Berserk: A Dark Fantasy Manga and Anime Series
Berserk is a popular manga and anime series created by Kentaro Miura. It is set in a medieval Europe-inspired dark fantasy world, where the protagonist Guts, a lone swordsman, battles against demons, monsters and humans who are corrupted by a mysterious force called the God Hand. Along the way, he is joined by a misfit group of companions, including Puck, an elf; Casca, his former lover and comrade; Serpico, a skilled fencer; Isidro, a young thief; and Schierke, a witch.
The manga began serialization in 1989 and has been published in 41 volumes as of 2021. The series has been adapted into several anime adaptations, including a 25-episode TV series in 1997-1998, a trilogy of films covering the Golden Age arc in 2012-2013, and a 24-episode TV series covering the Conviction and Falcon of the Millennium Empire arcs in 2016-2017. The manga and anime have been praised for their dark and mature themes, complex characters, epic storylines and detailed artwork.
Berserk is one of the best-selling manga series of all time, with over 55 million copies in circulation. It has also influenced many other works of fiction, such as Dark Souls, Final Fantasy VII and Game of Thrones. Berserk is considered a masterpiece of dark fantasy and one of the greatest manga ever created.
Berserk has a large and diverse cast of characters, each with their own personality, background and role in the story. Some of the most notable characters are:
- Guts: The main protagonist of the series, a former member of the Band of the Hawk who is branded as a sacrifice by Griffith and hunted by demons. He wields a massive sword called the Dragon Slayer and wears a cursed armor that enhances his strength but also erodes his sanity. He is driven by his desire for revenge against Griffith and his love for Casca.
- Griffith: The main antagonist of the series, the founder and leader of the Band of the Hawk who becomes a member of the God Hand, a group of five powerful demons who manipulate causality. He is reborn as Femto, the fifth angel, after sacrificing his comrades during the Eclipse. He is charismatic, ambitious and ruthless, pursuing his dream of becoming a king at any cost.
- Casca: The deuteragonist of the series, a former commander of the Band of the Hawk and Guts’ lover. She is also branded as a sacrifice by Griffith and suffers from trauma and amnesia after being raped by him during the Eclipse. She is later restored to her former self by Schierke and Farnese with the help of the Elf King.
- Puck: A cheerful and mischievous elf who accompanies Guts on his journey. He provides comic relief and emotional support for Guts and his friends. He can use magic to heal wounds and sense emotions.
- Schierke: A young witch who joins Guts’ party after being saved by him from trolls. She is a disciple of Flora, an old friend of Skull Knight. She can use various spells and astral projection, as well as communicate with spirits and elementals. She also acts as Guts’ guide and protector when he wears the Berserker Armor.
- Farnese: A former leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, a religious order that hunted Guts as a heretic. She later becomes fascinated by him and joins his party as his squire. She is initially fearful and ignorant of the world, but gradually learns to overcome her weaknesses and develop her own identity. She also becomes Schierke’s apprentice in magic.
- Serpico: Farnese’s half-brother and loyal servant, who follows her wherever she goes. He is a calm and cunning swordsman who uses a rapier and a cloak that can manipulate wind. He has a complex relationship with Guts, admiring his strength but also resenting him for changing Farnese’s life.
- Isidro: A young thief who idolizes Guts and wants to become his disciple. He is energetic, reckless and impulsive, often getting into trouble. He uses a dagger and throwing knives as his weapons, as well as a fire spirit named Salamander that he obtained from Schierke.
- Sonia: A girl who has the ability to see visions of the future and communicate with apostles. She becomes Griffith’s loyal follower after he saves her from being burned at the stake. She is naive, optimistic and curious about everything.
- Mule Wolflame: A young nobleman who joins Griffith’s new Band of the Hawk after being impressed by his charisma and power. He is Sonia’s friend and protector, often acting as her voice of reason. He wields a lance as his weapon.