Berserk Manga Review (Part 25): The Eclipse Continued

Content warning. Yes, I know it feels weird to put one of those this late, especially in Berserk. But it’s got to be said. What occurs in these chapters may be, without exaggeration, some of the darkest pieces of fiction ever put to the page. I won’t be showing anything for obvious reasons, but I am going to be talking in-depth about them. So if you’re sensitive to discomforting subjects, namely those regarding sexual assault, please either proceed with caution or click away from this article.

With all that said, today we’ll be covering:

The pure dread in this panel is genuinely chilling!
  • The Feast
  • Storm of Death 1-2
  • God of the Abyss
  • Lifeblood
  • Quickening
  • Birth
  • Afterglow of the Right Eye
  • Escape

Griffith has made his choice, and the lives of the Hawks are forfeit. As an inescapable death closes in on all of them, a desperate struggle for survival begins. But with nightmarish monsters all around and no hope of escape, is there any hope left?

Hope you like these characters! Because it’s time to watch them all die. Horribly. Gruesomely. Painfully.

What really kicks me in the teeth is that each death is so perfectly fitting for the characters. Pippin goes quietly, stoically facing down impossible odds. Corkus denies everything and runs away, convincing himself its all a bad dream and being betrayed by his lust. Gaston, Guts’ ever loyal right-hand man, dies realizing that he’s just a side character, passing within his captain’s arms.


Then there’s Judeau. The best bro, who goes out trying to save Casca, getting brutally torn apart every step of the way. In his last moments, we learn that he actually harbored romantic feelings for her himself. Yet he always put Guts first, pushing for them to get together despite his own wants. Of all the deaths in this section, Ju-bro’s is the one that upsets me the most.

Though it can’t compare to what happens to Casca. But… well, we’ll get to that.

First, we’ve got to talk about Guts. All on his own, faced with an army of monsters out to eat him, and what does he do? Fly into a blood frenzy and starts slaughtering everything! We get some of the most jaw-dropping art in the whole series here; you can just feel the rage coming off of these panels!

Especially once we get to Casca. Which means that we’ve got to talk about it now. The most infamous scene in all of Berserk, if not all of manga. The scene that makes or breaks a Berserk fan:

Griffith sexual assaulting Casca.

Can’t show you the scene, sorry.

This scene is downright painful to read. Thirteen solid pages of Casca being brutally assaulted by the man she used to admire, all while Guts – and therefor the audience – is forced to watch. Man straight-up cuts his arm off to try and stop it, and even that’s not enough! It’s upsetting, it’s disgusting, and it’s infuriating. It puts you right in the shoes of our protagonist.

In fact, it does that a little too well. This scene is often criticized for being too gratuitous, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s so detailed that it borders on being pornography. I understand why it’s there, and it’s too important a scene to Berserk to cut. But it definitely goes a bit too far.

However, anyone who says ‘the art implies Casca enjoyed it’ is a fucking moron.

And so, the Eclipse comes to an end. Guts is down an arm and an eye, Casca’s been brutally assaulted, Griffith is a god, and everyone else is dead. All the good times of the Golden Age have come to the worst possible conclusion. Joy is dead and hope is gone.

Among all the horror and heartbreak, we’re treated to one of the shortest yet coolest fights in the series.

But then the motherfucking Skull Knight makes the coldest god damn entrance ever to save the day! I only wish we could have seen his fight with Zodd. The coolest matchup in the whole manga, and it happens off-screen! We were robbed, I tell you! Robbed!

I joke because the misery train isn’t over just yet.

Words really can’t encapsulate how brutal and upsetting the Eclipse really is. It’s one of those things that you just need to read. But only if you’ve got an iron-clad stomach. Even then, it’s gonna upset you. Deeply.

This is the sequence that will turn many people away from Berserk. And as much as I love this series, I really can’t blame anyone who got turned off from it because of it. Very few moments in fiction come even close to being as dark as the Eclipse is.

Luckily, now it’s over. Surely it can only go uphill from here, right?


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