Berserk (TV Series 1997–1998) Poster


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Most powerful animation I've ever seen
poppunkandskajew6 May 2005
I am not by any means a huge anime fan, and have only finished a few series before this one (Bebop, Eva, Trigun, Hellsing). However, Berserk changed my entire attitude towards animation. Brilliantly written, insanely intriguing character development, and while some say the ending is too abrupt, I believe that it was one of the most powerful and poignant finishes to a series i've seen. Very few series actually leave the viewer wishing they could find a way to see the next season, and Berserk does so brilliantly. However, this is not for the faint of heart, I would definitely not advise this for children under 13, since it contains graphic everything. Can't find any faults except there is no season after this one, and would suggest it to anyone trying to discover new anime.
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Definition of Entertainment
bibleboyiam22 September 2003
Berserk is by far the best anime that I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close to capturing the interest of the viewer and holding it tightly throughout the ten hour duration of this masterpiece. Firstly, I must admit that it has its flaws, such as a few points of lazy animation, as in some of the battle scenes, as well as the somewhat disappointing ending, which leaves the viewer thirsting for more without the promise of any follow-up. Yet the fact of the matter is, and I speak for myself, that the positive aspects of Berserk outweigh the bad so drastically one cant help but overlook them in terms of the entire film. The frequent sub-par visuals mean nothing in comparison to the amazing plot depth and beautiful character development marbled throughout the film.

In summary, Berserk is a ten hour mini-series that consists of 25 20+ minute episodes detailing the life of a rogue swordsman named Guts. Guts, in short, is simply the most intriguing fictional character ever constructed. Guts, first of all, is one of the finest examples of an individual driven entirely by self preservation and improvement. Throughout the series Guts grows stronger and more deadly before our eyes, with each thrust of his massive sword. The personal relationships that he develops over time, especially with Griffith and Caska, are totally believable and honest. In particular, the love/hate relationship that Guts has with Caska sucks the viewer into their world and with each episode end leaves you literally thirsting for more. I can honestly say that I had never so anxiously awaited a release as I did with each progressing volume.

The score, other than being entirely redundant, creates an additional emotional appeal that quite literally leaves a mark in your mind. The opening theme song, although an acquired taste, becomes somewhat of a necessity to mark the beginning of each additional episode that will bring you deeper into the world of Guts and the Band of the Hawk. In no time at all you find yourself singing along with it as if it were a top forty tune. The climactic theme played every 3 episodes or so, is absolutely haunting, leading one to wonder how it came to be included in an anime.

Berserk is a definite must-see for all fans of anime. For those who dislike anime or are indifferent to it, the mediocre visuals may tarnish your opinion of it, yet the rock solid plot and character depth with leave you amazed.

Rating: Animation Quality: 7/10 Character Development: 10/10 Plot Line: 10/10 Overall Enjoyment: 12/10 (If that's at all possible)
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The greatest anime experience of all time....
demonichorde6911 February 2007
I wan't to start by saying that i cannot recommend Berserk enough. It was the single greatest anime experience of my life. I watched the entire series on my computer over a three day period during which I had school and extracurricular activities to attend. Although I did not have any extra time to spare during the days I stayed up all three nights watching episode after episode unable to break away from the most engrossing anime series created.

I am not going to spoil anything but will tell you that the series features some of the most interesting characters i have ever experienced. Although the animation is rarely top notch and the voice acting isn't always perfect i still found myself captivated by each and every second of the series. If you value plot and don't mind flagrant amounts of violence and some nudity this is definitely and anime series for you. If you have ever liked anime or enjoy more medieval types of live action films even you should give Berserk a try.

P.S. after watching the series you should definitely check out the forums or the manga, it will make you feel a lot better i promise.

Overall 10/10 for an incredible experience, despite some technical flaws. Watch Berserk as soon as you can, you will not regret it!
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Awesome. That is to say, it leaves one in awe.
ian-46213 December 2004
To the one who panned this series after watching an hour and a half of it: That's like watching the first 15 minutes of >insert title of any complicated, intelligent movie here< and dismissing it.

