With the war over, it’s time for peace! Surely nothing bad will ever happen to any of our characters from this point forward. Yup! It’s all uphill from here! The future is looking bright!
If you can ignore that giant black cloud in the distance. Eclipse? You just made that up!
After their victory at Doldrey, the Band of the Hawk return to the capital of Midland to a hero’s welcome. Unfortunately, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the men (and Casca) of the hour. Griffith’s success has given him a boost in the political world, which has upset several of Midland’s higher powers. The Hawks may have stepped off of one battlefield, but how will they fare here in this new one?
These two chapters are all buildup for the next mini-arc, Tombstone of Flame. As such, not a whole lot happens here. You’ve got some character development, but its primary focus is on putting all the pieces into place for the next major event. Hence why the bulk of these two chapters is just people fawning over the Hawks and talking about how cool they are.
Which, I mean, they’re not wrong, so…
Surprisingly, it’s the Queen of Midland who gets most of the development. Turns out, she doesn’t just hate Griffith because he’s common-born. She hates him cause she was sleeping with Count Julius, whom Griffith obviously had assassinated. This one simple addition not only gives this character some intriguing depth but also reveals to us the first crack in the royal family’s facade of perfection.
These two chapters also give us one of my favorite Guts and Casca scenes, that being their chat outside of the ballroom. It’s nice to see just how close these two have gotten; both are completely outside their element at the ball, so they both step aside and share in each other’s company to feel a bit more at ease. That, and they both look really nice in their fancy clothes.
Also, that last smile between Guts and Griffith is very nice. It would be one of the nicest moments in all of Berserk if Griffith weren’t… you know, Griffith.
I don’t really have much else to say about these chapters. They’re a little mini-calm before the mini-storm. It builds up the tension nicely, puts all the right pieces into the right places, and even managed to give us some solid character development while it was at it. All of the excitement will have to wait until next time.
But when it comes, hoo boy is it wild.