Berserk, often hailed as one of the premier examples of adult manga, began publication in 1990. Written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura, the title is set in a dark fantasy inspired medieval Europe, following the exploits of wandering mercenary Guts. Weaving great action with eye popping art; it also features excellent characterization, sweeping epic storylines which span years of the characters' lives, and intense violence/horror. Berserk gained popularity in America from the limited 25 episode anime, and has spawned 3 movies, 2 videogame, and numerous action figures. New chapters of berserk are still released, unfortunately its on a fairly erratic schedule. This is one of the most emotionally engrossing manga series I've read, and comes highly recommended to fans of seinen manga, and graphic literature in general.
Volume 11 is probably one of the most action heavy books we've gotten since Berserk, Vol. 7. The story picks up immediately after Berserk, Vol. 10 with the Band being pursued by a unrelentingly vile enemy. The majority of this book is dedicated to the fight between the Hawks and this deadly vicious foe. Several one and two page spreads dedicated to some guresomely intense action panels, make this chapter truly eye popping. It should be noted this chapter features two fairly intense sexual situations, although nothing explicitly rendered (No genitals or penetration). The chapter's conclusion was satisfying, and set things in motion for the final two volumes of the golden age arc. Per the manga norm, there are no extras in this volume.
As far as production goes, this book is fairly typical of what one would expect from a manga volume released in the US. Roughly 260 pages, featuring eight to eleven chapters of about 16-18 pages each. Bound in a softcover, and printed on classic manga/newsprint style paper. The series appears to be wholly uncensored in the US, featuring a competent translation, along with uncensored gore and nudity. My one gripe being; up to this point the sound effects have gone untranslated.
I don't have much bad to say about Berserk, other than its not for the squeamish or faint of heart. The art is truly breathtaking, and not only in it's action panels. Every character, set piece, and background is expertly rendered, with a loving attention to detail that demonstrates Miura's skill as a mangaka. That being said, the action panels are some of the best I've seen ;D. Fortunately, the story is quite enjoyable as well. Featuring tales of friendship, romance, Ambition, heartbreak, and tragedy. I became emotionally invested in several members of the main cast, thanks in part to good interpersonal character growth. It really can't be stated enough that Berserk does feature depictions of sex, and extreme graphic violence. The depictions of intercourse are pretty tame though, mostly featuring one person on top of the other, and some nipples. The violence and horror elements, on the other hand, can be quite grotesque, leaving little to the imagination. I'd recommend this series to anyone interested in a story with amazing art, cool characters, and a finely woven tale ages 18 and up.