The art of Berserk

I have been talking about Berserk a few times recently so I thought I would showcase some of the art of Berserk from the manga by Kentaro Miura. Berserk is a dark fantasy series that is set in a fairly typical medieval kingdom (albeit with some slightly odd Japanese names), but without giving too much away, things get quite Realm of Chaos-y quite quickly. It started in 1989 and is still going – very slowly – if you got impatient with Game of Thrones it may not be for you!

Berserk also exists as an anime series which is slightly dated but still excellent and probably the best introduction, and a new series of animated films which are also very good although do seem to miss some of the heart of the original series. Both are also worth checking out for the soundtracks by Susumu Hirasawa. The manga features the most incredible artwork and this post has images that do somewhat spoil the slow descent into madness of Berserk, but they don’t give away any plot points. You can click images to embiggen.

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Some artwork by Miura includes homages to Escher and Bosch, but perhaps the greatest similarities are with Gustav Dore and Albrecht Durer – two of my favourite artists, which perhaps explains why I love Berserk so much.







These comparison images are taken from this really excellent article about Berserk that I would love to find translated in English because it loses a lot in the Google translation. Berserk has extremely interesting and sophisticated ideas and it’s an great example of a fantasy series that does something different, breaking away from tropes and the over-familiar. As such I think it is good inspiration for Age of Sigmar projects – expect to see this guy soon:


9 Comments on “The art of Berserk

  1. It’s really nice to see this collection of Art. I’m a big fan of the Anime and I’ll definitely be giving the manga a look in now that you’ve shown this. Inspiring stuff and a really nice use of classical references in the later images.

  2. Hey Jake, first i want to say great blog, very inspiring.

    I love berserk too and maybe you know the miniature company called kingdom death. The creator is also a big berserk fan and his miniatures/world have a big berserk influence. If you dont know him check his site www. kingdomdeath . com and he also made a kickstarter: “kingdom death monster”, in the updates are a tone of artworks(they are all puplic)

    maybe you know him…

    and for your beastmen
    not the same but there are some influences.

    All the best a keep this great blog rolling :)

    • Hi, thanks for the comment. I do know of Kingdom Death and I’ve seen the not-Gatsu, which is pretty cool. I really love the monster designs and the whole aesthetic of the board game appeals too, really good looking product. But I didn’t back it, mainly because I think the female character designs are really embarrassing, and it’s such a shame that it got so much right but ruined it all with those.

      This seems to be prevalent in a lot of anime/manga – casual, juvenile sexism – but considering that miniature board/wargaming is rarely seen as a mature pursuit, it is especially disappointing that one of the few really grown-up looking products would go down this route. At the moment it looks like a porn parody of a really cool product.

      I might pick up a monster or two one day though, the guy in the throne and the bird thing are both fantastic.

      • hey, yep i can totaly understand your point, most of the 60´s pinup stuff is also not mine, but as you said the whole concept behind the game and the quality of the miniatures/art are so dam good that i had to back it :). And beside that, 99% of the pinups are not part of the game.

        And if your are interested in such a birdy, just leave me a comment, if im correct i will get 6 of them :D.

        • I planned to pick up a creature or two at some point. The game does sound good fun but I think the human survivor art style is enough to put me off, I confess to being pretty torn though.

          6! Seems excessive!

  3. I’ve never heard of this series and I’ve read my share of comics over the years. I’ll definitely need to check this out the next time I buy some choice books. As for gaming and keeping it non-pervy with the anime look I guess Infinity is the biggest but honestly if I’d go for something it’d be Bushido. That one really tickles my fancy (in a non-pervy way ;) ).

    • I’m not a fan of the anime look in general so Infinity doesn’t interest me, nor Bushido. Actually I dislike most anime series and manga that I’ve seen.

      I read ‘The Buried Giant’ recently which is an Arthurian legend from a Japanese author. Or Murakami and Ghibli – both influences on my models, sometimes not very subtlety!

      I guess what I’m saying is, I love weird Japanese stuff, but as soon as sexy magic ninjas appear, I’m out of there.

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