Berserk by Phate

Kenfu Denki Berserk
Also Known As: Swordsmanship Romance Berserk
Genre: Action
Format: 25 Episodes
Allegiance: Oriental Light and Magic/VAP
Director: Naohito Takahashi
Vintage: 1997
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
Guts’s only purpose in life was to fight and kill for money – it’s the only life he’s ever known. But then he is taken into the Band of the Hawk, the famed mercenary band led by the charismatic and power-hungry Griffith. Guts and his comrades are willing to do just about anything to help their esteemed leader, but what happens when things go too far?

Field Agent Report by: Phate
Overall 7.25
(not an average)
After a long hiatus from anime viewing, I decided that watching one of the most well-known, perhaps infamous, shows in recent memory might be a good way to rejuvenate my interest in the medium. Unfortunately, it seems that in order to get my interest flowing again, I’ll have to look elsewhere.Berserk’s storyline is commendably straightforward and, for most of the show, very coherent. Everything that happens is sufficiently explained without leaving any holes for the viewer to ponder over. This creates a story that flows like a stream of cool dihydrogen monoxide in spring time. Of course, even considering that, a story also still needs to be interesting and engaging – and for the most part it is. However, once the final couple of episodes are reached, it becomes obvious that not everything will be resolved by the end of the 25th. To be blunt, the show doesn’t even try, and while all the episodes leading up to the final two were interesting enough, the ending brings Berserk to a grinding halt that is impossible to ignore and leaves a nasty aftertaste.

The grass isn’t much greener when it comes to the characters either. While the main characters are developed well, none of them are easy to sympathize with. Guts and Griffith are little more than generic in their respective roles, and Caska, while original, is just hard to care for with her abrasive personality. The secondary characters are more likable than the main ones, but also suffer because they are too generic to be memorable in any way. By the time the show reached its climax, I didn’t care what happened to anyone.

It’s with no hesitation that I warn anybody thinking of watching Berserk that its notoriety is undeserving. Proving itself to be little more than another action show with ho-hum animation, the only thing I felt necessary to take note of by the time it was all over was to get my hands on the soundtrack – or at least, the two themes that accounted for all of the background music throughout the entire run.