Dark Horse Releases "Deluxe" Berserk Edition

Oburi

All praise Grail
I noticed an error in my Deluxe Edition book 2. In the contents, the episode in volume 5, Sword of Wind, is printed as "Word of Wind". Doh!
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I noticed an error in my Deluxe Edition book 2. In the contents, the episode in volume 5, Sword of Wind, is printed as "Word of Wind". Doh!
It's worth noting that "Sword of Wind" is a really bad translation to begin with.
 
I found this info from the past: Not sure if I can quote it.

Seems like a very bad translation. Sword of wind made me think of something completely different; such as Serpico's sword. It would have been nice if DH put more nuanced translations with a page in the back for the translator's notes.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I found this info from the past: Not sure if I can quote it.
Great find, that guy seems like he really knows his stuff.

It would have been nice if DH put more nuanced translations with a page in the back for the translator's notes.
*Broken record mode engaged* What this deluxe edition needed was to have them hire a better translator and retranslate the whole series.
 
Got my the first two volumes and waiting for the third to get released. If this isn’t the greatest special edition I’ve ever held, I don’t know what is.
 
Got my the first two volumes and waiting for the third to get released. If this isn’t the greatest special edition I’ve ever held, I don’t know what is.
In terms of comics, "Absolute Sandman" comes to mind. As a special edition, the Berserk work here clearly hasn't been given the full amount of love it deserves. However, the size and overall design are just right. I'd have preferred real leather, but only niche publishers work with that because it makes the volumes prohibitively expensive for the average consumer.

My main concern (aside from Miura dying before finishing in the vein of his idol Kurimoto Kaoru) is that the Japanese version, which must and should be considered the definitive edition, will never see this treatment--even if the English "Deluxe Edition" proves to be successful.

*Broken record mode engaged* What this deluxe edition needed was to have them hire a better translator and retranslate the whole series.
I await... :schnoz:
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
My main concern (aside from Miura dying before finishing in the vein of his idol Kurimoto Kaoru) is that the Japanese version, which must and should be considered the definitive edition, will never see this treatment--even if the English "Deluxe Edition" proves to be successful.
I have a few comments. The first is that Kaoru Kurimoto was never going to finish Guin Saga. It was up to what, volume 137 when she died? Completely different situation from Berserk, making the comparison irrelevant. The second is that Berserk will definitely get a deluxe edition in Japan eventually and that I'm sure it'll steamroll what Dark Horse is doing. It probably won't have faux-leather covers, but that's actually fine by me. Because that sort of treatment can be pretty cool when you've only got a few volumes, but when you have twenty it ends up being rather dull and indistinguishable from the kind of encyclopedia or book collections door-to-door salesmen used to hawk in the 1960s.
 
I have a few comments. The first is that Kaoru Kurimoto was never going to finish Guin Saga. It was up to what, volume 137 when she died? Completely different situation from Berserk, making the comparison irrelevant. The second is that Berserk will definitely get a deluxe edition in Japan eventually and that I'm sure it'll steamroll what Dark Horse is doing. It probably won't have faux-leather covers, but that's actually fine by me. Because that sort of treatment can be pretty cool when you've only got a few volumes, but when you have twenty it ends up being rather dull and indistinguishable from the kind of encyclopedia or book collections door-to-door salesmen used to hawk in the 1960s.
It's hard to say whether she was going to finish it or not, because she didn't really plan to die at 56. Also, you have to remember that even though it was at volume 137 or so, that's just because Kurimoto was much more prolific than Miura. If I recall correctly, she died during the 30th year of its publication. So while she wrote many more volumes in the same amount of time, she and Miura have worked on their stories for roughly the same number of years. Given that Miura has had health problems from overwork in the past, I don't think it's a completely unrealistic worry.

If the series finishes, it will get a Japanese deluxe edition for sure, but not of great quality. Look at some of the better quality Japanese deluxe editions that have come out...Rurouni Kenshin, Jiraishin, Mushishi, even the new edition of Mugen no Jyunin. None of them hardbound, very few of them at larger page size, all of them glued instead of sewn. In terms of durability and something that will last for a few years, they're scarcely better than your average tankoubon. The glue will fall apart within 30-40 years of reading.

Personally I don't have a problem with homogenous spines as that's been the standard for Western literature for hundreds of years. If you're going to buy the collected works of Shakespeare, for example, or the complete writings of Walter Pater, or any sort of classic writer, bound to last with decent boards, the spines will all be more or less the same between volumes. The encylopedias of the 1960s and before were merely aping that sort of class. And because I think Miura is great literature (not just a decent comic), I'd want his works to have the best treatment possible in terms of (a) scan size and fidelity and (b) binding.

The American deluxe edition may fail on the first count, but at least provides a decent sewn binding that will last. The (eventual) Japanese edition will likely have wonderful scan fidelity, but I very much doubt that it will have a decent binding or be as large.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Given that Miura has had health problems from overwork in the past, I don't think it's a completely unrealistic worry.
He's reigned that tendency in pretty hard recently though, as you know. I don't think there's much to worry about in terms of his health.

Personally I don't have a problem with homogenous spines
I don't think that's what Aaz was referring to. I also like the simple design on the spines. But the covers are so simple they come across as lazy, and uninspired. Give all the incredible artwork they could be pulling from, just having the logo and brand in red foil is pretty much the easiest thing they could have done.