As for the music, it's not standard anime j-pop crap. It's not movie-score like music either. It's definitely not for everyone, as far as just listening to it goes (but I must say I've developed a liking for Susumu Hirasawa's work), but most of it fits quite well (although with the rampant re-use it's bound to not work sometimes), and some of it is great regardless what it's presented with. "Behelit," and "Forces" being the real stand-outs, both in terms of being listenable, AND in terms of reuse with varying degrees of appropriateness. The opening theme does suck though. No question. (In stark contrast to the end credits song, which, while also being an abomination of Engrish, sounds perfect.)

I used to be really into anime. I fell out of it a few years ago, and stopped giving a crap about almost all the anime I'd ever seen or heard of. But as all the chaff blew away, this was one of the few grains to remain. It's unforgettable, especially if you watch the whole series in order. It's unspeakably grim when viewed as a whole, but contains a growing optimism throughout most of the series.

There are only a tiny handful of animes which can stand beside Berserk in the quality of their storytelling. Hell, only a small portion of ANY fiction can be compared favorably to it. Berserk is not just good anime, it's good drama. If you like the fantasy genre in any format, you must see this show. If you like stories about people growing through hardship, you must see this show. If you like stories about unrelenting badasses, you must see this show. If you don't care about anything but eye candy, or you're an anime dork looking for wank-fuel, look elsewhere. Berserk may not have something for EVERYONE, but it has something for MOST people.
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The absolute Best Anime I have seen to date!!
saidinstaint13 June 2003
Some of my favorite things to watch are stories that take you on more than a 2 hour simple journey and instead lead you on an epic tale. This is great in that aspect. The first episode left me thinking it would be only similar to all other anime I have watched - good, but nothing exstatic. However, from the second episode forward it only got better and better until an unbelievable climatic ending. I love the midievil aspect rather than the usual sci-fi, or goth (vampire) themes. The three main characters, Guts, Griffith, and Caska - are excellent, and by the time the series nears the end you really know each of these characters individually, meaning you can feel their pain and hopes. All around, this is a superb film, and I can only pray every day that they make a second series since this one ends making you crave for more - ends on a cliffhanger so to speak. I'd love to see Guts' further adventures and what would happen with his relationship with Griffith/Femmto.
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Very good
Xaov17 March 2004
I was introduced to Berserk by a friend of mine. He had seen it over at a friend's house and thought I would enjoy it.

Until Berserk my favorite anime had been Tri-gun. Upon seeing this anime I had been blown away by the sheer magnitude of story, characters, etc. I loved it.

This anime is one of the best ones I have seen. The story and Characters were developed over time all 25 episodes not just the first 3 or 4 as is typically found. The story raised the same emotions of excitment that FF7 did when I first played it.

I really wish the ending would have been different, but it only meant that more is to come. I am really hoping that they decide to do a 2nd season of Berserk, if they don't I'll just have to get my hands on the manga that everyone has been talking about.

Overall the series is very good. there are minor flaws in the animation at times but for the most part its smooth sailing.
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Bloody anime, with a complex plot, I want more
siderite21 September 2005
The animation for this series is not so good. Others have said it, as well as the fact that it doesn't really matter. In the end it's the story that gets you hooked, with pretty well defined characters and interesting plot twists.

I especially liked how you can definitely find a character to identify with, even if it is not the main character. You start understanding why some things happened a few episodes before and why some of the things will happened next. Unfortunately the story ends with a HUGE twist, without any hope of continuation, which leaves you wanting.

I have watched a few anime series start to end these days, including Hellsing, Tsukihime, Elfen Lied, but I liked Berserk a lot more than any of them. Unfortunately I don't have the patience to read the comics, so I guess this is where the story ends for me. I wish they would do more episodes.

Again, I noticed this series described as horror. There is no horror within, except maybe the last episode, but it is moving something inside for sure. Watch it.
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Very crude, but very watchable
kingtanichi22 March 2004
The plot of Berserk is purely the stuff of pulp fiction novel series: a young man with a talent for killing falls in with a group of super-mercenaries, and with them, grows into the most lethal warrior of his time. However, it's done as well as it can be here.

