Top 10 Dark Fantasy Manga recommendation If You Liked Berserk
Dark Fantasy Manga like Berserk is one of the most popular franchises to ever come out of Japan. The aggressively brutal dark fantasy series made waves as a manga but has also been repeatedly adapted into an anime to varying degrees of success. The fact that Berserk can’t be left alone speaks to the power of the series. Berserk tells a moving story about a stoic swordsman on a journey against dark forces, but it’s far from the only manga that digs into such a premise. And it is a fact that Berserk is one of, if not the greatest, manga of all time.
Either you have read it already or you just want to take a break from it, there’s nothing wrong with being curious about series that are similar to this timeless masterpiece. So that’s why we are here with the top 10 best manga recommendations to read if you liked Berserk.
Also, Top 10 best manga recommendations to read if you liked Berserk
10. Blade of the Phantom Master
The story takes place in an unknown land. After the fall of the Jushin Empire and the death of the emperor, the country finds itself plunged into chaos, allowing terror and the law of the strongest to reign. Secret agents of the vanished kingdom, the Angyo Onshi had the mission of ensuring respect for the laws and punishing the governors who oppressed the people. Today, an Angyo Onshi named Mun-su continues this mission through the devastated country, accompanied by his faithful bodyguard (Sando) Chun-Hyang, his squire, and a small desert bat. Shin Angyo Onshi is a Seinen, Historical, Supernatural, Action, and Adventure manga that takes a piece of Korean history and turns it into a superb journey for the characters and the readers to experience.
The story takes place in a separate world between the empire of Szaaland and a mysterious place named “Wischtech” otherwise nicknamed the evil empire, where the war took place between the evil forces of Wischtech and the others. The scenario is centered on a legend that tells that to defeat the army of darkness of Wischtech, the Emperor sent fourteen warriors to whom he entrusted fourteen sacred Spears. Three of them, the “Glorious Warriors of No Return”, perished in battle. Four others nicknamed the “Spears of Treason”, were executed by their companions for a felony. The last seven accomplished their mission and were welcomed back as heroes. Thus was born the legend of the Seven Heroes. Twenty years have passed. A rebellion breaks out in the Border Provinces of the Empire of Szaaland, led by individuals claiming to be the “Spears of Treason”.
During the Warring States period in China, Xin Li dreams of becoming the “Greatest General in the World”, while helping Ei Sei, the current King of Qin, achieve his dream of a total Unification of China, ending the incessant warfare once and for all. Xin will rise from a war-orphan slave to a feared general. Kingdom is a brutal and bloody series that features some extravagant battles and some very personal confrontations, but it frames it all around questions of honor and family. Berserk’s Guts is a full-grown hero, but the protagonists in Kingdom are still figuring out life. Kingdom appreciates the grand military glory of Berserk and it depicts China in flux as it’s torn apart by conflict. Kingdom is more grounded and simple than Berserk, but it elegantly depicts the harsh reality of war and how the casualties can often cloud the purpose in the first place.
It centers around the Royal Order of Protestant Nights, which is an organization founded by Abraham Van Hellsing and run by his descendants. His mission is to protect the queen and the borders of the country from any supernatural threat. The organization is led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the last living member of the family, who inherited her responsibility as director after her father’s death when she was 12 years old. Under her command are Walter C. Dornez and Alucard, a powerful vampire who was captured by the family a hundred years ago. Later the ex-policewoman Seras Victoria also joins, who after being bitten by Alucard becomes her offspring and by extension a Hellsing soldier.
6. Blade of the Immortal
Blade of the Immortal centers around the young Rin Asano’s journey to avenge the death of her parents at the hands of a sword school whose influence has grown within Japan: the Itto-Ryu. Unable to deny her powerlessness in the face of her powerful foe, she seeks out the skills of a swordsman who has been cursed with immortality, Manji. With his partnership set in stone, the two embark on a perilous journey of bloodshed, vengeance, and redemption, each to fulfill their own life’s cause. Blade of the Immortal taps into the same level of brutality and similar atmosphere that’s present in Berserk. Both series have an anti-hero, beautiful characters, and a great story. Throughout both series, we see the relationship between the characters change and develop in an interesting way that keeps you glued for more.
