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REVIEW: Berserk GN 27


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nobinobita



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:50 pm Reply with quote
"a rather pedestrian dose of hack-and-slash combat."

I'm really shocked to hear someone describe Berserk in this fashion. I'm not trying to say this was a bad review or to complain, I'm just genuinely surprised. It's hard to convey this via the internet without sounding terrible and indignant... like I'm not mad at the reviewer, he's free to have his own opinion which he supported well.

But I guess, just, as an artist it boggles my mind that anyone could call Berserk pedestrian. I've been drawing my entire life. I do art for a living. I'm not so bad at it. But when I see the work of Miura and his assistents, it's almost heartbreaking. The work they produce is just soooooo far beyond almost everything else out there. I'm always in awe when I leaf through the latest volumes of Berserk. It's very rare that such a talented group of artists have the time, the means, the audience, the opportunity to create work of that caliber. When I read Berserk, it's clear to me that their goal is the create the best comic they possibly can. The intensity of Guts' drive feels real to me, because it reflects the intensity of the artists who are always improving almost page by page.

I'm just happy that such a wonderful, uninhibited work exists.

I know many of my comrades that I've met at school and in the field feel the same way. If you're just reading for plot, then I can see why pages and pages of combat could get tiring. But if you're someone who likes to live in the moment of each line on the page, Berserk is like a gift... it's so good! It's really inspiring!
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2313

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:07 am Reply with quote
Keep in mind, nobinobita, that he wasn't saying the whole manga was "a rather pedestrian dose of hack-and-slash combat." I too would be shocked to hear someone say that about Berserk. Rather, though, he was refering to what was in this particular volume as that. Which is an opinion I can at least understand a little bit.
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DirtnSky



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:42 am Reply with quote
This reviewer reminds me of someone who has been a devoted viewer of slasher flicks to then berates the style now as becoming obvious and bland with the buckets of blood splashed on screen. How nowadays the killer slashes up rather then down like the classics of old. How the next female waif gets skewered in all the tired ways these days now. Yes, this old horse of a reviewer needs to be put out on the pasture now to kindly pass away into obscurity...

It's Berserk fatigue for this guy and I believe someone else needs to helm the next review because of this one shows it all in spades that he's all washed out and the next "fix" won't get got done for him now. Confused
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:43 am Reply with quote
Seems a bit harsh to me. True this isn't the strongest volume of Berserk but I'd hardly call it bad or even mediocre. To me a C+ seems awfully low. "Unfortuately, this installment doesn't pull off quite as much shock and awe as the last one, and the result is a rather pedestrian dose of hack-and-slash combat." I'd agree with the first half there but pedestrian hack-and-slash combat? I really disagree. It still presents a solid dose of what makes the series a masterpiece overall. I don't mean to question the reviewer's credibility here but the impression I get from his explanation (and I could of course be wrong here) is that maybe he's judging it relative to how great Berserk often is in which regard is is I suppose mediocre, even pedestrian. I would recommend that one keep in mind though that while this isn't the best volume of Berserk, relative to your average manga it's still really quite good. This is particularilly true of the Art.
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Generic #757858



Joined: 03 Nov 2008
Posts: 1331

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 6:01 am Reply with quote
Yeah, it's nowhere near the Golden Age-arc, but I thought this one was better than the Troll-arc, which I didn't really care for. It was nice seeing the new Band of the Hawk in action too. Have to wonder how Carlo will rate the very meh vol. 28.

And B for art?!
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rabrek



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:51 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed this volume more than Carlo did, though I'd still rate it no higher than a solid B as a whole. I'd expect that a reader who rips through several volumes at a time would benefit from a pleasing narrative momentum that eludes those of us who follow at a more stately pace by volume and/or by chapter.

"this artwork becomes its own worst enemy when all the pages start to look like gray masses of obsessive hatching and screentoning"

Ooooooh yes. I find myself skimming past a great many panels in the fight scenes. Without question, Miura's art is gorgeous, skillful and lovingly wrought. Yet as a lifelong writer, I'm just as interested in the narrative elements in a manga. When the battles blur into a goulash of endlessly-detailed warriors bashing each other, bashing each other, bashing each other, well, the narrative thread peters out and the brain idles.

