Summer 2016 in Review: Berserk (2016)

I think a lot of people will be surprised when I say that I liked watching this season of Berserk quite a bit.  Now don’t get me wrong it was by no means perfect, but I’m not one of those people who think that an adaption needs to be a 100% accurate to the source material to be good.  In fact, I made this a little better for me because I haven’t even dug into the manga.  I have watched the original berserk anime and the three films that also adapted the Golden Age arc, but that’s it for me.

I think that will always be enough for me because, while I have read and watched a lot of dark material before, I don’t know that I would be able to survive Berserk.  This is coming from a person that has read through the slaughter that are the Of Song and Fire and Ice novels and has binged watched a series like Texhnolyze.  I don’t know if I would be able to do something like that again.  I’ve had a lot of things in my life happen, not good ones, that have changed how I perceive dark material.  I’m a lot more into up lifting things right now.

The Actual Review:

Okay, finally to the anime series.  For a twelve-episode season, Berserk (2016) certainly went through a lot of material.  A lot of characters, in addition to Guts and Casca, were introduced and fleshed out a bit.  Guts certainly traveled a lot and cut up a lot of things.  The main problem I heard, besides the animation, was that these characters are not fleshed out as they are in the manga.  Okay that may be true, but the manga has all the time it needs to make these characters feel more real.  The anime has twelve episodes that are each 22 minutes with some time spent to the opening and the ending.  For that amount of time, Berserk (2016) had its characters fleshed out more than most other twelve-episode series.  The plot could have used some more explanation later on, but the characters and story are pretty solid.  With more time, it could have been much better though.

Okay, let’s finally talk animation and art.  These two things are easily the weakest parts of Berserk (2016).  The mixture of computer graphics and hand drawn art and animation are pretty bad.  Especially when some characters in a scene are hand drawn and others are animated from computer.  Those moments are completely jarring.  The cg movements, especially in the first few episodes, are also pretty bad.  When characters move extremely fast, the cg isn’t as bad and I would definitely say that either I got used to it or it had significantly improved by the end of the season.  I think the biggest complaint is that I have toward people who instantly dropped this show after the first episode.  If you are that shallow, you will never get into older shows and that’s a shame because there are plenty of really old anime that are beyond incredible and need to be watched.  You guys are missing out.

So yes, if you have at least seen the original berserk anime series or the Golden Age trilogy, I definitely suggest watching this series.  Otherwise, don’t do it yet.  Since this is a sequel, there is plenty of knowledge a watcher needs to know before digging into this series.  It is not a perfect series by any means, but it is a solid watch if you can get past some of its visual aspects.  Right now, I’m definitely looking forward to more in the spring.

5 thoughts on “Summer 2016 in Review: Berserk (2016)

  1. I agree that the show isn’t as bad as some of the more extremist opinions make it out to be and I think that it’s actual narrative content is pretty good – it sticks relatively close to the manga after the first episode. The only big difference between our reviews is that I focus a lot more on the shoddy production. Good writeup and here’s hoping for a better season 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that the visuals could be… Well, not made good, but at least salvageable, with proper direction. However, in fights and conversations, it’s impossible to get any sense of distance or direction. It’s like the characters don’t exist in the same world as each other. Because of this, I can’t get invested at all.


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