Kei Kurono is a selfish and apathetic student who is forced to save a person from being hit by a subway train when his childhood classmate Masaru Kato calls him for help. As a consequence, he and Kato die trying. They later show up in a visually normal apartment with other people just as baffled as they are. There, a mysterious black sphere forces them to participate in a sadistic game, and for this, it places at their disposal an exotic futuristic arsenal that they must learn to use to combat various species of aliens and other threats that ordinary people do not notice. Those who make it to the room are not seen by the mortal humans until the sphere “drops” them after each mission. Gantz taps into the same level of brutality and focused carnage that’s present in Berserk, but it goes in a more science-fiction and technology-heavy direction for the material… Gantz’s story is gripping and cuts right to the chase, but it’s the wild aliens and the exaggerated weapons that are used against them that make the series such a memorable experience.
Hole—a dark, decrepit, and disorderly district where the strong prey on the weak and death is an ordinary occurrence—is all but befitting of the name given to it. A realm separated from law and ethics, it is a testing ground for the magic users who dominate it. As a race occupying the highest rungs of their society, the magic users think of the denizens of Hole as no more than insects. Kaiman, more reptile than man, is one such individual. He hunts them on a heedless quest for answers with only a trusted pair of bayonets and his immunity to magic. Cursed by his appearance and tormented by nightmares, magic users are his only clue to restoring his life to normal. With his biggest obstacle being his stomach, his female companion Nikaidou, who runs the restaurant Hungry Bug, is his greatest ally. Set in a gritty world of hellish design, Dorohedoro manages a healthy blend of comedy and lightheartedness with death and carnage. Taking plenty of twists and turns while following the lives of Hole’s residents, it weaves a unique world of unearthly origin and dreary appearance not for the squeamish or easily disturbed.
Claymore is an exciting manga that leans into the half-human half-demon trope that a lot of action-adventure series embrace. Claymore’s protagonist, Clare, is such an individual and she uses her hybrid status as an advantage in the war against yoma, grotesque shapeshifting demons. Clare’s conflicted position is reminiscent of Guts’ duality in many ways, but the heavy demon-slaying action will conjure images of Berserk. There’s such a glee that’s exhibited in the sprawling action and Claymore consistently ups the stakes with its obstacles and enemies.
2. Vinland Saga
Set in 11th-century Europe, Vinland Saga tells a bloody epic in an era where violence, madness, and injustice are inescapable, providing a paradise for the battle-crazed and utter hell for the rest who live in it. The story follows Thorfinn’s quest to avenge his father’s death by defeating Askeladd (his father’s murderer) in a fair duel, he plans to accomplish this by working for him and doing whatever Askelad asks, and in return, he is granted a chance to kill him. The story however is not just focused on Thorfinn more focus is given to the other members of the cast like Askeladd and other historical figures such as Thorkell and Canute and their participation during the conflict of the era. Similar to the manga Berserk, Vinland Saga has intense action scenes, a large cast of complex characters, and interesting flashbacks. There are a lot of similarities with our protagonists in their early years, both being part of a mercenary group and getting full respect from the leader who gives them the most important missions. It also talks about childhood innocence, murder, sorrow, revenge, emptiness, redemption, and aspiration.
In 1600 the terrible battle of Sekigahara took place, which established the power of the Tokugawa shogun. Among the fighters, Shinmen Takezo, the son of a great samurai, is ready to do anything to survive. Returning to his native village, he is rejected by the inhabitants for having deserted. Pursued, he then begins a long wandering, with a single objective: to become the greatest samurai in Japan. Vagabond is a long initiation manga, which leads the hero to discover, to understand the world around him and himself, dedicating himself to the way of the sword. Changing his name to Miyamoto Musashi, he challenges and confronts the most powerful samurai, carried away by a murderous spiral, and torn by his love for Otsu, his childhood friend.