Berserk Vol. #18 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 13.95
  • Pages: 236
  • ISBN: 1-59307-743-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Berserk

Berserk Vol. #18

By Eduardo M. Chavez     November 07, 2007
Release Date: July 25, 2007

Berserk Vol.#18
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Miura Kentaro
Translated by:Duane Johnson
Adapted by:Duane Johnson

What They Say
Hell has broken loose in the kingdom of Midland. On the death of Midland's king comes invasion, demonic forces seem to be on the rise, underground pagan cults are running wild, and the church is busily rounding up and teaching heretics the errors of their ways.

While Guts is busy testing out his newly repaired sword on the invaders, his former captain and lover, Casca, her mind wrecked by her unholy tryst with the demon lord, has fallen in with a rough crowd who don't exactly wish her well. But she, like Guts, is marked with the Brand of Sacrifice, and her abusers may soon find themselves face-to-face with the unholy abominations that are inexorably drawn to the Brand!

The Review
With every new volume another piece of this world is revealed. In Vol 18 Miura decides to define the roles of religion and sexuality. Whether it is consensual and pious or adulterous and corrupt these two themes can and have changed history. And in this manga they will lead to a potential uprising of mythical proportions.

Religion... To some it is the source of their salvation. Religion can bring spiritual peace and at times it could bring prosperity if used to benefit the people. Religion can also be a tool for fear and manipulation. In Berserk religion's influence is manipulated by an apostle of darkness. With this power, the apostle spreads fear and impoverishes the masses to force his will on those around him. Religion does not need justice or the rule of law; in this case it is judge, jury and executioner. And in this case those who are under the shadow of the Tower of Darkness have only seen pain and suffering in the name of their god. Salvation might mean breaking from the chains of piousness but doing so could mean death.

Those who chose to follow their desires have seen another extreme. In the depths of darkness in the caves and canyons not far from the Tower, men and women come together in an orgy of mystical proportions. Bodies undulate wildly as hypnotic beats pace the heathens into frenzy. Liquid libation flows like an endless steam. The effects of these strange cocktails take these folks away from the pressures of the Tower to the heights of ecstasy only achieved through sin! Bodies melt into one in pleasure but all of this must be hidden from the church and in turn the public at large.

Visually Berserk is a stunning looking manga. Miura shows so much depth across the board. His character designs are unique. They look all look as if they belong in a medieval fantasy. But his world building is even more amazing. He puts so much time in creating structure and logic in his manga it is almost like reading a history book. This manga is no longer about Guts' struggle but it is the story of Midland itself. And that reason I feel this manga is at a level above every other fantasy title out there.


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