At first, Berserk seems crude beyond belief. It's certainly not brilliantly scripted, and the animation isn't top quality, but it grows on you remarkably fast. The European medieval setting makes the intensely bloody action and philosophical musings seem more natural, and character of Guts is solid enough to give some substance to the series as a whole. He's pure killing power, untempered by reflection or remorse. But as the series goes on, he learns some responsibility and compassion. It doesn't happen in some sudden epiphany, but gradually. Also, a lot of his history is revealed in flashbacks. We learn the unflinching truth of how he became so unfeeling.

So overall, Berserk is definitely worth seeing. It's character driven in spite of its intense violence, and it has some genuine emotions in spite of its hardcore narrative cruelty.
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Medieval kingdoms, big swords, frenzied warriors, gore, nude, sex, intrigue, betrayal, demons, a quest for vengeance, and an ending that was screaming for a sequel
ThatAnimeSnob18 March 2013
1) The pilot episode. It ain't shitting around with a slow build up. It begins at a point in the future where the lead character is already somehow betrayed and mutilated by his best friend, and he is on a quest to kill the sucker. The very first episode tells you with a scene from the future how the world became a dark and morbid place, where the people live in fear and demons have crawled in powerful positions of authority, toying sadistically with innocents. It is an extremely powerful plot device to hook you for what is about to follow… or not. The second episode is actually the story told from the start, as we gradually see how the protagonist grows up in the battlefield, gets more powerful, wields bigger swords (I mean, REALLY bigger swords), how he makes allies, friends, lovers, and enemies. You already know how all that will have a bad outcome because of the pilot episode so you are easily interested to see how all that happened.

2) Gore, splatter, nude and sex. This almost goes without needing an explanation. Sex and violence always sell and this anime has buckets of it. Sounds like brain-dead superficial entertainment but unlike most shows Berserk is only using them as attraction and not as definition. Because to be honest, most heavy on action and/or nude series are usually nothing without these elements while Berserk works fine even without them. Plus, it uses a form of violence that is quite appealing to me; hand-to-hand and sword-to-sword battles between frenzied armored warriors. Using magic or lasers to do the same just doesn't look raw enough.

3) Interesting characters. The main three characters are interesting, even if there wasn't a ton of violence and gore in the show. You gradually see them revealing all their inner thoughts to you, their pasts, their goals, their desires and hopes. You see them getting beaten, learning from their mistakes, maturing, being broken by betrayal and coming out more crazy than what they already were. Plus, the aforementioned violence is used to bring out their weak side and hidden thoughts.

4) Political power struggles. The show is not centered on a team of warriors, strolling a generic kingdom and doing stand-alone missions. The world they live in has affected them and is affected back by them, all part of Griffith's goal to leave his mark on the world by getting his own kingdom. Along the way many aristocrats get annoyed by his continual successes and fearing their own agendas to be stolen by him continually try to assassinate him. And he reacts by plotting his own assassinations. All of which happen in secrecy, while the kingdom is at war with its neighbors. So it is not a story about a few brave warriors protecting their good homeland by invading monsters; it is a simple war of political agendas between local kings for whom gets to have all the lands for himself. And not only that; it is also about the internal double crossing the aristocrats do to one another every time one wants to steal the glory from the other.

5) Atheistic take on humanity. Although religion is a topic hardly mentioned directly in anime, over here it is openly trampled as nothing more than a false ideal to hide one's dark desires. It is extremely interesting how the show uses ideals and hopes as means for clergy and ambitious leaders to control their underlings. This was never done before so openly. It even goes as far as claiming how all the demons in the show are in reality people willing to sacrifice everything in order to fulfill their desires, even if it means losing their humanity and killing everyone they love. I really liked how monsters are not treated as generic incarnations of evil or plain misguided mortals; they are shown to be the pure form of ambition liberated by the constraints of morality, emotions and ideals.

