Berserk Vol. #16 (

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2007

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

What They Say
Warrior supreme Guts has been marked for sacrifice to the armies of the damned, and now he has the blood of a village of possessed children on his hands, a horde of elf-demons straight out of a fairy-tale fever dream. But now Guts must deal with the Queen of the Elves herself, and though she may be cute as a button, she has hideous power and lethal intent, and in her wake, no one lives happily ever after!

The Review
After reading 30 volumes of this title I have come to the conclusion that Guts lack of a childhood severely impacted his life. Not having dreams to look froward to or fond memories to reflect upon he grew up a simple person driven by obsession.

So when Guts comes face to face with the collective dreams of hundreds of children, he handles the situation as best as he can. Lacking grace or any feeling for the children he lets his weapons communicate what he can't and together they squelch the hopes (as twisted and misguided as they might be) this lost children clung to. There is no subtlety here and no irony either. Guts simply does not know any better and he solves problems through eradication.

In way Guts acts very much like a child when dealing with adversity. When confronted by the dogma of religion he reacts with indifference. The nuance is irrelevant to him. But if he can take advantage of it he will. And watch him do so is extremely entertaining

I am sure I have said this before but there is a reason why Berserk is one of the best titles of all time and that is the attention to detail Miura has when creating this expansive world. While Miura continues to expand on the narrative he has created around Guts and Griffith, he does something that few comic artists attempt. He attempts to go into some depth about the cultural differences his world has in contrast to reality. While the fairy tales he renders seem familiar their impact in a world of demons and elves make legends much more significant and potentially dangerous if not seen from its historical context. Even the concept of fundamental religion while clearly inspired by Christianity and Islam are tweaked enough that they seem unique to this manga. So not only has Miura created his own world with thousands of years of history but he also attempts to flesh out the civilizations - the nations and people - as well taking the fantasy genre to a new level of detail that can only be seen in RPGs or the most extensive fantasy novel series.

Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 13.95
Pages: 234
ISBN: 1-59307-706-8
Size: B^
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Berserk