is a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Miura premiered a prototype of Berserk in 1988. The first volume of the manga was published on November 26, 1990 by Hakusensha in its Jets Comics collection. Three more volumes were published. In 1992 the production was ended, and Berserk was serialized in Young Animal.
The series was adapted into a twenty-five episode anime series, , by Oriental Light and Magic. It debuted in Japan on October 7, 1997, on Nippon Television; the final episode aired on March 31, 1998. It covered the first arc: Golden Age. Two video games were also created for the series: an action adventure for the Dreamcast and another for the PlayStation.
Berserk's setting is inspired by medieval Europe. It centers around the life of Guts, an orphaned mercenary warrior, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the . As he ages, Guts changes from a solitary boy into a man who realizes the value of camaraderie. The story contains elements of both fantasy and horror, as it explores both the best and worst of human nature. Both the manga and anime are noted for their heavy violence.
Guts is born from a hanged mother and discovered by mercenary leader Gambino, who teaches Guts swordplay and enlists him in his mercenary group. Following a gruesome battle, Gambino is crippled with Guts left as the family breadwinner. One night, Gambino attacks Guts in a drunken rage, but Guts kills Gambino in self-defense and is chased from the camp by other mercenaries. Over the years, Guts finds work as a mercenary, slowly building his legend. After defeating a feared mercenary captain Bazzuso during a castle siege, Guts is attacked by Corcus a captain of the Band of the Hawk. Easily defeating Corcus, Guts is pitted against Casca, a female captain, whom he prepares to defeat when he is interrupted by Griffith, the enigmatic, white-haired commander of the Band of the Hawk. As they duel, Griffith, having witnessed Guts's swordplay during the castle siege, declares that should Guts lose the fight, he will enlist in the Band of the Hawk. Guts agrees to the wager but loses the duel.
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Official Site: Kentaro Miura
Links: Wikipedia Article on Berserk Fan's Profile on Gut Preview of Volume 1 of manga