Original Anime (1997) Rewatch

Rewatching the 1997 Berserk anime (dub, by necessity) and WOW, how about that production value. Also, WOW, that soundtrack.

Anyone else see it lately?
 
Last re-watch was about 2 years ago. One of my all time favorite anime. That OST creates such an enigmatic atmosphere. It's what first introduced me to the world of Berserk and I'll never forget the impression it left on me. Some say the animation is bad, which may be true when compared to other works, but the art style and design is top notch imo. I think the use of still frames brings a certain charm as well. Can't say anything bad about this anime except for leaving out Wyald, SK and puck. Can you just imagine how epic the fight between Zodd and SK outside the eclipse would have been in this style?
 
It introduced me to berserk as well. It is an expert piece of anime. I agree completely. The stills worked and we’ve already said it, but that soundtrack... so good. I disagree that they should have expanded it in any manner. I forget how it ends exactly, but the eclipse is enough.

Any continuation, SK Zodd and all else, would best be done in this style for sure, but it’s unnecessary. Stands alone.
 

Walter

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It has probably been 15 or more years since I rewatched the original anime. I'm in my mid-30s now, but when I first was watching Berserk, I remember rewiring my parents sound system for maximum VHS "surround sound" audio quality :beast:

Beyond getting me into the series, most of all, I respect it for maintaining the atmosphere of the manga. Even if they took several liberties, those characters still feel authentically like Guts, Casca, and Griffith to me. The movie's version of those characters -- not so much. As for the look of it, sure it's rather simple. I never minded the low animation frames as much as other people. The compositions and editing mattered more to me, and it was a sharp show in that regard. And yeah, that OST still makes it into my playlists every few years.

I don't think it's the definitive way to experience Berserk, but I do think it's still a friendly, easily accessible starting point.
 

Aazealh

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There are a number of problems with that adaptation, like unreasonably abridging the Black Swordsman arc or omitting important scenes with Silat and Wyald and replacing them with filler. But it is by far the best adaptation of Berserk to date. It achieved wonders with a limited budget and managed, like Walter said, to stay faithful to the spirit of the manga. It showed craftmanship that I can only hope will be applied to another Berserk adaptation in the future.

I disagree that they should have expanded it in any manner. I forget how it ends exactly, but the eclipse is enough. Any continuation, SK Zodd and all else, would best be done in this style for sure, but it’s unnecessary. Stands alone.
It ends with the rape, fades to black. Then we briefly see Guts going on as the Black Swordsman. It's honestly not a great ending, but it certainly caused people to seek out the manga (I know I did) and its shock factor played a part in raising the series' profile.
 

Walter

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It's honestly not a great ending, but it certainly caused people to seek out the manga (I know I did)
Questions about what happens after the anime were at a fever pitch back then (1999-2002). When this site launched, I put up some scans to show those next few episodes just to answer the demand. I hope it did some good, because I do think that learning just a bit more about how the world opens up after the Eclipse is important to seeing where the series continues.
 
To be honest, my earliest recollection of reading manga or even seeking it was because of the way the Berserk anime ended. I discussed it with a friend who introduced the series to me and he had said there was more to the story. Up until that point, I only watched anime or could because of having no access to manga back home. So, getting into the Berserk manga opened doors for me to also read manga for series I had watched or was actively watching on a weekly episode schedule.

I re-watched the 97 anime about 2 years with my wife, it was her first time. It was definitely cool to see it again, brought back memories.
 
Questions about what happens after the anime were at a fever pitch back then (1999-2002). When this site launched, I put up some scans to show those next few episodes just to answer the demand. I hope it did some good, because I do think that learning just a bit more about how the world opens up after the Eclipse is important to seeing where the series continues.
For what it’s worth, the scans certainly helped me. Back then I couldn’t find any other place that showed what happened after the eclipse.
 
