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Kenpuu Denki Berserk

Born from the corpse of his mother, a young mercenary known only as Guts, embraces the battlefield as his only means of survival. Day in and day out, putting his life on the line just to make enough to get by, he moves from one bloodshed to the next. After a run-in with the Band of the Hawk, a formidable troop of mercenaries, Guts is recruited by their charismatic leader Griffith, nicknamed the "White Hawk." As he quickly climbed the ranks in order to become the head of the offensive faction, Guts proves to be a mighty addition to Griffith's force, taking Midland by storm. However, while the band's quest for recognition continues, Guts slowly realizes that the world is not as black-and-white as he once assumed. Set in the medieval era, Berserk is a dark, gritty tale that follows one man's struggle to find his own path, while supporting another's lust for power, and the unimaginable tragedy that begins to turn the wheels of fate. (Source: MAL Rewrite)
User Count38593
Favorites Count1260
Start Date8th Oct 1997
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank218
Rating Rank223
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

Episodes

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"In this world, is the destiny of mankind controlled by some transcendental entity or law? Is it like the hand of God hovering above? At least it is true, that man has no control, even over his own will."Every episode of "Berserk" opens with these words narrated in a forboding tone. It's an anime that explores the concept of fate, and it does this by delving into the darkest recesses of human nature, examining themes of boundless ambition, shattered dreams and helpless despair.For me, it's a difficult show to rate. At first glance, it doesn't seem that special, and I wondered why it people often rave on about it. But as I watched the show at the rate of a couple of episodes a day, I found the story built up solidly, until one day I suddenly realised that it had turned into a great show. Just as between the two main characters Griffith and Guts, one looked back and wondered just when the other took control, I look back and wonder just when this got so good without me noticing.Another reason why it is so hard to rate is because of the ending. It's one of those open endings that made me feel as though they cheated me out of a proper ending. On the other hand, there's also an undeniable ingenuity about it, cos it finished in a full circle, with the end neatly connecting into the beginning, so I'm undecided over what to make of it. I know one thing for sure though - I'd be heaping praises upon it if only they made a second season that continued the story.What is it about "Berserk" that makes it so good? Certainly not what's on the surface. The artwork looks quite dated considering the year it was made. I don't know whether it's deliberate or not, but the background often has a static, painting-like quality that contrasts sharply against the foreground. I can't really say it worked for me. Other odd things like the way nakedness is represented also stands out in a bad way. On the plus side, I like "Berserk"'s rather serious and no-nonsense character designs, and even though the action sequences aren't very consistent, when it's good, it's \*really\* good, with the brutal, bloody style doing the title full justice.Although notably good anime often have great music that enhances the key moments and the atmosphere in general, "Berserk"'s sound department can't even be described as decent. The opening theme is vaguely catchy, but doesn't really fit the anime that well... and also it's ruined further because it's sung in really bad engrish. The ending theme is so bad I had to skip it every time while the music played during the previews at the end are comically inappropriate. The BGM is in a better state, but generally the music in "Berserk" is nothing to write home about.Take away the rather average production values of "Berserk" and the real reason of why it is so good naturally surfaces: This anime is good almost soley because of the astonishing quality of its writing.One of the things that stands out about "Berserk" is its intense violence. It's this aspect that has earned it comparisons to "Elfen Lied". Well, I say "earned", but that would imply that it's a good thing to be compared with that hollow show. "Berserk" is far more substantial than "Elfen Lied" can ever hope to be. Though both are uncompromisingly lurid, "Berserk" uses its violence much, much better. For "Elfen Lied", violence is deployed as a shock tactic and shock tactic alone. It's used over and over again to the extent that I'd numbed to it by the end. "Berserk", on the other hand, goes for quality rather than quantity. It uses its violence effectively to accentuate meaningful moments, and so its impact does not diminish through the course of the series. In fact, it saves the best till last, with a gruesome scene in the last episode involving an arm that made my stomach turn (I'm sure people who's seen this show knows exactly what I'm referring to) - "Elfen Lied" just doesn't have any answer to this kind of stuff.As intense as the violence is in "Berserk", it's not the main attraction of the show - it is merely an enhancement tool. The real driving force behind the anime is its powerful, thought provoking story and fascinating characters. It may not start off spectacularly, but it's always consistently building up. There are no filler episodes, every single one has its purpose. When linked up, the result is an intriguing storyline that draws you in slowly but surely. So much happens during the series that it's difficult to go into details regarding the characters in "Berserk" without giving things away. They're not legendary for no reason though (in fact the show is often credited with having one of the most complex and charismatic villains ever), and it's safe to say that the central characters are all fully 3D, and are fleshed out to have tremendous depth. The intricate power struggles of the royal court, fueled by jealousy and greed, are wonderfully illustrated. The complicated motivations, hopes and fears of the characters are fully explored, and their actions propels the story forward effortlessly, with no overly engineered, inexplicable plot developments in sight. Their every action is understandable and more importantly, consistent with their character. Because of this, the characters and story are inseparable - a sure sign that it's all done right. Some of the minor villains do suffer from the cannon fodder syndrome for being a bit too stupid, but this isn't a huge problem.I'm slightly skeptical about the supernatural element in "Berserk". I mean, I enjoyed this immensely just as a down to earth (well, down to earth compared to what happens later on) story set against a medieval background. Once it got all supernatural it was hard to get used to. But on the positive side, there was always that overarching sense of its inevitable expansion into supernatural territory, so I think it did did well to keep reminding me every few episodes or so, which went a long way to prepare me for the last few episodes when it all went crazy. I think maybe the problem lies in the fact that the series only adapts the source manga up to the point where the supernatural elements starts to kick in. Even though almost the entire series is meant to be a prelude leading up to this, without a follow up series, it's a bit hard to accept the small quantity of demon involvement when like 90% of the series is not at all reliant on it.Still, all in all, I really liked "Berserk", but given the reputation of the manga, I can't shake the feeling that the anime is only this good thanks to the awesome source material. The lack of brilliant direction and the lack of a continuation prevents it from becoming a mind blowing masterpiece that maybe it could have been. As good as "Berserk" is, it can probably still be chalked down as wasted potential.

