Berserk is a dark fantasy manga and anime series that tells the story of Guts, a mercenary warrior who becomes embroiled in a war between kingdoms and gods. The series is known for its graphic violence and sexual content, as well as its exploration of deep and complex themes. The anime adaptation has been released in 1997 and Golden Age arc in 2012-13. The manga is still ongoing but the author Kentaro Miura passed away in May 2020.
The story begins with Guts as a member of the Band of the Hawk, a group of mercenaries led by the charismatic Griffith. The band becomes embroiled in a war between kingdoms and gods, and Guts quickly rises through the ranks to become one of Griffith’s closest confidants. However, as the war drags on, Griffith becomes increasingly obsessed with his own ambition and his desire to become a god. Eventually, Guts realizes that he must leave the band and strike out on his own, but not before Griffith sacrifices his comrades to become a powerful demon.
Guts is left alone, scarred both physically and emotionally by the events of the war and his former comrades. He sets out on a journey of revenge against Griffith and his monstrous new form, but also to come to terms with his own past and the trauma he has experienced. Along the way, Guts faces many challenges and obstacles, including powerful enemies, harsh environments, and his own inner demons.
One of the most prominent themes in the series is the idea of stoicism, which is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of self-control and resilience in the face of adversity. Guts, as the main character, is a perfect embodiment of stoicism. He is a warrior who has suffered unimaginable loss and trauma, yet he continues to fight on, driven by a fierce determination to survive and a belief in his own strength and willpower. Throughout the series, Guts is faced with numerous challenges and obstacles, yet he never gives up, always pushing forward and finding the inner strength to keep going.
In addition to the stoicism theme, Berserk also deals with ideas of loyalty, camaraderie, and sacrifice. Guts’ comradeship with his friends, especially Casca, shows the importance of these connections in times of hardship. The series also explores the question of fate and free will. Stoicism teaches that we must accept our fate, but also that we have the power to shape our own destiny through our actions. Guts must come to terms with his own fate, and accept the hand that life has dealt him, but he also makes a choice to fight against it and shape his own destiny.
Overall, Berserk is a series that tells a powerful and visceral story, with deep and complex themes that resonate with many viewers. The story of Guts and his journey of revenge, self-discovery, and survival is both exciting and thought-provoking, making it a must-watch for fans of dark fantasy and anime.