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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Berserk Vol. 21 by Miura Kentaro 
1st-Mar-2008 11:59 pm
Miura Kentaro. Berserk. Vol. 21. Trans. Duane Johnson. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse, 2008.
          Summary: Guts defeats Mozgus and is reunited with Casca at last, but he is powerless to stop the wholesale destruction of the refugees at the Tower of Conviction that leads to the resurrection of...Griffith! Guts manages to evade the invading Kushan and again hits the road, Lady Farnese and her fellow knights in pursuit, intending to join him.
          Comments: Have I ever mentioned before that Berserk is popular with women as well as men in Japan? Some suggest that the publisher Hakusensha specializing primarily in shoujo (Hana to Yume, LaLa) has something to do with it, and since I don't know for certain I won't dispute that, but, well...you can see what's on the cover of this volume as well as I can. (^^;; Yo, even I thought that the 5+ pages of a nude, ectomorphic Griffith doing nothing except stand there and look dishy were gratuitous. (What happened to those Femto muscles?)
          Plot-wise, the denouement of the Conviction Arc wasn't especially interesting; after all, we knew how it was going to end, right? Nor did the artwork go anywhere in particular that we haven't seen before from Miura. And, of course, we're saving discussions of Griffith's future plans for another time. Still, I was pleased to see the troupe of prostitutes and their respective lovers get away (more or less) unscathed. In the hands of a lesser mangaka, they would have been so much cannon fodder.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Hakusensha in 2001
          Rating: 5.5/10 - I wouldn't say that this volume is great in and of itself (except maybe for the cover), but it is a pivotal part of a really awesome epic series.
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