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Berserk (1997)

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"In this world, is the destiny of mankind controlled by some transcendental entity or law? Is it like the hand of God hovering above? At least it is true that man has no control, even over his own will."
Genre: Dark fantasy
Sword and sorcery
Running Time: 23 minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: October 7, 1997 - March 31, 1998
Network(s): Nippon TV
Created by: Kentaro Miura (manga)
Oriental Light and Magic (anime)
Distributed by: Madman Entertainment (Australia)
AnimeWorks (North America)
MVM Films (United Kingdom)
Starring: Nobutoshi Canna
Toshiyuki Morikawa
Yūko Miyamura
Akiko Yajima
Akira Ishida
Masuo Amada
Tomohiro Nishimura
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 25

Berserk, also known as Berserk: The Sword-Wind Romance, is a Japanese anime television series based on Kentaro Miura's manga series of the same name. It is a 25-episode series produced by Oriental Light and Magic and was broadcast on Nippon TV from 1997 to 1998. The episodes adapt part of the manga's Black Swordsman arc, continuing through the entirety of the Golden Age arc.

Why It Rocks

  1. Amazing visuals and animation that have a lot of details on it, just like in the original manga.
  2. The story, while not fully adapted and several things have been changed, is still well-written.
  3. Guts is a likable protagonist, even if he's arrogant. His past shows why he acts arrogant and harsh towards people.
  4. The English dub is well-done and most of the dub lines fit the medieval setting of the series.
  5. It's one of the few anime that challenges the stereotype of "cartoons are just for kids!".
  6. Very good designs for the Apostles (the demons of the series).
  7. Amazing soundtrack by Susumu Hirasawa, especially the "next episode preview" theme Forces.
  8. The ending theme fits the tone and atmosphere of the series.
  9. The medieval setting is portrayed very accurately, as it shows the gritty times of the Middle Ages.

Bad Qualities

  1. As said in WIR #2, it didn't fully adapt the story. The adaptation ended at Volume 13, Chapter 6 of the manga.
  2. Like many adaptations, some elements from the manga were changed and some of the most brutal scenes were censored.
  3. Despite being amazing, the animation was on a limited budget and it didn't age well, though not as bad as its 2016 continuation.
  4. The Skull Knight, an important character during the Golden Age arc, did not appear at all.
  5. Speaking of BQ#3 this show is somewhat notorious of being heavily reliant on Watercolor still frames.
  6. Despite being a really fun song to listen, the theme song Tell Me Why doesnt really fit the tone.