SkullKast: Episode 99 - When will Berserk end?

Walter

Administrator
Staff member

Episode 99: When will Berserk end?
(45m)
Walter and Aazealh talk about the new forum software, the new Berserk Compendium, and the first Deluxe edition of the Berserk volumes. Finally, it's onto the future of Berserk. How many volumes will it take for us to reach the end? What are the major milestones to hit before then?

============================
Use a podcast app? Try this:

 
Last edited:

Wenliinvictus

Without a fairy, you're not even a real man.
Interesting conversation as usual guys, I always enjoy these.

On the subject of the elite apostles (excluding :zodd:) , I always envisioned them either fighting side characters, or facing Guts in a four on one battle, having them fight Guts one on one in intervals never felt right with me for several reasons. First the Shonen cliché of each evil team member facing the protagonist one by one feels inappropriate for a heavy series like Berserk, think of how boring the Conviction arc would be if Guts fought the torturers individually. Secondly, as strong as the elite apostles are , they are no match for Guts, who has already bested enemies far stronger than them. Thirdly the war demons have already demonstrated that they do not fight fair, even Zodd, one of the more principled apostles puts his duty as a servant of the God Hand before his desires as a warrior, it’s idiotic on the part of Griffith to send each of his most valuable warriors to a chivalrous 1 on 1 duel to eliminate a threat like Guts.
 
Amazing Podcast as always! :ubik:I completely agree with everything you guys said.

And i have to say, even though i'm a new fan (i started reading Beserk 2.5-3 years ago), i agree that the hiatuses don't really bother me. I just want to read Berserk till the very end.

Also, we all know that Miura will probably have to show us less of some character's backstories than he might have wanted to (Like 4 pages to half an episode each). Like the backstory of SK, the Members of the God Hand or the named Apostles of Griffith. And it wouldn't bother me, unless he decided to hand their backstories to someone else like Grunbeld's. (But to be honest, i think Miura will show us at least a summary of his backstory before he dies or something)
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
On the subject of the elite apostles (excluding :zodd:) , I always envisioned them either fighting side characters, or facing Guts in a four on one battle, having them fight Guts one on one in intervals never felt right with me for several reasons.
To be honest I don't have strong feelings about it one way or another, and I could totally see a case where two of them would face Guts' group together. It was actually an option in my little timeline, but I didn't detail everything.

Anyway, regarding your points, I don't think it would make sense for Guts to fight all of them at once. They just can't be compared to Mozgus' lackeys. Also, one could argue that having each enemy fight side characters while the protagonist faces the big guy is an equally common trope. And lastly I wouldn't say Guts "has bested enemies far stronger than them". I mean the Sea God was an extremely strong enemy, those fights aren't really comparable.
 
Really hard podcast for me to listen to, mostly because I don't like to think about how long it could take for Berserk to theoretically end. Or more accurately, I don't like to consider the possibility that the story could get truncated from what Miura originally intended with it, as is often the case with these sweeping epic stories like you guys mentioned. With Casca's recovery, the protagonists have reached a huge personal milestone in their journey, but it feels like diddly-squat when compared to the scope of the greater world, which seems to be growing exponentially the more we learn about it. I know Miura estimated that the story was about 60-70% complete about a decade ago, but it boggles my mind imagining how this tale could see a satisfying conclusion in less than 300 episodes, what with all the enemies to conquer, mysteries to resolve, and characters to develop and explore.
 
