Berserk Vol. #22 (

By:Danielle Van Gorder
Review Date: Thursday, September 04, 2008
Release Date: Monday, March 31, 2008

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

What They Say
The world of Guts, the Black Swordsman, is changing in a hurry. Though a demonic maelstrom has leveled the dreaded Tower of Conviction and ended the reign of terror of its grand inquisitor, Mozgus, peace has not returned to Midland. The Tower's fall has heralded the unexpected return of Griffith, Guts' former leader, last seen transformed from a shattered husk into one of the demon lords of the Godhand. But Griffith looks like his old self again - and with his dreams of carving out a kingdom by his own hand still intact. He's raising a new Band of the Hawk, but this time he's recruiting from the dark side to fulfill his deadly destiny!

The Review
Guts and Casca have returned to where Erica and Ricket are waiting, but when they get there another person is waiting as well - none other than Griffith himself!  Filled with rage at finally having his enemy right in front of him, Guts attacks, but Ricket, still unaware of what really happened to the Band of the Hawk, tries to stop him.  When Griffith, almost supernaturally beautiful and icily calm, explains his reasons for coming, not even Ricket can hold Guts back.  But Griffith is not alone, and Zodd himself is Guts' opponent in one of the epic battles that Miura does so well.

When Casca makes her way to the battlefield, her reaction to Griffith is positively heartbreaking.  But Griffith might not be quite as emotionless as he first thought himself.  Having finished what he came to do, Griffith leaves, still set on his dream of having his own kingdom.  Various signs and portents have driven some powerful allies his way, a renewed Band of the Hawk that's more powerful and more terrifying than the original - though small, perhaps even a match for the Kushan army that's invading Midland.  But Guts is still on his trail, his hatred hotter than ever.

With the return of Griffith and the start of a new arc, there seems to be a renewed focus to the story.  Miura really seems to love drawing Griffith, lavishing even more detail than usual on panels where he's featured, and making sure that no matter who or what he shares a page with, it's always Griffith that draws the eye.  Beyond the conflict between Guts and Griffith, this volume also exposed more of the twisted pasts of Farnese and Serpico, who clearly still have roles to play in this story, despite the fact that they're no longer part of the Chained Knights tasked with capturing the Black Swordsman.

Most major events in Berserk make me want to shout "HELL YES!!" while pumping my fists in the air, and this volume had quite a few of those moments.  If, for some strange reason, previous volumes had you a bit bored, this volume should bring you back to the fold.  If, like me, you've dying for the next volume - at the end of this, you're still going to be dying for the next volume.

Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 18+
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 13.95
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1-59307-863-8
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Berserk