Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 3 By Kentaro Miura


A fun diversion. 1506712002 I’ve honestly never read as striking an exploration of trauma and its relationship to the body than in Berserk. Guts, birthed from the corpse of a woman hanged by an army and rescued from the mud by another army, is stunted developmentally and emotionally as he comes of age among killers and war. Thus far the series focuses on his relationship with his commander Griffith and fellow soldier Casca. These three volumes of Berserk have built up a complex physical and emotional relationship between these three. In this volume, this relationship and the individual traumas that inform it come to a head. The end of this volume features the most well-written sex scene I’ve ever read, with Guts and Casca coming out of the experience having undergone a process of healing that was rendered beautifully for its stark, realistic acknowledgement of how our sexualities are informed by our traumas. For chapters written during the early 90’s, and in Japan at that, this story is impressively ahead of its time. The relationship between Guts and Griffith is one of the best and most tragic gay romances I’ve ever encountered. All this is carried by Miura’s masterful art and paneling that I’ll delve into for another volume. Berserk is quickly becoming my favorite comic series, up there with Saga and The Sandman. 1506712002 honestly it just gets better

like the S U S P E N S E.

1506712002 The last part, SPICY 🌶️ 1506712002 Berserk Deluxe 3, shows once that Miura is a master storyteller as he develops Guts’ backstory involving the Band of the Hawk.

Guts in this edition shows a lot more depth and for the first time he is vulnerable, as we see his developing relationship with the icon that is Casca. To say I love these 2 would be putting it politely.

Insane artwork as always, perfect ratio of battle scenes to dialogue and plot. 1506712002

So I've officially binged the first three of these huge bind-ups within 24 hours, and now I have to wait for the next big collection to come out. Damn. Right when it was getting extra intense!

TW: All the things and then some. This was the most graphic and unsettling volume so far. 1506712002 Hellraiser + Conan the Barbarian + Game of Thrones + Ash vs Evil Dead + Elric of Melnibone + Macbeth = Berserk.

Guts is a severely traumatized vigilante that wanders the world, throwing himself into one battle after another in hopes of finding a meaning in the tremendous suffering he's endured. His sword is his only trusted companion and he's consumed by a lust for vengeance. Griffith is a charismatic mercenary with dreams of ending a hundred year war in hopes of attaining his own kingdom. Little do his comrades and enemies know, he's not the flawless hero many believe him to be. When the paths of these two men clash, the entire world drastically evolves around the earth-shattering conflict between their indomitable wills.

A grimdark epic with compelling protagonists, stomach-churning horror, heartbreaking drama and a lovecraftian sense of metaphysical worldbuilding that's as fascinating as it is terrifying. Berserk has been my favorite manga, fantasy story and perhaps favorite story ever made for over a decade now and I was really sad to hear that the man behind the masterpiece passed away earlier this year.

Berserk is infamous for being the most gratuitously dark, brutal, shocking and depressing fantasy story ever written, but it is also rich with intense human emotion, philosophical depth, perseverance through unimaginable suffering and horrifyingly realistic depictions of psychological trauma. The series tackles the complex nature of morality vs. primal nature, fate and causality vs. free will, resilience against soulcrushing trauma that would cause most people to become broken or twisted. The definitions of good an evil are blurred beyond recognition, the heroes are just as flawed and capable of terrible deeds as the villains. The lead characters Guts and Griffith consistently challenge these themes and definitions through their shocking yet horrifyingly human actions.

This manga has inspired many famous works of art that are popular in today’s media such as the Dark Souls franchise, Final Fantasy, Attack on Titan, Evangelion, Castlevania, as well as countless fantasy novels, comics, manga, movies, tv shows, video games, musicians, artists, illustrators and so much more.

Miura inspired me as well and I regard him for being the person who taught me just how influential, meaningful and life changing art and literature can be when I first read his series over a decade ago. He changed the way I view entertainment and taught me how to appreciate the deeper meanings in everything I experience.

Berserk is to me what Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings is to millions of others.

Rest In Peace to a legendary man.


Above is my completely spoiler free review showing my appreciation for this series and its characters.

Below is a review of the entire series, broken down arc by arc. I originally wrote these individual reviews back during my first reading of the series, so keep that in mind. Each part contains mild spoilers, I would advise not looking any further than the arcs you’re currently reading or have already read.


