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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Berserk Vol. 22 by Miura Kentaro 
19th-May-2008 11:49 pm
Miura, Kentaro. Berserk. Vol. 22. Trans. Duane Johnson. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse, 2008.
          Summary: Guts returns to the swordsmith's cave with Casca--only to find the newly reincarnated Griffith awaiting him there. An epic duel ensues between Guts and Zodd, destroying that cave that once protected Casca in the process and forcing the heroes back on the road again. Griffith, meanwhile, is as determined as ever to carve out a kingdom for himself, and mighty warriors begin to rally around him, mowing down the Kushan in the process. A side story delves into the relationship between Lady Farnese and Serpico.
          Comments: The beginning of the "Millennium Falcon Arc" (which this translation is calling "Millennium Empire"). At last Griffith is back, and the perverse triangle linking him with Guts and Casca has been effectively reinscribed...with a new twist: Casca and Guts' child, deformed by Griffith/Femto's sexual assault on Casca during the Eclipse, is now a part of Griffith! Talk about mythic tales of Father and Son. Equally mythic was the way in which Griffith goes about forming a new Band of the Hawk. But of course, he can't quite abandon his humanity and still feels something for his former companions. All those significant stares between him and Guts churn up homoeroticism thick enough to be cut with a knife, and Griffith is, if possible, looking even more long-haired and lovely than ever. That full plate armor is pretty becoming too (as you can see from the cover).
          Otherwise, this was a very strong volume, with a nice mixture of action, plot, and characterization. Serpico's back story was among the most interesting I've seen thus far in the series, and that's saying something. I'd wondered if perhaps he might be planning to betray Farnese for having his mother burned at the stake, but of course Miura wasn't going to make his motivations nearly that simple. The Dark Horse edition also, surprise surprise, includes a double-sided fold-out poster. Incidentally, the portrait of Guts and Griffith on the back side reminds me a lot of the original, highly symbolic Test of the Twins novel cover painting.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Hakusensha in 2001
          Rating: 7/10 - Berserk is the gift that just keeps on giving. You kinda hope it never ends...and at this rate, it probably never will.
21st-May-2008 04:58 am (UTC)
Can't...read...have to...review this same book this week...
21st-May-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Wait till you see how gorgeous Griffith looks in this volume! XD XD
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