Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – Berserk

It has been 19 years since the original anime aired. Since then we have been given a complete CG remake in the form of three different movies all preparing us for the inevitable return of the one and only Berserk! Now Berserk is here and unlike every incarnation before it, this is NOT a retelling of what we’ve grown to love over the past two decades… this is an actual continuation of the series as it ventures into The Black Swordsman arc!

First Episode Impressions

The first episode was bittersweet for me mainly because of the HORRIBLE animation. I swear, if they wanted to replicate the cheap animation from Japan back in 1997, they did a great job. If it weren’t for the CG aspect of it, I would be swearing right now that I could see hands dragging the individual cells across the camera lens. It was THAT bad. The art style just didn’t seem like the Berserk of old either as everything was oddly shaded and some parts of the CG looked fine while others just looked horrendous. I have no idea what Millepensee and GENBA are doing with this series, but from an art and animation standpoint, it’s bad… VERY bad.

Story-wise, we’re off to a great start. The world has been plunged into darkness and demons are just littering the streets with corpses. What once was a beautiful kingdom has become a wasteland of human corpses that depicts hell itself. Guts is back and so is his big ass sword, but in addition to that, he has a few new tricks up his sleeve, such as a prosthetic hand which can shoot projectiles at his enemies. Guts is seen hitching a ride while picking up Puck, a wind spirit that resembles a male faerie. As they are traveling, they are attacked by the demons and Guts just does what Guts does best… he just annihilates everything.

And that’s pretty much it. They do offer up some flashbacks to the original series, but Berserk expects you to have watched it (and since you had two big chances over the last 19 years to do so, they are well within their rights not to fill you in on what happened.) The episode carries itself as if it was a true continuation by not dealing with a full recap and just jumping right back into the action. The episode did serve as a nice reintroduction to Guts and just affirmed how much of a badass he truly is. I can’t wait to see what happens in episode two!

OP & ED Impressions

Inferno” by 9mm Parabellum Bullet served as Berserk’s opening theme and with a high energy power rock style. While it’s not the best opening I’ve heard it is MILES beyond MILES better than “Tell Me Why” by Penpals, which served as Berserk’s original opening 19 years ago.

Meimoku no Kanata” by Nagi Yanagi served as the ending theme and the song was a nice and soft acoustic track that had some really pretty harmonizing. I love Nagi Yanagi’s music and this track is one I can’t wait for the full version of. It doesn’t really fit Berserk’s atmosphere too well, but as far as matching it up with the ending’s art style, which resembled a bit of a laser light show among a cloudy evening sky, it did the job. Whether it fit the atmosphere or not, the song itself is just fantastic!

Worth Watching?

YES – Come on… it’s Berserk! I didn’t see any signs of censorship in the first episode, which is a good thing, so I’m expecting more blood, gore and graphic scenery in the episodes to come. I just hope the animation quality improves because it really needs to if this show is going to be taken seriously.

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About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.