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Top 10 Best Manga to Read if You Like Berserk

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Top 10 Best Manga to Read if You Like Berserk

If you’re a fan of the Berserk manga and anime, you need to check out these 10 manga titles, and make Guts proud!

Berserk balances the horrific realities of a broken world while teetering on the edge of extremely graphic content, but manages to reel audiences back in with characters who discover that there’s plenty to live for when it comes to doing what’s good and just. With the series at an end, it’s only natural for fans to seek similar manga to read, and these are the best manga to read if you like Berserk.

The Berserk manga set a precedent for dark horror fantasy based on European medieval times. The main character, Guts, was full of flaws, but throughout the series, he realized the power of loving and protecting others as opposed to living selfishly for survival. This growth paralleled alongside his close friend, and later arch-enemy, Griffith who seemed to devolve into the opposite; someone who seemed to initially care for others and then became corrupted by the lust for power.

Dragon Quest Dai No Daiboken

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Image Source: Amazon

Although Berserk is dark fantasy manga at its finest, we’ll start off with entries that are more on the light-hearted side of things, and then get more serious. From an artistic point of view, Dragon quest Dai no daiboken might look the farthest from Berserk on this list, but don’t let that fool you from reading this little-known classic. It’s packed with plenty of fantasy and medieval elements along with demon slaying and good versus evil.

Based on one of the most, if not the most, famous and successful video game RPG series in Japan, this manga serves as a thrilling adventure full of action. Just like Guts, the main hero in this story is a young man named Dai who must defeat a demon lord to save his world.

Dai’s world is full of evil monsters that were set free to unleash chaos by the recently resurrected evil lord Haldar. Through rigorous training and a dangerous adventure, Dai is put to the test and brings an entertaining story with a now a retro-classic aesthetic.

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen

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Image Source: Amazon

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen started out as a light novel which then quickly became a manga, anime, and video game. It tells the story of a sorcerer named Krylancelo Finrandi (aka Orphen) who gained a reputation as a rebel with powers of “Majic.” This series is a great alternative for fans of Berserk who want something fantasy-based but don’t mind watching something a little less dark, with more emphasis on magical powers, and some humor thrown into the mix.

The story follows Orphen after he attempts to fraud a marriage for profit, but he ends up encountering a monster who turns out to be his missing sister. As a result, he sets out on a quest to protect his sister until he can find a way to change her back to normal while learning the hidden secrets of his world.

Basilisk

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Image Source: Kodansha

Basilisk is instantly similar to Berserk because it was purposefully made for the seinen demographic of manga readers which means it’s meant for adults over the age of 18. This manga isn’t as European medieval-inspired as Berserk, but it still depicts a harsh parallel world from the perspective of the Japanese feudal era.

Basilisk follows a rich history of the Kouga and Iga ninja clans that have been locked in a feud for over 400 years. Within this manga, there’s currently a brutal competition brewing between their best ninja fighters to determine who will reign as the next shogun. Two main characters, Gennosuke of the Kouga and Oboro of the Iga, were arranged to marry one another in hopes to find peace, but now the conflict has them caught in a battle that might end with one of them killing the other, or both of them being slain.

To sum it up, this story overflows with violence that exacerbates the darkest sides of Japan’s brutal history and deals with mature themes just like Berserk. Add in Japanese cultural influence instead of European dark ages and you have a story that’ll entertain any fan of the Berserk manga.

Kingdom

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Image Source: Amazon

The kingdom is another Seinen manga, and this time, it takes liberties with China’s history regarding the Warring States Period. During this time, constant fighting and war took place alongside political and bureaucratic shifts that would eventually lead to the first unified Chinese empire known as the Qin dynasty.

Characters in this series either share names with Chinese historical figures or are based on them, with the main character being a war orphan named Xin who dreams of becoming the greatest war general after witnessing two armies confront each other. This goal drives him on a perilous journey that brings war-torn dilemmas to the forefront of this dramatic work of historical fiction.

In Berserk, the band of the Hawk participates in some large-scale battles, and this manga goes all out with epic military battles full of realistic violence, a heavy emotional atmosphere, and terrifying suspense. Fans of Berserk will also appreciate the arc of Xin as he reflects many aspects of Guts’ character.

Vinland Saga

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Image Source: Amazon

You’d be remiss if you thought Vinland Saga is attempting to be a realistic or historically-accurate story, but you’ll enjoy it as an action-packed series that takes inspiration from Scandinavian Viking history and infuses it with Japanese culture, shonen, and fantasy elements. The main character is a young teenage boy named Thorfinn, who’s a mercenary that resembles the generic shonen hero in his personality, attitude, and mannerisms.

The setting is loosely based on the 11th-century saga of Cnut, one of the Vikings who invaded England and led to its downfall. Fans of Berserk can appreciate this manga because there are plenty of sword-swinging fights and barbaric violence along with detailed world-building similar to Berserk. Vinland Saga will remind you of Berserk with its visceral story set in a period that resembles European fantasy and will have you caught up in its characters.

