Recommended : 100% YES
Berserk is a well loved series, many of its fans were waiting for this series for so long and others like me hardly know a damn thing about it but enough to just sit back and enjoy it.
I’d recommend it any day of the week but it was also one of the weakest series I watched this season. So why?
I’m not a big Berserk fan. I played a Berserk game when I was a kid, I might have read half a dozen chapters, talked about it a lot and even probably watched the original anime once. Ask me a simple question about Berserk that any Berserk fan would know and I’ll look at you blankly and shrug.
I watched Berserk mainly because my mum wanted to, being a huge fan, and because why not? Its a big series, it sounds like something I’d be into if I bothered with it, so why not just dip a toe in and see what its like?
Then anyone who followed my weekly reviews saw the pain’s I had trying to get over the animation. I didn’t really care for the story to begin with. Characters were annoying, story was going nowhere and a few episodes sent me to sleep.
Yes I did 100% recommend the series even after all that!
Half way through when the Conviction Arc really kicked in the anime became so much better. The first 4 or 5 episodes can be a hard slug, one or two good episodes and moments that will keep you coming back for more but nothing solid to really make you care. After that it gets much more interesting and when Guts finally gets to the Tower to find Casca it really is a non-stop battle.
I’ll start with the negatives.
The half animation half CGI thing didn’t work. It was ugly, it meant that no one truly was able to show emotion on their faces because there wasn’t enough detail to change it to show emotions. It sucked the drama out of some moments, sucked the life out of some characters and just made it so much less then it could be. Some of the animation was pretty cool but on the whole it was pretty terrible.
It took too long to get into any interesting stories, took too long to make any sense. The beginning felt like it was a introduction to those who don’t know Berserk instead of just getting on with it. Because it took so long it nearly lost my interest completely.
Whilst I loved that it charged on with the action that also meant it lost some time developing characters. They didn’t need to be developed too much but someone like Nina, who is the fucking bane of my life, was just lost. She was a one dimensional character who actually was a extremely important one, the lack of detail on her face and lack of emotions meant that everything she did seemed extremely hollow.
It felt empty of everything.
That being said there are a few characters that didn’t need any development and you just love from their introduction. Luca, Isidro, Jerome, Serpico (maybe not) and Azan are all great characters who need little introduction but you become so attached to them. I love Serpico and only really carried on watching because I grew attached to him for no reason.
Guts obviously you can’t help but get behind, there was enough poking in the right direction to make you realise that he was someone to feel sorry for, Casca too.
I guess that is it though. The characters. The story actually doesn’t do much overall and the animation is so bad that it took me till about episode 7 to stop complaining about it.
With all its negatives though there are some great moments and even with terrible moments surrounding the good I think its worth sitting down and binge watching it. Mozgus, his history, what he does and his torturers are all extremely interesting. The guy is a nightmare but a angel to those who needed him, its a interesting concept and one that is only so scary because its something that probably does happen in reality. Someone who cares so much about what he does that he’ll excuse everything because of what he loves. The Egg and his story also is something worth watching. I said above when Guts finally gets to Luca and they work together to save Casca its all great up until the final episode. Luca is a great character to watch too, every scene she’s in is wonderful and then there is the ever growing comedy act which starts with Puck and ends with him finding Isidro and Jerome to mess around with.
Watching Farnese slowly sink into despair and having her faith shattered was interesting to watch. You can’t help but sit there screaming at the TV for shit to stop happening to Casca. From the very beginning fight scenes with Guts are always worth watching if at times devoid of any real action because the animation sucks. Actually listening to what characters are saying when they are monologing is pretty important too because it makes you think. Even if you aren’t a devote religious person it tells a interesting story that you have to piece together.
So many interesting character relationships too.
So whilst I might be able to point to hundreds of negatives it still becomes a recommended yes because if you focus your full attention to it, after you get over the beginning it gets really good.
Also. The mess that this is. That is the mess of Berserk. For some reason though I… Kinda loved it.