08 January, 2010

Berserk Spoilers

If you're not [relatively] up to date on Berserk, and don't want the details of the plot spoiled (up to vol30/ch266), I recommend you don't read the rest of this post. Spoilers start here.

Over the holidays, I received the next four volumes of Berserk available in English that I had yet to read (I was kind of falling behind, but I don't mind reading it in chunks). This includes volumes 27-30 of the series, or chapters 227-266, according to my sources, and picks up in the middle of the battle of Guts vs. the apostles of the reformed Band of the Hawk, just after he puts on the Berserker armor for the first time, entrusted to him by the old witch Flora, recently deceased.

These volumes were awesome. It's so great to read a series that's consistently good, and consistently impresses me. The Berserker armor itself is truly badass, though I'm worried about its effects on the wearer. As demonstrated in the above mentioned battle against the apostles, and even moreso in the following battle against the enchanted sea monster(s), the pairing between Schierke's magic and Guts' brutality is a perfect match, and I really love seeing them working together.

I was also very happy to see Princess Charlotte return to the story, and what's more, her reunion with Griffith. That was truly a scene straight from a dream or fairy tale. Despite everything I know, it had me wanting to root for Griffith all over again. It's amazing the difference between this encounter and the previous one, which directly led to Griffith's great fall. He has so much power and confidence now, whereas last time he showed up a defeated man, having lost in battle - the first (and only?) time - to Guts, so long ago (it really seems like a different life, in a different world - and perhaps, in a way, it was), back when he originally decided to leave the Band of the Hawk. My god, everything that's happened.

I was shocked when it was revealed that the king of the elf kingdom the gang is traveling to (Puck's home) might have the power to restore Casca's mental functioning. Can you imagine? Casca back to her old self? I never thought it would be possible. Of course, this being Berserk, I don't expect things to go quite so perfectly, so we'll just have to wait and see. Still, the prospect of a recovered Casca is tantalizing.

The portrayal of the dead city was very creepy, and I'm really getting into the Kushan sorcerors being the general bad guys. Good thing Guts' gang has enlisted the help of a witch. But it leaves me wondering, as always, whether Griffith is really a good guy or a bad guy... I want to like him and trust him and fight for him so badly, but...but...well, you know what happened.

"He appeared right in front of me, and he wasn't a demon... but what looked like a human. As if he'd been yanked from before into the present unchanged. I gazed at him and for a second... I forgot to kill him."

It's amazing how close Guts' gang came to having a run-in with the Band in the port city. I can definitely sympathize with Schierke's reactions to the city and human civilization, and all the soldiers gearing up for war. Her friendship with Sonia is so sweet, but yikes, she's with Griffith, and Schierke's dedicated to Guts (and I never want to see them separated!). Luckily, she knows where her loyalty lies, but it's a shame the two girls had to go separate ways. Although, being in Griffith's entourage, I don't entirely trust Sonia (even if I like her).

Farnese's part of this story is very captivating. She's kind of sunk into the background lately, little more than Casca's caretaker, but now, with her taking an interest in magic, and confronting her roots, I hope she'll come out the other side with renewed confidence, to fight - for the right side this time. I was concerned about her family at first, but I've come to like them. Farnese's mother is surprisingly insightful, and while Manifico is a coward, Roderick actually seems pretty cool, even if I don't like him as Farnese's fiance (what will become of Serpico?). He definitely stands out from the rest of the aristocrats, though.

The dinner party was awesome. My god, when Guts cut down that demon tiger in one swipe, cutting it cleanly in half. Incredible. And before that, the tiger's reveal, when it knocked out the lights - classic horror scene.

Have I mentioned how much I love this series? Not only is the content and the approach and the characters fantastic, but the art is excellent, too. I have never read a better story. I just read four whole volumes in four days, all of which I loved, and all I can think is that I want to read (or even reread it) more!

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I read this a long, long time ago... but it was so long ago for me that I can't remember if I read this specifically, or another thing in Berserk a lot like it. Berserk tends to confuse me after I haven't read it for a while since it's so cyclical.