Last edited:
but it boggles my mind imagining how this tale could see a satisfying conclusion in less than 300 episodes, what with all the enemies to conquer, mysteries to resolve, and characters to develop and explore.
300? Isn't that a bit too much? In my opinion, Miura can give us a satisfying ending in 100 or so Episodes.:shrug:
 
300? Isn't that a bit too much? In my opinion, Miura can give us a satisfying ending in 100 or so Episodes.:shrug:
It is too much, and I know it won't run that long. And if anyone can end a story like Berserk in 100 or so episodes, it's definitely Miura. He has surprised me more than once with how efficiently he can tell a story. I just have no idea how he could do it. That's not me doubting his abilities; that's me literally having no idea.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
With Casca's recovery, the protagonists have reached a huge personal milestone in their journey, but it feels like diddly-squat when compared to the scope of the greater world, which seems to be growing exponentially the more we learn about it. I know Miura estimated that the story was about 60-70% complete about a decade ago, but it boggles my mind imagining how this tale could see a satisfying conclusion in less than 300 episodes, what with all the enemies to conquer, mysteries to resolve, and characters to develop and explore.
Haha wow, 300 episodes? Just to contextualize, 300 episodes ago, Guts, Casca, Judo and Pippin were defeating the Bakiraka in the sewers after rescuing Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth. A lot of things have happened since then. Honestly, I sympathize with you. I think Berserk's world, the way Miura has structured it, could handle 300 more episodes. And ideally, I would like 150 more myself. But this little exercise was about sketching out a doable schedule that we as readers would be happy with, not dreaming up a perfect scenario.

Like you said, when Miura replied to our letter in 2009, he said the story was 60-70% complete, but importantly added that nothing was sure when it came to future developments. Still, at that time, volume 34 was half-way done. If you count that as two thirds of the way through the story, that gives us 51 volumes in total, which is roughly what a hundred more episodes would yield starting from where we're at now. Getting it down to 85 episodes is just a way to account for Miura's efficient storytelling and currently limited output. Maybe it'll be more, maybe less. It will all depend on Miura's choices, productivity and health. At the end of the day, I trust that he knows what's best for the series.

But to put things in perspective, the Millennium Falcon arc lasted 131 episodes, and a lot of things got done during that time. It started with just Guts, Puck and Casca, and ended with a tightly knit group. It started with Femto newly incarnated, and ended with Fantasia. We were introduced to many new characters, had many intense and epic battles, saw the scope of the world extend to an unforeseen level, and went through an enormous amount of character development. So I'm quite confident that Berserk could reach a satisfying ending within "around 100 episodes".
 
A new podcast is always a good thing, so thank you for the latest episode! :serpico:

Regarding the publication of Berserk, I'm of the opinion, like many around here, that it should happen in such a way that it allows the series to be done right (by Miura's definition), however long it takes. I really don't mind waiting; I just hope I'll still be around when the series concludes.
 
Fantastic episode! It's real interesting to see the rest of the manga parceled out into groups of episodes.

I agree that 80-100 episodes sounds like plenty of space to finish the manga off. I think it might feel too short at first glance because of the pacing of some recent episodes. To me, the Elfhelm/Casca's Dream episodes felt like they were paced a little bit slower than usual. I think Miura paced them that way for the sake of the tone of those episodes, and it's not indicative of how the series will be paced as a whole in the future.
 
Great podcast as always, guys.

Funny enough I've been doing a lot of thinking on the same subject recently. Would like to know your opinions on couple of things I've been contemplating on.
  1. Since Fantasia is at 50 episodes, do you think it's going to be the last "major" arc? (without including a possible short epilogue arc)
  2. Not including Black Swordsman arc, every arc so far had a major even revolving around Griffith as its climax: Griffith becomes Femto, Griffith is reborn, Griffith merges the planes of existence. Do you think Fantasia is also going to follow this trend, and if so, what the possible climax is going to be?
P.S. I've been reading Berserk for just over 3 years now, so I started during Fantasia arc. I was wandering how arcs are published. Let's say the next episode is the first episode of the new arc, how is this information release? Thanks in advance
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Hi BerserkPrime,

Since Fantasia is at 50 episodes, do you think it's going to be the last "major" arc? (without including a possible short epilogue arc)
Not necessarily. There could be one more. But to be honest, I don't think it really matters much.

