- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Horror, Fantasy
- Airing Date : July 2016 – September 2016
- Studios : Millepensee, GEMBA
Berserk (2016) Preview (No Spoilers)
After nearly 20 years, Berserk has finally come back to the airwaves. Ever since the first series from 1997 ended, many fans who went onto reading the manga began to see the true potential of this series, and its aggressively growing hardcore fan base have been relentlessly demanding to see its remaining stories of this epic in anime form. However, this new anime serves as a sequel to the 2012 movie trilogy and not the 1997 anime.
Taking place two years after the great eclipse that concludes at the end of the movies (as well as the original 1997 series), the world is being consumed by dark forces. The only savior the world can turn to now is Guts, who has been reequipped with his new sword, the iconic Dragon Slayer. However, he is not motivated by bringing the world back to balance, but to find his true love, Casca, who remains catatonic after being horrifically traumatized by the events of the eclipse. Despite these new threats since the end of the trilogy, mankind is still at war with each other and Guts must destroy threats from human and monster alike in order to be reunited with the woman he loves.
Voice Actor: Iwanaga Hioraki
Long before the world went to Hell, Guts’ whole life was nothing but a living Hell. If anything, he was born into his own Hell on Earth (he was found underneath a hung corpse after all). As highlighted in the previous Berserk related articles, he was raised and trained by mercenaries and ended up becoming one. Thanks to his upbringing, he was already a deadly warrior by the time he hit puberty. Even with his immense body builder frame and wearing heavy armor while equipped with his Dragon Slayer, he can still move at incredibly fast speeds and attack from agile angles as if he were an Olympic gymnast.
Due to becoming a sacrifice for Griffith, his former commander during the eclipse, he is branded by the God Hand with their seal on his neck. So what does this brand do other than have vicious monsters attack you in the eclipse? It attracts vengeful spirits who wish to devour his body for their own twisted deeds. Due to the unwanted attention, it attracts Guts' wishes to avoid people so they won’t get involved. As portrayed in the series, sometimes that is not the case.
1. He is Entirely Devoted to Casca
Throughout the entire duration of this series, Guts’ primary goal is to reunite with Casca. After surviving the eclipse, Guts leaves Casca in the care of his blacksmith, Godo, and his granddaughter. For 2 years, Guts travels around the world to find Griffith and to combat other apostles running amok. A month prior to his return to Godo, Casca went missing. So he immediately goes off to find her. Not only because of his love for her but because her mental condition has renditioned her to the state of a toddler. Even with all of his obstacles, the only person he can think about is Casca and excessively demonstrates how much he wants to find her. After battling the nastiest combinations of monsters and religious extremists, he finally reunites with his true love. Now his next step, to finally cure her condition!
2. His Dragon Slayer
Is it the sword that makes the knight? Or is it the knight that makes the sword? If these are questions you have asked yourself, then look no further than Guts. As portrayed in the 2016 series, Guts’ trademark Dragon Slayer finally gets to be featured more extensively in anime form. Not only is it just a sword, Guts wields this beast of a blade as if it were a true extension of himself.
In numerous episodes, the series repeatedly features that in one swing, he can simultaneously kill anywhere from three to five men as if it were nothing. Not only does it provide maximum and instant death offense, its size also allows it to be used for defensive purposes. By positioning himself at an appropriate angle, the Dragon Slayer can be used as a shield from arrows or any other projectiles such as fire. Thanks to Guts’ long time use of larger swords since his childhood, he can use the Dragon Slayer as if it were light as a feather.
Living up to its name, not only is the Dragon Slayer capable of killing human combatants, Guts uses it to slay his enemies of supernatural sources as well. But if anyone once again states the pen is mightier than the sword, please refer those individuals to the almighty Dragon Slayer.
3. His Overall Armory
Guts it not only just a wild and skilled swordsman, but he is an overall excellent combatant in both gladiator and battlefield conditions. Though he may rely a lot on his Dragon Slayer to do all his killings, his prosthetic arm has numerous functions for combat use. On the top forearm, he has a crossbow equipped for mid-range to long-range combat. Though the crossbow functions may not be as powerful as a real crossbow due to being smaller in order to accommodate his prosthetic arm, the series tends to portray this feature more as a diversionary tactic as opposed to a killing one.
The real damage that lays hidden in his arm is a cannon that he can fire by lowering the hand to open the barrel. Despite the explosive power of this arm, Guts tends to use it at close range with the help of his sword and cape as a means of shielding himself (in addition to his ability to withstand pain). And like his Dragon Slayer, his arm being pure iron can also be used as an effective means of defense from small knives and arrows.
4. His Pain Tolerance
What also makes Guts incredibly inhuman (even with the loss of an eye and arm), is his tolerance for pain. Early on in the 2016 series when the Holy See captures him, and their field commander, Farnese, subjects him, and him to torture. She whips him repeatedly asking him to seek God’s forgiveness. Guts knows what she is doing is pointless and mocks her and her beliefs.
In the series conclusive battle against Mozgus and his men, he is subjected to blows that probably equate to getting hit by an 18-wheeler, or maybe even by a wrecking ball. Thanks to his ability to withstand such pain (and of course with the help of his armor and sword), he continues to push on as if his body were the ultimate naturally producing adrenaline machine. If anything, pharmacists would probably want to extract his testosterone and make into a steroid! Guts is the pure definition of if you’re going to dish out the pain, be ready to take it!
5. His Leadership Capacity
Even though the Golden Age arc portrays Guts as an excellent field commander who just goes on the front lines to kick some ass, this series gives him the chance to approach the leadership role in a more active and parentally developmental manner. For starters, Isdoro, a child and a thief, starts to idolize him after seeing him taking out a group of thugs with relative ease. Being impressed by Guts’ incredible strength and his ability to use a sword as vicious as the Dragon Slayer, he pursues Guts with the hope that he can train under him. Guts wants nothing to do with him seeing him as a liability, but in the final battle, he acknowledges that his skills can be of asset and relies on him to rescue and protect Casca.
A majority of Guts’ leadership allows him to use his accumulated experiences to find solutions to tight situations, recognize people for their skills, and find ways to utilize them for maximum effort. By the end of the series, he wins the trust of his former foes, Farnese and her half-brother, Serpico and gets them to help him hold off all the monsters until sunrise upon the climax of the series. But before he can become a good leader, he has trouble just simply being a companion to Puck, who he mostly ignores. Eventually, he will come to learn that elves such as Puck have their qualities that will be of great use to his new team in this part of the series and the next.
If you have already seen the last episode of the 2016 edition of the Berserk anime series, then you know it’s coming back next spring. The preview indicates the next step in Guts’ development in further waging his war against Griffith and the God Hand.
For many readers here who are manga fans, you know what I’m talking about. Those not familiar with the Berserk manga, either read the manga to see what happens next or you can wait until next spring to see what happens in the anime.