opinion on the Anime after this... Sometimes when the manga is not very appealing the anime is made to be even better and enjoyable.
Post by Make_Me_Mad (29 posts) See mini bio Level 6
Berserk's not the best manga ever, but if you make it to the Golden Age arc and see how Guts became the character the manga shows you at the start, you're in for one hell of an emotional ride.

Edit: All that sensless violence, and especially the random sex scene with the demon that starts it off, gets an awesome explanation.  But the anime cuts out a ton of the setup for the future scenes, unfortunately.
Post by csl316 (13 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Berserk is awesome, got me into anime.  it makes me sad when people badmouth it.
Post by Count_Zero (344 posts) See mini bio Level 20
To be absolutely honest, Berserk as a Manga doesn't start very well. It's like Conan as interpreted through Scandinavian Viking/Death Metal. Not Power Metal (Iron Maiden), or Symphonic Metal (Night Wish), or Progressive Metal (Dream Theater). Scratch that - it's as interpreted through Death Metal as parodied by Metalocalypse & GWAR, but played totally straight. 
 
Now, we do get backstory for Guts, but it really takes a while for us to get there in the Manga. Practically 2-3 volumes. The anime basically spends the entirety of its time on Guts back story, and sets up where we are at the start of the series. Actually, some of the stuff we see at the start of the series makes considerably more sense after we've gotten Guts back story. 
 
I watched the anime first, before picking up the manga, and I came to appreciate the manga pretty well because of that. However, while reading the Manga, I recognized early on that much of my appreciation of the manga came from having watched the anime, and from reading the material that I didn't get in the anime. 
 
EDIT: A few more things about historical realism - it hasn't come up yet but it bears mentioning now - from a "historical accuracy" point, things get better. There are some very, very, very, very, very, very minor spoilers here, but I spoiler guarded them anyway, for the hell of it. Repeating crossbows did exist, though as used by Guts he'd likely have problems hitting things. The articulated replacement hand is obviously bogus. However... 
 
 
Guts' Big Freaking Sword is actually fairly realistic. Not totally in his use of it (such a sword would be useless close up), but such swords did exist, both in Europe and in Japan, and were mainly used as an anti-cavalry weapon. 
 
 
Also, it bears noting that most of the castles we see in the series are actually fairly well designed, both in terms of the terrain they're built on, and the designs of the castles themselves. Usually most anime and even western comics and novels get one of the two right, but not both (either the design is reasonable but they're built on a terrible spot, or they're built on a good spot but the design is crap). 
 
Finally, get used to seeing lots of crossbows in this manga and anime. The American perception of medieval warfare is based on how wars were fought in Britain, with the longbow trumping all other weapons. However, in the rest of Europe, the Crossbow was dominant, because the crossbow was easier to use. Firing a crossbow is comparable to firing most modern rifles, in terms of the amount of training you needed to be decent - whereas longbows and short-bows required a massive amount of training to get fair - which is why by all peasants in Britain were required, by law, to practice archery regularly. The difference is that Crossbows take longer to reload than a short-bow and longbow, so getting rapid massed volleys are tricky, which makes them not quite as useful in ground combat. Crossbowmen in siege warfare, on the other hand, are your worst nightmare. Well, until firearm technology advanced from the gunne to the arquebus, then the arquebus took over (something Japanese writers should be particularly aware of, considering how the Sengoku period ended)
Post by sotyfan16 (1,340 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I really want/need to start my manga collection. I just have really enjoyed anime and have primarily stayed with that medium. Though, for such titles as Claymore, I read the manga online because it's awesome and goes further than the anime (I really wish a second season would be made). 
 
As for Berserk, I have obviously heard of the title but haven't gotten an interest in checking it out. I'll have to ask the opinions of my anime friends.

Post by Olivaw (30 posts) See mini bio Level 4
You will like the anime a lot more.
 
Until the ending.
 
I mean, it's no Evangelion ending, in that it has an ending, but it's a total shitstorm.
 
I loved it, but also felt emotionally drained afterwards. Having never read the manga (and never really planning to) I really do wanna know what the hell happens at the end of the whole Berserk story.
 
Because clearly it's gonna be fucking biblical.
Post by TheHT (16 posts) See mini bio Level 6
Dude, you should probably watch the anime first. It gets you into his origins quicker which is definitely a better hook (the manga starts that near the end of the third volume).
 
Also, the ending to the anime will more likely than not get you hella interested in what the fuck's going on (it's pretty nuts) then you can read the manga with more enthusiasm.
 
But in all fairness, you're right. On it's own, for someone who knows little about Berserk, the first volume is pretty damn noncontextual. It's the sort of thing that either sparks some curiousity or just slightly annoyed confusion.
 
Good review!
Post by Subject2Change (1 posts) See mini bio Level 3
BERZERK is one of the few Anime's I enjoy. I've only flipped through the Manga however I think you need to give it more time before you decide to pass on it. Also watch the Anime first as you will need to read the Manga afterwards to continue where the Anime leaves off.
Post by wwfunderaker (485 posts) See mini bio Level 15
One of the best manga series. Brutal violence and gore, you cant beat that. 
Post by Daniel_Newton (3,181 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
Good to see video content, but please don't turn that plushie into the next Geekachu... I'm sorry to any Geekachu fans out there, I just found that off-putting in videos. 
Just keep them fun and interesting without being too gimmicky Tom! I personally don't think you need a knife to review manga either, but I'll take that over Geekachu any day. 
 
I look forward to more sir.
Post by ComradeCrash (152 posts) See mini bio Level 7
lol Flailing a knife around makes things more interesting!
Post by MannyMAR (7 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Berserk is kind of odd as Guts' character is very 1 Dimensional in the beginning, but as others suggested once you read the Golden Age arc  (or watch, as the anime follows that arc with a couple of major differences) the first book makes much more sense. Shoot, I didn't I'd continue on until a friend kept telling me to read other volumes, and it became one of my favorite ongoing books. I especially enjoyed the Millenium Falcon arc (Yes they totally named it that, but I think they changed it for the US translation.)
 
I'll say this about Berserk though: all that fantasy stuff is just there to mitigate the true theme of this series, which is man vs. causality. The story has moments where you wish the circumstances were better for the heroes and feel for them immensely. Also, I got to say I can't wait for the Bones version of the anime.
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