6) Psychological symbolisms and imagery. Many parts of the show, usually those involving demons, are full of WTF sceneries, all of which have to do with basic carnal desires and fears. Unlike most shows with demonic dimensions, which are nothing but generic depictions of torture of the damned, here all the monsters and their Eclipse world are directly attributed to their personalities having been given in completely to their desires. The characters are not scared of getting crazy because of them. Heck, they are mostly terrified of becoming like that as well. Not because it is bad or wrong, but because it feels inappropriate for any human being to end up like that. Which is again very interesting as a concept.

Cliffhanger ending. This is a part most hate about the show, as it ends in the most exciting and agonizing way possible. But in reality, that is also a plus of the show as it is almost demanding from you to read the manga just to see what happens next.

The animators had lots of sloppy moments inserted in the show and most of them have to do with lack of animation and repeated footage and not with bad drawings. The drawings are in fact great. The music score is amongst the most blood boiling pieces of grudge rock and orchestrated epic music even made and easily tops even the animation part of the show. The characters have really appropriate voice actors with no stupid pitches in voice. Even the sound effects were successful, as simple as they may have been.

Bottom line, Berserk is fine dark fantasy material, with great action and story and characters. The manga version is of course continuing the story far more than where the anime stops and features far more gore and sex scenes.
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Berserk is a true classic anime
Sabre_Wolf17 April 2013
This is a good anime if you want to get introduced to the Berserk franchise and I know for sure it was my introduction because while I prefer the manga, I still love the anime quite a bit.

Both subbed and dubbed versions are pretty good though I am neutral on the subbed/dubbed debate personally. But the English dub did pick good voice actors and what captured me on the dubbed version was Marc Diraison voice performance as Guts.

This is a great anime of the one of the longest and still good manga out there written and drawn by the great Kentaro Miura! The anime did his manga a decent amount of justice at least.
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Amazing Anime
Hellsinger25 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This was probably the first big Anime I've seen. It actually was the basis of inspiration to go on and watch many other adult Animes.

I would like to point out that Animes are not for kids, and especially not this one.

Berserk has probably one of the best character building processes ever. The series of 25 is largely enough to fall in love with all the characters, well except Griffith. I think the last 3 episodes are only about survival in hell. The first episode however is actually the very last, so it creates a nice effect of a flashback over the remaining episodes.

The end is rather tragic as most heroes die, except Gatsu and Caska. But this again, is not shown in the Anime, so i really can't wait till season 2, and i really hope they do make it.

Gatsu, is a brave hero that is not affraid of any foe, he shows the courage of men, and great skill. He has a tough blade, which basically needs extreme strength of arms even to hold it. The Anime however, is centered around Griffith who is the final foe. And this shows the hero, anti-hero combination.

I recommend Berserk to anyone, if you don't like Animes, I think Berserk is an excellent starting point.
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Best anime out there.
andres_gar87619 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Berserk 1997 is to me the best anime out there, it's pretty much a shame that Berserk 2016, 2017 and the "Golden Arc" movies are so bad.

It tells a compelling story mainly about 3 characters and how their relationship starts and evolves through time. The thing about Berserk is that all the characters, even secondary, support characters are very interesting and it's pleasing and exciting to watch them every moment you watch the show. It has a very unique way those relationships between characters is and evolves.

There's action, drama and some funny moments. I was completely stupefied while watching every episode. I had to read the manga after watching the show, which is also superb.

Don't listen to people who say the animation looks too old, this is traditional animation, they also use moving images in an amazing way to tell the story I've never seen done in any other anime or series.

The only "bad" thing about this is that it ends in a cliffhanger and the new seasons or adaptations are awful in every sense of the word. And that the manga isn't over yet, too many hiatuses.

In any case, I'd highly recommend this anime to anyone.
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A unique experience, but one I'm not sure I enjoyed
gethelred12 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This series is not overly long, and before I get into the content I would like to say that I have not read the manga, so what I will discuss here will only be concerning the anime itself.

