Why Some Fans Believe Berserk's Opening is Non-Canon
By Yung Namahage • 2 months ago

The 41st volume  of Berserk will officially be released in English this November, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. Sadly, this'll most likely be the last we see of the legendary dark fantasy manga after author Kentaro Miura passed away almost a year ago. Before it comes to an end, let's revist the very first scene that's still controversial to this day. 

In Black Swordsman, the manga's first chapter published in Animal House in 1989, the titular black swordsman is introduced balls deep inside a woman. Before we know his name, his personality, his backstory or anything, we see his ass as he pounds this nameless babe missionary style. But just at the moment of climax, she reveals her true demonic form.

Then Guts does what he does best: he turns the tables on that Satanic slut, blasting her to kingdom come with his arm cannon.

Like a true Chad, he leaves her smouldering corpse and heads into the town's local tavern, leading to the iconic reveal of his of inhumanly large sword. The 1997 anime starts with an edited version of the tavern scene, same with the terrible 2016 anime, but no adaptation has featured the sex scene from the first few pages. Why is that? I'll get to my theory in a bit.

As the story continues and Guts kills some bigger and badder demons, it jumps back to his childhood. Then it advances to the famous Golden Age arc, when he first runs into and later joins the Band of the Hawk. The next few volumes are dedicated to Guts' relationships with Griffith, Judeau, Casca and the rest, but the long and short of it is (SPOILER!) is Griffith sacrifices the rest of the Band for godlike powers, leaving Guts crippled and hungry for revenge as he looks after Casca, one of the few people in his life he's felt love for.

The story loops back around to the "present," with Guts in full Black Swordsman gear and Casca traumatized from the events of the Eclipse. Casca was in the cottage of blacksmith Godot while Guts was out aquiring intel on Griffith, including that time he fucked a demon. Basically, with the knowledge that Guts has a romantic connection to Casca it does seem out-of-character for him to be having sex with another woman, let alone a demon, to the point where some fans regard the scene as non-canon.

The simple explanation for this is Miura probably hadn't planned that far ahead when he first started writing the manga. The Golden Age arc began two whole years after the manga first started, during which time Miura laid the groundwork for his fucked up fantasy world and its brooding protagonist before delving into his dark past and the events that made him this way. As far as introductions go Guts definitely had a memorable one, even if in retrospect it doesn't quite fit in with his character since the later Black Swordsman arc establishes he's still loyal to Casca. But still, that's not the last we saw of that female demon he lays & slays on the first page. During the Eclipse we find out she's the same Apostle who kills the Band's resident douchebag Corkus.

Have you guys seen the first few pages of Berserk before? Where do you weigh in on the canon vs not canon debate? Let us know below!