The Black Swordsman Arc: Volumes 1-3

The first arc is only the tip of the iceberg of a very complex, dark and violent tragedy. If you find yourself to be not too impressed with the first volume, I highly recommend reading until at least volume 4 before deciding if this series is for you or not. The first three volumes serve as an interlude to help prepare you for the atrocities to come and may seem somewhat underwhelming in terms of plot, but believe me when I say the payoff is highly rewarding and memorable.

The Black Swordsman arc is awesome for fans returning to the series or rereading the series, but it often gives newcomers the wrong impression. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just extremely different from the rest of the series and it’s set in the middle of the story rather than the beginning. This is done to set the dark tone of the series, bombarding you with shocking and upsetting content to make sure you know what you’re getting into before delving back to the beginning. For newcomers, this arc is a confusing yet exciting sword and sorcery tale of a vengeful barbarian warrior hunting demons in hopes of settling the score with his mortal enemy Griffith, and the evil lovecraftian beings that govern the world from the abyss known only as the Godhand. For returning readers, the Black Swordsman arc is much deeper than it seems, packed with genius foreshadowing, subtle character depth and truly impressive worldbuilding that will probably fly over the heads of newcomers.

Guts seems like a simplistic, edgy anti-hero at first glance, but he's so much more than that. Guts is one of the greatest characters the fantasy genre has to offer. Sigmund Freud could probably write a novel-length psychological analysis of this severely troubled and broken man. Guts is more complex than he leads people to believe as well. He's not a sociopathic antihero, he's a man that has no choice but to lie to himself to keep his emotions from crushing his spirit and getting innocent people involved with his deadly affairs. He's cruel and harsh for the greater good. It's the only way he can keep himself from going insane and continue to put up a good fight against terrifying creatures that are far stronger than he is. There's a bit of a joke in the Berserk community that says that no matter how bad your life might be, Guts will always have it worse. It's really not that hard to believe after you've read a bit of the series. His life was one big catastrophe literally from the moment he was born.

Not to mention his rival Griffith who is equally complex and incredibly rich with psychological depth, but there will be more on that as you delve further in. I would strongly recommend this series for hardcore fans of fantasy and horror, so long as you're prepared to be traumatized for life by the disgustingly harsh nature of its content.

This arc mainly serves to set up a lot of future plot points by introducing us to the Behilit, the God Hand, and the fact that even the demonic apostles are capable of emotions and having a family. Nothing is as it seems and no one is safe or innocent. It might not seem like it in the beginning, but the Black Swordsman arc is arguably one of the most important as it solidifies the themes of struggle, survival and wavering humanity that Guts deals with on a daily basis and sets up the flow of the rest of the story. It peels back the layers and reveals little by little how Guts grew up to be such a mentally broken and morally outraged character. It makes you sympathize with him and understand why he acts the way he does.


The Golden Age Arc: Volumes 4-13

The Golden Age Arc is where the story truly begins.

We return to the origins of Guts and learn about the series of battles, traumas and conflicts he gets himself wrapped in one after the other. We get introduced to a wonderfully intense group of mercenaries that go by the name of The Band of the Hawk. Among the Hawks are Casca the hot-headed female warrior, Judeau the smooth talking assassin, Corkus the drunken realist, Pippin the gentle giant, Rickert the blacksmith and of course, the infamous leader of men named Griffith.

Griffith is the most interesting of the motley crew as he is very complex and unpredictable. He has a playful side, a merciless side, a charismatic side and a childish yet vulnerable side. He can't be put into any single category. The gallant and elegant master of the sword has more layers than an onion. His brotherly rivalry with Guts is also a lovely and dementedly joyful sight to behold. This is the major turning point of the series and it only gets better and better from here.

After a life of grief and trauma, Guts reluctantly joins Griffith on his quest to attain his own kingdom while simultaneously struggling to come to terms with his own identity. We get to see a side of Guts we’ve never experienced up until this point. We see his vulnerability, his wounded soul, his ability to show affection to others, his role as a battle commander, and his blossoming relationships with Casca and Griffith; the two people who end up having the biggest impact on his entire life for very different reasons.