Wolfsmund

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Image Source: Amazon

Wolfsmund is another Japanese take on a historic chapter from European history, this time on the era of William Tell, a folk hero from Switzerland. But this isn’t your typical heroic protagonist’s story, no, it’s far more sinister than that. This is a hard recommendation, but this series is as dark as dark gets.

There’s a whole lot less fantasy, and instead, the series focuses on the unrelenting and horrific situations that arose during the medieval era in this region. Full of blatant evil, senseless killing, and worse, this story takes the corrupt scenarios from the dark ages and pushes them to extremes.

This manga is not easy to read, especially since the first several chapters offer nothing more than the introductions and demise of new characters, one after the other. This initially starts as a shock factor but eventually becomes a desensitized expectancy. Not recommended for all, this manga should be read with reservations since it can be difficult to deal with its graphic subject matter, but it’s no secret that there were numerous vile atrocities committed during this period of history.

Claymore

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Image Source: Amazon

Claymore is a series that closely resembles Berserk due to its evident similarities with European medieval fantasy. It also ties in Yoma, which are evil supernatural shape-shifters that feed on humans. A shady group known as the Organization takes orphan boys and sends them to be combined with dragon-kin asarakam humanoid creatures to become full-bred yoma.

Meanwhile, the orphan girls are made into yoma-hybrids called Claymores. Both have superhuman powers, but females have become more naturally suitable for reaching a climax that transforms them into super-yomas.

In a cruel twist of fate, the Claymores are made to hunt and slay the yoma. Later in the Berserk series, Guts’ world totally transforms from a normal world of humans fighting humans to a defiled world where Guts finds himself regularly battling demons and the undead. On the flip side, Claymore’s main character is a female named Clare, and readers follow her story as she travels and performs her job, while secretly seeking revenge against a particular super-yoma who killed someone she loved dearly.

Record of Lodoss War: The Gray Witch

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Image Source: Amazon

Record of Lodoss War is arguably Japan’s premier fantasy light novel and anime series that was first on the scene to make an International impact. It capitalizes on the introduction of TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game in Japan. As western tabletop roleplaying games began a small following in Japan, players would publish and share replays, which are transcripts of the dialogue and stories from their roleplaying games.

Readers began enjoying these replays and that led to the creators of Lodoss War establishing their own original game based on a combination of the roleplaying games: Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, and RuneQuest. From there, they created their own world and stories known as the Record of Lodoss.

This story has everything true to a traditional RPG and remains in line with the world and setting of Berserk. Guts’ world may not have traditional elves and dwarves, readers of the Lodoss War manga will easily draw parallels with Berserk. If you have any interest in medieval fantasy, then Lodoss War is a 100% must-read, no questions asked.

Fist of the Northstar

Image Source: Amazon

Fist of the Northstar will always remain a historical classic in the history of manga and anime due to its genre-defining tropes, memorable characters, and balanced story between violence and love. In a dystopian future, nuclear war has left the world barren and ravaged, and only the strongest survive. While some people try to survive in communities and work together, many more have become raiders and thieves preying on the weaker and good-hearted people that remain.

In a wild turn of events, powerful martial artists have resurfaced with superhuman techniques, and the story revolves around the journey of the main protagonist, Kenshiro. A wandering martial artist gleaming with potential, he begins protecting the innocent, tragically falls in love with a woman named Julia, and battles the world’s most powerful martial arts warriors.

Blade of the Immortal

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Image Source: Crunchyroll

Blade of the Immortal takes place around the Tokugawa Shogunate of feudal Japan’s history and adds dark fantasy elements similar to Berserk. It’s another powerful blending of violent action and deeper themes. In Blade of the Immortal, the main character Manji is cursed with immortality; whenever he’s killed, bloodworms pour out of his body and regenerate him. The only way he can end his curse is to slay 1,000 evil men to atone for his murders from his past.

During his wandering, he meets a young girl named Rin Asano and asks Manji to help her get revenge for the murder of her father and their family dojo. Manji accepts and the two begin a grim and horrific path that has them battle sadistic killers and powerful political groups who harbor the world’s deadliest fighters.

If you get down to the nitty gritty, there’s a powerful connection between Guts and Manji, as well as their arcs and trajectories. Both seem doomed to a tragic fate, yet they accept this, and eventually learn about the power of self-sacrifice and atonement.

These are the best manga to read if you like Berserk and will provide plenty of entertainment for anyone interested in the European Medieval period and Japanese feudal era. Both the manga and anime of Berserk will forever remain classic stories forged in the history of Japanese art and storytelling. If you’re still craving more anime action, then check out our list of the top 10 shonen anime of all-time to help you get into the action!

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