With two anime adaptations, three movies, and 50 million copies sold, Berserk is one of the best-selling manga of all time. The series follows the story of Guts, a lonely swordsman who’s trying to defy his fate by going after the forces that wronged him. Berserk boasts a great story and an aptly violent and gory art—but it’s not the only one in this category. Here are ten mangas to read if you like Berserk.
Berserk and Claymore have a lot of similarities—from protagonists showing that hybrids are better than purebred to the medieval setting and anti-hero protagonists that defy all odds. Clare and Guts also share the same line of morality wherein both are neither good nor bad but act based on the situation. Clare may not be a splitting image of Guts, but those Claymore action scenes are a conjuring image of Berserk.
9. Übel Blatt
It’s not uncommon to hear these two in the same conversation. Once you’ve seen Übel Blatt’s art, it’s eerily similar to Berserk’s. Both mangas also share the same story plot. A powerful swordsman who’s on the hunt for revenge on people who betrayed them that cost them almost everything. If you are a fan of Berserk’s art style and fan service, Übel Blatt also has them. Just don’t expect Koinzell’s story arc to be as complicated as Guts.
Vagabond is a masterpiece in itself. After all, it’s made by the same genius who created the classic, Slam Dunk. This might be a weird inclusion because Vagabond drew inspiration from Japan’s history rather than fiction compared to Berserk’s monster-ridden world. However, what made Vagabond’s inclusion on this list is Musashi’s anti-hero attitude that mirrors that of Guts. If you fell in love with Berserk’s violent art but super great storytelling, Vagabond should be right up your alley.
7. Blade of the Immortal
Blade of the Immortal and Berserk’s mangas share a love for violence and gore. Both mangas are not shy from the gritty and vicious storytelling and their main protagonists also share the same fate. Manji and Guts are both cursed and both are trying to break it. Manji was cursed with immortality via the Kessen-chu while Guts is cursed to be bad luck to everyone he loves or cares for by the Brand of Sacrifice.
6. Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is said by many to be the successor of Berserk. The two have a lot more in common than many readers will accept. Both are revenge stories, are great fighters for their own rights, and are forced to grow up in a violent world in order to survive. The similarities also go beyond the storyline. The Golden Arc of Berserk and the early Vinland Saga look very similar in terms of artwork.
This is not surprising since Kentaro Miura, creator of Berserk, was heavily inspired by Go Nagi. Once you’ve started reading both mangas, you can easily see the inspiration. The story of Guts is a mirror of Akira’s. Akira was betrayed by his best friend Ryo and that betrayal spiraled his life out of control resulting in him losing everyone he loves. After that, he’s always been fighting his own demons while looking for revenge on the man who did it. Sounds familiar? Yes, that’s the same story between Guts and Griffith.
4. Fist of the North Star
Fist of the North Star is another source of inspiration for Berserk. In an interview with Crunchyroll, Kentaro Miura publicly said that Fist of the North Star heavily influenced his works. This is very evident if you look at Kenshiro and Guts. Give Kenshiro a sword and you’ll easily see Guts. They even share the same storyline on how the two protagonists meet each other. Kenshiro saved Rin from a group of men who were trying to do something bad to her just like how Guts saved Jill from the people who kidnapped her.
The similarity between the two is not that evident compared to the other mangas on this list but once you’ve finished reading both, you’ll find that these two have a lot of similarities. Both mangas are seinen and feature violence, gore, and sexual acts. Kurono and Guts are also fighting an unknown power that pushes them to their limits in order to survive their own predicaments and both the aliens and the apostles can fuel your nightmares. Gantz is also one of the best Seinen mangas we know.
The story of Rebirth and Berserk have similar themes. Someone powerful killed their most beloved thus putting them on the path to revenge. Deshiwitat’s beloved, Lilith, was killed by Kalutika to punish him for practicing black magic while Casca, Guts’ closest thing to a loved one, was assaulted by Griffith just to spite him. Both women in their lives suffer immensely because they are connected to their protagonists and both can’t protect them during the ordeal.
Kingdom is a masterpiece just like Berserk. They are both at the top of the Seinen genre. Although Kingdom is based on history, both share a dark and violent storyline. Shin and Guts have a lot in common. Both are great fighters, both defied the fate given to them to achieve their goals and both are certified badasses. One very peculiar similarity between the two is the gritty depiction of death and corpses during the fight scenes.
- This article was updated on May 29th, 2023