It's amusing to look back at my first impressions after episode 1 of Berserk. I laughed at how corny the level of viol­ence was, gig­gled at the demons’ con­stant ref­er­ences to the tear­ing of flesh and crunch­ing of bones. The rest of the series was noth­ing like that first epis­ode. Totally dif­fer­ent in terms of tone, dir­ec­tion and pur­pose. And yet, in the grand story of Ber­serk, was every bit as import­ant as any other epis­ode in the rest of the series.One thing stands out from that first impres­sion though: how per­fect the pacing felt. Well, that con­tin­ued through­out the series. Not just the pacing though. Never once was there a mis­step in dir­ect­ing. Not once would a scene leave me think­ing that they could have done that bet­ter. Not once did the story become dif­fi­cult to under­stand, nor was a dir­ec­tion the story took not suf­fi­ciently fore­shad­owed while never being overly so.Everything was delib­er­ate. Every scene had pur­pose. Ber­serk is perfect.Ber­serk has the repu­ta­tion of being a hack and slash gory fantasy, yet the high­lights of the series never came in the battles. Guts swings his sword and enemies are cut down with splashes of red paint every­where; per­haps from a per­verse love of viol­ence you could garner enter­tain­ment from these scenes alone, but the high­lights of Ber­serk came from the scenes after the battles. The dis­cus­sions amongst the char­ac­ters as they reflec­ted on their life pur­pose, their rela­tion­ships with each other, and the dream of Griffith.Grif­fith.A man whose dream weaves in those around him. Every­one around him can­not stop them­selves from being attrac­ted or repulsed by his sheer exist­ence. Their dreams do not get warped by his, they get sucked in entirely and become part of his dream. To con­trol the world and everything in it. To reach the castle in that hor­rid dream of his. Except for the one man he didn’t win. The one thing he couldn’t con­trol. Ber­serk works like a clas­sic tragedy. Through one fatal flaw, the great work of the hero is undone. Everything built up to that fatal flaw, and yet when it occurred it was not imme­di­ately appar­ent that this was the case. What happened broke the man, chal­lenged to shat­ter his dream, and yet it was what kept him sane.While I may have just marveled at the moments of calm epi­phany that littered the series, that was not the true high­light. Ber­serk is a mas­ter­piece in storytelling. I have been incap­able of doing any­thing that requires men­tal strain today because my mind has been so full of Ber­serk. Not because I was try­ing to dis­sect the imagery of Ber­serk or any­thing like that. Ber­serk was not a con­fus­ing anime. The end­ing, while bizarre and creepy, made per­fect sense in the grand scheme of the story. But that’s exactly it. This grand scheme of the story was what I had in my mind the whole day. Look­ing back and con­nect­ing the dots. Under­stand­ing the char­ac­ters motiv­a­tion and thought pro­cess behind every action they performed.Every action was cal­cu­lated. Every scene had pur­pose. Ber­serk is perfect.Strangest of all was that this was achieved even by stop­ping part of the way through the manga storyline, which is still ongo­ing with the mangaka con­stantly delay­ing the latest chapters to play [email protected] Yet it still worked. It all tied back in per­fectly with the first epis­ode again. The pro­cess of events lead­ing up to the final epis­ode felt natural.Ber­serk has chal­lenged the way I rate anime because my enjoy­ment of the series was far removed from those I typ­ic­ally enjoy. Gone were my usual cat­nip of fab­ulous char­ac­ters, dra­matic plot twists and Xan­tos Gam­bits. Ber­serk never had The Rush. The Rush is that feel­ing of sheer exhil­ar­a­tion while watch­ing anime that you reach near euphoria. Ber­serk was the chilling effect that per­fec­tion coats you with. I’ve had sim­ilar exper­i­ences some­times while watch­ing Cow­boy Bebop or Kaiba, but neither of these reached the level Ber­serk did. After fin­ish­ing epis­ode 14 I was left sit­ting in my chair for about half an hour, just let­ting that epis­ode sink in and con­tem­plate how insig­ni­fic­ant everything else in my life felt in com­par­ison to this Japan­ese Car­toon I had just watched.I had to write this review. I had to write some­thing about my exper­i­ence with this anime, simply to get it off my chest. As I said, I’m cur­rently incap­able of watch­ing any­thing else at the moment. Hope­fully with this brain vomit I can move on. Watch some more of these Japan­ese Car­toons I am so infatu­ated with.Ber­serk is not my favour­ite anime because the yard­stick I use to meas­ure my favour­ite is dif­fer­ent to that which I enjoyed Ber­serk by. It doesn’t hold a candle to those amongst my favour­ites like Death Note and Bac­cano. Ber­serk, how­ever, is the best anime I have ever watched. Every nuance was inten­tional. Every scene had a purpose.Ber­serk is perfect.

