I have watched all the Berserk anime up to this point (including the Golden Age arc) and wanted to read the manga. My husband started reading the manga many years ago and I am not sure what took me so long to pick them up. This is a very violent almost horror-like fantasy manga series and is not for the faint of heart.
In this first book we meet Guts (the Black Swordsman) and Puck. Guts has been branded and labeled a sacrifice and attracts all sorts of demons to him, which he brutally slays. Guts is one of those characters that take a licking and keeps on ticking. He is brutally tortured a number of times in the book, yet manages to decimate his foes with his incredibly enormous sword.
In this book we are also introduced to the Apostles; fiends of god-like power who are after anyone with the brand. These Apostles seem to thrive off of human misery and Guts has made it his mission to take them down.
The illustration is really well done and easy to follow. There is a lot of action in this book but also solid world-building and interesting characters. The story is very graphic and violent, so just be aware of that. If you find violence, torture, and gore extremely abhorrent this isn't the manga series for you.
Overall this was an amazing start to this manga series. Unlike other manga series this one sucks you right in and builds a great story right from the first volume. I really am enjoying it and would recommend to mature manga readers who enjoy action fantasy manga.