Berserk (Manga) is not a new series to me, I read a couple of volumes earlier. The darkness of the subject seemed not an interesting study for me. Once my father became very angry, because he caught me with Berserk volumes, I was 15. The same series I’ve downloaded last week and watched Season 1, complete 25 episodes. I see, Guts’ story was started rather simple and had the quality of an epic. The knowledge beyond the nature, the myths, they exist because we do exist in flesh and blood.
Why it captures my attention?
Berserk has an exceptional balance in the story. Each character has his/her unique qualities and not dominates other. Every single mercenary of the Band of the Hawk are characterized like real characters. Griffith, the anti-hero who is dare ambitious and has the charismatic attitude. He is not very strong but he has all the qualities of a leader. Guts, the mysterious Black Swordsman, not one of the Hawk’s who is superior in power and achievements and has no fear in his eyes. He becomes the Commander of the Hawk’s who can bring hundreds of victories alone on the battlefield, better known as, 100 men slayer. The third main character is a women knight, Casca who is a victim of sexual assault in her childhood and desperately chosen her fate to fight. She has the purity in her heart and she is completely devoted to Griffith who saves her life several times. Finally she finds her true love in Guts. A man can act like a child but a woman can’t.
How the story becomes alive?
The story is indeed fantastic, the love triangle between three main characters and the Crimson Behelit, The Egg of the King that incidentally protects Griffith time-after time. Yes the amulet has life. Things we believe do exist, but supernatural like Zodd the immortal, sometime they do, either in real or in dreams! The same way, the size of human character that is depending on the wealth, not in our mortal figure!
Griffith’s ambition of becoming the king of his own kingdom is innocent, at least at the beginning we think so. But the adobe he builds in his mind is erratic, he never forced anyone to join him, except one man, Guts, who has changed everything. Griffith’s dream reflected in Guts’s eyes. Tudor, the most powerful neighbouring country of Midland that was unconquerable for centuries was defeated by only 5000 armies of Band of the Hawks. Such impossible becomes possible because of the leadership of Griffith and the strength of Guts. Nosferatu Zodd the supernatural, himself appears to the battlefield to see Guts live.
Casca loves Griffith, her love is all about devotion. She knows Griffith is ambitious, and to fulfill his ambition he flirts people. She knows Guts has the power that Griffith lacks. The day Guts defeated Griffith on a duel to prove he is a freeman and not belongs to anybody without his own will, Casca realizes her blind devotion.
Guts felt love for one woman in the earth, Casca. He dislikes festival, dance, highborn court women, amusement, and lights. He enjoys silent moon at night. An iron hearted man without feelings. In a flashback we see how he learns to live life. A group of mercenaries found a newly born from the corpse of his dead mother. The wife of Gambino, a mercenary, adopts Guts. Years later she died, leaving Gambino to raise Guts. Guts learned to fight alongside the mercenaries even though he is just a child and his sword is as big as him. Although Guts loves Gambino as a father, Gambino is cruel and harsh on Guts, believing the child brings the curse and blaming Guts for his wife’s death. One night Gambino attacks Guts in a rage and Guts accidentally kills him in defense.
All’s well that ends well, may be here the writer and illustrator, Kentaro Miura tries to make a difference. Beserk is a dark saga. Above I shared the ideal folk tale is aroused by curiosity. At least people like me will love to know to that level. Later the same story reminds me of Dante’s Inferno is in compare. But it is not that the end, the saga burns everything into the hell. It could be something else, better. It’s not about the cruel rape scene, that is common in many sex by force stories. Indeed the darkness is something beyond the bad dreams, cruel, horrific, devastating, that directly played with the feelings and emotion that people afraid of. May be Griffith’s rebirth aftermath is concluded without an explanation. At least I deserved something else.