Author Topic: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?  (Read 2338 times)

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Offline Fancypantaloons

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Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:14:47 PM »
Note: I wrote "perfect" because I believe nothing is 100% perfect.

Hi there.

I always find something I don't like about everything. But with Berserk, I cannot find that, but I'm afraid that maybe I'm blind. I really love Berserk in ways I cannot explain in english, but maybe I'm not seeing things the way they are due to my love for Berserk.

So, I want to know what you don't like about Berserk, maybe this way I find something I dislike too. But it goes far beyond of not liking a character or stuff like that. Maybe you don't like a character but that doesn't make that character not belong to Berserk, not being important. Am I explaining myself right?

And real-life things aside. Yes, we all dislike the hiatus and whatnot, but I'm referring to Berserk as a work of art, if I may.


Well, sorry my bad english, I'll wait for your answers.

Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 12:55:31 AM »
After reading it for close to 2 decades, I'm a little too close to the material to objectively pick out major flaws. The problems I have with Berserk aren't bombshells or anything. Just little things that bug me occasionally, and three of these are things that will surely be remediated by the end of the story.

I think the pirate boss overstayed his welcome. He was on his fourth rematch with the group by the end [ Vritannis -> at sea (1) -> as sea god appendages (2) -> on the island at night (3) -> assault on the Sea Horse (4) ]. One less would have been easier to stomach, I think. But it's not as if the story revolved around him. He just became the "voice" of the opposition, and so he had to "survive" until that part of the story was done.

I also think that Miura has neglected three sub-characters over the years, at least in terms of their potential: Azan, Puck and Serpico. It's a result of how he chose to balance Guts' new group dynamic (I say new, but it's been this way for a decade now.)

The issue with Azan and Puck is straightforward: they've been relegated to comic relief. This is somewhat understandable with Puck, because he is as old as the series. Miura probably feels like it's okay for Puck to step out of the spotlight and have other characters take the role he once had as Guts' conscience. But it's been a loooooooooooong time since we got a really genuine moment with Puck (the last memorable one was a panel in Vol 27, fearing what the armor would do to Guts). Schierke has basically supplanted the role Puck once had with Guts, and I absolutely love their relationship. So all I'm asking for is more scenes that give Puck more to do as a character than serve as a foil for Isidro's antics.

Azan has been with the group since Ep 278 ("Setting Sail," 2007) but he's had primarily comedic moments -- no sit down with Farnese and Serpico about what happened after Albion. He's still technically pretending he doesn't recognize any of them, even though they have no troubles recognizing him.

These are both big missed opportunities, and I think it's because there's a lot happening all at once with these characters. I do expect some down time in Elfhelm to bring some of these characters to life, but when was the last time Berserk ever really had down time? (Volume 17?)

Serpico's problem is a bit more complicated... For several years now, he's lacked a clear motivation, which is odd for Miura's characters, since they usually all have very clear-cut motivations. His primary directive in life was protecting Farnese (from herself and from others). But she's grown up quite a bit over the years, and it's resulted in something akin to empty nest syndrome for Serpico (after kids grow up and leave their parents, what are the parents to do?) Combine that with him burying the hatchet with Guts in Vritannis, and Roderick entering the picture, Serpico has been pretty adrift with no obvious inflection point in sight. Now, that alone is not a problem or flaw because structurally, Miura is mid-development for the character. It'd be like complaining about Farnese in vol 23 when she was chafing between her old role and her new one (and people did  :farnese: ). I've got no doubts that there will be something in the future for Serpico that will make sense for his character. It's just that it's taken us a long time to get there, and it's felt to me like he's been in stasis since that duel with Guts.

Offline Fancypantaloons

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 02:54:54 PM »
Walter, thank you very much for replying.

Now that you mention it, I dislike I little bit the way Puck's character went. He was serious back then, but now it seems he doesn't give a fuck, but I understand what you said about others taking his role as Guts' conscience.

About Serpico... I don't mind if he has not a clear motivation right now, maybe right now he's just dealing with the fact that his role as Farnese's "bodyguard" is not that important as before. Of course I would like to see a clear motivation from him, but like you said, Miura is in mid-development for the character.