The American deluxe edition may fail on the first count, but at least provides a decent sewn binding that will last. The (eventual) Japanese edition will likely have wonderful scan fidelity, but I very much doubt that it will have a decent binding or be as large.
You talk a lot about the binding, but are you aware of all the print and text problems these editions suffer from...? Surely the error-ridden content of these editions supersedes binding choices.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
It's hard to say whether she was going to finish it or not, because she didn't really plan to die at 56.
Well I just went and did it. When a book series reaches 130 volumes, it's either never going to end, or the ending won't really matter. This is, again, not at all comparable to the way Miura has been creating Berserk. By the way, other writers have now picked up the mantle of Guin Saga (volume 145 came out 2 months ago), and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon.

Given that Miura has had health problems from overwork in the past, I don't think it's a completely unrealistic worry.
He's had back problems, let's not get carried away. And he's repeatedly said that he's been taking care of his health in recent years.

If the series finishes, it will get a Japanese deluxe edition for sure, but not of great quality. Look at some of the better quality Japanese deluxe editions that have come out...Rurouni Kenshin, Jiraishin, Mushishi, even the new edition of Mugen no Jyunin. None of them hardbound, very few of them at larger page size, all of them glued instead of sewn. In terms of durability and something that will last for a few years, they're scarcely better than your average tankoubon.
Berserk has already had several editions in the B5 format in Japan, like the MyBestRemix edition in 2007. The MBR wasn't branded as deluxe, it was on the contrary very cheap, and yet its print quality was superior to what DH is pumping out, so...

The glue will fall apart within 30-40 years of reading.
:shrug:

I mean don't get me wrong, I agree that a premium binding would be nice to have. But it's lower on my list of priorities than the faithful depiction of the work the books contain. Having an edition that can last a hundred years is only worthwhile if it's a good edition to begin with, which is not the case here unfortunately.

Personally I don't have a problem with homogenous spines as that's been the standard for Western literature for hundreds of years. If you're going to buy the collected works of Shakespeare, for example, or the complete writings of Walter Pater, or any sort of classic writer, bound to last with decent boards, the spines will all be more or less the same between volumes. The encylopedias of the 1960s and before were merely aping that sort of class. And because I think Miura is great literature (not just a decent comic), I'd want his works to have the best treatment possible in terms of (a) scan size and fidelity and (b) binding.
Who's talking about the spines? Berserk is a graphic novel, and as such it deserves illustrated covers (just like most modern leatherbound books). Especially since it will have many volumes even as a compilation.
 
Barnes and Noble books are not leatherbound though they advertise as such. They use bonded leather, which, though it sounds similar, is really low quality, closer to paper boards. That's why they can sell the things for $20. Modern leatherbound books would be along the lines of Easton Press. I believe the Folio Society prints some leather editions, too. They're all quite expensive, unfortunately.

I really, really prefer the "simple" design of the current American deluxe edition that you both seem to dislike--I don't want to have a big image splashed on the cover, and as long as the individual issue covers are compiled inside somewhere I'm happy. The brand is as iconic a symbol of Berserk as anything and a nice way to make an understated cover in my opinion. But that's really just a difference in preference...everyone likes different things.

You talk a lot about the binding, but are you aware of all the print and text problems these editions suffer from...? Surely the error-ridden content of these editions supersedes binding choices.
Believe me, I'm not saying the American edition is great. Given the choice, I'd take a large Japanese printing with good binding any day. Aaz, you're saying the print quality on the MyBestRemix editions was good? I never saw them in stores, so I haven't been able to inspect them personally. B5 would be a very nice size for Berserk, so long as they print it on quality paper. If worst comes to worst, it's always possible to buy a print run like that, then have them chopped up and rebound however one likes at a private printer. But that would be ridiculously expensive.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Barnes and Noble books are not leatherbound though they advertise as such. They use bonded leather, which, though it sounds similar, is really low quality, closer to paper boards. That's why they can sell the things for $20. Modern leatherbound books would be along the lines of Easton Press. I believe the Folio Society prints some leather editions, too. They're all quite expensive, unfortunately.
Sure, but my point was about the covers... And Easton also gets the job done in that department.

Anyway, to each his own indeed. Good for you if the brand on black covers suit you, although I maintain that it's a drab look for a graphic novel with 15+ volumes.

As a side note, I think there are specific considerations when printing a work like Berserk, in particular the ability to open the book flat to properly enjoy two page spreads. That ought to be the foremost concern for the binding in my opinion.

Aaz, you're saying the print quality on the MyBestRemix editions was good? I never saw them in stores, so I haven't been able to inspect them personally. B5 would be a very nice size for Berserk, so long as they print it on quality paper. If worst comes to worst, it's always possible to buy a print run like that, then have them chopped up and rebound however one likes at a private printer. But that would be ridiculously expensive.
It's not high quality paper, but they have a better source and/or a better process that results in a better image (similar to the tankōbons), not to mention they feature most of the color pages from the early volumes... in actual color. And they were sold for something like 650 yen each.

It was absolutely not a deluxe edition, which is why it's frustrating that it can best DH's premium offering in any respect.
 
As a side note, I think there are specific considerations when printing a work like Berserk, in particular the ability to open the book flat to properly enjoy two page spreads. That ought to be the foremost concern for the binding in my opinion.
Good point, how fares the Deluxe edition in that aspect?
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Good point, how fares the Deluxe edition in that aspect?
I mentioned it in my review of it back in March:

because of the size and weight of the leather binding, you can lay it flat and the pages fall flat. That's a big improvement over the originals.
This is true for pages in the middle, obviously. But pages toward the front or back naturally don't work that way.
 
I'm not as fond of these as I was initially. My volume one is warping on the front cover. I have volume 2 but it's sealed. Trying to see the point in pursuing a full set with these now.
 
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