As a whole, the Kushan empire and voyage to Elfhelm arcs haven't left me thinking "I can't wait for the next chapter". They remind me of an anime that pads out episodes in small ways to buy time before it catches up to the source manga. That said, Miura has dazzled me repeatedly in the past, and he will again: I just read c303, and yeah, I can't wait to see the next chapter.
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elreicht



Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Inside a weird apartment...

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:54 pm Reply with quote
"Wow, that Kentaro Miura sure can draw some gruesome monsters and armies! ... And I have no clue what's going on."

Really? I don't think a lot of Berserk readers/fans would share your opinion. Miura-sensei depicts battle scenes vividly and with great attention to fine details. I never got that "lost in translation" feeling throughout the whole series. Sure, a lot of gory, blood-filled battlescenes may fill several pages in succession, but I never felt lost while looking at them. This style of storytelling even gives me the feeling of being there and actually seeing the battle for myself. It actually paints a clearer picture of what's going on for me. This is just my opinion, though. I can't speak for everybody else but I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Embarassed
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:27 pm Reply with quote
elreicht wrote:
"Wow, that Kentaro Miura sure can draw some gruesome monsters and armies! ... And I have no clue what's going on."

Really? I don't think a lot of Berserk readers/fans would share your opinion. Miura-sensei depicts battle scenes vividly and with great attention to fine details. I never got that "lost in translation" feeling throughout the whole series.

One particular complaint I occasionally have with Miura's art is that he'll show a movement of a sword or part of the body, then the result of the action without any anticipation of how A necessarily leads to B. He doesn't do this nearly as often as a lot of manga artists, but he's definitely not like Samura (Blade of the Immortal) when it comes to battle depictions.

Still, I'm not finding much justification in Carlo's review for why the art is only a "B," but ah well.
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elreicht



Joined: 16 Jan 2008
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Location: Inside a weird apartment...

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:39 pm Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
elreicht wrote:
"Wow, that Kentaro Miura sure can draw some gruesome monsters and armies! ... And I have no clue what's going on."

Really? I don't think a lot of Berserk readers/fans would share your opinion. Miura-sensei depicts battle scenes vividly and with great attention to fine details. I never got that "lost in translation" feeling throughout the whole series.

One particular complaint I occasionally have with Miura's art is that he'll show a movement of a sword or part of the body, then the result of the action without any anticipation of how A necessarily leads to B. He doesn't do this nearly as often as a lot of manga artists, but he's definitely not like Samura (Blade of the Immortal) when it comes to battle depictions.

Still, I'm not finding much justification in Carlo's review for why the art is only a "B," but ah well.


If you are comparing Miura-sensei's work with this...Samura-character....then I guess I should take up Blade of the Immortal as well. Very Happy

It'll be refreshing to see another artist that a fellow manga reader can compare to Miura-sensei. Embarassed

But nonetheless, I still believe that the ratings given to this volume of Berserk are unjustified. And I'm not saying that just because I love Berserk. Embarassed
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:18 pm Reply with quote
elreicht wrote:
If you are comparing Miura-sensei's work with this...Samura-character....then I guess I should take up Blade of the Immortal as well. Very Happy


You definitely should. BotI is the one manga I have read that arguably surpasses Berserk in terms of art.

Quote:
It'll be refreshing to see another artist that a fellow manga reader can compare to Miura-sensei. Embarassed

But nonetheless, I still believe that the ratings given to this volume of Berserk are unjustified. And I'm not saying that just because I love Berserk. Embarassed


Honest piece of advice here: Your statements would have a lot more credibility if you stopped referring to the author as 'Miura-sensei'. It sounds really dumb.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2313

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:38 pm Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:

Honest piece of advice here: Your statements would have a lot more credibility if you stopped referring to the author as 'Miura-sensei'. It sounds really dumb.