Not including Black Swordsman arc, every arc so far had a major even revolving around Griffith as its climax: Griffith becomes Femto, Griffith is reborn, Griffith merges the planes of existence. Do you think Fantasia is also going to follow this trend, and if so, what the possible climax is going to be?
I'm not sure it's something to specifically look for. I mean sure, these majors events involved Griffith, but with the exception of the battle atop Ganishka, they also involved Guts and Casca. In fact, all three of them involved the Skull Knight and Zodd as well. What I'm trying to say is that since Griffith is the main antagonist, it's not surprising that he's key to these big climactic events. I can also tell you right now that he'll be at the heart of further major story developments, and that he'll be central to the events at end of the series.

So what that leaves us with is basically a repeat of your first question: will there be another arc? And if so, will Griffith play a big part in the transition between the two? My answer is that he probably would, in a way or another. But that's not because of a rule that all arcs should conclude with something with him, it's the opposite. Big dramatic events are a natural transition point to end an arc and start another, and the main antagonist is almost guaranteed to be involved in such events.

P.S. Griffith was reborn when he became Femto. Later on, Femto was incarnated into a new corporeal body identical to that of his former self. Important distinction!

Let's say the next episode is the first episode of the new arc, how is this information release? Thanks in advance
The current arc and chapter are indicated at the beginning of each episode when they are prepublished in Young Animal, that's how we know. That information is also included in the volumes.
 
The current arc and chapter are indicated at the beginning of each episode when they are prepublished in Young Animal, that's how we know. That information is also included in the volumes.
Thanks for the quick reply. I didn't realize that Young Animal releases included that info. Good to know.
The reason I asked was because some mangaka reveal that their manga is entering its last arc. I wonder if Miura would do it with Berserk.

I mean sure, these majors events involved Griffith, but with the exception of the battle atop Ganishka, they also involved Guts and Casca. In fact, all three of them involved the Skull Knight and Zodd as well. What I'm trying to say is that since Griffith is the main antagonist, it's not surprising that he's key to these big climactic events.
The reason I included Griffith and not Guts in my question is because of the following.
Guts' story line, at first, was revenge. Then it became to rescue Casca. Then, to take Casca to Elfhelm. And, at last, Casca is healed. This is, of course, just a simplified baseline of Guts' journey so far. And as of Episode 357, the only major thing remaining on Guts' journey is revenge against Griffith. Unless something new pops out, his storyline is ready for the conclusion.
For Griffith it's somewhat different. His major story beats are the Eclipse, Albion, World Spiral Tree. Each being the climax of an arc. All these events come off as methodically planed for something that's going to happen in the future. The God Hand has a plan that it's trying to make into fruition, and according to Guts, Griffith has the same ambition as before, so it's safe to assume that he might have a unique opinion on the matter and his own goals. What this could be is unknown and up for debate and speculation, but the next Griffith story beat is definitely coming. It might be the climax of Fantasia arc, that would move us to the last and conclusive arc of the story, or it might be the endgame, which means that Guts vs Griffith showdown will happen before/during this event.

Long story short, in my opinion Guts' storyline is already ready for the conclusion of the story. Griffiths' storyline still has a bit left. I'm expecting the next few episodes, not sure exactly how many, to reveal what God Hand's endgame is. I'm also expecting to see Skull Knight appear in Elfhelm. He might be the one to reveal this. Maybe though a flashback to 1000 years ago. If this is the case, that this would explain the endgame of the God Hand, give us Skull Knight's backstory, and, most likely, Void's backstory. This is of course mere speculation on my part, but, in my eyes, if we break the story down to 3 simple sections: beginning, middle, and end, then the beginning would be Black Swordsman and Golden Age arcs, middle would be Conviction, Millennium Falcon, and Fantasia so far, plus a bit more setup. I feel like we are very close to the end section of the story. However long it's gonna be, I honestly can't say. But I do see it taking as little as 50 episode and as much as 150.
 
