Dark Horse’s Manga division has released the 37th volume of the classic Berserk tale. It tells the story of Guts and his adventures throughout the landscape. Guts known as “The Black Swordsman” wears a cursed black magic item called berserker armor that makes him quite a formidable foe, but at a prize. He utilizes the armor to protect his friends and to bring order to disorder. In the case of volume #37, he is battling a monstrous evil sea god. Berserk has a sophisticated level of action and story throughout. It is a unique feeling like a hamburger loaded with a mix of Conan the Barbarian, Arthurian Legends, Sinbad of the Seven Seas on top of a fresh Manga bun. It is tasty, but not the most magnificent burger I have ever had (And I have had a lot of burgers). Still, the $14.99 list price is inviting and quite a deal for the over 270 pages that come with this volume. Berserk has been around for over 20 years and is legendary in its lore. It was quite fun to delve into this world for the first time.
That price of $14.99 is worth it for the artwork alone. Kentaro Miura draws amazingly with a nearly flawless look of perfection. It is stunning and beautiful. And like any good artist, there are whole pages of simply the art. Stunning it is, really stunning. You just want to reach out and touch some of the drawings. You about swear that the images are real. It is something else.
As for the story… it is not as interesting, but it is written well enough to keep you moving on through. The plots have dialogues that flow in the Manga style with characters who think they are tougher than they are and who get into trouble trying to be heroic, only to be bailed out by our hero. The writing is just okay, but the artwork is the real star here. You really could get this volume with no writing at all and it would be worth it. I just can’t give enough praise for the artwork. It’s awesome.
Unfortunately, I like to be “wowed” by a good tandem of artwork and writing and Berserk volume #37 just didn’t do that for me. Still, if art is your thing and you have a little bit of money and a lot of time (It is 270 pages), then Berserk is definitely worth the buy. It is a nice effort by Dark Horse in keeping everything in its original Manga format of back to first and right to left reading. It has been awhile since I have read any Manga. Dragon Ball Z to be exact (I know, but I like it), so it was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading. Still though, I just can’t offer my whole support. The writing quite simply could not match the amazing art.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Kentaro Miura Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $14.99 Release Date: 11/20/13