Thanks for your reply and I hope to see more from the others :D

Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 07:09:09 PM »
Now that you mention it, I dislike I little bit the way Puck's character went. He was serious back then, but now it seems he doesn't give a fuck

I don't think his attitude has changed. Miura just hasn't portrayed him as serious very often lately.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 08:34:10 PM by Walter »

Offline Menosgade

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 05:30:06 PM »
I have to agree with everything Walter said, especially regarding Puck and Azan. The first one I had noticed that changed was Azan, because when they found him on that boat in Vitrannis I expected a meaningful conversation between him and the group/Farnese&Serpico at some point, regarding the coincidence of finding him, the troubles he had with the Holy See after the Tower of Conviction, Farnese's controversial choice to follow the Swordsman, or anything like this. Instead, most of the time he's in the background and takes no part in the action.

Something that bugs me is the many times Miura could have introduced (for the first time or not) the Beast of Darkness, but didn't. It's first appearance was after the battle with Rosine, but I believe it'd fit very well to have the Beast being show before that. Gut was already struggling and killing for arround 2 years after the eclipse, I wouldn't say Rosine was a turning point to actually make the beast present. The beast's eye would blend perfectly with Miura's choice to darken Guts face on his moments of, you know, less sanity, and further the gap between him and Jill, his foil within that chapter.

Offline buttonmasher

Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 01:06:47 AM »
Lost Children deals with finding your home and making a place for yourself in the world.  Combine that with slaying demi-apostles who revert back to children upon death and you have a great catalyst for a talk with the beast.  I think its fair to say the events of Lost Children took a serious toll on Guts soul.  The beast didn't "awaken" during the Rosine fight, but it definitely had a lot of influence after those events.  Although I can see your perspective, the form of the beast has been foreshadowed throughout the series with the dog/wolf themes so it isn't exactly out of left field. 

Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 12:25:29 AM »
I think it's asking a bit much of Miura to have forecast the Beast of Darkness back in Vols 1-3. It's appearance once Guts is isolated from Puck and beaten down, close to death, makes sense to me.

Although I can see your perspective, the form of the beast has been foreshadowed throughout the series with the dog/wolf themes so it isn't exactly out of left field. 

Sorry, what "dog/wolf themes" ?

Doggie dialogue continues here: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=15383.msg249516;boardseen#new
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 10:40:39 AM by Walter »

Offline Crimson

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 07:13:37 PM »
Hardly make or break, but the only real 'hole' I've ever noticed is right at the beginning. The female apostle, when roasted later in pieces by Guts doesn't appear to change back to a human form at all. Despite it being at least several minutes (at the very least) since her demise.

Like I said, I didn't even notice this until years and years later and it's so brief it doesn't matter.


My only real complaint is in regard to recent Puck. I think with Puck almost always as chestnut head now, spewing jokes, Ivarella AND Isidro, the comedy relief might be a bit too much. I don't get why it's become so prevalent lately, specifically in regard to Puck.

I hope when more Elven plot points arise, Puck will resume his role as being a character again. That's my only *real* complaint.



Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 07:29:32 PM »
Hardly make or break, but the only real 'hole' I've ever noticed is right at the beginning. The female apostle, when roasted later in pieces by Guts doesn't appear to change back to a human form at all. Despite it being at least several minutes (at the very least) since her demise.

That would only happen after the Vortex of Souls came to claim the soul, which doesn't happen the exact moment an apostle dies. Remember Wyald? Zodd ripped him in half, and still had enough time for a brief chat with Guts before the Vortex came.

Offline Crimson

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2018, 07:36:28 PM »
That would only happen after the Vortex of Souls came to claim the soul, which doesn't happen the exact moment an apostle dies. Remember Wyald? Zodd ripped him in half, and still had enough time for a brief chat with Guts before the Vortex came.

Well, yeah, I know this, but it had still been long enough since she had died (re-dressing all that equipment), and presumably some sort of dissection (I doubt a cannon blast in the mouth kept her face mostly intact and severed her arm and ribcage), I seem to recall Wyald being claimed pretty quickly after he actually 'died' too.

But yeah, it's suuuuuper minor and can even easily be explained in many ways. Like the cannon blast didn't actually kill her, just gravely wounded or she was still partially alive when Guts threw her on the fire (which is that scene). Even though I think the intent was to show her remains, but it still works as a valid explanation.

It basically boils down to Miura didn't know they would turn back at this point, which is understandable. And probably a big reason why he didn't show anything of the Snake Baron past simply roasting while alive later in the same chapter.

Just a testament to his writing; even on his mistakes, they still can technically be remedied or be rendered moot. And in a story this complicated, that's pretty amazing.

Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2018, 07:41:26 PM »
It basically boils down to Miura didn't know they would turn back at this point, which is understandable.

No, I don't think that's it. It happens to the Count just 2 volumes later, so it's probably not a matter of the concept not floating around in Miura's head yet. I think it was a matter of flow. (ex: "How many new elements do I really want to toss at the reader at once here?") Having a pile of homogeneous creatures erupt from the ground to pull down the apostle's form would have screwed with the flow of the scene (and changed its climax, yuk yuk).

Offline Crimson

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 07:47:02 PM »
No, I don't think that's it. It happens to the Count just 2 volumes later, so it's probably not a matter of the concept not floating around in Miura's head yet. I think it was a matter of flow. (ex: "How many new elements do I really want to toss at the reader at once here?") Having a pile of homogeneous creatures erupt from the ground to pull down the apostle's form would have screwed with the flow of the scene (and changed its climax, yuk yuk).

Which was volume 3 though, not 1. That was my point. Sure, he came up with the idea quickly thereafter, but hadn't at volume 1.

Just saying, if I had that thought already in mind as Miura, I would've shown the same image, just of her human body roasting instead. No explanation and the reader would wonder "Wait, wasn't she actually a monster?" or something along those lines, which would've worked better as a setup that these monsters were originally real humans, and it's not just a disguise or something.


Edit: Also, I might add, Guts, Rickert, Erika, and Godo didn't stop to notice anything happen in volume 14 when Guts killed the Pig Apostle (the Abyss opening up surely would've alerted them, like Wyald), so there very well could be something else going on (similar to the female apostle) or it wasn't important to show. Even with the Apostles seemingly killed during the Eclipse, like the tentacle guy who wounded Judeau. So yeah, I'm willing to admit there might be other circumstances at work.


Just saying, if we're nitpicking.  :slan:
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 08:25:40 PM by Crimson »

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 08:46:39 PM »
Which was volume 3 though, not 1. That was my point. Sure, he came up with the idea quickly thereafter, but hadn't at volume 1.

That's not very compelling. It's pretty clear if you've read the prototype (and you must have, since it's included at the end of volume 14) that Miura had already planned the encounter with the Count when he wrote volume 1. Of course it can be argued that he might not have had all the little details in mind at the time, but beyond that specific matter, it's relatively evident that the series' opening is meant to be a kind of badass "shock" intro that doesn't reveal any important details. We don't see Guts fire his arm cannon, we don't see the Brand bleed, we don't see the Dragon Slayer... All it tells us is that monsters exist, and that guy hunts them. Then the story proceeds to reveal specific bits of information, little by little. And there's no doubt those reveals follow a plan and aren't just a series of random new ideas. Miura had absolutely planned the Brand before he started on volume 1, but he waited to unveil it until the time was right. Storytelling is an art. =)

or it wasn't important to show.

Bingo. It's not shown for most apostle deaths simple because not everything can be shown all the time.

Offline YummyPixels

Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 06:14:16 PM »
The issue with Azan and Puck is straightforward: they've been relegated to comic relief. This is somewhat understandable with Puck, because he is as old as the series. Miura probably feels like it's okay for Puck to step out of the spotlight and have other characters take the role he once had as Guts' conscience. But it's been a loooooooooooong time since we got a really genuine moment with Puck (the last memorable one was a panel in Vol 27, fearing what the armor would do to Guts). Schierke has basically supplanted the role Puck once had with Guts, and I absolutely love their relationship. So all I'm asking for is more scenes that give Puck more to do as a character than serve as a foil for Isidro's antics.

You nailed it on the head for me. I miss Puck moments A LOT, but I adore Schierke and Guts moments. Just wish to see more of Puck and Guts again, and not in the comedic sense.

Offline Fancypantaloons

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2018, 01:35:24 AM »
Glad to see this thread is spawning awesome debates :D Keep them coming, I love reading your comments.

And to think that this thread has more than a year. Damn, I'm in this forum since last year, that's crazy.

Offline NCHaskew

Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2018, 01:43:13 AM »
Feels weird to try looking for flaws in Berserk, but one that's bothered me (and like everyone else's it's a minor quibble, and one that will surely dissipate by the end) is the lack of Griffith/Godhand POV. After Falconia gets founded, it kinda feels like things just cool down. The Godhand are now physically present, but we haven't really seen what they're up to.

