Read this series and embrace your humanity.
Tag: dark horse
I cannot tell you how many times I got goosebumps or flailed around and splashed water everywhere or wanted to shriek with excitement or just laughed out loud as I read this volume.
And omg look who has the cover. [trying not to scream] I thought I might just burst with excitement. I opened this today and I was so happy I kinda wanted to cry.
I know this sounds like a bunch of hyperbole, but I really, really, really love this series. And volume four has been a long time coming.
So, in this volume, we catch up to where the anime ended. We get the coup of Orte’s capital and Toyo’s fight with Hijikata. We get the introduction of St. Germi’s very brawny and topless warriors. Nobunaga’s excitement at his musket crew. Hannibal eating raspberries. I love the drama and the expressions and the cartoony reactions and the action and the violence and the humor and the history and every single panel is perfect…It’s all perfect.
We also go a little beyond the anime in that we see Toyo’s condition after his battle with Hijikata (spoiler: he looks like a mummy); we get a peek into Gumbinnen, where Tamon Yamaguchi is with the Hiryu; and while Nobunaga and St. Germi are speculating why the dog-men and cat-men tribes have risen up, I turned the page and laughed so hard. So we get to see what Scipio’s up to as well. 😉
I loved it all.
I don’t know why I put off buying/reading this manga for so long, especially considering how much I love Vinland Saga. This is an excellent read.
The premise is intriguing and the story gets going right off the bat. I like how we’re just immersed in this world with minimal exposition and kind of just learn as we go along. At first I expected a bit more cohesion to the sequence of the story but I grew to like the random arcs. I especially got a kick out of the story of Fee searching for a smoke–it reminded me immensely of Hijikata’s similar predicament in Gintama.
On a more serious note, I was also blown away by the sequence where Hachimaki confronts his inner self while trying to recover from his isolation PTSD. It lined up so perfectly with so many “new age” books I’ve read that I just stared at the page for a while, amazed.
I don’t know that I really buy the Tanabe love interest, but it’s Makoto Yukimura so I’m willing to play along.
Toward the end of volume one, we start getting a more steamlined plot with a central focus, moving away from the one-off stories. I’m a sucker for surreal, high self experiences so I really liked the way this volume left us feeling: like bigger, greater things are out there waiting.
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.