This is the arc that has the most in common with Game of Thrones, focusing on personal character dramas rather than constant brutal battles, action and lovecraftian horror being thrown at you left and right. While the battles and action sequences in Berserk are amazing, where it truly shines are its quiet moments of vulnerability where we get to see the most raw, heart-wrenching and introspective emotions of the severely damaged cast of protagonists.

Guts is an unstoppable badass, but he constantly suffers and contemplates his meaning in life. His sheer strength and relentless rage can’t hide the wounded little boy deep inside him. Casca is more fierce than most male soldiers on the battlefield and she has an attitude to match, so when we see her more feminine and loving side it makes her complex journey of self-realization all the more powerful. Griffith is a godlike war hero that millions of people worship, yet he has the deepest flaws, insecurities and inner darkness than any other character in the entire series. Most of all, they’re painfully human. These three represent the absolute best and absolute worst in all of us. That’s what makes them equally compelling, empathetic and utterly repulsive at times.

After an incredible display of war, romance, political drama, moral and philosophical musings, heartbreaking trauma, fascinating worldbuilding and chilling foreshadowing, the Golden Age arc ends on the single most shocking, depressing and mind blowing finale I’ve ever witnessed in a fantasy story. The Eclipse marks the major turning point in the story from Game of Thrones style medieval drama to the lovecraftian nightmare fest that we only get a small taste of in the Black Swordsman arc.


The Lost Children Arc: 14 - 16

Ah, the end of the Golden Age and the beginning of the Age of Darkness. This is where the horror elements of Berserk are dialed up to the absolute extreme. You thought the story was gruesome and horrifying before? You haven't seen anything yet. The Lost Children arc is not only arguably the most gruesome of them all, but it also completely wrecks your emotions as well. The relationship between Guts and Jill shows us that Guts is still in touch with his human side after the atrocities of the Black Swordsman arc may have convinced us otherwise. It solidifies his bond with his unlikely companion Puck, explores the lasting effects of trauma inflicted on him by the Eclipse and by Casca's heartbreaking condition and there's a rollercoaster of action, horror and small glimpses of hope in a sea of darkness. I've always loved how Jill and Puck brought Guts's humanity back to the surface after being stuck in such a devastating and harmful state for so long. This arc also humanizes the act of becoming an apostle which adds a layer of emotional depth to their depraved existence and makes the antagonists feel like more than simple fodder for Guts to slash through.

The Lost Children arc feels a bit underwhelming in a few areas compared to the shocking finale of the Golden Age arc, but the ending of this arc finishes with quite a few shockers of its own to bring back the hype and despair of the series. This arc is one of my favorites for a few reasons. It shows that apostles can be victims in their own right by exploring the sad life of Rosine who only sought to escape abuse and had to resort to inhumane methods to bring this about. This is made further relatable by contrasting her situation with that of Jill's as she's also severely abused by her father and wants nothing more than to escape from that life.

It also shows that Guts still has a human side. Despite how broken and full of hate and bloodlust he is, he still cares for Jill and throws himself in harm's way multiple times to protect her. Considering how tragic and terrifying Guts's childhood was, it's not too surprising that he would have a soft spot for kids that also happen to be suffering from abuse.

After the arc is done, we're thrown into another great arc which introduces us to the Holy Iron Chain Knights. Farnese and Serpico are fascinating characters, Azan is a cool guy and the shadiness of the group as a whole raises a lot of red flags. Guts and Puck also become much closer during this time which solidifies their companionship.

The Lost Children arc is often written off as a short filler mini-arc, but I think it serves its purpose more than well in just 3 volumes.


The Conviction Arc: 17 - 21

My favorite arc of Berserk in many ways.

The amount of story packed into these few volumes is incredible. Griffith is manipulating people's dreams from the beyond while a plague ravages the entire country. The people see this as a sign that the foretold messiah will soon come to save the world from darkness when really it's just Griffith leading them to believe that. After being visited by an omen in his dreams, Guts decides to return to Casca after not seeing her for two years because he's been going on a murderous rampage. After the tragic outcome of the Lost Children arc, Guts begins to accept that his quest for vengeance is futile, and that there are more important things in his life than violence.

This is where the arc gets really emotional. Figuratively speaking, Guts receives the harsh scolding and the much-needed therapy he's needed for a long time from Godo the blacksmith. Rickert, Erika and Puck are also there to knock some sense back into Guts's thick skull, giving him the mental and emotional support and guidance he desperately needed to get back on his feet after the tragedy of the eclipse. After regaining his compassion and conviction, Guts sets out to find the missing Caska, the woman who set the spark on his self-destructive quest in the first place to try and redeem his life from all the horrible things he’s been through and all the detestable things he’s done in the name of love.

