If you have not heard already, the French journal La Figaro interviewed Kentaro Miura, author of Berserk, regarding the more recent chapters and the future of Berserk.
Given the couple of prediction posts I have written recently, this will be an interesting addition to get an idea where the story of Berserk will go on from this point.
Since this Interview is not officially translated yet, I will resort to use Google translate for now. Then I will pick the stuff I find interesting and add my own comments to it in cursive!
Strong – Stronger – Strongest: Incremental Character development
La Figaro: So, you had not thought of the Berserker Armor from the beginning of the series? You created this element during the development of your world?
Miura: I would not go so far as to say that everything was in place for this element to be obvious. In fact, the world of manga is marked by inflation, with the arrival of ever more incredible enemies accompanied by ever more powerful weapons. This is a common situation in shônen mangas, who do not have time to control this inflation. It quickly becomes galloping up to exceed a heading from which, except stroke of luck, it is no longer possible to stop it. But in my case, and not wanting to disrespect my first publisher, my story was published in a second-rate magazine, which allowed me to keep inflation under control. Especially since at the beginning, the publication was monthly. So I always made sure to let inflation grow, but by small successive leaps… I feel like talking about economy. Where the best inflation is 2%, 3%, 4%, a mild inflation.
This sweetness allows a regular development of the story. In my opinion, the first leap took place with the arrival of the Falcon troupe, the first major change of scale of the series. Then there was the development of the magic aspect with Schierke. So, I had to solve the problem of the physical reinforcement of Guts. With the advent of magic and supernatural beings, I was forced to give him something supernatural too, if I wanted to preserve the dynamism brought by his hand-to-hand combat. By dint of searching, I found the solution you know. An armor that drives you crazy. It’s perfect, for a “berserk”. It is said that the ancient berserker was taking drugs to rage. As in a way, the pain is Guts’ drug, the whole thing was a coherent whole.
La Figaro: And when he finds himself face to “God hand” …
Miura: The boost becomes even more necessary. As Guts, being human, can only improve his body and mind, I torture my mind every time to find a solution. Because I can not give him an ultimate weapon, or the ability to fly across the sky.
My comment: You actually see this very well in the manga: Schierke and the Berserker Armor were Guts’ power-up against apostles and magical beings. Another gear up happened when Schierke managed to get Guts in control over the Berserker Armor while fighting Daiba in Vritannis. Remember that Schierke had deployed a fire cast spell that inhabited Guts’ Dragon Slayer to kill the powerful water spirit. During the sea god fight, it was Schierke’s influence that enabled Guts to
walk jump over water in full armor. He is also able to see in the dark, though it is not disclosed whether that is due to Schierke’s magic or the magic inside the cursed armor.
The Berserker Armor paired up with Schierke’s powers is a massive boost for Guts and gives him god-like powers already. The funny part? It’s possibly still not enough to fight a foe like Femto. Because Miura incrementally strengthened Guts’ powers and abilities throughout the manga, we can safely assume Miura is going to continue to do so.
What is also interesting to note is the fact Miura mentions something about Guts’ pain being his main drive and fuel. Currently, his astral wound on his back back and chest serves that purpose (How? Well, that’s deserving it’s own article). The way Miura puts it makes it sound like that something very painful to him has to happen again in order to keep Guts’ drive from a writing standpoint.
The Reunion with Guts and Casca
La Figaro: The reunion between Guts and Casca is imminent and the confrontation with Griffith is looming. Is the end of Berserk approaching? You estimate to be 60-70% of the story in 2009, after 176 chapters … This number has now doubled!
Miura: For the reunion between Guts and Casca, it’s done.
I think I’m always wrong when I try to estimate this kind of delay. However, it is true that the first serious duel with Griffith is approaching. As for the overall advancement of the series, however… It’s coming to an end, that’s for sure. But if I say that there is still a fifth or a quarter to draw, this estimate may be lower than the reality. So I prefer not to advance.
My comment: This sounds a lot like we are going to get the final Guts and Casca reunion soon!
Realistically Optimistically, I expect this to happen at the end of volume 41 or beginning of volume 42.
Casca’s upcoming course of action
EDIT: Due to google translation errors the original post does not longer apply! Thanks Tumblr user midnight-in-town for pointing this out and providing a translation! I removed the paragraphs in question as I do not want to spread misinformation and decided to write a different article instead.
La Figaro: It’s true that the story/plot is still going fine
Miura: Yeah I think so and it’s going to focus again on Guts and Griffith. We’re nearing the final chapter.
My comment: Since the story is going to go back to Guts and Griffith, something has to happen in order to trigger it. The first thought that comes to mind is that Casca is going to reject Guts, making him abandon his companions e.g. to find himself or to burn himself up in revenge – but it doesn’t have to be.