By Justin Guillou / July 13th, 2016
Here it is everyone, the show many of us have been waiting for. The new 2016 adaptation of the long running Berserk Manga series. Of course this is not the first time we were able to watch the story of Guts. There was an anime back in the late 90s and more recently, we had a trilogy of movies that retold the Golden Age Arc. Admittedly, I have only just started reading the Berserk manga. I have been told there is lots of gorgeous art, great atmosphere and plenty of blood and gore to go around. How do I feel about these two episodes? I can’t say I was blown away but I have not lost hope yet.
Episode 1 starts off with Guts meeting a small fairy named Puck in a bar. Unfortunately, it is not the best of first encounters as some guys were harassing the little fairy. Guts then solves this problem the way any bad ass would: beat everyone up. And right away I noticed the problem with this series. See, most everything in this show is CG. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it is done really well, unfortunately it did not translate well to this episode. Guts’ animations were really choppy and it also appeared to be running at a fairly low frame rate. This unfortunately made a later scene have less impact than it could have. Guts encounters a series of cursed skeletons and takes him out as he wields his giant blade. The choppy animation really prevented this scene from reaching its full potential.
Episode 2 picks up soon after this when Guts encounters the Holy Chain Knights who have been chasing him for a while. Guts has somewhat of a reputation among these people. They refer to him as the Black Swordsman, wielding something that was ” Far too big to be considered a sword”. Of course this ends in a giant bloodbath! The animation here is a lot better this time around so this episode was far more enjoyable. It ends with Guts being captured then kidnapping Lady Farnese of the Holy Chain Knights. Some “hero” huh?
Berserk so far has so much potential. The artwork itself is actually pretty nice except for when Puck seems to mysteriously transform into this really weird looking white blob. I get it, they are trying to be funny and show Puck’s comedic side, but it just looked so out of place. I also noticed they used that weird “Sketch” shading on the polygons similar to what they did in the Wii U version of Rodea the Sky Soldier. Otherwise the action is there and the music is actually quite decent. The story so far isn’t too bad and I really like the atmosphere, but its held back by how poorly animated the CG is. Episode 2 was definitely an improvement over the first one, so hopefully the series will improve as it goes on and they make better use of the CG.
You can watch episodes of Berserk here