Guts, known as the Black Swordsman, seeks sanctuary from the demonic forces that pursue him and his woman, and also vengeance against the man who branded him as an unholy sacrifice. Aided only by his titanic strength, skill, and sword, Guts must struggle against his bleak destiny, all the while fighting with a rage that might strip him of his humanity. Berserk is a dark and brooding story of outrageous swordplay and ominous fate, in the theme of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Kentaro Miura’s Berserk has been on my to be read list for a long time, my curiosity fuelled by it’s popularity. Unfortunately I never really got around to reading it, being put off by the art style and not having a preference for watching fiction than reading it. So, I waited for an anime adaptation, only to be astounded with my spectacular ignorance when I was notified Berserk’s anime adaptation already exists- a 1997 venture. Anyway, by the newest adaptation was already in the production and I was eager to watch.
So, how did I find it? Boring.
Much alike it’s blurb, the first episode of Berserk is predictable at it’s best.
A troubled hero who is branded by evil spirits- cursed- that he refuses to even spend a few seconds with another person in fear of horrible fate befalling them. And when his fears come true, he refuses to show his true emotions, preferring to people refer to people who died because of him “ants” .
An action hero with a troubled past and cold demeanour- Sounds familiar? Every action Anime ever.
Then we have the elves fairy who is saved by Guts and refuses to leave his side. An overly happy, medley, snarky fairy mind you, whose purpose appears to be comic relief at the moment but I’m sure will be promoted to the one who melted Guts heart in no time.
Let’s focus on the technicalities though. The art style, though not originally to my taste, is something I could get used to. It’s a weird mixture of the art usually reserved for gore manga and anime’s and sketches- you can practically see different shades at times- lents it a different quality.
There were a lot of unnecessary close up of Gut’s neck though- where he has a mark of curse- but served no other purpose than irritating me.
The action sequences were great, Gut’s movement fluid enough to resemble a video game.
And so, while I’m not much impressed with the show, I would like to watch a few more episodes before deciding. Who knows, maybe despite all it’s stereotypicalities it would pleasantly surprise me. I would like to assume a manga with such a large fanbase has a reasfor reaching there and I hope I’m not disappointed.