The author is plainly a talented storyteller, with an ability to create reasons for combat and danger that parallel literature at its finest. The protagonist, Guts, is a mercenary warrior of the Conan bent, who thrives in combat via the use of his immense sword, which is as large as he is. The first episode serves as an introduction to the character somewhat; it plays out like a pilot episode to an action show, with the plot itself really kicking in over the next five episodes, which take us back to the events which lead into the present. This is a narrative weakness, because the show goes from extremely dark, with supernatural elements, to a daylight ridden but still bloody martial world.

That being said, the remainder of the anime is concerned with the events that, I assume, lead in to the events of the first episode. Guts is subdued by a mercenary gang leader, Griffith, and is forced to join his group via a life debt. Guts and Griffith form a bond that is part romantic and part friendship, while Guts has a antagonistic relationship that blossoms into a romantic one with Griffith's second in command, Casca, with a long development period.

All of the characters that are part of the main cast are extremely well developed; Griffith is a leader in all ways, exceptional and ambitious, but distant and dismissive, but all too fragile in the end. Casca is touchy about her femininity, and is protective over Griffith to the point of injury. Guts is the main character, and is probably the most enigmatic lead I have seen in a long time.

However, the end of the anime, drawn out over the last four episodes, is an exercise both in jumping the shark, and in theatre of cruelty imagery. I will not spoil it by describing the events of the piece, but I have a fairly strong stomach, and I can honestly say that I will not be delving further into this series due to how this anime ends.

Theatre of cruelty, for those who don't know, is a theatrical convention where the art is intended to alienate the audience, by any means necessary; sound, visuals, concepts. This anime demonstrated that capacity in spades, the finale replete with lovecraftian imagery mixed with demonic iconography to create a masterpiece of pain, jealousy and brutal utter torment that is harrowing to view.

That said, I really thought it went too far. There are some things that should be left unsaid, and some acts too cruel to depict.

None the less, this anime is very good for the most part; it plays out like a game of thrones intrigue, mixed with battles that channel tales of King Arthur in terms of deeds. If the ending was not so brutal, so vile, then this would be a well characterized but middling production; that it is makes for something that is thought inducing, horrifying, and utterly unforgettable, and not necessarily for the right reasons.
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Berserk is a masterpiece
fullmetalgear13 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Berserk is nothing short of a masterpiece. It is purely a masterpiece. The characters go deeper than you could ever expect. The music is amazing, the only song I do not feel is pure perfection is ball, it tries to sound orchestrated, but fails.The only flaw realistically, is the animation, it appears dated and is a clear sign of the times, however this is negated completely, there is a HD remaster and the animation being dated is no excuse not to watch this series, some of the greatest anime are over 35 years old. The dub is worth watching over the sub, the voice acting fits all the characters, Guts sounds like a hardened warrior, Griffith a passionate leader, Corkus an arrogant, selfish fool. If you haven't seen berserk, then go, watch it now.
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In-F'ing-credible Story, rough ending though.
BradHexum11 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Right on par with the Kenshin Series in my opinion. True to almost any anime, you really need to read the Manga in order to fully appreciate the story. The TV Series that everyone advertises is "Complete" (i was duped too) isn't really complete; it cliff-hangs at the very end, and it doesnt look like they're going to pick the project back up. However, i would still definately recommend this to anyone who loves japanimation.
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Great series for people who like realistic anime
skyanimal26 April 2006
Berserk is an amazing sleeper anime series gaining popularity in the U.S. It follows the adventures of a mercenary, Gatts, who lives a hard life, and survives by his wits and his incredibly large sword. The first season (and how we wish for a second) covers Gatts involvement with the mercenary group "The Band of the Hawk" and its leader, Griffith.

Berserk is realistic in that people are not doing over-the-top, impossible things, all the time that is. Gravity defying moments occur occasionally, but can be viewed as realistic due to the attention to detail and logic of the rest of the show. You will not scratch your head and say things like "That's not possible" with this series. Everything makes sense and the situations will grab your attention.

