This is more on the quality of the paper, I've sent a message to Dark Horse Comics and this is what I got in return:
Thanks for the email!
Our production department tried a one time test of a lighter stock paper, which made the book look thinner and we cut 8 pages of ads from the previous and Japanese versions of the title. The Story pages have remained the same for this title and we will be returning to the normal stock for the next issue.
We appreciate your interest in Dark Horse Comics.
Best, Spencer Dark Horse Comics, Inc.
So there we have it. Let's hope for the best on Vol 31.
One of the best mangas ever, but poor customer service on Dark Horse's part.
I rated this product one star not for the quality of the actual literature or drawing, but for Dark Horse's decision to use a lower quality paper, yet charge the same price as previous novels. I can't speak for every Berserk fan, but I personally would have preferred Dark Horse to increase the price of the manga, yet keep the original, thicker paper.
As for the story itself, what else is there to say that hasn't been said before, Berserk puts most other graphic novels to shame. Unfortunately, there aren't really many alternative outlets for Berserk fans to pursue, we're kind of stuck buying whatever Dark Horse sells us. I would recommend visiting Dark Horse's website, going to the 'contact us' link at the bottom of the page, and leaving feedback suggesting the return of the original paper.
Yes Dark Horse is using thinner paper, which is depressing. MIura's work still looks magnificent but in comparison to the thicker white paper of old this does not look as good. Hopefully this is just an experiment, they should go back to the far superior paper of old. It still looks great and all but that paper they were using really brought out this great artwork and illustrations. In anycase while volume 29 had much politics kind of reminiscent of the old Political Berserk days with individuals of upper class playing a large role of the volume. It was an interesting volume with good character development which leads in to this volume of frenzy. Miura is back on top here, Guts slicing and dicing with his Dragon Slayer as we all love, reminiscent of days old horror action, and new foes and allies have emerged as well. The most iconic being some strange demonic sinister force that emerges litterely out of no where and takes the shape of somekind of Demonic or goddly head. Overall, a Gauntlet of Great material jam packed into one of the smallest volumes-only about 200 pages verses 220-260 pages or so. In any such case, Miura's artwork is magnificent, the english translations by Dark Horse or Duane Johnson who is credited for translating are very smooth and highly enjoyable, he has done an supererior job translating Miura's work. This is the only manga I have gotten into and nothing else in my opinion has even come close to this work. Iconic, Mind blowing, Fascinating. There is definitly a need of a new Anime that follows the volumes closely and doesn't leave important battles out. Indeed Great stuff !
With volume 30, Dark Horse Comics has started using thin paper that is not very bright. The volume is about 80-90% of the thickness of previous volumes. The drop in quality was immediately apparent. I would not recommend to continue supporting such a product. The cost of collecting the series is far too high to end up with a shoddy quality book.
The story; however, continues to develop well and remains exciting. This volume contains the conclusion to Serpico's challenging match against Guts as they race to find Lady Farnesse.