Thus With Deluxe Volume 2 we --truly--delve into the majestic Arc in Kentaro Miura's Berserk: The Golden Age. While, yes, there were a few chapters in Deluxe Volume 1 (that at the end of Manga 3), with this Edition we find ourselves fully in one of the best story Arcs, of any piece of fiction: ever conceived! The Golden Age needs to be experienced in its entirety to understand its majesty; however these Deluxe volumes are THE place to get into Berserk if you have yet to thus far. (although there will be a 4 month gap until the next Omnibus) The very first chapter in this Omnibus collection starts us off on a harrowing note, Berserk pulls no punches. We see Guts grow as a character, to once again have his world turned upside down and to be cast out. To then, unwillingly, stumble upon his calling, one that he himself never realizes. Griffith is here in all his splendour, for without this amazing character Berserk would NOT be the masterpiece that it is. A lot of people forget that. We also meet the unforgettable cast of the Band of the Hawk. Judeau, an unsung character in manga. Pippin, the giant and silent, ever loyal companion. Rickert, who's boyish enthusiasm is infectious. Corkus, ever antagonistic towards Guts, a constant reminder that raw power will not sway every mind in the Hawks. Last, but not least, the amazing character; Casca. The headstrong swords-woman who was Griffith's 'number one' until Guts' unexpected arrival and Griffith's proposal to join the Hawks changes her world forever, too. Do not let the Golden in the title fool you, this arc is one of the most hard hitting and emotional, and dark stories you will read. The Dark Fantasy theme returns, after a few grounded chapters, when we are introduced to one of the most memorable characters in the entire series: Zodd The Immortal. Berserk's depth is also on show in these 3 Manga's consisting of Deluxe Volume 2. Gone is the brutal hack and slash romp of the amazing Guardians of Desire, here we delve deep in to character motivations and philosophy. The search of dreams, the want of being apart of something profound. it is also within these chapters that we learn that Guts is more than just a big brute swinging a giant sword, he is a man with complexity. As with the first Deluxe Volume I reviewed, this is the definitive way to experience Berserk. The binding is fantastic and we no longer get loss of page from the paperbacks. The paper quality is what I wanted for Mirua's 90's art. Gloss just would not work. We do, however, get the 3 cover-arts of Manga volumes 4-6 in gloss at the back of the book. And once again the nice addition of the ribbon book mark. If you are new to Berserk these Deluxe Edition's are for you. A long timer of almost 3 decades like myself? yes, the upgrade is well, well worth it. I own all 39 (current) Manga Volumes and do not regret these purchases at all. Lastly, a MASSIVE thank you to Amazon.AU for shipping my order the date I ordered it and to receive this majestic omnibus the very next day was truly amazing! Thank you so much!
[NOTE: I have provided some images again, unlike the last volume I did not show the scale of these Deluxe up against a tradition Hardcover novel, something I mentioned previous that these tower over hardcovers so I thought I would provide that with this review! You will see the size of these Deluxe up against my Complete Conan Chronicles, which in and of itself is a massive book. Enjoy, my fellow Strugglers!!]
I also own the first volume. I only recently got into this incredible universe a few years ago by watching the Berserk Anime from the 90's, which got me hooked and I then read the entire manga online in almost one sitting and it quickly became my favourite manga story and possibly in my opinion is one of the best written in fiction period. For a few years I've been considering buying the trade paperbacks, so when I heard these beautiful editions were being printed I snatched up the opportunity to start my collection... And WOW, let me tell you these things are beautiful. The build quality, the thickness of the pages, and the beauty of the cover. It all oozes care, thought and respect for the material inside. Miura's masterpiece was meant to be read at this size. I've read the paperbacks before that friends own, but let me tell you, this is the definitive way to read Berserk in my opinion. If you only buy Berserk in one way, make it this one.
My one and only complaint is that I can't buy all 13 volumes now, that I can only buy 3 new editions a year. Can't wait until November!