The story is very well told and follows a long arc from beginning to end, explaining Gatts past to the reason of why he ended up the way he did in the first episode. (In other words, the entire series is a flashback.) In it, you see the lithe and powerful Griffith do whatever it takes to achieve success, with his dark-eyed beauty of a lieutenant Caska ever faithful and always vying with the newcomer, Gatts.

Based on a comic book (manga), the battles are usually shown with interesting single cell depictions of events. And the fighting tends toward a realistic hack and slash as you see each person fight and defeat their opponents. The violence level is high, there is a lot of blood. With such a serious subject matter, some light moments are injected, as well as occasional bits of comedy, to help keep the audience from getting bored.

For such a great series, it lacks in a couple areas. Namely that there are only three main characters, for the rest of the "Band," we have faces and names, but no backgrounds. Also, like other anime series, there are bouts of empty blandness that, one must assume, are supposed to convey emotional impact of statements said by characters. These moments do no translate well and you would just wish the director would get back into the action.

The only other problem is that there is only one season.

If you want to know if you'll like the series, watch the first episode. If you enjoy it, then you will love the series.
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Better than most anime.
weaselton18 December 2007
For what its worth. I am not really a fan of anime.

That being said I do like well written shows. Live action, animated, and mixed. Thus I do like some anime shows.

Berserk is one of the better ones out there. A fairly faithful rendition of the second story arc of the manga which has been going on since 1989. (With a small bit of the 1st)

The cliff hanger it ends with, is because the second story arc is the part where readers learn "how we got here" Its all back story. And to be honest its also the least violent and disturbing section.

Other commentators have said that the author must be disturbed. I have to agree. I doubt there will ever be a completion to it in any media other than the manga because simply put its to grotesque. An R rating would not cover the story. We are nearing X rated on quite a few scenes.
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words can't describe perfection!
lamcho005 September 2009
This is the best anime I've ever seen! I hate when someone talks sh*t without ever watching the whole series! This is better than all animes I've ever seen (I'll probably become hated for saying this but) this is far better than Claymore or Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gantz or Elfen Lied or Hellsing. This is on completely different level! Whether you like anime or not you should see these series it's better than all the movies I've seen, it's..... you just have to watch it!!!! Yeah it's not perfect but it certainly comes as far as possible - the graphics 8/10, the sound 10/10, the story 12/10 (and maybe more), OVERALL 10/10! This is UNIQUE!
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Pure Art
stra-715 May 2014
I've watched a lot of anime in my day, and I've watched all of the best ones. Death Note, Hellsing Ultimate, Cowboy Bepop, Elfen Lied, Steins Gate, Monster... drop me a name, I've probably seen it.

I have to say though that for me this original berserk anime stands in high isolation on a desolate peak. It is in my mind pure art and I cannot praise it enough.

The story is one of the most gripping, guttural and awe-inspiring journeys ever committed to moving pictures. If Shakespeare had written this I'd wager he might have called it his masterpiece.

It is brutal, it is twisted, it is raw. But is also honest about the world and incredible intelligent. It deals with complex topics such as ambition, honor, destiny and righteousness almost in passing, and without breaking a sweat.

The honest truth is that if you do not like this anime you may not be ready for it. To fully understand it you must be willing to accept certain truths about the world.

It is not an "easy watch", but if you understand it you may come to think like I do. With hindsight I have even come to think that the ending is nigh on perfect. Think Shakespeare and you will understand what I mean.
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A Good Watch
theevilartist111 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Checking this anime out of my local Blockbuster, I didn't know I had a gem in my hands. So I got home popped it in not expecting anything particularly special only to find that I was watching one of the most deep anime I have ever watched.

The story follows the exploits of rogue swordsman Guts. Based on the hit manga series from Japan the anime retells the origin story of how Guts got to where he is in the world. In it we see how he went from a lone wolf only interested in his own well being to a loyal, unflinching, protector of those close to him. We see his bouts with love and loyalty to his friends. It becomes apparent that this man deals with some pretty hard conflicts not entirely unlike our own. He isn't just some dumb brute capable of destroying entire armies but a man with a heart. It's truly heartbreaking when we find out the dark sinister plan in store for him and his comrades.