I reckon my last full re-watch was around 2017. Back when I first watched the anime, I did not mind the dub. However, listening to the dub now have dampened my enjoyment since I can't help but notice the inconsistent voice quality of the tertiary characters.
omitting important scenes with Silat and Wyald and replacing them with filler.
I imagine that the omissions of Silat and Wyald were due to budget constraints since animating either of their fights would be difficult and extensive. One of the issues I would bring up with the animation would be how it portrays the speed of the action. For instance, in the second episode where Guts fought Bazuso, there are comments from random soldiers about the fast speed of Guts' barrage of strikes, but I found the animation portrays Guts slowly striking the guy akin to a small kid beating a pinata. The few times where the anime managed to portray fast action were often looped like in the case of Adon's fight with Casca at Doldrey in order to save on animating more of the fight. So, to portray a quick and nimble fighter as Silat that relies on unorthodox fighting techniques using the 97 animation would be difficult, to put it lightly.
Concerning Wyald, barring the difficulties of portraying his character, the encounters and fights with the apostle would have ballooned the runtime of the anime. It took roughly one volume on Guts and co. escaping from Wyald, activating the traps to slow him, and fighting him and his Black Dog Knights. Given the already limited animation and budget of the anime, I assume they just replaced him with a random Midland commander to save time and resources for the Eclipse.
It sucks that Silat, Wyald, and many more scenes were omitted or altered in the anime, and I would have loved to see them animated properly. Only time will tell if there is an ambitious group of people willing to faithfully animate Berserk in its entirety with a good budget. :shrug:
 

Aazealh

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I reckon my last full re-watch was around 2017. Back when I first watched the anime, I did not mind the dub. However, listening to the dub now have dampened my enjoyment since I can't help but notice the inconsistent voice quality of the tertiary characters.
That dub is frankly terrible, even for main characters. I can't listen to it.

I imagine that the omissions of Silat and Wyald were due to budget constraints since animating either of their fights would be difficult and extensive.
That's very possible, but that's not something that I, as a fan, consider an acceptable justification.
 

Dar_Klink

Last Guardian when? - CyberKlink 20XX before dying
I haven't seen the anime in a long while unless you count being at an anime club at a friend's college and seeing them play it at the wrong aspect ratio (stretched to 16:9) and the "engineer" aka "torrent downloader" didn't know what I was talking about so I went to the hallway to play cards instead.

I did show it to my brother probably 9 years ago(feels like it was 2 years ago...) and remember him texting me "What the fuuuuuck was the ending" and getting to tell him "The manga goes past that, Casca is alive" and him just texting back "YESSSSS!"

The anime did well with the budget it had what with using the Dezaki Postcard Memories and you really can't beat the OST.
 
I just got done rewatching all the on-screen adaptations, and I always forget how awesome the '97 series is.
Honestly, I'd probably keep that same format if and when we ever get a full adaptation. Berserk definitely lends itself well to the still, picturesque anime. But nowadays anime are much more kinetic and focused around quick cuts and movement. Which is not to say Berserk wouldn't work like that, but I definitely love the slow, atmospheric take the '97 series went for.
 
The 97 anime blew me away when I first saw it. The story was top-notch, the characters were wonderfully crafted and complex, and the plot was tightly-woven and near perfectly told. Yeah, the animation was awful, I noticed its cheapness back then, particularly during the action scenes with their rampant abuse of looped frames. But he aesthetics were able to present the appropriate atmosphere regardless, particularly since they made good use of detailed stills for the more climatic moments, and backed them all up with excellent sound design and music. Nothing about the series ever distracted me away from its narrative.

Since reading the manga though...it's admittedly hard to go back. It's easy to notice the material that was cut out, and I can't help but miss its presence. Guts' childhood in particular stands out the most to me personally. It feels awfully rushed, and the omission of Donovan had a bit of a cascading effect on later events that really hurt the story; Guts and Casca's love scene in the manga is beautiful in how we see Guts break down from years of repressed trauma catching up to him, followed by Casca helping him finally heal from it, but we don't get that from the anime, which made their relationship feel nowhere near as deep as it was supposed to be. And then there's the subject of the ending; it's too abrupt, it leaves tons of holes, and little effort is done to build the bridge between the last and first episode. If they really wanted to make the series feel like something that could stand on its own, then they should have at least adapted the rest of the Golden Age arc. It would have given the anime a greater sense of closure than just suddenly jumping out of the Eclipse and showing Guts walking out of Godot's without any explanation on how he got out alive.

Still, I guess it did its job. It left me wanting more and got me into reading the manga, which would probably have flown under my radar had I not watched it, so I'm glad it was made. Though I can't help but wonder if that makes me a hypocrite because I do NOT have the same sentiments towards the movies or the 2016 series. Sure, they got people talking about Berserk and may have attracted more fans, but everything about them is just so terrible that I can't help but think they give people the wrong impression. I know for a fact that if they were where I got my first impression of the series, then I wouldn't have ever given Berserk the time of day; I would assume the manga is as trashy as they were and ignore it completely. Worse, the fact that we now have three anime series all made completely separate of each other is just generating a lot of confusion about where people are supposed to start or where they're supposed to go after they finish one series.
 

Death May Die

"That day you left, that's when I knew."
I still borrow out this anime, and every single time it’s like converting someone to a religion. True believers. Lol
 
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