Berserk Vol. #12 (

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2006

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

What They Say
The Band of the Hawks' rescue of their leader, Griffith, has brought them no ease. Broken beyond healing, a frail ghost of his former glory, Griffith is now more an object of pity than a man, and the Hawks, who've grimly hung together under duress and death during his absence, are now on the verge of splintering to the winds.

But Griffith's dreams and ambitions, built on the bodies of his troops and the countless enemies they have slain, have not gone unnoticed in the spirit realm, and though Griffith has nowhere to go as a man, he may yet have a future... A future borne on jet-black wings in the company of the demon lords of the Godhand!

The Review
It has been a long time coming but we are almost there. Yes, Berserk is only chapters away from new content. And before we step into that new world, Miura closes this arc out with a bang. There are not many manga titles that literally close out arcs with all hell really breaking loose like this. The symbolism and the pathos is powerful as anything seen in a Greek tragedy. And like those tragedies of centuries past, this is an opera where no one wins. The people doing the wrong-doing might be giving up because they have no options. However, what they see is a limited view of the future. But that can be said for everyone present; good or bad. The truth is that only those who feel they can make their own future can earnestly accomplish great things. Those who do not value individualism will suffer under the weight of others visions. The men and woman present have resolved to stick with their leader through thick and thin.

In this volume the Band of the Hawk will loose their right to choose. They have placed their bets on one man; hoping he would rise like a phoenix and save them from their recent misfortune. They should have known that merely attempting such a feat could have been their demise. They had been betrayed before by their Griffith. Why wouldn't he do it again? But last time he acted in a way that indirectly cost the Band their freedom. What will happen now will end up costing most of them their lives. Their savior was all they felt the had in life. But Griffith will take those lives away to ascend to the throne he always wished for now. Except this throne is not in a Midland Castle. This is one of darkness!

Manga is funny because it is not uncommon to see a series go for 20, 30, 40+ volumes over years by the same artist. However, as in most circumstances the quality tends to deteriorate after a while. Maybe the original concept is lost. Maybe the originality fades. Berserk is as shocking and unique as ever this far into the series. There are few titles out there that can sustain the level of intensity and relevance as this. Now more than ever Berserk belongs in people's libraries.

Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 13.95
Pages: 176
ISBN: 1-59307-484-0
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left