Berserk : Banner of the Flying Sword

Episode 3

“Hi Ken no Mihata” (飛剣の御旗)

The double episode beginnings of this series has given us the chance to see how Guts group got back together whilst seeing Griffith make his bold statements. They were the stone that will eventually turn into a avalanche.

To cement this we have this episode where we focus on how the brand new and improved Band of Hawk unite. At the end of the last episode we saw Griffith ride into town just when he was needed and now we see how that fight ends. With a whole load of badasses coming to join him and absolutely destroying the army in front of them.

It was so cool. All the guys in the group are phenomenal specimens of destructive power. It is a strange bunch but they are all there pledging their alliance and destroying their way through their enemies.

When we later get to see the army there is no misunderstandings to why it will be unstoppable. Everyone seems to be under a trance when it comes to Griffith but even if they weren’t who wouldn’t want to follow him? He has unstoppable brutes behind him, says he’s fighting for the good of these people, has punishments for those opposing him but allows them to defect. People and Demons are working side by side so why wouldn’t they?

I guess its interesting because of what we know they stand for. Griffith isn’t a good guy and Guts is. Griffith has people flock to him and already has a army at hand that can probably destroy anything in their path, Guts only allows Serpico and Farnese to join him because he needs people to help him with Casca. Griffith makes this big show of letting people say goodbye to their dead loved ones, he is heralded as being beautiful and all that jazz…. We leave Guts and his group standing around a fire about to fight Demons oozing out of a lake.

The path that Griffith now walks on is going to be a easy one whilst the heroes will struggle all the way down it.

Isn’t that just always the case anyway?! I’m not saying its unique but its meant to make the moment when finally the good guys win a battle just that much sweeter, but Berserk is never like that. You win a battle, like getting Casca back, then another battle tramples over that, she now hates Guts. Its a never ending revolving door of misery for Guts and he’s getting nowhere now having to ask for help from people who not that long ago were trying to kill him.

Isidro is still the man though, I love how they do away with the serious animation when him and Puck get going. I think they time his stupidness perfectly and Puck always gets the best lines and changes from the comedy sidekick to a serious observer so well. The best line was when she told Isidro if he carried on anymore he’d turn into the villain after chastising Farnese which Guts didn’t seem inclined to do, then again Guts is very rarely inclined to do much.

The series already eclipses is last in just about every way. Its a much more involving plot with a much bigger picture. You want to see what happens next and watching the episodes aren’t a chore and it really has to be said with much better animation its a bloody joy to watch so many people get killed by so many different weapons. Still love the soundtrack though, its just the best.

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