The story is solid if not a bit slow at times. Many themes discussed are the importance of friends and the dangers of too much ambition. I didn't give it a full ten because like I said the plot while solid can be sluggish a bit especially since the entire series, sans the first episode, is in a flashback and doesn't really scratch the surface of Berserk itself. The ending for those not familiar with Berserk is greatly different from the manga. The anime unlike the manga ends in an abrupt halt. The manga however extends many more volumes onward so if you don't like the ending of the anime don't worry you can just read the rest. The ending is only a small set back.

Since this anime came out back in the early 90's don't expect the cutting edge animation that we've come to expect today. However it does offer a refreshing look into pre Cowboy Bebop anime. The musical score, while not typically changing all that often, is well suited for this anime. If I had to point out any parallels connecting this anime to the anime of today I would say it's more like the granddaddy of the anime for Gungrave. The stories are similar in their themes and the pacing is the same. If you liked Gungrave you'll like this. Berserk is an anime that starts slow but I guarantee by the end you'll have some deep emotion for it one way or the other.
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Supreme anime(ated) drama
aris430912 November 2006
I finished watching this anime within about a week. I had taken my time. I was prepared. I didn't want to watch it too fast or too slow. And I already sensed it back then when I was watching the first episodes that it saddened me to know that this art peace would come to an end. In one equation: !!!BERSERK = BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I came to know about the anime/manga Berserk accidentally about a year ago. I was searching for some sites which listed a top xx off best anime/manga. That's when it cached my eye that in most top xx manga, the manga Berserk was always mentioned. But I never heard of it before. So I went to IMDb typed in 'Berserk' and....BINGO! There exists an anime-derivative of the manga. So I read some reviews and brief introduction to the story and characters and I became obsessed. I had to watch this anime sooner or later.

Thankfully that day has come to be. Before watching this anime, I really didn't know what to call my personal favorite in the genre. Was it Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Ninja Scroll, Wolf's Rain, Jin Roh, etc. But Berserk surpasses those great titles BY FAR!!! The mean character in the story has to be Guts a very big and powerful swordfighter, who at some point in the story joins up with the mercenary band: Band of the Hawk lead by the charismatic Griffith. Who is also one of the mean characters. The other one is Caska a female member of the band. Although this is certainly a rough anime with loads of blood and death body's, that what really makes this anime/manga superior to all other anime I've ever seen, is the character development of the leading characters. And the triangular relationship between the main characters.

It is that what from time to time made me shiver. I had hard times trying to tear myself away from the desire to watch the next episode. It is seldom seen that you develop such a great affection towards the characters in the story.

What a great series this was. That what most people resented about this anime was its abrupt ending. I was already warned about it before watching. So the ending landed a little softer on me. But for sure the end can be called a cliffhanger. You're dying to know what will happen to Guts and the others. But to be honest about it, I think it was a great ending to the anime. Because I think the makers of the anime really wanted to shock you and to hunger you for the rest of the story. It is almost if the author of the story, Kentaro Miyura made the first part of the manga or to say the biggest part of the anime to be something which serves the power of the dramatic ending of the anime. I find this to be a genius way off story telling and making viewers/readers interested in reading the manga where the story definitely will be continued. Which is also what I'm doing at the moment: I'm reading the manga and it's great! For sure Kentaro Miyura has made a grand, beautiful and intriguing Fantasy world with great characters included. But then again I also have to stress out the achievements of the makers of the anime for bringing this world and its people so vividly alive. But be warned I can understand that the anime is somewhat heavy, because of its grim and bloody content but it is still not that heavy when compared to the manga. Things that happen to Guts in the manga where probably too much to show on a late-night TV-series but it does give more dept to the characters.

It's true, especially in 2006, don't expect great animated graphics, that's not what makes Berserk memorable. But for sure it's not bad. It's just not that great either. I've you want to watch this anime do it because of the story and the characters and nothing else. There are about 4 to 5 themes in the anime and it fits the anime, according to my taste, very well even though it's being repeated over and over again.

