Berserk Manga Reading Order: Your Guide to the Dark World of Kentaro Miura

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Berserk is one of the most popular manga series of all time, written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.

Our Reading Order Guide to Berserk

Though, we mostly talked about volumes below, it is good to know that the series had no official numbering at first. The numbering started when Berserk, from Monthly Animal House magazine to its successor, Young Animal.

The Story of Berserk

Berserk is dark fantasy/Sword and Sorcery story set in a medieval Europed-inspired world.

The story centers around Guts, a feared warrior spoken of only in whispers. Bearer of a gigantic sword, an iron hand, and the scars of countless battles and tortures, his flesh is also indelibly marked with The Brand, an unholy symbol that draws the forces of darkness to him and dooms him as their sacrifice.

But Guts won’t take his fate lying down; he’ll cut a crimson swath of carnage through the ranks of the damned – and anyone else foolish enough to oppose him! Accompanied by Puck the Elf, more an annoyance than a companion, Guts relentlessly follows a dark, bloodstained path that leads only to death…or vengeance.

Berserk Manga Volume List

The Berserk Manga series is published by Dark Horse in the United States.

The plot of Berserk is divided into five major story arcs: Black Swordsman, Golden Age, Conviction, Falcon of the Millenium Empire, and Fantasia. This is how we choose to organize the volumes below:

Black Swordsman Arc
Berserk Vol. 1
Berserk Vol. 2
Berserk Vol. 3

Golden Age Arc
The Golden Age Arc starts at the end of volume 3, with the episode titled Revenge 9: Golden Age (1)
Berserk Vol. 3
Berserk Vol. 4
Berserk Vol. 5
Berserk Vol. 6
Berserk Vol. 7
Berserk Vol. 8
Berserk Vol. 9
Berserk Vol. 10
Berserk Vol. 11
Berserk Vol. 12
Berserk Vol. 13
Berserk Vol. 14

Conviction Arc
The Conviction Arc starts in volume 14, with the episode 095: Lost Children: Return of Black Swordsman.
Berserk Vol. 14
Berserk Vol. 15
Berserk Vol. 16
Berserk Vol. 17
Berserk Vol. 18
Berserk Vol. 19
Berserk Vol. 20
Berserk Vol. 21

Millennium Falcon Arc
Berserk Vol. 22
Berserk Vol. 23
Berserk Vol. 24
Berserk Vol. 25
Berserk Vol. 26
Berserk Vol. 27
Berserk Vol. 28
Berserk Vol. 29
Berserk Vol. 30
Berserk Vol. 31
Berserk Vol. 32
Berserk Vol. 33
Berserk Vol. 34
Berserk Vol. 35
Only one episode in volume 35 is part of this arc.

Fantasia Arc
The Fantasia Arc starts in volume 35, with the episode 308: Ghost Ship.
Berserk Vol. 35
Berserk Vol. 36
Berserk Vol. 37
Berserk Vol. 38
Berserk Vol. 39
Berserk Vol. 40
Berserk Vol. 41

Berserk Manga Deluxe Volume List

In 2018, Dark Horse started to reprints Berserk in a deluxe edition, featuring hard covers and large prints. Each volume from the deluxe edition collects three volumes from the previous edition.

Berserk Deluxe Volume 1 (Collects Volumes 1–3)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 2 (Collects Volumes 4–6)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 3 (Collects Volumes 7–9)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 4 (Collects Volumes 10–12)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 5 (Collects Volumes 13–15)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 6 (Collects Volumes 16–18)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 7 (Collects Volumes 19–21)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 8 (Collects Volumes 22–24)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 9 (Collects Volumes 25–27)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 10 (Collects Volumes 28–30)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 11 (Collects Volumes 31–33)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 12 (Collects Volumes 34–36)
Berserk Deluxe Volume 13 (Collects Volumes 37–39)

Berserk Manga in Chronological Order

If you first discovered Berserk via one of the animation adaptations, you could be a little bit confused. To put it simply, the author wrote the first few chapters of the manga and then chose to go back with a flashback arc to explain what happened between Guts and Griffith, the main antagonist.

If you want to read the manga in chronological order, you need to read that way:

– Golden Age Arc (Volumes 3–14, from episode Golden Age 1 to episode 94)
– Black Swordsman Arc (Volumes 1–3, from episode The Black Swordsman to Guardian Angels of Desire (6))
– Conviction Arc (Volumes 14–21, from episodes 95 to 176)
– Millennium Falcon Arc (Volumes 22–35, from episodes 177–307)
– Fantasia Arc (Volumes 35–45, from episodes 308–ongoing)

More about the Berserk franchise

Berserk has been adapted several times over the years, including a few anime television series, an anime film series, as well as a spin-off novel.

The series also spawned a few of official and fan-made products, including statues, action figures, key rings, video games, and a trading card game. Miura also created a number of art books and extra materials based on Berserk.

Has the Berserk manga series ended?

Kentaro Miura, the man behind Berserk, unfortunately, died in 2021 from an aortic dissection, leaving the future of the manga uncertain for a time.

It has been announced in June 2022 that the series will continue, using plans and thoughts that Miura himself told to mangaka Kouji Mori, as well as memorandiums and characters design that he left behind. The publication is ongoing.

Berserk Anime: Watch Order

Following is a listing of the Berserk anime adaptation

Kenpuu Denki Berserk (1997 TV series, 25 episodes)
This TV series loosely adapts the Black Swordsman arc and continues through the Golden Age arc. It mostly covers the first thirteen volumes.

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc (2012-2013 film series)
As the title suggests, this trilogy covers the Golden Age arc in a shorter running time. The trilogy consists of:
Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King (2012)
Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (2012)
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The Advent (2013) also known under the title Berserk Ougon – Jidaihen III: Kourin

The film series has recently been re-cut for TV episodes, as Berserk: The Golden Age Arc—Memorial Edition, with additional scenes and visual enhancements,

Berserk (2016 TV Series, 2 seasons, 24 episodes)
Sometimes considered two distinct series, the second anime television adaptation series. It consists of:
– Berserk Season 1 (12 Episodes), which adapts the Conviction Arc.
– Berserk Season 2 (12 Episodes), which adapts the Falcon of the Millennium Empire arc.

Berserk: Recollections of the Witch (2017)
A recap of the Berserk TV series for those who would like to refresh their memories.

What is Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight?

Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight is a spin-off novel conceived by Kentaro Miura and written by Makoto Fukami, novelist and screenwriter for the Berserk anime.

The Flame Dragon Knight traces the rise of the warhammer-wielding warrior Grunbeld from humble beginnings to become the all-powerful Apostle who will one day face Guts in mortal combat! 

About the author of Berserk

Who is Kentaro Miura?

The son of an advertising storyboard artist and an art teacher, Kentarō Miura was a Japanese manga artist who scribbled his first creations in kindergarten before starting his first manga at the age of 10.

No surprise then that he continued to create manga over the years. He enrolled in an artistic curriculum and befriended fellow artist Kouji Mori. He also briefly worked as an assistant to Jyoji Morkawa when he was 18.

He published a few one-shots, including Berserk: The Prototype before officially starting the Berserk manga series which will become his most famous work. He was still working on the series at the time of his death, May 6, 2021.

What has Miura written beyond Berserk?

Beyond Berserk, Miura illustrated several stories written by Buronson, including King of Wolves and Ōrō Den, but also released other works he has written (Giganto Maxia, Duranki).

*

Want to read more classic mangas? Check out the Dark Fantasy series Fullmetal Alchemist or the slice-of-life Fruits Basket.