Bersek : A review of sorts…
Whoa. I’ve been watching the Anime series Berserk for several weeks off and on. (This may contain Berserk spoilers!) It is 25 episodes and I reached the end of the series tonight. The series centers around a few characters. The main character is a sword welding strongman named Guts. Guts wanders around looking for a purpose in life (beyond swinging his massive sword) and comes across The Band of the Hawk, a mercenary band of warriors. The Band of the Hawk is led by Griffith, a valiant, uber swordsman with a clear desire on ruling a kingdom at any cost. The lone female in the Band of the Hawk named Caska, eventually wins Guts dark heart but too late it seems. Getting there however was fairly intriguing.
The animation was pretty decent. I’m sure there are nicer looking Anime series out there. But the dark, grainy nature of the animation seemed to suit the morbid themes in Berserk quite well. I liked the single stills used throughout the series during the more dramatic moments.
I loved the intro sequence and the intro music and I have done a bit of digging to find ‘Tell me Why’ by the Penpals. The English voice talent in the series was quite good.
And then there was the ending… The ending was really bizarre, like WTF drugs was the storywriter on? It was rather unsatisfying as well. Not that I always want a nice Disney ending, far from it… but the final two episodes seemed so disconnected from the rest of the series, I can’t help but sigh. Sure demons were referenced occasionally during the series but not to the extent that they belonged so prominently in the ending. And certainly not to be the ending. ‘In this world the destiny of mankind is controlled by some transcendental entity or law. Like the hand of God hovering above. At least man knows that he has no control over his own will…’ Indeed, his will to write a decent ending.
In spite of the ghoulishly bizarre ending I enjoyed the series a lot. Yes, there was a lot of blood splatter and over the top violence (apparently the Manga comic book series was much more graphic in nature ~ phew~ !) but there was also some great adventure, humour and interesting storylines (with the exception of the LSD/Too Dark Park ending).
This was the first major Anime series I’ve watched and it won’t be the last. This is an interesting genre of animation and I expect to find some hit and misses as explore through it. Overall I’d say this was a hit. The episodes from about 3-23 were solid and very entertaining. Kudos.