Berserk User Reviews

Berserk is an anime series in the Berserk franchise
Write a Review 2 user reviews Average score of 8.7 / 10 for Berserk
A Solid Action Title for Mature Fans Despite Open Plot Elements Reviewed by Dream on May 21, 2009. Dream has written 132 reviews. His/her last review was for Soul Eater. 296 out of 310 users recommend his reviews. 3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.
On par with Elfen Lied as one of the bloodiest anime TV titles I've seen is Berserk. Portraying the brutal beginnings of Guts before he became the Black Swordsman, this title doesn't hold back in its bloody and intense battles as rival kingdoms are at war with one another, people are tortured, and demons feast on humans. Even throw in scenes of attempted rape, rape, sex, implied homosexuality and child molestation in one form or another for some more heavy content. Be warned that if you can't handle such content, then Berserk isn't for you. If you can handle it, then you can look forward to an engaging story where all this heavy content has relevance to the themes of the series and not just thrown around for shock value.

The world of Berserk is completely influenced by medieval times. You have castles, knights, princesses, and kings. But, this world's no fairy tale. Berserk shows off quite a dark side to this period that you would learn of from history. You have nobles and monarchs thinking they have the divine right to rule and letting the authority that they have get to their heads quite often becoming corrupt with their actions. Children are sold away as personal servants to nobles by their peasant families just to have one less mouth to feed. Even with the noble, these children are treated as personal property. The mere thought of a commoner gaining authority of any kind from the royal family is strongly a taboo to many of them. Case in point, Griffith's rise in fame with the Midland king with his successes in battle with the Band of the Hawk. Several assassination attempts are made on Griffith which backfire in the face of the nobles quite horribly when payback comes around.

The main theme of this series is personal desire. The main characters we are introduced to have dreams and desires they wish to make come true or are searching for desires that they want. Griffith and the Band of the Hawks represent those trying to make their desires a reality with Griffith being king and his army becoming nobles and recognized knights despite their commoner and mercenary status. Griffith is of major significance since he does what he can to press towards his desires at any cost from manipulating nobles to killing off anyone who threatens his goals. Guts is searching for a desire to hold onto since he has wandered his entire life on his own having only his sword and survival to hold onto. Despite seeming like a mindless killing machine at the start, he too has his personal feelings and thoughts about living. There is such a thing as reality where personal differences with one's desires lead to conflict and things don't go your way for too long as a result of this. Berserk makes a point of this throughout its run and doesn't hold back in showing off the hardships that come from personal desire.

If there's one aspect to Berserk that I see as a problem, it would have to be the introduction of the demons. With much of Berserk's focus on the rise and fall of the Band of the Hawk from Guts's perspective featuring realistic medieval lifestyles, there are only occasions where the demonic imagery make its presence. The last two episodes of the series bring up a new point to the storyline that is for the most part left unresolved and unexplored. I was left with enough questions when I seen the demonic ceremony take place.

Despite its open ending and unexplored demonic side, Berserk was an engaging series given its bloody and dark content. Fans of the manga will get to see the beginnings of Guts and the Band of the Hawk through this anime series.
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