The world of the anime community was heartbroken when it was announced that the creator of Berserk, Kentaro Miura, passed earlier this year, and while we might never see the story of Guts, Griffith, Casca, and the Band of the Hawk come to an end, the latest chapter of the manga surprisingly works as a series finale for the franchise. First beginning in the 1980s, Berserk has become a beloved series in the world today, getting several anime adaptations in the world of television and film and it's sure to be regarded as one of the greatest anime works of all time.
Chapter 363 of Berserk sees Guts and his cadre of adventurers continuing their journey through Elfheim, having previously managed to use the magic of the land to help in recovering Casca's memories and personality, which had been lost following the horrific events of the Eclipse. As Skull Knight continues to talk about the past, he comes into contact with Danan as he visits the grave of his lost love, "Lady Priestess of the Cherry Blossoms". Even in this, we get an ending to the tragic tale of Skull Knight, and while we might never know all the details of how this grim figure came to be the character we know today, his words speak a lot about his character:
"I am a portent of doom. The remnant of a grudge. My aim is ever singular. I have not the heart to bathe in the lambency of my mortal days."
On the flip side of things, we can see Schrieke and Isidro stay true to their characters, with the latter causing trouble and the former attempting to wave off his ridiculous personality. While these scenes might not feel like an ending for these characters, they work in encapsulating who they are and the people that they've become while journeying alongside Guts. Schrieke even says it herself in some of her final words:
"Here we are. A sorcerer's paradise. We've reached the end of our journey. A place in the sun where I am accepted for who I am."
And while questions still linger for Schrieke, as questions often do for anyone, she has found a sort of peace here, which leads into the finale for the other characters in this manga chapter.
Guts is one of the most complicated characters to ever be introduced in fiction, not just in anime, in that he has never really known peace. Even when he left Griffith and the Band of the Hawk earlier on in the series, he was still searching for what would make his life complete, even though the violence had been toned down to a big degree at this point. With this final chapter, we see Guts looking through the window of a treehouse to see Casca and Farnese talking with one another for a peaceful moment that is rare in Kentaro Miura's masterpiece.
After seeing this scene, Guts swings down his sword through the air and says his last words:
"Forget about determining the end of whatever. On this lazy island, there's nothing to do but nap and swing this thing around."
These words perfectly encapsulate Guts' character and the peace he has now found in Elfheim, and though the next panel does show us that Griffith is still out there and at the top of his mind, the protagonist's dismissal of the image might show that he is willing to put the past behind him, as horrible as it might be.
On the final page, we see the mysterious "Moonlight Boy" appear before Guts, leaving us with questions but also heralding what might be a reunion between the Black Swordsman and his son, as many fans of the series had surmised over the years.
We don't know if this is indeed the final chapter of Berserk or if Kentaro Miura's assistants might continue the story to give the series an ending that has been decades in the making, but this latest installment feels like it has the bones to be a series finale and will definitely go down as one of the best entries of the dark epic to date.