Eh, adding the "sensei" suffix onto a mangaka's name is apparantly a pretty common way of showing respect... in Japan at least. Razz Or so I've heard.

Honestly, though I sometimes get a little annoyed by seemingly random insertions of Japanese into English forum posts, this particular type doesn't bother me that much. And incidentally, I'm fairly certain I've seen Carlo do it at least once, so I suppose you have another reason to not trust his review now. Smile
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vashfanatic
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:10 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
elreicht wrote:
If you are comparing Miura-sensei's work with this...Samura-character....then I guess I should take up Blade of the Immortal as well. Very Happy


You definitely should. BotI is the one manga I have read that arguably surpasses Berserk in terms of art.


I take it you haven't read Vagabond, then?

But yes, BotI has probably the most amazing art in any manga ever. It was actually the first manga I ever purchased, and holds a dear place in my heart as a result.

And I second the sentiment that adding "sensei" is perfectly okay if you're doing it to demonstrate a real respect for the author. I call Urasawa Naoki "Urasawa-sensei" pretty frequently on the grounds that he deserves it.
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elreicht



Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Inside a weird apartment...

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:28 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
Honest piece of advice here: Your statements would have a lot more credibility if you stopped referring to the author as 'Miura-sensei'. It sounds really dumb.


I've been doing a lot of drawing eversince I can remember and Kentaro Miura has been the primary inspiration for most of what I have achieved. He has been doing Berserk for quite a long time now and it has always been agonizing for me to wait for a new volume to be released. I treat each volume as a masterpiece on its own because of it's merits, not because I idolize the mangaka too much.

As far as I know, I have not made any offensive comments nor have I forced my opinions on anyone. I respect Miura-sensei because he inspired me to refine what little drawing ability I have.

I'm just saying that the art for this volume of Berserk was poorly rated, considering the amount of attention given to fine details. Wink
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ikillchicken
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Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:27 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
I take it you haven't read Vagabond, then?


Nope but it's actually at the top of my list of things I want to check out.

elreicht wrote:
I've been doing a lot of drawing eversince I can remember and Kentaro Miura has been the primary inspiration for most of what I have achieved. He has been doing Berserk for quite a long time now and it has always been agonizing for me to wait for a new volume to be released. I treat each volume as a masterpiece on its own because of it's merits, not because I idolize the mangaka too much.


Yeah, that's sort of my point. You seems like a fairly intelligent person with a legitimate basis for your opinions. However, calling people 'sensei' kind of makes you sound like one of those silly japanophile teenagers who thinks it's 'kawaii' to use Japanese words.
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nobinobita



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 6:43 pm Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:

Yeah, that's sort of my point. You seems like a fairly intelligent person with a legitimate basis for your opinions. However, calling people 'sensei' kind of makes you sound like one of those silly japanophile teenagers who thinks it's 'kawaii' to use Japanese words.


I know what you're getting at, but I think he or she (?) is using the word correctly, to denote respect for someone they admire. Using the sensei suffix is no more embarassing than a journalist referring to Paul McCartney as "Sir Paul McCartney".

This is sort of a tangent, but do you feel embarassed to be associated with people who like anime/manga/Japan and are very vocal about it?

Personally, I think it's nice for people to be interersted in any culture, whether it's the one they grew up in or another that they just identify with. I know some fans can be abrasive and annoying, but you should take care not to become too sensitive to those things. Otherwise it takes the fun out of life. I don't mean to sound condescending, this is just a subject that's close to my heart because I get the sense that alot of people who like manga/anime/Asian Things feel like they have to hide it for fear of being lumped in with "those people".

OK, i'll get off the soap box now (my apologies!).

And yes, Vagabond is great. From my experience, people who like Berserk tend to also enjoy Vagabond and Blade of the Immortal. These are comics for people who really intrinsically find joy in visual art. They are comics for artists. They nourish the soul (I'm not kiddin!)

I'm curious, how many people out there like Berserk and also like to draw (for fun, or for a living)?
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