This just in……Berserk…..kicks…..ass!
If you don’t know what Berserk is, I’ll give you a little background, and don’t worry I’ll try to be as spoiler free as I can.
Berserk is the story of Guts, a badass with a huge sword. Seriously, the sword is effing huge! Not only he a badass, but he is a mercenary. I think that mercenaries are usually pretty compelling characters. They are mysterious, and usually have an interesting dark past that unravels as the plot gets going.
The anime mainly deals with Guts joining the Band of the Hawk because he loses a fight with their leader. The show takes off from there telling the tale of how the Band of the Hawk rises to power and importance fighting for an empire at war with another. It has a very European fantasy style to it that we’re all familiar with. If you’ve ever seen Lord of the Rings or anything it inspired, then you’ll feel right at home with this.
Another plot element worth mentioning is the show’s use of demons. During the anime, you don’t really see this. At some points they cut that plotline out of the show, but the manga almost relies on this as a plot tool. Demons are intro arc in the first 3 vols of the manga, which the anime kind of tries to put all into the 1st episode. From the point where the anime leaves off, demons becomes very important to everything that the characters encounter.
Speaking of characters, there is some great character development in this show too. The main relationship between Guts and the Band of the Hawk leader Griffith is the spotlight in the show. Their chemistry changes and adapts to how the story progresses and I don’t want to give too much away, but it gets pretty crazy. Another character who gets ample screen time is Caska, a girl in the mercenary group who constantly needs to prove herself in this world. Her character eventually comes into her own and acts as part of the trigger for the climax of the anime. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this, it get’s disturbing.
If you have problems with blood and brutality in your entertainment then stay the hell away from this show. Berserk is one of the bloodiest shows I’ve ever seen. The last time I watched it, I tried to keep a body count….it was impossible. Guts leaves a trail of destruction that is unheard of, at one point he basically takes on a whole army by himself. Like I said, he is badass!
The only flaw I can find on this show is not the shows problem at all. See, in Japan the manga is still going on and at the time the show was created it had to stop in the middle of an arc. It literally ends in one of the worst places I have ever seen an anime end. You finish watching the show, your jaw drops, and you say “Are you serious? That’s all I get!?!?!?” The ending is so disturbing and graphic the the ending could have it’s own discussion all on its own.
Don’t worry though. The manga keeps going where the anime left off. As of this post 29 vols of the manga have been released in America. The anime leaves off I believe around vol 13, so there is a whole lot of material to sink your teeth into if you haven’t read it, but your a fan of the show. Even if you haven’t watched it yet and love it, know that there is more. It may not be in anime form, but it’s at your local bookstore.
What else can I say. I think that Berserk is a great show that gets a decent amount of recognition. It’s bloody, fast paced, and fun to watch. Anyone who enjoys action anime show def give it a try.
Final Grade -
Anime – 8/10
Manga – 9/10