Thoughts on Berserk


(Possible spoilers)

Berserk. That shit is messed up and you know what? I’m fully here for (most of) it. It’s an anime that had been on my list for a long time and I finally got around to watching it. If I’m getting this right, there are two Berserk series and I watched the one from the 90’s so I’ll watch the other series at some point. Berserk is a story about a swordsman named Guts who pretty much on sights anything that moves, his supreme inability to control his sword erection earns the interest of a man named Griffith who forcibly recruits him into his group the Band of the Hawk, where the real story begins as they journey to achieve Griffith’s dream.

From the beginning, the anime didn’t even try to hide that it would have a dark tone and it tried even less to hide that it would be extremely violent. I really didn’t think that I would be rooting for anyone to get a good ending but as the show went on, I found that Guts to be a cool character, the fact that he disregards the part of his brain that worries about consequences really made the show engrossing whenever he was unleashing his expected dose of violence. Everybody in the series contributed their fair share of violence but Guts really took it to the next level in so many episodes, sometimes it wasn’t what he was doing but more so the volume. I’d like to think I’ve watched a decent amount of anime and despite watching the Asterisk War, when I see a ridiculously strong character who doesn’t have any power ups, I always think that it’s too good to be true. There’s always got to be a catch and in this case I thought it would be Guts’ strength and recklessness in battle causing his downfall.

I could talk about the characters but the only ones who were extremely important were Guts and Griffith since the relationship between the two had a big impact on the plot. Outside of those two, the only one who caught my interest was Casca, a captain in the Band of the Hawk who initially didn’t see eye to eye with Guts because Tsundere. When somebody wasn’t getting beaten up or killed, I looked at the background a lot, or should I say the lack of. The colours in the background just really seemed to mix and it must have had a good effect on me because of how easy I found it to digest the plot. When I see anime that pays attention to its background, it’s always a pro for me because that shows that everything in the show is meant to amaze the audience and really absorb viewers as if they’re there. I never gave much thought to how I would react if an anime didn’t put much detail into its background but it looks as if it’s a pro regardless because it means that I’m either paying more attention to the plot or I’m paying more attention to the world created by the show. The one time that I did see the background have a bit more detail was during the final two episodes and it’s weird because it could have just been a mesh of dark colours and it would have worked greatly.

In some episodes, I noticed a lack of background music which isn’t what I’m used to. One occasion that I remember this happening in was episode 6, for around half of the episode there wasn’t a lot of music and there was a fight scene in which I’d say Guts’ had his toughest encounter in the series, there was a lot of echoing from the sound of the swords so I’m guessing that there was supposed to be a real focus on the fight but I wonder what I would have felt if there was music playing. I wouldn’t say that it was a bad thing but it definitely showed me how important background music can be in a scene, the way a good OST can intensify the feeling of a fight scene or any other kind of scene is not to be underestimated. Thinking about it, it’s interesting that I managed to notice when there wasn’t music playing, I’m so used to music that it’s a given for me whenever I watch anime (and television in general). The lack of music in some episodes caused me to  pay more attention when music wasn’t playing and when there was some playing, it just got drowned out.

It’s been a while since I picked up an anime series to watch and Berserk helped me realise how much I missed watching it. Every time I finished an episode it felt like the 20 minutes had disappeared, that’s a dangerous territory in anime which I appreciate so much because it should never feel like a chore to watch a show. Just from watching this, I hope that there are more Berserk series to come in the future.

Other thoughts:

  • I’m happy to have learned that I missed watching anime after I said no more anime for while when I watched Mnemosyne.
  • There were some thugs antagonising a young girl in a bar and everybody present didn’t want to help. I’m calling that scene public transport in London.
  • Guts had an adoptive dad called Gambino and their relationship reminded me of Gaara and his uncle.
  • Guts made a soldier scared to draw his sword just by looking at him. I’d have him on my team in a fight alongside Goku and John Cena.
  • Guts killed a child, regardless of what happened that’s a bitch move.
  • Guts and Casca got soft towards the end of the series. I’m not here for that.
  • Part of the plot led to Griffith being imprisoned (I won’t go into it), when he was rescued the look on his face said “On my life, you’re all dead!”

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Berserk

  1. Berserk is an excellent rise and fall medieval/fantasy tale. I loved the nineties anime, you recently watched, apart from the non-ending. I have yet to watch the new series, although reports I have read mention that it is somewhat ruined by weak CGI.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ending of Berserk was a little confusing, personally, I felt as if I missed an important part of the story because the last scene of the final episode and the after credits scene didn’t match up. I’ve seen a little bit of the newer series, it’s not bad but the animation really is hard to ignore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Berserk is one of those all-time great anime. It’s a bit of a put off to the mainstream because it’s pretty dark, especially the Griffith and Casca situation. Nonetheless it’s one of those shows that’ll probably still be popular 20-30 years from now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Otaku Judge and commented:
    This write up from Jeffrey Botah reminds me what an excellent series the nineties Berserk was. An exceptional rise and fall tale set in a medieval/fantasy world that should appeal to Game of Thrones fans. Highly recommended to anyone who isn’t squeamish. I would rank Berserk as one of my fave anime of all time, were it not for the inconclusive ending. Back when the movie trilogy came out I was disappointed to learn that it was just an abridged version of this story, rather than a continuation. One of these days I’ll have to check out the new anime. I just need to muster up the willpower to deal with its horrible CGI.


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