After reading the manga I wasn't prepared to see such a disappointing anime. Maybe it was the terrible quality or maybe just the feeling that the characters seemed empty, but I actually prefer the movie series.

It took me long to finish it but I did enjoy it so d*on't wait that long - this series really is worth your time.*

If you're looking for non-stop action, you're in the right place. The story isn't one of this anime's pros, but it's pretty enjoyable nevertheless. 

Summary: A brave young warrior named Guts fights for his fortune as a mercenary on the front lines. A fated encounter unites Guts with the charismatic and deadly young man named Griffith. Leading the rogue soldiers known as the Band of the Hawk, Griffith wields his formidable force like no other. Driven by a quest for status, the Hawks exert military and social prowess the likes of which have never been seen before. The armies of Midland will quake with fear as Griffith and Guts set off on a path that will bring the world to its knees. Story:  I would say that the story is one of Berserk's strong points. After the first few episodes it really picks up the pass and ends up leaving the viewer wanting more. The ending is a read the manga style ending but overall that is the stories main fault. I think Berserk is a well told fantasy story with warriors and daemons.  The viewer follows Guts and Griffith on their journey to the top. Through this journey they face many trials and hardships. Animation: For its time Berserk has some steller animation quality. The characters and scenary are all very well drawn. The motions and animation all seem very fluid and everything flows together rather nicely.  Sound: The sound track for Berserk is also very good from the opening to the music that plays during each episode all of it works with the show perfectly. It really helps emphasis the mood and build the setting overall.  Characters: The main two characters are Guts and Griffith. I think they are both well written characters and they make the viewer want to see what happens to them. Griffith's character has a lot of motives and throughout the series he tries to accomplish his goals. While Guts follows him along the way. Guts is more of a warrior that doesn't talk much but his character is just entertaining to watch. Enjoyment: After the show picked up around episode 6 or so I started to really enjoy the series. It was overall a pretty good watch. My major disappointment is with the cliff hanger ending that leaves more questions then it answers. 