More recent episodes are already proving me wrong, with the Apostle wrecking brigade doing what they do best against the Giants and Hydra, and Griffith securing quick-travel, but we still don't really know what the end game of our villains is. Specifics-wise at least. Then again, unlike other manga/anime, it's not like we're just going to finish these baddies and move on to a new group. The Godhand have been set up as the final villains from the start, and to reveal their plans, even this late in the game, would give away too much too soon. It's just good storytelling, but dammit, I'm impatient sometimes  :puck:

Sorry for rambling there, but it was hard to properly express my not-complaint.

Offline Walter

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2018, 02:32:46 AM »
Feels weird to try looking for flaws in Berserk, but one that's bothered me (and like everyone else's it's a minor quibble, and one that will surely dissipate by the end) is the lack of Griffith/Godhand POV. After Falconia gets founded, it kinda feels like things just cool down. The Godhand are now physically present, but we haven't really seen what they're up to.

As you already alluded to, I think shedding light on those characters is a very delicate part of the story. Because once Miura plays those cards, there's not much more he can do to up the anté. They are the big bad guys, for all intents and purposes. So obviously he's been very deliberately obscuring our insight into their plans and their motivations. And it is a little frustrating that we're still pretty much where we've been since Volume 21 on our understanding of the God Hand and Griffith/Femto. For me, the biggest development that happened on that front since then was Griffith's reaction to Rickert's slap. And even that isn't concrete.

Anyway, I get the reasoning behind it, but yeah... In retrospect I probably did count on a few more twists and turns along the way, a few more appearances from those guys, but I'm not the master storyteller here, hehe. As we progress, it seems like if we'll be getting those, it'll be along the arc of a conclusion.

Happy to be proven wrong, I miss those guys!  :ubik: :void: :slan: :femto:

Offline MrFlibble

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2018, 05:29:20 PM »
My problems are more to do with preference than any plot errors or weak story structure, but I don't really like the Berserker armour, I understand its role in the story, to give Guts a boost in strength against foes that progressively increase in power, he starts off fighting a cobra apostle and ends in a one on one fight with an island sized catfish, however every time it's used the focus always seems to drift away from the fight itself, and focuses on how Guts will supersede the armours curse this time round. I don't feel the same sense of danger when he's fighting in his berserker form, creatures literally devour him and he just slices them open like its nothing, it's not like the days where a mite man posed more of a threat to Guts' life.

I also believe things are far too easy for the Griffith side, for obvious reasons, Miura can't focus too much on Griffith, in fact we only ever get one 1st person POV from him in the entire arc, and given his role in the story, he himself cannot be harmed, but I struggle to care much about his fights with the Kushan army, or the astral world. No matter how outnumbered they are, the war demons are still more powerful and better organised than any foe they've come across, the only exception I can think of are their two fights with Ganishka, where the spooky thundercloud actually manages to inflict some apostle casualties.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 10:19:58 AM by MrFlibble »

Offline buttonmasher

Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 02:00:51 PM »
I’d really like to see more interactions between the characters and individual members of the Godhand.  How many more encounters can Guts have with the Godhand before they decide he has to go and we enter an endgame scenario?  I would hate for the Godhand to be defeated simultaneously or in some sort of boss rush ala Ninja Scroll without learning about their stories, but once Guts really pisses them off I think time is up and we are headed towards the conclusion. 

There’s no limit to what’s possible to avoid this scenario but the group is going to need at least a new kind of defense to withstand the scrutiny of the Godhand to allow for more interactions.

Offline Fancypantaloons

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Re: Is Berserk "perfect" ? What do you not like about it?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 08:49:35 PM »
I’d really like to see more interactions between the characters and individual members of the Godhand.  How many more encounters can Guts have with the Godhand before they decide he has to go and we enter an endgame scenario?  I would hate for the Godhand to be defeated simultaneously or in some sort of boss rush ala Ninja Scroll without learning about their stories, but once Guts really pisses them off I think time is up and we are headed towards the conclusion. 

There’s no limit to what’s possible to avoid this scenario but the group is going to need at least a new kind of defense to withstand the scrutiny of the Godhand to allow for more interactions.

I wonder what does Guts need to do to piss them off. I guess they still see him like an insect. I think they will give a fuck only when they have to defent themselves against him...But, can Guts do something to them right now? Even with the Berserker armour, he would just die using it against the GH.