Last edited:

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Long story short, in my opinion Guts' storyline is already ready for the conclusion of the story. Griffiths' storyline still has a bit left.
I understand what you mean regarding the arcs, but I don't think that's a particularly good way to gauge how much of the story remains to be told.

I mean, like you said yourself, that's a simplistic way of viewing Guts' storyline. For example, don't you think Casca's restoration will impact the story? It's not like it was just a detour before Guts could get back to his revenge. And what about the rest of the group and their development? Or Guts and Casca's son? These aren't things that can be handwaved away, because at its core Berserk is the story of Guts' journey. We already knew its destination in volume 3: revenge against Femto and his kin. And yet we're still going 37 volumes later. So I just don't think that's the best way to look at it.

Don't get me wrong: I completely agree that there's more to be told about Griffith's storyline, and I could see a major milestone in his plans serving as the end of an arc and the beginning of another. But I don't necessarily view it as an indication of how much of the story remains to be told. Keep in mind that since the Golden Age arc, only around 50 episodes have focused on Griffith's side of things. Granted, most of them occurred in the last ten volumes, but they still didn't make up half of them.
 
I could see Berserk end in about 100 more Episodes (especially if Miura's current average of about 5-6 episodes per year will be the current standard going forwards). Ideally, though I would like to see 130-150 more Episodes before the end. It would be especially neat if Miura ended at the 500th episode exactly. But whatever is/will be best for Miura's health and story I can gladly accept.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I could see Berserk end in about 100 more Episodes (especially if Miura's current average of about 5-6 episodes per year will be the current standard going forwards).
I should have said so on the podcast, but as much as I love Berserk, I really want to see Miura expand his horizon and create other stuff afterward, too. And the longer he takes to finish it, the less likely it is that he'll even embark on something new afterward.
 
I mean, like you said yourself, that's a simplistic way of viewing Guts' storyline. For example, don't you think Casca's restoration will impact the story? It's not like it was just a detour before Guts could get back to his revenge. And what about the rest of the group and their development? Or Guts and Casca's son? These aren't things that can be handwaved away, because at its core Berserk is the story of Guts' journey. We already knew its destination in volume 3: revenge against Femto and his kin. And yet we're still going 37 volumes later. So I just don't think that's the best way to look at it.
Hmm, I think I agree with you completely. Thinking about it again, my approach wouldn't help in any meaningful way estimate how much story is left. Even if we assume there is only one big event left, the story taking us to that event could span 50 episode or 150 episode. And this would depend on all of the "smaller," but not less significant plot lines.

I should have said so on the podcast, but as much as I love Berserk, I really want to see Miura expand his horizon and create other stuff afterward, too. And the longer he takes to finish it, the less likely it is that he'll even embark on something new afterward.
I'm so glad to hear this. I'm of the same opinion. Miura is a genius storyteller, and I'd love to see him flex his creativity in more works.

You mentioned this on the podcast that for Berserk to come to a satisfying conclusion, Miura would have to, at some point, return to more consistent release schedule. Couldn't agree more. This might sound a bit too obvious, but we can only speculate the amount of story left and use that to estimate the number of episodes that it would span. Hence we conclude that we need more episodes per year or Berserk would never end. I can say with complete certainty that Miura is perfectly aware of this. I don't think anybody would seriously claim that he never did the math. Not only that, unlike us, Miura know, more or less, how much story is left to tell. Which means he can do a much more accurate job estimating the number of episodes left and how many year it would take. This leads me to believe that either the story is much closer to the end than we think (personally don't think so), or Miura is planing on switching to a more frequent and consistent release schedule in the near future. Unless he really is planning on releasing Berserk for another 20 years. :shrug:
 