We're then introduced to a horrifying priest that loves unreasonable torture, genocide and bashing people's brains out with a bible. The Holy Iron Chain Knights mean business and there's tragedy and death all over the world. Guts's path to redemption, the mad religion dedicated to a false messiah, the foreshadowing of Griffith's return, this arc is packed full of all kinds of heavy emotions.

On top of all the heart-wrenching emotions in this arc, it’s also by far the most terrifying. Religious tyranny, satanic orgy cults, cannibalism do to starvation, extreme torture methods using real historical tools such as the Judas Cradle, breaking wheels, rack torture, flaying and burning at the stake, etc. And that’s just a small taste.

We’re introduced to a group of prostitutes with strong character development. Luca is a saint and Nina is a sinner, yet Luca brings everyone together and loves them all unconditionally. Though she’s a prostitute, she has more love, kindness and motherly instinct in her than the entirety of the Holy Iron Chain Knights and their religious order which makes me respect her character a lot.

Overall an explosive arc that’s equally horrifying and beautiful. It has one of the most satisfying reunions and redemption plots of all time.


The Millennium Falcon Arc: Volumes 22-35

After the shocking ending of the previous arc, Griffith returns to the spotlight once more.

This is the most complex arc of the series as it's split into multiple perspectives which hasn’t really been done up until this point. Guts has reunited with his beloved Casca and her mind is still in shambles from the trauma she experienced during the Eclipse. With a new band of loyal companions at his side, Guts begins to learn how to trust, grow and love as he once did during his time in the Band of the Hawk while struggling to reconcile with his inner darkness and his hatred towards his former friend Griffith.

Schierke is a young witch that serves to explain the more magical, fantastical and metaphysical elements of the world of Berserk while aiding Guts’s crew in their journey to fight against the alarming uprising of demonic creatures overrunning the land.

The Kushan Empire has risen to power and is waging war with the unguarded kingdom of Midland. As if the deadly plague, religious crusades and rampant demon invasions weren’t enough, Emperor Ganishka of the Kushan Empire is making life an even greater hell for anyone that’s in his path of conquest.

Griffith is back in the human world, building an army of knights, demons, apostles and any other willing companions in his journey to 'save' the world from war to fulfill his dream of attaining his own kingdom no matter the sacrifices and immoral actions he must commit to make his dream a reality.

Not my favorite arc, but definitely the most chaotic, action-packed and lore heavy of them all. The fantasy, paranormal and existential elements of the story really ramp up in this arc and there’s all kinds of mindblowing chaos at work.


The Fantasia Arc: Volumes 36-41

It’s difficult to review this arc because it was left unfinished after the author’s untimely passing.

The Fantasia arc marked another major turning point of the series. If Lost Children and Conviction were the age of darkness, this was the beginning of the age of misguided light. Griffith changed the world in truly remarkable ways, both fascinating and terrible.

Guts and his crew set out to Elf Island to restore Casca’s memories before deciding how to settle the score with Griffith once and for all. The arc was tying up loose ends at a very nice pace, answering questions that many readers have been contemplating since the beginning of the series such as the identity of Skull Knight, the origins of the God Hand, Griffith true motives, how Casca confronts her trauma, the purpose of the Berserker Armor, Guts finding the answer to his life’s purpose, the secret history and lore of the greater universe and much more.

Just as the arc was heading for a climactic buildup to the finale, it ends on a tear jerking cliffhanger that serves as the untimely ending of the series as a whole. It’s a shame that Miura’s masterpiece wasn’t able to be finished, but he’s created the most influential manga of all time that heavily impacted millions of reads and thousands of artists all over the world.


If you're looking for some dark ambient music for reading horror, dark fantasy and other books like this one, then be sure to check out my YouTube Channel called Nightmarish Compositions: 1506712002 First I want to say, RIP to the legend that is Kentaro Miura.