If Berserk were to be described in one word, that word would be "**BADASS**". That is exactly what this anime is in all respects from the story to the characters it is awesome.  Story: The story revolves around two countries that have been engaged in war for a little over a century. During this war there have been many hired groups of mercenaries that have made a name for themselves on the battlefield. This is when we are introduced to Guts (Gatts). He is little more then a boy but despite this he has been in countless battles and has taken many lives. He wields a sword that is larger than he is and becomes notorious because of it. During one of his many battles he catches the eye of Griffith, the leader of a well known group of mercenaries The Band of the Hawk. Through a duel, which he looses, Guts isI forced to become a member of this mercenary group. This story is awesome! It not only captivates its audience but it leaves the viewer craving more; more about Guts, more about Griffith. The story progresses smoothly and doesn't try to make the viewer lost and confused, however this doesn't mean they are pulling punches. They story has several curveballs that they throw out making you gasp and hang on the edge of your seat. It's an awsome experience, but unfortunately in the end it leaves the viewer asking some serious questions about character motivations and situations.<b> 9/10 </b>(almost perfect) Animation: The animation for this show is not very good (keep in mind this is being written in 2014 where animation quality has skyrocketed). There are scenes, especially during battle sequences, that the clips are reused sometime several times in a row hoping the audience wouldn't notice. For me it was blatantly obvious. However I would consider myself very picky when it comes to animation, to a very extreme point. However, even I could see all the work put into some scenes and how everything was hand drawn with care and attention. For example the battle scene with Zodd was epic and its presentation/animation left me speechless. **7/10** (great score for a show that originally aired in 1997) Sound: in order not to be too long in this review I'll keep this one short. The sound was awsome. The battle scene sound effects were cool and they didn't sound ridiculous. The Opening, in my opinion, was crappy; but oh well, what can you do? The sound track however, was badass! It was epic when necessary, subtle when the time called for it, and most of all it was creepy during the darkest and scariest scenes. The original soundtrack doesn't consist of many songs but they pack a punch and leave an impact. **9/10** (music to my ears) Character: The Characters, by far, are what carry this series. Each one has their own motivation and uniqueness to them, so much so that you want them all to succeed even though their paths block each others. I am going to focus on the three main characters here...    Guts: He was born from a corpse and was raised by mercenaries as a mercenary. He became a skilled swordsman who joined the Band of the Hawk to help Griffith pursue his dream, but along the way he realized that he had no ambitions of his own. The only thing he could do was kill, survive, and live; live without a dream.              Casca: She was born into a poor farming family with nothing and her home was constantly destroyed by skirmishes and battles. Her parents sold her to a noble who tried to take advantage of her but Griffith offered her a sword to defend herself which she took up. That sword and that act led to her devotion to Griffith. She became his personal knight who would do anything and sacrifice anything so that Griffith could achieve his goal and his dream.  Griffith: He was born with very little but he always wanted to make a name for himself. He spent years of his life getting a group of mercenaries together so that he could use them to reach his goal and become a king. He was a masterful tactician who always valued his mens lives over all else, except his dream that is. He is willing to walk over the corpses of his fallen comrades to reach his goal and he expects them to do the same.  With characters like these it is hard not to be involved in this anime. **10/10** ( I think the characters are portrayed perfectly) Enjoyment: If you couldn't tell already I enjoyed the hell out of this anime. I thought it was so awsome that I didn't want to stop watching it (I ended up finishing it in two days). **10/10** (loved this anime; started reading the manga immediately after I finished watching the series) Overall this anime was great and it had a lot of things there were to like but it wasn't perfect. There were some slight flaws through the show, but they didn't prove to be detrimental to my enjoyment of this series. This anime (in my opinion) is classified as a must watch anime during your lifetime. That is why I award Berserk with it a solid **9/10**.

And epic action adventure story about a group of mercenaries traveling around the continent fighting in wars with other nation's kingdoms. However i will warn you that this series is not for the weak as this show is drenched in blood and million year old demon curses and by the end of it. You will be mind raped.   

a mediocre adaptation of the first arc of a glorious manga

A fantastic adaptation from the legendary manga, the animation is pretty typical of the early 90s and has great art work. The sound track is simply beautiful and has this nostalgic charm to it. The voice actors/actresses have done a perfect job at displaying each characters personality in the dubbed format. (Watch it in dubs this time). 

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