Anyway I'm glad that I watched this anime. Ladies and gentleman it's a 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

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it's great
alesa_66623 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have watched many anime series..but this is far better than most of them...i recommend it because is the classic type of anime..has a well written plot and the characters have a strong makes u wanna find more...and you can by reading the manga...I don't know another anime where the relationships between characters are so strong..form example Guts-Grifith...Guts-Caska.. As for the story: It takes place in a setting similar to Europe in the Middle Ages and tells the story of Guts's life ,a mercenary, from the time he enters the Band of the hawks until Grifith becomes Femto..the 5th demon from the God hand...It also has some romance ,like the love story between Caska and Guts that ends in tragedy when she is raped by Grifith.Anyway..the ending it's a little too scary and bloody..but i have to admit that maybe i won't ever see an anime as great as this one.If you haven't seen it maybe it's time.
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Simply the Best Anime I Have Ever Seen
wildman7618 February 2006
I was first drawn into the world of berserk by a friend of mine while i was aimlessly wandering around blockbuster. He recommended it so i rented the first two DVD's. The first episode sucked me in immediately. The more i watched, the more i wanted to see. The characters are fascinating. They are incredibly believable and you just fall in love with the story. The character development is like nothing i have ever watched before. You are completely drawn into the series and cannot stop watching. I watched the first five DVD's in two days, practically nonstop between class and work. The sixth and last disc of the series was nowhere to be found so i immediately went online and bought the entire DVD set. It took two weeks to deliver it. Two agonizing weeks i had to wait to finish the best series i have ever seen in my life. So i suggest you have the entire set available before you start to watch it

I highly recommend it to everyone over 17 without a faint heart because it was a very powerful and emotional series.
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Excellent if brutal series
skymorph31 October 2002
Adapted from a bloody and brutal manga, Berserk the anime stands apart from the other offerings of Japanese anime through its bleak worldview, brutality, outstanding character development and mature content. Rapes, murders, assassinations, and betrayal litter this series that follows the life of Gatsu, a lone swordsman born from a corpse who grows up to be one of the greatest swordsmen in the land. Though the Manga chronicles much more, the first season of the anime introduces us to Gatsu in his later form as the Black Swordsman, and shifts backwards in time to show his upbringing in a mercenary camp, his enlistment in the Band of the Hawk, his friendship with its charismatic and powerful leader Griffith and his eventual downfall. Though the entire story is far from over, the series ends on a somewhat bleak note. A second season might be in the works, but no promises have been made.

I found this series to be visually appealing and engrossing on a personal level. Running almost entirely on character development, you develop an attachment to each individual character who has his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly, dreams.
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My personal favorite anime of all time. Rivals the best movies and TV shows as well.
marc54772 January 2018
Dont watch the dubbed version. Get the original japanese with subtitles or you will ruin it.

This was hands down, one of the best animes ever made. And that is despite the fact that it had limited funding and the animation was not the best. The story telling is superb as you follow the lives of a group of mercenaries who rise to every challenge they are hired to do no matter how improbable. It centers on three main characters, a cold and calculating leader (Griffith), his loyal lieutenant (Casca) and the hot blooded warrior (Gutts) who wanted no part of joining them but was indentured to them via a reckless bet. You also get to know a bunch of minor characters who are important to the mercs.

You follow them around for 24 episodes (note that 1st episode is misleading) as the commander tries to build his own army and build his own kingdom. But this is not a happy hero show, its a bit more realistic. There is plenty of satisfying fighting but also awkwardness, tragedy, espionage and luck (both good and bad).

In many ways the story makes a great effort to make the show believable and you wont see any clean cut heroes in this one. Yet you still can understand them even when they do wrong. You will run into some demons and magic here and there but it is not the focus of the story which is why I say the 1st episode is very misleading since it makes you think that its a show about the supernatural.

This show is a lot like Game of Thrones and predates GoT by more than a decade. Like GoT it has supernatural elements but they are not really the focus. The focus is on the characters and their struggle and I argue the characters here are much better.
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