I can't really sum up the way this author changed my life. When I was getting into anime at a young age I never quite came across something as monumental as Berserk in terms of adult-like anime. I mean sure, I got into Guyver and such but Berserk was on a different level in terms of storytelling. When I was 11 or 12 (Around 1999-2000 I watched this anime and was blown away. A man who was told he was nothing, used, and abused found a family in a band of misfits and whom he thought was a brother, and when he finally was proud of himself he got it all torn away from him.

The story of Berserk itself is violent, dark, fucked up, whatever gritty dark word you want to use for it. But it is also about acceptances, love, overcoming fear, and much more. And while the anime changed my life it was the story itself by Miura who really got me into the dark fantasy genre. Without him I doubt I'd ever give things like Game of Thrones or Dark Souls or many more in the genre a chance.

So anyway, back to volume 3. Volume 3 explores Guts realization that he MUST move on to become his own person. Before he's ready to leave the band of hawks he decides to help Griffith take what he wants. But working with him once more they fight a brutal war that gives Griffith the chance to become something bigger than just a Mercenry leader. But when Guts is ready to move on, things get dicey and Griffith must face his greatest fear, not getting what he wants.

The last few chapters is what really worked for me in this volume. Don't get me wrong, the battles are wonderfully drawn, brutal, and work really well. Watching Guts and Casca work together was just amazing. But it really is the fall of Griffith and his decent into madness and Guts rising up to be a person he is proud of. Of bearing his soul to the woman he loves and letting her see him for the first time ever fully.

Nudity is done with such purpose in here I love it so much. It isn't just Fucking it's love making, it's pain, rape is not used for you to enjoy or even hate the character but to deal with the PDST after, and so many sadly can relate to it. The love making is beautiful, messy, and scary, and again, so many people can relate as well. And this is hands down one of the best ways to handle it all here.

But yeah, Berserk really shines in this volume and I remember as a kid I kind of got it but the brawl, the fight, the killing was my main whoa so cool. and now when I'm older it is the silent moments, Casca holding Guts, Griffith looking into the abyss, that really resonate with me as an adult.

Fuck...I feel sad just writing this knowing Kentaro Miura wrote this and he won't get to finish his epic. But I also smile, because he wrote something that can resonate with me so much, touch me in my soul, and it might sound corny but I just can't help but think it speaks to me on some level. You will ALWAYS be a legend in my mind Kentaro, and probably millions of others. I mean to be relevant piece of work 30+ years after creation says enough.

A obvious 5 out of 5. RIP to one of the GREATEST writers/artist of all time. 1506712002 Oh my. 1506712002 When I first started reading Berserk, I had the notion that it would be mostly ultra-violent, demon-slaying action. And considering how good the opening chapters were, I would've been fine with that. What I wasn't expecting was for the series to become so poignantly human.

The character development in this omnibus is extraordinary. Hearts are broken and mended. Dreams are shattered, rekindled, and perverted. It's a series of triumphs, tragedies, and deeply heartfelt moments. I'm simply floored by how emotionally resonant this grim, dark fantasy story has become.

Don't get me wrong--there's still quite a bit of action, and it's still very well done. Some of the battles (regardless of scale) are mesmerizing with how well they're depicted. But they aren't the focus anymore. While there's a part of me that still wants to get back to the part at the beginning, where Guts is fighting demons, and literally marked for death, I'm now equally (if no more) invested in how he got to that point.

In short, none of the praise I've expressed here is an exaggeration; all the hype around this series is warranted. If you have any love of well-constructed fantasy worlds, you're doing yourself a disservice if you aren't reading Berserk. That's all there is to it. 1506712002

The acclaimed adult fantasy manga now in 7x10 deluxe hardcover editions!

The hundred-year war between the kingdoms of Midland and Tudor nears an end as the legendary Band of the Hawk mercenaries, led by the charismatic Griffith and his fearless berserker champion Guts, turn the tide in Midland's favor. But impending victory ignites a secret war within Midland, as those seeking courtly favor see the ambitious Griffith as an obstacle to power. And nothing is more powerful than an enemy unseen! Collects Berserk volumes 7-9.

Kentaro Miura's Berserk has reigned in darkness for three decades, creating an international legion of acolytes and inspiring anime TV series and feature films, video and card games, and a phalanx of related products. And now celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, the entire Berserk series is being released in handsome oversized bookshelf editions, each collecting three volumes of the original manga.

Collects Berserk Volume 7, 8, and 9. Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 3

Kentaro Miura õ 7 characters