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Berserk, Vol. 10

Berserk, Vol. 10 - Kentaro Miura Mainly action-oriented, but with some surprising moments along the way. Miura's hinted at Griffith's fate, but in this volume, we see it explicitly realized. Again the story has transitioned into set-up mode and the reader gets the feeling that Miura is setting the groundwork for more momentous events that are right around the corner. This can be frustrating to some readers as the end-point isn't exactly a huge unknown. We know the basic outline of the story and we know that the Griffith we see in the depths of the prison is not the Griffith from the future that we were introduced to early in the story. While the details are murky, an intelligent reader can grasp what's going to happen and if Miura drags this out too much, he might risk losing people.

However, that said, there are some interesting ideas played with that I'd like to see developed more fully in the future. How Griffith's transformation is going to affect the Hawks and the question of individual and group identity within the band could be great material to explore. I think Miura is definitely aware of them because a lot of the dialogue from minor Hawk members who've stuck with the band through their persecution of the past year have the feeling of misdirection - the feeling you get when certain characters get a little too excited about things they expect to happen, which inevitably read like disappointment waiting to happen to the experienced reader. Will they stick around when they learn the good old days aren't coming back? How will the dynamics within the group change? How will Guts's relationship with Caska change now that her idol is back in the mix? Jealousy could be a great cornerstone for the break that develops between the two, adding a personal touch of enmity that extends beyond the whole "sacrifice for ambition" that seems a little too removed and detached for the hatred manifested by Guts in the series's first arc.