This leads me to believe that either the story is much closer to the end than we think (personally don't think so), or Miura is planing on switching to a more frequent and consistent release schedule in the near future. Unless he really is planning on releasing Berserk for another 20 years. :shrug:
Well Miura did say in an interview 2-3 years ago that “...I want to continue drawing until I’m 90 years old! I want to devote myself to my creations!” source: http://www.manga-audition.com/zenon201610-haraxmiura/
So it could be possible that Miura plans to spend another 20 years working on Berserk, if not more. Could be similar to Kaoru Kurimoto, she continued to write Guin Saga to her death (even after apparently having concluded her main/major plot lines at 100th Volume, she wrote another 30 volumes.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Even if we assume there is only one big event left, the story taking us to that event could span 50 episode or 150 episode. And this would depend on all of the "smaller," but not less significant plot lines.
Yep, exactly. And besides, big climactic events only have impact because of the long buildup that leads to them.

You mentioned this on the podcast that for Berserk to come to a satisfying conclusion, Miura would have to, at some point, return to more consistent release schedule. Couldn't agree more. [...] This leads me to believe that either the story is much closer to the end than we think (personally don't think so), or Miura is planing on switching to a more frequent and consistent release schedule in the near future. Unless he really is planning on releasing Berserk for another 20 years. :shrug:
So to give you the full picture, I've been convinced that we'll need to return to a more regular schedule for many years now. In fact that was the starting point of this recent discussion between me and Walter. The reason is that otherwise the time taken to get to the same point rises exponentially. Now, we know Miura is in it for the long run, he's said so a few times before, and he's not one to quit. He's very dedicated to his craft. And I also feel pretty confident saying that Berserk isn't going to end by episode 400. So it just comes down to the fact that getting it done in a reasonable amount of time requires a faster pace. It doesn't even have to be dramatically faster. Getting back up to around 8 or 9 episodes a year would do the trick. Of course, that's easier said than done haha. For now it's just wishful thinking.
 
Thanks as always for the podcasts guys.

I do think Miura can wrap up Berserk in the next 100ish or so episodes. (And I think he might have to with the pace that he keeps releasing them)

I'm going to do a reread pretty soon to catch up on some things since it's been a few years since I last read the series.
 
This was difficult to listen to as when I hear about how Berserk will end, it always makes me a little on edge about how Kentaro Miura is doing. Especially since he's poured his life, blood, sweat and tears into this story and did a great job with it.

But that being said, great episode guys!
 
Two things I'm wondering about that I don't believe were touched on:

1. Bechi: Any compelling speculation regarding who it might be meant for? Or is it more likely that it will go entirely unused, with the God Hand's plans possibly being unraveled before it ever reaches its destined user? When Morda was introduced, her apparent penchant for using "forbidden" magical tools had me thinking that she'd be the one to use it, which might be what allows an invasion of Elfheim to happen, forcing Guts and the rest of the party to flee.

2. Theresia: Will she come back around? The Black Swordsman arc ends with her swearing to someday kill Guts. Will she return and make an attempt at avenging her father? Or will she end up having just been a means of helping to set up who Guts is near the beginning of the story?
 
Here's my two cents regarding Theresia:

2. Theresia: Will she come back around? The Black Swordsman arc ends with her swearing to someday kill Guts. Will she return and make an attempt at avenging her father? Or will she end up having just been a means of helping to set up who Guts is near the beginning of the story?
I don't believe Theresia will return to the story, since I believe she served her purpose in the story and in Guts' character development. To me Theresia's threat to Guts was done to show that even if one does an objectively good thing, killing a literal monster, potentially saving so many people from torture and death, this could still seem as evil for some. It could hurt their person one way or another. In Theresia's case his father was brutally killed in front of her and she was left completely alone and helpless. I think you can make parallels, on a more massive scale, with the finial Guts vs Griffith battle. When Guts defeats Griffith, he isn't just gonna defeat a monster, but the savior of Midland and the rest of the world. He's gonna kill people's desired being. Even though we, as readers, know that Griffith is not the savior that the people see him as, but it's all the same for them. You could also find parallels with Guts vs Mozgus fight. There is no absolute good and evil, and every deed could be viewed differently depending on the perspective of the viewer.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom