Today’s Tub Manga: Berserk (volume 38)

**Spoilers Ahead!**

 

Listeners of the podcast know I’m an obsessive, incurable fan of Berserk. So when we finally got volume 38 after approximately a million years, I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to see Guts and see what he was up to now. I mean, it’d been so long I might’ve kind of forgotten what was even going on…

And for the vast majority of this volume, I was still wondering what Guts was up to and what was going on because it turns out this one is all about Rickert. Which isn’t a bad thing; I mean, I like Rickert. It was just unexpected and I started to have this weird feeling that Miura-sensei was trolling us readers and there wouldn’t be any Guts at all in this volume. (Turns out there was, at the very end. So I did get my Guts fix.)

Since I tend to lose track of what’s going on between volumes–I mean, there is a looooong time between–I checked out the opening recap and cast intro pages and was totally confused at Rickert’s because while I’d forgotten a lot, I knew that character bio was totally wrong. His name and picture was correct but the bio was of the goofy guy that’s engaged to Farnese.

Anyway, back to the actual story. It was great to see Rickert and Erica meet up with Luca and the girls. I got a kick out of the scene where they take Erica to the baths because, hey, baths are great. This volume is filled with some very intricate architecture and backgrounds and just panels full of insane detail. My brother always gets mad at me for glossing over those and not appreciating every little detail so this time, I tried to spend more time on those panels. Every time, I thought, “Hmm. This one probably took four months. Try to appreciate it.”

For me, the highlight of this volume was definitely Rickert’s meeting with Griffith. Considering Griffith’s creepy charismatic power over everyone, I was a bit worried at Rickert’s reaction to him and wondered if he’d be sucked into his spell. Instead, I smiled and was relieved and thought, “Bless you, Rickert.” I was really impressed with how that whole meeting was put together and the outcome was totally unexpected.

Then, at the end, we’ve finally arrived at Skellig Island. We get a strong dose of Puck being a total dork, which totally dilutes all the seriousness of the earlier 95% of the volume. But I did enjoy his, uh, backstory.

And then, of course, monsters appear and Guts is about to fight them because that’s what he does and…it ends. Quite abruptly. And in two more years or whenever the next volume comes out, I’m sure I will have forgotten that volume 38 ends with Guts about to fight a giant scarecrow monster.

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