The Flame Dragon Knight
The world of Berserk by author/creator/mangaka Kentaro Miura is easily one of the largest settings ever seen in manga. Even after several anime adaptations and almost 40 chapters, there are still lingering questions about characters and where their origins began. Berserk typically follows Guts and his band as they fight off Griffith and his band, but rarely do we see other characters described in detail. That’s why we were overjoyed when we learned Miura planned on releasing a light novel for one of Berserk’s most underdeveloped enemies, Grunbeld. Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight focuses on Grunbeld and how he went from normal human to the apostle who sits by Griffith’s side in the Band of the Falcon. After reading this short story of less than 200 pages, we have to say we are kind of mixed in our feelings. You also might be wanting to know if you should read or skip Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight!
1. More Lore, More Content
Fans of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk are all too aware that the long running series—which has been going on since the late 80s—often goes on hiatus leaving us wanting more. With Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight, we get more lore which equals more content from our beloved creator. Not only does Miura have several images thrown into Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight, but we see an origin story that is untold in the Berserk manga and anime series! For that reason alone, fans might want to nab this light novel just to get more lore as soon as they can!
2. Grunbeld’s Origins Explained
Readers of Berserk know that Grunbeld is easily one of the strongest and scariest apostles in the series. Clad in giant armor with a massive hammer, Grunbeld screams frightening and it was interesting to see how he originally was pretty darn strong even in his human form. All in all, seeing Grunbeld go from strong human who was destined for a dark future to apostle was a fun element to Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight and should be met positively by most Berserk readers.
1. Over Too Fast
We didn’t expect much from Grunbeld’s past, but we also didn’t expect Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight to be over so dang fast! While light novels tend to be short, Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight feels extremely short and it’s not just because of the page count. Clearly, Miura had to speed the story up to avoid making an overly too complex narrative for Grunbeld and you can feel it as Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight reaches the end. This might upset readers who wanted a deeper origin story for Grunbeld.
2. A Bit Cliché
As dark as Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight was—in terms of narrative—Grunbeld’s story was a bit cliché. In many ways, Grunbeld’s past could be compared to Griffith’s origins with a warrior losing his way due to a betrayal and then allows darkness to consume him. That made Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight feel a bit too formulaic and weakened Grunbeld’s origin overall. Might be best to skip over Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight if you want to make your own origin story for Grunbeld and feel it could be a more unique one.
Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight wasn’t a bad light novel and we enjoyed reading it. Though we can see why many might want to skip it as it doesn’t really add that much ultimately to Berserk’s lore. We might learn more about a few unseen characters and a war not talked about much in the main series, but did it warrant a read? In our minds, yes, but that’s our opinion. Have any of you read Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight and have any differing thoughts? Comment below to let us know, and for more articles like this, keep stuck to us here at Honey’s Anime.