Berserk: an endless narrative

9 Dec

The nature of Berserk is a rather duplicitous nature, as the publication history itself is a topic for another time, the nature of Berserks quality has never aged in time. Considering that Lone Wolf and Cub is only known to the boomer and Gen-xers, thanks to the devoted fans of the Japanese films, makes sense that Berserk took hold of a millennial generation, that grew up with Lord of the Rings films and Skyrim, for consoles and PC. That doesn’t exclude any boomers or Gen-Xer’s who saw the vision of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk and the quality and the story that Miura had shows that while a epic like Berserk takes time to write, let alone draw by one man, is not lacking in quality or style. When presented, Berserk, in the long form, has overshadowed many manga’s that have come and gone. And I respect a lot of manga and anime, and great art, be it novels or manga, will never disappear because of self generated interest and public curiosity.
Anime and manga only seem to double in the past five to ten years, with Attack on Titan, being long run and popular throughout Japan and the rest of the world. What makes Berserk last is that a core group has never let Berserk die.
It probably takes a lot to get cancelled if you’re an anime/manga writer, because every manga and anime is offensive and has somehow caused a controversy. Like how Studio Ghibli seems to crank out a family film with big name actors but don’t seem to generate excitement for it, unless it’s nominated at the fake news awards.
What can’t be found in other entertainment is that Anime/manga doesn’t care about regular forms of storytelling. Berserk spent nearly two decades building a story about protecting Casca, devastated by Griffith’s rape as he became Femto in volumes 12-13, only to then be the object of the main quest to fix her broken mind, finally concluded in volume 40.
What is honestly desparaging is that Miura can’t seem to find the inspiration to finish the series in a routine time, or let someone help him finish the Berserk saga. Berserk may go unfinished, but in some cases, if we see the end only destroy Guts in the end, maybe it’s how Skull Knight would want to play out.
With all his cryptic messages about how “what he [guts] wants is not what she would want.”

If the admiration for the series is to finish, Berserk has played the long game when pursuing such lofty ambitious story telling arcs. I for one would like Rickert to just convince the Bakiraka clan to come along, and while according to asdf that time on Fantasia, would only increase the longer they were on it, Guts might be an mid 30’s man, healed from his wounds, and able to take on Griffith in an epic final showdown.
Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien, did things that most other story tellers wouldn’t do. It would bring characters that didn’t materialize in most of the narrative structure in Return of the King. Tolkien, as the Battle of the Pellenor Fields is shortened to twenty pages or less, as he felt age had caught up with him.
Maybe Miura is realizing age is catching up with him? But are we going to have a story that isn’t finished before Miura’s death? Is he going to shorten it to give the ending that the fans have waited twenty years for? Is Berserk going to be like Guin Saga, where the author, Kaoru Kurimoto, died before it was time to finish her masterpiece.

Kentaro Miura, like Tolkien, and Kurimoto, must be feeling his age, because Berserk has to come to an end. I hope it’s a happy ending, but if it’s a happy ending, it might be bittersweet too. What started in bitterness for Guts, might just lead him down the same path for Casca to live in peace.
What’s amazing about Berserk is that the narrative structure, as this should cripple most authors, doesn’t seem to age. Miura still knows his characters, and wants to see it all come to a blessed conclusion. Which is why Berserk still remains relevant today.
But the point is, Guts and Griffith will fight. It’s hard not to imagine that Guts arriving with the elves and the mythological creatures to fight Griffith and his demon generals.
But if Miura is sick, or suffering under physical problems, as drawing, like any art, affects the hands and creates problems with holding a pen. But the reality is, Miura, even if he died, would not want to disappoint all the years he spent to get to fix Casca, to deny the end that audiences have waited for.
If we get to see the Angels from the Holy See again, that would tie together most of the series together, as Gods, Demons, and Myth would collide in Miura’s epic conclusion to Berserk.
But when and how it will end is what we can only speculate on.

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