Kentaro Miura, the legendary mangaka behind Berserk died in 2021 and yet it feels like it was just yesterday when he passed away. Even two years later, we here at Honey’s Anime continue to remember Kentaro Miura and hope that Berserk continues under the care of his talented team. What was a surprise for us though was that in 2022, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc—originally released as a trilogy of movies in 2012—would be getting a TV adaptation in the form of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition.
Based on the first major arc of Berserk and the three movies, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition ended up being 13 episodes with some new scenes and updated visuals but that begs the question…is this worth re-watching? We are here to answer that question in our review of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition! Rest in peace Kentaro Miura, thank you always for bringing us Berserk!
Three Great Movies Now in a TV Format, Guts Returns Anew!
Yes, once again let us remind you, readers, that this isn’t a new Berserk anime series or a remake. Taking the three Golden Age Arc movies, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition is a 13-episode anime adaptation. This isn’t unheard of to see in the anime world as many anime films have gotten a TV anime adaptation but we were a bit surprised to see it, nevertheless. We think it’s a great way to honor the late Kentaro Miura with one the best versions of the Golden Age Arc but we also don’t want to say this is a completely new creation either. If you watched the three movies before, this will feel very familiar but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a bad rewatch experience either. With the updated visuals—minor but still noticeable—and the few added moments here and there, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition is still an excellent adaptation of the original manga arc and looks pretty solid for the current anime age.
Déjà vu but in a Good Way
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition is a great retelling of the original trio of movies as we once more get to see the rise, fall, and rebirth of Guts, Griffith, and the Band of the Hawk. Watching Guts become the Hundred Man Slayer and then The Struggler—no spoilers in case these words/phrases are foreign to you—was a real treat and made us remember why we always believe that Berserk is one of the best dark fantasy works out there.
Visually too, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition looks pretty solid with a nice mix of CGI and original 2D animation. Despite being taken from an older film trilogy, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition still looks better than the more recent anime series and that is both amazing and kind of shocking. We definitely wish Berserk didn’t rely so heavily on CGI at times but given this was a movie series, we forgive it and again, are happy with the small reworks here and there.
Déjà vu in a Bad Way
The biggest flaw of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition is hands down the realization that once again, we aren’t getting more of the manga arcs being adapted into an anime series but a retread of the original Golden Age Arc. As fans of the manga, we know the big moments of the series and how we long for them to get a proper anime but sadly that still isn’t happening. Once more, we return to one of the original arcs—which is still considered one of the best of Berserk—and that disappoints us a bit. Plus, it needs to be said that if you saw the movies, you are going to feel a lot of déjà vu watching this memorial edition. Did we say that already? Probably but it fits with the whole déjà vu phrase.
Great for Newcomers and Returning Fans
There is only one way to introduce a manga fan to the world of Berserk—by obviously reading the manga—but when it comes to the anime…that can be a bit trickier. There are the original 1990s Berserk anime and there are the trilogy movies. Now, we can honestly say Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition is a third way to lead people on the path of Berserk or for fans who maybe need a refresher course but can’t watch older anime. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition captures the Golden Age arc pretty well and doesn’t shy away from showing the dark themes you’ll soon come to expect from the world of Berserk.
That Forces Remix
Just to add one final note to our review, the Forces Remix by Susumu Hirasawa is without a doubt one of the best versions of Forces we’ve heard. Not only is the song legendary in the world of Berserk, especially for fans of the original anime, but it also captures the series so well! Sorry, we just had to share our love for it before we wrapped up our review!
Here’s the thing about Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition, your enjoyment will vary in MANY ways. Fans of the movies will no doubt have mixed feelings about the movies being adapted into a TV format and fans of the manga will be annoyed that we, yet again, aren’t getting new content. Equally, if you are a super fan, then re-watching this movie version reborn into 13 episodes is an easy thing to do! We here at Honey’s Anime loved Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition as it felt like a perfect way to re-start the experience of the franchise but we hope this also is a sign that other adaptations—*cough* the 2018 anime—will get the same treatment or that we will soon get more of the manga in anime form. It’s hard to tell with the passing of Miura-san… Let’s see if a successor steps in to complete his works and legacy!
Have you watched Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our Berserk-loving hive here at Honey’s Anime for more anime reviews and anime articles!
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